A native of Great Britain, Benjamin Zander founded the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra in 2012 and has subsequently turned it into one of the leading youth orchestras in the USA. Born in 1939 in England as the son of emigrants from Berlin, the twelve-year-old became a composition student of Benjamin Britten and Imogen Holst before turning to the cello as his instrument. In 1967 Zander moved to the USA, where he taught at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston until retiring in 2012; his public lectures on music were a popular fixture. As a conductor, Zander has worked with numerous national youth orchestras, but also with the Israel Philharmonic, the Toronto Symphony, and the Scottish and Irish National Orchestras. Together with the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, he has recorded Beethoven and Mahler symphonies. Zander has been invited as a speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davos several times. His bestseller The Art of Possibility (2000) has been translated into 17 languages.
“The Banks of Green Willow” (1913)
“La Valse” (1920)
Symphony No. 9 in D-Major (1910)
In 2017, he conducted the Cuban-European Youth Orchestra in the last festival concert of Young Euro Classic, and now he returns for the opening concert! Duncan Ward already looks back upon an astounding range of musical experience. At 12, he composed his first musical, Alice in Wonderland – and conducted it with his own orchestra at his school in the British county of Kent. Soon after, he founded his own band, “The Grasshoppers”, accompanied silent movies at the piano, became a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, and was proclaimed “Composer of the Year” at the BBC Competition in 2005. From 2012 to 2014, Ward became the first conductor to join the Orchestra Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic, as well as Simon Rattle’s assistant. The past season brought his debuts with the Orchestras of the Bavarian Radio and the MDR Radio Leipzig, the Orchestre national de France, Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Ensemble Intercontemporain in Paris. This year, he conducts the BBC Philharmonic, the Dresden Philharmonic and the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra. At the Nederlands Opera he leads Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti and Macmillan’s Clemency. Duncan Ward has regularly conducted and composed for the MIAGI Youth Orchestra since 2013.
The young clarinettist Visser Liebenberg has been a member oft he MIAGI Youth Orchestra for six years; he already performed as a soloist with the orchestra during his first European tour with MIAGI in 2012. Apart from his soloistic and chamber music activities, Liebenberg performs regularly with the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra and with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra. After graduating from the Stellenbosch Conservatory in his South African homeland with a bachelor’s degree, Liebenberg is now enrolled there in the project “Africa Open – Institute for Music Research and Innovation”, where he is exploring new clarinet techniques oriented towards the sound of indigenous South African music.
“Egmont” Overture in F-Minor Op. 84 (1810)
“The Firebird” Suite for Orchestra (1919)
“Prelude, Fugue and Riffs” (1949/52)
“Rainbow Beats” Suite for 100 Years Nelson Mandela (2018)
A native of Zurich, Mario Venzago, who turns 70 on July 1 this year, looks back on a career as a conductor that has spanned more than 40 years. He has held many different positions as chief conductor, among them the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Frankfurt, the Graz Opera, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Since the 2010/11 season, Venzago has been chief conductor of the Bern Symphony Orchestra. He is also in demand as a guest conductor, appearing regularly with the Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin, for example. Venzago’s discography is ample; most recently, he recorded the complete Bruckner Symphonies. His recordings of the operas Venus and Penthesilea by his compatriot Othmar Schoeck were widely acclaimed. This is the seventh working phase the conductor leads at the Bundesjugendorchester.
Originally born in Sögel in the Emsland region of Germany, the mezzo-soprano Gerhild Romberger is one of the few singers who concentrate exclusively on the concert and song repertoire. In this field, she is among the most sought-after voices of her generation; her repertoire ranges from the works of Bach and Handel via the great oratorio roles and Mahler songs to Wolfgang Rihm. “Gerhild Romberger sings, and time stops,” the Süddeutsche Zeitung raved. She has sung under the batons of prominent conductors such as Herbert Blomstedt, Riccardo Chailly, Gustavo Dudamel, Philippe Herreweghe and Mariss Jansons. In December 2017 the Konzerthaus audience heard her perform Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde under Iván Fischer. Her recording of Mahler songs with the pianist Alfredo Perl brought Gerhild Romberger an Echo Classic Award in 2017. Since 2003 she has held a professorship at the Detmold Music Academy.
Overture in G-Minor WAB 98 (1863)
“L’Ascension”, Four Symphonic Meditations for Orchestra (1934)
Symphony “Mathis der Maler” (1934)
Originally from Oviedo in Asturias, the conductor Pablo González was educated at the Guildhall School of Music in London and is equally in demand on the concert podium and for opera productions. He has led performances of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Strauss’ Daphne and Wagner’s Rienzi at the Teatro Liceu in Barcelona; for the Glyndebourne Touring Opera, he conducted Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Donizetti’s Elisir d’Amore. He has conducted concerts with the Gürzenich Orchestra in Cologne, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, the Helsinki Philharmonic, the Residentie Orkest in The Hague and the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester. In June 2017, González performed works by Schumann and Strauss with the Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin. His concert repertoire spans the classical and romantic era to Mahler, Sibelius, Nielsen and Shostakovich. González recently presented a 3-CD box featuring orchestral works by his compatriot Enrique Granados.
