Slipped disc: February 2011 Archives
Jens Winther was born in Denmark in 1960 and started to learn the trumpet at age 10. In 1978 he became a professional freelance trumpet player in the jazz area. In 1982 Jens was appointed solo trumpet player in the Danish Radio Big Band which he began writing for three years later.
In 1989 he left the Big Band and made the big move to New York, due to an invitation to join a two-year workshop under the direction of Bob Brookmeyer. He worked as a professional trumpet player in New York with various groups and musicians such as Toshiko Akoishi Band, Eddie Palmieri, Kenny Barron, Max Roach, Tito Puente, Marie Bauza Orchestra, George Mraz, Xavier Cugat Orchestra, and others. He has worked full time since 1991 as a composer and trumpet soloist besides having his own small group (Jens Winther Group).
On May 5th 1994 Jens performed his first Trumpet-concerto for Symphony Orchestra, "Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra". The concerto was subsequently performed at an international music festival in Riga.
In 1998 Jens was commissioned to work for the Metropole Orchestra in Holland (60 piece orchestra) where he also acted as a soloist. He was then commissioned to work for the Danish Radio Big Band and the Danish Radio Concert Choir. Jens toured with George Gruntz Concert band in Oct-Nov 1998.
On April 29th 1999 Jens teamed up with Århus Symphonic Orchestra for the first performance with the 2nd. Trumpet concerto "The Eagle" in Århus Musikhus.
Shortly after that he composed "Pluto and Beyond", a 40 min. commissioned work for the Metropole Orchestra.
Since then Jens has been touring with his own group and various German small groups internationally.
Throughout the years Jens Winther has toured with such great musicians as Joe Henderson, Carla Bley, Steve Swallow, Bob Brookmeyer, Thad Jones, Al Foster and George Gruntz.
Jens has also had the opportunity to perform with Miles Davis (on "Aura"), Abdullah Ibrahim, Hermeto Pascoal, Michel Camillo, Dizzy Gillespie, Cella Cruz and Clark Terry to name but a few.
Four UK premières from the new generation of Egyptian composers and music from Egypt's first School of Composition.
This latest concert in the Al Farabi Concerto series presents new music from Egypt, juxtaposed with works from the first Egyptian school of classical composition, connecting past and present.
The Composers Ensemble perform music by
Gamal Abdel-Rahim Piano Trio; Lotus Pond
Aziz El-Shawan Meditations; Rondo
Halim El-Dabh Mekta in the art of Kita; It is Dark and Damp
Nahla Mattar Three
Amr Okba Integration
Ramz Sabry Samy New work
25 February 2011
Arts Centre appoints renowned international artistic director as adviser
The Arts Centre Chief Executive, Judith Isherwood,
today announced Jonathan Mills has been engaged as an International Artistic
As one of Australia's most prominent composers and an internationally acclaimed artistic director, Jonathan's role is to support the strategic development of the Arts Centre's artistic programming and provide ideas and suggestions for specific programming events.
"Having worked extensively in the arts in Australia as well as the United Kingdom and Europe, Jonathan is highly regarded across the arts sector. His knowledge, experience and contacts will be invaluable to us as we progressively enhance our approach to programming and develop a stronger national and international offering that will enhance our artistic reputation," said Judith Isherwood.
"This is an exciting and important appointment for the Arts Centre and I am delighted that Jonathan will assist us to grow our international reputation and advise on inspiring and diverse arts and cultural performances and additionally play a vital role in providing mentoring support to the programming team through his 'knowledge transfer'."
"Jonathan is currently the Director of the Edinburgh International Festival. His engagement has been possible through a special agreement with the Edinburgh International Festival, to which the Arts Centre is very thankful."
A key focus for Jonathan will also be on the re-opening program for the renowned concert hall, Hamer Hall, from July 2012.
"I am excited to be able to be involved with the Arts Centre and work in partnership with them to further strengthen the artistic direction and continued expansion of the Arts Centre," said Jonathan Mills.
"The offer to be the Arts Centre's advising international artistic director was irresistible as it has allowed me to come full circle and contribute to an already vibrant arts scene. My career developed out of Melbourne and this appointment allows me the opportunity to give something back to the Melbourne and Victorian community by helping the Arts Centre to achieve its ambitions."
Jonathan Mills' previous posts have included Artistic Director of the Melbourne International Arts Festival, the Melbourne Federation Festival, the Melbourne Millennium Eve celebrations and the Brisbane Biennial International Music Festival.
As a composer he is regularly commissioned in Australia and increasingly in Europe and the UK. His composition Sandakan Threnody for solo tenor, choir and orchestra won the Prix Italia in 2005. He began his artistic career studying composition in Australia and then piano and composition with Lidia Arcuri-Baldecchi in Italy. He also holds a degree in architecture and is an authority on acoustic design.
Jonathan's term of the appointment is initially through to the end of 2012 with the possibility of extension by a further three years to the end of 2015.
The Arts Centre is the flagship of the performing arts in Victoria, and the focal point of Melbourne's cultural precinct. To find out about what's on offer visit www.theartscentre.com.au
or become a fan of the Arts Centre on facebook.
For further information, images or interviews, please contact:
Jessica Bendell, 03 9281 8442 or email@example.com
Jacqueleen Brown, 03 9281 8295 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Re-discovered Vaughan Williams work 'A Cambridge Mass' to receive world premiere
A recently discovered work by Ralph Vaughan Williams is to be given its world-premiere at Fairfield Halls, Croydon, on 3rd March. Alan Tongue, who unearthed the unpublished and never performed early work, will conduct The Bach Choir, which Vaughan Williams himself conducted for seven years, accompanied by soloists, and members of the New Queen's Hall Orchestra playing instruments appropriate to the period.
