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Luka Šulić

Luka Šulić
Luka Šulić. Photo by Simone Di Luca

Friday, October 01, 2021

Double Review: Johann Sebastian Bach – Goldberg Variations – Alexandra Papastefanou, Hannes Minnaar

















By Tal Agam

The Classic Review – September 28, 2021

Those who liked Alexandra Papastefanou's recent Bach recordings – the French Suites and two books of the Well-Tempered Clavier – will immediately recognize that this new recording of the Goldberg Variations comes from the same artist; Semi-improvisational style, expressive phrasing, and unashamed usage of the sustaining pedal, especially on the slower variations.

This is not a "clinical" Bach, nor is it philosophical or cold-hearted. There is a sense of spontaneity throughout, not coming out of recklessness, but out of intimate familiarity with the music. At times, though, Papastefanou can be very deliberate when trying to incorporate declamatory style, such as in the "Fughetta" of variation No.10 or the "alle breve" of variation No.22.

The ornamentations on repeats are very interesting, yet they sometimes get in the way of the melody, as in the fast variation No.5. The addition of bass notes to the final bars of the Aria da capo, reminiscent of score manipulations done by Wanda Landowska, is lost on me. And although the entire performance is flowing naturally, the transition from the "black pearl" variation to variation No.26 is rough, as if edited in. The recording quality is decent but not great – compared to Papastefanou's previous Bach recordings, the piano sound lost its edge, and in the fast variations sounds a bit muffled. An enjoyable Goldberg Variations nonetheless.

Hannes Minnaar showed impressive advocacy for romantic piano transcriptions to Bach, in his "Bach Inspirations" album of 2013, so in this case he is "back to basics" if you will, playing the original score along with a contemporary piece, Daan Manneke's "Gedanken zu Bach". There's a quiet sense of occasion in Minnaar's opening aria and following variations. His ornamentations are more subtle on repeats and although he plays some of the variations faster than Papastefanou, they never sound capricious. At 9'12" the "black pearl" variation is on the slow side but is impressively cohesive, certainly not as dragged as in Lang Lang's recent rendition.

I particularly liked Minnaar's way of differentiating between styles of variations – Variations 17 and 18 sound remarkably different yet related, as they should – and the care with which he treats each short and long notes. The recording in this case is excellent, highlighting every articulation and dynamic change. I haven't decided if the occasional emphasis on the left hand is attributed to the pianism, recording, or the instrument – a Chris Maene straight strung piano.

Out of these two Goldbergs, Minnaar better holds this masterpiece together as a complete whole, and will reveal itself more on repeated listening. Papastefanou does offer an emotional intensity that may appeal to many, if they are willing to compromise on less than ideal recorded sound.

Source: theclassicreview.com

Saturday, September 04, 2021

Luka Šulić and Evgeny Genchev at the Union Hall Maribor (HD 1080p)












Luka Šulić (cello) and Evgeny Genchev (piano) play popular melodies at the Union Hall Maribor, Slovenia, in December 2020.

Union Hall is the only preserved building of the former Götz Brewery, which was the leading brewery in Maribor since the second half of the 19th century until the First World War. In 1911, a central building was built, Götz Hall, which was already then the largest venue for events in Maribor. In 1926 Götz Brewery became part of the Ljubljana's Union Brewery; hence the name Union Hall. But Union Brewery first limited its production in Maribor, and then stopped, and the Union Hall became the property of the music society Glasbena Matica.

During the two world wars, the Union building and its hall were a place of musical activities and played an important role in the response of Slovenes to the increasing germanisation in Styria region. In 1910, Slovenes founded the music society Glasbeno društvo, which had its premises in the Union building until 1918. Its heritage was continued by Glasbena Matica – its founder was a composer and choirmaster Oskar Dev (1868-1932) – which from 1919 on organized its own choir, music school, symphonic concerts. In this context, General Rudolf Maister (1874-1934), who has a special significance in Slovene history as a fighter for the northern Slovene border, organized "The Military Music Band for the Lower Styria".

After the Second World War, since 1946, the Concert Management which today is considered to be the cultural organizer with the longest tradition in Slovenia began to organise its events in the Union Hall. Acclaimed ensembles of classical music that performed there were the Chamber Orchestra of Czech Philharmonic, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, the Moscow Philharmonic, the Leningrad Philharmonic, the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, the Borodin Quartet, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Tokyo Quartet, and the Leipzig String Quartet, etc. Conductors who performed there were Krzysztof Penderecki, Sergiu Celibidache, Mariss Janskons, Neeme Järvi, Paavo Järvi, Vasily Petrenko, Sir Roger Norrington and pianists Svjatoslav Richter and Ivo Pogorelić, violinist Julian Rachlin, baritone Christian Gerhaher, violinists Hilary Hahn and Sarah Chang, cellos Antonio Janigro, Miša Majski and Nicolas Altstaedt, violist Jurij Bašmet, mezzo-soprano Marjana Lipovšek, soprano Bernarda Bobro, jazz musicians Lester Bowie and Sam Rivers and many others.