The Spanish cellist Asier Polo has been at the top of his field in his homeland for many years. Educated first in Bilbao, then with Maria Kliegel in Cologne and Ivan Monighetti in Basel, he has performed in London and Paris, with the Israel Philharmonic, the festivals in Schleswig-Holstein and Gstaad, in Mexico and Brazil. Polo’s special reputation in Spain is based on numerous world premieres; thus, Jesús Torres, Luis de Pablo, Jesús Villa-Rojo and Antón García Abril have written cello concertos for him. The artist has also recorded numerous works by the younger generation of Spanish composers, such as Oscar Escudero, Tomás Marco, Carmelo Bernaola and Jesús Ruedo. Another CD with the two cello concertos by Joaquin Rodrigo and the concerto by Alberto Ginastera was released recently. Asier Polo is also a professor at the Music Academies in San Sebastián and Madrid. He plays a cello by Francesco Ruggeri (Cremona, 1689).
New Work (2018, German Premiere)
“Don Quixote” Fantastic Variations on a Theme of Knightly Character Op. 35 (1898)
Concerto for Orchestra Sz. 116 (1944/45)
The US-American John Neumeier is among the most important choreographers of our times. As Ballet Director and Artistic Director of the Hamburg Ballet, he turned this company into one of Germany’s leading ones. John Neumeier won international acclaim for his combination of traditional ballet with new, contemporary forms. One of John Neumeier’s passions is the support and education of young talent. In 1978, he founded the Ballet School of the Hamburg Ballet. In 2011, John Neumeier founded the National Youth Ballet, whose artistic director he has been ever since. John Neumeier has been awarded the German Federal Cross of Merit twice and was named a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in 2003. He already choreographed a ballet for Young Euro Classic in 2012, and in 2013 and 2014 the National Youth Ballet appeared at the Konzerthaus in two of his choreographies as well.
Born in Miami, Kevin Haigen has worked as a dancer, choreographer, ballet teacher and ballet master. He trained at the School of American Ballet under George Balanchine, where he created his first choreographies. In 1976 Kevin Haigen joined the Hamburg Ballet, where he returned in 1991, after several international engagements, as company ballet master and ballet teacher. Ever since, he has assisted John Neumeier in the production of numerous ballets worldwide. Since the founding of the National Youth Ballet, Kevin Haigen has been its Artistic and Pedagogical Director.
The young French conductor Quentin Hindley began his musical career as a violist at the Paris Opera before switching to the conductor’s podium. He was educated at the National Conservatory, where the Hungarian Zsolt Nagy was his teacher; he also participated in courses with the legendary conducting teacher Jorma Panula, with Neeme and Paavo Järvi, Susanna Mälkki and Michail Jurowski. In 2012 Quentin Hindley became Leonard Slatkin’s assistant at the Orchestre National de Lyon. In the summer of 2015 he worked with Simon Rattle in Aix-en-Provence on the world premiere of the opera The Monster in the Maze by Jonathan Dove. In 2017/18 he conducts this work in Lille, Lisbon and Paris. Apart from many French orchestras, Hindley has also been invited to guest conduct in Slovenia, Croatia and Hungary. In addition to his work with youth orchestras, his is intensely involved in social and intercultural projects, for example a version of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville for children, which was performed in the suburbs of Paris.
The young Slovenian pianist Urban Stanič is currently a student at the Ljubljana Music Academy, where he studies with Dubravka Tomšič Srebotnjak. At the age of three, Urban Stanič received his first piano lessons; he celebrated his first successes at the International Competition for Young Musicians in Povoletto (Udine, Italy), which he won four times in a row. In the meantime, Urban Stanič can look back to a multitude of solo recitals and has performed with various Slovenian orchestras; in June 2017 he played at the opening concert of the festival “Summer in Old Ljubljana”. The pianist also has other outstanding talents: he was national champion in mathematics twice and five times in logics. Furthermore, he has been successful at national chess championships.
“The Symphonic Waltz” (2018, German Premiere)
Piano Concerto in A-Minor Op. 54 (1841)
“Thus Spake Zarathustra” Op. 30 (1896)
The British conductor Jonathan Darlington is a musical citizen of the world. Born in England in 1954, he was General Music Director at the Duisburg Opera from 2002 to 2011, lives in Paris today and has also been Music Director at the Vancouver Opera in Western Canada. Darlington started his career as a pianist, accompanist and répétiteur. He assisted Olivier Messiaen, Pierre Boulez and Myung-whun Chung in Paris; he was also the accompanist to master courses of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Janet Baker and Peter Pears at the Britten-Pears School in Aldeburgh. Since his 1984 conducting debut in Paris, Darlington has appeared with innumerable orchestras – including the Konzerthaus Orchestra in Berlin – and at opera houses in Europe and the USA. Apart from his position in Vancouver, he conducts regularly at the Semper Opera in Dresden (e.g. Die Zauberflöte, Die Fledermaus), but also in Vienna (Madama Butterfly) and Frankfurt (The Makropoulos Case).
