Kees Bakels with the Singapore Symphony

Kees Bakels with the Singapore Symphony

Dutch conductor Kees Bakels conducts the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and violinist Richard Lin next November the 15th at the Victoria Concert Hall. The program includes Rossini’s Overture of La Cenerentola, Korngold’s violin concerto and excerpts from Chaikovski’s The Sleeping Beauty.

Kees Bakels has held numerous titled positions with major orchestras, most recently with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra where he was Music Director from 1997 to 2005. Other positions have included Principal Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor and Artistic Adviser to the Quebec Symphony Orchestra or Chief Guest Conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra for 10 years and still works with the orchestra each season. He also works regularly in France with the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris and Orchestre National de Lille. Kees Bakels has conducted all the major Dutch orchestras, as well as orchestras in Europe, the USA, Australia and Japan.

Kees Bakels plano americano color

Kees Bakels’ guest-conducting engagements have included the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Ottawa, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, Orquesta Ciudad de Granada, Berne Symphony Orchestra, Het Brabants and the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra. Kees Bakels has always concentrated as much on opera as on symphonic repertoire and has regularly appeared with the Netherlands Opera and the Vancouver Opera and in the UK has conducted new productions of Aïda and Fidelio at the English National Opera and La Bohème and Carmen at the Welsh National Opera. He has conducted concert performances of opera for the famous VARA Matinee Series at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam regularly over 25 years, most recently Donizetti’s La Favorita. He has championed the lesser known operas of composers such as Mascagni and Leoncavello including Mascagni’s Zanetto, Amica, Il Piccolo Marat,Isabeau, Iris, Nerone and his Messa di Gloria, and Leoncavello’s La Bohème, Edipo Re and Zaza.

Kees Bakels’ recordings include the complete Vaughan Williams symphonies, recently re-released as a box set and complete Nielsen Concerti with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra for Naxos and four recordings with the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra for NM Classics. He has also recorded with the Philharmonia Orchestra for ASV, the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra for Denon, the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra. Recordings with the MPO for BIS include works by Dvorak, Sibelius, Khachaturian, Glazunov and Rimsky-Korsakov. Kees Bakels’ recording of Saint-Saëns Violin Concerto with Jean-Jacques Kantorow and the Tapiola Sinfonietta was nominated in the orchestral category of the BBC Music Magazine Awards.

Kees Bakels was born in Amsterdam, beginning his musical career as a violinist. He studied conducting at the Amsterdam Conservatory and at the Academy Chigiana in Siena. During his studies he became Assistant Conductor of the Amsterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and subsequently held the position of Associate Conductor with that orchestra. At that time he also became Principal Guest Conductor of the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra which he took to festivals in England, Finland, Belgium and Spain and on a coast-to-coast tour across the USA.

 

 

 

Berna Perles debuts in Teatro de la Zarzuela

Berna Perles debuts in Teatro de la Zarzuela

Soprano Berna Perles debuts at the Teatro de la Zarzuela in the role of Angustias de La Casa de Bernarda Alba by Miquel Ortega, conducted by the composer himself, together with Rubén Fernández-Aguirre and directed by Bárbara Lluch, which will be performed on the 10th, 11th, 13th, 15th, 17th, 18th, 20th and 22nd of November. She shares the limelight with Nancy Fabiola Herrera (Bernarda Alba), Carmen Romeu (Adela), Luis Cansino (Poncia), Carol García (Martirio), Marifé Nogales (Amelia), Belén Elvira (Magdalena), Milagros Martín (Maid) and the recent Premio Nacional de Teatro prizewiner Julieta Serrano as María Josefa.

Berna Perles

The best of the night was Berna Perles, a delicate, lyrical and emotional Micaela, with an impeccable singing voice and great expressive sensitivity (Andrés Moreno, Diario de Sevilla) 

The best voice of the night was the Micaela of the Malagueña Berna Perles: delicate, emotional, expressive and with clean projection (José Luis López, ABC de Sevilla)

Berna Perles was born in Malaga, where she obtained a Título Superior de Canto en el Conservatorio Superior de Música de Málaga con Matrícula de Honor y Premio Extraordinario Fin de Carrera – the highest awards. She studied a postgraduate course at the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome and completed her training at the “Santa Cecilia” Opera Studio of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. She then studied in Vienna with Glenys Linos, a disciple of Elvira Hidalgo. She has received master classes from Renata Scotto, Mirella Freni, Mariella Devia, Teresa Berganza, Monserrat Caballé, Isabel Rey and Carlos Álvarez.

