<h3>27 / 10 / 2013 KJÓTO</h3> <ul> <li>A. DVOŘÁK: Cello Concerto in B minor op. 104</li> <li>J. BRAHMS: Symphony no. 1 in C minor op. 68<br /><br /></li> </ul> <h3>28 / 10 / 2013 MATSUDO</h3> <ul> <li>M. I. GLINKA: Ruslan and Ludmila, overture to the opera</li> <li>S. RACHMANINOV: Piano Concerto no. 2 in C minor op. 18</li> <li>P. I. TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony no. 6 in B minor op. 74 “Pathetique”<br /><br /></li> </ul> <h3>30 / 10 / 2013 TOKYO</h3> <ul> <li>A. DVOŘÁK: Cello Concerto in B minor op. 104</li> <li>J. BRAHMS: Symphony no. 1 in C minor op. 68<br /><br /></li> </ul> <h3>31 / 10 / 2013 TOKYO</h3> <ul> <li>M. I. GLINKA: Ruslan and Ludmila, overture to the opera</li> <li>L. V. BEETHOVEN: Violin Concerto in D major op. 61</li> <li>P. I. ČAJKOVSKIJ: Symphony no. 6 in B minor op. 74 “Pathetique”<br /><br /></li> </ul> <h3>2 / 11 / 2013 MIYAZAKI</h3> <ul> <li>M. I. GLINKA: Ruslan and Ludmila, overture to the opera</li> <li>L. V. BEETHOVEN: Violin Concerto in D major op. 61</li> <li>J. BRAHMS: Symphony no. 1 in C minor op. 68<br /><br /></li> </ul> <h3>3 / 11 / 2013 KAWASAKI</h3> <ul> <li>M. I. GLINKA: Ruslan and Ludmila, overture to the opera</li> <li>S. RACHMANINOV: Piano Concerto no. 2 in C minor op. 18</li> <li>A. DVOŘÁK: Symphony no. 9 in E minor op. 95 “From the New World”<br /><br /></li> </ul> <h3>4 / 11 / 2013 NAGOYA</h3> <ul> <li>M. I. GLINKA: Ruslan and Ludmila, overture to the opera</li> <li>J. BRAHMS: Violin Concerto in D major op. 77</li> <li>P. I. ČAJKOVSKIJ: Symphony no. 6 in B minor op. 74 “Pathetique”<br /><br /></li> </ul>
Chief Conductor and Artistic Director, Czech Philharmonic
Principal Guest Conductor, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor Laureate, BBC Symphony (London)
Renowned Czech conductor Jiří Bělohlávek was appointed Music Director and Artistic Director of the Czech Philharmonic in 2012, following on from his successful tenure as Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, of which he is now a Conductor Laureate. He was Chief Conductor of the Prague Symphony Orchestra (1977–89), Music Director of the Prague Philharmonia (1994–2004), was appointed President of the Prague Spring Festival in 2006. From 2013 to 2017, he was Principal Guest Conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra.
In opera, he has collaborated with the Vienna State Opera, Royal Opera, Covent Garden, New York’s Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Opéra National de Paris, the Teatro Real Madrid, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Zurich Opera, and the National Theatre in Prague. He has also conducted and recorded several opera-in-concert presentations with the BBC Symphony, to great acclaim. Confirming his preeminence as the conductor of Janacek, this past season he conducted the Czech Phil in a concert presentation of Jenůfa at the London Royal Festival Hall, as well as in full production the San Francisco Opera. This was followed by a performance of Janacek The Makropulos Case with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the BBC Proms.
Under his leadership the Czech Philharmonic is enjoying unprecedented success both at home in Prague, and on extensive tours. Together they have toured in the past three seasons on three continents, including Europe, Asia and North America. Their recent residency in Vienna at the Musikverein was a great success, and has lead to similar events being planned in other world capitals. The Czech Philharmonic announced in January 2017 that their partnership with Maestro Bělohlávek is now officially extended to 2022!