Aged only 21, the horn player Martin Mangrum is currently enrolled at the Colburn School, a conservatory in Los Angeles, where the principal horn player of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Andrew Bain, is his teacher. Martin Mangrum received his first horn lessons at the age of ten, subsequently moving on to the Montreal Music Conservatory and to the Marianopolis College. He has received several scholarships for the Aspen Music Festival during recent years. In the concert series “Jeunes et Pros” (Young Musicians and Professionals) in Montreal, the horn player has performed with members of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Martin Mangrum has also been a substitute during concerts of the Los Angeles Philharmonic several times. In 2017 he won the Sénecal Mozart Prize and was invited as a soloist to the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra. This year, the Canadian Arts Council honoured the musician with the Michael Measures Prize.
"Catfish Row" Suite from "Porgy and Bess" (1936)
Horn Concerto No. 2 in E-flat-Major Op. 132 (1942)
New Work (2018, German Premiere)
"Le Poème de l’extase" Op. 54 (1905-1908)
The Romanian conductor Cristian Mandeal, born in 1946, studied at the Music Academy in Bucharest before completing his training with Herbert von Karajan in Berlin and with Sergiu Celibidache in Munich. From 1987 to 2009, he was the Chief Conductor and General Music Director of the Bucharest Philharmonic, guiding its rise to an orchestra of international rank. Apart from Romanian orchestras, he has conducted renowned orchestras throughout Europe and was Principal Guest Conductor of the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester until 2009 and the Copenhagen Philharmonic until 2013. In 2001 and 2003, Cristian Mandeal was the Artistic Director of the George Enescu International Festival. He has conducted more than 60 world premieres of Romanian and other composers and has recorded George Enescu’s complete symphonic works for CD. During recent years, the 72-year-old has been active in building up the National Romanian Youth Orchestra, with which he last appeared at Young Euro Classic in 2012 and 2014, and the National Symphony Orchestra of Romania.
The young Romanian pianist Mihai Ritivoiu was educated at the music academy of his hometown of Bucharest and then moved on to the Guildhall School of Music in London. He has also participated in master classes of renowned piano pedagogues and pianists such as Dmitri Bashkirov, Richard Goode and Emanuel Ax. In 2010 Ritivoiu won the National Competition Dinu Lipatti in Bucharest; in 2015 he was invited to perform a special concert commemorating the 65th anniversary of his great antecedent’s death. As a winner of the International George Enescu Piano Competition, he has recorded Sergei Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Romanian Radio Orchestra. In addition to solo recitals and performances with orchestra, Ritivoiu dedicates much of his time to chamber music. He now lives in London, where he has performed at the Barbican Centre, at Wigmore Hall and at the church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields.
“Levante” (World Premiere)
Piano Concerto No. 1 in C-Major Op. 15 (1800)
Symphony No. 11 (“The Year 1905”) in G-Minor Op. 103 (1956-57)
Music and spirituality have always overlapped in the artistic vision of the trumpet player, composer, pedagogue and activist Sean Jones. Born in 1978 in Warren, Ohio, it was Miles Davis who inspired him to switch from percussion to trumpet. Only when he was 19 and already a classically trained trumpet player did he start turning increasingly to jazz. A six-month stint with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in New York brought him an encounter with Wynton Marsalis, who offered Jones the position of lead trumpeter in his orchestra. Ever since, he has performed with his own ensembles, but also with great jazz personalities such as Illinois Jacquet, Jimmy Heath, Frank Foster, Nancy Wilson, Dianne Reeves and Marcus Miller. Together with Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, he played a “Tribute to Miles” tour in 2011. A versatile and experienced teacher as well, Jones has recently been appointed to the Richard and Elizabeth Case Chair in Jazz Studies at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. His most recent albums are im*pro*vise: never before seen (2014) and Live From Jazz At The Bistro (2017).
A winner of five Grammy Awards, Dianne Reeves is one of the world’s most prominent jazz singers. Her most recent awards came in 2006 for the soundtrack to George Clooney’s film Good Night, and Good Luck and in 2015 for her solo album Beautiful Life. Born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1956, Dianne Reeves grew up in Denver, Colorado. Her talent was discovered during a competition for high school big bands; her breakthrough came when Harry Belafonte made her a lead singer for his tours in 1983. Ever since, the vocalist has performed with doyens of jazz such as Wynton Marsalis, has toured with her own performance Sing the Truth!, but has also worked with classical ensembles, including the Berlin Philharmonic under Simon Rattle. Since her debut album in 1977 Dianne Reeves has produced more than 20 records, including Quiet After the Storm (1994), In the Moment: Live in Concert (2000) and A Little Moonlight (2004). In 2018, the National Endowment for the Arts will designate her a Jazz Master—the highest honour the United States bestows on jazz artists.