Berna has been awarded prizes in numerous singing competitions (First Prize, “Muestra de Jóvenes Intérpretes de Málaga”, First Prize, “Juventudes Musicales de España”, First Prize “Nuevas Voces Ciudad de Sevilla”, First Prize “Concurso Internacional Mozart de Granada”, First Prize “Concurso Internacional de Canto de Logroño”) and finalist in many others (“Concurso Internacional de Canto de Toulouse”, “Concorso Lirico Internazionale Umberto Giordano“ “Concurso Internacional de Canto Manuel Ausensi”, “Concurso Internacional de Canto Villa de Colmenar Viejo”, “Concorso Lirico Internazionale di Portofino”). In 2016 she received the award for Best Musical Work of the Year in her hometown of Malaga.

Berna Perles blanco y negro

His professional career has led him to perform, both in opera and zarzuela productions and in lyrical recitals, in theatres such as Teatro dell´opera (Rome), Auditorio Santa Cecilia (Rome), Konzerthaus (Vienna), Teatro Comunale (Bologna), Teatro Garibaldi (Lucera), Royal Opera (Versailles), Théâtre du Capitole (Toulouse), Opera de Massy, Le pin galant (Mérignac), Théâtre de Sète, Teatro Avenida (Buenos Aires), Le pin galant (Mérignac), Théâtre de Sète, Teatro Avenida (Buenos Aires).

He has sung under the baton of John Axelrod, Andrea Marcon, Giarcarlo Andretta, Dominique Rouis, Martin Mázik, Lorenzo Mariani, Edmon Colomer, Santiago Serrate, Pablo González, Mario Menicagli or Manuel Hernández-Silva and under the stage direction of Lindsay Kemp, Emilio Sagi, William Orlandi or Riccardo Canessa. Berna has played, among others, the roles of First Lady and Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Contessa and Marcellina (Le nozze di Figaro), Bastienne (Bastien und Bastienne), Donna Anna and Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte), Gilda (Rigoletto), Anna Bolena (Anna Bolena), Adina (L’elisir d’amore), Musetta y Mimì (La Bohème), Liù (Turandot), Juliette (Roméo et Juliette), Micaela (Carmen), Costanza (L’isola disabitata), Sandrina (Un avvertimento ai gelosi).

In zarzuela Berna has also played the roles of Ascensión (La del manojo de rosas), Carolina (Luisa Fernanda), Katiuska (Katiuska) and Marola (La tabernera del puerto). In the field of symphonic and oratorio, she has performed, among others, The Messiah (Handel), Stabat Mater (Pergolesi), Requiem (Fauré), Requiem (Mozart), Requiem (Verdi), Elijah (Mendelssohn), Ninth Symphony (Beethoven), Coronation Mass (Mozart), Miserere (Ocón) and Carmina Burana (Orff). Among her recent commitments are: Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte, Teatro Cervantes de Málaga), several recitals with the ROSS, OCG, RFG, OSN and OFM, and interesting debuts at the Teatro de la Zarzuela (Madrid) in La casa de Bernarda Alba by Miquel Ortega, at the Teatro Campoamor, Teatro del Liceu and Teatro Real. She has participated in the recording of a CD of duets, together with baritone Carlos Álvarez, on the DNRecords label. (Translation: John Eastham)

 

 

 

Roby Lakatoš in Malaga with Hernández-Silva

Roby Lakatoš in Malaga with Hernández-Silva

Violinist Roby Lakatoš returns to Spain to play with the Malaga Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of its Chief Conductor and Artistic Director Manuel Hernández-Silva. Lakatoš will perform the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 1 in A minor, Op. 77 by Shostakovich, followed by Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47. of the same composer. The Shostakovich monographic will be performed at the Teatro Cervantes in Malaga on 8 and 9 November 2018.

After winning the previous edition of the International Violin Competition Sarasate Live! in Pamplona in 2015, exactly two years ago, on 10 and 11 November 2016 Lakatoš played this same concert by Shostakovich with the Navarra Symphony Orchestra also under the direction of Manuel Hernández-Silva. In 2017 Lakatoš returned to Pamplona to offer another concert in recital format, accompanied by piano, and soon he will also be under the orders of Nicholas Milton to play the Serenade for violin, and strings by Bernstein, again with the Navarra Symphony, in a prestigious Spanish event to be announced soon.

