Ira Levin, Maestro Titular in Rio de Janeiro

Ira Levin, Maestro Titular in Rio de Janeiro

Ira Levin has been named as the new ‘Maestro Titular’ (Music Director) of the Teatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro, effective immediately. This happens after a hugely successful production of Gounod’s Faust and concerts with tenors Vittorio Grigolo and Michael Fabiano. The TMRJ is the largest opera house in Brazil and the second largest in South America after the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, where Levin was the principal guest conductor from 2011 to 2015. He was also the artistic and music director of the Teatro Municipal in Sao Paulo from 2002 to 2005 and the National Theater of Brazil from 2007 to 2009, making him the only foreigner to have had leading positions in most of the leading opera houses in South America. He will conduct at least three opera productions and several concerts each year in Rio.

Ira Levin had major conducting positions in Bremen, Kassel and the Deutsche Oper am Rhein and guest conducted in several houses including Leipzig, Dresden, Frankfurt, Hannover, Linz, Geneva, Oslo, Cape Town and New York City Opera. Ira Levin has conducted over 90 operas and his concert activity has been equally intense, encompassing a huge repertoire, and he has several CDs to his credit with the London Symphony, Scottish National Orchestra and other orchestras.

Ira Levin, Maestro Titular, Teatro Municipal, Río de Janeiro

 
Ira Levin is also still active as a concert pianist and has published several piano transcriptions as well as seven large orchestrations. His first Naxos CD, to be released in the Fall of 2019 will be of works by Max Reger and includes his orchestration of the monumental Bach Variations opus 81, originally for piano. 
 
Ira Levin, Maestro Titular, Teatro Municipal, Río de Janeiro
 
Ira Levin’s recent highlights include Janacek’s The Makropoulos case and Katja Kabanova (São Pedro Theater in São Paulo), Schumann‘s Scenes from Faust and Marschner’s Der Vampyr (Grand-Théâtre de Genève) and Respighi’s La campana sommersa (New York City Opera). 
 
Ira Levin is also still active as a concert pianist and has published several piano transcriptions as well as seven large orchestrations. His first Naxos CD, to be released in the Fall of 2019, will be of works by Max Reger and includes his orchestration of the monumental Bach Variations opus 81, originally for piano. He lives in Berlin and Rio de Janeiro. He lives in Berlin and Rio de Janeiro. For more information about Ira Levin see www.iralevin.net.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pacho Flores, premiere of Paquito D’Rivera with Minería and Prieto

Pacho Flores, premiere of Paquito D’Rivera with Minería and Prieto

Pacho Flores will play four trumpet concertos in the same concert.

 

Pacho Flores will premiere the Concierto Venezolano, by Paquito D’Rivera, with the Minería Symphony Orchestra and Carlos Miguel Prieto at the Palacio de Bellas Artes de México DF on September 1. This concert is the result of a commission shared between four orchestras that already has its first two premieres scheduled, because after Mexico it will be released in the US by the San Diego Symphony Orchestra with Rafael Payare. This commission is part of the large project of shared commissions that Pacho Flores is carrying on prominent composers such as Paquito D’Rivera, Arturo Márquez, Roberto Sierra, Efraín Oscher, Christian Lindberg and Daniel Freiberg. 

But the concert is not only news for the premiere of the Concierto Venezolano by Paquito D’Rivera as Pacho Flores will also play four trumpet concertos in the same session. The program begins with Arturo Márquez’s Concierto de Otoño, the first of the shared commission project concerts, which was recently premiered in Europe by the Oviedo Filarmonía and Lucas Macías, in the fourth commissioned orchestras engagement, and begin its public performance tour, precisely in Mexico with Carlos Miguel Prieto, the maestro who premiered it with the National Symphony exactly one year ago.

Paquito D'rivera y Pacho Flores en la fábrica de trompetas STOMVI

Paquito D’Rivera and Pacho Flores at the Stomvi factory working on the Concierto Venezolano

After Danzón nº 2 by Márquez, Pacho returns to the scene to play the premiere of the night, the Concierto Venezolano by Paquito D’Rivera. After the break he will play Crónicas Latinoamericanas, by Daniel Freiberg, which premiered last January with the Het Gelders Orchestra and Christian Vásquez and after the Huapango de Moncayo, Pacho will return to the stage to deliver the fourth concert of the night, the Concierto Mestizo by Efraín Oscher, that he has already played over 30 times throughout the world.

pacho_flores_encargos_marquez_drivera_sierra_oscher_lindberg_freiberg

It is a physical feat of more than an hour of solo trumpet music that will shortly be released in a new Pacho Flores album for Deutsche Grammophon, his exclusive label, also accompanied the Minería Symphony Orchestra and Carlos Miguel Prieto; but beyond an athletic demonstration, it is an important step forward in Pacho’s effort to expand the repertoire of solo trumpet and orchestra. The shared commission project includes new milestones such as premieres of Efraín Oscher’s Danzas Latinoamericanas  by the Galician Royal Philharmonic and Manuel Hernández-Silva in November; and Salseando, Roberto Sierra’s new trumpet concerto, with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Domingo Hindoyan in January 2020. After the concert, Pacho, Prieto and Minería Orchestra will record these concertos for Deutsche Grammophon.

