Jakub Józef Orliński

Jakub Józef Orliński
Jakub Józef Orliński, countertenor. Photo by M. Sharkey

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Joshua Bell: Don't impose bowings and fingerings on your students

Joshua Bell (Photo by Chris Lee)

















There is no "one size fits all", argues the American violinist Joshua Bell. It is important to discuss why students chose their fingerings and why there may be better alternatives.

Bowings and particularly fingerings – which strings you use, where you place your glissandos and so on – are very individual, because they are tied into the philosophy of your interpretation and expression of a piece. They are so personal: what one player does may seem illogical to someone else; some choices will fit one person's hand when for others they might not work at all.

When teachers are very strict about the fingerings and bowings their students use, it locks those students into a way of thinking. This stifles them creatively and I'm very much against that idea. So often I hear teachers blanketly saying, "This is the fingering. Why didn't you do what I told you to?" instead of explaining why they use that fingering and how it ties into the interpretation of the piece.

When I was a youngster the bulk of my studies were with Josef Gingold. He would sometimes give me very unorthodox fingerings passed down to him by his teacher, Eugène Ysaÿe. These were not always intuitive, but they were very expressive and made sense for musical reasons. He would also offer his own ideas, but when he did, he just meant for his students to give them a try. Sometimes I would use my own fingerings and he would say, "Oh my God, you've just sold me on that!".

I think it's really important, if teachers encounter students who play with fingerings they don't agree with, to discuss with those students why they chose the fingerings and why there may be better alternatives. That isn't to say that every fingering a student comes up with is the best one: there are arguments against doing certain things in a particular way, for using an open string or not, and so on – but it's important for us to be aware of those arguments, and to think about them properly.

Another danger comes through the many music editions that have been published to include fingerings and bowings by famous violinists, or sometimes by violinists I've never even heard of. I remember asking as a kid, "Do you have so-and-so's fingerings? I need to copy them", even if I didn't understand why. A lot of young players, when learning these pieces for the first time, will follow what they see on the page without really thinking about it.

I am still fighting against the consequences of this now, as an adult. There are some fingerings that I still do purely because years ago I saw them written on the page by a violinist I'd never even met, just because they fit their hand. On real evaluation, I have realised that these fingerings often don't work with the way I think about the music – but I'm stuck with a physical memory of fingerings that are of no benefit to my interpretation, until eventually I manage to do my own thing.

Now I don't always stick to the same fingerings even for two performances in a row. Often I practise different ideas for similar passages, so that I'm comfortable doing various fingerings depending on how I feel in the moment.

I may also change what I do depending on the concert hall: in some acoustics, for example, there may be passages where I feel I need to go on to the E string instead of the A string, to project more or to make a phrase sound more fluid.

Sometimes I do a different fingering just because I feel inspired in the moment. I've had orchestra players come to me after a concert to say, "You played that with different fingerings in the rehearsal. How come?". I like that feeling: it gives me the sense that I'm not hooked into a particular way of doing things. It makes me feel more free.

Joshua Bell

Source: The Strad, July 2018


See also


César Franck: Piano Quintet in F minor – Marc-André Hamelin, Joshua Bell, Pamela Frank, Nobuko Imai, Steven Isserlis

Johannes Brahms: Piano Trio in B major – Marc-André Hamelin, Joshua Bell, Steven Isserlis


Jean Sibelius: Violin Concerto in D minor – Joshua Bell, Oslo Philharmonic Orcestra, Vasily Petrenko (HD 1080p)

&

A Guide to Buying a Bow

What's the difference between a £1,000 and a £20,000 violin?

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Christian Li plays Johann Sebastian Bach, Henryk Wieniawski & Antonín Dvořák – Menuhin Competition 2018, Junior First Round (HD 1080p)














10-year-old Australian violinist Christian Li, who has made history at the 2018 Yehudi Menuhin Violin Competition in Geneva as the youngest ever winner of the Junior First Prize (taking out equal first with 11-year-old Chloe Chua from Singapore), plays – in his first round recital at Menuhin Competition 2018 – the first two movements from Johann Sebastian Bach's Sonata for violin & keyboard No.4 in C minor, BWV 1017, the Étude-caprice, Op.18 No.4 in A minor by Henryk Wieniawski, and the first three movements from Antonín Dvořák's Four Romantic Pieces for violin and piano, Op.75. The recital took place at the Centre des arts de l'Ecole Internationale de Genève on April 14, 2018.



Menuhin Competition 2018, Junior First Round

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

♪ Sonata for violin & keyboard No.4 in C minor, BWV 1017 (1717-1723)

i. Siciliano. Largo
ii. Allegro


Henryk Wieniawski (1835-1880)

♪ Étude-caprice, Op.18 No.4 in A minor (1862)


Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904)

♪ Four Romantic Pieces for violin and piano, Op.75 (1887)

i. Allegro moderato (B flat major)
ii. Allegro maestoso (D minor)
iii. Allegro appassionato (B flat major)


Christian Li, violin

Centre des arts de l'Ecole Internationale de Genève, April 14, 2018

(HD 1080p)
















Christian Li was born in Melbourne Australia in October 2007 and began violin at the age of 5 showing great interest and talent in music. Currently he is studying under Dr. Robin Wilson, Head of Violin at Australian National Music Academy. In July 2017 Christian won First Prize in the violin category of the Young Artist Semper Music International Competition in Italy and gave many solo and chamber music performances as part of the Semper Music International Festival & Summer Academy. In June 2017 Christian was selected to perform at Carnegie Hall in NY in the American Protégé Showcase 10-year Anniversary concert. Christian has also won all the local violin competitions that he participated in Australia for his age group and joined the Melbourne String Ensemble in 2015 as the youngest ever member of Intermediate group. In 2014 he won first prize in the Golden Beijing violin competition in China and in 2013 Christian was chosen for a TV commercial in China which features him playing the violin. Christian Li has made history at the 2018 Yehudi Menuhin Violin Competition in Geneva as the youngest ever winner of the Junior First Prize, taking out equal first with 11-year-old Chloe Chua from Singapore.