In addition to his ongoing Prague seasons and touring engagements with the Czech, he continues to perform as a guest conductor with the world’s major orchestras, including recent appearances with the BBC Symphony Orchestra (including at the London Proms), New York Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Washington National Symphony, and Deutsches Symphony Berlin, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and Vienna Symphony Orchestra. In the coming season, in addition to major projects with Czech Phil, he looks forward to engagements with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Bayerische Rundfunk Orchestra Munich, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, St Petersburg Philharmonic, and more.
With the Czech Philharmonic, he will conduct a major Asian tour in Autumn 2017 with concerts in Japan, Korea and Taiwan, in addition to appearances on tour in Europe, the highlight of which will be a performance of Janáček Glagolitic Mass at the Salzburg Festival in August 2018.
Jiří Bělohlávek has recorded extensively, with recent projects with the Czech Philharmonic including the complete symphonies and concertos of Dvořák. The series with Decca continues in the coming season, when a major disc of Suk will be recorded.
In 2012 he was awarded an honorary CBE for his services to British music.
Josef Špaček is fast emerging as one of the most accomplished violinists of his generation. He studied with Itzhak Perlman at The Juilliard School in New York, Ida Kavafian and Jaime Laredo at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and with Jaroslav Foltýn at the Prague Conservatory. He was laureate of the International Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, and won top prizes at the Michael Hill International Violin Competition in New Zealand, the Carl Nielsen International Violin Competition in Denmark and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York.
Highlights in 2016 include subscription concerts with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and Valery Gergiev (Beethoven concerto), his debut with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Jiří Bělohlávek (Dvořák concerto), his Berlin debut with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin and Thomas Sanderling (Beethoven concerto), his Amsterdam Concertgebouw debut with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and Thomas Søndergård (Nielsen concerto), his Tokyo debut with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and Jakub Hrůša (Dvořák concerto) and the Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto and Marco Angius (Brahms concerto), as well as recital debuts in among others Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and La Jolla, San Diego. He will also be the soloist of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and Jiří Bělohlávek during their Asia tour.
Josef Špaček has served as concertmaster of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, the youngest in its history, until December 2015. The orchestra has named him “Associate Artist” as of January 2016.
In addition to the afore-mentioned orchestras Josef Špaček makes solo appearances with orchestras across Europe, the US and Asia, such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, Prague Philharmonia, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Essener Philharmoniker, Tonkünstlerorchester Niederösterreich, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI Torino, Orchestre National de Belgique, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquesta Filarmónica de Málaga, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony and Queensland Symphony Orchestra.
He collaborates with conductors such as Jiří Bělohlávek, Jakub Hrůša, Valery Gergiev, Christoph Eschenbach, Manfred Honeck, Semyon Bychkov, Asher Fisch, Roy Goodman, Eliahu Inbal, Jun Märkl, Thomas Søndergård, Thomas Sanderling, Giordano Bellincampi, Tomáš Netopil, Marco Angius and Rossen Milanov.
Josef Špaček gives numerous recitals in Europe (including at the Rudolfinum in Prague, the Konzerthaus in Vienna and at Schloß Elmau), Asia and the USA (among others at the Kennedy Center, Washington D.C. and La Jolla, San Diego).
April 2015 saw the Supraphon CD release of his highly praised recording of the violin concertos of Dvořák and Janáček, and of the Fantasy of Suk, with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jiří Bělohlávek (among others “Recording of the week” of The Sunday Times, “Recording of the month and of the year” of MusicWeb International and 5* in Diapason). In 2013 Supraphon released his recording of works for violin and piano by Smetana, Janáček and Prokofiev with pianist Miroslav Sekera. In 2010 he recorded works by H.W. Ernst for Naxos. His first CD, which was released in 2006, includes a complete recording of the Sonatas for Solo Violin by Eugène Ysaÿe.
Josef Špaček plays a violin made in 1855 in the workshop of Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume.
"Her sound has passion, grit and electricity but also a disarming warmth and sweetness that can unveil the music’s hidden strains of lyricism ..."