Vaughan Williams, who died in 1958, wrote this, his first large-scale work of about 45 minutes and now named posthumously 'A Cambridge Mass', as a submission for his Doctor of Music degree at Cambridge University in 1899.
The conductor, Alan Tongue, came across the manuscript in the Cambridge University Library and spent months editing it ready for performance. He describes it as 'the largest work of the composer's scores to predate his first symphony of 1909', saying "In any context this would be a remarkable achievement; the piece significantly extends our understanding of Vaughan Williams's artistic development."
A three movement mass for soloists, double chorus and orchestra, the score was written to quite a strict brief which required students to write partly in fugue and canon, however plenty of Vaughan Williams's own personality comes through. Michael Kennedy, music biographer and writer, who knew Vaughan Williams well in his later years, has already described the work as "really amazingly good"
'A Cambridge Mass' is published by Stainer & Bell: www.stainer.co.uk/rvw.html from where you can hear a sample.
Tickets are on sale now and booking details can be found at:
Information about the conductor, Alan Tongue, can be found at: http://www.alantongue.co.uk/
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Notes for Editor:
Photos are available on request.
Alan Tongue is available for interview.
One of Alan's specialities is performing English music abroad: his credits include the Hungarian premiere of Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius and the Argentinean premiere of Walton's Belshazzar's Feast.
The Ralph Vaughan Williams Society: www.rvwsociety.com
The Vaughan Williams Charitable Trust: www.vwct.org.uk/Alan Tongue, conductor: www.alantongue.co.uk/home.php
Brompton's Auctioneers makes available free downloads of classic recordings from the greats, including Menuhin, Heifetz and Oistrakh
Auction house's plans to bring specialist information and recordings to the public
Brompton's, the esteemed auction house, and the only one in the country to specialise exclusively in the sale of fine musical instruments, has made available for free download a large number of classic recordings by the undisputed greats of the string world.
Reading like a 'who's who' of the definitive string players of the 20th Century, over a day's worth of high quality, re-mastered recordings from the likes of David Oistrakh, Yehudi Menuhin, Fritz Kreisler, Pablo Casals and Jascha Heifetz are all now available to download and keep from www.bromptons.co/music-library.html
Repertoire highlights include the Elgar Cello Concerto performed by Casals, the Beethoven Violin Concerto recorded by Menuhin, and the Paganini Violin Concerto No.1 performed by Kreisler. Providing a genuine resource for everyone from music-lovers and amateur musicians to professional performers, listeners have the opportunity to compare classic recordings from the masters; two recordings by Jascha Heifetz of the Tchaikovsky violin concerto are available from opposite ends of the artist's performing career, while performances of the Elgar violin concerto are available by various artists, including Albert Sammons, as conducted by the composer himself. The website is also branching out beyond the string world by featuring classic recordings from major artists including Alfred Cortot with the complete Chopin Ballades.
Despite being founded only four years ago, Brompton's has already broken multiple world records for sales and is the country's number one auction house for string instruments, selling more than Sotheby's and Bonham's in terms of volume and value. It is now the first and only auction house to make recordings available via its website, a move which represents an important step in its plans to share specialist information and knowledge with its growing audience. Brompton's recently made available via its website the 'Reference Library,' an exceptional and comprehensive tool to research instrument sale prices from over 26,000 auction results, compare and examine instrument photographs in high detail, and explore the wealth of information found in its online library of books, biographies and articles. Visitor numbers to the website have already increased tenfold.
James Buchanan of Brompton's, comments, "We're very excited to be entering into this next phase in the evolution of Brompton's. As well as being the leading auction house for stringed instruments, we are democratising information and resources by offering recordings to music fans and opening up our extensive reference library - all for free. This transparency allows us to forge a close relationship with our existing as well as future clients."
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Brompton's, located within The Royal Institution of Great Britain, is the only auction house in the country to specialise exclusively in the sale of fine musical instruments. It is the number one auction house for string instruments, selling more than Sotheby's and Bonham's in terms of volume and value, and has broken world records for auction sales every year since its launch over four years ago.
For more information please visit www.bromptons.co
For all enquiries please contact Samantha Holderness at Albion Media
020 3077 4943 email@example.com
CD of the Week/Norman Lebrecht
Grazyna Bacewicz (DG)
Almost everything about this disc is wrong, except the music. Bacewicz (1909-69), a well-kept Polish secret, wrote music of quiet subtlety and profound introspection, adhering to no single style and managing to avoid interference or patronage by the Communist regime.
Little is known of her life. She started out as a violinist and led the radio orchestra in Warsaw for two years before the war. Abroad, she studied composition with Nadia Boulanger and violin with Carl Flesch. She stopped playing after a road smash. In addition to writing music, she published a number of short stories. She married, and had a daughter.
None of her work has appeared before on a major label and its release here is due entirely to the passion of Krystian Zimerman and a quartet of compatriots who join him in two quintets, separated by the self-assertive second piano sonata.
In such obscure circumstances, one might have expected an informative essay on Bacewicz, life and work, in the accompanying booklet. Instead, we get a publicity puff for how Zimerman came to record it and little more by way of introduction or analysis.
Record labels, at their best - remember their best? - exist to educate, entertain and disseminate. DG fails here even to make clear whether the recording is live or a studio performance. An executive producer is named. He ought to be locked in a small room with an empty revolver, or sent on holiday for a very long while.
The redeeming grace is the music, which becomes more hypnotic on repeated listening. Bacewicz is unafraid of shifting styles. The first quintet, dated, 1952, is generally tonal and occasionally minimal; it has an irresistible grave third movement. The second, from 1965, shimmers along a serial line in a manner reminiscent of the young Ligeti. In between, the sonata recalls the late Prokofiev. This is music that demands to be heard, in performances of great fervour that conjoin a master pianist with emerging artists Kaja Danczowska, Agata Szymczewska, Ryszard Groblewski and Rafal Kwiatkowski. The musicians have done their job. Shame that DG botched the chance to support their enterprise.
