Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra

Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra
Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Dmitri Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No.1 in E flat major – Alexander Warenberg, Symphony Orchestra of the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, Judith Kubitz

The young Dutch cellist Alexander Warenberg (b. 1998, Voorburg) plays Dmitri Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No.1 in E flat major, Op.107, with Symphony Orchestra of the Conservatorium van Amsterdam under τhe German-born, Sorbian musician and conductor Judith Kubitz. Recorded in Concert Hall of the 21st Century in Amsterdam, on October 25, 2016.

Alexander Warenberg has won the National Cello Competition 2016. He also won the Audience Prize. The jury praised his exceptional talent and musicality. Alexander studied with Monique Bartels at the Sweelinck Academy for young talents and the preparatory programme and currently studies in Germany.

The National Cello Competition is inextricably linked to the Cello Biennale Amsterdam. Dutch or in The Netherlands studying cello talent may present themselves in three rounds to an international jury.

The Cello Concerto No.1 in E flat major, Op.107, was composed in 1959 by Dmitri Shostakovich. It is perhaps the most popular 20th Century cello concerto. Shostakovich wrote the work for his friend Mstislav Rostropovich, who committed it to memory in four days and gave the premiere on October 4, 1959, with Yevgeny Mravinsky conducting the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra in the Large Hall of the Leningrad Conservatory. The first recording was made in two days following the premiere by Rostropovich and the Moscow Philharmonic, under the baton of Aleksandr Gauk.

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975)

♪ Cello Concerto No.1 in E flat major, Op.107 (1959)

i. Allegretto
ii. Moderato
iii. Cadenza – Attacca
iv. Allegro con moto

Alexander Warenberg, cello

Symphony Orchestra of the Conservatorium van Amsterdam
Conductor: Judith Kubitz

National Cello Competition, Cello Biennale Amsterdam, Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ (Concert Hall of the 21st Century, Amsterdam), October 25, 2016

(HD 720p)

See also

Dmitri Shostakovich – All the posts

Monday, March 27, 2017

Edward Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor – Truls Mørk, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Edward Gardner (HD 1080p)

The famous Norwegian cellist Truls Mørk plays Edward Elgar's Cello Concerto in E minor with Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra under English conductor Edward Gardner. Recorded in Concertgebouw on January 22, 2017.

Edward Elgar (1857-1934)

♪ Cello Concerto in E minor, Op.85 (1919)

i. Adagio – Moderato
ii. Lento – Allegro molto
iii.. Adagio
iv. Allegro – Moderato – Allegro, ma non troppo – Poco più lento – Adagio

Truls Mørk, cello

Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Edward Gardner

Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, January 22, 2017

(HD 1080p)

Edward Elgar's Concerto for cello and orchestra in E minor, from the year 1919, is the last major work the composer penned (a Third Symphony remained in draft form at his death in 1934). While the instrumental forces remain basically equivalent to those used in the Violin Concerto, Elgar has amplified the tender, searching intimacy of that earlier work to such a degree that one might call the Cello Concerto not just introspective but searing and almost ascetic. It is an exceedingly complex but immediately touching work that makes a fitting epilogue to Elgar's lifetime in music.

The Concerto is poured into a four-movement mold, yet still takes only about half an hour to perform – far less than any of Elgar's other large instrumental works. This restraint is mirrored by remarkably transparent orchestration. The work begins with four bars of solo cello recitative that firmly outline the home key of E minor. The subsequent Moderato entrance of the orchestra offers little immediate support for that key, really winding down to the tonic only after six bars of restless 9/8 melody built on a single rhythmic cell. During the 12/8 middle section Elgar makes good use of the contrast between E minor and E major. A recapitulation of the opening is made, but soon enough the movement has dissolved into a handful of uncertain pizzicati.

Elgar brings back the opening recitative, much altered (and buoyantly beginning where the first movement's pizzicati left off), to begin the following Scherzo. After twice pleading with the orchestra to join its cause, the cello finally rouses the group into an eighth note driven perpetual motion (Allegro molto). Elgar paints a miniature portrait of his own very characteristic lyric style in the relatively brief E flat major second theme.

A wonderful melody in B flat major is sung by the soloist throughout the Adagio third movement. Here Elgar's indebtedness to Schumann, the slow movement of whose own cello concerto also employs this song without words approach, is clearly evident. The life span of this one melodic strand is a bare 60 bars, yet it conveys deeper passion than do five times that many bars of the composer's earlier music. The movement ends on the dominant, paving the way for an attacca opening of the Finale.

After initially falling in with the B flat major of the Adagio, the Finale makes an eight-bar move back to its rightful E minor tonal center. The main idea of the movement (marked, like so many of the composer's favorite thoughts, "nobilmente") is given out first by the soloist in half-recitative and then, after a rude tutti interruption and a brief pause, by the entire ensemble, Allegro non troppo. A second theme recalls both the G major tonality and the impish sentiment of the Scherzo movement. As the Finale draws near its finish, Elgar undertakes an extended and very moving reminiscence: first on the melody of the Adagio movement and then reaching back to the recitative that began the entire half-hour journey. Two terse chords re-energize the movement's fast-twitch muscle fiber, and 16 bars later the curtain comes down.

Source: Blair Johnston (allmusic.com)

Norwegian cellist Truls Mørk is particularly noted for his romantic, emotional approach. His parents were professional musicians; his father was a cellist, and his mother a pianist. His parents taught him first, trying him on the piano and violin before John Mørk decided to teach Truls his own instrument, the cello. Truls liked the instrument because of its larger size, and insisted on starting his studies with the Bach Cello Suite No. 1 and the Brahms E minor Cello Sonata. "This turned out to be much more difficult than I thought it would be", he says, but he kept working at it. He says his father did not push him for fear that he would practice too much and become a musician.

At the age of 17, Mørk began studying with Frans Helmerson. Later he studied with Austrian cellist Heinrich Schiff, then in Moscow with Natalia Shakhovskaya, a pupil of Mstislav Rostropovich, whom Mørk had admired for his broad range of color and his flexible, melodic use of vibrato. Mørk dislikes the German style of even vibrato, which, he says, drains the music of its vitality.

In 1982 at the age of 21, Mørk became the first Scandinavian to win the International Moscow Tchaikovsky Competition. He also won the Naumberg Competition in New York in 1986, the Cassado Cello Competition in Florence in 1983, and the UNESCO Prize at the European Radio-Union Competition in Bratislava.