Source: culture.si/en/Union_Hall_Maribor



MUSIC. ACTUALLY (Special Concert)

1. Ave Maria (Johann Sebastian Bach / Charles Gounod) [0:40]*
2. The Four Seasons – Winter, i. (Antonio Vivaldi) [3:36]
3. A Thousand Years (Christina Perri) [6:58]
4. Gymnopédie No.1 (Erik Satie) [10:56]
5. Comptine d'un autre été from Amelie (Yann Tiersen) [14:24]
6. Clair de Lune (Claude Debussy) [18:10]
7. Una Mattina (Ludovico Einaudi) [22:55]
8. On the Nature of Daylight (Max Richter) [26:16]
9. Arrival of the Birds (The Cinematic Orchestra) [32:30]
10. You Raise Me Up (Secret Garden) [35:54]
11. Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana) [41:06]

Luka Šulić, cello
Evgeny Genchev, piano

Video Production by Giulio Ladini & Kleva Films
Directed by Giulio Ladini
Audio by Matterhorn Music  Zagreb
Lighting design by Črt Birsa – Blackout
Produced by VignaPr, AND Production and Luka Šulić

Union Hall Maribor, Slovenia, December 2020

* Start time of each work

(HD 1080p)













Luka Šulić is a virtuoso cello player, well known throughout the world combining classical and crossover performances. Currently he's performing a solo classical project focused on  "The Four Seasons" by Antonio Vivaldi, as he is the first musician in history to perform integrally The Four Seasons on the cello. His first solo album (Vivaldi Four Seasons) was released by Sony Classical on October 25th 2019 and it debuted at #1 of Billboard Classical Albums Chart in the USA. He has given a number of solo concerts in Europe, South America and Asia, in major venues such as Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Teatro dal Verme in Milan, Vienna Musikverein and Konzerthaus, Berlin Philharmonic, Suntory Hall in Tokyo and many others.

As a member of internationally acclaimed super group 2Cellos, Luka has toured globally for many years with Sir Elton John, performing with him and opening his shows in massive arenas and stadiums. Apart from their own sold out arena tours 2Cellos have performed at prestigious venues and events such as Madison Square Garden, Paris Olympia, Sydney Opera House, Arena di Verona, Queen's Diamond Jubilee, UEFA Champions League Final, FIFA Ballon d'OR and the Emmy Awards to mention just a few. Onstage, their collaborators have included the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Queens of the Stone Age, George Michael, Zucchero, Steve Vai and Lang Lang. They also performed and recorded with orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and appeared on major TV shows such as the Today Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Ellen DeGeneres Show (multiple times), TV Total with Stefan Raab, GLEE, Good Morning America and many others. Together with superstar pianist Lang Lang, they appeared on the CCTV New Year's Gala for more than 1 billion viewers.

Šulić began his musical education in Maribor when he was five years old. When he was fifteen, he became one of the youngest students ever to enter the Music Academy in Zagreb in the class of Professor Valter Dešpalj, where he graduated aged only 18. He continued his education in Vienna with Professor Reinhard Latzko. Šulić finished his master's degree with distinction at the Royal Academy of Music in London in 2011. He won series of top prizes at the prestigious international music competitions including first and special prize at the VII Lutosławski International Cello Competition in Warsaw (2009), first prize at the European Broadcasting Union "New Talent" Competition (2006) and first prize at the Royal Academy of Music Patron's Award in Wigmore Hall (2011).

Source: lukasulic.com


B
ulgarian pianist Evgeny Genchev (b. 1989) has been steadily gaining wider recognition and critical acclaim. He has given numerous performances across Europe, North America, Asia and Australia, and has won prizes at more than fifteen national and international piano competitions.

Evgeny has appeared on TV channels such as RTL, ARD, ZDF, Deutsche Welle, Pro7 among others. He has also performed on shows such as Heidi Klum's Next Top Model, MoMa, Willkommen 2017 (at Brandenburg Gate for over 800 thousand people), PaRus Festival, Dubai alongside Luka Šulić and Filip Kirkorov, Helene Fischer Christmas Show alongside Helene Fischer and Schlagerbooom  alongside Andreas Gabalier.

Genchev has performed in many renowned concerts halls: Kaufman Centre, New York; Philharmonie, Munich; Alte Oper, Frankfurt; Bridgewater Hall, Manchester; Mercedes-Benz Arena, Berlin; Centro Nacional de las Artes, Mexico City; Westfalenhallen, Dortmund; LSO St Luke's and Milton Court Hall, London; Glinka Philharmonic Hall, St Petersburg; Philharmonic Hall, Warsaw; National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Beijing; and National Palace of Culture, Sofia.

In recent seasons he performed with the Orquesta Filarmónica de la UNAM (OFUNAM) in Mexico City, the Polish Baltic Frederic Chopin Philharmonic in Gdansk, the LISMA Festival Orchestra in New York, OSUANL in Monterrey, and the Plovdiv Symphony Orchestra, collaborating with conductors such as Massimiliano Caldi, Arkady Leytush, Jesus Medina, Yan-Pascal Tortelier and Jan Latham-Koenig.

