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Personalities / Orchestras and conductors
Orchestras and conductors
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Personalities
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Marin Alsop is an inspiring and powerful voice in the international music scene, a Music Director of vision and distinction who passionately believes that ‘music has the power to change lives’. She is recognised across the world for her innovative approach to programming and for her deep commitment to education and to the development of audiences of all ages. Her outstanding success as Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra since 2007 has been recognised by two extensions in her tenure, now confirmed until 2021. As part of her artistic leadership in Baltimore, Marin Alsop has created bold initiatives that have contributed to the wider community and reached new audiences. In 2008 she launched ‘OrchKids’, which provides music education, instruments, meals and mentorship to the city’s neediest young people. Engaging the local community, the BSO Academy and Rusty Musicians schemes also allow adult amateur musicians the chance to play alongside members of the orchestra under Alsop’s baton. Alsop took up the post of Principal Conductor of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra (OSESP) in 2012 and became Music Director in July 2013. She continues to steer the orchestra in its artistic and creative programming, recording ventures and its education and outreach activities. Alsop led the orchestra on a European tour in 2012, with acclaimed performances at the BBC Proms in London and at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam; they returned to Europe in October 2013, with concerts in Berlin, London, Paris, Salzburg and Vienna. Since 1992, Marin Alsop has been Music Director of California’s Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, where she has built a devoted audience for new music. Building an orchestra is one of Alsop’s great gifts, and she retains strong links with all of her previous orchestras - Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (Principal Conductor 2002-8; now Conductor Emeritus) and Colorado Symphony Orchestra (Music Director 1993-2005; now Music Director Laureate). Marin Alsop has guest-conducted the great orchestras of the world: Philadelphia, Cleveland, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, La Scala Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Bavarian Radio Symphony. Alsop has a close relationship with the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) and London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO), appearing with both most seasons, as well as with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. She is also Artist in Residence at the Southbank Centre in London. In September 2013, Marin Alsop made history as the first female conductor of the BBC’s Last Night of the Proms in London. 2014/15 highlights include a European tour with the LPO and a Remembrance Day performance of Britten War Requiem at Southbank Centre with young musicians from the Royal Academy of Music and the National Youth Choir of Great Britain. Marin Alsop is the recipient of numerous awards and is the only conductor to receive the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, given to US residents in recognition of exceptional creative work. She was the only classical musician to be included in The Guardian’s ‘Top 100 women’, celebrating the centenary of International Women’s Day in 2011. In 2012 Alsop was presented with Honorary Membership (HonRAM) of the Royal Academy of Music, London, and was named an Honorary Member of the Royal Philharmonic Society in 2014. Alsop’s extensive discography on Naxos includes a notable set of Brahms symphonies with the LPO, Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem with the MDR Leipzig Radio Choir and Symphony Orchestra and a highly-praised Dvoøák series with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. The first disc of her Prokofiev symphonic cycle with OSESP was Orchestral Choice in BBC Music Magazine. Alsop has also recorded for Decca Classics, Harmonia Mundi and Sony Classical. Born in New York City, Marin Alsop attended Yale University and received her Master's Degree from The Juilliard School. Her conducting career was launched when, in 1989, she was a prize-winner at the Leopold Stokowski International Conducting Competition and in the same year was the first woman to be awarded the Koussevitzky Conducting Prize from the Tanglewood Music Center, where she was a pupil of Leonard Bernstein.
