Belvedere di Villa Rufolo
Sabato 9 luglio
Belvedere di Villa Rufolo, ore 20.00
Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra
Direttore Christoph Eschenbach
Gidon Kremer, violino
Musiche di Lajovic, Schumann, Cajkovskij
Posto unico € 50
Concerto per violino in la minore, op.129
Petr Ilic Cajkovskij
Sinfonia n.5 in mi minore, op.64
Christoph Eschenbach is a phenomenon amongst the top league of international conductors.
Universally acclaimed as both a conductor and pianist, he belongs firmly to the German intellectual line of tradition, yet he combines this with a rare emotional intensity, producing performances revered by concert-goers worldwide. Renowned for the breadth of his repertoire and the depth of his interpretations, he has held directorships with many leading orchestras and gained the highest musical honours.
In exploring the conditions that led to the emergence of such a charismatic talent, we can look to his early years – born at the heart of a tempestuous, war-torn Europe in 1940, his early childhood was scarred by a succession of personal tragedies. It can truly be said that music was his saviour, and his life began to change when he learned the piano. Now, at the age of 80, his keen artistic curiosity is undiminished, and he still thoroughly enjoys working with the finest international orchestras. He is also well-known as a tireless supporter of young talent – this is his greatest passion, and he values his contribution to mentoring up-and-coming talent over and above his own distinguished career.
Moved by the energy and the drive of young people – „Those one hundred percent artists“, as he calls them – he has a personal mission to pass the torch to the next generation. His discoveries to date include the pianist Lang Lang, the violinist Julia Fischer and the cellists Leonard Elschenbroich and Daniel Müller-Schott. As Artistic Advisor and lecturer at the famous Kronberg Academy, he accompanies young violinists, cellists and violists on their way to become world class soloists. Christoph Eschenbach continues to explore new horizons and since September 2019 he is Musical Director of the Konzerthausorchester Berlin.
Christoph Eschenbach – his career at a glance
Christoph Eschenbach (born February 20, 1940 in Wroclaw) was a war orphan, raised in Schleswig- Holstein and Aachen by his mother’s cousin, the pianist Wallydore Eschenbach. Her lessons laid the foundation of his illustrious musical career. Following his studies with Eliza Hansen (piano) and Wilhelm Brückner-Rüggeberg (conducting), he won notable piano awards – such as the ARD Competition Munich 1962 and the Concours Clara Haskil 1965 – that helped to pave the way for his growing international fame.
Supported by mentors such as George Szell and Herbert von Karajan, the focus of Christoph Eschenbach’s career increasingly moved to conducting: He was Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Tonhalle Orchestra, Zurich from 1982 to 1986, Musical Director of Houston Symphony from 1988 to 1999, Artistic Director of the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival from 1999 to 2002, Musical Director of the NDR Symphony Orchestra from 1998 to 2004, the Philadelphia Orchestra from 2003 to 2008 and the Orchestre de Paris from 2000 to 2010. From 2010 to 2017, Eschenbach held the position of Musical Director of the Washington National Symphony Orchestra. Alongside his prestigious appointments, Eschenbach has always attached great importance to his extensive activities as a guest conductor, working with orchestras such as the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Staatskapelle Dresden, the New York Philharmonic, Scala Milano, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as the NHK Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo.
Over the course of five decades, Christoph Eschenbach has built an impressive discography, both as a conductor and a pianist, with a repertoire ranging from J.S. Bach to contemporary music. Many of his recordings have gained benchmark status and have received numerous awards, including the German Record Critics’ Prize, the MIDEM Classical Award and a Grammy Award. For many years, Eschenbach’s preferred Lied partner has been the baritone Matthias Goerne. In recordings and in live performances, e.g. at the Salzburg Festival, the two perfectly matched artists have explored the rich treasures of the German Romantic period, from Schubert to Brahms.
Christoph Eschenbach has been awarded the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, and is a Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres; he is a holder of the German Federal Cross of Merit and a winner of the Leonard Bernstein Award.
