Monday, March 26, 2007

HR JOURNAL: Interview

This is an interview in german from HR magazine in Frankfurt, 05 SEPTEMBER/OKTOBER, 2006
Der ganz andere Maestro

Taktstöcke – Instrumente oder Zeichen der Macht?Auf alle Fälle praktisch,Tyrannei am Pult ist nicht seine Sache.Der neue Chefdirigent des
hr-Sinfonieorchesters über das Stäbchen,das dem Orchester den Takt anzeigt,
aber von manchen Dirigenten auch zum Grillen verwendet wird.
I st der Taktstock das Erkennungszeichen eines Dirigenten? Paavo Järvi:Er ist ein Symbol, ja.Ein Geiger braucht eine Geige,ein Trompeter muss eine Trompete in der Hand haben,aber der Dirigent?Gerade als junger Student, wenn man noch nie vor einem richtigen Orchester gestanden hat,ist der Taktstock ein Symbol der Hoffnung,eines Anfangs.Ansonsten kann man auch ohne ihn sehr gut dirigieren. Sie bräuchten einen Taktstock also gar nicht?
Ich verwende einen aus ganz praktischen Gründen. Wenn ich zum Beispiel eine Oper wie Wagners „Götterdämmerung "dirigiere", in der die Sänger weit entfernt auf der Bühne stehen, wäre ich ohne Taktstock schon nach dem ersten Akt am Ende meiner körperlichen
Kräfte und könnte die Arme nicht mehr hochhalten. Der Stab vergrößert den Radius der Arme,auch kleine Bewegungen werden sichtbar.Und noch etwas: Der Stab ist weiß und ist in der Dunkelheit des Orchestergrabens einfach besser zu sehen. Verwenden Sie immer den selben Stab?Oder den hölzernen für Beethoven,den aus Plastik für Modernes?
Ich selbst habe da keine feste Regel, aber ich bevorzugeeinen Griff aus Kork wegen der Griffigkeit.Der Stab selbst sollte aus Holz sein,weil er weniger nach schwingt. Außerdem darf er nicht zu lang sein und muss zur Proportion der Hand passen. Aber das sind persönliche Vorlieben. Nehmen Sie Karajan:Seine Taktstöcke waren so kurz und unauffällig,dass man sie kaum bemerkte.Carlos Kleiber dagegen war ein Magier am Taktstock,der Stab hatte regelrecht ein Eigenleben. Taktstöcke kosten zwischen 1,99 Euro bei Ebay – „wenig gebraucht " – und 70 Euro.Wo liegt Ihre Preisklasse? Als ich einmal in Pittsburgh dirigierte,zeigte mir eine Orchestermusikerin eine Kollektion von Taktstöcken, die ihr Mann selbst herstellt.Seitdem bestelle ich dort, einer kostet rund fünfzig Dollar,ist eben Handarbeit,
sehr professionell ausgeführt. Bevor Sie Dirigent wurden,waren Sie Schlagzeuger.
Das Holz in der Hand waren Sie demnach schon gewohnt. Nein,das ist etwas völlig anderes.Der Drumstick erzeugt unmittelbar ein Geräusch,der Taktstock sollte das besser nicht. Rockmusiker zerschmettern eine Gitarre auf der Bühne.Sie waren eine Zeit lang Mitglied einer Rock-
band.Wie verhält es sich mit dem Zerbrechen von Taktstöcken? Ich zerbreche sie oft,aber nicht aus rituellen Gründen. Es passiert einfach.Erst neulich wieder,bei einer vierten Sinfonie von Brahms,ist es mir erst wieder passiert.Ich dirigierte sie ohne Taktstock zu Ende.Manche Dirigenten sind ja abergläubisch,was zerbrochene Taktstöcke betrifft.Ich bin das nicht.Gerne erinnere ich mich an ein Konzert in Stockholm,bei dem mir der Taktstock aus der Hand gerutscht und bis weit in die Cello-Sektion hinein geflogen ist.Eine Cellistin ganz hinten hob ihn