Evgeny Genchev was born in Bulgaria and began his piano studies at the Dobrin Petkov National School of Music and Dance. On completion of his course, Genchev was presented with the Dobrin Petkov Grand Award for Achievements in Music. Genchev continued his education at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and the International Piano Academy "Incontri col Maestro" in Imola, Italy. He has also finished the Artist Diploma programme at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London after graduating with distinction from the Master in Performance course.

Source: evgenygenchevpiano.com























Friday, September 03, 2021

Violinist Igor Oistrakh has died


 












Son of the renowned musician David Oistrakh, the violinist and educator lived to the age of 90

The Strad — September 1, 2021

Violinist Igor Oistrakh has died at the age of 90. He was born in 1931 in Odessa, Ukraine, the son of Tamara Rotareva and acclaimed violinist David Oistrakh.

After initial musical studies with his father, Oistrakh studied at the Central Music School in Moscow, followed by tuition at the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory. He won the Budapest International Violin Competition in 1949, as well as the Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition in Poland in 1952.

As well as an international solo career, Oistrakh was a dedicated teacher, joining the faculty of the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory in 1958. Since 1996, he was a violin professor at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels. He retained a wealth of awards and appointments throughout his career, including Fellow of the Royal College of Music, London, Presidency of the Russian section of the European String Teachers Association, honorary member of the Beethoven Society in Bonn and the Jascha Heifetz Society, as well as having the unique honour of having an asteroid named after him and his father – the 42516 Oistrach.

With his pianist wife Natalia Zertsalova, he recorded many staples of violin repertoire, including the complete Mozart and Beethoven violin sonatas, as well as works by Bach, Paganini and Prokofiev. Their son Valery continues the family line of violin playing and is also a violin professor at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels.

Source: thestrad.com


Watch Igor and David Oistrakh perform Bach Concerto for Two Violins in D minor.


Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

♪ Concerto for Two Violins in D minor, BWV 1043 (1730)

i. Vivace [00:00]*
ii. Largo ma non tanto [04:11]
iii. Allegro [11:30]

David Oistrakh & Igor Oistrakh, violins

Moscow Chamber Orchestra

Moscow, 1974

* Start time of each movement



















Thursday, September 02, 2021

Renowned composer Mikis Theodorakis dies















Kathimerini — September 2, 2021

Greek veteran composer and political activist Mikis Theodorakis, who was instrumental in raising global awareness of Greece's plight during the 1967-1974 military dictatorship, has died at the age of 96.

Born on the island of Chios, on 29 July 1925, he studied music in Athens and later Paris.

His work ranges from rousing songs based on major Greek poetic works, many of which remain left-wing anthems for decades, to symphonies and film scores.

He composed perhaps the most recognizable Greek music internationally, the syrtaki from the film "Zorba the Greek" (1964), while his songs were performed by famous artists, such as The Beatles, Shirley Bassey and Edith Piaf. He composed the scores in films such as "Z" (1969), which won the BAFTA Prize for original music, "Phaedra" (1962), which included songs with lyrics by Nikos Gatsos, and "Serpiko" (1973), for which he was nominated for a Grammy in 1975 (he claimed the same award for his music "Zorba the Greek" in 1966).

Theodorakis also composed the "Mauthausen Trilogy"  also known as "The Ballad of Mauthausen", and the "Mauthausen Cantata" – a cycle of four arias with lyrics based on poems written by Greek poet Iakovos Kambanellis, a Mauthausen concentration camp survivor.

A very outspoken political activist, he joined a reserve unit of ELAS, the military arm of the left-wing National Liberation Front (EAM) during the period of the Greek resistance against the Nazi occupation, and led a troop in the fight against the British and the Greek right in the "Dekemvriana". During the Greek Civil War he was arrested, sent into exile on the island of Icaria and then deported to the island of Makronisos, where he was tortured.

Theodorakis had long-standing ties to the Communist Party of Greece of which he was an MP from 1981 to 1990. However, in 1989 he ran as an independent candidate with the right-wing New Democracy and became a minister in 1990 under Constantine Mitsotakis (father of the current Greek prime minister), only to resign in March 1992.

In later years, he was repeatedly hospitalized due to health problems and in 2019 underwent heart surgery to place a pacemaker.