 

 

 

 

Hernández-Silva, excellent reviews at Teatro Colón

Hernández-Silva, excellent reviews at Teatro Colón

Hernández-Silva has recently achieved a great success at Teatro Colón after conducting two programs with the Buenos Aires Philharmonic Orchestra. Several reviews from Argentine and international media such as Clarín, Olyrix or De Paraíso para Usted highlight his detailed knowledge of the scores, technique, musicality, attention to detail and ability to accompany the soloists and get the best out of this prestigious ensemble. Here you can read some excerpts.

Hernández-Silva en el Colón

© Prensa Teatro Colon / Arnaldo Colombaroli

Temperament and personality on stage

Martha Cora Eliseth for De Paraíso para usted

The orchestra accompanied the pianist perfectly, under the masterful conducting of Hernández Silva. In the second of the three movements (Allegro scherzando), Filjak’s scherzo was masterful, with a depth and sound balance between orchestra and soloist as had not been heard at Teatro Colón for a while.

For the second part of the concert, Manuel Hernández Silva chose Dvorák’s Symphony No. 8 in G major, a piece within the usual repertoire of the Philharmonic, that has performed it on countless occasions. However, few performances have achieved the level of perfection and luminosity as last night’s under Hernández-Silva, which excelled for its outstanding interpretative quality and pure sound.          

When there is rehearsal, discipline and effort, the Philharmonic shows its quality, sounding like a European orchestra. Manuel Hernández-Silva was an additional ingredient, contributing with his personality and talent to bring brightness and luminosity on a night worthy of the Colón. An authentic revelation on the stage of our biggest coliseum.

Hernández-Silva en el Colón

© Prensa Teatro Colon / Arnaldo Colombaroli

Berlioz Summer Nights at Teatro Colón’s (French) Winter Garden

Sébastien Vacelet for OLYRIX

The five pieces in Ma Mère l’Oye offer in their symphonic version a delicate, smooth and quilted panorama of this French garden, which promised to be rich in colors and nuances, and that the Buenos Aires orchestra managed to transmit under the beats of the sometimes magic baton of Hernández-Silva, who was very inspired and precise in his direction. The management of volumes and tempi is particularly careful (III, Laideronnette), with Manuel Hernández-Silva remaining very attentive to the execution of his gestural, flexible and precise indications. The fade-in of the harp, the triangle and then the violins in Les Entretiens de la Belle et de la Bête (IV) is a good example of coordination to create this impression of wonder that is the aesthetic link of Ma Mère l’Oye and finds in Le Jardin féérique (V) an enchanting conclusion.

Au Cimetière (V) gives us the opportunity to see text and melody intermingling in a piece that evokes a song “on the wings of music”, while the iridescent nuances of the orchestra, under the instructions on its conductor, manage effects that echo  those of the verses.

The second part of the concert opens to this French garden a new horizon from across the Rhine: the performance of Schumann’s Symphony No. 2 further reinforces the already existing impression. The Buenos Aires Philharmonic Orchestra follows Manuel Hernández-Silva’s requests exactly, earning them all a big applause.

Conducted by Venezuelan Manuel Hernández-Silva, the orchestra excelled itself with works by Ravel, Schumann and Berlioz.

Federico Monjeau for CLARÍN

The conductor was also a success. Venezuelan Manuel Hernández-Silva replaced French Lionel Bringuier, absent for health reasons. Hernández-Silva was born in Caracas, graduated in Vienna and is currently principal conductor of the Malaga and Navarra orchestras. In Ravel’s suite and Berlioz’s songs he managed the orchestra to sound expressive and detailed even in the most surprising pianissimos. The ravelian goldsmithing counted in addition on impeccable soloist interventions, especially Pablo Saraví in the brief but significant violin solo at the end of the fourth movement, Les entretiens de la Belle et de la Bête.

And another success was the soloist Berlioz songs, the Irish mezzosoprano Tara Erraught, of beautiful timbre, fair intonation and an expresiveness at the same time nuanced and reserved. Hernández-Silva maintained a seamless balance between orchestra and soloist.