auf und schaute mich fragend an.Ich gab ihr ein Zeichen, ihn mir zuzuwerfen.Sie holte aus,das Ding flog durch die Luft,und ich fing es auf,alles während ich dirigierte.
In einer Probe hätte so etwas nie geklappt,im Konzert aber herrschte eine derartige Anspannung,da erschien es ganz natürlich,dass ich den Stab fangen musste. Dem Publikum blieb der Mund offen stehen,klar. Der Dirigent Bernard Haitink sammelt seine zerbrochenen Stäbe und verwendet sie als Grillspieße, sagt er.
Ich sollte noch etwas lernen,von den Alten Meistern, über das Grillen.
Aber einmal musste ihm ein Arzt auch vier Zentimeter Taktstock aus der Hand operieren.
Ja,es gibt viele Verletzungen mit Taktstöcken.Ashkenazy,Slatkin,man hört von solchen Unfällen immer wieder.Ist mir zum Glück noch nicht passiert.Ich hörte von einem Dirigenten,der sich ins Auge gestochen hat und trotzdem weiter dirigierte. Der amerikanische Dirigent Fritz Rainer soll ihn sogar wie einen Speer nach einem Musiker geworfen haben ... Es gibt so viele Fritz-Rainer-Geschichten,die können nicht alle wahr sein!Ich denke,da sind viele Legenden
dabei. Wahr oder nicht – ein Taktstock kann auch eine Waffe sein,oder?Zumindest auch ein Symbol für Macht? Früher mag man den Stock sicher als Machtinstrument angesehen haben.Heute aber hätte ein Dirigent,der so denken würde,keine Chance mehr.Die Gesellschaft
hat sich verändert und mit ihr das Orchester.Meine Generation von Dirigenten versucht bewusst alles zu vermeiden,was an Machtausübung oder gar Macht- missbrauch erinnern könnte.Der Dirigent als Despot, das ist vorbei. Und wie sieht es mit der positiven Macht,der Autorität aus? Autorität kommt jedenfalls nicht aus dem Taktstock.
Echte Autorität resultiert aus musikalischer Kompetenz und persönlicher Integrität.
Ist Autorität genetisch bedingt?Das würde erklären, warum die Familie Järvi so viele Dirigenten hervorgebracht hat. Schwer zu sagen.Ich kann nur sagen,wer diese Autorität hat und wer nicht,das sieht man sofort.Lernen kann man das nicht.Das kann regelrecht tragisch sein, denn ich habe so viele Menschen kennen gelernt,die interessante musikalische Gedanken hatten,aber nie das Zeug zum Dirigenten haben werden.Da ist das
Leben wirklich nicht fair. Interview:Stefan Schickhaus
GEWINNZONE
Zur Person:Paavo Järvi (43)stammt aus einer Musikerfamilie in Estland.Er studierte Schlagzeug und Dirigieren in Tallinn,ging 1980 in die USA und studierte dort weiter,unter anderem bei Leonard Bernstein.2001 berief ihn das Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra als Chefdirigenten.2004 wurde Järvi mit einem Grammy – dem „Oscar " im Musikbereich – ausgezeichnet.Mit der Saison 2006/07 wird Järvi Chef-dirigent des hr-Sinfonieorchesters.Er gehört heute zu den weltweit gefragtesten Dirigenten und ist bei den bedeutendsten Orchestern zu Gast. Weltstar für Hessen:Paavo Järvi ist der neue Chefdirigent des hr-Sinfonieorchsters
Taktstöcke – Instrumente oder Zeichen der Macht?Auf alle Fälle praktisch,sagt
Paavo Järvi.Tyrannei am Pult ist nicht seine Sache.Der neue Chefdirigent des
hr-Sinfonieorchesters über das Stäbchen,das dem Orchester den Takt anzeigt,
aber von manchen Dirigenten auch zum Grillen verwendet wird.