His international touring career commenced in 1989 when he was selected to travel with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra under Mariss Jansons on their 1994 North American tour. Since then he has appeared with many of the world's best-known orchestras and conductors, in both evergreen concertos and in new works by composers such as Pavel Haas, Krzysztof Penderecki, Hafliði Hallgrímsson, and Einojuhani Rautavaara.

Mørk is also an active chamber musician and appears frequently in festivals throughout the world. He was the founder of the International Chamber Music Festival in Stavanger, which he directed for its first 13 years.

Mørk plays a rare 1723 Domenico Montagnana cello purchased for him by the SR Bank.

Source: Joseph Stevenson (allmusic.com)

More photos

See also

Luigi Boccherini: Military Night Watch in Madrid, & Cello Concerto in G major – Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Truls Mørk (HD 1080p)

Giovanni Sollima: Violoncelles, vibrez! | Heitor Villa-Lobos: Preludio from Bachianas Brasileiras No.1 | Astor Piazzolla: Libertango – Truls Mørk, Jun Sasaki, Cellos from Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra (HD 1080p)

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Souvenir de Florence – Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Truls Mørk (HD 1080p)

Dmitri Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No.2 – Truls Mørk, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Francois Xavier Roth

Richard Wagner: Wesendonck Lieder – Lise Davidsen, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Edward Gardner (HD 1080p)

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D major | Igor Stravinsky: Les Noces – Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Nadine Koutcher, MusicAeterna, Teodor Currentzis (Download 96kHz/24bit)

Testament to the versatility and musical command that Teodor Currentzis and his unique orchestra and choir possess, this new album brings together two diverse masterworks from two titans of Russian music. Although they have been acquainted for a long time prior, this recording represents the first musical collaboration between Teodor Currentzis and the exceptional violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja. The instant artistic rapport (an "artistic wedding" of sorts) between these two maverick musicians can be heard in this dynamic new recording of Tchaikovsky's Violin concerto – one of the most popular works in the violin repertory. Currentzis' authentic approach to the folk influences in Stravinsky's music (as revealed in Le Sacre du Printemps) is again very present in his interpretation of Les Noces. This work for percussion, pianists, chorus, and vocal soloists – originally composed as ballet music – is probably one of Stravinsky's most rarely recorded works. The work is based on a Russian peasant wedding, which the cover artwork references. Exceptional to this new recording is that the MusicAeterna choir members are all native-Russian speakers who bring another level of understanding and authenticity to the work. After her prominent participation in the "Rameau – The Sound of Light" recording, Nadine Koutcher – freshly crowned "2015 Cardiff Singer of the Year" – returns to sing the leading soprano solo part in Les Noces.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)

♪ Violin Concerto in D major, Op.35 (1878)

i. Allegro moderato
ii. Canzonetta. Andante
iii. Finale. Allegro vivacissimo

Patricia Kopatchinskaja, violin 

Conductor: Teodor Currentzis

Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)

♪ Les Noces (1922)

Part I
4. Scene 1: The Tresses (At the Brides’s House) 04:59
5. Scene 2: At the Bridegroom’s House 05:44
6. Scene 3: The Departure of the Bride 02:48

Part II
7. Scene 4: The Wedding Feast 

Nadine Koutcher, soprano
Natalya Buklaga, mezzo-soprano
Stanislav Leontieff, tenor
Vasiliy Korostelev, bass

MusicAeterna Chorus
Chorus Masters: Vitaly Polonsky, Arina Zvereva 

Pianists: Mikhail Mordvinov, Artem Abashev, Alexander Osminin, Oksana Pislegina

Percussion: Nikolay Dulskiy, Roman Romashkin, Igor Grishkin, Andrey Nikitin, Vladislav Osipov, Vadim Yashin, Alibek Kabdurakhmanov

Conductor: Teodor Currentzis

Recordings: P. I. Tchaikovsky State Opera and Ballet Theater, Perm, April 27 - May 1, 2014 (Tchaikovsky); Teatro Real, Madrit, October 24, 25 & 27, 2013 (Stravinsky)

Sony Classical 2016

Photos by Aleksey Romanov Nikolaevich

Download the CD using torrent


(96kHz/24bit, Size: 942.3 MB with Digital Booklet)

For converting FLAC files to WAV (recommended), Apple Lossless, M4A, AAC, WMA, MP3, use the Free Studio / Free Audio Converter or xrecode II or another program.

First publication: March 25, 2017 – Last update: December 2, 2017

Marrying Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto with Les noces makes for a bizarre mismatch. Teodor Currentzis and his Perm orchestra MusicAeterna are on pungent form in the Stravinsky, a worthy successor to their terrific recent Rite of Spring (11/15). Indeed, it would have made a more sensible coupling there, as Sony issued The Rite all by itself. Rhythms are accented with punch and there’s a feel of Old Russia about the way the chorus intones the toasts of the final wedding tableaux. In this version for four pianos and percussion, the singers include the excellent Nadine Koutcher, winner of the 2014 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World. No texts are provided, alas, for this wedding breakfast.

Take a closer look at the black and white wedding photo which adorns the cover, however, and you spy Currentzis and Patricia Kopatchinskaja as the happy couple. Kopatchinskaja is the soloist for Tchaikovsky's Concerto and the booklet features a pair of quirky billets-doux between them in which they expound their musical philosophies and, in particular, her route into "understanding" a concerto that had often felt alien to her.

I'm a huge admirer of Kopatchinskaja and Currentzis as risk-takers. Inevitably, there are going to be times when those risks don't come off. Alas, this is one of those occasions. First violins immediately signal what's in store – stealing in very softly, with crotchets played like quavers, giving a clipped, businesslike statement. Kopatchinskaja's opening phrase doesn't swell to a forte and the theme is whispered on the lightest bow-hair. Yes, Tchaikovsky asks for piano playing, but he also asks for dolce, and sweetness is definitely missing from this glassy, scratchy introduction. At best, it could be described as skittish.

Every time things pick up – fireworks erupt when Kopatchinskaja hits her stride at 4'47" – something else comes along to dampen any mounting enthusiasm. She daintily tiptoes over the score when a mezzo-forte is called for and the cadenza contains much sul ponticello playing and chirruping high quavers, more Bartók than Tchaikovsky.

Lovely woodwind-playing opens the Canzonetta. Kopatchinskaja plays con sordino, but it is far too quiet, more akin to crooning. She tests the bounds of audibility in her dialogue with the clarinet and oboe in the finale (tr 3, 2'40") and drags back the tempo. Swollen notes and slurs in the solo line give the impression of a drunken Cossack, although Currentzis draws steely pizzicatos and stamps from his strings to really make this movement dance.