Source: melbournerecital.com.au



















































More photos


See also


Christian Li – All the posts

Chloe Chua – All the posts

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Australian violinist Christian Li has made history at the Yehudi Menuhin Violin Competition

Christian Li and Chloe Chua at the Menuhin Competition 2018.
Photo by Olivier Miche

















The 10-year-old Australian violinist Christian Li has made history at the 2018 Yehudi Menuhin Violin Competition in Geneva as the youngest ever winner of the Junior First Prize, taking out equal first with 11-year-old Chloe Chua from Singapore. This is the first time in the Competition's history that a joint first prize has been awarded. Li and Chua were the youngest of the finalists, competing against Clara Shen (12), Hina Khuong-Huu (13), Guido Sant'Anna (12) and Ruibing Liu (13).

Li, who performed Summer from Vivaldi's Four Seasons alongside Jaehyuck Choi's newly commissioned work Self in Mind in the final round with the Geneva Chamber Orchestra, also took out the Audience Prize. "I feel very surprised and excited! And thankful to my teacher", Li told Limelight. "It was an honour to play with the Geneva Chamber Orchestra in Victoria Hall."

In addition to 10,000 Swiss Francs worth of prize money, Li and Chua will each be granted a one year loan of an Italian violin by Florian Leonhard Fine Violins. Both violinists performed alongside the Senior Competition winner, 18-year-old Armenian violinist Diana Adamyan, in the Competition's Closing Gala Concert on Sunday with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Julian Rachlin.

The jury of the 2018 Menuhin Competition, which attracted 317 entries representing 51 nationalities, was chaired by American violinist Pamela Frank and comprised of Joji Hattori, Itamar Golan, Ilya Gringolts, Henning Kraggerud, Lu Siqing, Josef Špaček, Maxim Vengerov and Soyoung Yoon.

Source: Angus McPherson, April 23, 2018 (limelightmagazine.com.au)














Menuhin Competition 2018

In summary. Founded by Yehudi Menuhin in 1983 the Menuhin Competition is the leading international Competition for young violinists. Nicknamed "The Olympics of the Violin" the Competition attracts hundreds of entries from over 40 countries, choosing only 44 of the world's very best young violinists to participate. Held every two years in a different world city the Competition discovers, encourages and nurtures exceptionally talented young musicians from all corners of the globe under the age of 22 years to develop into the next generation of great artists.

The Menuhin Competition has an impressive track record of counting some of the world's most gifted violinists among its participants and prizewinners. Since 1983, many prizewinners such as Nikolaj Znaider, Tasmin Little, Julia Fischer, Ilya Gringolts and more recently Ray Chen, Chad Hoopes and Stephen Waarts have gone onto successful international careers as soloists. Some are outstanding concertmasters such as Daishin Kashimoto at the Berlin Philharmonic, others such as Corina Belcea lead world-class chamber ensembles.

Yehudi Menuhin: music connects. From child prodigy to one of the 20th century's finest and most celebrated artists, Yehudi Menuhin devoted much of his life to teaching music, forging links between cultures, and bringing classical music to those who may not have access to it, especially the most disadvantaged as he was convinced that music is a powerful social bond.

As one of Yehudi Menuhin's most valuable legacies, the Competition continues to uphold his status as a cultural ambassador and true world citizen by creating an exceptional family atmosphere of learning and exchange for the competitors. All competitors are invited to stay in the host city for the duration of the Competition, allowing them to make new friendships with other young musicians and forge social and cultural connections alongside their musical development.

Beyond the competition. With the Competition itself at its heart, each edition of the Menuhin Competition presents an 11 day festival of music, education and cultural exchange, from concerts to masterclasses, performances by the jury to educational events delivered by the competitors themselves.

Collaborative in its spirit, the focus is placed on participation and learning rather than winning the 1st Prize. Competitors participate in masterclasses and peer to peer learning or turn into mentors themselves and work with our partners to deliver outreach projects in the local community. Creating a stimulating environment in which talented young violinists may learn and grow has always been and will remain at the heart of the Menuhin Competition.

In Switzerland for the first time. Most recently the Competition was held in London, UK, in celebration of Menuhin's centenary in 2016. Prior to this the Competition took place in Austin, Texas (2014), Beijing, China (2012) and Oslo, Norway (2010).

The Menuhin Competition Geneva 2018 took place from 12-22 April 2018.

Source: 2018.menuhincompetition.org


Yehudi Menuhin (April 22, 1916, New York - March 12, 1999, Berlin)














The American violinist and conductor Yehudi Menuhin had one of the longest and most distinguished careers of any violinist of the 20th century. Menuhin was born in New York of Russian-Jewish parents, recent immigrants to America. By the age of seven his performance of Felix Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto had found him instant fame. As a teenager he toured throughout the world and was considered one of the greats long before his twentieth birthday. Even in his earliest recordings one can sense deeply passionate responses to the great composers. Though considered a technical master, it is his highly charged emotional playing that set him apart.

As a young man Yehudi Menuhin went to Paris to study under violinist and composer George Enesco. Enesco was a primary influence on Menuhin and the two remained friends and collaborators throughout their lives. During the thirties, Menuhin was a sought after international performer. Over the course of World War II he played five hundred concerts for Allied troops, and later returned to Germany to play for inmates recently liberated from the concentration camps. This visit to Germany had a profound effect on Menuhin.

