In this season, it will be exactly 25 years ago that my professional conducting career began. It was in December 1992 in Moscow with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra. On the program works by Feldman, Freisitzer, Janssen and Lindberg. For an impression of this memorial concert including a TV-interview, take a look at the short video below. Since then, I have conducted orchestras and ensembles all over the world.
The first concert in this Jubilee season was last week in Yekaterinburg (Russia) with the Ural Philharmonic Orchestra. On the program the “Symphonisches Praeludium” by Anton Bruckner, the percussion concerto by Joey Roukens (www.joeyroukens.com) and “Ein Heldenleben” by Richard Strauss. In this last piece, there is a huge violin solo for the concertmaster. He appeared to be very professional and played his solo without unnecessary exaggeration.
The soloist Dominique Vleeshouwers (www.dominiquevleeshouwers.com) from the Netherlands came a few days before the concert to find out if all percussion instruments (an enormous amount!) were there. This appeared to be perfect. He had brought 50 kilos of instruments and stands himself. We also decided wich part of the scene should be reserved for his four set-ups of percussion instruments. On the last rehearsal day, Valeria Gorokhovskaya who organized this cooperation between the Netherlands (Donemus, Tromp Percussion Eindhoven) and Yekaterinburg, joined us. It was a relief to have somebody in our midst who could arrange and organize all kinds of small things to make the performance better. She made this short video during one of the rehearsals.
The concert on September 23 was like a feast. The piece by Bruckner is rarely played. As far as I know, there is no recording of this version (the only existing recording is the so-called “non authentic Mahler version”). If you want to hear it, please click “media” and then “audio” in the menu of this site. After this 7 minutes piece, the stage was prepared for the percussion concerto by Joey Roukens. This composition in an eclectic style, with many beautiful atmospheres was played very intens and with a lot of expression by Dominique Vleeshouwers. The audience expressed its praise with many bravos and a long applaus.
After the intermission, I conducted “Ein Heldenleben” by Strauss without score. It gave me a lot of freedom to communicate with the musicians, who really gave their very best. The result was amazing: a beautiful solo of the concertmaster, alternations of majestic fortissimos and almost inaudible pianissimos, the tempo sometimes as flexible as musical waves can be, a very full and rich orchestral sound, fantastic individual solo phrases etc. etc. This was one of the highlights in my professional career and I was very happy to work with this great orchestra. Thanks to my friend Dmitri Liss who gave me the opportunity.
To get a very short impression of how the trumpets behind the scene followed the Strauss music and my conducting, there is a 10 seconds video of the screen backstage:
Here you will find the full audio recording with many beautiful photos (by Tatyana Andreev) from the archive of the Sverdlovsk Philharmonic (Sverdlovsk is former name of Yekaterinburg).
This season will bring many more interesting projects. I will work with the Murmansk Philharmonic Orchestra (a.o. Chopin and Schubert), the BACH Chamber Orchestra from Yekaterinburg (a.o. Sibelius, Stravinsky and Janacek), the Volgograd Philharmonic Orchestra (a.o. Berlioz) and the Ensemble New Babylon from Bremen (Germany). Masterpieces from earlier days (Tchaikovskys Symphony no. 5), from the last century (o.a. Antheils Ballet Mécanique, Morton Feldmans Rothko Chapel) and from today (composition students from the Music Academy in Bremen) will enrich my musical life.
I am looking forward to all these great moments as a celebration of my 25th jubilee!