Much of the career of the Dutch conductor Antony Hermus has taken place in Germany. During his six years as General Music Director at the Anhaltisches Theater in Dessau (2009-15) he called attention to the opera house not only by producing a complete Wagner Ring, but also by open-air and Twitter concerts. Guest engagements have taken the 45-year-old to the most important symphony orchestras of the Netherlands, the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra and the Philharmonia Orchestra London. This spring, Hermus made his debut at Vienna’s Musikverein with the Tonkünstlerorchester Niederösterreich. He also performed Bruckner’s Sixth Symphony with the Residentie Orkest Den Haag and returned to the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra for a cinema production of Stravinsky’s Firebird. His discography also reflects his many interests: after works by the Romantics Hans Rott, August Klughardt and Alphons Diepenbrock, Hermus most recently recorded compositions by the Austrian Siegmund von Hausegger with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra.
“Cinderella Suites” Op. 107, 108, 109 (1945/46, Excerpts)
“Mors Aeterna“ (2015, German Premiere)
Symphony No. 4 in E-Minor Op. 98 (1885)
Celebrate with us! At the traditional AUDIENCE PARTY after the concert.
The 26-year-old Migran Agadzhanyan is a true multi-talent. On the one hand, he has a successful career as a tenor, having studied with Renata Scotto at the Opera Studio of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome and won prizes at renowned vocal competitions in Italy and Russia. In 2017 he made his debut at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg in Verdi’s opera I vespri siciliani; he has also performed there as Don Carlo, Don José in Carmen and Rodolfo in La Bohème. On the other hand, Agadzhanyan is equally successful as a pianist, winning competitions in Kiev, Paris and Pesaro. He still studies piano at the State Conservatory in St. Petersburg, where he is also a member of the conducting class of Vladimir Altschuler. In addition to his position as founder and conductor of the Youth Chamber Orchestra St. Petersburg, Agadzhanyan regularly conducts other Russian orchestras and composes as well.
The Russian oboist Aleksandr Bykov, born in Leningrad in 1991, graduated from the State Conservatory Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov in St. Petersburg in 2017 and has been the assistant to Prof. A. Kazakov at that institution since then. He was also appointed principal oboist in the State Kapella Orchestra in St. Petersburg in 2014. Bykov is regularly invited to perform as a guest the Mariinsky Theatre St. Petersburg, the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra and by Theodor Currentzis’ MusicAeterna Orchestra. The Russian has attended master classes with oboists such as François Leleux, Maurice Bourgue, David Walter and Gregor Witt of the Berlin Staatskapelle.
The Russian soprano Karina Flores first studied vocal performance in Rostov-on-Don before moving to Rome, where Renata Scotto was her teacher at the Opera Studio of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. She won awards at numerous vocal competitions in Rome, Piacenza and St. Petersburg. In the meantime, Karina Flores has become a sought-after singer in the Italian fach; her roles include Bellini’s Norma and Verdi’s Elisabetta (Don Carlos) as well as Aida in Peter Stein’s production at Moscow’s Stanislavsky Theatre. Most recently, she was heard as Tosca in Braunschweig at the end of 2017 and as Desdemona in Verona in February 2018. Of course, she also commands roles such as Tchaikovsky’s Tatiana and Liza and Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District.
The Russian bass Felix Kudryatsev completed his vocal studies at the State Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow in 2004. In 2003 he joined the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theatre in Moscow. Since 2008 he has been engaged there as a soloist and has appeared in many productions, ranging from Rimsky-Korsakov’s May Night and The Tale of Tsar Saltan and Prokofiev’s Betrothal in a Monastery to Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia, Massenet’s Werther and Manon as well as Cherubini’s Médée.
Serenade for String Orchestra in C-Major Op. 48 (1880)
Concerto for Oboe and Chamber Orchestra (German Premiere)
Symphony No. 14 for Soprano, Bass and Chamber Orchestra Op. 135 (1969)
The 42-year-old Swedish conductor Johannes Gustavsson began his musical career as a violist before choosing conducting as his main focus. Winning the Sir Georg Solti Competition in Frankfurt and the Toscanini Competition in Parma paved the way, as did the Swedish Conductor’s Prize and the Herbert Blomstedt Award. Ever since, Gustavsson has conducted all the major orchestras in Scandinavia, including the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, the Oslo Philharmonic and the Philharmonic Orchestras in Helsinki and Turku. Since 2012 the Swede has been chief conductor of the Oulu Symphony Orchestra; since 2015 he has been chief conductor of the Wermland Opera as well. Gustavsson has led world premieres of more than 50 orchestral works by Nordic composers; he also recorded many of these compositions for CD, e.g. works by Anders Eliasson, CFE Horneman, Tobias Broström, Britta Byström and Einar Englung.
Born in 1969 in Molde, Norway, Ann-Helen Moen is a lyric soprano known for her clarity and beauty of tone as well as for the focus of her delivery, whether in concert or on the opera stage. She studied at the Grieg Academy in Bergen and at the Opera Academy in Copenhagen. Ann-Helen Moen started her career as a company member at the Opera Graz, and has appeared at the Hannover State Opera, the Zurich Opera, the Danish National Opera, the Théâtre Paris Villette and at companies in Germany, Sweden and Ireland. Ann-Helen Moen is widely recognised as a significant interpreter of Mozart, and has sung Donna Anna, Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Pamina and First Lady (The Magic Flute) at The Norwegian Opera & Ballet in Oslo. Her repertoire also includes Sandrina (La finta giardiniera), Donna Elvira, (Don Giovanni) and the Countess (The Marriage of Figaro). She has given concerts with such distinguished ensembles as the Bach Collegium Japan and the MDR Symphony Orchestra. In 2000 she received the highest distinction for Norwegian singers, the Esso Award.