New York Times
Isabelle Faust adopts a perspective on music in which ever-new experiences and discoveries are the principal focus. Having founded a string quartet when just eleven, her early chamber music experiences imbued in her a fundamental belief that performing is a process of giving and taking, in which listening is just as important as expressing your
Victory at the 1987 Leopold Mozart Competition, when she was just 15, brought with it the prospect of a solo career. However, the guiding principles instilled in her as a chamber musician remained strong. In Christoph Poppen, the long-ime first violinist of the Cherubini Quartet, Faust found a teacher who shared and fostered these musical convictions. Whether performing sonatas or concertos, Faust constantly sought dialogue and the exchange of musical ideas. After winning the 1993 Paganini Competition, she moved to France, where she grew to love the French repertoire, particularly the music of Fauré and Debussy. Here she came to international attention with her first recording - sonatas by Bartók, Szymanowski and Janácek - and gradually refined her command of the most important works in the violin repertoire.
In 2003, Faust released her first recording of a major Romantic work for orchestra, the Dvorák Violin Concerto. Having first performed the concerto at the age of 15 under Yehudi Menuhin, the work has remained a mainstay of her repertoire. Her 2007 release of the Beethoven violin concerto also reflects her immersion in period performance practice - not interpreted dogmatically but used as a challenge and incentive to re-assess the substance of every note, in order to comprehend its purpose and meaning. For Faust, the ultimate importance of musical dialogue necessitates establishing a common language between performers, enabling artists to perform a Mozart concerto with an ensemble such as Concerto Köln as convincingly as with a large symphony orchestra.
It is precisely this willingness to open herself up to different musical idioms that has made Isabelle Faust a highly sought-after performer of contemporary music. The list of composers whose works she has premiered extends from Olivier Messiaen to Werner Egk and Jörg Widmann. She is a fervent proponent of music by György Ligeti, Morton Feldman, Luigi Nono and Giacinto Scelsi, as well as of forgotten works, such as André Jolivet’s violin concerto. In 2009 she premiered works dedicated to her by composers Thomas Larcher and Michael Jarrell.
Faust can be heard with her duet partner, the pianist Alexander Melnikov, in searching renditions of the chamber music repertoire in recordings for harmonia mundi. For their recording of the complete Beethoven sonatas they received the “ECHO Klassik Award” and the “Gramophone Award” among others. The recording was nominated for the “Grammy”. Her latest solo recording of the Partitas and Sonatas by J. S. Bach was decorated with the “Diapason d’or de l’année 2010” among others.
Increasing numbers of orchestras and conductors have come to appreciate Faust’s artistry in recent years: Claudio Abbado, Charles Dutoit, Daniel Harding, Heinz Holliger, Mariss Jansons, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Munich Philharmonic, the Orchestre de Paris, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Orchestras and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra are a few examples of the fruitful artistic partnerships that have emerged in recent years.
These musicians and ensembles have all come to appreciate Faust’s artistry: rather than merely mastering her instrument and its repertoire, experiencing and deeply exploring music lies at the heart of her work.
Isabelle Faust performs on the 1704 “Sleeping Beauty” Stradivarius on loan to her from Germany’s L-Bank Baden-Württemberg.
"Hisako Kawamura is a brilliant talent. In difference to majority of pianists who have technique to make one black out, she is able to listen the music in new way, has impeccable taste and sense for measure. You meet such quality very seldom, but Kawamura is born for the stage." – Elisso Virssaladze
As one of most outstanding young pianists of her generation, she performed as soloist with the Russian National Orchestra under the baton of Mikhail Pletnev and Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin under Marek Janowski on their Japan Tours. In addition to her solo activity, she adores play chamber music and will give several recitals with the violoncellist Clemens Hagen.