Source: ekathimerini.com



Theme from "Zorba The Greek" (1964)

Music by Mikis Theodorakis
Directed by Michael Cacoyannis




Theme from "Les amants de Teruel" (1962)

Interpreted by Edith Piaf

Music by Mikis Theodorakis
Directed by Jacques Plante 




"The Honeymoon Song"

Interpreted by Beatles
Music by Mikis Theodorakis

Live at the BBC for "Pop Go The Beatles", August 6, 1963




"The Train Leaves At Eight" (1971)

Interpreted by The Walkabouts (2000)
Music by Mikis Theodorakis




















Monday, August 30, 2021

Jan Lisiecki releases new album of Frédéric Chopin's Complete Nocturnes























When you begin playing an instrument, there is music that draws you in and propels you – those works you aspire to one day, maybe, hopefully play. Many of these will be challenging, technically demanding pieces, to which your early abilities will be no match. But Chopin's Nocturnes can provide an early introduction to the kaleidoscope of his inventive and enthralling music. It is thus that I was introduced
to Chopin at a young age, with his first Nocturne (Op.9/1), spending many hours searching for the secrets hidden within. I was enamoured, and through the years of becoming better acquainted with my instrument – a process that continues to this day – Chopin's Nocturnes have kept me company.

They embody what I cherish most in his music: the yearning, captivating melody, the framework he provides for flexibility, the endless fresh ideas. Chopin was a master of the piano, using its full range of tonal possibilities while spinning long, melodic, cantabile phrases over a rich harmonization.

The Nocturnes hail from the night – a magical time of endless possibilities – and present a personal story from the interpreter to the listener. They are a canvas, a sphere to dive deep into one's own emotions and thoughts.

Yet, most importantly, they remain elegant and simple. After all, as Chopin himself said: "Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art".

Jan Lisiecki

Source: CD Booklet

















Jan Lisiecki releases new album of Chopin's Complete Nocturnes

By Ellie Palmer

Pianist Magazine — August 16, 2021

This is the pianist's eighth release on the Deutsche Grammophon label.

Recorded in October 2020 at Berlin's historic Meistersaal – Chopin: Complete Nocturnes not only captures the spirit of Chopin's pianism, but also represents the time and circumstances in which it was made, as Lisiecki himself explains: "I'm the first to question why we should record something that has been recorded many times before. But music only lives through performance and is different every time we hear it, even when it's a recording. I think there was something for me to say with this album. It reflects on the last year and my thoughts on that as well as on the escape and understanding that music gives us".

It was through the Nocturnes that the Canadian first discovered Chopin  he recalls falling in love with Op.9 No.1 as a child and being enchanted by its yearning melody. The piece, the first of 21 nocturnes the composer wrote between the late 1820s and 1847, offered a glimpse of a vast universe of emotions, expressions, musical gestures and tonal colours. It also prepared the way for the brilliant student to explore the piano's lyrical side.

It was one thing for the young Jan to play the notes of the simpler Nocturnes, quite another for him to understand their ethos. A turning point came when his teacher asked him to name the three elements of music. Melody and harmony instantly sprang to mind. But the third eluded him. "I thought about it and eventually said ‘line’", remembers Lisiecki. "Rhythm had completely escaped me! It was the least important thing for me when I was 11 or 12. Since then, of course, I've come to appreciate just how vital it is: rhythm serves the melodic line."

Chopin, he adds, far exceeded the boundaries of what his contemporaries considered possible on the piano, especially in terms of the singing line. Unlike the human voice, the piano can play the longest melody without the need to take a breath; like a singer, the pianist has to shape phrases and give emotional light to melodies. "Chopin's music flows by itself in a sense, but you need to feel instinctively where things are placed", he says. "It's about striking the balance between allowing the music to flow naturally and knowing subconsciously where it should go."

At 26 years old, the pianist can already count some of the world's best orchestras among his list of collaborations. He's worked with the likes of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Filarmonica della Scala, Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra for performances at Carnegie Hall and Elbphilharmonie Hamburg. Lisiecki has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Staatskapelle Dresden, Orchestre de Paris, Bavarian Radio Symphony and London Symphony Orchestra.

Source: pianistmagazine.com
























Chopin's Complete Nocturnes by Jan Lisiecki – Review

By Azusa Ueno

The Classic Review — August 27, 2021

In Jan Lisiecki's own forward to his release of the Chopin Nocturnes, he includes a quotation from the composer: "Simplicity is the final achievement". While these works collectively embrace many different personas, what Chopin may have been pointing to was the simple beauty that lies at the heart of each. And indeed, he communicates this to us 
 wistfully and sometimes passionately – but always directly.

The Op.15 Nocturnes are among the composer's earliest; however, they already show his proclivity for creating multidimensionality despite the straightforward relationships between textures and lines. The No.1 in F major (track 4), for instance, is not musically complicated per se, and the performer adds to this simplicity a peaceful and innocent charm. The opening has us almost convinced that it's an extended, soothing lullaby. An unexpected surprise awaits, however, in the form of a brief but tempestuous middle section. The pianist's juxtaposition of these characters is stark and effective, and they appear to embody two different sides of the night.

Lisiecki's performance of the No.2 in F sharp major (track 5) has a delightfully improvisatory feel to it, and not just through the melody's fluid embellishments. The work as a whole flows naturally, embracing the piece's coy personality as well as its bit of drama. Despite the clear compositional divide between sections, we're never made to feel that they really exist: each moment plays its role in building a larger story.

