Cello Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major, Op. 107
Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 8 F Major, Op. 93
Cellist Andrei Ioniţă, born in 1994 in Bucharest, began taking piano lessons at the age of five and received his first cello lesson three years later. He studied under Ani-Marie Paladi at the “Iosif Sava” Music School in Bucharest and is currently studying under Professor Jens Peter Maintz at the Universität der Künste Berlin.
Andrei Ioniţă draws his musical inspiration from the greatest cellists of our time, among them David Geringas, Steven Isserlis, Heinrich Schiff, Wolfgang Boettcher, Gary Hoffman and Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt. In June 2014, he collaborated with Gidon Kremer and Christian Tetzlaff at the Kronberg Academy’s Festival, “Chamber Music Connects the World”.
In the past few years, Andrei Ioniţă has been heard in such venues as the Carnegie Hall, the Cadogan Hall in London, the Chamber Music Hall of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, or the Gasteig and Herkulesaal in Munich. In 2015, he gave his debut in Berlin as a soloist with the Deutschen Symphonieorchester.
Ioniţă is a prizewinner of many international competitions. In June 2013, he was awarded First Prize at the Aram Khachaturian International Competition; in September 2014, he won Second Prize and the Special Prize for the interpretation of a commissioned composition at the International ARD Music Competition in Munich. He received the Second Prize at the Grand Prix Emanuel Feuermann 2014 in Berlin two months later. In June 2015 he won international recognition as the winner of the First Prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.
Andrei Ioniţă’s 2016/2017 season will feature his major debuts with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, the MDR Orchester and the Munich Philharmonic. He will also appear in Helsinki, in Japan, at the Laeiszhalle Hamburg and in Lucerne with a duo program for cello and piano. In addition, he regularly collaborates with Maestro Valery Gergiev and will take part in the Marlboro Music Festival in July 2017.
Andrei Ioniţă is a recipient of a scholarship of the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben and plays a violoncello made by Giovanni Battista Rogeri from Brescia in 1671, generously on loan from this foundation.
Australian conductor, Daniel Smith, rapidly gained international acclaim after winning First Prize, the Golden Baton and the Orchestra’s Choice Prize, in UNESCO’s Fitelberg International Conducting Competition, as well as Second Prize in the prestigious Sir Georg Solti International Conducting Competition. His third success was First Prize in the Luigi Mancinelli International Opera Conducting Competition along with the Orchestra’s Choice Prize in the Lutosławski International Conducting Competition.
Daniel’s musicality, energy and spirit create an infectious rapport with musicians and audiences alike. Following his highly successful debut as the first Australian to conduct the Mariinsky Orchestra, he also conducted the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Italy’s National Symphony Orchestra RAI (Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai), Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra (hr-Sinfonieorchester), New Japan Philharmonic, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Danish National Symphony Orchestra (DR SymfoniOrkestret), Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra (Göteborgs Symfoniker), Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Teatro Carlo Felice, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, South Netherlands Philharmonic (Philharmonie Zuidnederland) and the Croatian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra, among others.
Daniel has conducted at festivals including World Expo, Stars of the White Nights, Mozarteum Festspiele, Järvi Summer Festival, Estate Musicale Chigiana, Aspen Music Festival, Sydney Olympic Arts Festival, MiTo Festival and the Proms in Kraków.
Upcoming eagerly awaited debuts include the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Teatro San Carlo and his immediate returns to the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Mariinsky Theatre, Teatro Carlo Felice, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Silesian Philharmonic and the Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa.
2013 marked Daniel’s debuts at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro and the Mariinsky Theatre, conducting Rossini’s Il viaggio a Reims. (“A perfect production! And Daniel Smith... it was as if the opera was written for him! The orchestra last night sounded amazing.” – Ekaterina Gudkova).
