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 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 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 seewww.iralevin.net.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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, 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.
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.
Pacho Flores will premiere Arturo Sandoval’s Concerto for Trumpet No. 1 with the Buenos Aires Philharmonic Orchestra under maestro Enrique Diemecke on July 11 at Teatro Colón. This concert has a peculiar history: Sandoval himself recorded it with the London Symphony for RCA-Victor in 1994; however, due to some problems with the location of the materials, he never performed it live. Years later, after meeting Pacho Flores and recovering some fragments of notes and other various materials, he decided to give them to Pacho so that he could revise them —practically reconstruct the concert— and premiere it. This gesture shows the excellence of a living legend of the trumpet by ackknowledge the talent of a young artist, thus recalling the great Dizzi Gillespie when he gave young Sandoval a trumpet with the inscription “To my son”. Arturo Sandoval is also the author of a second concert for trumpet and orchestra that he and Rubén Simeó, another great Spanish trumpet player, usually perform around the world.
This Concerto No. 1 by Arturo Sandoval that Pacho now adds to his repertoire enlarges the impressive list of new concerts that Pacho himself is promoting through his project of shared commissions for trumpet concerts, which is causing the greatest increase of the soloist repertoire for this instrument in all its history. Composers such as Arturo Márquez, Roberto Sierra, Paquito D’Rivera, Christian Lindberg, Daniel Freiberg and Efraín Oscher participate in this project, and others like Giancarlo Castro, Alain Trudel and Igmar Alderete are also composing new concerts dedicated to Pacho Flores.
After this, the European premiere of Arturo Márquez’s Concierto de Otoño will take place on August 14 at Teatro Campoamor in Oviedo, with the Oviedo Filarmonía and Lucas Macías. This will be the fourth and last premiere after Mexico, USA and Japan with the National Symphonic Orchestra of Mexico under Carlos Miguel Prieto, Tucson Symphony Orchestra under José Luis Gómez, and Hyogo PAC Orchestra led by Michiyoshi Inoue, the four orchestras that commissioned this work. Only two weeks later, on September 1, will follow the premiere in Mexico of Paquito D’Rivera’s Concierto Venezolano by the Orquesta de Minería, again under Carlos Miguel Prieto, who has a great presence in this project by also scheduling Márquez’s Concierto de Otoño at the Opening Gala of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, of which he is principal conductor. D’Rivera’s Concierto Venezolano already has a second scheduled premiere with the San Diego Symphony under Rafael Payare in March 2020. For his part, Manuel Hernández-Silva will conduct the premiere of the new trumpet concert by Efraín Oscher next November with the Real Filharmonía de Galicia, and we will not have to wait long for the premiere of Roberto Sierra’s Salseando by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Domingo Hindoyan in January 2020.
Manuel Hernández-Silva returns to Teatro Colón to conduct the Philharmonic Orchestra of Buenos Aires in the absolute premiere of Ave Fénix by Argentinian composer Claudia Montero, winner of four Grammy awards. In addition, maestro Hernández-Silva will accompany Croatian pianist Martina Filjak by Saint-Säens Concert No. 2, op. 22 in G minor and conduct Dvořak’s Symphony No. 8 in G major. This concert will take place on next Thursday, June the 27th at 20:00 hrs.
This trip to Argentina is a prelude to the upcoming debut of Hernández-Silva with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra in the US at the 2019/20 season, as well as to future visits to Norway, France, Germany or Australia. The album Cantos y Revueltas by Pacho Flores with cuatro player Leo Rondón and the Real Filharmonía de Galicia under Hernández-Silva will be released next July by Deutsche Grammophon. This album contains the homonymous work by Pacho Flores, Cantos y revueltas, that was premiered in January 2018 and recorded live for this double CD / DVD, together with other highlights by Pacho, Neruda, Villalobos or Piazzolla. Hernández-Silva is also going to premiere on next November Efraín Oscher’s Danzas Latinas for trumpet and orchestra, a commission of the Real Filharmonía, withPacho Flores.