Manuel Hernández-Silva primer plano con batuta

© www.gabrielefriscia.com

After these concerts with Lakatoš, Hernández-Silva will conduct in Málaga, Pamplona and Bilbao the great pianist Kun-Woo Paik, who will play Rachmaninov’s Concert No. 2 and Prokofiev’s Concert No. 2. Hernández-Silva, admired by the critics and supported by the public, continues with his work of expanding the repertoire and scope of the Malaga Philharmonic Orchestra, in what is already his fifth season at the head of the company, and which he combines with his first season at the head of the Navarra Symphony Orchestra, while continuing his international career with upcoming debuts in orchestras such as the Tucson Symphony and the Philharmonic of Buenos Aires, the orchestra resident in the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, and other orchestras in Switzerland, France and Germany, about which we will publish punctual information. (Translation: John Eastham)

 

 

 

Pacho Flores on tour in Europe

Pacho Flores on tour in Europe

On the occasion of the presentation of FRACTALES, his most recent recording for Deutsche Grammophon together with the Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra and Christian Lindberg, Pacho Flores begins an international tour that will take him to venues in Norway, Holland and Spain, where he will offer various works from the album, such as the Haydn and Arutunian concertos and Akban Bunka by Christian Lindberg. Fractales may be purchased, listened to and downloaded here.

On 7 and 8 November at the Kulturhuset in Tromso and the Stormen Hall in Bodø, the two Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra venues, he will play the Haydn and Aruturnian concertos; on 11 November at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam will perform the Haydn concert and on 14 November at the Auditorio de la Diputación de Alicante, where the Israel NK Orchestra will replace the Arctic, he will play Akban Bunka by Christian Lindberg.

Pacho Flores portada de disco Fractales

In December Pacho will be travelling between Asia and Finland to offer a series of concerts with the Singapore National Youth Orchestra at the Esplanade Concert Hall in Singapore conducted by Peter Stark on the 6th; and at the Xinghai Concert Hall in Guangzhou (China) and the Hong Kong Culture Centre Concert Hall conducted by Joshua Tan on the 23rd and 26th. In these concerts Pacho will play Arutunian’s Concerto. In between, on December 12th and 13th, Pacho will play Piazzolla’s Oblivion and Invierno Porteño together with the Haydn concerto with the Kymi Sinfonietta and Olari Elts in the Finnish towns of Kotka and Kouvola.

Pacho Flores, portadas de los tres discos de Deutsche Grammophon

The new year will take Pacho to the Dutch towns of Zutphen, Arnhem and Nijtmegen to offer, along with the Het Gelders Orchestra and Christian Vásquez, an intense programme consisting of Villalobos’ Aria de la Bachiana nº 5, Christian Lindberg’s Akban Bunka, the absolute premiere of Daniel Freiberg’s Crónicas Latinoamericanas in its version for trumpet and to finish a samba by Pacho himself entitled Labios Vermelhos. These performances will take place on January 4, 5 and 6, before he leaves for the U.S., where on January 25 and 27 he will play with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and Jose Luis Gomez, the U.S. premiere of Arturo Marquez’s Concerto, the result of the shared commissions project that Pacho is involved with. This concert premiered last September with the National Orchestra of Mexico and its Japanese and Spanish premieres are already scheduled, with the Hyogo PAC Orchestra and Michiyoshi Inoue and the Oviedo Filarmonía and Lucas Macías in May and August respectively. (Translation: John Eastham)

 

 

 

 

FRACTALES, new Pacho Flores’ recording for DG

FRACTALES, new Pacho Flores’ recording for DG

Pacho Flores, together with Christian Lindberg and the Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra, presents his new Deutsche Grammophon recording FRACTALES. Recorded last May at the Stormen Hall in Bodo, one of the Norwegian orchestra’s headquarters, FRACTALES includes trumpet masterpieces such as Haydn and Arutunian concertos, the astonishing contemporary composition Akban Bunka by Christian Lindberg and some of the key works in Pacho’s repertoire such as his own transcription of Sarasate’s Gypsy Airs and Efraín Oscher’s arrangements of Tom Jobim’s Chega de Saudade and Piazzolla’s Oblivion.

FRACTALES is Pacho’s third recording for Deutsche Grammophon following CANTAR, recorded with the Berlin Funkhausorchester and Christian Vásquez and ENTROPÍA, with guitarist Jesús ‘Pingüino’ González. Some of the works included in this recording will be played in the tour presentation concerts in Bodo and Tromso, Norway (Haydn and Arutunian), the Amsterdam Concertgebouw (Haydn) and the ADDA Auditorium in Alicante, Spain (Lindberg).

Pacho Flores portada de disco Fractales

As well as professional partners, Pacho and Christian are very good friends and FRACTALES is not their only project together. Christian, trombonist, composer and conductor, is writing a new Double Concerto for trumpet and trombone that will be premiered on March 21 and 22, 2019, with Christian conducting the Spanish Radio and Television Orchestra and Ximo Vicedo on trombone. He is also collaborating with Pacho in his Project of Shared Commissions of New Trumpet Concertos.