As a Jew and a classical musician, Yehudi Menuhin had a complex relationship with German culture. He was fluent in German and deeply influenced by classical German composers. Menuhin found in the German conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler an important musical peer. Despite accusations of Wilhelm Furtwängler's pro-Nazi sympathies, Menuhin continued to support him and his work. It seemed that for many years, Menuhin led a double life. He was an outspoken supporter of dozens of causes for social justice, while also longing for a solitary life where he could ignore the concerns of society and attend only to the history of music and his role within it.

Throughout the 1940's and 1950's, Yehudi Menuhin performed and made recordings from the great works of the classical canon. During this time he also began to include rarely performed and lesser known works. One of his greatest achievements is the commissioning and performing of Sonata for Solo Violin by Béla Bartók. In Béla Bartók, Menuhin found a composer of deep emotion and pathos that mimicked his own. Béla Bartók's work was at once technically rigorous and open to interpretive playing. Of Menuhin, Béla Bartók said he played better than he imagined he would ever hear his work played. Their collaboration is considered one of the greats of twentieth-century classical music.

By the 1960's, Yehudi Menuhin began to increase the scope of his musical involvement. In 1963 he opened the Yehudi Menuhin School, a school for musically gifted children. He also began conducting, which he would continue to do until his death. He conducted in many of the important music festivals and nearly every major orchestra in the world. It was around this time he also broke from his traditional roots and did work outside of the classical genre. One of his most successful ventures out of traditional performance was with the great Indian composer and sitarist Ravi Shankar.

Throughout the last twenty years of his life, Yehudi Menuhin continued to engage in every aspect of musical work. As a performer, a conductor, a teacher, and a spokesperson, he spent his seventies and eighties as one of the most active musicians in the world. He was a constant contributor to religious, social, and environmental organizations throughout the world.

Among his many books were: "Violin: Six Lessons" (1972), an autobiography "Unfinished Journey" (1977), with Curtis W. Davis "The Music of Man" (1980), based on the television series of the same title, and "Life Class" (1986).

Source: bach-cantatas.com / Baker's Biographical Dictionary of 20th Century Classical Musicians, 1997


Christian Li at the Menuhin Competition 2018. Photo by Olivier Miche








Friday, July 27, 2018

Sofia Gubaidulina – All the posts











Sofia Gubaidulina was born in Chistopol in the Tatar Republic of the Soviet Union in 1931. After instruction in piano and composition at the Kazan Conservatory, she studied composition with Nikolai Peiko at the Moscow Conservatory, pursuing graduate studies there under Vissarion Shebalin. Until 1992, she lived in Moscow. Since then, she has made her primary residence in Germany, outside Hamburg.

Gubaidulina's compositional interests have been stimulated by the tactile exploration and improvisation with rare Russian, Caucasian, and Asian folk and ritual instruments collected by the "Astreia" ensemble, of which she was a co-founder, by the rapid absorption and personalization of contemporary Western musical techniques (a characteristic, too, of other Soviet composers of the post-Stalin generation including Edison Denisov and Alfred Schnittke), and by a deep-rooted belief in the mystical properties of music.


Her uncompromising dedication to a singular vision did not endear her to the Soviet musical establishment, but her music was championed in Russia by a number of devoted performers including Vladimir Tonkha, Friedrich Lips, Mark Pekarsky, and Valery Popov. The determined advocacy of Gidon Kremer, dedicatee of Gubaidulina's masterly violin concerto, Offertorium, helped bring the composer to international attention in the early 1980s. Gubaidulina is the author of symphonic and choral works, two cello concerti, a viola concerto, four string quartets, a string trio, works for percussion ensemble, and many works for nonstandard instruments and distinctive combinations of instruments. Her scores frequently explore unconventional techniques of sound production.


Since 1985, when she was first allowed to travel to the West, Gubaidulina's stature in the world of contemporary music has skyrocketed. She has been the recipient of prestigious commissions from the Berlin, Helsinki, and Holland Festivals, the Library of Congress, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and many other organizations and ensembles. A major triumph was the premiere in 2002 of the monumental two-part cycle, Passion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ according to St John, commissioned respectively by the International Bachakademie Stuttgart and the Norddeutschen Rundfunk, Hamburg.


Gubaidulina made her first visit to North America in 1987 as a guest of Louisville's "Sound Celebration." She has returned many times since as a featured composer of festivals – Boston's "Making Music Together" (1988), Vancouver's "New Music" (1991), Tanglewood (1997), Marlboro (2016) – and for other performance milestones. In May 2011, she was feted on the occasion of her 80th birthday in concerts presented by the California Institute of the Arts and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. From the retrospective concert by Continuum (New York, 1989) to the world premieres of commissioned works – Pro et Contra by the Louisville Orchestra (1989), String Quartet No.4 by the Kronos Quartet (New York, 1994), Dancer on a Tightrope by Robert Mann and Ursula Oppens (Washington, DC, 1994), the Viola Concerto by Yuri Bashmet with the Chicago Symphony conducted by Kent Nagano (1997), Two Paths ("A Dedication to Mary and Martha") for two solo violas and orchestra, by the New York Philharmonic conducted by Kurt Masur (1999), Light of the End by the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Masur (2003), and Pilgrims for violin, double bass, piano and two percussionists (2015) by Chicago's Contempo Ensemble – the accolades of American critics have been ecstatic.


In January 2007, Gubaidulina was the first woman composer to be spotlighted by the BBC during its annual "composer weekend" in London. Among her most recent compositions are Feast During a Plague (2005), jointly commissioned by the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra – and conducted in Philadelphia by Sir Simon Rattle and in Pittsburgh and New York by Sir Andrew Davis – In Tempus Praesens, a violin concerto unveiled at the 2007 Lucerne Festival by Anne-Sophie Mutter with the Berlin Philharmonic under the baton of Rattle, and Glorious Percussion, a concerto for five solo percussionists and orchestra premiered in 2008 by Gustavo Dudamel and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.


