Sol Gabetta’s playing immediately cast a spell over the audience. She is at one with her instrument - her interpretation taking on an intensity of sound that informs the musical text. Her virtuosity sounds somehow playful and dexterous at the same time.
The School for Scandal, overture, Op. 5
Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op. 85
Symphony No. 5 in D Minor, Op. 107 (“Reformation”)
“Wit, aristocratic poise and elegance; mercurial shifts of mood, intensity and lightness of touch in near-miraculous balance.”
– The Glasgow Herald
Sol Gabetta achieved international acclaim upon winning the Crédit Suisse Young Artist Award in 2004 and making her debut with Wiener Philharmoniker and Valery Gergiev. Born in Argentina, Gabetta won her first competition at the age of ten, soon followed by the Natalia Gutman Award as well as commendations at Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Competition and the ARD International Music Competition in Munich. A Grammy Award nominee, she received the Gramophone Young Artist of the Year Award in 2010 and the Würth-Preis of the Jeunesses Musicales in 2012.
Following her highly acclaimed debuts with Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle at the Baden-Baden Easter Festival in 2014 and at Mostly Mozart in New York in August 2015, this season saw Gabetta debut with Los Angeles Philharmonic and Houston Symphony. She also performed with Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra. Brussels’s Palais des Beaux Arts also welcomeed her as their resident artist. To conclude 2015/2016 Gabetta joined the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra on a European tour with performances at Lucerne Festival, Grafenegg Festival as well as Salzburger Festspiele.
Gabetta performs with leading orchestras and conductors worldwide including the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Washington’s National Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Bamberger Symphoniker, Bolshoi and Finnish Radio Symphony orchestras and The Philadelphia, London Philharmonic and Philharmonia orchestras. She also collaborates extensively with conductors such as Giovanni Antonini, Mario Venzago and Krzysztof Urbański.
In summer 2014 Gabetta was Artist in Residence at the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, having already held residencies at the Philharmonie and Konzerthaus Berlin. She is a regular guest at festivals such as Verbier, Gstaad, Schwetzingen, Rheingau, Schubertiade Schwarzenberg and Beethovenfest Bonn.
As a chamber musician Gabetta performs worldwide in venues such as Wigmore Hall in London, Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona and the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, with distinguished partners including Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Bertrand Chamayou. Her passion for chamber music is evident in the Solsberg Festival which she founded in Switzerland.
Sol Gabetta was named Instrumentalist of the Year at the 2013 ECHO Klassik Awards for her interpretation of Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto with Berliner Philharmoniker and Lorin Maazel. She also received the award in 2007, 2009 and 2011 for her recordings of Haydn, Mozart and Elgar Cello Concerti as well as works by Tchaikovsky and Ginastera. With an extensive discography with SONY she has also released a duo recital with Hélène Grimaud for Deutsche Grammophon.
Thanks to a generous private stipend by the Rahn Kulturfonds, Sol Gabetta performs on one of the very rare and precious cellos by Givanni Battista Guadagnini dating from 1759. Gabetta has taught at the Basel Music Academy since 2005.
New York-born David Zinman’s career has been distinguished by a wide-ranging repertoire, a commitment to contemporary music and the introduction of historically informed performance practice. He has held positions as Music Director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic, Rochester Philharmonic and Baltimore Symphony orchestras; Principal Conductor of the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra and Music Director of the Aspen Music Festival, School and American Academy of Conducting. He is Conductor Laureate of the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, having completed his 19-year tenure as Music Director in summer 2014, and for the past two seasons has been the Music Director of the Orchestre Français des Jeunes.
A regular guest with the world’s leading orchestras, this season includes appearances with Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (in a semi-staged production of Barber’s Vanessa), Orchestre national de Lyon, SWR Radio-Sinfonieorchester, Bamberger Symphoniker, NHK Symphony Orchestra and Royal Flemish, Netherlands Radio and Czech Philharmonic orchestras. He also returns to the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich for concerts and his now world-renowned masterclasses.
He has long-standing collaborations with soloists such as Janine Jansen, Mitsuko Uchida, Alfred Brendel, Yefim Bronfman, Radu Lupu, Truls Mørk, Lisa Batiashvili, Gil Shaham, Julia Fischer, Renée Fleming, Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax and András Schiff.
