Christian Vásquez conducts several concerts with various EL SISTEMA orchestras in Venezuela throughout these months of November and December, before heading to France to act as assistant conductor to Gustavo Dudamel at the Paris National Opera in the rehearsals and performances of Tristán and Isolde by Richard Wagner. During his stay in Venezuela, he will lead the Juan José Landaeta Orchestra (formerly the Teresa Carreño Symphony Orchestra), of which he is Musical Director; of the Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, and of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra, the main formation and flagship of the System of Children and Youth Orchestras of Venezuela.
The calendar of this extensive presence at the head of the formations of EL SISTEMA begins on November 20 with the Juan José Landaeta Symphony Orchestra, to which he will conduct a program that includes Wolf Totem, Concert for double bass and orchestra by Tan Dun with Edicson Ruiz on double bass and Béla Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra. On November 26, he will lead the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra with which he will perform Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso by Camille Saint-Saëns with Thibault Vieux on violin and the Concerto for Double Bass and Orchestra by Efraín Oscher, again with Edicson Ruiz on double bass, and the Alpine Symphony by Richard Strauss. On December 3 with the Gaêlica y la Bolívar group, he will conduct an extraordinary concert entitled A Night of Light. On December 7, this time with the Venezuelan Symphony, he will conduct the Overture to The Marriage of Figaro and the Concert in A Major for clarinet and orchestra, both by W. A. Mozart, with clarinetist Andrés Nieves, and Symphony No. 9, New World, obyAntonín Dvořák. And on December 16 he will close this journey again with Bolívar and the participation of the Simón Bolívar National Choir conducting the Te Deum by Hector Berlioz.
Christian Vasquez has been Music Director of the Stavanger Orchestra in Norway, Principal Guest Conductor of the Gävle Symphony in Sweden and the Het Gelders Orkest in the Netherlands and currently holds the title of the Juan José Landaeta Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, heir to the Teresa Carreño Youth Symphony Orchestra. Vásquez comes from conducting the Tongyeong Festival Orchestra at the Isangyun International Cello Competition in South Korea
Marina Heredia will sing at the Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin next Wednesday, November 23, accompanied by her usual collaborators José Quevedo ‘Bolita’ on guitar and Paquito González on percussion, as special guests of Avi Avital and his Between Worlds Ensemble in a program dedicated to the music of the Iberian Peninsula that includes arrangements of classical compositions by Falla, Albéniz and Granados together with flamenco pieces and other popular music in new arrangements made especially for the occasion.
Mandolinist Avi Avital has long enjoyed crossing musical boundaries. This season, he brings a series of three concerts to the Pierre Boulez Saal that reflect his broad inspiration and interests. Between Worlds is an exploration of different genres, cultures and musical worlds: at the center of the project is the Between Worlds Ensemble, founded by Avital in 2014 and made up of ten classically trained musicians who are equally comfortable in non-classical repertoire. For each of the three concerts, this core group will be joined by various artists or an ensemble representing a specific cultural and geographic region from around the world, in programs that include classical pieces as well as traditional and folk music in newly created arrangements. “The feeling of being at home in places that seem strange and even discovering aspects of yourself is an idea that I find very moving,” says Avital. “That philosophy is at the heart of this project.” To open the cycle, Marina Heredia, one of the most fascinating voices of current flamenco, will become part of the Between Worlds Ensemble, together with José Quevedo “Bolita” and Paquito González in a program dedicated to the music of the Iberian Peninsula.
Marina Heredia has just inaugurated her artistic residence in the season of the Duisburger Philharmoniker with which she sang El Amor Brujo by Falla and as soon as she gets off the plane from Berlin she will join the Radio TV Spanish Orchestra for the rehearsals of El Amor Brujo, which she will sing on December 2 at the Kursaal Theater in Melilla under the direction of conductor Isabel Rubio. This first visit to Duisburg included a concert by her quintet, various educational activities and a round table on flamenco. In a second visit that will take place in June 2023, the world premiere of En Libertad will take place under the direction of Josep Pons, a new work commissioned by the orchestra and composed together by José Quevedo ‘Bolita’ and Joan Albert Amargós, on texts by Quevedo himself, based on an idea by Marina Heredia. As on the first occasion, the concert with the orchestra will be accompanied by a new show by her flamenco company and related activities.