Gubaidulina is a member of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin, the Royal Music Academy in Stockholm and of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecila in Rome. She has been the recipient of the Prix de Monaco (1987), the Premio Franco Abbiato (1991), the Heidelberger Künstlerinnenpreis (1991), the Russian State Prize (1992), and the SpohrPreis (1995). Recent awards include the prestigious Praemium Imperiale in Japan (1998), the Sonning Prize in Denmark (1999), the Polar Music Prize in Sweden (2002), the Living Composer Prize of the Cannes Classical Awards (2003), the Great Distinguished Service Cross of the Order of Merit with Star of the Federal Republic of Germany (2009), the "Golden Lion" for Lifetime Achievement of the Venice Bieniale (2013), and the Prix de l'Académie Royale de Belgique (2014). In 2005, she was elected as a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She is the recipient of honorary doctorates from Yale University (2009) and the University of Chicago (2011).


Her music is now generously represented on compact disc, and Gubaidulina has been honored twice with the coveted Koussevitzky International Recording Award. Major releases have appeared on the DG, Chandos, Philips, Sony Classical, BIS, Berlin Classics and Naxos labels.


Source: musicsalesclassical.com



Photo by Madis Veltman
















More photos


Sofia Gubaidulina – All the posts

Sofia Gubaidulina: Offertorium – Vadim Repin, State Academic Symphony Orchestra "Evgeny Svetlanov", Vladimir Jurowski

Sofia Gubaidulina: Sonata for double bass and piano – Daniele Roccato, Fabrizio Ottaviucci (HD 1080p)

Sofia Gubaidulina: Et Exspecto – José Valente (HD 1080p)

Sofia Gubaidulina: De Profundis – José Valente (HD 1080p)

Sofia Gubaidulina: The Canticle of the Sun – Gal Faganel, Slovenian Chamber Choir, Kaspars Putninš (HD 1080p)


Sofia Gubaidulina: Sieben Worte for cello, bayan and strings – Jean-Guihen Queyras, Geir Draugsvoll, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Per Kristian Skalstad (HD 1080p)


Sofia Gubaidulina: Fachwerk for bayan, percussion and string orchestra – Geir Draugsvoll, Hans-Kristian Kjos Sørensen, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra,Terje Tønnesen (HD 1080p)

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Sofia Gubaidulina: Offertorium – Vadim Repin, State Academic Symphony Orchestra "Evgeny Svetlanov", Vladimir Jurowski














Violinist Vadim Repin performs Sofia Gubaidulina's Offertorium concerto for violin and orchestra, with the State Academic Symphony Orchestra "Evgeny Svetlanov" under the baton of Vladimir Jurowski. The concert took place at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow on May 30, 2016.



Until the early 1980s, Gubaydulina's works were little known in the USSR because of the authorities' disapproval of her compositional style, and her music was also virtually unknown in the west. Performances of this violin concerto changed those circumstances in Europe and later in the United States, as Gidon Kremer, the Latvian violinist for whom it was written and then dedicated, took the work to European centers. Its popularity established Gubaydulina's reputation. Like many of the composer's works, the piece uses musical structures to symbolize and express spiritual ideas, while simultaneously suggesting those concerns to the listener through the use of a musical language of brilliant instrumental colors and meditative movement.

Offertorium opens with the theme on which Frederick the Great of Prussia requested that Bach write a fugue, but which Bach used instead in A Musical Offering. Gubaydulina treats this theme in the manner of Webern, changing the instruments which play the melody every few notes. The transformation of this theme into a melody of instrumental colors (Klangfarbenmelodie) is significant because Gubaydulina has here united Bach and Webern, the two composers who she says have made the greatest impression on her. Webern himself composed an orchestral version of the Ricercata from A Musical Offering which featured Klangfarbenmelodie, so with Offertorium Gubaydulina has composed a work based on the same theme that had been used by the two composers who were so important to her.

The concerto's title Offertorium relates to the "offering" of Bach's Musical Offering, but also represents the crucial spiritual idea of the work, which is embodied in the music. The theme mentioned above essentially "offers" or sacrifices itself throughout the piece's first section. A series of variations is presented, with the melody appearing shortened in each by a note from the beginning and one from the end, until there is only one note of the theme left. Each variation is based on the last two notes which remain in the melody after another note has been removed. After this process is completed the second section, according to the composer, centers on the Last Judgment and the suffering of Christ on the cross, and contains almost no trace of the melody used by Bach. In the third section the theme rebuilds itself note by note, starting from the one central note that had remained at the end of the first section, but the pitches arrange themselves in the opposite order to their initial shape, and the theme is now backwards, symbolizing the idea of "conversion". In the final portion of the work, the coda, the theme is again presented backwards, now "transfigured", and the music ends in a rapturous, meditative style.

Offertorium forms part of a cycle of three concertos which Gubaydulina sees as forming an instrumental mass, titled Proprium. These three works, however, are performed in traditional concert hall settings, usually in isolation. The mass idea was conceived of by the composer in 1978 when she began work on the first of the three, Introitus, a concerto for piano and small orchestra (an Introit being the first item of the traditional Mass). Offertorium is the second work, composed for the most part just after Introitus in 1979 and 1980 (then revised in 1982 and 1986). Detto II is the final work in the trilogy, but was actually written before the others, in 1972, and also has spiritual concerns.