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Born in Paris in 1975, Alain Altinoglu has been Music Director of the La Monnaie Symphony Orchestra since January 2016. He studied at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris, where he currently teaches orchestral conducting. He is a frequent guest conductor with eminent ensembles such as the Boston Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Staatskapelle Berlin, the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, and the leading Parisian orchestras. This season’s highlights include his debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker, which he conducted in his own arrangement of a suite from Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande. He has also appeared at the Mozart Festival in Salzburg with the Wiener Philharmoniker and at the Royal Festival Hall in London with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. This season has also seen him make his debut with the WDR Sinfonieorchester (Cologne), the Oslo Philharmonic, and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester (Berlin) with Leif Ove Andsnes. This year, he has also conducted Poulenc’s Le Dialogue des Carmélites and Wagner’s Lohengrin, both directed by Olivier Py, as well as Bartók’s Le Mandarin merveilleux and Le Château de Barbe-Bleue in a double production by Christophe Coppens. A regular guest at the world’s leading opera houses, Alain Altinoglu has made his mark at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, the Wiener Staatsoper, the Opernhaus in Zürich, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, and the three Parisian opera houses, among others. He has also appeared at the Bayreuth, Salzburg, Orange, and Aix-en-Provence festivals. In parallel with his conducting career, Altinoglu has maintained a close affinity with the lieder repertoire. He regularly accompanies the mezzo-soprano Nora Gubisch; their most recent recording, released on the Naïve label, contains folk songs arranged by Falla, Obradors, Granados, Berio, and Brahms. Other discs by the same duo have included works by Ravel (on Naïve) and Duparc (on Cascavelle). As a conductor, he has also recorded arias with Piotr Beczala for Deutsche Grammophon, Lalo’s Fiesque with the Orchestre National de Montpellier and Roberto Alagna, and the Liszt Piano Concertos with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin and Nareh Arghamanyan. His extensive discography also includes a number of DVDs, including Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher in 2007 and Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer in 2015.
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The Belgian conductor Franz André (1893-1975) completed his musical studies at the Conservatory of Brussels. He received the first prize for violin in 1912 and quickly developed a passion for orchestral conducting. Upon the establishment of Radio Belgium in 1923 he was appointed second conductor of the radio orchestra. In 1930 he led one of three orchestras of the newly founded Belgian National Institute for Radio Broadcasting (NIR - INR). Five years later he set up the Grand Symphony Orchestra of the NIR - INR, which he made one of the most famous orchestras of Europe, and with whom he performed many modern premières. From 1951 to 1964 Franz André was the permanent conductor of the Queen Elisabeth Competition. In 1938 he conducted the finals of the Eugène Ysaÿe Competition.
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The Antwerp Symphony Orchestra is the symphony orchestra of Flanders (Belgium) and is based in the new Queen Elisabeth Hall in Antwerp. Under the baton of Chief Conductor Elim Chan (from the 2019-2020 season) and Principal Guest Conductor Philippe Herreweghe the orchestra wants to move and inspire a large and diverse audience through top-level concert experiences. Thanks to its own series of concerts in large venues, the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra occupies a unique position in Flanders (Belgium). The Antwerp Symphony Orchestra has also been a guest of some major foreign concert halls: the Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna, the Festspielhaus in Salzburg, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Suntory Hall and the Bunka Kaikan Hall in Tokyo, the Philharmonie of Cologne and Munich, the Palace of Art in Budapest and the National Grand Theatre of Beijing. International concert tours are a constant item on the yearly calendar. The Antwerp Symphony Orchestra has been closely involved with the Queen Elisabeth Competition for many years: not only does it accompany the concerts given by laureates, but it also regularly invites soloists who won or participated in the competition in previous years. Alongside its regular concerts, the orchestra attaches great value to developing educational and social projects for children, youngsters and people with different social backgrounds. The Antwerp Symphony Orchestra collaborates with major classical music labels, such as Phi, Alpha, Pentatone and BIS records, and several of the orchestra's CDs received acclaim by the professional press. #thesoundofantwerp