THE LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC ASSOCIATION AND CITY OF LOS ANGELES PAY TRIBUTE TO ERNEST FLEISCHMANN
WITH A SPECIAL FREE CONCERT AND NAMING OF ERNEST FLEISCHMANN SQUARE
Concert Features Conductor Laureate Esa-Pekka Salonen,
Composer Pierre Boulez and
Associate Conductor Lionel Bringuier
TUESDAY, MARCH 29, 2011, AT 8 PM
The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association hosts a special free concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall, in honor of Ernest Fleischmann, former LA Phil Executive Vice President and Managing Director,Tuesday, March 29, at 8 p.m. "A Tribute to Ernest" presents the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, LA Phil Conductor Laureate Esa-Pekka Salonen, Composer Pierre Boulez, LA Phil Associate Conductor Lionel Bringuier, the Los Angeles Children's Chorus, as well as tenor Daniel Chaney, tenor Grant Gershon, baritone Abdiel Gonzalez and bass Reid Bruton. Earlier that same day, at 1 p.m., the City of Los Angeles, names the intersection of 1st and Grand Avenue, between the venues of the Music Center, Ernest Fleischmann Square. Fleischmann, whose history with the LA Phil dates back to 1969, passed away June 13, 2010, at the age of 85.
The tribute concert begins with Boulez' Sur Incises, performed by a guest ensemble of three harps, three pianos and three percussion, and led by the composer. Next on the program is the U.S. premiere of Salonen's Dona Nobis Pacem with the Los Angeles Children's Chorus (LACC), conducted by LACC Artistic Director Anne Tomlinson. The program continues with Donatoni's Arpèges, conducted by Bringuier, and closes with Stravinsky's Renard, led by Salonen and featuring singers Chaney, Gershon, Gonzalez and Bruton.
"We honor our dear friend and colleague Ernest Fleischmann with an unusual program but clearly one that he might well have selected himself. At the very least we certainly hope he approves from wherever he is listening. It celebrates the visionary spirit and elegant taste of a giant upon whose shoulders we all stand. A day does not go by that I do not think of him and miss his remarkable presence," says LA Phil President and CEO Deborah Borda.
During his 29-year tenure with the LA Phil, Fleischmann helped catapult the organization into the upper echelon of American orchestras. He also played a pivotal role in the process of commissioning and building the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall.
The City of Los Angeles named Ernest Fleischmann its First Living Cultural Treasure when he stepped down from his position with the LA Phil in 1998. After his official resignation from the LA Phil, Fleischmann remained an Honorary Life Director.
For full artist biographies, please visit: http://www.laphil.com.
The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under the vibrant leadership of Gustavo Dudamel, presents the finest in orchestral and chamber music, recitals, new music, jazz, world music and holiday concerts at two of the most remarkable locations anywhere to experience music - Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. In addition to a 30-week winter subscription season at Walt Disney Concert Hall, the LA Phil presents a 12-week summer festival at the legendary Hollywood Bowl, summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and home of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. In fulfilling its commitment to the community, the Association's involvement with Los Angeles extends to educational concerts, children's programming and community concerts, ever seeking to provide inspiration and delight to the broadest possible audience.
EDITORS PLEASE NOTE:
TUESDAY, MARCH 29, 2011, AT 8 PM
WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL
111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles
A Tribute to Ernest
LOS ANGELES NEW MUSIC GROUP
ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, conductor
PIERRE BOULEZ, conductor
LIONEL BRINGUIER, conductor
DANIEL CHANEY, tenor 1
GRANT GERSHON, tenor 2
ABDIEL GONZALEZ, baritone
REID BRUTON, bass
LOS ANGELES CHILDREN'S CHORUS
ANNE TOMLINSON, conductor
BOULEZ Sur Incises
PIERRE BOULEZ, conductor
SALONEN Dona Nobis Pacem (U.S. premiere)
ANNE TOMLINSON, conductor
LIONEL BRINGUIER, conductor
ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, conductor
Complimentary tickets for this concert are available to LA Phil subscribers beginning February 22, by calling 323.850.2000. Complimentary tickets with a nominal processing fee are available to non-subscribers beginning February 26, by calling 323.850.2000.
Complimentary tickets for members of the press can be reserved by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
# # #
There's the Dvorak, the Schumann, the Elgar and if you're lucky, from time to time, the first Shostakovich or the sticky-sweet Saint-Saens.
Of course, there's also chamber music - but that's not a living. A patient agent will sit down with our Curtis or Academy award winner and explain the facts of life. A concerto is a thirty-k date, fifty if you play the yo-yo (did I overhear that right? maybe she said, play like Yo Yo). Doing the Judas Mac variations or the Kodaly sonata at the Weill or the Wigmore is three-k if you're lucky, and don't expect a limo.
So what's to be done? Three or four young cellists I know are trying to break the mould, but what can be done to support them? All ideas and suggestions gratefully received.
1800hrs Thursday, 17 February 2011
Vasily Petrenko and Liverpool Philharmonic Responds to Liverpool City Council's Draft Budget Proposals
Liverpool Philharmonic responded today following the publication of Liverpool City Council's draft budget proposals which propose a 20% cut to its revenue grant for 2011/12.
The music organisation, often referred to as the jewel in Liverpool's cultural crown, at the centre of which is the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, faces a reduction in funding of £284,000 on its current revenue grant of £1.42 million pounds from Liverpool City Council.
In October 2010, Arts Council England announced a cut of 6.9% to its revenue funded organisations for 2011/12, which in real terms for Liverpool Philharmonic represents a loss of grant of £166,000. With the proposed 20% cut in revenue from Liverpool City Council, Liverpool Philharmonic faces a reduction in revenue of £450,000 in 2011/12, with further cuts likely from other local authorities.