Source: Rachel Campbell (allmusic.com)



Sofia Gubaidulina (b. 1931)

♪ Offertorium, concerto for violin and orchestra 
(1980, revised in 1982 and 1986)


Vadim Repin, violin


State Academic Symphony Orchestra "Evgeny Svetlanov"

Conductor: Vladimir Jurowski

Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, Moscow, May 30, 2016

(HD 720p)



Sofia Gubaidulina was born in Chistopol in the Tatar Republic of the Soviet Union in 1931. After instruction in piano and composition at the Kazan Conservatory, she studied composition with Nikolai Peiko at the Moscow Conservatory, pursuing graduate studies there under Vissarion Shebalin. Until 1992, she lived in Moscow. Since then, she has made her primary residence in Germany, outside Hamburg.

Gubaidulina's compositional interests have been stimulated by the tactile exploration and improvisation with rare Russian, Caucasian, and Asian folk and ritual instruments collected by the "Astreia" ensemble, of which she was a co-founder, by the rapid absorption and personalization of contemporary Western musical techniques (a characteristic, too, of other Soviet composers of the post-Stalin generation including Edison Denisov and Alfred Schnittke), and by a deep-rooted belief in the mystical properties of music.

Her uncompromising dedication to a singular vision did not endear her to the Soviet musical establishment, but her music was championed in Russia by a number of devoted performers including Vladimir Tonkha, Friedrich Lips, Mark Pekarsky, and Valery Popov. The determined advocacy of Gidon Kremer, dedicatee of Gubaidulina's masterly violin concerto, Offertorium, helped bring the composer to international attention in the early 1980s. Gubaidulina is the author of symphonic and choral works, two cello concerti, a viola concerto, four string quartets, a string trio, works for percussion ensemble, and many works for nonstandard instruments and distinctive combinations of instruments. Her scores frequently explore unconventional techniques of sound production.

Since 1985, when she was first allowed to travel to the West, Gubaidulina's stature in the world of contemporary music has skyrocketed. She has been the recipient of prestigious commissions from the Berlin, Helsinki, and Holland Festivals, the Library of Congress, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and many other organizations and ensembles. A major triumph was the premiere in 2002 of the monumental two-part cycle, Passion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ according to St John, commissioned respectively by the International Bachakademie Stuttgart and the Norddeutschen Rundfunk, Hamburg.

Gubaidulina made her first visit to North America in 1987 as a guest of Louisville's "Sound Celebration." She has returned many times since as a featured composer of festivals – Boston's "Making Music Together" (1988), Vancouver's "New Music" (1991), Tanglewood (1997), Marlboro (2016) – and for other performance milestones. In May 2011, she was feted on the occasion of her 80th birthday in concerts presented by the California Institute of the Arts and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. From the retrospective concert by Continuum (New York, 1989) to the world premieres of commissioned works – Pro et Contra by the Louisville Orchestra (1989), String Quartet No.4 by the Kronos Quartet (New York, 1994), Dancer on a Tightrope by Robert Mann and Ursula Oppens (Washington, DC, 1994), the Viola Concerto by Yuri Bashmet with the Chicago Symphony conducted by Kent Nagano (1997), Two Paths ("A Dedication to Mary and Martha") for two solo violas and orchestra, by the New York Philharmonic conducted by Kurt Masur (1999), Light of the End by the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Masur (2003), and Pilgrims for violin, double bass, piano and two percussionists (2015) by Chicago's Contempo Ensemble – the accolades of American critics have been ecstatic.

In January 2007, Gubaidulina was the first woman composer to be spotlighted by the BBC during its annual "composer weekend" in London. Among her most recent compositions are Feast During a Plague (2005), jointly commissioned by the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra – and conducted in Philadelphia by Sir Simon Rattle and in Pittsburgh and New York by Sir Andrew Davis – In Tempus Praesens, a violin concerto unveiled at the 2007 Lucerne Festival by Anne-Sophie Mutter with the Berlin Philharmonic under the baton of Rattle, and Glorious Percussion, a concerto for five solo percussionists and orchestra premiered in 2008 by Gustavo Dudamel and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.

Gubaidulina is a member of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin, the Royal Music Academy in Stockholm and of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecila in Rome. She has been the recipient of the Prix de Monaco (1987), the Premio Franco Abbiato (1991), the Heidelberger Künstlerinnenpreis (1991), the Russian State Prize (1992), and the SpohrPreis (1995). Recent awards include the prestigious Praemium Imperiale in Japan (1998), the Sonning Prize in Denmark (1999), the Polar Music Prize in Sweden (2002), the Living Composer Prize of the Cannes Classical Awards (2003), the Great Distinguished Service Cross of the Order of Merit with Star of the Federal Republic of Germany (2009), the "Golden Lion" for Lifetime Achievement of the Venice Bieniale (2013), and the Prix de l'Académie Royale de Belgique (2014). In 2005, she was elected as a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She is the recipient of honorary doctorates from Yale University (2009) and the University of Chicago (2011).

Her music is now generously represented on compact disc, and Gubaidulina has been honored twice with the coveted Koussevitzky International Recording Award. Major releases have appeared on the DG, Chandos, Philips, Sony Classical, BIS, Berlin Classics and Naxos labels.

Source: musicsalesclassical.com















Born in Siberia in 1971, Vadim Repin was eleven when he won the gold medal in all age categories in the Wienawski Competition and gave his recital debuts in Moscow and St Petersburg.  At 14 he made his debuts in Tokyo, Munich, Berlin, Helsinki; a year later in Carnegie Hall. At 17 he was the youngest ever winner of the Reine Elisabeth Concours.