In short, this amounts to a total rethinking of Tchaikovsky's Concerto and you may well find it more to your taste than mine. If you are able to sample this disc, the first two minutes will tell you all you need to know.

Source: Mark Pullinger  (gramophone.co.uk)

Iconoclastic conductor Teodor Currentzis and his MusicAeterna orchestra, way out in Perm (the hometown of Diaghilev, among others), are never dull in the least, and Currentzis deserves credit for rethinking Mozart, Rameau, and other music of the 18th century in fundamental ways. His Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D major, Op.35, isn't dull, either, but with Tchaikovsky he enters a terrain where performance traditions have come down directly from the original performers of the music, and he disregards them. Reactions to this music are going to depend on the original, and the magic of Internet sampling will pretty quickly let you determine whether you find it brilliantly original or hopelessly idiosyncratic: in the first movement, violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja enters quietly, in the manner of a strolling violinist. It's hard to imagine that Tchaikovsky would have felt this made any sense, but it hangs together on its own terms as Kopatchinskaja explodes into fireworks soon enough. The graphics emphasize a kind of spiritual meeting of the minds between conductor and soloist, and this is actually conveyed in this music and gives it a hard-to-pin-down positive X factor. Elsewhere, Kopatchinskaja continues to flirt with dynamic extremes, which is arguably in the general spirit of Tchaikovsky even if not of this particular work. So: there's a lot to chew on here, but be sure you know what you're getting into. The punchy performances of Stravinsky's Les Noces is another plus, although pairing it with the Tchaikovsky may well be taken as another example of Currentzis' propensity for the outrageous. A worthwhile outing from one of the most controversial conductors of the 2010s.

Source: James Manheim (allmusic.com)

Teodor Currentzis is the Artistic Director of the Perm State Opera and Ballet Theatre, Artistic Director of the ensemble musicAeterna and of the musicAeterna Chamber Choir, both formed in 2004, during his tenure as Music Director of the Novosibirsk State Opera and Orchestra (2004-2010). In 2017-2018 Teodor will be the Chief Conductor Designate of the SWR Symphony Orchestra and from 2018-2019, will be the Chief Conductor.

MusicAeterna, now resident in Perm, has been granted the status of the first orchestra of Perm State Theatre of Opera and Ballet. In 2017-2018, Teodor will travel across Europe with musicAeterna performing in the most prestigious venues, including Vienna Konzerthaus and the Musikverein, Berlin Philharmonie, Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, Paris Philharmonie, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden and La Scala in Milan. Programmes include semi-staged performances of Mozart's La clemenza di Tito and Puccini's La bohème as well as programmes of Schostakovich's Piano Concerto No.2 and Mozart's Piano Concerto in G with Alexander Melnikov. Teodor will also make his debut at Dutch National Opera with MusicAeterna and Peter Seller's production of La clemenza di Tito. Further engagements include Tonhalle Orchestra with Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Camerata Salzburg, SWR Symphony and Philharmonia Zurich with Helene Grimaud.

Past highlights of Teodor's career include: Resident Artist at the Vienna Konzerthaus beginning 2016-2017 including concerts with Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Camerata Salzburg and MusicAeterna; a tour with Mahler Chamber Orchestra of Berio's Coro; Clemenza di tito and Mozart's Requiem at Salzburg Festival, Verdi's Macbeth at Zurich Opera with Barrie Kosky (2016);  Wagner's Das Rheingold with MusicAeterna Orchestra (2015, RUHRtriennale in Bochum); Tchaikovsky's Iolanta and Stravinsky's Persephone at Aix Festival (2015) which premiered in Madrid in 2012; Purcell's The Indian Queen in Madrid (2012); Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District in Zurich (2012) and Weinberg's The Passenger with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra in Bregenz (2010).

As Artistic Director of Perm Opera, Teodor has commissioned several important new works, including Phillipe Hersants' Tristia (2016), Dmitrii Kourliandski's opera Nosferatu (2014), Alexei Syumak's opera Cantos (2016), and a violin concerto by Sergey Nevsky (2015).

Teodor Currentzis and MusicAeterna are exclusive Sony artists and have released the Mozart-Da Ponte trilogy, Stravinsky's Les Noces and Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, with Patricia Kopatchinskaja. Previous recordings include Shostakovich's Symphony No.14, Mozart's Requiem and Purcell's Dido and Aeneas all on the Alpha label and the Shostakovich Piano Concertos with Alexander Melnikov and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra on the Harmonia Mundi label. In 2017, they will release Tchaikovsky's Symphony No.6, and thereafter Mahler's Symphony No.6. MusicAeterna plans to record and release all nine Beethoven Symphonies ahead of the 2020 Beethoven anniversary.

In 2017, ECHO Klassik awarded the DVD/Blu-ray production of Purcell's Indian Queen, directed by Peter Sellers, with Teodor and MusicAeterna, following on from a previous ECHO Klassik award in 2016 for "Symphonic Recording (20th/21st century music)" for their recording of Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps, both released on Sony Classical. In 2012, Teodor and his brother Vangelino Currentzis, recorded and composed the soundtrack of the European Games opening ceremony in Baku and were nominated for an Emmy Award, in the category of Outstanding Music Direction and Composition. Teodor Currentzis was awarded the Order of Friendship of the Russian Federation in 2008, and was the recipient of the Toepfer Foundation's prestigious Kairos Award in 2016. The same year, Opernwelt named Teodor Currentzis Best Conductor of the Year for his Macbeth at Zurich Opera.

Teodor has so far been awarded seven Golden Masks – Russia's prestigious theatre award – most recently in 2017 as Best Opera Conductor for La Traviata, a Perm Opera production directed by Robert Wilson. Previous awards include the Best Opera Conductor award (Wozzeck, Bolshoi 2009), for a "brilliant performance of Prokofiev's score" (Cinderella, 2007) and for "outstanding results in the area of authentic performance" (The Marriage of Figaro, 2008).

In 2006, combining his knowledge and passion for early music with contemporary composers and new music, Teodor started the Territoria Modern Art Festival, which in a short space of time has become the most prestigious and progressive annual music festival in Moscow. Since 2012, Teodor has also curated the Diaghilev Festival, held in the home of the composer's birth town in Russia.

Born in Greece in 1972, Russia has become Teodor's home since the beginning of the 1990s, when he began studying conducting at the state conservatory of St Petersburg, under the tutelage of Professor Ilya Musin, whose pupils, among others, were renowned conductors Odyseuss Dimitriadis, Valery Gergiev, and Semyon Bychkov.