Marina Heredia will be artist-in-residence of the Duisburger Philharmoniker in the 2022/23 symphony season. After a season that saw her debuts with the Orquesta da Casa da Música do Porto or the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin, and a summer that took her to the Granada International Music and Dance Festival and to Hamburg as a guest of the Martha Argerich Festival at the Laieszhalle of the Elbphilharmonie, Marina begun this season at the Lausitz Festival in Görlitz, the Seville Biennale or the inaugural concert of the Navarra Symphony Orchestra season, which was also the presentation of maestro Perry So as its new Musica and artistic Director, Marina will visit Duisburg up to four occasions to offer various concerts, both with the orchestra and with his flamenco company.
Marina’s residency begins with the quintessential work for cantaora with symphony orchestra, El Amor Brujo by Manuel de Falla. These concerts will take place at the Mercatorhalle in Duisburg, the orchestra’s usual venue, on November 9 and 10, under the direction of its principal conductor, Axel Kober. Next, on the 12th of that month in the same room, she will offer a flamenco recital with her company in quintet format, accompanied by guitar (José Quevedo ‘Bolita’), percussion (Paquito González) and choir / clapping (Fita Heredia and Anabel Rivera).
The second symphonic date will be at the end of the season and it will be the premiere of En Libertad! a work commissioned by the orchestra, composed jointly by José Quevedo ‘Bolita’ and Joan Albert Amargós, which will be conducted by Josep Pons on June 28 and 29. Quevedo, also the author of the texts, has based himself on the journey of the gypsy people from its original origins in the East to the Iberian Peninsula and, particularly, Andalusia. The residency closes with a new flamenco recital on July 1 whose program is based on the cantaora’s latest album, CAPRICHO, and which will feature the participation of musicians from the Duisburger Philharmoniker as guests along with the company’s musicians.
Perry So returns to the podium of the Navarra Symphony, of which he is the Music and Artistic Director since this season, to conduct a program that includes Bach’s Ricercare a 6, arranged by Anton Webern; Teoton, concerto for sheng and orchestra by Jukka Tiensuu (1948), performed by Wu Wei, the world’s most renowned performer of this Chinese wind instrument, and Beethoven’s Symphony No 3, Op. 55 Eroica.
Perry So was elected principal and artistic director of the Navarra Symphony Orchestra for a period of three years, from this season until the end of the 2024/25 season. Perry So was born in 1982 in Hong Kong, where he received his early musical training in piano, organ, violin, viola, and composition. He received a BA in Comparative Literature from Yale University with a specialization in Central European music and literature of the modernist period, a period in which he founded an academic orchestra and directed the university’s opera company. He studied conducting at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore under the tutelage of Maestro Gustav Meier and in 2008 received the First Prize and the Special Prize at the 5th Edition of the St. Petersburg Prokofiev International Conducting Competition. Following this recognition, he was appointed Assistant Director and then Associate Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel Conducting Fellow at the Los Angeles Philharmonic and artistic collaborator of the Principality of Asturias Symphony Orchestra, and is also a member of the Conducting Department of Orchestra of the Manhattan School of Music.
Present in concert halls on five continents, Perry So has recently made his debut with the San Francisco Symphony, his operatic debut in Europe was at the Royal Danish Opera with The Magic Flute, and his American debut at the Yale Opera with Eugene Onegin. Some notable performances include a tour of Italy with the Nuremberg Symphony, a seven-week tour of South Africa leading three different orchestras in which he conducted Verdi’s Requiem in Cape Town as part of the South African National Arts Festival, or his return to the podium of the San Francisco Symphony. He has had a long-standing collaboration with the Royal Danish Theater and the Royal Danish Orchestra both in the concert hall and in the opera and ballet pit. He has been a frequent guest at Walt Disney Hall and the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and in 2013 toured the Balkan Peninsula leading the Zagreb Philharmonic in the first series of cultural exchanges established after the breakup of Yugoslavia.