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Christian Arming has been Music Director of the Liège Royal Philharmonic / Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège (OPRL) since 1 September 2011. Born in Vienna in 1971, Christian Arming grew up in Hamburg. After studying with Leopold Hager, he worked closely with Seiji Ozawa from 1992 to 1998 and conducted the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood and the New Japan Philharmonic in Tokyo. Christian Arming recalls being fortunate enough to have the opportunity to hear, in his home town, week after week, orchestras with a typically Viennese sound and with a worldwide reputation in the great Germanic repertoire (Richard Strauss, Bruckner, Mahler, etc.), while also discovering what Nikolaus Harnoncourt was bringing to the performance of older music. In Liège, he has highlighted the Central European repertoire, while taking advantage of the tradition the OPRL has developed in the field of contemporary music, sharing his knowledge of Slav - and in particular Czech - music, and expanding the French repertoire that is so dear to the Orchestra. In 1995, at 24 years of age, Christian Arming became the youngest conductor ever appointed to head the Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra in Ostrava, a post he held until 2002. He went on to become Chief Conductor of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra (2001-2004) and, from 2003 to 2013, of the New Japan Philharmonic (Tokyo), where he succeeded Seiji Ozawa. Christian Arming has conducted more than 50 orchestras all over the world, in Berlin, Vienna, Frankfurt, Leipzig, Stuttgart, Strasbourg, Munich, Rome, Geneva, Boston, Cincinnati, Houston, and elsewhere. He is in great demand for opera and has conducted in Salzburg, Cincinnati (Britten’s Turn of the Screw), Trieste (Richard Strauss’s Rosenkavalier), Lucerne (La Bohème), Verona (Salome, Elektra), Strasbourg (Prince Igor), Frankfurt (The Flying Dutchman, Don Giovanni, Jenůfa), Tokyo (Leonore, Jeanne d’Arc, Lohengrin, The Makropoulos Case, Die Fledermaus, Eine florentinische Tragödie). Over the last fifteen years, he has recorded works by Brahms, Beethoven, Mahler, Janáček, and Schmidt (for the most part with the New Japan Philharmonic) on Fontec and Arte Nova/BMG, Escaich with the Orchestre National de Lyon (on Universal/Accord), and, with the OPRL, Franck (Fuga Libera), Saint-Saëns (3CDs on Zig-Zag Territoires/Outhere), Gouvy (Palazzetto Bru Zane), Wagner (Naïve, 2015), and Jongen (Musique en Wallonie, 2017).
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Pierre Bartholomée began studying the piano at the age of six. He is a laureate of the Royal Brussels Conservatory, where his piano teacher was André Dumortier. In Italy he followed a series of Beethoven piano performance classes given by Wilhelm Kempff. He is, with Henri Pousseur, a founder of the Ensemble Musique Nouvelle and of the Centre de Recherches et de Création Musicales de Wallonie. After embarking on a career as pianist that enabled him to give recitals, perform with orchestra and play chamber music in Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland and Spain, he took the Ensemble Musique Nouvelle not only to the main cities of Belgium but also to many European festivals (Avignon, Paris, Amsterdam, Warsaw, Madrid, Belgrade, Zagreb), while being a producer for the musical services of Belgian television (RTBF). He subsequently devoted thirty years of his career to orchestral conducting, conducting many Belgian, Dutch, French, Italian, Swiss, Austrian, German, Norwegian, Finnish, Spanish and American orchestras, and for twenty-two seasons he directed the Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège. Invited all over Europe, America and Japan to perform a very broad repertory, Pierre Bartholomée has collaborated with soloists such as Arthur Grumiaux, Yehudi Menuhin, Leonid Kogan, Frank-Peter Zimmerman, Boris Belkin, Nikita Magaloff, Yvonne Loriod, Elisabeth Leonskaya, Shura Cherkasky, Martha Argerich, Christian Zacharias, Hélène Grimaud, Jessye Norman, Barbara Hendricks, Montserrat Caballé, José Van Dam, Narciso Yepes, Heinrich Schiff, Janos Starker, Paul Tortelier and made many radio and discographic recordings, awarded with among others a Prix Charles Cros, a Victoire de la Musique, a