• Antrittskonzerte von Chefdirigent Paavo Järvi mit
dem hr-Sinfonieorchester,mit Solisten und Chor:Jean
Sibelius,„Kullervo ",Do,12.,und Fr,13.Okt.,20 Uhr,
Alte Oper Frankfurt,Karten (12,50 bis 44 Euro)
beim hr-Ticketcenter,Tel.069/155 2000.
Konzerteinführung in der Alten Oper,jeweils
vor den Konzerten,19 Uhr.
Live im Radio,hr2,Fr,13.Okt.,20.05 Uhr
• Die Konzertbroschüre für die Saison 2006//07 ist gratis
unter Tel.069/155 20 65 erhältlich
• Internet::hr-sinfonieorchester.de

PLAYBILL ARTS: Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Announces 2007-08 Season

Thursday, 15 March, 2007


By Vivien Schweitzer
Highlights of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's 2007-08 season include world premieres by Robert O. Johnson and Krzysztof Penderecki, contemporary works by John Adams and Arvo Pärt, a Stravinsky festival, and appearances by pianist Boris Berezovsky and trumpeter Håken Hardenberger.
Music Hall, home of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.Paavo Järvi opens his seventh season as music director of the CSO on September 14 at Cincinnati's Music Hall with Beethoven's Choral Fantasy and his seldom-performed choral ode Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage, alongside three Wagner opera excerpts. Joining Järvi and the orchestra will be pianist Awadagin Pratt and the May Festival Chorus.
The CSO will celebrate the 125th anniversary of Stravinsky's birth (June 17, 2007) with a two-weekend Stravinsky Festival that includes The Rite of Spring, the Symphony in Three Movements, the Symphony of Psalms and the Chorale-Variations.
The roster of eight guest conductors includes John Adams, who will lead the Cincinnati debuts of his own electric violin concerto The Dharma at Big Sur and On the Transmigration of Souls.
Polish composer and conductor Krzysztof Penderecki will conduct his own Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima and his piano concerto Resurrection. This will be the world premiere of the 2007 revision of the latter piece, which was originally written in 2001.
Also leading the CSO will be Finnish conductors Pietari Inkinen and Susanna Mälkki, the latter in a program of Strauss works. The guest soloist lineup includes violinists Pinchas Zukerman, Janine Jansen and Vadim Repin, and pianists Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Alexander Toradze, Ingrid Fliter and Nikolai Lugansky. Trumpeter Håken Hardenberger will perform Eino Tamberg's Concerto for Trumpet.
Järvi and the CSO continue their relationship with Telarc in 2007-08 with two new recordings. One will be a Mussorgsky disc featuring Pictures at an Exhibition, Dawn Over the Moskva River and Night on Bald Mountain. The orchestra will also record Shostakovich's Symphony No. 10, paired with Veljo Tormis's Overture No. 2.
Telarc will also issue an all-Tchaikovsky recording in October and an all-Prokofiev disc (the label's 13th release with Järvi and the CSO since 2001) later in the season.
In addition to a contemporary lineup that includes works by nine living composers, Järvi's programming for the upcoming season also emphasizes Classical-era repertoire, with four major Beethoven works, music for flute by Mozart, two Haydn symphonies plus the Cello Concerto, and Schubert's Symphony No. 9 ("The Great")

