“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
When Andris Nelsons made his debut with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig in 2011, the conductor and the orchestra are said to have felt a magical connection, which only a few years later resulted in his appointment as the 21st principal conductor of the world-renowned orchestra, beginning in 2018. In 2016, one of his concerts with the Gewandhausorchester featured three works by three composers, each of whom revolutionized the musical traditions of their times. more
Max Reger’s Piano Concerto Op. 114 was created in the summer of 1910 in Leipzig and was there brought into the world by pianist Frieda Kwast‐Hodapp and the Gewandhausorchester under Arthur Nikisch. Reger was thrilled by the pianist’s performance and jokingly dubbed her “Mrs. Kwast‐Hat’s Off.” To date, few other artists have dared to undertake this pianistic challenge: The American Peter Serkin, however, is one of those few whose repertoire includes this rare piece.
“I’m a pucca Indian. Mumbai is my home,” says Zubin Mehta about his birthplace. The Musical Director for Life of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra traveled to India with “his” inspiring 110-member orchestra and on April 17th and 18th, 2016 they celebrated Maestro Mehta’s 80th birthday with two fantastic concerts at the National Center of Performing Arts in Mumbai. more
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
Music, especially the music of Bach, made it possible for Zhu Xiao-Mei to cope with the worst challenges of her existence. The pianist experienced all of the consequences of the Mao regime and the Cultural Revolution: years of indoctrination and “reeducation,” five years confined to a labor camp, a shattered family, hardships and harassment. In 1980, she emigrated and ultimately made Paris her new home.