Teodor Currentzis was awarded the Order of Friendship of the Russian Federation in 2008, and was the recipient of the Toepfer Foundation's prestigious Kairos Award in 2016. The same year, Opernwelt named Teodor Currentzis Best Conductor of the Year for his Macbeth at Zurich Opera.

Source: teodor-currentzis.com

See also

Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No.14 in G minor – Julia Korpacheva, Peter Migunov, MusicAeterna, Teodor Currentzis (Download 44.1kHz/16bit)

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.6 in B minor, "Pathétique" – MusicAeterna, Teodor Currentzis (Download 96kHz/24bit & 44.1kHz/16bit)

Dmitri Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No.1 in E flat major, & Symphony No.1 in F minor | Benjamin Britten: Sinfonietta, Op.1 – Steven Isserlis, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Teodor Currentzis (HD 1080p)

Friday, March 24, 2017

Hector Berlioz: Roméo et Juliette (Scène d'amour) | Gabriel Prokofiev: Saxophone Concerto | Sergei Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet Suite – Branford Marsalis, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Andrey Boreyko – Friday, March 24, 2017, 08:00 PM EDT (UTC-4) / Saturday, March 25, 2017, 02:00 AM EET (UTC+2) – Live on Livestream

An incredible musical legacy inspires a new generation! Dynamic Russian conductor Andrey Boreyko leads Sergei Prokofiev's timeless suite from Romeo and Juliet, plus the spectacular premiere of composer/DJ Gabriel Prokofiev's Saxophone Concerto performed by the great Branford Marsalis.

Gabriel Prokofiev's Saxophone Concerto commissioned by Naples Philharmonic and the DSO.

Friday, March 24, 2017, 08:00 PM EDT (UTC-4)
Saturday, March 25, 2017, 02:00 AM EET (UTC+2)

Live on Livestream

Hector Berlioz (1803-1869)

♪ Roméo et Juliette, H 79 (1839)

vi. Scène d'amour (Love scene)

Gabriel Prokofiev (b. 1975)

♪ Saxophone Concerto (2016) (DSO premiere)

Branford Marsalis, alto saxophone

Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953)

♪ Romeo and Juliet Suite (1935)

Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Andrey Boreyko

(HD 720p)

Live from Orchestra Hall, Max M. Fisher Music Center, Detroit

Friday, March 24, 2017, 08:00 PM EDT (UTC-4)
Saturday, March 25, 2017, 02:00 AM EET (UTC+2)

Live on Livestream

Known for his skills on the saxophone, Branford Marsalis is a jazz musician who has won three Grammy Awards, worked on acclaimed albums and toured around the world.

Born in Louisiana in 1960, Branford Marsalis followed his father into the world of jazz, as did three of his five younger brothers. A brilliantly innovative saxophonist, Marsalis has worked with brother Wynton, Sting, Miles Davis and many other musicians. From 1992 to 1995, he served as musical director of Jay Leno's Tonight Show. In 2002, he founded his own music label, Marsalis Music.

Branford Marsalis was born on August 26, 1960, in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. The eldest of six brothers, he grew up in New Orleans in a musical family that was led by his pianist father, Ellis Marsalis. Though he wasn't into jazz in high school – instead playing in an R&B band – Branford would go on to become a noted jazz musician, as would three of his brothers.

After studying at the Berklee College of Music, Branford began his professional career playing the baritone saxophone with Art Blakey's big band in 1980. The following year, Branford and his brother, Wynton Marsalis, both played in Blakey's Jazz Messengers, with Branford moving on to the alto sax.

Branford joined Wynton's quintet in 1982. In this group, he played tenor and soprano sax, the instruments that would define the rest of his career. Branford soon released his first album, Scenes In the City (1984). On other recordings, he partnered with legendary musicians like Miles Davis (1984's Decoy) and Dizzy Gillespie (1984's New Faces).

In 1985, Branford left Wynton's quintet in order to work with Sting. The departure caused problems between the two brothers, though they later mended fences. Branford contributed to The Dream of the Blue Turtles, Sting's first solo endeavor. He credits his work with Sting with helping him learn how to effectively end his jazz solos, thus making them more powerful.

In 1986, Branford created the Branford Marsalis Quartet with pianist Kenny Kirkland, bassist Bob Hurst and drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts. He also started to work in films, appearing in Throw Momma From the Train (1987) and School Daze (1988), and composing the soundtrack for Mo' Better Blues (1990). However, it was signing on to be the musical director for Jay Leno's Tonight Show in 1992 that made Branford a national celebrity.

Even while working on other projects, Branford continued to put out music. In 1993, he won his first Grammy for I Heard You Twice The First Time, an album whose guests included B.B. King and Linda Hopkins. With Bruce Hornsby, Branford won another Grammy in 1994 for "Barcelona Mona". That same year, he formed Buckshot LeFonque, a group whose goal was to combine jazz and hip-hop.

In 1995, Branford left the Tonight Show, ostensibly because he wanted to spend more time with his son and be able to tour more often. However, leaving the job was likely a relief, as he reportedly didn't enjoy the requisite late-night banter or the type of music he was asked to perform. The decision did not seem to hurt his music career; Branford and the other members of his quartet won a Grammy Award for the album Contemporary Jazz (2000).

Though he had been recording with Columbia since 1983, Branford left them and started his own label, Marsalis Music, in 2002. Performers for Marsalis Music have included Harry Connick Jr. and Miguel Zenón. Branford also continues to tour, appearing in venues that range from clubs to concert halls. He added Broadway to his resume when he composed the music for the 2010 revival of August Wilson's Fences.

After Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans in 2005, Branford contributed to fundraising efforts and worked to create a music center in the city's Upper Ninth Ward. He has also taught students at institutions such as San Francisco State, Michigan State and North Carolina Central.

In 2011, Branford, Ellis, Wynton and the other two jazz musicians in the Marsalis family – Delfeayo and Jason – were named "Jazz Masters" by the National Endowment for the Arts. It was the first group award for the program, and an indication of how great an impact Branford and his family have had in the world of jazz.

Source: biography.com

Russian conductor Andrey Boreyko is one of the most exciting and dynamic conductors to emerge from Eastern Europe in recent years. In addition to his post as Music Director of Orchestre National de Belgique, in 2014 he began his tenure as Music Director of the Naples Philharmonic in Florida. Additionally, he holds the position of Principal Guest Conductor of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Euskadi.