The well-loved Op.27 No.2 (track 8) is, in some ways, hard to pull off well despite its friendly and inviting nature. Play it too quickly, and it sounds brusque; too slowly, and it drags into oblivion. This interpretation gets the balance just right: while it's on the slower side, it is not at all analytical or pedantic. The contemplation in Lisiecki's delivery lets us experience what is comforting and reassuring. There are some interesting comparisons to be made here, including Maurizio Pollini's equally solid 2005 DG recording. Not only is Pollini's version considerably faster, but it's also more extroverted with some "snap" and flair in the dotted rhythms of the minor-key moments.

Op.48 shows a pianist who has explored the possibilities that each work in the set has to offer. In the No.1 C minor (track 13), for example, Lisiecki displays an impressive sensitivity (though deft changes in tone quality) to the composer's equally stunning use of harmonic color. There are some nice bends and twists in the rubato, but he is mindful to keep it from sounding maudlin or contrived. Here, too, the element of simplicity comes through perfectly by way of his evocative cantabile melody. The recapitulation does take the agitato to a greater level than I would have necessarily preferred, but the result is still convincing. We now hear the same opening melody in a much more turbulent light – one that speaks powerfully to the finale's sweeping passion.

Though the following 
F sharp minor (track 14) may be less dramatic, the performer approaches it with equal attention to detail. The opening section is steeped in plaintiveness, but the interpretation also draws out an inquisitiveness: Lisiecki's melodies seem to be in thoughtful search of something. At the same time, however, he retains the communicative character of the lines. The accompaniment is a gentle but supportive whisper against the upper voice, which shines through beautifully.

The sound engineering helps bring out the minute shades and nuances of both pianist and piano. The fact that the album was recorded in a studio as opposed to a larger concert hall also gives the impression of an instrument up-close, which is quite appropriate for the intimate nature of this genre. The liner notes are the only thing I found a bit disappointing, as they fall somewhat short in breadth. Certain nocturnes are discussed in some detail but others are more or less passed over with general commentary that needs more insight. This aside, the album spotlights Lisiecki's insightful artistry and the rapport and affinity he has for the music. An album to savor.

Source: theclassicreview.com
























Photos by Stefano Galuzzi


Friday, August 27, 2021

Luka Šulić and Evgeny Genchev at No Borders Music Festival (HD 1080p)
















Luka Šulić (cello) and Evgeny Genchev (piano) play popular melodies at No Borders Music Festival, at Fusine Lakes in Tarvisio, Italy, on July 25, 2020.

The No Borders Music Festival is a music festival which has become a unique "vehicle" in the Region and in the entire "Without Borders" area for black music, soul, unconventional jazz, afro-music, advanced dance, which attracts fans from all over the world, not just from Italy, but from all over Europe. The program aims to promote music as a form of culture and a means of communication which enriches and is understood by everyone, exceeding ethnic linguistic, social and political boundaries. The Festival is a vehicle of boundless musical experiences; it has no boundaries regarding the musical genre, ranging from classical music to jazz, or the social and geographical heritage of the invited artists.



1. Nuvole Bianche (Ludovico Einaudi, 2010) [0:00]*
2. Shallow (Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper, 2018) [5:24]
3. The Sound of Silence (Simon & Garfunkel, 1964) [9:02]
4. Nothing Else Matters (Metallica, 1992) [11:59]
5. Numb (Linkin Park, 2003) [15:16]
6. Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen, 1984) [19:18]
7. Cinema Paradiso (Ennio Morricone, 1988) [24:40]
8. Caruso (Lucio Dalla, 1986) [28:13]
9. Csárdás (Vittorio Monti, 1904) [32:24]
10. Hungarian Dance No.5 (Johannes Brahms, 1879) [36:35]
11. Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen, 1975) [39:26]
12. Love of My Life (Queen, 1975) [45:32]
13. Chandelier (Sia, 2014) [49:09]
14. We Are the Champions (Queen, 1977) [52:38]
15. Bella ciao (folk song) [55:40]

Luka Šulić, cello
Evgeny Genchev, piano 

Directed and edited by Giulio C. Ladini
Video crew: Kleva Films
2nd Camera Unit: Hari Bertoja
Drone operator: Enrico M. Lucarelli

No Borders Music Festival, Fusine Lakes in Tarvisio, Italy, July 25, 2020

* Start time of each work

(HD 1080p)


Luka Šulić is a virtuoso cello player, well known throughout the world combining classical and crossover performances. Currently he's performing a solo classical project focused on  "The Four Seasons" by Antonio Vivaldi, as he is the first musician in history to perform integrally The Four Seasons on the cello. His first solo album (Vivaldi Four Seasons) was released by Sony Classical on October 25th 2019 and it debuted at #1 of Billboard Classical Albums Chart in the USA. He has given a number of solo concerts in Europe, South America and Asia, in major venues such as Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Teatro dal Verme in Milan, Vienna Musikverein and Konzerthaus, Berlin Philharmonic, Suntory Hall in Tokyo and many others.

