Georgian composer Giya Kancheli’s latest ECM New Series album, issued shortly after his 80th birthday, features first recordings of his two major works: Chiaroscuro for violin and chamber orchestra and Twilight for two violins and chamber orchestra, performed by Kremerata Baltica chamber orchestra and violinists Gidon Kremer and Patricia Kopatchinskaja.
Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica have had a long and close cooperation with Giya Kancheli. Twilight, Kancheli’s first piece composed for two solo violins and string orchestra was written on Gidon Kremer’s initiative for the annual Mozart Week in Salzburg.
On Twilight, the coming together of Gidon Kremer and Patricia Kopatchinskaja, two of the most powerfully expressive violinists of our era, makes for fascinating listening. “In my professional life various superb performers have appeared at different periods,” Giya Kancheli writes in the liner notes. “I am very happy that for the ECM production of Twilight Gidon Kremer joined forces with Patricia Kopatchinskaja.” The piece is a touching meditation on mortality, written at a time when Giya Kancheli was recovering from illness, looking at the leaves and branches of poplar trees outside his window – a metaphor for change and transformation.
Composition Chiaroscuro borrows its name from the painting technique of the renaissance and baroque whose concern with dramatic contrasts of light and shade corresponds quite directly to the characteristically stark dynamics of the composer’s writing, vigorously conveyed by Kremerata Baltica. The piece was originally written for Julian Rachlin, to be performed by him on both violin and viola. After its premiere both Yuri Bashmet and Gidon Kremer asked Kancheli for independent versions, and these were subsequently developed and performed. As Kancheli remarks, “Profound personalities always discover in the music something that cannot be expressed in notes and signs… They effectively become co-authors of the works they perform.”
Kremerata Baltica and Gidon Kremer return to Asia in October, 2015 visiting South Korea, Macau, China, Taiwan, and Japan.
The tour starts with chamber and orchestra performances of Kremerata Baltica members and soloists in Seoul and Daegu, South Korea with works of A. Schnittke, F. Schubert, J. Harbison, W. A. Mozart, J. Haydn. Soloists: Gidon Kremer, Dzeraldas Bidva, Stefan Pi Jackiw (violin); Richard Yongjae O’Neill, Santa Vizine (viola); Michael Nicholas, Giedre Dirvanauskaite (violoncello); Dong-Hyek Lim, Steven Lin (piano); Andrei Pushkarev (vibraphone); Iurii Gavryliuk (contrabass).
The newest project of Kremerata Baltica “Masks and Faces” – initiated by Gidon Kremer, developed in co-operation with Russian painter and philosopher Maxim Kantor – will bring audiences together in Macau and Wuhan. In Macau, Shanghai and Kaohsiung – performances of New Seasons program with P. Glass Violin Concerto No.2 from the newest Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica release “New Seasons” (Deutsche Grammophon, 2015).
New Seasons program in Japan also includes a new piece by Shigeru Umebayashi “Japanese Four Seasons” which was exclusively created for Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica. It will be premiered in Japan with the performance in Tokyo.
On Monday, August 24, Kremerata Baltica will be one of the artists featured in the 24-hour Latvian music marathon on Q2 Music radio. This event – New Music: Latvia (Jaunā Mūzika: Latvija) – is dedicated particularly to Latvian music and will be broadcasted all over the world on the websites: www.wqxr.org/q2 and www.q2music.org.
The program has been developed and selected by its artistic director, Q2 producer and a big Latvian music friend – Alex Ambrose. During the years Q2 radio station has received many internationally released CDs of modern and contemporary Latvian music, as well as unique peaces released or recorded by Latvian Music Information Centre, Radio LR3 “Klasika”, various Latvian choirs, vocalists, instrumentalists and ensembles.
The marathon on August 24 will be the first time when Latvian contemporary music will be broadcasted non-stop for 24 hours. Latvia is the third country, after Poland and Finland, that has received such an opportunity. This Latvian music program consists of the most interesting and spectacular Latvian music pieces of the 21st century. Among them – works by such composers as Pēteris Vasks, Ēriks Ešenvalds, Indra Riše, Arturs Maskats, Jēkabs Jančevskis, Raimonds Tiguls and Santa Ratniece.
More information about the event here.
This August Kremerata Baltica will perform at the 51st Sion Music Festival in Switzerland.
In two concerts on August 18 and 23 Kremerata Baltica will perform several pieces by such composers as Weinberg, Silvestrov, Kissine, Zlabys, Tchaikovsky, Mozart and Bach.
After that Kremerata Baltica will give a concert in Monthey on August 27 where the expressive SNOWSHOW SYMPHONY will be presented.
For more information about the concerts click here.