Driven by his strikingly uncompromising artistic philosophy, Gidon Kremer has established a worldwide reputation as one of his generation’s most original and compelling artists.
His repertoire encompasses standard classical scores and music by leading twentieth and twenty-first century composers. He has championed the works of Russian and Eastern European composers and performed many important new compositions, several of which have been dedicated to him. His name is closely associated with such composers as Alfred Schnittke, Arvo Pärt, Giya Kancheli, Sofia Gubaidulina, Valentin Silvestrov, Luigi Nono, Edison Denisov, Aribert Reimann, Pēteris Vasks, John Adams, Victor Kissine, Michael Nyman, Philip Glass, Leonid Desyatnikov and Astor Piazzolla, whose works he performs in ways that respect tradition while being fully alive to their freshness and originality. It is fair to say that no other soloist of comparable international stature has done more to promote the cause of contemporary composers and new music for violin.
Gidon Kremer has recorded over 120 albums, many of which have received prestigious international awards in recognition of their exceptional interpretative insights. His long list of honours and awards include the Ernst von Siemens Musikpreis, the Bundesverdienstkreuz, Moscow’s Triumph Prize, the Unesco Prize and the Una Vita Nella Musica – Artur Rubinstein Prize.
In 2016 Gidon Kremer has received a Praemium Imperiale prize that is widely considered to be the Nobel Prize of music.
In 1997 Gidon Kremer founded the chamber orchestra Kremerata Baltica to foster outstanding young musicians from the Baltic States. The ensemble tours extensively and has recorded almost 30 albums for the Nonesuch, Deutsche Grammophon, ECM labels. In 2016/17 Kremerata Baltica was on landmark tours through Middle East, North America, Europe, and Asia to celebrate the orchestra’s 20th anniversary.
His commitment to the “discovery” of the composer Mieczyslaw Weinberg, for which Kremer has rendered particularly outstanding services in recent years, should also be emphasized. In 2019 and 2021, Deutsche Grammophon and Accentus Music released albums recorded by and with Gidon Kremer with orchestral and chamber music works by Weinberg.
Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra
The Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, together with its predecessors Academia Philharmonicorum, the Philharmonic Society and the first Slovenian Philharmonic, boasts a rich tradition that positions it among the oldest institutions of its kind in Europe. Its roots date back to 1701, when local nobles, following the example of Italian societies, founded the Academia Philharmonicorum, whose main purpose was to promote the art of music. During the period dominated by the bourgeoisie, the Academia’s work was continued by the Philharmonic Society (1794), which gained a reputation as one of the best organised music societies in Central Europe. It is therefore not surprising that honorary membership of the society was accepted by Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven, Niccolò Paganini and Johannes Brahms, among others. The main goal of the Philharmonic Society was to perform instrumental music, which gave rise to the outlines of a modern symphony orchestra.
Such an orchestra came to life fully in 1947, when the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra was founded, thus reviving the rich concert life that had been marked by the Philharmonic Society over the previous century and a half. The orchestra underwent constant growth, thanks largely to its Slovenian permanent conductors, including Sam Hubad, Uroš Lajovic and Marko Letonja, as well as many celebrated guest conductors, such as Carlos Kleiber, Riccardo Muti, Charles Dutoit and Daniel Harding, and soloists of the greatest international reputation.
The orchestra initially performed in the main hall of the Slovenian Philharmonic, but since 1982 it has presented regular concerts at the Cankarjev Dom Cultural and Congress Centre. It offers the Ljubljana audience a variety of subscription series, which include the standard orchestral repertoire of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as well as the most contemporary music and music from earlier stylistic periods, thus bearing testimony to the musicians’ versatility. The orchestra brings together the best Slovenian musicians, who, since 1990, have been joined by many outstanding foreign instrumentalists. The domestic success and strong tradition of the orchestra can also be experienced aboard. In recent decades, the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra has undertaken tours and guest appearances in the most prestigious halls and renowned festivals around the world.
Since 2019, the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra has been the resident orchestra of the Ljubljana Festival.