Koussevitzky Prize and two Cecilia Prizes. His personal catalogue includes two operas, two oratorios, six works for large orchestra, chamber music, vocal music, instrumental pieces and electronic music. Most of these works have been performed, some in the great international centres for music (Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Washington, Montreal, Quebec, Geneva, etc.). The oratorio Ludus Sapientiae, composed to a text by François Jongen on the occasion of the 575th anniversary of the foundation of the University of Louvain, was given its first performance in 2001 in the Grande Aula of Louvain-la-Neuve, conducted by Jordi Savall, and was also performed in Brussels on 10 June 2007 conducted by Jean Tubéry. La Monnaie has commissioned three works from him, inspired by Henry Bauchau: Le Rêve de Diotime, a dramatic scene for soprano and chamber orchestra, first performed in 2000 and revived in 2002, and Œdipe sur la route, an opera in four acts, first staged in 2003 in a performance conducted by Daniele Callegari with stage direction by Philippe Sireuil, and with José Van Dam in the title role. In 2008 his opera La Lumière Antigone with a libretto by Henry Bauchau was world premiered. Having for several years taught musical analysis at the Royal Brussels Conservatory, Pierre Bartholomée was composer in residence at the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) where he was guest professor and where he set up and for three years ran an inter-faculty composition workshop. One of his recent works, Fragments des Belles Heures, a song cycle for soprano and small instrumental ensemble, with texts by Liliane Wouters, was premiered in Brussels at the instigation of the UCL. His 13 Bagatelles for piano and his String Quartet were given first performances in Brussels in 2004. The String Quartet subsequently featured in the programmes of several concerts in Germany. His Sonata for viola and piano was performed several times in 2004, Pentacle for eight instruments, commissioned by the Nouvel Ensemble Contemporain, was premiered in Switzerland in 2005 and All days are nights (two visions of Shakespeare’s Sonnet XLII), for female voice, flute, cello and piano, was incorporated into a music-poetry production and was published in a CD/book by Éditions Esperluète. In 2006 a Passacaglia for marimba and live electronics, a commission from the Centre de Recherches et de Formation Musicales de Wallonie, was first performed in Liège and later performed in Brussels, at the Ars Musica Festival, further performances of 13 Bagatelles, Fragments des Belles Heures and of the String Quartet, the premiere in Brussels of Histoire d’un caillou, three songs for soprano and piano to a short poem by Henry Bauchau, the composition of 7 x 7 for 7 concertante instrumentalists, a commission from Ars Musica (the first performance taking place in March 2007), and the completion of two large-scale works, a Requiem, first performed in Brussels in 2007 and Oraisons for cello was premiered in Paris in 2007. Commissioned by the city of Maastricht, La Rupture des Falaises was created in 2008 for the Ensemble 88. In 2009 Ars Musica Festival has featered Face à face. For its 50th anniversary in 2010, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège commissioned and performed Symphonie. In 2011 he has composed the string quartet Envol et mort d’un papillon and a score for the National Orchestra of Belgium to accompany a silent film by Joris Ivens. A new production of La Lumière Antigone will take place in Switzerland in 2012. The record labels Cypres, Igloo and Fuga Libera have issued recordings of most of Pierre Bartholomée’s symphonic works as well as a large part of his chamber music output. Several of his discs have won many awards from the international musical press (Choc from Le Monde de la Musique, Joker from Crescendo, etc.). Pierre Bartholomée is a member of the fine arts division of the Royal Belgian Academy. He has on several occasions presided the jury of the Antonio Pedrotti International Orchestral Conducting Competition in Trento (Italy) and has been a member of juries for the Queen Elisabeth Competition, the Gaudeamus Competition (Hilversum), the Queen Marie-José Composition Competition (Geneva), the Composition Competition of the International Besançon Festival, the Geneva International Piano Competition and the International Saxophone Competition of Dinant. His works are published by Universal (Vienna), Salabert and Jobert (Paris), Cebedem (Brussels) and Quindicesima (Valenciennes). Editor Mardaga and the Conseil de la Musique de la Communauté française have dedicated a book by Robert Wangermée to him : Pierre Bartholomée - parcours d’un musicien.
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