Since then he has performed with all the world's greatest orchestras and conductors. Among the highlights of his career in the past few seasons have been tours with the London Symphony Orchestra and Valery Gergiev, the NHK Orchestra and Dutoit; a tour of Australia with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski, and acclaimed premières in London, Philadelphia, New York's Carnegie Hall, the Salle Pleyel in Paris and Amsterdam's Concertgebouw of the violin concerto written for him by James MacMillan, culminating in a BBC Prom at the sold out Royal Albert Hall.

Vadim Repin recorded the great Russian violin concertos by Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky on Warner Classics. For Deutsche Grammophon he recorded the Beethoven Violin Concerto, the Brahms Violin Concerto and Double Concerto (Truls Mørk, cello) with the Gewandhaus Orchester, the Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov trios with Mischa Maisky and Lang Lang (which won the Echo Classic) and works by Grieg, Janacek and César Franck with Nikolai Lugansky, which won the 2011 BBC Music Award.

In 2010 he received the Victoire d'Honneur, France's most prestigious musical award for a lifetime's dedication to music, and became Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres. Following master classes and concerts in Beijing in December 2014 he was awarded an honorary professorship of the Central Conservatory of Music, and in 2015 an honorary professorship of the Shanghai Conservatory.

Highlights of the last season included concerts in Hong Kong and Beijing, a European tour with Orchestre de la Suisse Romande under Neeme Jarvi, and concerts in Vienna with Kent Nagano and Lionel Bringuier. In April 2014 Vadim Repin as Artistic Director presented the first Trans-Siberian Festival of the Arts in Novosibirsk's magnificent new concert hall, featuring a new commission, "Voices of Violin" by Benjamin Yussupov, and a joint appearance by Vadim Repin and prima ballerina Svetlana Zakharova. The Festival was enthusiastically received and was repeated and extended in the spring of 2015, this time featuring a specially commissioned violin concerto, "De Profundis", by Lera Auerbach.

Last season began with concerts in Vilnius, Prague, Vienna, Paris and Ankara and a Vadim Repin Festival in Tokyo in November with chamber music and orchestral concerts. Performances in the United States were followed by concerts with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Vladimir Ashkenazy in London and Cardiff, the German première of the Yussupov concerto in the Berlin Philharmonie, and a return to Japan for concerts with the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra to celebrate the Tchaikovsky centenary. This season began with concerts in Yerevan, Barcelona and Madrid and a tour of European capitals with the Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra, and will culminate with a "Transsiberia goes to Tel Aviv" project.

Vadim Repin plays on the 1733 "Rode" violin by Stradivari.

Source: vadimrepin.com







































More photos


See also


Sofia Gubaidulina – All the posts

Sofia Gubaidulina: Sonata for double bass and piano – Daniele Roccato, Fabrizio Ottaviucci (HD 1080p)

Sofia Gubaidulina: Et Exspecto – José Valente (HD 1080p)


Sofia Gubaidulina: De Profundis – José Valente (HD 1080p)


Sofia Gubaidulina: The Canticle of the Sun – Gal Faganel, Slovenian Chamber Choir, Kaspars Putninš (HD 1080p)


Sofia Gubaidulina: Sieben Worte for cello, bayan and strings – Jean-Guihen Queyras, Geir Draugsvoll, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Per Kristian Skalstad (HD 1080p)


Sofia Gubaidulina: Fachwerk for bayan, percussion and string orchestra – Geir Draugsvoll, Hans-Kristian Kjos Sørensen, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra,Terje Tønnesen (HD 1080p)


Monday, July 23, 2018

Sofia Gubaidulina: Sonata for double bass and piano – Daniele Roccato, Fabrizio Ottaviucci (HD 1080p)














The distinguished Italian musicians Daniele Roccato (double bass) and Fabrizio Ottaviucci (piano) perform Sofia Gubaidulina's Sonata for double bass and piano. The concert was recorded at Minoritenkirche in Krems, Austria, on April 6, 2012.



The double bass is in the focus of the four compositions by Sofia Gubaidulina: Sonata for double bass and piano (1975), Pantomime for double bass and piano (1966), In Croce for double bass and bayan (2009), and Preludes for solo double bass (2009). The compositions which were written and reviewed over a time span of over forty years "are among the highlights in double bass literature: four gems of outstanding value every double bass player should learn to perform" (Daniele Roccato).

In Sonata for double bass and piano, the double bass part is largely written in a traditional way. However, the performer can opt for various choices of fingering, positions and resonating chords according to personal preferences. Moreover, it is to be assumed that Gubaidulina also intended a specific gestural expressiveness of the double bass player to be part of the tonal result.



Sofia Gubaidulina (b. 1931)

♪ 
Sonata for double bass and piano (1975)

Daniele Roccato, double bass
Fabrizio Ottaviucci, piano

Imago Dei (International Festival of Contemporary Music), Krems (Austria), Minoritenkirche, April 6, 2012

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Sofia Gubaidulina was born in Chistopol in the Tatar Republic of the Soviet Union in 1931. After instruction in piano and composition at the Kazan Conservatory, she studied composition with Nikolai Peiko at the Moscow Conservatory, pursuing graduate studies there under Vissarion Shebalin. Until 1992, she lived in Moscow. Since then, she has made her primary residence in Germany, outside Hamburg.

Gubaidulina's compositional interests have been stimulated by the tactile exploration and improvisation with rare Russian, Caucasian, and Asian folk and ritual instruments collected by the "Astreia" ensemble, of which she was a co-founder, by the rapid absorption and personalization of contemporary Western musical techniques (a characteristic, too, of other Soviet composers of the post-Stalin generation including Edison Denisov and Alfred Schnittke), and by a deep-rooted belief in the mystical properties of music.


