“I would like to find poignant images that are adequate for the music and do justice to the gigantic work in a way that one can experience it differently and more profoundly.” Christian Spuck, choreographer
On December 26th 2016 the Israel Philharmonic celebrated its 80th anniversary with an all-Beethoven program.
Being a female conductor means being an exception. Even today. When a woman stands on the podium she is, in most cases, somehow “the first”: the first to lead a world-class orchestra, the first to conduct the “Last Night of the Proms” in London, the first to win the German Conductor Prize. For decades, this sensational character has been tradition. At the same time it seems that the world of the maestro is now in a state of upheaval.
When the First World War broke out in 1914, the musical world did not remain unaffected. Artists inevitably became involved, either as soldiers at the front or as composers of patriotic music or of musical memorials to a lost world. The three-part documentary series Music in Times of War and Revolution explores known and unknown as well as obvious and hidden connections between music, revolution and war. more
Every year in late summer some of the best musicians worldwide meet in Israel for The Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival (JCMF), established by pianist Elena Bashkirova and advocate Yeheskell Beinisch. In 2016, the 19th Festival was dedicated to interrelated composers like Brahms/Schumann or Schubert/Beethoven – played by outstanding artists like Sir András Schiff, Baiba Skride, Menahem Pressler or Emmanuel Pahud in the halls of the Jerusalem YMCA. more
“Rusalka” is based on the Czech version of the classical fairy tale of a mermaid that falls in love with a human prince and wants nothing more than to become a human and live happily ever after. But in Dvořák’s opera, this happily ever after never happens as the story ends in tragedy. more
Even if the music world is often dominated by rivalry, examples of genuine friendships can certainly be found. Take Johannes Brahms and Antonín Dvořák: a pair whose friendship was free of self-interest. “That fellow has more ideas than all the rest of us. Even what he tosses into the trash could serve as a main theme for anyone else,” Brahms once remarked about his Czech colleague, 8 years his junior – and he didn’t just stop at nice compliments.
Midori’s recent interpretation of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin has earned her many accolades by audiences and the media worldwide. In August 2016, Midori performed these pieces, known as some of the most challenging for any violinist, for an audio-visual recording at the Castle of Köthen (Schloss Köthen) where Bach served as Court Chapel Master between 1717 and 1723. more
“To be responsible for this outstanding artistic project that Claudio Abbado has initiated is not only a privilege but it has touched me deeply.”
These are the very words Riccardo Chailly uses to describe his new job in Lucerne. The conductor, who left his post as music director of the Gewandhaus Leipzig and became principal conductor at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan last year, follows in this new position Arturo Toscanini and Claudio Abbado, thus becoming the third chief conductor of this unique orchestra.
Five years since its creation, the Dresden Festival Orchestra and its top-class musicians have developed into one of the highlights of the festival circuit and music scene. In 2016, the ensemble placed emphasis on the 19th century in yet another example of its dedication to historically informed practice. more