Hernández-Silva will complete this month his first and fifth season as Principal and Artistic Director of the Navarra Symphony Orchestra and the Malaga Philharmonic Orchestra respectively, but an intense summer awaits him. After returning from Buenos Aires, he will continue with one of the activities he’s most passionate about: working with young people; on the one hand with a series of concerts with the Young Baroque Orchestra of Andalusia; and on the other hand with the Masterclass in Orchestral Conducting organised by the Malaga Philharmonic Orchestra. Hernández-Silva will then make his debut at Pollença Festival in Mallorca, along with Pacho Flores and the Symphony Orchestra of the Balearic Islands, and conduct a Homage to Gayarre with the Navarra Symphony Orchestra.
The American premiere of Pacho Flores’ work Cantos y Revueltas. Fantasia Concertante for trumpets, Venezuelan cuatro and strings with the Bolívar Phil and cuatro player Héctor Molina under maestro Carlos Riazuelo will take place next June 30 at 11:00 am at the Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Performing Arts Center in Miami. Cantos y Revueltas was premiered on January 11, 2018 at the Auditorio de Galicia in Santiago de Compostela with the Royal Philharmonic of Galicia and two other Venezuelans —conductor Manuel Hernández-Silva and cuatro player Leo Rondón—, to great success from both audience and critics. This premiere was recorded in audio and video and will be the central piece of the next album by Pacho Flores, a double CD/DVD for Deutsche Grammophon that will be coming soon. However, this isn’t Pacho’s first composition, since other works such as Morocota or Labios Vermelhos were already part of his album ENTROPÍA.
Image of the premiere of Cantos y Revueltas, Flores, Rondón, Hernández-Silva and the RFG. Copyright: RFG
Pacho Flores is playing this week with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Gran Canaria, a program that includes Akban Bunka by Christian Lindberg —appearing in FRACTALES, his last album for DG so far— and Concierto Mestizo by Efraín Oscher. He will perform the same repertoire the following week at the 11º Conference of the Brazilian Association of Trumpeters in Campinas.
Flores will then return to Europe to perform Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto and Lindberg’s Akban Bunka with the Sinfonieorchester Basel led by Michal Nesterowicz. After this American premiere in Florida, Cantos y Revueltas will then head for the Southern Cone for another historical premiere in Argentina: the performance by the Buenos Aires Philharmonic Orchestra under Enrique Diemecke of Arturo Sandoval’s Trumpet Concerto No. 1 for the first time since its composition 25 years ago. It will take place on July 11 at Teatro Colón.
Pacho Flores faces the Asian premiere of Arturo Márquez’s Concierto de otoño with the Hyogo PAC Orchestra of Japan under Michiyoshi Inoue, that will take place on 24, 25 and 26 May. The concert was previously premiered by the National Orchestra of Mexico under Carlos Miguel Prieto (watch video) and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra under José Luis Gómez, with extraordinary success. The European premiere by the Oviedo Filarmonía and its new principal conductor Lucas Macías will close the round of premieres on 14 August. This concert has attracted the interest of many orchestras and has already been scheduled for the 19/20 and 20/21 seasons in the United States, Colombia, Spain, France, England, Canada and Australia, adding up to 30 performances only in its first three years. Some of them are the Opening Night Gala of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, with C. M. Prieto; Filarmónica de Bogotá (Colombian premiere), Christian Vásquez; Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Josep Caballé Doménech; Real Filharmonía de Galicia, with Manuel Hernández-Silva, together with the absolute premiere of Efraín Oscher’s new Trumpet concerto; Orchestre National de Lille (French premiere), Josep Vicent; Winnipeg Symphony (Canadian premiere), José Luis Gómez; Liverpool Philharmonic (UK premiere), Domingo Hindoyan, together with the Concierto Salseando by Roberto Sierra, UK premiere as well; Orquesta de Córdoba, Carlos Domínguez-Nieto, together with the absolute premiere of Concierto Mambí by Igmar Alderete; and some other orchestras to be announced.