A passionate advocate for less widely-known works, Boreyko conducted the much anticipated world premiere of Górecki' s Symphony No.4 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the US premiere with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Current and future European highlights include appearances with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Gothenburg Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Bamberger Symphoniker, Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and the Netherlands and Warsaw philharmonic orchestras. Also in Europe he has conducted orchestras such as the Berliner Philharmoniker, Münchner Philharmoniker, Staatskapelle Dresden, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Wiener Symphoniker, Filharmonica della Scala, Royal Concertgebouw, Orchestre de Paris, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, London Symphony, the Philharmonia and Rotterdam Philharmonic.

Equally in demand in North America, he has worked with the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Cleveland and Philadelphia orchestras, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and the Toronto, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco and Pittsburgh symphony orchestras.  2016/2017 sees re-invitations to the Toronto and Detroit Symphony orchestras and appearances at both the Aspen and Ravinia Festivals – the latter with the Chicago Symphony.

Source: harrisonparrott.com

See also

Live on Livestream: All Past Events

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Richard Strauss: Don Quixote – Pablo Ferrández, Francisco Regozo, Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, Dennis Russell Davies (HD 1080p)

The award-winning Spanish cellist Pablo Ferrández plays Richard Strauss's Don Quixote with Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia under the baton of internationally acclaimed American conductor Dennis Russell Davies. The viola is played by Francisco Regozo. The work was performed at the Palacio de la Ópera de A Coruña, on November 7, 2014.

Ο βραβευμένος σε πολλούς σημαντικούς μουσικούς διαγωνισμούς, 25χρονος Ισπανός βιολοντσελίστας Pablo Ferrández ερμηνεύει το έργο του Ρίχαρντ Στράους, «Δον Κιχώτης». Τον συνοδεύει ο βιολίστας Francisco Regozo. Τη Συμφωνική Ορχήστρα της Γαλικίας διευθύνει ο διεθνούς φήμης Αμερικανός μαέστρος Dennis Russell Davies. Η συναυλία δόθηκε στο Palacio de la Ópera, στην πόλη Α Κορούνια της Ισπανίας, στις 7 Νοεμβρίου 2014.

Richard Strauss (1864-1949)

♪ Don Quixote, Romance in F major for cello and orchestra, Op.35, TrV 184 (1897)

i. Introduktion. Mäßiges Zeitmaß / Don Quixote Sinks into Madness
ii. Thema. Mäßig / The Knight of the Doleful Countenance
iii. Maggiore / Sancho Pansa
iv. Variation 1. Gemächlich / The Adventure of the Windmills
v. Variation 2. Kriegerisch / The Battle with the Sheep
vi. Variation 3. Mäßiges Zeitmaß / Dialogue of Knight and Squire
vii. Variation 4. Etwas breiter / The Adventure with the Procession of Penitents
viii. Variation 5. Sehr langsam / Don Quixote's Vigil
ix. Variation 6. Schnell / Dulcinea's Enchantment
x. Variation 7. Ein wenig ruhiger als vorher / The Ride through the Air
xi. Variation 8. Gemächlich / The Adventure of the Enchanted Boat
xii. Variation 9. Schnell und Stürmisch / The Contest with the Magicians
xiii. Variation 10. Viel breiter / Joust with the Knight of the White Moon; The Defeated Don Quixote's Journey Home
xiv. Finale. Sehr ruhig / The Death of Don Quixote

Pablo Ferrández, cello
Francisco Regozo, viola

Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia
Conductor: Dennis Russell Davies

Palacio de la Ópera, A Coruña, November 7, 2014

(HD 1080p)

The German composer and conductor Richard Strauss represents a remarkable extension of the work of Liszt and Wagner in the symphonic poems of his early career. Born in Munich, the son of a distinguished horn-player and his second wife, a member of a rich brewing family, he had a sound general education at there, while studying music under teachers of obvious distinction. Before he left school in 1882 he had already enjoyed some success as a composer, continued during his brief period at Munich University with the composition of concertos for violin and for French horn and a sonata for cello and piano. By the age of twenty-one he had been appointed assistant conductor to the well-known orchestra at Meiningen under Hans von Bülow, whom he succeeded in the following year.

In 1886 Strauss resigned from Meiningen and began the series of tone-poems that seemed to extend to the utmost limit the extra-musical content of the form. The first of these works, Aus Italien (From Italy), was followed by Macbeth, Dan Juan, Tod und Verklärung (Death and Transfiguration) and, after a gap of a few years, Till Eulenspiegel, Also sprach Zarathustra (Thus Spake Zarathustra), Don Quixote and Ein Heldenleben (A Hero's Life). Meanwhile Strauss was establishing his reputation as a conductor, directing the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra for a season and taking appointments in Munich and then at the opera in Berlin, where he later became Court Composer.

The new century brought a renewed attention to opera, after earlier relative failure. Salome in Dresden in 1905 was followed in 1909 by Elektra, the start of a continuing collaboration with Hugo von Hoffmanns­thal. Der Rosenkavalier (The Knight of the Rose), a romantic opera set in the Vienna of Mozart, was staged at the Court Opera in Dresden in 1911, followed by ten further operas, ending only with Capriccio, mounted at the Staatsoper in Munich in 1942. His final years were clouded by largely unfounded accusations of collaboration with the musical policies of the Third Reich and after 1945 he withdrew for a time to Switzerland, returning to his own house at Garmisch only four months before his death in 1949.

Don Quixote, Fantastic Variations on a Theme of Knightly Character, was written in 1897 and first performed on 8th March the following year in Cologne at the Gürzenich under Franz Wüllner. The work is the whimsical counterpart of Ein Heldenleben, first performed a year later. Don Quixote was not originally conceived as a concerto and the solo cello part was at first intended for the leader of the cello section. Eventually, however, Strauss conceded the part to a soloist, in view of the technical demands it made and the prominence of the instrument through much of the work.

The picaresque novel by Miguel Cervantes, El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Moncha, was published in two parts, in 1605 and 1615. A simple country gentleman has his head turned by reading too many romantic tales of chivalry and misguidedly sets out as a knight errant, dedicated to the righting of wrongs. The book itself has been seen most as a criticism of contemporary romances of chivalry and, indeed, of the pastoral romance, offering at the same time a contrast between the real and the ideal, the reality of Don Quixote's actual world and that of his imagination. There is humour and pathos in Don Quixote himself, his delusions and his nobility of Intention. On his second expedition he is accompanied by Sancho Panza as his squire, a villager who combines a degree of common sense and sententiousness with care for his master.

