After the long and involuntary interruption due to the pandemic, the 2022/2023 season opened with great success for our artists:
After two concerts with the Orquesta Ciudad de Granada, Paul Goodwin returned to the Warsaw Philharmonic, also for two concerts. Florian Csizmadia opened the season at the Theater Vorpommern with a symphony concert and a new production of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Zofia Neugebauer made her debut with the Sinfonietta Cracovia and recorded Mozart’s two flute concertos with the Folkwang Kammerorchester conducted by Johannes Klumpp. At the Gerhart-Hauptmann-Theater Görlitz/Zittau, Ewa Strusińska began the season with two symphony concerts and a new production of the Magic Flute. Ania Vegry gave her debut as Pamina in the same opera at the Anhaltisches Theater Dessau. Shortly thereafter, she sang the soprano part in Verdi’s Requiem with the Cracow Philharmonic Orchestra. The Artistic Director of the Silesian Chamber Orchestra, Piotr Pławner, opened the season with concerts first in Katowice and then in Rzeszow. Adolfo Gutiérrez Arenas returned to the Orquesta Filarmónica de Malága with Dvořáks cello concerto. Svetoslav Borisov conducted the first ballet premiere of the Theater Magdeburg’s new direction (Schönberg, Verklärte Nacht and Mahler, Symphony No. 4). And at the end of October, Polina Tarasenko performed (trombone and acting) in an ambitious education project in the Philharmonie Luxemburg.
A sunny start to the season for two of our artists: Paul Goodwin conducted the Orquesta Ciudad de Granada at the end of September; besides works by Rameau and Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach, Handel’s Water Music was on the programme. What music could be more beautiful in the Moorish city with its fountains and waterworks? “A sequence of wonders, exuberant, expressive” thus wrote the critic on www.scherzo.es.
A few kilometres away, Adolfo Gutiérrez Arenas, one of the “currently most outstanding cellists in Spain”, and the conductor Rune Bergmann had joined forces; two artists whose ability for dialogue and passionate musicality were particularly praised by the press. Together with the Orquesta Filarmónica de Málaga they performed Dvořák’s Cello Concerto, of which Adolfo Gutiérrez Arenas has already released a recording on the label lbs in 2019.
No less than three special prizes were awarded to the young Ukrainian trombonist Polina Tarasenko at this year’s ARD Competition: the Special Prize Sweet Spot of BR-Klassik, the Special Prize of the Mozart Society Munich and the Alice Rosner Prize for an outstanding interpretation of Henri Dutilleux’s Choral, Cadence et Fugato. A total of 51 trombonists took part in the competition. In the semifinals, Polina was the only female candidate – she narrowly missed making it to the final. Congratulations!
In their just released CD Loss & Love: Schubert – Schumann, cellist Adolfo Gutiérrez Arenas and pianist Josu De Solaun touch on two perennial themes that permeate all human lives. The album is a very personal one, as both artists recently lost their fathers. First reactions from the press praise the “lyrical-poetic tone, the devoted interplay” (www.falter.at) and the “virtuosic joy and sensitive fingering” (pizzicato.lu).
The spring at the Theater Vorpommern is all about George Frideric Handel: first with a new production of the opera “Alcina”, conducted by GMD Florian Csizmadia, who also sat at the second harpsichord himself. There are further performances to come in Stralsund, Greifswald and Putbus until July 2nd. A little later, six concerts followed with Handel’s “Messiah”. And in Madrid, Paul Goodwin, Artistic Director of the Department of Historical Performance Practice at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofia, conducted two concerts with the university’s baroque orchestra, which included arias from Handel’s operas “Ariodante” and “Gulio Cesare”.
At the beginning of May, the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Saxon Liaison Office in Wrocław was festively celebrated at the National Forum of Music (NFM) with a concert by the Neue Lausitzer Philharmonie conducted by its Music Director Ewa Strusińska and the magnificent pianist Alexandra Dariescu. The audience, including prominent guests such as Dr Daniel Morgenroth, artistic director of the Gerhart-Hauptmann-Theater Görlitz/Zittau, and Saxony’s Minister for Europe Katja Meier, was enthusiastic and thanked the musicians with a standing ovation.
Live again – at last: the Feininger Trio of the Berlin Philharmonic gave a celebrated guest performances at the Baden-Baden Easter Festival and at the Heidelberg Spring Festival with works by Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich and Arensky. Critics particularly praised the great intensity and the “superbly balanced sound” of the three musicians. The next concert will be on 25 May at the Schlosskonzerte Spiez in Switzerland.
“One of the most versatile conductors of our time” – we are delighted to welcome British conductor Paul Goodwin to UR classics. From Handel and Rameau to Beethoven and Brahms, Stravinsky and Elgar to John Tavener and Mark-Anthony Turnage: Paul Goodwin combines “energy and precision” from Baroque to the present. Equally at home as a conductor in Europe, North America and Australia, he has also made a name for himself as a teacher, creator of outreach projects and as festival director. A warm welcome!
Two symphony concert programmes last week offered delightful contrasts: Florian Csizmadia and the Neue Lausitzer Philharmonie juxtaposed the bubbling and grooving hustle and bustle of Time Square in Leonard Bernstein’s “On the Town” with the vastness of Finland’s lake-rich landscape in Sibelius’s 1st Symphony. In the flute concerto by the American Lowell Liebermann, with its melodic
and racy passages, Zofia Neugebauer thrilled the audience with breathtaking virtuosity.
Ewa Strusińska and the Brandenburg State Orchestra Frankfurt/Oder contrasted the uncompromising wildness of Rolf Liebermann’s “Furioso” with reminiscences of the sound world of the 18th century in Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations (soloist: Maximilian Hornung) and the grandiose 9th Symphony by Antonín Dvořák inspired by American music.