Responding to the budget proposals, Vasily Petrenko, Chief Conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra said:
"We are grateful for the confidence and investment that Liverpool City Council gives to this organisation. It has enabled us to deliver great music to thousands of people every year here in Liverpool, across the UK and internationally. We have achieved a huge amount together and there is still a lot more we can achieve for ourselves and for the City and people of Liverpool, but all this could be lost very quickly with a reduction in funding of this scale. The most successful orchestras in the world are those which have artistic ambition fully backed by their local City. It is only with this backing that we can continue to achieve world class standards and give Liverpool the economic and artistic benefit we have been providing in recent years."
Michael Eakin, Chief Executive of Liverpool Philharmonic added:
"We understand the difficulty of the task that Liverpool City Council faces and fully accept that we must share the pain of cuts along with others in the culture sector and indeed, every other area of Council services. However, despite that fact that we generate two thirds of our own income through our own activities, a cut of this magnitude threatens to undermine all that this organisation has achieved in recent years, supported by the City's investment. It jeopardises our ability to stay on track and sustain a world-class professional symphony orchestra in Liverpool.
"Liverpool Philharmonic is delivering music-making of the highest quality through its symphony orchestra led by Chief Conductor Vasily Petrenko, one of the most sought after classical music artists in the world today; through Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, one of the UK's premiere venues and through a Learning programme that is using the unique power of music to improve health and well-being, aid educational attainment and contribute to community transformation and regeneration.
"Liverpool Philharmonic has led on behalf of the City the bid now under consideration to be nominated as a UNESCO City of Music and our artistic success has enabled us to secure significant sponsorship and private philanthropy and deliver further investment directly into the City. In the last three years, we have successfully bid for and won £730,000 over three years to deliver the Department for Education's In Harmony music programme in West Everton; secured over half a million pounds of ERDF funding to develop the former Friary church in West Everton into a second rehearsal, recording and education venue, also used by In Harmony and the West Everton Children's Orchestra; and with other cultural partners in the City, secured £2.4 million to deliver the Find Your Talent scheme for young people. These and a number of our other initiatives are having positive impacts across the City's cultural, social, education, health, regeneration and economic agendas."
Further information from
Head of Communications
Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
Vasily Petrenko Appointed Chief Conductor of the
Oslo Philharmonic from August 2013
An exciting new age beckons for the Oslo Philharmonic with the appointment of Vasily Petrenko as its Chief Conductor Designate. The 34-year-old Russian musician, who officially succeeds Jukka-Pekka Saraste in August 2013, is determined to build on the orchestra's rich artistic legacy, extend its audience reach and raise its international profile. Petrenko's partnership with the Oslo Philharmonic's players began with his acclaimed debut concert in 2009 and is set to develop when they tour together later this year.
"I was thrilled to be asked to be the Oslo Philharmonic's Chief Conductor," observes Vasily Petrenko. "It is too early, of course, to speak in detail about our future programmes together. But we will certainly be thinking about 2013 and the big anniversaries of Wagner, Verdi and Britten and the centenary of Diaghilev's great Ballets Russes season in Paris, which gave the world Stravinsky's Le sacre du printempsand Debussy's Jeux."
"I'm looking forward to programming everything from Johann Sebastian Bach to contemporary music and the work of Scandinavian composers, Grieg, Nielsen and Sibelius among them. I love Scandinavian music and think it will be a natural process to explore it together with the Oslo Philharmonic."
During his St Petersburg student years, Vasily Petrenko received guidance from the Oslo Philharmonic's longest serving Chief Conductor, Mariss Jansons. "It will be a privilege for me to follow in his great footsteps with the Oslo Philharmonic. Their association is part of the orchestra's modern history. I hope we will be able to make our own history together."
The Oslo Philharmonic was founded in 1919 and can trace its ancestry back to the Christiania Musikerforening (Christiania Musical Association), founded by Edvard Grieg and Johan Svendsen in the 1870s. The Norwegian orchestra, based at Oslo Concert Hall since 1977, achieved international acclaim during Mariss Janson's tenure as Chief Conductor (1979-2002) and has retained its place among the world's leading ensembles under Jukka-Pekka Saraste (2006 to present). The Oslo Philharmonic's roster of distinguished Chief Conductors also includes Issay Dobrowen (1927-31), Herbert Blomstedt (1962-68) and André Previn (2002-06).
Vasily Petrenko's sense of historical perspective is matched by his acute understanding of the present need to increase and widen the audience for symphonic music. He draws here on invaluable lessons learned and applied as Chief Conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. His extended Liverpool contract currently runs until 2015 during which time will he will continue to lead the orchestra in concerts, tours and recordings. "The connection with an audience is a very important part of my work in Liverpool, Oslo and wherever else I conduct," he comments. "I believe this relationship is central to the conductor's role in developing the modern orchestra. Working with and developing a young audience has been my guide in Liverpool. We now attract young people to our concerts there and I consider this to be another central concern of my mission as a conductor."
Odd Gullberg, Chief Executive Officer of the Oslo Philharmonic, welcomes Vasily Petrenko's appointment and notes that the orchestra is excited about the future under his artistic leadership. "We compiled a long list of those who might become the orchestra's next Chief Conductor," he recalls. "When we matched these to the criteria we wished to see in that person, Vasily Petrenko emerged as our clear first choice. We wanted somebody ready to shape a long-term vision for the orchestra, an outstanding conductor able to communicate freely with people on and off stage. We've seen what Vasily has achieved with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and recognise his combination of assets: he's a great musician and tremendous communicator. He motivates musicians and inspires audiences. We approached Vasily's agents, IMG Artists (London), and were delighted when he accepted our offer."