The Introduction at first offers three themes associated with the protagonist. The first, marked ritterlich und galant (knightly and gallant) is introduced by the woodwind. Second violins and violas follow with Don Quixote the courteous gentleman and a descending clarinet figure introduces a glimpse of his way of thinking. The violas continue with his reading of romances of chivalry, leading to an oboe theme suggesting courtly love for a noble mistress and muted trumpets reflect a challenge to rescue her from dangers suggested by the monsters of the lower register brass and strings. Their idealised love dissolves, as delusion follows delusion in a contrapuntal complexity of motifs and themes. The theme of Don Quixote, the Knight of the Sorrowful Countenance, is now stated by the solo cello, with the help of the solo violin, a sorrowful transformation of the opening material. This is followed by Sancho Panza, with a rustic bass clarinet and tenor tuba, a chatterbox solo viola and a sententious conclusion, three aspects of his character.

The first variation depicts the adventure of the windmills. Don Quixote sees on the plain below some thirty or forty windmills which he takes for giants and resolves to attack, in spite of Sancho Panza's assurance that these are windmills and that what Don Quixote thinks are arms are their sails, turning in the wind. The knight falls at the first encounter with a sail that shatters his lance, leading him to believe that the giants had been transformed by a wicked magician. The second variation represents the adventure of the sheep in which Don Quixote, represented now by three cellos, sees clouds of dust approaching from each side, clearly the opposing armies of the Emperor Alifanfaron and of Pentapolin of the Bare Arm. Even Sancho is persuaded that these are not the flocks of sheep they seem, bleating in the woodwind, with the dust cloud of the violas and the pipes of the shepherds. The disastrous conclusion of the episode is omitted. The third variation brings a conversation between Sancho and his master, the earthy common sense of one contrasted with the quixotic love of knight errantry of which the squire is almost persuaded. The fourth variation finds Don Quixote set on rescuing a supposed lady in distress, in fact a statue of the Madonna carried by a procession of penitents. Provoked, one of the bearers aims a blow at the knight, who falls to the ground, apparently dead, mourned by Sancho as the flower of chivalry, as the procession moves on. The meditative fifth variation finds Don Quixote, at the start of his adventures, keeping vigil over his sword and armour, and thinking of his imagined lady, the peasant girl to whom he would give the title of Dulcinea del Toboso. In the sixth variation Don Quixote attempts to pay his respects to his supposed Dulcinea, a country girl, apparently bewitched and transformed. Sancho, however, assures his master that this is his lady. They are entertained in the seventh variation by the Duke and Duchess, who convince both squire and master, blindfold, that they are traveling on a flying horse to save from enchantment the Afflicted Waiting-Woman, to the amusement of the whole court. The eighth variation is the adventure of the enchanted boat, in which they find a boat moored by the river-bank and allow it to take them downstream, to some great exploit, but in fact to a weir, from which millers, earlier supposed to be devils, rescue them, an outcome for which Sancho gives thanks in a final prayer. From earlier in the book comes the adventure in which Don Quixote attacks two Benedictine monks, whom he takes for magicians, providing the excitement of the ninth variation. The final variation brings Don Quixote almost to his senses, when Sampson Carrasco disguises himself as the Knight of the White Moon, engaging Don Quixote in combat and defeating him, persuading him to spend a year of relative repose as a shepherd rather than a knight errant. The tale ends with the final illness and death of the hero, as earlier events are recalled in relative tranquility.

Strauss wrote his Romance for cello and orchestra in the summer of 1883, dedicating it to his uncle, Anton, Ritter von Knözinger, Chief Public Prosecutor in Munich. The work was also arranged for cello and piano and in one form or another received some contemporary exposure in performances by the cellist Hans Wihan, to whom Strauss dedicated his Cello Sonata of the same year. It is scored for woodwind, strings and solo cello, and opens with a singing cello melody, framing a more dramatic central section.

Source: Keith Anderson (naxos.com)

Ως «φανταστικές παραλλαγές πάνω σε ένα θέμα ιπποτικού χαρακτήρα» είχε περιγράψει ο Ρίχαρντ Στράους το έκτο κατά σειρά συμφωνικό του ποίημα, «Δον Κιχώτης», έργο 35, το οποίο βέβαια εμπνεύστηκε από το ομώνυμο μυθιστόρημα του Θερβάντες. Το συνέθεσε το 1897, ενώ εργαζόταν ως πρώτος αρχιμουσικός στην Όπερα του Μονάχου. Η πρεμιέρα του έργου δόθηκε τον Μάρτιο του 1898 στην Κολωνία, από την Ορχήστρα Gürzenich, υπό τη μουσική διεύθυνση του Φραντς Βύλνερ.

Σκοπός του Στράους είναι η «σπουδή» πάνω στους κεντρικούς ήρωες του αριστουργήματος του Θερβάντες: τον Δον Κιχώτη (ο οποίος εκπροσωπείται από το σόλο βιολοντσέλο), τον ακόλουθό του, τον αφελή Σάντσο Πάνθα (που εκπροσωπείται από τη σόλο βιόλα με τη συνδρομή του μπάσου κλαρινέτου και της τούμπας), και την αγαπημένη του ονειροπόλου ιππότη, Δουλτσινέα (σόλο όμποε). Το έργο αποτελείται από τρεις ενότητες: Εισαγωγή, Θέμα με παραλλαγές, και Φινάλε.

Recently awarded the coveted ICMA 2016 "Young Artist of the Year", and prizewinner at the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition and at the V Paulo International Cello Competition, Pablo Ferrández announces himself as a musician of stature. His emotional intensity and personality on stage have wowed audiences around the globe.

Praised by his authenticity and hailed by the critics as "one of the top cellists" (Rémy Louis, Diapason Magazine), the 25-year-old Pablo Ferrández continues building a brilliant career through collaborations with international renowned artists and world leading orchestras.

He has appeared as a soloist with the Mariinsky Orchestra, Vienna Symphony Orchestra, St Petersburg Philharmonic, Stuttgart Philharmonic, Kremerata Baltica, Helsinki Philharmonic, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra, Mexico National Symphony Orchestra, Spanish National Orchestra, RTVE Orchestra, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, and collaborated with such artists as Zubin Mehta, Valery Gergiev, Yuri Temirkanov, Adam Fischer, Heinrich Schiff, Dennis Russell Davies, John Storgårds, Gidon Kremer, Ivry Gitlis and Anne-Sophie Mutter.