If conductor Hernández-Silva had been extremely reserved in the first two pieces of the program, in Schumann he reached peaks of great emotional intensity, without neglecting the continuity of form and details at the same time. The great performance of the soloists, especially the oboe, the clarinet and the bassoon, must also be here underlined.

 

 

 

Alexandre Kantorow, Grand Prix winner of the Tchaikovski Competition

Alexandre Kantorow, Grand Prix winner of the Tchaikovski Competition

Alexandre Kantorow, the First Prize winner at the XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition in the Piano category, became the owner of the Grand Prix of the competition. On  June  29,  2019  Valer Gergiev, Co-Chair of the Organizing Committee of the XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition, announced the name of the Grand Prix winner after the Competition Closing Gala Concert which was held at the New Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre (Mariinsky II) in Saint Petersburg.

Alexandre Kantorow currently studies at the École Normale de Musique de Paris in the class of Rena Shereshevskaya. At the age of 16 he was invited to play at the Les Folles Journées Festivals in Nantes and in Warsaw with the Sinfonia Varsovia. Since then he has played with many orchestras and has performed at some of the most prestigious festivals. Alexandre Kantorow has played at major concert halls such as the Royal Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, the Konzerthaus Berlin, the Philharmonie de Paris, the BOZAR in Brussels. Next season he will play with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse (conducted by John Storgards), will give solo recitals in Paris dedicated to 200 years since the death of Beethoven and will also make his US debut with the Naples Philharmonic (conducted by Andrey Boreyko). Alexandre Kantorow is son of Jean-Jacques Kantorow, a legend of the violin.

Alexandre Kantorow Portada disco Saint-Saëns Bis

Distinguished predecessors of Alexandre Kantorow on winning the Tchaikovski Competition have been pianists such as Dmitry Masleev, Daniil Trifonov, Denis Matsuev, Boris Berezovsky, Barry Douglas, Mikhail Pletnev, Andrei Gavrilov, Grigory Sokolov, Vladimir Ashkenazy, John Ogdon and Van Cliburn. In this XVI edition of the Tchaikovski Competition he jury was formed by: Denis Matsuev, chair, Michel Béroff, Barry Douglas, Pavel Gililov, Boris Petrushansky, Menahem Pressler, Freddy Kempf, Li Ming-Qiang, Piotr Paleczny, Nelson Freire and Vladimir Ovchinnikov, Alexandre has won the prize between 25 competitors from 12 countries.

 

 

 

Alexandre Kantorow, Grand Prix winner of the Tchaikovski Competition

Alexandre Kantorow, winner of the Tchaikovski Competition

Alexandre Kantorow, young French pianist and son of violinist and conductor Jean-Jacques Kantorow, has just been announced winner of the XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition held in Moscow this week. With impressive versions of Tchaikovsky and Brahms Concertos No. 2 and accompanied by the Evgeny Svetlanov Orchestra under Vassily Petrenko, he won the first prize in a high-level final round against contestants of enormous quality such as Japanese Mao Fujita or Russian Dmitry Shishkin, both of them second prize ex aequo.

Alexandre, who has just released his fourth album with Saint-Saëns piano concertos, the third one for BIS RECORDS after the recording of Liszt piano concertos and the Russian repertoire album entitled Á la rousse, has despite his youth long been arousing the most glowing praises from the specialised critics for his recitals and concerts with the most important European and Asian orchestras, and is considered by some to be the reincarnation of Franz Liszt himself.

Alexandre, born in 1997, has been groomed for a career as a pianist for most of his life, studying with France’s top teachers including, first, Pierre-Alain Volondat. At the Schola Cantorum in Paris his teacher was Igor Lazko, and along the way he has also taken lessons with Jacques Rouvier, Théodore Paraschivesco, Georges Pludermacher, Christian Ivaldi, and Jean-Philippe Collard. Enrolling at the Paris National Conservatoire he has continued his studies with Frank Braley and Haruko Ueda. Kantorow made his debut at 16 with the Sinfonia Varsovia in Poland, performing Rachmaninov’s fearsome Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, and he made other early appearances with the Bordeaux Chamber Orchestra, the Orléans Symphony Orchestra and the Kaunas Symphony Orchestra in Lithuania. He has won several top prizes in international competitions.

Alexandre Kantorow Portada disco Saint-Saëns Bis

Kantorow has been able to tour widely despite the demands of classwork, performing as far afield as Finland and South America. He was featured in the first season at Paris’ new Philharmonic Hall (Philharmonie de Paris), playing Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, Op. 80, and a return visit was planned. His interests extend beyond traditional repertory into American music, and he has performed Richard Addinsell’s Warsaw Concerto and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, in its original jazz band version, at French chamber music festivals.