Since 1963 this international music festival finds its home in a beautiful city of Sion. Every summer it proposes about 20 musical manifestations – concerts, open-air spectacles, musical meetings, competitions, etc. The Music Academy of Sion receives about 400 to 500 students from all over the world to follow master classes given by internationally acclaimed teachers. They are also given a chance to perform some forty “Musical Hours” in the main locations. Over the years the festival has evolved from regional to international scale and this year will take place for the 51st time.
Kremerata Baltica chamber orchestra is celebrating the mid-summer with a virtuosic mandolinist Avi Avital in July tour in Germany. Festivals to be visited:
Gezeiten Festival, July 7
Audi Sommerkonzerte, July 9
Festival Mitte Europa, July 10
Avi Avital is the first mandolin player to receive a GRAMMY nomination in the category “Best Instrumental Soloist” (2010) for his recording of Avner Dorman’s Mandolin Concerto (Metropolis Ensemble/Andrew Cyr). He has won numerous competitions and awards including Germany’s ECHO Prize for his 2008 recording with the David Orlowsky Trio and the AVIV Competition (2007), the preeminent national competition for Israeli soloists.
Born in Be’er Sheva, southern Israel in 1978, he began learning the mandolin at the age of eight and soon joined the flourishing mandolin youth orchestra founded and directed by his charismatic teacher, Russian-born violinist Simcha Nathanson. He later graduated from the Jerusalem Music Academy and the Conservatorio Cesare Pollini in Padova, Italy where he studied the original mandolin repertoire with Ugo Orlandi.
Latvian violinist Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica Chamber Orchestra recorded Phillip Glass’ “The American Seasons” with “Deutsche Grammophon.” The recording as well includes pieces by A. Pärt, G. Kancheli, S. Umebayashi.
Kremerata Baltica is performing at Wiener Festwochen 2015 on June 13-14 with a series of concerts “Homage to Mieczysław Weinberg.”
Besides conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, soloists joining our orchestra in these special events include Gidon Kremer (violin), Martha Argerich, Yulianna Avdeeva, Andrius Žlabys (piano), Olessia Petrova (soprano), Alexei Mochalov (bass), Mate Bekavac (clarinet), Gábor Boldoczki (trumpet), Andrei Pushkarev, Pavel Bialiayeu, Igor Avdeev (percussion), Madara Pētersone, Agata Daraškaitė (violin), Santa Vižine (viola), Giedrė Dirvanauskaitė, Pēteris Sokolovskis (violoncello), Iurii Gavryliuk (double bass).
Why has this composer been ignored for so long? Hugely talented Mieczysław Weinberg – born in 1919 in Warsaw into a Jewish family of musicians – begins to compose his first songs and pieces for piano as a self-taught adolescent. At the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany, 19-year-old Mieczysław escapes eastward on foot, in the company of his sister. Exhausted, Ester, two years younger than her brother, returns to her parents after just a few kilometres. Mieczysław will never see her or their parents again. First, Weinberg studies composition in Minsk; when the German troops begin to enter the Soviet Union, he is evacuated from here to Tashkent, 4,000 kilometres away. In 1943, Shostakovich brings him to Moscow, where Weinberg spends the rest of his life as a freelance composer. Accused of being a partisan of a potential Jewish republic in the Crimea, he is arrested in 1953. His lifelong friend and mentor Dmitri Shostakovich pleads his cause in a very courageous letter. Weinberg is only released after Stalin’s death.
In the 1960s, he finally learns with absolute certainty that his entire family was murdered by the Nazis. ≫I regard it as my moral duty to write about the war, about the horrors that have befallen humanity in our century.≪
Mieczysław Weinberg leaves an impressive musical oeuvre: more than 20 symphonies, concerts and chamber music, song cycles and operas. He also composes scores for films seen by millions of spectators. “Sad and free”, in the words of fellow composer Sofia Gubaidulina, ≫is how this music strikes the listener.≪
On an invitation by Wiener Festwochen, Gidon Kremer together with his Kremerata Baltica and soloists will present a portrait of Mieczysław Weinberg and his spiritual kinship with Dmitri Shostakovich. This series of concerts is complemented by a discussion round and a screening of the film The Cranes Are Flying.
More about the festival here.
XII KREMERATA BALTICA FESTIVAL
HOMAGE TO MIECZYSŁAW WEINBERG
5.06 – 8.06. 2015, Cēsis, Sigulda, Rīga
GIDON KREMER, KREMERATA BALTICA & FRIENDS
Already for the 12th time Kremerata Baltica Festival approaches along with the summer. In 2015 the festival is dedicated to works of Polish-Jewish composer Mieczyslaw Weinberg, who seemingly gained too little recognition among the world’s musicians and interpreters until now.