An avid chamber musician, Pablo is frequently invited to international festivals such as Verbier, Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad, Intonations Festival, La Folle Journée, Casals, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Spivakov, Piatigorsky, Kronberg, Santander, and the Rheingau Music Festival, where Pablo Ferrández was awarded with the Music Festival Award 2015. Ferrández has recently appeared in recital at the Louvre Museum in Paris, at the Palau de la Música de Barcelona, and at the Auditorio Nacional de Música de Madrid, obtaining rave reviews.

A captivating performer with a compelling technique, he is described as "an inspirational and expressive soloist who always places his skills at the service of the composer. Personal vanity is alien to Ferrández" (Rheingau Festival Award Jury).

Pablo Ferrández recorded his first CD, featuring Dvorak and Schumann cello concertos, with the Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Radoslaw Szulc, which was received with great acclaim: "Pablo Ferrández is a fine performer, with a warm tone and an impulsive, if refined, lyricism that makes him a natural interpreter for Schumann's Concerto, with its melancholic elegance and flashes of mercurial wit" (Tim Ashley, The Guardian), "It is in Dvorak that Ferrández announces himself as a cellist of stature" and "(he) manages to play with huge emotion while still keeping his interpretation light and free from overindulgence" (Janet Banks, The Strad).

Ferrández is proud of his long-standing artistic friendship with Gidon Kremer, one of his major supporters. Pablo's second recording featured Italian works by Rossini and Menotti with the Kremerata Baltica, conducted by Heinrich Schiff.

Highlights of the 2016/2017 season include his debut at the Berliner Philharmonie with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the appereance with BBC Philharmonic under Juanjo Mena, collaborations with Christoph Eschenbach playing Schumann's Cello Concerto with the HR-Sinfonieorchester and the Spanish National Symphony, the return to Maggio Musicale Fiorentino under Zubin Mehta, recitals at Schloss Elmau and the Mariinsky Theater, a European tour with Kremerata Baltica and Gidon Kremer, appearances at the Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival and the Rostropovich Festival, debuts with Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale RAI, Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, Castilla y Leon Symphony, Gran Canaria Philharmonic, Munich Symphony, Estonian National Symphony, Orchestra Sinfonica Brasileira, Taipei Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, and the performance of Brahms' Double Concerto with Anne-Sophie Mutter and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Born in Madrid in 1991, in a family of musicians, Pablo Ferrández joined the prestigious Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía when he was 13 to study with Natalia Shakhovskaya. After that he completed his studies at the Kronberg Academy with Frans Helmerson.

Pablo Ferrández plays the Stradivarius "Lord Aylesford" (1696) thanks to the Nippon Music Foundation.

Source: pabloferrandez.com

More photos

See also

The winners of the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition, 2015

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Haik Kazazyan – All the posts

Haik Kazazian, one of the perspective young violinists of his generation, was born in Yerevan, the capital and largest city of Armenia, in 1982. In 1989 entered the Sayat-Nova Music School, studying with Professor L. Zoryan. In 1996 he moved in Moscow and trained at the Moscow Conservatory studying under Professor Eduard Grach (2000-2006) and at the Royal College of Music in London under Professor Itzhakh Rashkovsky (2006-2008).

He is a prize winner of many international competitions, including the 12th International Henryk Wieniawski Competition in Poznan (2001, third prize), the 12th International Tchaikovsky Competition (2002, fourth prize), the International Violin Competition Sion in Switzerland (2004, first prize and three special prizes), the Marguerite Long and Jacques Thibaud Competition in Paris (2005, third prize), the Isang Yun Competition in Tongyeong, South Korea (2007, first prize and audience favourite award), and the George Enescu Competition in Bucharest (2011, second prize). He performs in the world's major concert venues as well as participating in the Verbier Festival, the Stars on Baikal Festival, and the Arts Square Festival among many others. In 2010 his solo album "Opera Fantasies" was released by the American label "Delos". Since 2002 he has been a soloist for the Moscow Philharmonic and since 2008 has taught at the Moscow Conservatory.

He is regularly invited to perform in many countries with famous orchestras and musicians, such as Scottish Royal National Orchestra, Russian Chamber Orchestra and Russian National Orchestra, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, Dublin National Orchestra, Munich Chamber Orchestra, Moscow Chamber Orchestra and many others.Haik played as a soloist with conductors Andrew Litton, Alexander Liebreich, Alexander Lazarev, Ricardo Averbach, Alan Buribayev, Constantine Orbelian, Jac van Steen, David Brophy, Pavel Kogan, Alexander Polianichko, and a chamber musician with pianists Freddy Kempf, Ekaterina Mechetina, Andrey Shibko, Vadim Kholodenko, violinists Gordan Nikolitch, Boris Brovtsyn, cellists Alexander Bouzlov, Sergey Antonov, Boris Andrianov and many other great musicians of our time.

Ο Haik Kazazian, ένας από τους πιο ταλαντούχους νέους βιολονίστες της γενιάς του, γεννήθηκε στο Ερεβάν, την πρωτεύουσα της Αρμενίας, το 1982. Το 1989, ξεκίνησε τις σπουδές του στη Μουσική Σχολή Sayat-Nova, μελετώντας με τον καθηγητή L. Zoryan. Το 1996, εγκαταστάθηκε στη Μόσχα όπου φοίτησε στο ιστορικό Ωδείο της ρωσικής πρωτεύουσας, με καθηγητή τον Eduard Grach (2000-2006) και κατόπιν στο Βασιλικό Κολέγιο Μουσικής στο Λονδίνο, με καθηγητή τον Itzhakh Rashkovsky (2006-2008).

Έχει λάβει μέρος και έχει βραβευτεί σε πολλούς διεθνείς διαγωνισμούς, όπως στον 12ο Διεθνή Διαγωνισμό Χένρυκ Βινιάφσκι στο Πόζναν της Πολωνίας (2001, τρίτο βραβείο), στον 12ο Διεθνή Διαγωνισμό Τσαϊκόφσκι στη Μόσχα (2002, τέταρτο βραβείο), στον Διεθνή Διαγωνισμό Βιολιού στη Σιόν της Ελβετίας (2004, πρώτο βραβείο και τρία ειδικά βραβεία), στον Διαγωνισμό Marguerite Long & Jacques Thibaud στο Παρίσι (2005, τρίτο βραβείο), στον Διαγωνισμό Isang Yun στην πόλη Tongyeong στη Νότια Κορέα (2007, πρώτο βραβείο και Βραβείο Κοινού) και στον Διαγωνισμό Γκεόργκε Ενέσκου στο Βουκουρέστι (2011, δεύτερο βραβείο). Ο Haik Kazazian έχει εμφανιστεί στις σπουδαιότερες αίθουσες συναυλιών του κόσμου κι έχει επίσης συμμετάσχει σε πολλά από τα σημαντικότερα Φεστιβάλ, όπως το Φεστιβάλ του Βερμπιέρ στην Ελβετία, το Φεστιβάλ Stars on Baikal στη ρωσική πόλη Ιρκούτσκ, και το Φεστιβάλ κλασικής μουσικής Arts Square στην Αγία Πετρούπολη. Το 2010, ηχογράφησε για την αμερικανική δισκογραφική εταιρεία "Delos" το άλμπουμ "Opera Fantasies". Έχει διδάξει στο Ωδείο της Μόσχας, ενώ από το 2010 συμπράττει ως σολίστας με τη Φιλαρμονική της ρωσικής πρωτεύουσας.