Her uncompromising dedication to a singular vision did not endear her to the Soviet musical establishment, but her music was championed in Russia by a number of devoted performers including Vladimir Tonkha, Friedrich Lips, Mark Pekarsky, and Valery Popov. The determined advocacy of Gidon Kremer, dedicatee of Gubaidulina's masterly violin concerto, Offertorium, helped bring the composer to international attention in the early 1980s. Gubaidulina is the author of symphonic and choral works, two cello concerti, a viola concerto, four string quartets, a string trio, works for percussion ensemble, and many works for nonstandard instruments and distinctive combinations of instruments. Her scores frequently explore unconventional techniques of sound production.


Since 1985, when she was first allowed to travel to the West, Gubaidulina's stature in the world of contemporary music has skyrocketed. She has been the recipient of prestigious commissions from the Berlin, Helsinki, and Holland Festivals, the Library of Congress, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and many other organizations and ensembles. A major triumph was the premiere in 2002 of the monumental two-part cycle, Passion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ according to St John, commissioned respectively by the International Bachakademie Stuttgart and the Norddeutschen Rundfunk, Hamburg.


Gubaidulina made her first visit to North America in 1987 as a guest of Louisville's "Sound Celebration." She has returned many times since as a featured composer of festivals – Boston's "Making Music Together" (1988), Vancouver's "New Music" (1991), Tanglewood (1997), Marlboro (2016) – and for other performance milestones. In May 2011, she was feted on the occasion of her 80th birthday in concerts presented by the California Institute of the Arts and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. From the retrospective concert by Continuum (New York, 1989) to the world premieres of commissioned works – Pro et Contra by the Louisville Orchestra (1989), String Quartet No.4 by the Kronos Quartet (New York, 1994), Dancer on a Tightrope by Robert Mann and Ursula Oppens (Washington, DC, 1994), the Viola Concerto by Yuri Bashmet with the Chicago Symphony conducted by Kent Nagano (1997), Two Paths ("A Dedication to Mary and Martha") for two solo violas and orchestra, by the New York Philharmonic conducted by Kurt Masur (1999), Light of the End by the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Masur (2003), and Pilgrims for violin, double bass, piano and two percussionists (2015) by Chicago's Contempo Ensemble – the accolades of American critics have been ecstatic.


In January 2007, Gubaidulina was the first woman composer to be spotlighted by the BBC during its annual "composer weekend" in London. Among her most recent compositions are Feast During a Plague (2005), jointly commissioned by the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra – and conducted in Philadelphia by Sir Simon Rattle and in Pittsburgh and New York by Sir Andrew Davis – In Tempus Praesens, a violin concerto unveiled at the 2007 Lucerne Festival by Anne-Sophie Mutter with the Berlin Philharmonic under the baton of Rattle, and Glorious Percussion, a concerto for five solo percussionists and orchestra premiered in 2008 by Gustavo Dudamel and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.


Gubaidulina is a member of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin, the Royal Music Academy in Stockholm and of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecila in Rome. She has been the recipient of the Prix de Monaco (1987), the Premio Franco Abbiato (1991), the Heidelberger Künstlerinnenpreis (1991), the Russian State Prize (1992), and the SpohrPreis (1995). Recent awards include the prestigious Praemium Imperiale in Japan (1998), the Sonning Prize in Denmark (1999), the Polar Music Prize in Sweden (2002), the Living Composer Prize of the Cannes Classical Awards (2003), the Great Distinguished Service Cross of the Order of Merit with Star of the Federal Republic of Germany (2009), the "Golden Lion" for Lifetime Achievement of the Venice Bieniale (2013), and the Prix de l'Académie Royale de Belgique (2014). In 2005, she was elected as a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She is the recipient of honorary doctorates from Yale University (2009) and the University of Chicago (2011).


Her music is now generously represented on compact disc, and Gubaidulina has been honored twice with the coveted Koussevitzky International Recording Award. Major releases have appeared on the DG, Chandos, Philips, Sony Classical, BIS, Berlin Classics and Naxos labels.


Source: musicsalesclassical.com








































More photos


See also


Sofia Gubaidulina – All the posts

Sofia Gubaidulina: Offertorium – Vadim Repin, State Academic Symphony Orchestra "Evgeny Svetlanov", Vladimir Jurowski

Sofia Gubaidulina: Et Exspecto – José Valente (HD 1080p)

Sofia Gubaidulina: De Profundis – José Valente (HD 1080p)


Sofia Gubaidulina: The Canticle of the Sun – Gal Faganel, Slovenian Chamber Choir, Kaspars Putninš (HD 1080p)


Sofia Gubaidulina: Sieben Worte for cello, bayan and strings – Jean-Guihen Queyras, Geir Draugsvoll, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Per Kristian Skalstad (HD 1080p)


Sofia Gubaidulina: Fachwerk for bayan, percussion and string orchestra – Geir Draugsvoll, Hans-Kristian Kjos Sørensen, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra,Terje Tønnesen (HD 1080p)


Sunday, July 22, 2018

Obituary: Dominik Połoński, 1977-2018

Photo from "Right Side of Cello" (2016), a film by Aleksandra Rek
















Polish cellist who kept playing one-armed after a brain tumour surgery incapacitated his left side, succumbs to return of disease at the age of 41

Cellist Dominik Połoński died at the age of 41 on 20 June, 14 years after first being diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour.

In 2004, at 27, he was a cellist with a number of competition successes under his belt, including first place at the 1998 Yamaha Music Foundation competition and second place at the 1999 Lutosławski in Warsaw; he had appeared as a soloist in all the major Polish venues and was making headway beyond; and was touring internationally as a member of Krystian Zimerman's Polish Festival Orchestra.

The discovery of a glioma in his brain cut short this promising trajectory. Four separate surgeries interspersed with bouts of chemo- and radiotherapy saved his life but he lost the use of his left arm and as far anyone would have imagined, his career as a cellist was over.