Pacho Flores composición portadas Deutsche Grammophon

With regard to this project, Arturo Márquez’s Concierto de Otoño has already been premiered by the National Orchestra of Mexico and Carlos Miguel Prieto and further premieres are planned with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and José Luis Gómez in the USA, with the Hyogo PAC Orchestra and Michiyoshi Inoue in Japan and with the Oviedo Filarmonía and Lucas Macías in Spain. New concertos by Roberto Sierra, Paquito D’Rivera, Efraín Oscher and Christian Lindberg will be premiered in the coming seasons. Following FRACTALES, Pacho is already working on new recording projects.

Pacho Flores y Christian Lindberg sonriendo Fractales

 

 

 

Pacho Flores premieres Arturo Márquez’s trumpet concerto

Pacho Flores premieres Arturo Márquez’s trumpet concerto

On September the 7th and 9th, Pacho Flores will play the first of four premieres of Arturo Marquez‘s new Concierto de Otoño for trumpet and orchestra, with the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico and its Chief Conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico D. F. This premiere is the result of a shared commission between the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, the Hyogo PAC Orchestra (Japan) and the Oviedo Filarmonía (Spain).

The four premieres will take place as follows:

September, 7/9, 2018 – National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, conductor, Carlos Miguel Prieto, Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico DF

January, 25/27, 2019 – Tucson Symphony Orchestra, conductor, José Luis Gómez, Tucson Music Hall

May, 24/25/26, 2019 – Hyogo PAC Orchestra (Japan), conductor, Michiyoshi Inoue; Hyogo Performing Arts center 

August, 14, 2019 – Oviedo Filarmonía (Spain), conductor, Lucas Macías, Auditorio Príncipe Felipe, Oviedo

Arturo Márquez (Álamos, Sonora, 1950) is without discussion the most important Mexican composer alive. He wrote masterpieces such as Danzón nº 2 (1994) or Conga del Fuego (2005), which gave him international relevance. He joins a distinguished lineage of Mexican composers like Silvestre Revueltas or Carlos Chávez, who based their music on the traditions and genres of Mexican popular music. Maestro Márquez was given the Prize of the Fine Arts by the Mexican Government in 2009. 

Arturo_Márquez_Pacho_Flores_Proyecto_Encargos_Compartidos

Arturo Márquez

The Concierto de Otoño (Autumn Concerto) is 16 minutes long and was composed between January – June of 2018. It has three movements: Son de luz, Balada de floripondios and Conga de Flores, and requires the use of four trumpets: trumpet in C in the first; flugelhorn and Hornet in F in the second; and trumpet in D in the third. Even before its first premiere, several orchestras have already shown interest in programming the piece once the four premieres would be done by each of the four commissioning orchestras.

Pacho Flores. Project of shared commissions

This premiere is the first of an ambitious project by Pacho Flores to create shared commissions spanning across several seasons that extend the repertoire of solo trumpet and orchestra. In addition to Arturo Márquez, four prominent composers such as Roberto Sierra, Paquito D’Rivera, Efraín Oscher and Christian Lindberg, have joined Pacho in this project.

Pacho Flores. Composición compositores Márquez, Sierra, D'Rivera, Oscher, Lindberg

Left to right and top to bottom: Arturo Márquez, Roberto Sierra, Paquito D’Rivera, Efraín OScher and Christian Lindberg

Orchestras from all around the world (Puerto Rico, Brazil, Mexico, United States, Japan, United Kingdom, Sweden, Spain…) are joining this project, which, at its end, will have reunited twenty orchestras and thus, the same number of premieres. Besides leading this project, Pacho Flores is also premiering new trumpet concertos and beginning a career as a composer. Between his last and next premieres we can mention:

Pacho Flores: Cantos y revueltas (11/12/13 January 2018, Real Filharmonía de Galicia, Manuel Hernández-Silva)

Giancarlo Castro: Trumpet concerto (23 February 2018, Ulster Orchestra, Rafael Payare). 

Alain Trudel: Preach, pour trompette et orchestre (14 March 2018, Orch. Symphonique de Laval, Alain Trudel)

Efraín Oscher: Apex, double concerto for clarinet and trumpet (29 August 2018, Matthias Schorn, Norddeutsche Philharmonie Rostock, Marcus Bosch)

Daniel Freiberg: Latin American Chronicles Concerto (4/5/6 January 2019, Het Gelders Orkest, Christian Vásquez)

Christian Lindberg: Double concerto for trumpet and trombone (21/22 March 2019, Orquesta de RTVE, Christian Lindberg; Ximo Vicedo, trombone).