New Year – a new Ensemble!
UR classics is growing further! We are very happy to welcome at the beginning of this year the Feininger Trio on our roster. Founded in 2005 by Adrian Oetiker (pianist) and the Berliner Philharmoniker Christoph Streuli (violinist) and David Riniker (violoncellist), the trio is a regular guest at many European festivals and concert series. The stylistic variety and the expressive and gripping playing of the trio is documented on a number of recordings with Czech and French piano trios, in a program with actress Katharina Thalbach and on the recently finished recording of trios by Brahms, Korngold, Zemlinsky and Roslavecz. Welcome!
What is possible
Most countries don’t allow live concerts during these weeks, but that doesn’t mean that the artists of UR classics have nothing to do. Here are some of their activities:
Ewa Strusińska was a member of the jury for a composer’s competition in Poland and premiered the prize-winning works with the Spółdzielnia Muzyczna Contemporary Ensemble. The concert was streamed live from Stalowa Wola. Piotr Pławner played concerts without live public but streamed for everybody, in a recital in Poznań as well as with his new orchestra, the Silesian Chamber Orchestra in Katowice.
Shao-Chia Lü is one of those happy artists who are able to conduct for a live audience: a concert with the Taiwan National Symphony Orchestra in Taipeh and for Christmas a production of La Bohème at the National Theatre in Taichung (co-production with the Opera Zurich). Spain as well offers concerts for a live audience: Adolfo Gutiérrez Arenas in November played Shostakovich’s first cello concerto, conducted by Anu Tali and a recital with pianist Josu de Solaun in Alicante as well as a recital for the 90th birthday celebrations of Cristobal Halffter in December.
Svetoslav Borisov is rehearsing behind closed doors at the Magdeburg Theatre for his next premiere (Rigoletto) at the end of January 2021. So does Ania Vegry at the Anhaltisches Theater Dessau. She also is preparing her next CD – songs by Szymon Laks – to be released at the beginning of next year.
The Duo Brüggen-Plank also is finishing their next CD (Erzherzog-Rudolf project a spart of the Beethoven anniversary year), and they are planning a new concert cycle. Zofia Neugebauer is preparing new chamber music programs, for flute and piano, harpsichord, harp, wind trio, double bass… And Jean-François Heisser, infatiguable and optimistic as ever, is preparing new projects for his Orchestre de Chambre de la Nouvelle Aquitaine, his different festivals and the Académie Maurice Ravel in St. Jean-de-Luz.
Opera again, at last – Svetoslav Borisov with Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette in Magdeburg
What an opulent production, a feast of music and voices which Karen Stone, the General Manager of the Magdeburg Theatre, brought to stage in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette in early October. For Svetoslav Borisov, the Principal Conductor and Deputy Music Director, this was his second Gounod premiere in Magdeburg following his greatly acclaimed “Faust”. Once again, the press was enthusiastic: “Svetoslav Borisov demonstrated his enormous feeling for sound and made the reduced orchestra glow in all its colours.”
A Stunning Start – Ania Vegry at La Voix humaine
Ania Vegry had a brilliant debut as a member of the ensemble of the Anhaltisches Theater Dessau in its new staging of Poulenc’s La Voix humaine. The Mitteldeutsche Zeitung wrote: “Both as a singer and as an actress, this soloist mastered the hour-long and exceptionally demanding work with bravour”. And just the next day, Ania Vegry was the star guest for the benefit concert “Live Music Now” in Hanover, as a special former scholarship-holder. She sang three arias by Florian Leopold Gassmann – and in the Neue Presse, Jörg Worat was full of enthusiasm for what he heard: “Full of life, full of nuances, charming and seductively effortless”.
The first concerts
At last – after six months of forced shut-down our musicians are back performing for a live-audience:
Ewa Strusińska conducted the Neue Lausitzer Philharmonie in their first symphony concerts between September 11 and 18. Jean-François Heisser played together with Bertrand Chamayou and the Labèque sisters in the opening concert on Sept. 15 of the festival Ravel in Saint-Jean-de-Luz. Piotr Pławner performed three concerts this month with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Łodz and as play-conduct with Sinfonia Iuventus in Warsaw. Zofia Neugebauer returned to the stage with concerts at the festival Krzyżowa Music and at the Summer Music Academy in Hundisburg. The Duo Brüggen-Plank received enthusiastic applause for their interpretation of Enescu’s third sonata at the Pianosalon Christophori on Sept. 17. Ania Vegry will be the soloist in a new production of Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine on September 24 at the Anhaltisches Theater Dessau. And on October 3rd, Svetoslav Borisov will conduct the premiere of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette at the Opera in Magdeburg.
As early as June, Shao-Chia Lü and his Taiwan National Symphony Orchestra were celebrated for their performance of Mahler’s 9th symphony and on July 14, Adolfo Gutiérrez Arenas played – together with Christopher Park – all Beethoven cello sonatas with no intermission at the Festival Música y Danza in Granada.
NEW: „Evolution“ – all Beethoven cello sonatas with Adolfo Gutiérrez Arenas on the label Odradek records
Spanish cellist Adolfo Gutierrez Arenas and German-Korean pianist Christopher Park deliver refreshingly vigorous, even irreverent performances of the complete Beethoven Cello Sonatas, works that offer the listener a unique overview of the composer’s evolving style.
This duo regularly performs all five Cello Sonatas together in their concert programmes because there are few examples, from any other composer, of a relatively short cycle in which the listener can experience such an insight into the artistic development of a titan like Beethoven.
UR classics is growing further! – A New Duo
We are delighted to welcome the Duo Brüggen-Plank at UR classics. The duo was founded in 2007 by Henrike Brüggen, piano, and Marie Radauer-Plank, violin. Their broad repertoire runs from Vienna Classicism to contemporary music. They are particularly committed to discover undeservedly forgotten compositions. Their recordings with works by Karol Szymanowski and George Enescu have been highly acclaimed by the critics who praised their “wonderful sense of freedom and improvisation“ and „the lively, colourful and sensitive performance”.
Welcome – Zofia Neugebauer as new artist
Good new in hard times: UR classics keeps on growing! We are delighted to welcome the flutist Zofia Neugebauer. Following her studies in Wrocław and Basel, she was a member of the Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic from 2017 – 2019, and since January 2019 she is Principal Flute of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra. Aside from her flourishing solo career, she is a passionate chamber musician, performing in highly varied formations a wide repertoire from the Baroque to electronic music. What a pleasure to work with this enthusiastic musician, always on the lookout for new programs and ideas!