As a member of internationally acclaimed super group 2Cellos, Luka has toured globally for many years with Sir Elton John, performing with him and opening his shows in massive arenas and stadiums. Apart from their own sold out arena tours 2Cellos have performed at prestigious venues and events such as Madison Square Garden, Paris Olympia, Sydney Opera House, Arena di Verona, Queen's Diamond Jubilee, UEFA Champions League Final, FIFA Ballon d'OR and the Emmy Awards to mention just a few. Onstage, their collaborators have included the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Queens of the Stone Age, George Michael, Zucchero, Steve Vai and Lang Lang. They also performed and recorded with orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and appeared on major TV shows such as the Today Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Ellen DeGeneres Show (multiple times), TV Total with Stefan Raab, GLEE, Good Morning America and many others. Together with superstar pianist Lang Lang, they appeared on the CCTV New Year's Gala for more than 1 billion viewers.

Šulić began his musical education in Maribor when he was five years old. When he was fifteen, he became one of the youngest students ever to enter the Music Academy in Zagreb in the class of Professor Valter Dešpalj, where he graduated aged only 18. He continued his education in Vienna with Professor Reinhard Latzko. Šulić finished his master's degree with distinction at the Royal Academy of Music in London in 2011. He won series of top prizes at the prestigious international music competitions including first and special prize at the VII Lutosławski International Cello Competition in Warsaw (2009), first prize at the European Broadcasting Union "New Talent" Competition (2006) and first prize at the Royal Academy of Music Patron's Award in Wigmore Hall (2011).

Source: lukasulic.com


Bulgarian pianist Evgeny Genchev (b. 1989) has been steadily gaining wider recognition and critical acclaim. He has given numerous performances across Europe, North America, Asia and Australia, and has won prizes at more than fifteen national and international piano competitions.

Evgeny has appeared on TV channels such as RTL, ARD, ZDF, Deutsche Welle, Pro7 among others. He has also performed on shows such as Heidi Klum's Next Top Model, MoMa, Willkommen 2017 (at Brandenburg Gate for over 800 thousand people), PaRus Festival, Dubai alongside Luka Šulić and Filip Kirkorov, Helene Fischer Christmas Show alongside Helene Fischer and Schlagerbooom  alongside Andreas Gabalier.

Genchev has performed in many renowned concerts halls: Kaufman Centre, New York; Philharmonie, Munich; Alte Oper, Frankfurt; Bridgewater Hall, Manchester; Mercedes-Benz Arena, Berlin; Centro Nacional de las Artes, Mexico City; Westfalenhallen, Dortmund; LSO St Luke's and Milton Court Hall, London; Glinka Philharmonic Hall, St Petersburg; Philharmonic Hall, Warsaw; National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Beijing; and National Palace of Culture, Sofia.

In recent seasons he performed with the Orquesta Filarmónica de la UNAM (OFUNAM) in Mexico City, the Polish Baltic Frederic Chopin Philharmonic in Gdansk, the LISMA Festival Orchestra in New York, OSUANL in Monterrey, and the Plovdiv Symphony Orchestra, collaborating with conductors such as Massimiliano Caldi, Arkady Leytush, Jesus Medina, Yan-Pascal Tortelier and Jan Latham-Koenig.

Evgeny Genchev was born in Bulgaria and began his piano studies at the Dobrin Petkov National School of Music and Dance. On completion of his course, Genchev was presented with the Dobrin Petkov Grand Award for Achievements in Music. Genchev continued his education at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and the International Piano Academy "Incontri col Maestro" in Imola, Italy. He has also finished the Artist Diploma programme at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London after graduating with distinction from the Master in Performance course.

Source: evgenygenchevpiano.com

























































Photos by Simone Di Luca

More photos


See also



Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Robert Schumann: Piano Quartet in E flat major, & Piano Quintet in E flat major | Johann Sebastian Bach: Five Fugues from Das Wohltemperierte Klavier, Vol. 2, arrangement for string quartet by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Isabelle Faust, Anne-Katharina Schreiber, Antoine Tamestit, Jean-Guihen Queyra, Alexander Melnikov (HD 1080p)














Isabelle Faust (violin), Anne-Katharina Schreiber (violin), Antoine Tamestit (viola), Jean-Guihen Queyra (cello), and Alexander Melnikov (period piano), play Robert Schumann's Piano Quartet in E flat major, Op.47, and Piano Quintet in E flat major, Op.44, and Johann Sebastian Bach's Five Fugues from Das Wohltemperierte Klavier, Vol. 2, arrangement for string quartet by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, KV.405. Recorded at the 17th Chopin and his Europe International Music Festival, at Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall, on August 18, 2021.