The bass-baritone Håvard Stensvold is one of Norway’s leading concert and opera singers and regularly appears throughout Europe, far beyond his hometown of Oslo. In addition to all major Mozart roles, his repertoire includes mainly 17th– and 18th-century operas, e.g. Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, Handel’s Acis and Galatea and Purcell’s The Indian Queen. On the other hand, Stensvold is a champion of contemporary opera; thus, he appeared in the premieres of Cecilie Ore’s opera Dead Beat Escapement (2008) und in Knut Vaage’s Khairos (2013) at the Norwegian National Opera in Oslo. As a concert singer, Stensvold has appeared with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin in Bach’s Mass in B-Minor; further engagements have led him to work with renowned Early Music conductors such as Giovanni Antonini, Fabio Biondi, Paul Goodwin, Andrew Manze, Robin Ticciati and Bruno Weil.
“Eleven Gates” (2006)
Songs for Soprano and Orchestra:
“Solveig’s Song” from Op. 23 (1874/1892)
“The Last Spring” Op. 33 No. 2 (1880)
“Near Rondane” Op. 33 No. 9 (1973-80)
“A Swan“ Op. 25 No. 2 (1876)
"Zur Rosenzeit" Op. 48 No. 5 (1889)
"Ein Traum" Op. 48 No. 6 (1889)
Symphony No. 3 “Sinfonia espansiva” in D-Minor Op. 27 (1912)
The Italian Gianandrea Noseda, born in Milan in 1964, is a sought-after conductor in the Old and New World alike. Since 2016 he has been chief conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington DC; he is also principal guest conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra and the Israel Philharmonic. He regularly conducts the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic, appears in New York and Paris and leads orchestras with which he enjoys long-standing relationships, e.g. the BBC Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh Symphony and the Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. As the music director of the Teatro Regio in Turin, a position Noseda has held since 2007, he has managed to secure a high artistic level and international attention for that institution. At the Met in New York, he has conducted operas such as Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, Bizet’s Pearl Fishers and Borodin’s Prince Igor. His discography includes works ranging from Dvořák and Liszt to Casella, Respighi and Dallapiccola as well as Shostakovich and Prokofiev.
For the Korean Seong-Jin Cho, performing at the Konzerthaus is almost a home game – not only does he live in Berlin, but his record label, for which he most recently recorded a Debussy album commemorating the composer’s 100th birthday, is headquartered here. Otherwise, the 29-year-old pianist travels the world, performing the many concert dates which have come his way since he won the Chopin Competition in Warsaw in 2015. Carnegie Hall in New York, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, plus Paris, Edinburgh, Lucerne, Seoul and Tokyo – those are merely the most prominent stations on his calendar during the past year. He also celebrated an unexpected debut with the Berlin Philharmonic when he substituted for Lang Lang, whose arm had been injured. Born in Seoul in 1994, Seong-Jin Cho gave his first public concert at the age of 11, winning the 3rd Prize at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow at the age of 17. He then went on to study with Michel Béroff in Paris, where he graduated in 2015.
“Fireworks” (2018, German Premiere)
Piano Concerto No. 2 in F-Minor Op. 21 (1830)
Symphony No. 5 in E-Minor Op. 64 (1888)
The pianist and conductor Simon Over is a well-known personality in London’s musical life. The 53-year-old is not only the founder and conductor of the Parliamentary Choir; since 2015 he has also been music director at St Clement Danes, the main church of the Royal Air Force. Above all, however, he directs the Southbank Sinfonia, which he founded in 2002 and with which he has completed tours of various European and Asian countries. He is also principal guest conductor of the Southern Sinfonia in New Zealand and artistic director of the Bury Court Opera, a rural festival in Southwest London, where he has conducted diverse works ranging from Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Rossini’s La Cenerentola to Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress. As an accompanist, Simon Over has performed with singers such as Felicity Lott, Emma Kirkby and Simon Keenlyside; he has recorded a CD of Ernest Bloch’s violin sonatas with violinist Miriam Kramer.
Born into a family of musicians in Sarajevo, the pianist Ivana Gavrić grew up in England, where she studied at the Royal College of Music and at Cambridge University. She participated in master courses with renowned teachers such as Dmitri Bashkirov, Menahem Pressler, Boris Berman and Stephen Kovacevich. For her debut album In the Mists featuring piano works by Janáček, Liszt, Schubert and Rachmaninov, the BBC Music Magazine voted her “Newcomer of the Year”. Her further albums, From the Street (Janáček, Ravel, Prokofiev), Grieg and Chopin brought Ivana Gavrić outstanding reviews. In the meantime, the pianist has performed at the KKL in Lucerne, at the Barbican Centre, the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal Festival Hall and in other European countries as well as Canada, Japan and China. Outside the concert hall, she recorded the Chopin and Beethoven soundtrack for the BBC adaptation of The Line of Beauty and the Bach works used in the soundtrack for the movie Breaking and Entering (2006) by Anthony Minghella.