CONCERT REVIEW: Violinist, orchestra beautiful together


Friday, March 16, 2007

BY JANELLE GELFAND

Another week, another sensational soloist with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in Music Hall.
On Thursday, it was Vadim Gluzman, a Ukraine-born Israeli violinist, who put his luxuriant sound to work in Leonard Bernstein's "Serenade, after Plato's 'Symposium.' " But that wasn't the only thing that impressed in this 20th-century program. There was also the high-voltage performance of Prokofiev's Symphony No. 5 under the baton of Paavo Järvi.
Gluzman plays a 1690 Stradivarius that once belonged to Leopold Auer, the great teacher of "Golden Age" violinists such as Mischa Elman and Jascha Heifetz. Perhaps it should have been no surprise, then, that his big, relaxed sound, romantic slides and peerless expression should hearken back to those old-world masters.
Bernstein's inspiration for his "Serenade" was Plato's "Symposium," a philosophical discussion of love, among guests at a dinner party. Musically, it becomes a dialogue between violinist and orchestra, with touches that remind one of "West Side Story" and a swinging jazz finish.
Gluzman is not a showy musician, but his involvement and joy in the music communicated to the listener. From the first note, a phrase played alone, his sound was sweet and beautifully shaped, with a long, effortless line. There was an easy grace about the way he approached the music, even in the presto - a scintillating dialogue tossed back and forth between soloist and orchestra.
The slow movement was the work's heart, and Gluzman's lyricism and sweetness of tone was almost vocal. He lingered on the final high harmonic with stunning control.
The last movement, an oration by Socrates, is perhaps the most pictorial, with its imagery of drunken revelers interrupting the discussion. Here the violinist projected its range of moods wonderfully, and seemed to enjoy its jazz-filled moments. (He'll record it this summer, he said later.)
Järvi and the orchestra carried on a richly colored conversation with the soloist. The finale included a winning duet between Gluzman and principal cellist Eric Kim.
For an encore, Gluzman took apart (literally) his bow, inserted his violin between bow and strings and played a 1920s ditty that he described as "underground Russian jazz."
Prokofiev's Symphony No. 5 formed the second half. The symphony's premiere in 1945 coincided with the victory of the Red Army. Unlike Shostakovich's wartime symphonies, this has an optimistic cast. Even though it has no program, you can't miss the rumbling drumrolls evoking, perhaps, distant cannons, and the relentless, driving march in the finale.
This was an exhilarating performance, and one with plenty of bite. Järvi led the opening in big sweeping gestures, going for a bright, heroic sound, and bringing out each detail in Prokofiev's wealth of melodies. Tempos were quick. The scherzo had unbelievable drive and energy, as if it was about to snap, and Järvi made the most of its dynamic contrasts.
The slow movement pitted intensely passionate moments against those of the most atmospheric serenity. There is no way to describe Järvi's march to the finish, other than hair-raising.
The musicians responded with playing that was precise and richly colored. They'll record it this week for Telarc.
The program opened with the orchestra's second-ever performance of Samuel Barber's "Music for a Scene from Shelley." Not as well known as his "Adagio for Strings," it has a kind of desolate beauty, and the orchestra captured its emotional quality beautifully.
The concert repeats at 8 p.m. today and Saturday. Tickets: 513-381-3300.

CONCERT REVIEW: Violinist, CSO serve up a Serenade with love

Friday, March 16, 2007

By Mary Ellyn HuttonPost music writer

Leonard Bernstein wrote more than "West Side Story."
Violinist Vadim Gluzman made that abundantly clear with Bernstein's 1954 Serenade, "after Plato's 'Symposium' " Thursday night at Music Hall.
It was the second time the Israeli violinist has performed the Serenade with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. The first was in 1999, his CSO debut.
His return, this time with music director Paavo Järvi, gave a special presence to the work. Gluzman inhabited it, not only on the violin but during rests, where he nodded and swayed in response to the music.
Paired with the Serenade on the first half was Samuel Barber's 1935 "Music for a Scene from Shelley" (absent from the CSO repertoire since 1942). Both were inspired by the ancient Greeks: Bernstein took his cue from Plato's "Symposium," Barber from Percy Bysshe Shelley's play "Prometheus Unbound."
Prokofiev's Symphony No. 5 (1944) made up the second half of the program.
Plato's "Symposium" is a dialogue on the nature of love by guests at a fourth-century B.C. drinking party. Each of the Serenade's five movements is named for one or a pair of guests. Scored for violin, strings and percussion, the music is exquisitely tailored to each concept, from the meltingly sweet "Phaedrus" in praise of Eros (god of love) to the weighty, serious "Socrates," where love is expounded as the search for ultimate good (kudos to principal cellist Eric Kim for his lovely dialogue with Gluzman).
Järvi had fun with the brief, whimsical "Aristophanes" about a primordial three sexes (he, she and both) and the swift, cuttingly clinical "Erixymathus" (a doctor). "Agathon," celebrating the richness of love in all its guises, was impassioned and intense. The final "Alcibiades," introducing gatecrashers to the party, was Bernstein as jazzman, with a tramping, bluesy refrain.
Gluzman 33, played with elegance, precision and extreme tonal beauty. He and Järvi worked hand in glove, earning a warm ovation from the crowd, whom Gluzman delighted with a jazzy encore, "Broken Bow Medley," on all four strings at once.
Prokofiev's fifth, composed during the waning days of World War II, somehow conjures anatomical references like sinewy, big-boned and glandular. The CSO performance had all that, though for this listener the opening Andante needed a bit more grandeur.
Järvi was at his best in the second movement, a scherzo overflowing with sass, but always with a clarity akin to chamber music.
The Romeo and Juliet-like Adagio soared, turned dark and painful, then subsided in shudders of strings. By contrast, the finale was rollicking, high-spirited and kinetic, a flurry of activity splatting to a fortissimo end.
Barber's 10-minute "Scene" was suggested by a passage in Shelley's play about imploring the god of love to free Prometheus from his torment. It recalled Debussy, haunting and dark at the beginning, with undulating strings and a repeated four-note plaint that rose to an assertive climax. Visiting trumpeter Mark Ridenour of the Chicago Symphony and CSO principal hornist Elizabeth Freimuth shone in their solos.
The program repeats at 8 tonight and Saturday at Music Hall.

