Michael Stern in Atlanta, Kansas City, and Guangzhou

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Michael Stern in Atlanta, Kansas City, and Guangzhou

May 5-7, with his home orchestra, the Kansas City SymphonyMichael Stern leads the Britten War Requiem with fellow Colbert Artists soprano Christine Brewer and tenor Anthony Dean Griffey in commemoration of the United State's entry into World War I. (Kansas City is home to the National World War I Museum and Memorial.)  May and June highlights include Mozart Piano Concertos with Emanuel Ax in Kansas City, and the Chicago Civic Orchestra with Yo-Yo Ma.

In March, Stern led the highly anticipated world premiere performance of Einojunahi Rautavaara's  "Fantasia" with fellow Colbert Artist, Anne Akiko Meyers and the Kansas City Symphony.

Earlier in March, Stern led a subscription week with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Marc-André Hamelin (another Colbert Artist!), in nights of Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, and Medtner's Piano Concerto No. 2.

"Under Stern's impassioned baton, the orchestra produced teeth-rattling forte passages in the fifth movement, which turned abruptly into complete silence. The juxtaposition, which was exaggerated by Stern, emphasized Tchaikovsky's wittiness."
THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, March 10, 2017

Stern led a round of several different programs with the National Symphony. and Joshua Bell in Édouard Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole, and the premiere of Anne Dudley's The Man With The Violin.

In January, Stern spent two weeks in Guangzhou as Music Director of the Youth Music Culture Guangdong, alongside Artistic Director Yo-Yo Ma, and then returned to the US to lead the Kansas City Symphony in a program of Schubert's Unfinished Symphony and Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde.

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 In Russia, Boston and elsewhere with Ken-David Masur

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In Russia, Boston and elsewhere with Ken-David Masur

This May, Maestro Ken-David Masur leads the Civic Orchestra of Chicago (his debut with that organization) in works by Beethoven, Brahms, and Mendelssohn at Symphony Center on May 8.  In June he oversees the Chelsea Music Festival, of which he is music director, alongside his wife, Melinda Lee Masur.  July and August finds him at Tanglewood, leading the Boston Symphony Orchestra on July 23 and the Boston University of Tanglewood Institute (BUTI) Orchestra on August 12. On September 5 he returns to the Hollywood Bowl, leading the Los Angeles Philharmonic and pianist Inon Barnatan in an LA Phil commission, a new piano concerto from Alan Fletcher. Also on the program are Boulanger's D’un matin de printemps and Dvořák's Symphony No. 9, “From the New World”.

After leading orchestras in Germany, Korea, and Russia, and in North America with the New England Conservatory of Music and the Boston University Symphony, 2017 began with Masur leading a subscription week with the Boston Symphony Orchestra featuring concertos by Vivaldi, Krommer, Jolivet, Rota, and Schumann, followed by a night leading the Orchestre National de France with Anne-Sophie Mutter in an homage to his late father.  Ken just led the Omaha Symphony this month in a program of Strauss, Mozart, and Mendelssohn.  

"Masur was charming as a conductor. His natural enthusiasm came across as expressive and familiar. His skill and connection with the orchestra were evident."
– OMAHA WORLD HERALD, April 8, 2017

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Catching up with Daniel Meyer

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Catching up with Daniel Meyer

Daniel Meyer was guest conductor at the West Virginia Symphony in a program of Barber, Tchaikovsky, and Beethoven, and later this month leads the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in a subscription week of all-Rodgers and Hammerstein on April 28, 29, and 30.

"Meyer’s conducting made this chestnut sound fresh-scrubbed. His attention to detail showed the brusque undercurrent of modernism nobly. The slashing rhythms and jarring dissonances that quickly cut to expressive melody helped propel the performance.

"The orchestra’s rhythm was keen while Meyer drew distinct textures and burbling colorings from the players. In all, a skillful balance of lyricism and fire."
– THE CHARLESTON GAZETTE-MAIL, March 5, 2017

In January, Meyer returned to the Württembergische Philharmonie in Reutlingen for concerts of Gershwin, Mintzer and Rachmaninoff; debuted with the Staatsorchester Darmstadt in concerts of JC Bach, Ligeti, Janácek and Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with pianist Joseph Moog; and debuted with the Nuremberg Symphony in a program of Strauss, Beethoven and the Jennifer Higdon Percussion Concerto.

