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Tickets for the public open rehearsal are available from 15th day of the month preceding to the the open rehearsal (in case of weekends and public holidays on the first working day following this date).
Christoph Eschenbach is a phenomenon amongst the top league of international conductors. Universally acclaimed as both a conductor and pianist, he belongs firmly to the German intellectual line of tradition, yet he combines this with a rare emotional intensity, producing performances revered by concert-goers worldwide. Renowned for the breadth of his repertoire and the depth of his interpretations, he has held directorships with many leading orchestras and gained the highest musical honours.
In exploring the conditions that led to the emergence of such a charismatic talent, we can look to his early years – born at the heart of a tempestuous, war-torn Europe in 1940, his early childhood was scarred by a succession of personal tragedies. It can truly be said that music was his saviour, and his life began to change when he learned the piano. Now, at the age of 78, his keen artistic curiosity is undiminished, and he still thoroughly enjoys working with the finest international orchestras. He is also well-known as a tireless supporter of young talent – this is his greatest passion, and he values his contribution to mentoring up-and-coming talent over and above his own distinguished career. Moved by the energy and the drive of young people – „Those one hundred percent artists“, as he calls them – he has a personal mission to pass the torch to the next generation. His discoveries to date include the pianist Lang Lang, the violinist Julia Fischer and the cellists Leonard Elschenbroich and Daniel Müller-Schott. As Artistic Advisor and lecturer at the famous Kronberg Academy, he accompanies young violinists, cellists and violists on their way to become world class soloists. In short, Christoph Eschenbach continues to explore new horizons and from September 2019 he will be the new Musical Director of the Konzerthausorchester, Berlin.
Christoph Eschenbach (born February 20, 1940 in Wroclaw) was a war orphan, raised in Schleswig-Holstein and Aachen by his motherʼs cousin, the pianist Wallydore Eschenbach. Her lessons laid the foundation of his illustrious musical career. Following his studies with Eliza Hansen (piano) and Wilhelm Brückner-Rüggeberg (conducting), he won notable piano awards – such as the ARD Competition Munich 1962 and the Concours Clara Haskil 1965 – that helped to pave the way for his growing international fame.
Supported by mentors such as George Szell and Herbert von Karajan, the focus of Christoph Eschenbachʼs career increasingly moved to conducting: He was Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Tonhalle Orchestra, Zurich from 1982 to 1986, Musical Director of Houston Symphony from 1988 to 1999, Artistic Director of the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival from 1999 to 2002, Musical Director of the NDR Symphony Orchestra from 1998 to 2004, the Philadelphia Orchestra from 2003 to 2008 and the Orchestre de Paris from 2000 to 2010. From 2010 to 2017, Eschenbach held the position of Musical Director of the Washington National Symphony Orchestra. Alongside his prestigious appointments, Eschenbach has always attached great importance to his extensive activities as a guest conductor, working with orchestras such as the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Staatskapelle Dresden, the New York Philharmonic, Scala Milano, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as the NHK Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo.
Over the course of five decades, Christoph Eschenbach has built an impressive discography, both as a conductor and a pianist, with a repertoire ranging from J. S. Bach to contemporary music. Many of his recordings have gained benchmark status and have received numerous awards, including the German Record Criticsʼ Prize, the MIDEM Classical Award and a Grammy Award. For many years, Eschenbachʼs preferred Lied partner has been the baritone Matthias Goerne. In recordings and in live performances, e.g. at the Salzburg Festival, the two perfectly matched artists have explored the rich treasures of the German Romantic period, from Schubert to Brahms.
Christoph Eschenbach has been awarded the Chevalier de la Légion dʼHonneur, and is a Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres; he is a holder of the German Federal Cross of Merit and a winner of the Leonard Bernstein Award. In 2015, he received the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize, known as „The Nobel Prize of music“, for his achievements as conductor and pianist.
Winner of the Queen Elisabeth (2009) and Yehudi Menuhin Competitions (2008), Ray Chen is among the most compelling young violinists today. “Ray has proven himself to be a very pure musician with great qualities such as a beautiful youthful tone, vitality and lightness. He has all the skills of a truly musical interpreter,” said the great Maxim Vengerov.
Ray has released two critically acclaimed albums on Sony: a recital program Virtuoso of works by Bach, Tartini, Franck, and Wieniawski, and the Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky concertos with Swedish Radio Orchestra and Daniel Harding. Following the success of these recordings, Ray was profiled by The Strad and Gramophone magazines as “the one to watch”. Virtuoso was distinguished with the prestigious ECHO Klassik award. His third recording, an all-Mozart album with Christoph Eschenbach and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra, was released in January 2014.