Anthony Luensman - Paavo's Hands


Sunday, March 18, 2007


Arts center, hotel house previous works
BY SARA PEARCE SPEARCE@ENQUIRER.COM


In 2003, Anthony Luensman created a musically inspired suite of six sculptures for the opening of the Contemporary Arts Center.
He called it Zeloso (dzeh-loh-soh), a word meaning enthusiastically or zealously and that sometimes is scribbled on a score by a conductor to signal the mood to the performers.
The pieces were made for the UnMuseum on the sixth floor. While this is the designated children's space and the sculptures are playful, they also are quite sophisticated and have cross-generational appeal.
They were not intended to be permanent fixtures but two of the originals remain - "Paavo's Hands" and "BicycleHornSpeaker." A third one, the raucous "Singin' & Ringin' Chandelier" doorbell featuring soprano Blythe Walker, is now in the collection of Louisville's 21C Hotel but was replaced by a new Luensman piece, "Platterbell."
It's a door bell whose ring is the late James Brown's album "It's A New Day - Let A Man Come In." The album, recorded at Cincinnati's King Records, spins in full view overhead. On the wall, there is an explanation of what a record is for those too young to have come across one.
Inside, "Paavo's Hands" allows visitors to play at conducting. A step up onto a small, red-carpeted platform and a wave of the arms through a wooden proscenium, triggers the sound of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra warming up. Within seconds you're conducting excerpts from Igor Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite." The finale is an ego-boosting round of applause just like the one that the piece's namesake, CSO conductor Paavo Järvi, so often receives.
Dangling from the ceiling nearby is "BicycleHornSpeaker." Push a button and the horn turns toward you and plays a series of guitar licks written for the piece by Grammy-winning rock guitarist Peter Frampton.
The UnMuseum is on the sixth floor of the center, which is open 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 513-721-0390, www.contemporaryartscenter.org.

Järvi to conduct 'conversation' before concert

Thursday, March 8, 2007

By Mary Ellyn Hutton
Post music writer


Paavo Järvi and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra present an all-Russian program at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Music Hall.

Guest artist in Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 (heard in the Oscar-winning film "Shine" with Geoffrey Rush) will be Russian-born Yefim Bronfman. Järvi will open with Prokofiev's delightful "Lieutenant Kije" Suite and close with the rarely heard Symphony No. 2 by Alexander Scriabin.

Best of all, Järvi will discuss the music in a "Classical Conversation" at 7 p.m. before each concert. It will be a new role for the CSO music director, who prefers not to speak before concerts. (Pre-recorded comments by Järvi projected onto plasma screens on each side of the Music Hall stage received a lukewarm reception last fall, largely because they were too small for the oversized hall.)

