Juanjo Mena leads the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Brahms' Violin Concerto, January 27-29
Guest violinist Augustin Hadelich makes BSO debut
Baltimore, Md. (January 13, 2011) - Violinist Augustin Hadelich makes his Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) debut, under the direction of Juanjo Mena, in a performance of Brahms' Violin Concerto on Thursday, January 27 at 8 p.m. and Friday, January 28 at 8 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and Saturday, January 29 at 8 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore. Audience-favorite Juanjo Mena will also lead the BSO in Roberto Sierra's Sinfonia No. 4, commissioned by the Sphinx Commissioning Consortium, and Haydn's Symphony No. 85, "La Reine." Please see below for complete program details.
Johannes Brahms composed his violin concerto at the peak of his career, to be performed by his good friend, Joseph Joachim, who premiered the work in 1879. The concerto was a product of these close colleagues' collaboration, with Brahms frequently conferring with Joachim about figurations and orchestral balance to compliment the violin. The piece finds itself again in able hands, performed by young virtuoso Augustin Hadelich, hailed by The New York Times for his "dazzling technique" and "gorgeous tone."
Joseph Haydn was the musical genius of Prince Esterházy's court in 1779. When the Prince granted Haydn freedom to spread his talent across Europe, the artist's work was already well known and liked in many countries including France, England, Spain and Italy. Written in 1785, Symphony No. 85 soon became alternatively known as "The Queen of France" ("La Reine") because it was believed to be a favorite of Marie Antoinette's. "La Reine" is praised for its effortless inventiveness, perfect craftsmanship and sheer charm. The first movement is a slow, gentle introduction in the grand ceremonial style of the French overture and the second movement provides variations of a traditional French song, "La gentile et jeune Lisette."
Puerto Rican composer Roberto Sierra has been academically trained in Puerto Rico, the United States and Europe. Throughout his travels, he has maintained his Latino roots, calling his music a "tropicalization" of the classical European tradition he absorbed in London, The Netherlands and Germany. With three already very well?received sinfonias to his credit, Sierra created a fourth using a commission provided by the Sphinx Commissioning Consortium, which bands together 12 orchestras including the Baltimore Symphony, for a program aimed at broadening the diversity of composers heard in symphonic concerts. In Mr. Sierra's words, "In this irresistible music, we feel 'tropicalization' in all its visceral excitement."
Juanjo Mena, conductor
Just appointed Chief Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic in Manchester, Juanjo Mena is one of the most distinguished conductors of his generation. Also Principal Guest Conductor of the Bergen (Norway) Philharmonic and Chief Guest Conductor at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, he has appeared with most of the principal symphony and chamber orchestras of his native Spain.
Following Mr. Mena's North American debut with the Baltimore Symphony in 2004, he has been re-engaged every year since then by the orchestra. Other recent and upcoming debuts include the Atlanta Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Houston Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Oregon Symphony and The Philadelphia Orchestra.
Worldwide, Juanjo Mena has appeared with the BBC Philharmonic, Bucharest Philharmonic, Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orquesta Filarmónica de Santiago, Orquesta Sinfônica de São Paulo, Oslo Philharmonic, RAI/Torino, RSO/Berlin, RTVE/Madrid and the Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra, among others. Future engagements include the Danish Radio Symphony, Dresden Philharmonic, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, New Zealand Symphony, Orchestre National de Lyon, Prague Symphony, and the Real Filharmonía de Galicia. Festival appearances include Grant Park (Chicago), La Folle Journée (Nantes), White Nights Festival (St. Petersburg), and numerous festivals with the Bilbao Symphony.
Also active in opera, Mr. Mena has lead productions of Billy Budd, Eugene Onegin, Le Nozze di Figaro, Der Fliegende Holländer, Salome, Elektra, Ariadne auf Naxos, Bluebeard's Castle and Erwartung. He will conduct Tristan und Isolde in Bilbao in the autumn of 2011.
With the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Mena has recorded a complete collection of Basque symphonic music (Naxos). A CD of works by Gabriel Pierné with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra will be released on Chandos in 2011.
Augustin Hadelich, violin
With his poetic style and dazzling technique, Augustin Hadelich has established himself as a rising star among the new generation of violinists. Winner of the 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant and gold medallist of the 2006 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, his versatility across the entire spectrum of the violin repertory is astounding. About his recent recital at the Frick Collection, The New York Times wrote, "Mr. Hadelich stands out amid gifted young violinists for his prodigious technique, gorgeous tone and the ability to deliver well-known works with a distinctive interpretive flair."
In August 2009, Augustin made a sensational debut with the Cleveland Orchestra playing Lalo's Symphonie espagnole. Cleveland has re-invited him to play the Mendelssohn Concerto in March 2011. Other upcoming highlights include his Paris recital debut at the Louvre (with pianist Robert Kulek), a BBC young artist's debut recital at The Sage Gateshead in Newcastle, his debut with the Helsinki Philharmonic, a return engagement with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, and debuts next season with the symphonies of Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Phoenix, Seattle, Utah and Vancouver.
Augustin made three Carnegie Hall appearances in 2008: his orchestral debut in January, performing the Brahms Double Concerto under Miguel Harth-Bedoya with cellist Alban Gerhardt and the Fort Worth Symphony; his highly successful recital debut in March; and a performance of Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 5 with the New York String Orchestra under Jaime Laredo on Christmas Eve. Other orchestral engagements include the symphonies of Alabama, Colorado, Columbus, Fort Worth, Indianapolis, Houston, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Louisville, New Orleans, Santa Barbara and Syracuse, as well as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pacific Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic and the IRIS Chamber Orchestra in Memphis.
Born in Italy in 1984, the son of German parents, Augustin holds a graduate diploma and Artist Diploma from The Juilliard School, where he was a student of Joel Smirnoff. As first-prize winner of the Indianapolis Competition, Augustin plays on the 1683 ex-Gingold Stradivari violin.
COMPLETE PROGRAM INFORMATION
BSO Classical Concert: Brahms' Violin Concerto
Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. -Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Friday, January 28, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. -Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 8:00 p.m.-The Music Center at Strathmore
Juanjo Mena, conductor
Augustin Hadelich, violin †
Haydn: Symphony No. 85, "La Reine"
Roberto Sierra: Sinfonia No. 4 (Sphinx Commissioning Cosortium)
Brahms: Violin Concerto
† Denotes a BSO artist debut
Tickets range from $28 to $88. Tickets are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 877.BSO.1444, 410.783.8000 or BSOmusic.org.