Musical Cornucopia – from Henry Purcell to Mark-Anthony Turnage
The whole spectrum of occidental music history was presented by Paul Goodwin in October with concerts in Kraków and Warsaw: with the Kraków Philharmonic Orchestra he performed Karol Szymanowski’s rarely heard, extremely humorous composition Mandragora, the Flute Concerto by Stanisław Skrowaczewski and the complete Firebird by Stravinsky. Then, at the end of October, there was a most unusual programme conceived by Paul Goodwin, with compositions by Purcell, Handel, Elgar, Turnage, Ravel and an arrangement of Richard Strauss’ Dance Suite of piano pieces by François Couperin and passages from Couperin’s Nouveaux concerts.
Happy orchestra musicians, enthusiastic audiences of all ages and very positive press in both cities – it was an all round successful month for Paul Goodwin!
Nominations of our artists for the Opernwelt Award
Two artists of UR classics have been nominated for the 2023 Award by Opernwelt magazine: Svetoslav Borisov as Best Conductor for Ariadne auf Naxos at the Theater Magdeburg and Ania Vegry as Best Soprano for her interpretation of the role of Violeta in La Traviata at the Anhaltisches Theater Dessau. Congratulations!
Prize for Polina Tarasenko at the International Aeolus Wind Competition 2023
The top-class jury of the 17th International Aeolus Wind Competition 2023 has chosen the prize winners after the final concert in the Tonhalle Düsseldorf with the Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra: Polina Tarasenko is the overall winner in the trombone category and received the 3rd prize in the overall ranking of all categories. In addition to the cash prize, the prize includes a scholarship for three concert engagements.
Elai Grisaru, member of the Anima Trombone Quartet and solo trombonist of the Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra, was awarded 4th prize. UR classics congratulates both musicians and looks forward to our further collaboration!
Festival summer for our artists
The summer months are holiday time for most people – but not for our artists, who can be heard at various festivals throughout Europe: Polina Tarasenko performed with the New Lausitz Philharmonic Orchestra at Lake Olbersdorf near Zittau in early July before appearing at the “Lange Nächte der Gipfelstürmer” of the Gezeitenkonzerte Ostfriesland; later in July she can be heard as part of the “Junge Elite” of the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival at Bothmer Castle. Adolfo Gutiérrez Arenas is invited to the SoNoRo Festival Musikland in Romania and Zofia Neugebauer plays with the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra in Switzerland. Svetoslav Borisov conducts a new production of Don Pasquale at the Varna Summer Theatre, Paul Goodwin leads the Rheinische Philharmonie Koblenz at the opening concert of the Mosel Music Festival on 16 July and Ewa Strusińska makes her debut in the far north at an open air concert with the Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra in Tromsø at the end of August.
Spanish debut of Ewa Strusińska – a great success
With works by Shostakovich and Beethoven, Ewa Strusińska made her Spanish debut at the end of last week at the invitation of José María Moreno, Artistic Director of the Málaga Philharmonic Orchestra. Musicians and audiences alike were thrilled, and the press wrote: “There is no alchemy in the Polish conductor’s directing, only an invaluable clarity of ideas and a coherent, organic discourse from beginning to end… It is a pity that we will have to wait at least two seasons for a possible return of the Polish conductor to the Philharmonic podium.”
Fulminant – Ewa Strusińska and Polina Tarasenko at the Konzerthaus Dortmund
Planned before the pandemic, now finally a reality: the Beethoven Academy Orchestra from Krakow gave an acclaimed guest performance at the Konzert Theater Coesfeld and at the Konzerthaus Dortmund in a matinee of the Mozart Society Dortmund. The “Ruhrnachrichten” especially celebrated conductor Ewa Strusińska: “The Pole is a spirited, energetic, but also an elegant leader. Already in Mozart’s overture to the ‘Abduction from the Seraglio’ she brought the 38 musicians to a very precise and rousing performance”. And the Allgemeine Zeitung Coesfeld wrote enthusiastically about the soloist, a scholarship holder of the Mozart Society: “The great discovery of the evening was the trombonist Polina Tarasenko, …quite unspectacular but highly virtuosic”.
Standing ovations – Piotr Pławner with “Genesis” by Toshio Hosokawa
It is rare to experience such enthusiastic applause for a contemporary work as shortly before Easter at the Polish premiere of Toshio Hosokawa’s violin concerto “Genesis” by Piotr Pławner and the Sinfonia Varsovia under Alexander Liebreich as part of the Beethoven Festival at the Warsaw National Philharmonic. Marcin Zgliński wrote: “It was wonderful to hear Piotr Pławner in this beautiful, subtle and even somewhat mysterious work”. A concerto that should definitely find its way into the repertoire of great symphony orchestras!
Premiere of the opera “Ariadne auf Naxos” with Svetoslav Borisov at Magdeburg Theatre
Svetoslav Borisov was once again able to prove his versatility after the Magdeburg ballet premiere with Schönberg’s Verklärter Nacht and Mahler’s Fourth Symphony in January and before the Don Pasquale premiere at the Varna Opera House in mid-March. At the Magdeburg Theatre, he conducted a new production of Richard Strauss’ opera “Ariadne auf Naxos”, moving the plot to the Hollywood dream factory, with references to Marilyn Monroe and Charlie Chaplin. First reviews particularly emphasised his “fine sense for tonal refinements and for long climaxes”.