Järvi has a natural affinity for the Russian repertoire, having imbibed it during his childhood in Soviet-occupied Estonia. Jarvi's father, Neeme, music director of the New Jersey Symphony and the Hague (Netherlands) Residentie Orchestra, studied conducting at the Leningrad Conservatory and has a vast discography of Russian music, including Scriabin's symphonies.

Best known for his piano music and symphonic "Poem of Ecstasy," Scriabin was a strange bird who died in 1915 at 43 before fulfilling his dream of achieving collective nirvana by mounting a gigantic outdoor concert in the Himalayas. His 1901 Symphony No. 2 is late romantic, with a twittering, nature-worshipping slow movement. This will be its second performance in CSO history (the first was by guest conductor Georg Semkow in 1971).

"Lieutenant Kije" is from Prokofiev's score for the film of the same name about a fictitious army officer whose life must be "made up" (on paper, at least) to please the czar. It and Prokofiev's Symphony No. 5, to be performed on CSO concerts March 15-17, will be recorded by Telarc.

Tickets are $19.50-$81, $10 for students, half-price for seniors, at (513) 381-3300 and online at www.cincinnatisymphony.org. Half-price ZIPTIX may be had from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. concert days at the Music Hall box office.

"The Three Celtic Tenors," Matthew Gilsenan, James Nelson and Daryl Simpson, repeat last weekend's high-note hit parade with the Cincinnati Pops at 3 p.m. Sunday at Music Hall. Joining them will be Deirdre Shannon of the traveling show "Celtic Woman."CSO assistant conductor Tito Munoz will conduct. Tickets are $23-$63 at (513) 381-3300 or www.cincinnatipops.org.

The Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra led by music director Mischa Santora performs the second and final concert of its 20th-century "Musical Explorations" series with Copland's "Music for the Theater" and Stravinsky's "L'Histoire du Soldat" ("The Soldier's Tale") at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Memorial Hall. Tickets are $25 at (513) 723-1182 or online at www.ccocincinnati.com. Children 18 and younger are free.

Cincinnati Men's Chorus presents its spring concert, "Women We Love," featuring jazz/blues musician Suede, at 8:07 p.m. March 10 and at 3:07 p.m. March 11 in the allagher Student Center Theater at Xavier University. The program, which salutes strong women, socially, politically and culturally, will include "We are a Family" from "Dreamgirls," "Sister (Miss Celie Blues)" from "The Color Purple" and a medley of Whitney Houston and Dionne Warwick songs. Tickets are $20 at www.cincinnatimenschorus.org and (513) 542-2626.

Speaking of men's voices, check out "The Baker's Dozen," 16 choristers from Yale University who will sing traditional ballads and up-to-date songs, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at St. Barnabas Church, 10345 Montgomery Road. The touring a capella group is celebrating its 60th anniversary; $7 at the door.

A new production of "Margaret Garner," the Richard Danielpour/Toni Morrison opera about escaped slave Margaret Garner, will open New York City Opera's new season Sept. 11-29 in New York State Theater in Lincoln Center.

The dramatic work - co-commissioned by Cincinnati Opera, Michigan Opera Theater and Philadelphia Opera - received its Cincinnati Opera premiere in July 2005.

Tracie Luck, who covered for soprano Denyce Graves in Cincinnati, will sing Margaret Garner. Baritone Gregg Baker, who sang Robert Garner here, will repeat the role in New York.

CINCINNATI SYMPHONY: European tour dates 2008

Thursday, March 22, 2007

CSO to return to Europe in 2008
Five-country tour planned

By Mary Ellyn Hutton
Post music writer

Paavo Järvi and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra will return to Europe in April 2008 for a two-week, five-country tour that will take them to Amsterdam's famed Concertgebouw, the newly renovated Salle Pleyel in Paris and 10 other important Continental venues.

It will be the CSO's third international tour with Järvi. The group toured Japan in 2003 and made its first visit to Europe in the fall of 2004. The new tour dates are April 4-18, 2008.

"It's a very good tour because it has the right venues and some very important cities for us," said Järvi. "It shows that the orchestra is gaining ground in terms of how it's being received in the musical world. We will be able to show people that what they have heard on our records is actually true."