The combination of Vasily Petrenko and the Oslo Philharmonic, explains Gullberg, has the makings of a strong international brand, one boldly hallmarked by qualities of excellence, dynamism and audience appeal. "This is about looking to the orchestra's future at a time when Norway is investing in the arts and culture. Our future plans will embrace everything from the concerts we give at home and abroad to recordings, the use of new media and the way we communicate with Scandinavian and international society. It is a major project, which will fully involve our new Chief Conductor and give something back to the society that so generously supports us."
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Notes for Editors
Born in St Petersburg in July 1976 and educated at the St Petersburg Capella Boys Music School and St Petersburg Conservatoire, Vasily Petrenko served as Resident Conductor at the St Petersburg State Opera and Ballet Theatre (1994-7) and Chief Conductor of the State Academy Orchestra of St Petersburg (2004-7). He is currently Chief Conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (his contract extended until 2015) and Principal Conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.
In recent seasons Petrenko has made debut performances with the London Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic and the Finnish Radio Symphony, the Orchestre National de France, the Philharmonia, the NHK Symphony Tokyo, the Budapest Festival and Russian National Orchestras, and has toured with the European Union Youth Orchestra. In the United States he has made successful debuts with many top level orchestras, the Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Baltimore, Cincinnati and St Louis Symphony Orchestras among them. His schedule includes forthcoming debuts with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Sydney Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra Washington.
In 2007 Vasily Petrenko was named Young Artist of the Year at the annual Gramophone Awards, and in 2009 he was awarded honorary doctorates by the University of Liverpool and Liverpool Hope University, in recognition of the immense impact he has had on the city's cultural scene.
Vasily Petrenko is represented for worldwide general management by IMG Artists (London).
Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra
The Oslo Philharmonic can trace its roots back to the time of Edvard Grieg and Johan Svendsen. It was established under its present name in 1919. The orchestra annually presents 60 to 70 concerts at its home venue, Oslo Concert Hall, most of which are broadcast by Norwegian National Radio. Its concert programme has secured a high international profile, widely recognised for the breadth of its repertory and the quality of its music-making. Thanks to its international reputation, the orchestra attracts many distinguished conductors and soloists.
Under Mariss Jansons, Music Director from 1979 to 2002, the orchestra achieved great international fame and critical acclaim. Since 1982 the Oslo Philharmonic's touring activities has regularly taken the orchestra to Europe's leading venues, including a residency at Vienna's Musikverein and visits to the BBC Proms and the Edinburgh, Lucerne and Salzburg international festivals. The orchestra has also appeared at significant venues in North and South America and in East Asia.
Maestro Jansons was succeeded by André Previn, and in 2006 the orchestra signed a five-year contract with Jukka-Pekka Saraste as Music Director. In 2009, Maestro Saraste's contract was extended until 2013. The Oslo Philharmonic has performed highly successful overseas concerts with Jukka-Pekka Saraste, for example, at the BBC Proms and Barbican Hall in London, the Vienna Musikverein, the Berlin and Cologne Philharmonies, and the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, together with appearances at the Rheingau, Grafenegg and Baltic festivals and venues in Italy, Switzerland and the Benelux countries.
As a recording orchestra the Oslo Philharmonic attained global fame under Mariss Jansons in the 1980s, initially with their cycle of Tchaikovsky's symphonies for the Chandos label. In 1986 they signed what was then the most extensive orchestra recording contract in EMI's history, resulting in over 20 acclaimed releases during the next decade. The Oslo Philharmonic's discography presently includes over 70 titles spanning a strikingly wide range of music. Recent releases include a Brahms symphony cycle and Mahler's first, sixth, seventh and ninth symphonies for Simax; recordings with Hillary Hahn, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Daniel Müller-Schott and Christian Lindberg; and the album Norwegian Heartland, a survey of Norwegian romantic compositions by Grieg, Halvorsen, Svendsen, Saeverud and Tveitt (Simax).
In 2008 the orchestra launched its first DVD, presenting the final version of Sibelius' Fifth Symphony and sequences from the work's 'forbidden' original 1915 score, with Jukka-Pekka Saraste as conductor and narrator. This was followed in spring 2010 by another DVD and Blu-ray release of Sibelius' Symphony No. 1, again conducted by Maestro Saraste.
The most recent recording of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra with Saraste is Mahler's Symphony No. 6 (Simax), which was released in Norway in December 2010 and internationally in January 2011.
Violinist Philippe Quint
Stars in upcoming independent film Downtown Express
Co-starring singer-songwriter Nellie McKay
Directed by David Grubin
Produced by Michael Hausman
"power, breadth of tone, and passion" - The New York Times on Philippe Quint
New York, NY-- Violinist Philippe Quint stars with singer-songwriter Nellie McKay in Downtown Express, a new film from multiple Peabody and Emmy Award-winning director David Grubin, produced byMichael Hausman (Brokeback Mountain, Gangs of New York, Amadeus). Though there is a long tradition of performers appearing on the big screen as themselves or famous violinists of the past, Quint's role in Downtown Express marks the first time that a classical musician has been featured as the lead in an American independent film. To prepare for the role and further his understanding of film and theatre, Quint spent three years training intensely with legendary producer and acting instructor Sondra Lee.
Downtown Express, shot in the summer of 2010 on location in New York, chronicles the life of Russian classical violinist Sasha (Quint) who has recently come to New York to study at Juilliard, and who, defying his cellist father (played by Michael Cumpsty), becomes part of the experimental and raucous Downtown music scene of the city. Sparks fly when Sasha meets and begins performing with Ramona (McKay), a multi-talented singer-songwriter.
Inspired by real-life narratives, Downtown Express is an authentic musical love story turning on a conflict between a father and son, dramatizing the struggle to be a creative artist as well as an immigrant in a time of economic and political uncertainty - a story where the stakes are high and music becomes an expression of freedom. The film's score features original music by Michael Bacon, McKay, Quint, as well as Beethoven, Mozart, Tchaikovsky and the street musicians of New York City.