Other debuts in recent years include appearances with the Cleveland and Minnesota Orchestras, the Navarra, Malaga, Tenerife, Nuremberg, Israel, New Zealand, Houston, Detroit, New Jersey and Shanghai Symphony Orchestras, the London Philharmonics, Szezcin, Seoul and China, the Residentie Orkest in The Hague and the Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie in Koblenz. His recording studio work covers a wide cross-section of 20th century British, French and Russian music with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the BBC Concert Orchestra, and his album of Barber and Korngold Violin Concertos with Alexander Gilman and the Cape Town Philharmonic he received the Diapason d’Or in January 2012. His wide-ranging musical interests include numerous world premieres on four continents, as well as the reintroduction of Renaissance and Baroque repertoire into symphonic programmes, most notably championing the works of Jean-Philippe Rameau. His work with young musicians has taken him to the Australian Youth Orchestra, the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, the Round Top Festival, the Manhattan School of Music, the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts and the Yale School of Music. . Perry, his wife Anna, and his daughter Caroline divide their time between Boston, Saint Paul, where Anna is a professor of history of science at the University of Minnesota, and Pamplona.
Christian Vásquez made his debut last year 2021 at the Tongyeong International Festival in South Korea conducting two concerts with the Festival Orchestra and two soloists such as Bomsori Kim and Camille Thomas and was immediately invited to conduct the final phase and the winners’ concert of the Tongyeong Isang Yun Cello International Competition on November 5th and 6th. The Isangyun International Competition has been presented by the Tongyeong International Music Foundation since 2003. It is held in memory of Isang Yun (1917-1995), a renowned Korean composer, promoting cultural exchanges between nations through music while that supports young musicians from all over the world. The contest takes place annually in the month of November, alternating the piano, violin and cello disciplines. Isang Yun was born in Tongyeong in 1917, he created bridges between Asian and Western cultures, his style is part of traditional Korean music, and yet, working with the twelve-tone technique and other means of the Western avant-garde, it also has its place in the European tradition.
Upon his return from Korea, Christian Vásquez will travel to Venezuela for a long stay leading the various formations of EL SISTEMA, in which he plays a prominent role as musical director of the Juan José Landaeta Orchestra, formerly the Teresa Carreño Symphony Orchestra. On November 20, Christian Vásquez conducts the Juan José Landaeta with a program that includes: Tan Dun’s Wolf Totem, concerto for double bass and orchestra, with Edicson Ruiz as soloist, and the Concerto for orchestra by Béla Bartók; on November 26 he conducts the Simón Bolívar Symphony with the Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso by Camille Saint-Saëns, with Thibault Vieux on the violin, the Concerto for Double Bass and Orchestra by Efraín Oscher, again with Edicson Ruiz on double bass and the Alpine Symphony by Richard Strauss; on December 3, Christian Vásquez joins the Gaêlica group to present the show Una noche de luz; On December 7, he conducts the Venezuelan Symphony with the overture to The Marriage of Figaro and the Concerto in A Major for clarinet and orchestra by W. A. Mozart, with Andrés Nieves on clarinet and Symphony no. 9, New World, by Antonín Dvořák, to round off his stay again with the Bolívar, on December 16, with Hector Berlioz’s Te Deum.
Immediately afterwards, Christian Vásquez will travel to the Opera National de Paris where he will work as assistant to Gustavo Dudamel in the production of Tristan and Isolde, and where he will return later in April to direct several ballet performances, after passing through Poland, with the Baltic Philharmonic , where he will work with the violinist Robert Lakatoš, and again Venezuela. Before the end of the season he will still go to Colombia to lead the Colombian National Orchestra, with Pacho Flores, and the Medellín Philharmonic, and Switzerland to conduct the Geneva Conservatory Orchestra.