Performing with the CSO will be Dutch violinist Janine Jansen and Russian pianist Nikolai Lugansky. Jansen, who made an exciting CSO debut last season, will perform the Benjamin Britten and Tchaikovsky Violin Concertos. Lugansky will perform Rachmaninoff's popular Piano Concerto No. 3.

Järvi will lead the CSO in works spanning the 18th to the 20th-centuries, with Mozart's Overture to "The Marriage of Figaro," Schubert's Symphony No. 9 in C Major ("The Great"), Estonian composer Arvo Pärt's "Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten" and Shostakovich's Symphony No. 10.

Estonian born Järvi feels close to all these works, not least the Shostakovich Symphony, which he conducted on his inaugural tour with the CSO in 2003, a domestic itinerary that included a highly praised performance in New York's Carnegie Hall. Järvi will record it with the CSO for Telarc next season.

"When you go on a tour, you have to show what you do very well. Our orchestra plays this piece wonderfully," he said. "It's also the kind of piece that will show off that wonderful machinery called the American symphony orchestra."

All except the Mozart Overture will be performed on 2007-08 CSO subscription concerts at Music Hall.

Five of the 12 tour venues represent return invitations from 2004. They are the Alte Oper in Frankfurt (Järvi is also music director of the Frankfurt Radio Orchestra, a post he added this season), the Konzerthaus in Vienna, Liederhalle in Stuttgart, Palau de la Musica Catalana in Barcelona and Auditorio Nacional de Musica in Madrid.

"Being re-engaged by a venue is the best stamp of approval for an orchestra," he said. "The presenters were extremely pleased with our performances in 2004 and the audiences were very enthusiastic."

New venues on the tour, in addition to the Concertgebouw and the Salle Pleyel, include the Herkulessaal in Munich, Musikhalle in Hamburg, Konzerthaus in Dortmund, Germany, Tonhalle in Dusseldorf and Palau de la Musica in Valencia, Spain.

CSO tours are funded by a combination of presenter fees and corporate sponsorships.

The big bonus for Cincinnati is that "the orchestra becomes better when they tour," Järvi said. "They get closer. The kind of responsibility that comes with playing in these important venues seriously directly affects the quality of the performances and the quality of the orchestra in Cincinnati."

Courtesy of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

Paavo Järvi conducts the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, which will return to Europe for another tour in 2008.


TOUR DATES
Stops on the CSO 2008 European tour:

April 4 - Alte Oper, Frankfurt, Germany

April 5 - Herkulessaal, Munich, Germany

April 6 - Konzerthaus, Vienna, Austria

April 8 - Liederhalle, Stuttgart, Germany

April 9 - Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Netherlands

April 10 - Salle Pleyel, Paris, France

April 12 - Musikhalle, Hamburg, Germany

April 13 - Konzerthaus, Dortmund, Germany

April 14 - Tonhalle, Dusseldorf, Germany

April 16 - Palau de la Musica, Valencia, Spain

April 17 - Palau de la Musica Catalana, Barcelona, Spain

April 18 - Auditorio Nacional de Musica, Madrid, Spain

CINCINNATI SYMPHONY: third international tour, April 2008

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Symphony bound for Europe again

BY JANELLE GELFAND


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.

CD REVIEW: Rachmaninov Symphony No. 2

18 March, 2007

Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2; Dances from Aleko

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra/Järvi

4 Stars

Järvi has been music director in Cincinnati for six years and his rapport with the orchestra is evident from this disc. He cultivates a plush tone, suitable to this brooding romantic symphony. He gives an especially expansive account of the first movement, phrasing the languorous melodies without plunging into sentimentality. This issue can join several other highly recommended versions of this symphony. The Women’s and Men’s Dances from his opera Aleko (written when Rachmaninoff was 19) are attractive rarities

Michael Kennedy

SANDYE UTLEY

Dear Friends,

It's with great sadness that I have to inform you that our friend Sandie has passed away.
She was updating the blog for years and was a passionate lover of gourmet food and art. We will miss her dearly.

For now, I will be taking over updating this blog.