Born in Nishinomiya (Japan), moved to Düsseldorf (Germany) with the family in her childhood, she identifies herself with the european and japanese culture. Strongly affected by her teachers – Vladimir Krainev from Russia and Malgorzata Bator-Schreiber from Poland – Slavic Music became one of her special subjects. She proves that on her CDs which have been excellently received by the public (the Debut-CD Disc Auvers with works a.o. by Prokofiev, two recordings released by RCA Red Seal with works of Chopin and Schumann). She became prizewinner at important international piano competitions like the ARD International Music Competition in Munich and the Concours Géza Anda in Zurich. After winning the Concours Clara Haskil in Vevey, she got numerous invitations from orchestras and conductors (The Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin, the Wiener Symphoniker, the RTÉ Symphony Orchestra Dublin, the Radio Symphony Orchestra Moscow, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the NHK Symphony Orchestra, the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Yomiuri Symphony Orchestra under Alan Buribayev, Alexander Dmitriev, Vladimir Fedosseyev, Junichi Hirokami, Eliahu Inbal, Kenichiro Kobayashi, Alexander Lazarev, Erwin Lukac, Tatsuya Shimono, Yuri Temirkanov). Kawamura's musical and artistic activity was awarded by several important Music Prizes in Japan; the Fresh Artist Music Prize of the Nippon Steel Corporation, the IDEMITSU Music Prize of Idemitsu Kosan, the Prize of the Chopin Society Japan, the IUE-Culture Prize/Hyogo and the Hotel Okura Music Prize. In March 2012, she received the Art Encouragement Prize for New Artists of Music from the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Japan. Motivated by the enthusiastic pedagogical activity of her mentors, she teaches as associate Professor at the Folkwang University of Arts in Essen since May 2011 and as special representative tutor at the Tokyo College of Music.
Narek Hakhnazaryan was propelled on to the international scene when, at the age of 22, he won the Cello First Prize and Gold Medal at the XIV International Tchaikovsky Competition in 2011, having impressed distinguished jury members such as Sir Clive Gillinson, Mario Brunello, David Geringas, Ralph Kirschbaum and Krzysztof Penderecki. He has since received critical press from both sides of the Atlantic, with the Daily Telegraph describing his playing “a marvel of musicality and technique combined” and the Washington Post describing him as “a seasoned phenomenon”.
Since winning the competition, Hakhnazaryan has won over audiences across the globe. His many high-level debuts have included concerto appearances with the London Symphony Orchestra/Gergiev, Chicago Symphony/Koopman, Tonkünstler Orchestra/Fedoseyev, Mariinsky Orchestra/Gergiev, Filarmonica della Scala Milan/Valcuha, Dallas Symphony/van Zweden, Seoul Philharmonic/Wolff, Rotterdam Philharmonic/Gergiev and with the Orchestra of St Luke’s at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, New York. In chamber and duo recitals he has performed at the Salle Pleyel Paris, Berlin Konzerthaus, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Boston, Vancouver Recital Series and at the Tivoli, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, City of London and Verbier Festivals.
Highlights of Hakhnazaryan’s 2013/14 season include further significant debuts including with Toronto Symphony/Lehninger, Czech Philharmonic/Bělohlávek on tour across Japan, Estonian National Symphony/Neeme Järvi on tour in North America, Aspen Festival Orchestra/Robertson, and his South American debut with the Sao Paulo Symphony, performing Lera Auerbach’s Last Letter with the composer. In addition he returns to Filarmonica della Scala/Gergiev to perform the Dutilleux Concerto and to the Mariinsky Orchestra/Gergiev to perform the Brahms Double Concerto with Sergey Khachatryan. Recital highlights include debuts at Oji Hall Tokyo, London’s Wigmore Hall, in Glasgow for BBC Radio 3, and in the USA at the Ravinia Festival and Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall.
Narek Hakhnazaryan was born in 1988 in Yerevan, Armenia, into a family of musicians: his father is a violinist and his mother a pianist. Hakhnazaryan’s early studies were at the Sayat-Nova School of Music in Yerevan with Zareh Sarkisyan and subsequently at the Moscow Conservatory with Alexey Seleznyov. Hakhnazaryan has received scholarships from the Rostropovich Russian Performing Arts Fund, and his prizes include First Prize in the 2006 Aram Khachaturian International Competition in Armenia and First Place in the 2006 Johansen International Competition for Young String Players. As First Prize winner in the 2008 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Hakhnazaryan made his debut in the Young Concert Artists Series in New York at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, sponsored by the Jerome L. Greene Foundation Prize, and in Washington, DC. In 2011 he received an Artist Diploma from the New England Conservatory of Music where he studied with Lawrence Lesser.