"I was instantly swept away by this story because it mirrored my life in so many ways," says the Russian-born Quint, who defected to the U.S. as a teenager, in part to avoid army service in Russia, in part to study with The Juilliard School's renowned teacher Dorothy DeLay and take instruction from such luminaries as Isaac Stern and Itzhak Perlman.
For Quint, until now, acting has played "second fiddle" to...the fiddle. A two-time Grammy Award nominee, Quint has emerged in recent years as one of the few soloists to combine a remarkable degree of lyricism, poetry and impeccable virtuosity. He has gripped the eyes and ears of audiences in Asia, Australia, Latin America, Africa, Europe and the U.S. with what The Times (London) describes as his "bravura technique, and unflagging energy."
Quint's big break came with his 2001 debut album, a recording of William Schuman's Violin Concerto (Naxos), which was singled out as an Editor's Choice by Gramophone and garnered two Grammy nominations. The disc catapulted Quint into the top tier of soloists, in demand worldwide. Moreover, it thoroughly established his unique identity as a champion of American composers. Since then, he has appeared with major orchestras under the batons of such noted conductors as Kurt Masur, Carl St. Clair, Marin Alsop, Andrew Litton, Jorge Mester, Carlos Miguel Prieto, Klauspeter Seibel, Steven Sloane, Marco Parisotto, and Daniel Hege.
Quint's incredible musicianship and romantic bent may be part of his DNA. According to family lore, his great-great-great grandfather was an Italian officer (his original name was Quinto) serving in Napoleon's army. Wounded, he fell in love with the Russian Jewish woman who nursed him back to health. Quint's mother, Lora Kvint is a popular and prolific composer, who wrote Russia's first pop/rock opera, "Giordano Bruno," and is often compared to Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Quint's admirers need not worry that he will abandon the concert stage for the screen. Recent and upcoming highlights of his 2010-2011 season include performances with the Berlin Komische Oper Orchestra for their New Year's concerts with Carl St. Clair, Chicago Symphony, San Diego Symphony with Bramwell Tovey, Leipzig's Gewandhaus with Steven Sloane, a tour of Germany with Nordwestdeutsche Symphoniker, and an 18-concert U.S. tour with the Cape Town Philharmonic.
Quint plays the 1708 "Ruby" Antonio Stradivari violin on loan to him through the generous efforts of The Stradivari Society®.
More about Philippe Quint: Quint studied at Moscow's Special Music School for the Gifted with the famed Russian violinist Andrei Korsakov, and made his orchestral debut at the age of nine, performing Wieniawski's Concerto No. 2. After emigrating to the United States, he earned both Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Juilliard. His distinguished pedagogues included Dorothy Delay, Cho-Liang Lin, Masao Kawasaki, and Felix Galimir. He also studied and participated in masterclasses with Isaac Stern, Itzhak Perlman, and Arnold Steinhardt.
The Chicago Times proclaimed, "Here is a fiddle virtuoso whose many awards are fully justified by the brilliance of his playing." Among his many honors, Quint has amassed top prizes at the Juilliard Competition ('98), Spain's Pablo de Sarasate International Violin Competition ('97), where he also received the Special Audience Prize, and the Salon de Virtuosi Award ('97). He has been a Career Grant recipient of the Bagby Foundation since 2002.
In addition to his recording of the Schumann Concerto, Quint's formidable discography includes a large variety of rediscovered treasures along with popular works from standard repertoire. His recording of Korngold's Violin Concerto (2009), which was ranked in the top 20 on Billboard's Classical Chart in its first week of sales, was also nominated for two Grammy Awards. Other critically acclaimed recordings include the world premiere recording of John Corigliano's Red Violin Caprices, Ned Rorem's Concerto, Miklos Rozsa's Complete Works for Violin and Piano with William Wolfram, Bernstein's Serenade, and De Beriot's Concertos. His most recent release from August 2010 is a unique compilation of works by Paganini arranged by Fritz Kreisler, which BBC Music Magazine called "truly phenomenal."
Quint's recordings have received multiple "Editor's Choice" selections in Gramophone, The Strad, Strings, and the Daily Telegraph. His live performances and interviews have been broadcast on CBS, CNN, ABC, BBC, NBC, Reuters, Bloomberg, as well as multiple appearances on NPR, WNYC and WQXR.
Quint has been consistently re-engaged both domestically and internationally; recent performances include appearances as soloist with the symphony orchestras of Detroit, Indianapolis, New Jersey, Minnesota, Bournemouth, Houston, the Weimar Staatskapelle, Orchestra Cote du Basque, Orchestra de Pamplona, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, China National Symphony Orchestra, and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. He has given solo recitals and chamber music performances at the Mostly Mozart, Caramoor, Ravinia, Aspen, Lincoln Center, and Chautauqua festivals, at Lukas Foss's Hamptons Music Festival, at the Kravis Center, UC Davis Presents, Rome Chamber Festival and at the National Gallery in Washington. In 2004, Quint was the featured soloist at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles in the world premiere of Lera Auerbach's Concerto No. 1, which was written for him and dedicated to him.
In addition to his work as a soloist, Quint is Founder and Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Series at Mexico Festival in Mexico City, and recently formed the Quint Quintet - a group dedicated to exploring music of Astor Piazzolla and Argentine Tango.