Robert Schumann (1810-1856)

♪ 
Piano Quartet in E flat major, Op.47 (1842) [7:06]*

i. Sostenuto assai - Allegro ma non troppo 
ii. Scherzo. Molto vivace
iii. Andante cantabile
iv. Finale. Vivace


Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

♪ Five Fugues from Das Wohltemperierte Klavier, Vol. 2, arrangement for string quartet by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), KV.405 (1782) [38:56]

i. Fugue in C minor, KV.405 No.1 (after BWV 871)
ii. Fugue in E flat major, KV.405 No.2 (after BWV 876)
iii. Fugue in E major, KV.405 No.3 (after BWV 878)
iv. Fugue in D minor, KV.405 No.4 (after BWV 877)
v. Fugue in D major, KV.405 No.5 (after BWV 874)


Robert Schumann

♪ Piano Quintet in E flat major, Op.44 (1842) [54:45]

i. Allegro brillante
ii. In modo d'una marcia: Un poco largamente – Agitato
iii. Scherzo: Molto vivace
iv. Allegro, ma non troppo


Encore:

Szymon Laks (1901-1983)

♪ Piano Quintet on Popular Polish Themes (1945) [1:28:15]

iii. Vivace non troppo


* Start time of each work


Isabelle Faust, violin
Anne-Katharina Schreiber, violin
Antoine Tamestit, viola
Jean-Guihen Queyra, cello
Alexander Melnikov, period piano

17th Chopin and his Europe International Music Festival, Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall, August 18, 2021

(HD 1080p)















Isabelle Faust fascinates audiences with her outstanding musical interpretations, imbued with profundity and intense playing. She dives deep into every piece, considering its historical context and suitable instruments. She complements this sense of authenticity with the need to approach a composition from the present.

After winning the renowned Leopold Mozart Competition and the Paganini Competition at a very early age, she began appearing regularly with the world's major orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra. Close and sustained collaborations with conductors including Claudio Abbado, Giovanni Antonini, Frans Brüggen, John Eliot Gardiner, Bernard Haitink, Daniel Harding, Philippe Herreweghe, Andris Nelsons and Robin Ticciati have likewise evolved.

Isabelle Faust's artistic curiosity embraces all eras and forms of musical collaboration. As well as performing the major symphonic violin concertos, she also plays works such as Schubert's Octet on historical instruments, Kurtág's Kafka-Fragmente with Anna Prohaska and Stravinsky's L'Histoire du soldat with Dominique Horwitz. She is also committed to contemporary music and will give the premieres of works by Peter Eötvös, Brett Dean, Ondřej Adámek and Oscar Strasnoy over the coming seasons.

Her recordings have been unanimously praised by critics, as well as being awarded the Diapason d'Or, the Gramophone Award, the Choc de l'année du Monde de la Musique and various other prizes. Her most recent recordings include Bach's violin concertos with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin and Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor Op.64 with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and Pablo Heras-Casado. In 2018 a recording of Bach's sonatas for violin and harpsichord was released in collaboration with Kristian Bezuidenhout. Isabelle Faust's other acclaimed recordings include Bach's solo violin sonatas and partitas, as well as the Beethoven and Berg violin concertos with Claudio Abbado. She enjoys a long-standing collaboration with pianist Alexander Melnikov and their recordings include sonatas for piano and violin by Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms.

This season, Isabelle Faust is artist in residence at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels.















During her studies in Freiburg with Rainer Kussmaul, violinist Anne Katharina Schreiber became a member of the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra in 1988, with whom she has given concerts around the world and recorded numerous CDs. She also continues to be active as a soloist, concertmaster and director of her own projects. She collaborates regularly with ensembles in both the Baroque and modern repertoire, including ensemble recherche, the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, the Basel Chamber Orchestra and Collegium Vocale Gent under conductors such as René Jacobs, Pablo Heras-Casado, Marcus Creed and Philippe Herreweghe.

She also has a great love of chamber music. For over 20 years, she has been a member of Trio Vivente, with whom she has recorded numerous highly acclaimed recordings. As well as works by Haydn and Schubert, her discs include piano trios by Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn, released in 2013, and a 2017 CD of piano trios by the long-forgotten Romantic composer Emilie Mayer, which demonstrated the Trio’s commitment to rediscovering neglected repertoire, as well as contemporary music. Anne Katharina Schreiber is also a sought-after chamber music partner for various other groups, collaborating with musicians such as Isabelle Faust, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Daniel Sepec and Roel Dieltiens.

Anne Katharina Schreiber is frequently asked to conduct guest projects with the Basel Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Resonanz and the Norsk Barokkorkester Oslo. She is also the concertmaster of the Orchestra of Collegium Vocale Gent. She has been teaching at the University of Music in Freiburg since 2007.















Antoine Tamestit is recognized internationally as one of the most important viola players. As a soloist and a chamber musician, he is known for his unsurpassed technique and the beauty of his sound. His broad repertoire ranges from the Baroque to the present day. His engagement with contemporary music is reflected in numerous world premieres and recordings, including Thierry Escaich's La Nuit des chants, Bruno Mantovani's Concerto pour deux altos et orchestre and Olga Neuwirth's Remnants of songs... an Amphigory and Weariness heals Wounds. One of the works commissioned by Antoine Tamestit is Jörg Widmann's Viola Concerto and he gave the premiere in 2015 with the Orchestre de Paris and Paavo Järvi. He has appeared as a soloist with such renowned orchestras as the Czech Philharmonic, the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, the WDR Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre National de France, the Philharmonia Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, working with well-known conductors including Valery Gergiev, Riccardo Muti, Daniel Harding, Marek Janowski, Antonio Pappano, François-Xavier Roth, Emmanuel Krivine and Franz Welser-Möst.