Symphony in D-Major K. 297 “Paris Symphony” (1778)
“Between the Skies, the River and the Hills” Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (2018, German Premiere)
Symphony No. 2 in D-Major Op. 36 (1803)
The Ukrainian conductor Oksana Lyniv, herself the daughter of two musicians, received her musical education at the music academy of her hometown in Lviv. In 2004 she won the 3rd Prize at the Gustav Mahler Conductor’s Competition of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra and was thereupon appointed assistant to its chief conductor, Jonathan Nott. At the same time, she began studying at the Dresden Music Academy and was supported by the German Music Council’s “Conductors’ Forum” from 2007 to 2009. In 2013 Oksana Lyniv was appointed assistant to the general music director Kirill Petrenko at the Bavarian State Opera, where she conducted La clemenza di Tito, La traviata, Die Fledermaus and Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, among others. Since the beginning of this season, the 40-year-old conductor has been chief conductor of the Graz Opera. Furthermore, last year she founded the international festival LvivMozArt in Lviv year, which was inspired by the historical work of Mozart’s son Franz Xaver in Lviv.
The 43-year-old violinist, a native of Kharkiv in the Ukraine, moved to London at the age of 13, where he studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School. In 2005 he won the International George Enescu Competition in Bucharest, followed by many invitations from orchestras in Europe and the USA, working with conductors such as Andris Nelsons, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Vladimir Ashkenazy and David Zinman. Recent concerts have included appearances with the Orchestre de Paris, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic and the NDR Elbphilharmonie. He is artist-in-residence this season at the Staatskapelle Weimar with its chief conductor Kirill Karabits. A passionate chamber musician, he dedicated much of 2016 to a Europe-wide tour project with the violinist Lisa Batiashvili, the cellist Gautier Capuçon and other musicians, commemorating the 100th birthday of the composer Henri Dutilleux. The music filmmaker Bruno Monsaingeon shot the film un violon dans l’âme / Natural Born Fiddler about one of Sokolov’s recitals in Toulouse in 2004.
“Slavic March” Op. 31 (1876)
Chamber Symphony No. 1 for Violin and Orchestra Op. 14 (1967, German Premiere)
“Ukrainian Poem” for Violin and Orchestra (1997, German Premiere)
Symphony No. 7 in A-Major Op. 92 (1812)
The conductor Kristjan Järvi is one of the rather rare types of musician who are able to move between different genres with the ease of a virtuoso. Whether classical, jazz or hip hop: not least in conjunction with his various ensembles, the 45-year-old pursues a broad range of musical inclinations. Since 2012 he has been chief conductor of the MDR Symphony Orchestra in Leipzig; he also continues to lead the Absolute Ensemble in New York, which he founded. Born in the USA as the youngest son of the Estonian conductor Neeme Järvi, the conductor is tireless in his championship of contemporary music. He has commissioned more than 100 works, including from composers such as Arvo Pärt, Tan Dun and Erkki-Sven Tüür. Steve Reich and HK Gruber are among his artistic partners, as are Anoushka Shankar, Hauschka and Marcel Khalife. So far, Kristjan Järvi has released more than 60 albums, ranging from film scores for Cloud Atlas, A Hologram for the King and Sense 8 to the eponymous series The Kristjan Järvi Sound Project.
The Georgian pianist Dudana Mazmanishvili, born in Tbilisi in 1980, has been most successful during recent years in the USA, where she also studied at the Mannes School of Music in New York City. However, she also has close ties with Germany. After her basic education in her native Georgia, the young pianist moved to Munich to study with Elisso Virsaladze at the Music Academy there, recording her first CD for the Bavarian Radio, and has been living in Berlin for several years. The Georgian government named her “Cultural Ambassador of Georgia in Germany” in 2013; she also works as a Cultural Attaché at the Georgian Embassy in Berlin. Dudana Mazmanishvili is also at home in the German piano repertoire – she performs Bach and Beethoven as happily as Schumann, Brahms and Busoni. Furthermore, Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninov and Georgian composers are an additional focus. Her latest CD featuring works by Schumann and Revaz Lagidze was recently released.
Born in Georgia during the Soviet era, Irakli Kiziria, who is also active in the Duo I/Y Berlin with his techno colleague Jacoub Chakarji, is a well-known figure on Berlin’s techno scene. They have performed as DJs at the Berghain club, but are most renowned for the popular party series STAUB, which they have presented at various locations during recent years. They have also founded their own label, which has released eight techno productions so far, including the album Riflor in 2016 and I/Y 008 in 2017. Irakli Kirizia’s original career was in architecture and design; since 2001, when he moved to Germany, he has focused on music and the arts. However, visual art has had a constant presence in his musical activities.