Philippe Quint's Concert Schedule:
January 27 & 28, 2011
Bochum, Germany; Bochumer Symphoniker
John Corigliano's "Red Violin" Concerto; Steven Sloane, conductor
February 1 & 3, 2011
Cape Town, South Africa; Cape Town Philharmonic
Korngold Concerto / Tchaikovsky Concerto; Martin Panteleev conductor
February 12 - March 6, 2011
U.S. tour with the Cape Town Philharmonic
Korngold Concerto / Tchaikovsky Concerto; Martin Panteleev conductor
February 12 - Daytona Beach, FL; Daytona Beach Symphonic Society, Peabody Auditorium
February 13 - Sarasota, FL; Van Wezel Performing Arts Center
February 14- Avon Park, FL; South Florida Community College
February 15- Vero Beach, FL; Indiana River Symphonic Associations
February 16- Palm Beach, FL; Society of the Four Arts
February 17- Fort Lauderdale, FL; Broward Center for the Performing Arts
February 19- Gainesville, FL; University of Florida,
February 20- St. Augustine, FL; Emma Concert Association/Flagler College
February 21 - Clemson, SC; Clemson University
February 23- Platteville, WI; University of Wisconsin
February 25- Kansas City, MO; William Jewell College, Folly Theatre
February 27 - Ames, IA; Iowa State University
March 1- Worcester, MA; Music Worcester
March 3 - Lancaster, PA; Lancaster Community Concerts
March 4- Lewisburg, PA; Bucknell University
March 5 - Landsdale, PA; Lansdale Community Concerts
March 6- Geneva, NY; Geneva Concerts
March 12 & 13, 2011
Wichita, KS; Wichita Symphony
John Corigliano's "Red Violin" Chaconne & Ravel's Tzigane; Daniel Hege conductor
March 18 - 26, 2011
Chamber Music Series at Mexico Festival, Mexico City; Philippe Quint, Artistic Director
April 10, 2011
Leipzig, Germany; Leipzig Radio Symphony at the Gewandhaus
John Corigliano's "Red Violin" Concerto; Steven Sloane, conductor
April 16, 2011
Peoria, IL; Peoria Symphony
April 22 & 23, 2011
El Paso, TX; El Paso Pro Musica
With the Quint Quintet, featuring the music of Astor Piazzolla
May 5 - 7, 2011
Costa Mesa, CA; Pacific Symphony
Ravel's Tzigane & Sarasate's "Carmen" Fantasy; Carlos Miguel Prieto conductor
July 1 - 8, 2011
Tour with Youth Orchestra of the Americas in Mexico; Carlos Miguel Prieto, conductor
July 9, 2011
Minneapolis, MN; Minnesota Orchestra
Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto; Andrew Litton, conductor
July 17 - 22, 2011
Durango, Colorado; Music in the Mountains Festival
July 23 - August 1, 2011
Tour with Youth Orchestra of the Americas in Mexico; Carlos Miguel Prieto, conductor
August 3 - 9, 2011
Mexico City, Mexico; Mineria Symphony Orchestra
Brahms' Double Concerto with cellist Alisa Weilerstein
August 14 - 21, 2011
Moritzburg, Germany; Moritzburg Chamber Festival
A Question of Interpretation
i. Lenny's Scotch
One Sunday afternoon in 1985 at London's Barbican Hall, after Leonard Bernstein had signed his name on record covers for an hour with a tea-glass full of whisky at his elbow, twice replenished, he dismissed his minders to sit with me and two friends over the score of Mahler's Ninth that he had just performed. One of my friends was preparing to conduct the symphony for the first time.
We stood around his table, a cigarette curling in an ashtray. Lenny opened the score at the entry-point of harp, horn and cellos. From this tremulous passage, and on almost every page thereafter, the music was peppered with the conductor's coloured pencil marks. He was not, on the whole, one of those maestros who plot performances like military campaigns. Other Mahler scores he had shown us were clean of marks, yet here he could not leave the music alone. On the final page he wrote, 'have the courage to remain in 8!' as if a conductor, drained, might lose traction at the fadeout. 'Why so many marks?' we asked. Lenny drew deep on another cigarette. 'Mahler,' he exhaled expansively, 'was a great conductor who premiered most of his own works and showed us how he wanted them to sound. This one he didn't live to conduct. This one he wrote for me.'....
In the last few minutes, we have announced that earlier today ownership of EMI passed from Terra Firma to Citigroup. The press release is attached for you here. It has been a long journey to this place. Much has changed at EMI and in our industry over the last three and a half years. What has not changed at EMI and never will is our fierce devotion to the artists and songwriters we represent. I believe that EMI, in both publishing and recorded music, is stronger today because of that commitment. Working together across both divisions, we are in the process of building a new business, a Global Rights Management business that will enable us to continue to deliver for successful outcomes for our artists and songwriters. We have the ability to shape our future and build a company that will not only survive but that will flourish in the years to come. Today's change in ownership is but one step in that journey.
So how did this change of ownership take place?
Well, when a company's value is less than its debts, one solution is to go through an administration process which allows the sale of the business in partial satisfaction of those debts. In our case it is not hard to see that our parent company Maltby Investments Limited (MIL) would never be able to repay the £3.4 billion it owed to Citi. With that being the case, it appointed an administrator who as an officer of the court was empowered to sell the EMI Group to Citi. This is sometimes called a "pre-pack" because it can be done in a matter of hours--and that's exactly what happened here. EMI itself was never in administration. Where EMI came into the story was with its sale to Citi, which was followed by an immediate recapitalization of the company, which reduced our debt by 65%.
That's how it happened, but what does new ownership mean for EMI?
Well first of all, it ends a struggle between our two principal stakeholders which has enveloped the business for most of the past two years. I'm sure that you'll agree that the distraction has at times felt unbearable. We will now be able to put behind us the controversy of the Terra Firma-Citi court case, the cliff-hanging drama of the "will we or won't we meet our covenant tests" and of course the never-ending press speculation. I, for one, welcome a respite from all that, though of course we will never be fully free of press speculation--we are EMI after all!