His contribution to the world of music can be measured with 22 symphonies, 17 string quartets, 8 sonatas for violin and many other pieces, among which we can find music for 40 movies of 20th century. However, the quantity doesn’t matter as much as does the specific spirit and colors of his works. Sometimes the seemingly dark character of his music is in the background of purposeful desire to find peace and harmony, even catharsis. This desire for harmony is embodied throughout his musical style, often characterized with “neo-classical, rationalist clarity and proportion” (L. Nikitina).
Although Kremerata Baltica and Gidon Kremer have included pieces by Mieczyslaw Weinberg in their repertoire already before, more attention to the composer was created by the album “Mieczyslaw Weinberg” (2014) and its several subsequent concert tours around the world by Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica. Nevertheless, to praise the composer and introduce a wider part of the society to his works, this year’s Kremerata Baltica Festival is dedicated exactly to him.
Artists taking part in the festival:
Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla (conductor), Andrius Žlabys (piano), Yulianna Avdeeva (piano), Mate Bekavac (clarinet), Tine Thing Helseth (trumpet), Olesya Petrova (mezzo-soprano), Alexei Mochalov (bass), Giedrė Dirvanauskaitė (cello), Madara Pētersone (violin), Agata Daraškaitė (violin), Santa Vižine (viola), Pēteris Sokolovskis (cello), Iurii Gavryliuk (double bass), Andrei Pushkarev (vibraphone).
Program: Mieczysław Weinberg, Dmitri Schostakovich, Modest Mussorgsky, Valentin Silvestrov, Igor Loboda.
More detailed information about particular concerts of the festival can be found under the events section.
Tickets on sale at www.bilesuparadize.lv
Kremerata Baltica is on a tour with a legendary composer, improvisator, jazz violinist Didier Lockwood, pianist Anastasia Volchok and vibraphonist Andrei Pushkarev to perform a unique program of tango and jazz sounds.
Inspired by a wide range of music, Didier Lockwood has always remained true to jazz, showcased with his many multi-ethnic musical colors in his album “Globe Trotter” (Universal Jazz label). In 2004 he received the Maurice Yvain prize (SACD) for the entire body of his symphonic work (concerti for violin, for piano, two operas and a cycle of melodies for voice and orchestra). He composes both for the cinema and for contemporary dance and has continued to transmit his passion for improvisation at the CMDL (the International School of Music Didier Lockwood) that he created in 2001, which is situated in Dammarie-les-Lys, France.
Didier Lockwood celebrating his 40 years on stage:
ANNOUNCEMENT OF GIDON KREMER
“The news in the press about cancellation of KREMERATA BALTICA concerts are imprudent and hasty.
KREMERATA BALTICA invites to the concerts as scheduled before: Ruse Theatre, Bulgaria on March 16, Riga Great Guild Hall on March 19, and Vidzeme concert hall in Cesis on March 20!
Due to the fact that I will not be able to perform in the concerts in March, I have invited the French jazz legend Didier Lockwood to visit the Latvia for the first time. We have expanded the SEMPRE TANGO project with the second part, which will be dedicated to popular jazz themes.
I am sure that anyone who bought a ticket to the “SEMPRE TANGO & JAZZ” – Kremerata Baltica meets Didier Lockwood, will not regret the unique meeting with melodies of Piazzolla, Ellington, Chick Korea, and many other favorite melodies in a totally new sound.”
Kremerata Baltica chamber orchestra is touring with exceptionally talented pianist Daniil Trifonov February 8-21, 2015. In the program – works of M. Weinberg, F. Chopin, H. Gorecky, and K. Penderecki.
Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov has made a spectacular ascent to classical music stardom since winning First Prize at both the Tchaikovsky and Rubinstein competitions in 2011 at the age of 20. Combining consummate technique with rare sensitivity and depth, his performances are a perpetual source of awe. “He has everything and more, … tenderness and also the demonic element. I never heard anything like that,” stated pianist Martha Argerich, while the Financial Times observes, “What makes him such a phenomenon is the ecstatic quality he brings to his performances. … Small wonder every western capital is in thrall to him.”
Essential to Kremerata Baltica’s artistic personality is its creative approach to programming and energy, which often looks beyond the mainstream and has given rise to numerous world premieres of works by composers such as Arvo Pärt, Giya Kancheli, Pēteris Vasks, Leonid Desyatnikov and Alexander Raskatov. The orchestra’s wide-ranging and carefully chosen repertoire is also showcased in its numerous and much-praised CD recordings. Most recent recording “Mieczysław Weinberg” (ECM, 2014) was highly appreciated by music professionals and lovers and was nominated to the Grammy Award 2014 the category best “Classical Compendium”.