New Work for String Orchestra
Piano Concerto in D-Minor BWV 1052 (1738) (arr. with electronic music)
“New York” for Piano and String Orchestra (World Premiere)
Concerti Grossi (arr. Kristjan Järvi)
Nils Landgren is doubtlessly one of Europe’s most successful jazz musicians. Fans and observers of the 61-year-old Swede are already wondering whether his days might have more than 24 hours. Critics have nominated him as the hardest working man in show business. When “Mr. Redhorn,” the man with the red trombone, is not touring with his legendary band Funk Unit or other projects bearing his name, he works as a producer and talent scout or is found passing his know-how on to his students. In the German capital, he has made a name for himself as the artistic director of the JazzFest Berlin. It is not least his versatility which is admired in this musician, who began playing drums at the age of six and discovered the trombone for himself at 13: apart from hardcore jazz, he is devoted to Swedish folk music – or he might record romantic and idiosyncratic Christmas songs, as he did on his album Christmas With My Friends. In cooperation with Doctors without Borders, Nils Landgren’s Funk Unit supports a music education project for children and teenagers in one of the largest slums of Kenya’s capital city of Nairobi. After leading the successful “Classic meets Jazz” projects at Young Euro Classic for four years running, Nils Landgren returns in 2018 for its fourth edition.
The name of the American vocalist Janis Siegel is intimately connected with the group Manhattan Transfer, whose member she has been since 1972. Over all these decades, she was “the voice” of such world hits as “Twilight Zone”, “The Boy from New York City” and “Chanson d’Amour”. In 1985 she founded the vocal quartet “Sing, Sing, Sing” together with Dianne Reeves, Bobby McFerrin and Jon Hendricks. In addition, Janis Siegel also pursued her solo career: her first album, Experiment in White, came out in 1981. She also began a close collaboration with the pianist Fred Hersch; even their first joint album, Short Stories, was nominated for a Grammy Award. Siegel’s album Friday Night Session (2003) explored soul jazz and blues; in Sketches of Broadway, the singer dedicated herself to lesser-known Broadway tunes. In 2016 Janis Siegel and Nils Landgren released the album Some Other Time.
Jan Lundgren, born in Kristianstad in 1966, is considered Sweden’s best jazz pianist and one of the best in Europe as well. He began his training in classical music, but even in the late 1980s turned to the modern jazz style of Oscar Peterson and Bill Evans. In 1994 Lundgren released his first album, Conclusion, and one year later he founded the Jan Lundgren Trio, with which he released seven successful albums until 2003. Tours took him all over the world, including Japan and Australia. His innumerable performances in the USA were crowned by a concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall entitled “Swedish Jazz Salutes the USA”. In 2007 the pianist recorded the album Mare Nostrum with Richard Galliano and Paolo Fresu for the label ACT, a release that resonated widely in Germany as well. Lundgren’s style is marked by a combination of Scandinavian folk tradition with modern jazz at classical and contemporary music.
Originally from Wunsiedel in Franconia, the percussionist Wolfgang Haffner has worked with all the great names in jazz. At the early age of 18, he became a member of Albert Mangelsdorff’s band, subsequently also playing in the big bands of Peter Herbolzheimer and Klaus Doldinger’s Passport. On the long list of important artists whom he has worked with, names such as Al Jarreau, Pat Metheny, Jan Garbarek and Till Brönner stand out, just like Konstantin Wecker, Hildegard Knef, Die Fantastischen Vier and Xavier Naidoo. He has performed regularly with Nils Landgren for many years. The 52-year-old can be heard on more than 400 albums and has toured more than 100 countries ranging from Japan to the USA, from South Africa to Brazil. His most recent albums are Kind of Cool (2015) and Kind of Spain (2017). Haffner has also made a name for himself as a producer, for example for the Icelandic band Mezzoforte and the singer Max Mutzke.
This past year, Lisa Wulff, born in Hamburg in 1990, began playing electric bass at the age of 9, completed her studies in music education in jazz and jazz-related music in Bremen, during which she majored in E-bass and acoustic double bass, and began studying for a performance degree at the Hamburg Music Academy in 2013. Lisa Wulff is not only active as a sideman, but also as a studio musician and composer, touring with her own bands, e.g. the Lisa Wulff Quartet and takadoon. Concerts beyond the German borders have taken her all over Europe and to China. She has shared the stage with artists such as Bob Mintzer, the NDR Bigband, Trilok Gurtu, Nils Landgren, Curtis Stigers, Robbie Smith, Semino Rossi and Love Newkirk. In 2016 she received the Jazz Baltica Encouragement Award for her debut CD Encounters.
The junge norddeutsche philharmonie (jnp) was founded in 2010 by former members of the State Youth Orchestra of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (LJO) who wanted to continue the joy that symphonic literature had given them with a higher standard, with fellow students at the university level, thereby creating an educational platform accompanying young musicians on their way to professional careers. Today, the “young philharmonic of northern germany” is a professional network bringing together young music students from Northern Germany and young talents from that region for different projects. The musicians are supported by docents from renowned orchestras, such as the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic. After a project focusing on Mahler’s Symphony No. 7 in August 2017, the orchestra’s concerts in March 2018 focused on Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps in combination with live electronics.