More importantly, this move finally puts EMI back on a solid financial footing. We have been burdened by an unsustainable level of debt which until today totaled close to £3.4 billion. With the change in ownership our debt has been dramatically reduced to £1.2 billion and we are sitting on more than £300 million in cash to boot. That gives us one of the most robust balance sheets in the industry. No one can any longer question our financial strength or our ability to compete head to head with our largest competitors. We already had a strong business--now we have the strong balance sheet to match.
Citi have made absolutely clear their support for our business and our strategy. They are committed to provide us with a stable and supportive environment to continue on our present course as we build that Global Rights Management business. That said, a music company--even one as great as EMI--doesn't exactly sit comfortably in a giant financial services company like Citi. So while Citi is clear that they are under no time pressure to sell, and that they intend to stabilize the business, there is no doubt that in due course EMI will be up for sale just like it has been from the day Terra Firma bought it.
Most certainly, with the recent news about Warner Musicbeing up for sale, we will continue to be the subject of much speculation. The press will inevitably write that EMI will be broken up and sold in pieces. So, let me say this as clearly as I can: Global Rights Management is the future, and it takes both parts of the business working together to achieve that future. I have no doubt that the best possible way to yield the highest value for EMI is to keep our businesses together in pursuit of our strategy. As we move forward that will become evident even to the most sceptical observer. This is why I have every confidence that EMI will remain EMI for a very, very long time to come.
I'd also like to quash one other suggestion. Regardless of the country of origin of our owner, EMI remains a British company--both legally and spiritually. The history, tradition and heritage of this company cannot, and will not, be erased by a change in shareholding. We are EMI not because of who owns us, but because of who we are--the home of the greatest artists and songwriters of the past, present and future.
Finally, and most importantly, the change in ownership allows us to get back to doing what it is that so obsesses us, and what we're all so good at--helping our artists and songwriters achieve the greatest possible success. This is, and needs to be, our sole focus. Nothing else is important. And it is full speed ahead. No one should worry about the future--it is in our hands. You should take comfort that Citi is committed to our success just as we are committed to the success of our artists and songwriters.
I want to take this opportunity to thank each of you for your continued support and dedication to EMI. That is what has made our incredible progress possible, in spite of the turmoil around us. It is that same support and dedication that will carry us forward as we forge a new business that can deliver real growth for EMI and success for the artists and writers that we are all privileged to represent.
Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in Europe 2011
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and his Music Director Manfred Honeck are returning to Europe from 23 August to 12 September 2011. They will be appearing at 12 concerts in 9 cities including Rheingau Music Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Grafenegg Festival, Musikfest Berlin, Beethovenfest Bonn, Lucerne Festival, Paris and Vilnius, Lithuania. Additional performances in the UK will be announced at a later date.
Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and pianist Hélène Grimaud will be joining the orchestra on tour. Programme highlights will include Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5, Mahler's Symphony No. 5, Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4, Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto and Rihm's Violin Concerto.
"Touring Europe with our wonderful musicians is always a special experience for me," says Music Director Honeck. "It is fantastic to create music with our world-class orchestra in some of the finest music halls in the world."
"I am excited to return to the music capitals in Europe with the Orchestra and Manfred Honeck, who both received tremendous accolades on their previous tour", says Lawrence Tamburri, President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. "Honeck is a master of the core Austro-German repertoire, which historically is part of the PSO heritage."
The PSO will also continue its partnership with the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance as an ambassador for the Pittsburgh region in Europe. In 2006, the PSO and the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance formed a partnership to leverage the world-class reputation of the orchestra to market the Pittsburgh region to potential investors. This first-in-the-nation model has resulted in positive business investment activity for the region: The management consulting and IT company SYCOR chose to locate their North American headquarters in Pittsburgh, Delta Airlines decided to begin direct flights from Pittsburgh to Paris and several other projects have emerged from the partnership.
Rheingau Musik Festival, Wiesbaden
Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Hamburg
PR² classic - Kreuznacher Str. 63 - 50968 Koeln
On Sunday, March 15, 1981 I was rung at home, Oakwood Court, by Martin Campbell White a Director of Harold Holt Concert Management. As it was a Sunday he apologized but said he had an emergency. They were presenting a performance of the Verdi Requiem at the Albert Hall with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Claudio Abbado and the engaged mezzo, Lucia Valentini-Terrani had just cancelled. Did I have an idea for a replacement? It was a starry cast, Mirella Freni, Jose Carreras and Nicolai Ghiaurov.
As it happened Margaret Price happened to be visiting us that Sunday. I remembered Margaret had started her career as a mezzo [she made her Covent Garden debut as Cherubino]. It was a crazy thought but as it was with Claudio Abbado and Margaret had sung the Verdi Requiem often I thought it was worth thinking about. I went into the kitchen and told Margaret the situation and asked if she was interested. She thought about it for a few minutes and told me to see what Abbado would think about the idea. I rang Martin and floated the idea to him and asked him to see what Claudio Abbado thought.
After an hour or so Martin rang and said that if Margaret felt comfortable Claudio was happy to have her sing the mezzo part. So on Tuesday, March 17, 1981 Margaret sang for the first and last time the mezzo part in Verdi's Requiem. The concert was broadcast on Capital Radio.
(in another Abbado requiem)
I remember two other occasions when Capital Radio, primarily a 'pop' station broadcast serious classical concerts, also involving last minute replacements.
The elusive and legendary conductor Carlos Kleiber jumped in and replaced Claudio Abbado in a concert with the LSO on June 9, 1981. The program was Weber Freichutz Overture; Schubert Symphony 3 and Beethoven Symphony 7. It was to be Kleiber's only concert appearance in London. (Capital also broadcast the Covent Garden Otello in 1980 when both Margaret Price and Carlos Kleiber were engaged at the last minute when the opera was changed from Andrea Chenier).