David Zinman’s extensive discography of more than 100 recordings has earned him numerous international honors, particularly for his interpretation of Beethoven’s symphonies with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, including five Grammy awards, two Grand Prix du Disque, two Edison Prizes, the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis and a Gramophone Award. Recent releases include a 50 CD box set David Zinman: Great Symphonies – The Zurich Years, which commemorates his recording legacy with the Tonhalle-Orchester. His most recent accolade is the 2015 ECHO Klassik Conductor of the Year award.
In 2000 the French Ministry of Culture awarded David Zinman the title of Chevalier de lʼOrdre des Arts et des Lettres, and in October 2002 the City of Zurich Art Prize was awarded to him for his outstanding artistic efforts – making him the first conductor and first non-Swiss recipient of this award. More recently, Zinman received the prestigious Theodore Thomas Award in recognition of outstanding achievement and extraordinary service to oneʼs colleagues in advancing the art and science of conducting. In 2008 he won the MIDEM Classical Artist of the Year award for his work with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich. He was also the 1997 recipient of the prestigious Ditson Award from Columbia University in recognition of his exceptional commitment to the performance of works by American composers.
Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy composed his Symphony No. 5 in D major Op. 107 in honor of the 300th anniversary of the Presentation of the Augsburg Confession of the German Lutheran Church to Emperor Charles V, scheduled for 25 June 1830. However, due to his touring and a delay in composing due to the fact that he caught measles, the symphony took longer to be completed and was not included in the program of the celebrations. Mendelssohn premiered it later, on 15 November 1832, in Berlin. After that it was not performed again until 1868, when the symphony was published and given a number and an opus number, which do not correspond with the actual time of its composing.
In view of the purpose of the symphony, Mendelssohn drew from compositional techniques of earlier eras and styles in the Protestant musical tradition. The first movement begins with a slow introduction, in which Mendelssohn cites the Dresden Amen by Johann Gottlieb Naumann (1741–1801), which was a popular song at the Saxon church choirs. The sonata movement as such is very dramatic. The scherzo is followed by a lyrical free movement, whose final chord features a version of Martin Luther’s chorale Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott (A Mighty Fortress Is Our God), which forms the introduction to the final movement. Its fast, sonata section with a number of polyphonic episodes has a jubilant atmosphere. In it, the melody of the chorale is intermittently heard until the very end, when it is played by the entire orchestra in a majestic conclusion.
Sir Edward Elgar is considered one of the most important British composer of the late 19th and 20th centuries, although during his lifetime it was not properly appreciated. He wrote his Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in E minor Op. 85 between 1918 and 1919, when his only recently gained recognition and popularity had gone out of fashion. At the same time, his wife Alice suffered from health problems. The concert was therefore intended as a stocktaking. The premiere was a fiasco because the performers had been deprived of adequate rehearsal time. Despite the fact that it was Elgar’s last major work and he himself considered it to be one of his best pieces, it did not achieve wide popularity until 1965, when a recording by cellist Jacqueline du Pré and conductor Sir John Barbirolli revived the interest in it, and the concerto has become a staple of the solo cello repertoire.
The contemplative atmosphere of the concerto is indicated by the entrance of the soloist, after whom violas render an elegiac main theme which is the unifying element of the work. After the end of the first movement, the solo cello repeats its introductory recitative, seamlessly passing into a melancholy scherzo. The free middle movement represents a lyrical melody played by the cello, softly accompanied by the orchestra. In the final rondo, a lively main theme alternates with the nostalgic recitative of the first movement.
Samuel Barber was one of the most respected American composers of his generation. He made it on the American music scene by his first orchestral work – an overture to The School for Scandal, a conversational comedy by the Irish satirist Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751–1816). He composed it during the summer of 1931. It was premiered two years later by the Philadelphia Orchestra, and thanks to successful performances in subsequent years it has become an integral part of the repertoire of American orchestras. In the overture, Barber has managed to reflect the spirit of Sheridan’s comedy of manners, revealing and mocking hypocrisy. The overture opens with a sharp brass chord, followed by a melodic main theme for oboe repeated by strings. The contrasting contemplative solo oboe is again replaced by the vigorous main theme, which becomes the basis of a joyous conclusion.
Wed – Fri / 6:30 p.m. / Rudolfinum – Suk Hall or Western Lounge
Location is specified for each concert in the concert programme and navigation signs at the Rudolfinum.
Pre-concert talks are offered free of charge as a bonus before the evening concerts of the A and B subscription series. They are given by conductors, soloists and members of the Czech Philharmonic, as well as musicologists and music writers who take part in discussions or lectures which will prepare for the evening concert.
They are presented by Eva Hazdrová-Kopecká, Pavel Ryjáček or Petr Kadlec.
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