The STEGREIF.orchester, headquartered in Berlin, is a pool of 24 musicians from various genres who are equally interested in the heritage of classical compositions and in free improvisation. The orchestra considers classical symphonies as a mere point of departure for new sound experiences. As a matter of principle, the musicians play everything by heart and forego a conductor. Complemented by choreographic elements, this concert form oscillates between re-composition and improvisation. The STEGREIF.orchester consciously leaves behind the concept of the “ideal” and “perfect” interpretation of a work, in favour of reacting to and shaping the current atmosphere in the concert hall. After explorations of Beethoven and Schubert, this spring the project #freebrahms – a re-examination of his Symphony No. 3 – followed. Apart from Berlin, it is also performed in Hamburg, Stuttgart and at the Festival Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
Antun Poljanich was born in Dubrovnik, Croatia. He was educated in piano, music theory and conducting in Ljubljana, Sarajevo, Graz and St. Petersburg, where he worked with several orchestras. After his return to Croatia, Antun Poljanich conducted various European orchestras, e.g. the Slovene Philharmonic Orchestra (Slovenia), the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra (Croatia), the Veneto Philharmonia (Italy), the Cadaqués Symphony Orchestra (Spain) and the Miskolc Symphony Orchestra (Hungary). Since 1996 the conductor has been living in New Zealand, performing with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and the St. Matthew’s Chamber Orchestra. In 1998 Antun Poljanich became music director of the Auckland Youth Symphony Orchestra, with which he celebrated successful concerts in New Zealand and abroad. As the music director of St. Peter’s College in Auckland, he is responsible for several programmes, including a concert band, a symphony orchestra, chamber music, choral and vocal music. In 2005 he was awarded the St. Peter’s College Scholarship for his contributions to music education in New Zealand. In 2007 Antun Poljanich returned to conduct in his native region again, leading the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra and the Slovene Philharmonic Orchestra.
Noah Rudd received his first oboe lessons at the age of nine; he currently studies at the University of Auckland in his third year. He is the principal oboe player of the New Zealand National Youth Orchestra and has worked repeatedly with professional orchestras such as the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Since 2014 Noah Rudd has been a member of the Auckland Youth Orchestra.
Starting at second half of the concert: At the festival Young Euro Classic the Mayor of Berlin presents the European Composer Award to the most deserving candidate. The award is given in recognition of the festival’s best world premiere or German premiere. It is endowed with 5.000 euros. An 11-member audience jury determines the winner. The 2017 European Composer Award was awarded to the Portugese composer Mariana Vieira for her Work “Raíz”, a Concerto for Oboe, Clarinet, Tuba, Harp, Double Bass, Marimba and Orchestra, which had its world premiere in Berlin as part of Young Euro Classic.
“Persephone” (World Premiere)
“Cartoon” Fantasy for Oboe and Orchestra (2017, German Premiere)
“Appalachian Spring” (1945)
“Finlandia” Op. 26 (1900)
The British conductor Wayne Marshall is no unknown entity to Berlin audiences. During recent years, he conducted Bernstein’s Candide and Weill’s Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny at the State Opera at the Schiller-Theater. He also conducted the Konzerthaus Orchestra and the Radio Symphony Orchestra (RSB) and appeared as the piano soloist at the Waldbühne concert of the Berlin Philharmonic under Simon Rattle. The musical career of the 57-year-old has seen many debuts during recent years, including at the Oslo Philharmonic, the Genoa Opera (West Side Story) and Dresden’s Semper Opera (The Great Gatsby). Further invitations have taken him to Vienna’s Musikverein, to Prague, San Francisco, Seoul and Taipei. During the Leonard Bernstein centennial, Wayne Marshall is conducting his works all over the world. In May 2018 he appears as an organist at a gala performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Since 2014 Marshall has been chief conductor of the WDR Funkhaus Orchestra in Cologne.
At the age of three, Charles Yang received his first lessons from his mother, a violinist in the Austin Symphony Orchestra. However, the American has steadfastly refused to conform to the expectations of a classical virtuoso career – even if he did continue his studies at the Juilliard School in New York and has performed as a soloist in many European countries and in Asia. At the age of 16, Charles Yang received his first guitar and was soon playing in a rock band, developing an interest in jazz and improvisation as well. He has recently worked with the choreographer Twyla Tharp, the ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro and rock stars such as Steve Miller and Jesse Colin Young. In 2016 Yang founded the trio “Time for Three” together with violinist Nick Kendall and bass player Ranaan Meyer, an ensemble that performs music of all epochs and styles, from Bach to Brahms, Justin Timberlake and Michael Jackson, in its own arrangements. This year the 28-year-old is the recipient of the Leonard Bernstein Award of the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival.
“On the Waterfront” Symphonic Suite (1955)
Concerto for Violin in D-Major Op. 35 (1945)
Symphonic Dances from “West Side Story” (1960)
Overture to “Candide” (1956)