“It’s hard to say something new with these celebrated works; however, Ray Chen performs them with the kind of authority that puts him in the same category as Maxim Vengerov.” (Corriere della Sera)
Ray continues to win the admiration of fans and fellow musicians worldwide. In 2012, he became the youngest soloist ever to perform in the televised Nobel Prize Concert for the Nobel Laureates and the Swedish Royal Family. His Carnegie Hall debut with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and Sakari Oramo, as well as his sold-out Musikverein concert with the Gewandhaus Orchestra and Riccardo Chailly were met with standing ovations. Since the 2012/13 season, Ray has been invited to join Konzerthaus Dortmundʼs series Junge Wilde, which presents young and groundbreaking artists in Germany. Later this season, Ray will make his San Francisco recital debut at the SF Jazz Center. He also looks forward to his upcoming recital tour of Australia and his debuts with the Orchestre National de France and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Followed by over 1.5 million people people on SoundCloud, Ray Chen looks to expand the classical music audience by increasing its appeal to the young generation via all available social media platforms. He is the first ever classical musician to be invited to write a regular blog about his life as a touring soloist for the largest Italian publishing house, RCS Rizzoli (Corriere della Sera, Gazzetta dello Sport, Max). In his unstinting efforts to break down barriers between classical music, fashion and pop culture, he is supported by Giorgio Armani and was recently featured in Vogue magazine.
Born in Taiwan and raised in Australia, Ray was accepted to the Curtis Institute of Music at age 15, where he studied with Aaron Rosand and was supported by Young Concert Artists. He plays the 1715 Joachim Stradivarius violin on loan from the Nippon Music Foundation.
The Mondscheinmusik is a four-minute-long orchestral intermezzo which Richard Strauss (1864–1948) placed before the final scene – a monologue of the main character – in his fourteenth and last opera, Capriccio (1944). The work first develops as a poetic image of a dark castle hall flooded with moonlight; gradually, it gains in strength and warmth of expression, making us understand that beyond the seemingly noncommittal conversational witticisms of the events witnessed so far a sensitive and vulnerable human heart is hiding.
The composition of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s (1840–1893) only Violin Concertowas preceded by the break-up of his marriage to a beloved pupil; marrying had been the composer’s means of coping with his sexuality. A stay in Clarens, Switzerland was to help him to overcome his deep personal crisis, but solace only came with the arrival of the young violinist Iosif Kotek, whom Tchaikovsky had found to be a very likeable pupil: within a month he had composed the score of the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra. However, it was only three years later that the work began its ascent to the pinnacle of the world concert repertory.
It is also worth mentioning that back in Clarens Tchaikovsky replaced the original second movement with a new composition. Its idyllic designationof Canzonetta cannot disguise its deeply personal message: the plaintive theme with which the soloist responds to the gracious orchestral introduction is an expression of a deep depression, which is temporarily dispelled by the warm emotional surge of the middle section, but its real resolution is left to the finale. It is thanks to the Canzonetta that the concerto has become part of the series of great compositions that reflect the composer’s inner life.
Strauss composed his most famous opera, Der Rosenkavalier, in 1913 as a huge waltz fantasy and indeed as a critique of the metropolitan, elegant, hedonistic life-style, the musical expression of which is the Viennese waltz of the Strauss name. However, according to all indications the arrangement of the Suite from Der Rosenkavalier is the work of the conductor Artur Rodziński, who also conducted its premiere with the New York Philharmonic. From the orchestral introduction, the composition presents an unbroken succession of the key scenes and personalities of the characters and their relationships, replacing vocal with instrumental parts. Brought to an ecstatic climax, it continues and concludes with one of the many waltzes.
Sergei Prokofiev (1891–1953) wrote the first of his seven symphonies at the age of twenty-six, in the historic year 1917. No novice to composing symphonic music, by that time he already had a respectable number of substantial and successful works behind him; at this point he decided temporarily to abandon his musical provocations and to write a supremely symphonic form in the classical spirit: “When it began to take real shape, I called it the Classical Symphony, first, because it makes things easier, second, to ride a tiger, and third, with a secret hope that I stand to gain if in time the symphony should really become classical…”
And it did. In the classical balance and symmetry of the whole, Prokofiev’s wit and impish gaiety is both irresistible and programmatic: that year, towards the close of the War and on the eve of the Revolution, was far from idyllic in Petrograd, and it would fatefully influence Prokofiev’s turbulent life. In the first of his imposing series of symphonies he manifested his legendary vital optimism, so rare among the great twentieth-century composers.
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