Έχει εμφανιστεί σε πολλές χώρες του κόσμου, συμπράττοντας με διάσημες ορχήστρες, ενώ έχει συνεργαστεί με τους μεγαλύτερους μουσικούς της εποχής μας.

Haik Kazazyan – All the posts

Haik Kazazyan plays Jean Sibelius: Violin Concerto in D minor, & Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D major – Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Yuri Simonov – XV International Tchaikovsky Competition, 2015, Violin / Final Round

Haik Kazazyan plays Grieg, Lutosławski, Milstein, Tchaikovsky & Wieniawski – XV International Tchaikovsky Competition, 2015, Violin / Round 2, First stage

Haik Kazazyan plays Bach, Paganini, Wieniawski & Tchaikovsky – XV International Tchaikovsky Competition, 2015, Violin / Round 1

See also

Dmitry Masleev – All the posts

George Li – All the posts

Lukas Geniušas – All the posts

Sergei Redkin – All the posts

Daniel Kharitonov – All the posts

Yu-Chien Tseng – All the posts

Lucas Debargue – All the posts

The winners of the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition, 2015

Monday, March 20, 2017

Yu-Chien Tseng – All the posts

When Yu-Chien Tseng was 5 years old, his teacher called his parents to school because he sang Happy Birthday out of tune.

"She was worried about my hearing, so my parents, who were themselves teachers, enrolled me for violin lessons in the hope that through the process of learning the instrument, I could hear the intonations and imitate melodies", recalls Tseng, a musician who was born in Taipei.

After six months of learning, it turned out that Tseng not only had the perfect pitch but also could play the violin well. In a year, he was performing with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra.

In 2015, Tseng got his big break by winning the second prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition, the highest prize in the violin contest since nobody won the first prize that year.

"One of the biggest challenges was physical strength", Tseng says about his experience of competing. "I didn't realize I was tired until the next morning after winning the award."

The 22-year-old violinist, who continues to pursue his master's degree at New York's Juilliard School, visited Beijing recently to release his new album, Reverie, for which he selected a variety of solo violin works and sonatas of famous composers that include Giuseppe Tartini's Sonata in G minor, Chopin's Nocturne Op.27 No.2, and Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst's Variations on the Last Rose of Summer.

Reverie was recorded by Tseng after he signed up with Universal Music in August. The album was released under the label Deutsche Grammophon.

"This album means a lot to me. It's a very personal collection of my favorite music", says Tseng, who gave the title of the album symbolizing "dreamy and beautiful music".

One of his favorite pieces in the repertoire is Mozart's Sonata in B flat major, K.454.

"When you play it with emphasis on the contrasts, emotion, energy and drama, the work has many shades of Beethoven, reflecting the violin's romantic spirit", he says.

The selection of Tchaikovsky's Mélodie in E flat major from Souvenir d'un lieu cher, originally for violin and the piano, a rare example of the composer's chamber music, is described as "irresistible" by Tseng.

"It's just one of the most beautiful lines in all of music. When you hear it, you love it", he says.

Tseng recorded the album in Berlin in October along with Sri Lankan pianist Rohan de Silva, who said in an interview that he was impressed by the young violinist' performance.

"I admire his playing, especially his spontaneous response to music", said De Silva, who is renowned for his partnership with violin virtuosos like Itzhak Perlman.

Tseng says he is not good at talking but he can do it with his instrument. The expressiveness of music inspired the musician at an early age to make music his career.

At 13, he knew he needed to expand his musical education abroad. His parents were supportive and Tseng's father, who was a computer science professor back then, quit his job and accompanied him to Philadelphia to attend the Curtis Institute of Music, from where he graduated in 2016.

During his studies there, Tseng met two important violin teachers, Ida Kavafian and Aaron Rosand.

"I was introduced not just to solo violin repertoires I studied in Taiwan but also to chamber music, symphonic music and all the possibilities that one can explore with a violin", Tseng says.

Tseng is a regular performer at competitions and his musical talent enabled him to gain early success.

He won the Sarasate International Violin Competition, which is held annually in Spain, in 2009. In 2011, he was the fifth laureate at the Queen Elisabeth Music Competition in Brussels. He also won the first prize at the inaugural Singapore International Violin Competition in January 2015.

Having performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the National Orchestra of Belgium and the symphony orchestras of Singapore, Taipei and Navarra among others, Tseng says he dreams to travel the world as a soloist.

Despite tasting success at such a young age, he says he hasn't changed much.

"I am just always playing and always listening."

Source: Chen Nan (China Daily, January 2017)

Yu-Chien Tseng – All the posts

Yu-Chien Tseng: Reverie – Giuseppe Tartini, Frédéric Chopin, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Henryk Wieniawski – Rohan De Silva (Download 44.1kHz/16bit)

Violinist Yu-Chien Tseng signs to Deutsche Grammophon

Yu-Chien Tseng plays Jean Sibelius: Violin Concerto in D minor, & Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D major – Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Yuri Simonov – XV International Tchaikovsky Competition, 2015, Violin / Final Round

Yu-Chien Tseng plays Mozart, Brahms, Tchaikovsky & Wieniawski – XV International Tchaikovsky Competition, 2015, Violin / Round 2, First stage

Yu-Chien Tseng plays Bach, Paganini, Chopin & Tchaikovsky – XV International Tchaikovsky Competition, 2015, Violin / Round 1

See also

Dmitry Masleev – All the posts

George Li – All the posts

Lukas Geniušas – All the posts

Sergei Redkin – All the posts

Daniel Kharitonov – All the posts

Haik Kazazyan – All the posts

Lucas Debargue – All the posts

The winners of the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition, 2015