The commission is part of an ambitious Project of Shared Commissions launched by Pacho Flores himself in order to enlarge the trumpet and orchestra repertoire. It is the first of six commissions to composers Roberto Sierra, Paquito D’Rivera, Efrain Oscher, Christian Lindberg and Daniel Freiberg, involving orchestras from all around the world to premiere these works over the coming seasons. All the concerts resulting from this project will increase Pacho Flores’ discography on his label Deutsche Grammophon.
After its premiere in Liverpool, Salseando will later be premiered in Brazil and other two countries. The Concierto Venezolano by Paquito D’Rivera will also be premiered on 2 September 2019 in Mexico (orchestra and conductor to be announced soon), and afterwards in the United States, Spain and the United Kingdom.
In parallel, Pacho Flores continues receiving new concert dedications and performing premieres. Only during the last year, Pacho has premiered his own work, Cantos y revueltas (January 2018, Real Filharmonía de Galicia, Manuel Hernández-Silva); the concert Stunning Trumpet by Giancarlo Castro (February 2018, Ulster Orchestra, Rafael Payare); Preach pour trompette et orchestre, by Alain Trudel (March 2018, Orchester Symphonique de Laval, Alain Trudel); Double concerto for clarinet and trumpet (August 2018, Norddeutsche Philharmonie Rostock, Markus Bosch); Latin American Chronicles by Daniel Freiberg (January 2019, Het Gelders Orkest, Christian Vásquez); and the new Double concert for trumpet and trombone by Christian Lindberg (March 2019, RTVE Orchestra, Ximo Vicedo and Christian Lindberg); and he plans to premiere the Trumpet Concerto No. 1 by Arturo Sandoval (July 2019, Buenos Aires Philharmonic Orchestra, Enrique Diemecke).
Pacho Flores, Ximo Vicedo and the Orquesta Sinfónica RTVE will premiere Un Sueño Morisco, double concerto for trumpet, trombone and orchestra by Christian Lindberg, next 21 and 22 March at Teatro Monumental in Madrid. Pacho Flores and Christian Lindberg, who will also conduct on this occasion, have a long history of collaborations, being the most recent the recording of FRACTALES, Pacho Flores’ latest album for Deutsche Grammophon with the Arctic Philharmonic, with a European tour that went through Bodø and Tromsø in Norway, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and ended at the ADDA in Alicante. FRACTALES includes Lindberg’s concert Akban Bunka, among other works.
In Lindberg’s words about Un Sueño Morisco: “I took this opportunity to really challenge the soloists. Both the trumpet part and the trombone part are extremely virtuosic. When I saw the trombone part, I thought: ‘My God, this is even going to be hard for me to play!’ It takes a lot of practice. And the trumpet part… Of course Pacho can do anything, so I challenged him really well. But it’s also a piece that has the Spanish soul. I’ve always loved going to Spain to give concerts there, and I also have many memories from the time I was on holiday in Seville, Cordoba, Granada, when I visited the Alhambra. There is an exotic flavour in all these landscapes… And I think I included part of that in this piece.”
Christian Lindberg is one of the six composers engaged in the project of shared commissions that Pacho Flores is carrying out by commissioning new concerts for trumpet and orchestra. The premiere will take place in Stockholm in September 2021. As part of this project, Concierto de otoño by Arturo Márquez has already been premiered in Mexico (Orquesta Nacional, Carlos Miguel Prieto) and the US (Tucson Symphony, José Luis Gómez), it will continue in Japan next May (Hyogo Pac Orchestra, Michiyoshi Inoue) and finish in August with the European premiere by Oviedo Filarmonía under Lucas Macías. Next premiere tours include composers Paquito D’Rivera, Roberto Sierra, Efraín Oscher and Daniel Freiberg.