His success as an opera conductor results from his experience with the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma where he worked on main operatic repertoire including Il barbiere di Siviglia, Così fan tutte, Der Rosenkavalier, La fanciulla del West, La traviata, Tosca and Wozzeck (alongside directors Giancarlo del Monaco and Franco Zeffirelli). Daniel has also conducted Cavalleria rusticana, Gianni Schicchi, Suor Angelica, Der fliegende Holländer and La Rondine.
In March, Daniel launched his new charity foundation The Daniel Smith ‘Gift of Music’ Foundation, personally purchasing and donating hundreds of tickets to those who could not normally attend due to financial constraint, terminal illness, blindness and disability.
Daniel studied conducting with Jorma Panula, Neeme Järvi, Gianluigi Gelmetti, Hugh Wolff, Peter Gülke, Imre Palló and Harry Spence Lyth. He holds a Master of Music degree from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and Fellowships from the Trinity College London, American Academy of Conducting in Aspen and the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg.
Richard Wagner described the year 1870 as the happiest in his life. In August 1870 he finally married Cosima, the daughter of Franz Liszt, who already bore Wagner two daughters and a son, although until 1869 she was the wife of the composer, conductor and pianist Hans von Bülow and the mother of his two daughters. Wagner’s symphonic poem in E major for chamber orchestra (originally only for 13 players) celebrates the joy of his union with Cosima as well as her 33rd birthday on 25 December 1870. It was performed on the stairs of their villa in Tribschen near Lucerne, from which it derived its original name Tribschen Idylle. In 1878 Wagner scored it for a larger orchestra consisting of 35 players and published it under the title Siegfried Idyll, naming it after his son, Siegfried, born in 1869.
Shostakovich was indirectly inspired to compose Cello Concerto No. 1 by the cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. When in 1952 he heard him perform Prokofiev’s Symphony-Concerto for Cello and Orchestra Op. 125, in his mind he was conceiving a composition of the same kind for him ever since. He wrote it in the summer of 1959 in just 40 days, and like Prokofiev used the classical form of concerto, allowing the soloist to show off all of his art. The result is one of the most important and most difficult works for cello in concertante literature.
The score is dedicated to Rostropovich, who performed it for the first time on 4 October 1959 with Yevgeny Mravinsky conducting the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra. The concerto contains introspective and autobiographical elements, of which the most striking is the musical motif of DSCH (consisting of the notes D, E flat, C and B natural in German musical notation pronounced as “De-Es-Ce-Ha” = D-mitri Sch-ostakovich). With the exception of the second movement it appears throughout the whole composition and is transposed to G, F flat, C flat, B flat (i.e., it stands out from the frame of the main key). It is heard at the very beginning of the first movement in the cello part and is repeated with the orchestra playing it after in an almost grotesque way.
The second movement is the most extensive and the most cantabile of the whole composition; the third movement has the form of a solo cadenza, but as can be expected, a larger and more autonomous one. The final rondo is played continuously within the ABAC scheme and again employs the DSCH motif, first in fragments and eventually in the full form in the horn part. The concerto ends with coda, rich in effects.
Between 1812 and 1813, Ludwig van Beethoven was full of vigor as a composer, and in addition to smaller pieces created his Eighth Symphony at the same time as his Seventh. Both compositions radiate energy and joy, so it is surprising that the first performance of the Eighth Symphonyon 27 February 1814 conducted by Beethoven himself was not much of a success. Nevertheless, it is an ingenious work, in which the regular four-movement structure and classical forms of individual movements are periodically undermined by various, sometimes humorous elements.
The special character of this symphony is highlighted by the absence of a typically slow movement. The Minuet in the third movement is rather an earthy, albeit fast Ländler with refined instrumentation, emphasized by a melodic line of horns in the trio. The Finale in rondo form is the most energetic movement of the symphony, having the character of march. Some passages between the rondos are delicate for a moment; however, soon a spirited opening theme with a fanfare of trumpets and drums and a noisy dotted rhythm takes over. Beethoven regarded his Eighth Symphony as one of his best; Robert Schumann praised his “profound humor” and wrote that the second movement fills him with “peace and happiness”.
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