However, a long period of rehabilitation and Połoński's persistent lobbying of Polish composers led to his return to the concert platform from 2009 with works written for one-armed cello, exploring percussive elements, unusual tunings and the considerable musicality of a well-practised bow drawn across strings.

The most prominent of these pieces saw Połoński paired with British percussionist Evelyn Glennie for a sinfonia concertante entitle Entelecheia, by Olga Hans.

"I was and remain deeply humbled by Dominik's tenacity and determination and performing with him will always be one of my proudest moments", Glennie wrote of Połoński, while in a tweet following his death she said of him that "no talent could shine brighter".

Połoński was born on 17 June 1977 in Kraków. He studied at the Łódź Academy of Music and won a scholarship for further study at the Reina Sofía School of Music in Madrid in the cello class of Natalia Szachowska, also taking lessons with visiting professor by Mstislav Rostropovich.

Following his illness and recovery, he held teaching positions at the music academies of Łódź and Kraków.

He died on 20 June following recurrence of the glioma.

Source: thestrad.com (June 25, 2018)


Dominik Połoński, 2013. Photo by Paweł Miecznik















Friday, July 20, 2018

Igor Stravinsky: The Firebird Suite (1945 version) – Academy Symphony Orchestra, Oliver Knussen (HD 1080p)














The Academy Symphony Orchestra conducted by Oliver Knussen (1952-2018), performs Igor Stravinsky's Firebird Suite (1945 version). Recorded at The Duke's Hall, Royal Acamedy of Music, London, on January 26, 2018.



Igor Stravinsky's third concert version of his Firebird ballet was completed in 1945. Stravinsky called this work a "ballet suite", and it is substantially different from its predecessors in a number of ways. Perhaps most significant is the addition of more music in the third suite: whereas suites one and two each consisted of five movements, the 1945 suite boasts 10, including the original five from the 1919 suite, plus three Pantomimes, a Pas de deux, and a Scherzo. Also notable are the revisions the composer made in both of the later suites: notation, barring, and metrics are altered to facilitate reading Stravinsky's complex rhythms. There are also a number of changes in orchestration, due in part to the reduced orchestra of the later suites (the 1945 suite consists of the same instrumentation as the reduced 1919 suite, with the exception of an added snare drum in the former). This "ballet suite" was Stravinsky's final attempt to make his ballet more palatable: while his suites remained popular for decades after the ballet's appearance early in the century, Stravinsky quickly outgrew the Russian musical idioms that give the work its characteristic sound. The concert suites enabled Stravinsky to extract what he felt were the ballet's salvageable moments, and to censor what musicologist Eric Walter White called the work's "effusiveness [which] must have been increasingly embarrassing to Stravinsky as time went on". The composer himself, after years of attempting to update his ballet, always referred to the work dismissively as "that audience lollipop".

Source: Alexander Carpenter (allmusic.com)



Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)

♪ The Firebird Suite (1945)

i. Introduction
ii. Prelude and Dance of the Firebird
iii. Variations (Firebird)
iv. Pantomime 1
v. Pas de deux
vi. Pantomime 2
vii. Scherzo: Dance of the princesses
viii. Pantomime 3
ix. Rondo
x. Infernal dance
xi. Lullaby
xii. Final hymn

Academy Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Oliver Knussen

London, Royal Acamedy of Music, The Duke's Hall, January 26, 2018

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Oliver Knussen (June 12, 1952 - July 8, 2018) was one of today's most important composers and conductors. His work includes three symphonies, the instrumental piece "Ophelia Dances" and two hugely successful children's operas – "Where the Wild Things Are" and "Higglety Pigglety Pop!".

He was also one of the world's top conductors and artistic directors, working with ensembles including the London Sinfonietta and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. As a festival director he was highly respected: he was co-artistic director of the Aldeburgh Festival from 1983-1998 and head of contemporary music at the Tanglewood Music Center from 1986-1993.

Only last week Knussen was given an honorary doctorate by the Royal Academy of Music, where he was also the Richard Rodney Bennett Professor of Music. In a citation the Academy said: "There is no composer more refined in technique and imagination, no conductor more precise and fastidious, no mentor more generous, and no-one who understands the repertoires of new music better. He is one of the Academy's and nation's greatest cultural treasures".

Oliver Knussen was born in Glasgow in 1952 but grew up in London – his father was principal double bass in the London Symphony Orchestra. He began composing when he was just six and at the age of just 15 the young Knussen stepped in at the last minute to conduct the premiere of his first symphony at the Royal Festival Hall.

He went on to work as the principal guest conductor of The Hague's Het Residentie Orkest in 1992 and became music director for the London Sinfonietta in 1998, a post he held until 2002.

Perhaps his most famous works are the pair of operas he wrote with author Maurice Sendak – "Where the Wild Things Are" and "Higglety Pigglety Pop!".

In 1994 he was awarded a CBE and in 2009 received the Royal Philharmonic Society Conductor Award. In 2012 his 60th birthday was marked with special events in Aldeburgh, Amsterdam, Birmingham, London and Tanglewood.

As a conductor he has made around 60 recordings on labels including Deutsche Grammophone, NMC and Ondine. And in 2015 he was awarded the Queen's Medal for Music.

His wife, Sue Knussen, was a producer of music programmes. She died in 2003 and her husband set up the Sue Knussen Composers Fund to "honour her memory and professional legacy and commission works from emerging composers to be performed by contemporary music ensemble worldwide". The couple had a daughter, Sonya, who is a mezzo-soprano.

Source: Elizabeth Davis, July 9, 2018 (classicfm.com)







































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Tributes paid to Oliver Knussen, who has died aged 66