Owing to his singular phraseology, Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (1804–1857) is considered the founder of modern Russian music. Although he wrote merely two operas, his works served as models of musical drama for the next generations of Russian composers. Glinka’s second opera, Ruslan and Lyudmila (1842), is a fairy-tale work in five acts based on A. S. Pushkin’s eponymous poem. The sprightly Overture possesses the classical structure of the sonata form and its themes draw upon the musical material of the opera itself. The main theme, first appearing immediately after the introduction made up of several bars, is taken over from the final chorus scene, in which the Russian people rejoice at Lyudmila’s escape from the clutches of the evil sorcerer Chernomor. The Overture to the opera Ruslan and Lyudmila reveals Glinka’s pure harmonic thinking and ability to orchestrate colourfully, salient traits of his operas and symphonic works.
One of the finest composer-pianists of all time, Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff (1873–1943) did not have a carefree childhood – an unfavorable family situation had a negative effect on his mental health. After the poor reception of his First Symphony in D minor in October 1897 young Rachmaninoff fell into a period of deep depression and had to undergo medical treatment for several years. When at the turn of the century Rachmaninoff completed Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 2 in C minor Op. 18, he dedicated it with gratitude to his doctor Nikolai Dahl, thanks to whom he recovered his confidence and was eventually able to compose again.
The first performance of the concerto, at which only the second and third movements were heard, took place in Moscow in December 1900 with Rachmaninoff at the piano and Alexander Siloti as the conductor. The full piece was enthusiastically received a year later at its premiere given by the same musicians and this piano concerto in three movements has since become one of the most popular and frequently played concertos by Rachmaninoff.
The swan song of the Russian Romantic genius Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893) is Symphony No. 6 in B minor Op. 74, “Pathétique”. According to some interpreters of his work, its music reflects a fear of impending death and even preparation for his alleged enforced suicide in order to prevent disclosure of the composer’s homosexuality. Others claim that Tchaikovsky died of natural causes and refute the seeking of a connection between his sudden demise and the symphony itself. Whatever the case may be, on 28 October 1893 in St. Petersburg Tchaikovsky conducted the premiere of Symphony No. 6 and nine days later died of cholera. Whether he contracted the disease by chance or whether he drank contaminated water on purpose may remain for ever the subject of speculations on the part of romanticising writers and earnest researchers alike.
As is known, Tchaikovsky did not reveal anything about the symphony’s programme. The grim introduction of the first part is followed by the main allegro theme. The first movement abounds in tempo and expression contrasts and has been traditionally construed as a portrait of a person exposed to his fate in both its joyous and tragic aspects. The second part, which we would expect to be slow, is composed as merry dance, almost ballet, music. The whole movement is in 5/4 time, which is common in the folk tradition of Eastern Slavs. The scherzo of the third movement is in allegro too and comes across as a nimble march. Tchaikovsky concluded his previous symphonies in a fast tempo, with grandiose and forcible codas, yet in the case of his Sixth for the first and last time he chose plaintive, slow music that ultimately peters out. Some claim that the music expresses grievous outcries and the agony of a dying person.
Ludwig van Beethoven, a crucial figure in the culmination of Viennese Classicism, wrote his one and only completed Violin Concerto in 1806, when he was also putting the finishing touches to his “Razumovsky” String Quartets Nos. 7–9, the second version of the opera Leonora, and while working on Symphonies Nos. 4 and 5 too. At the time, the composer was giving a great deal of thought to heroism and high humane ideas of the final salvation of the universe, which was duly reflected in the enhanced pathos of his music. Beethoven was at the peak of his creative powers and was producing one superior work after another. Concurrently, however, he faced the first serious mental crisis, waging a lacerating inner struggle with the progressing deafness, which would later on prevent him from active and even passive participation in music events. Consequently, Beethoven could only seek the sense of life in composing.
The Violin Concerto has the traditional three-movement structure (fast-slow-fast). Although Classicist in its nature, owing to some of its traits (including the duration), it already anticipates the new, Romantic style. The piece starts unconventionally, with five strokes of the timpani. In the first movement, Allegro ma non troppo, the solo instrument dominates with a brightened cantilena, primarily palpable in the cadenzas. The second movement, Larghetto, is of a wistful nature, yet the violin part again captivates the listener with its jubilant cantability. The piece culminates in the brisk Allegro, written, in line with the tradition, in the rondo form. Beethoven’s Violin Concerto was premiered on 23 December 1806 in Vienna but did not meet with a warm reception. Yet over time it has assumed a richly deserved position among the major concertante violin works.
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