Monday, March 26, 2007

CINCINNATI SYMPHONY: third international tour, April 2008

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Symphony bound for Europe again


The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is preparing for its third international tour with music director Paavo Järvi April 4-18, 2008, the orchestra said Wednesday.

The orchestra will perform 12 concerts in five European countries. Stops will include the major music centers of Europe, including Vienna, Amsterdam, Paris, Munich, Frankfurt and Madrid, and the symphony's first performance at the Salle Pleyel in Paris.

"The orchestra's reputation is growing," says Järvi, who has taken the symphony on two international tours - to Europe in 2004 and Japan in 2003 - since he became music director in 2001. "It shows that the previous tour was very successful and that our CDs have been doing very good work for us in Europe."

Because of the expense of international travel, as well as increased security since 9/11, only the top orchestras are touring these days. When the Cincinnati Symphony performs at the Salle Pleyel, it will be in the company of the Vienna Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Järvi says.

The orchestra will also perform for the first time in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and in Munich's historic Herkules Hall.

While the Symphony wouldn't discuss the cost of the tour, the standard formula is $500,000 a week. The tour will be funded by a combination of corporate sponsors and fees collected from the venues presenting the orchestra. Tour sponsors have not yet been signed.

Tour soloists are Dutch violinist Janine Jansen, who, Järvi says, has become a superstar since her last Music Hall appearance, and Russian pianist Nicolai Lugansky.

The repertoire will include Schubert Symphony No. 9, Shostakovich Symphony No. 10, Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto #3, Mozart's Overture to "The Marriage of Figaro," Britten's Violin Concerto and "Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten" by Arvo Part.

The news comes during a period of financial uncertainty, when the symphony is projecting a $2 million operating budget shortfall this fiscal year. It is also preparing to launch a major capital and endowment campaign, and in the early stages of planning for a major renovation of its home in Music Hall.

Next month, Järvi will take the orchestra on a five-concert tour through California, including the new 2,000-seat hall in the Orange County Performing Arts Center.

In October 2005, Cincinnati Pops conductor Erich Kunzel toured with the Cincinnati Pops (the same personnel as the symphony) on a groundbreaking tour to China and Singapore, as the first American pops orchestra to tour mainland China.

Tours serve not only to promote the symphony and Pops Telarc CDs, now approaching 10 million sold, but also to promote Cincinnati as a city of high arts and culture. Often, business representatives and members of the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce coincide their business with Cincinnati Symphony concerts abroad.

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