"(In) Sergei Rachmaninov's "Symphonic Dances, a sacredly difficult work, extremely demanding in terms of coordination, Daniel Meyer broke through.  The orchestra … developed rhythmic impact and melodic expressiveness at the same time…  All was brilliant. Iridescent sound colors in the Allegro, shadowy waltzes in the Andante, and martial, piercing Dies-Irae motifs, including the conciliatory Alleluia at the end.  Meyer… achieves something rare here: a common breath."
REUTLINGER NACHRICHTEN, Jan. 17, 2017

Meyer holds Music Directorships with the the Erie Philharmonic and the Asheville Symphony. In Erie,  Meyer led a residency with guest artist Emanuel Ax in early March, and in Asheville, Meyer led the 2nd annual Amadeus Festival,  March 10-19, 2017 featuring a residency by guest artist, Midori.

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Jacques Lacombe leading operas in Berlin, Bonn, Marseille

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Jacques Lacombe leading operas in Berlin, Bonn, Marseille

 

Principal Conductor of the Bonn Opera in Germany, Jacques Lacombe led the company in La Bohème and Tristan & Isolde throughout September, October, and November of 2016.  This season has also seen Lacombe leading productions of Die Fledermaus at Opera de Marseille, La Juive at the Opera National du Rhin, and four performances of Faust at Deutsche Oper Berlin in February and March.

Lacombe looks forward to leading Peter Grimes and Tosca at Theater Bonn, May through July, as well as a range of concerts with the Orchestra Symphonique de Trois-Rivières

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Out of Canada and Africa with Bernhard Gueller

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Out of Canada and Africa with Bernhard Gueller

 

April 27-May 12, Maestro Bernhard Gueller leads his orchestra Symphony Nova Scotia in its annual Festival, focusing on European Masterworks, including the Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5, Brahms Symphony No. 1 and Piano Concerto No. 1 (with Marc-André Hamelin!), and Beethoven Symphony No. 9.  Gueller explains the programming in this video

This Summer (or rather, this Winter), Gueller returns to the Cape Town Philharmonic, where he is Principal Guest Conductor, leading the CPO in its Winter Symphony Season, exploring works by Brahms, Franck, Gershwin, Prokofiev, and others. 

In the Fall, Gueller returns for his final season as Music Director of the Symphony Nova Scotia, leading a season opener of Dvorák, Brahms and Canadian composer Alexina Louie. Other notable concerts include the Cherubini Requiem with the RAM Koor, the Estonian National Male Choir. 

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Catching up with Jayce Ogren

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Catching up with Jayce Ogren

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Jayce Ogren wrapped 2016 leading his home organization, Philadelphia's Orchestra 2001, and the Princeton Symphony Orchestra in Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky in November.  He kicked off the New Year at Casa de Musica in Portugal, leading the film score for Charlie Chaplin's classic, City Lights, before returning to Orchestra 2001 to lead music by David Lang, Bryce Dessner, Peter Maxwell Davies. He then debuted with Filarmonica de Jalisco (Mexico) in Corigliano and Dvořák's Symphony No. 9, "From the New World."  In April, Ogren appeared at Brooklyn's National Sawdust and led Orchestra 2001 in performances of John Luther Adams's immersive outdoor work, Inuksuit .

"...Ogren's reading was superb. From a restful tempo and impeccable phrasing, the young American director avoided the easy route to be taken away by the charm of the melodies, especially in the most brilliant passages, and got a deep interpretation, as corresponds to the music 'absolutely Bohemia' that Dvorak decided to portray. ... This was one of the best  Dvorak 9's in the history of the OFJ." 
Jaime García Alías, INFORMADOR, March 18, 2017

Ogren led Orchestra 2001 in a program of "Pocket Symphonies"  on April 23. Looking forward, he records Bernstein's West Side Story (a work he has led in notable international dates) in Nashville; returns to the Indianapolis Symphony, leading Mason Bates's Liquid Interface, a piece for electronica and orchestra, on May 20 as part of the orchestra's INFusion Festival; leading the Wordless Music Orchestra in the film score of Jackie in LA on June 3; returning to the Philharmonie de Paris to lead Rufus Wainwright's Prima Donna on June 10; and leading the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa in an all-Rufus Wainwright program (with Wainwright joining the performance) for Canada Scene, a festival celebrating Canadian artists. 

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