In the 2020-2021 season Antoine Tamestit has been invited to perform with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya, the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National de France and the Orchestre de Paris.

He founded the Trio Zimmermann with Frank Peter Zimmermann and Christian Poltéra. Other chamber music partners include Nicholas Angelich, Gautier Capuçon, Martin Fröst, Leonidas Kavakos, Nikolai Lugansky, Emmanuel Pahud, Francesco Piemontesi, Christian Tetzlaff, Cédric Tiberghien, Yuja Wang, Jörg Widmann, Shai Wosner as well as the Quatuor Ébène and the Hagen Quartet.

Antoine Tamestit records for harmonia mundi and recently released a CD of works by Brahms with Cédric Tiberghien. Other notable recordings include Jörg Widmann's Viola Concerto with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Harding, which was released in February 2018.

He plays a viola by Antonio Stradivari from 1672, loaned by the Habisreutinger Foundation.















The work of cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras is characterized by his curiosity, diversity and firm focus on the music itself, whether on the concert platform or on record. He learned his interpretative approach from Pierre Boulez, with whom he established a long artistic partnership.

He is as thorough in his approach to early music, including continuing collaborations with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, as he is to contemporary music. He has given the world premieres of works by composers such as Ivan Fedele, Gilbert Amy, Bruno Mantovani, Michael Jarrell, Johannes Maria Staud, Thomas Larcher, Tristan Murail and Peter Eötvös.

The versatility of his music-making has led to invitations to be artist in residence at many concert halls and festivals, including the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, the TivoliVredenburg in Utrecht, the De Bijloke Music Centre in Ghent and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg.

Jean-Guihen Queyras was a founding member of the Arcanto Quartet and forms a celebrated trio with Isabelle Faust and Alexander Melnikov. He also works frequently with Alexandre Tharaud.
Jean-Guihen Queyras is a regular guest with such renowned orchestras as the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris and the London Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra. He has worked with conductors such as Iván Fischer, Philippe Herreweghe, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, François-Xavier Roth, John Eliot Gardiner and Roger Norrington.

Jean-Guihen Queyras's discography comprises many acclaimed recordings, including performances of cello concertos by Elgar, Dvořák, Philippe Schœller and Gilbert Amy. His CDs of works by C.P.E. Bach and Vivaldi was released in 2018. Jean-Guihen Queyras records exclusively for harmonia mundi.

Highlights of the 2020-2021 season include performances with the Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo and the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, as well as concerts with the Belcea Quartet, Tabea Zimmermann, Alexander Melnikov and Isabelle Faust. He was also artist in residence at Radio France.

Jean-Guihen Queyras holds a professorship at the University of Music in Freiburg and is artistic director of the Rencontres Musicales de Haute-Provence Festival. He plays a 1696 instrument by Gioffredo Cappa, made available by the Mécénat Musical Société Générale.















Alexander Melnikov graduated from the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory, where he studied with Lev Naumov. His most formative musical moments include an early encounter with Sviatoslav Richter, who regularly invited him to festivals in Russia and France.

Known for his unusual musical and programmatic decisions, Alexander Melnikov developed a career-long interest in historically-informed performance practice early on. His major influences in this field include Andreas Staier and Alexei Lubimov, with whom he has worked on numerous projects. He regularly performs with well-known early music ensembles including the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, musicAeterna and the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin.

As a soloist, Alexander Melnikov has performed with the Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Munich Philharmonic, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the BBC Philharmonic. He has worked with conductors such as Mikhail Pletnev, Teodor Currentzis, Charles Dutoit, Paavo Järvi, Thomas Dausgaard and Valery Gergiev.

Together with Andreas Staier, Alexander Melnikov recorded an all-Schubert programme of four-hand pieces, which they have also performed in concert. Another essential part of his work is his intensive chamber music collaborations with partners such as cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras.

Concerts with his long-standing duo partner Isabelle Faust are also extremely important to him. Their complete account of the Beethoven violin sonatas on harmonia mundi has become a benchmark recording and was awarded the Gramophone Award and nominated for a Grammy. Their recording of the Brahms violin sonatas was released in 2015, followed by the Mozart sonatas in 2018.
During the 2021-2022 season Alexander Melnikov presents his Many Pianos project, a solo recital performed on different instruments that reflect the periods in which the works were written. Other highlights include appearances at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, recitals in Dortmund and Tokyo and concerts with the Cuarteto Casals, Isabelle Faust and Jean-Guihen Queyras.


Biographies, Source: salzburgerfestspiele.at