Summer festivals Part XIII - The Grande Finale

This has to be the last of our summer festival write ups - we reached the end of summer! I must say it has been such a busy time for everybody, it simply flew by! I hope you enjoyed our little series - I tried to somehow intelligently group the concerts together to always have a little story to tell. However, we now have a few HELLO STAGErs and their concerts left! Some did not fit into the various contexts, others only filled in their events after touching on a certain area or story. But of course they should not go unmentioned!!! So this will a real conglomeration of whereabouts and happenings!

Two of the Guitar Festivals in Europe saw different HELLO STAGErs. Young austrian guitarist and composer Felix Pöchhacker was invited by the Internationalem Gitarrenfestival Hersbruck and Heike Matthiesen performed at this year’s Guitar Festival San Giacomo in Bologna. But both have also visited less specific festivals as well. Felix was to be heard at the Festspiele Stockerau while Heike has been to the Festival Aureo Herrero and Schloss Bürresheim.

Of course Piano festivals are a popular thing as well - here is what our pianists (or keyboarders) have been up to: Catherine Gordeladze visited the Bendestorfer Klaviertage, one of the cultural highlights of Germany’s Nordheide, as the last stop of her summer concerts in Hamburg, Bad Oeynhausen, Bad Pyrmont and Velen. Antonio Piricone headed to Liepaja in Latvia for the International Piano Star Festival to perform Mozart's Piano concerto No. 13 with the Liepaja Amber Sound Orchestra. But no rest for the wicked… he is back to Italy for the Festival Internazionale Magie Barocche with the Concerto Köln next week and is starting a busy season right after that.

Jonathan Plowright’s concert at the Festival Raritäten der Klaviermusik in Husum was also amongst our weekly highlights. He is off to the studio next recording Romantic Polish Piano Quintets for Hyperion.

But of course, not only special festivals saw HELLO STAGE keyboarders, the following deserve to be mentioned: Luiza Borac will be celebrating the end of summer with a Bach/Lipatti - Schubert/Liszt programme at the Konzertsaal of the Westdeutsche Rundfunk in Cologne. Medea Bindewald took her duo partner Nicolette Moonen all the way to the Villa Stützel in Aalen for some wonderful baroque music on violin and harpsichord.

Berlin based pianist Cecilia Pillado is showing us her other life this summer as the movie STUNG in which she plays a vital role is being screened in Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg and Stuttgart.

Hungarian harpist Veronika Vallányi teamed up with the Ensemble Krisper for some french chamber music at the Schloss Mühlbach for the Manhartsberger Schlosstage, while her instrumental colleague Jana Boušková taught at the Prague Summer Academy as well as at the Académie Internationale de Musique in Tignes, France. Of course, she gave people an opportunity to hear her beautiful playing as well. She is now off to the recording studio with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra in September. Others also dedicated their summer to teaching in masterclasses: both Valerio Fasoli and Francis Gouton are spending their late summer at the Accademia di Musica di Taggia, Italy which has been taking place in the ex- San Domenico monastery since 1460.

Martin Kerschbaum has been spending his summers in Bregenz at the Festspiele for quite a few years as part of the Wiener Symphoniker now. But simply being in the orchestra pit is not enough for him and a few other members - they got involved in the Internationales Blasmusik-Camp am Bodensee. And who better to conduct the Symphonische Blasmusik on a summer morning than him?!

We explored the music happening in Austria this summer already at length but there is always more to discover: Mitra Kotte performed for the Cziffrastiftung in the wonderful Weinviertel and there are more opportunities to hear the young pianist in and around Vienna in the new season! We just missed Louie’s Cage Percussion in Fürstenfeld and Hollabrunn. Named after the monkey, King Louie and the composer John Cage, this percussion group consists of 6 young musicians, in the average age of 23. Keep an eye on their profile - I am sure more events will be added soon! Two years ago the ACCio piano trio started to work together and not only did they perform in Salzburg this summer but there are more concerts ahead for a busy autumn. Catch their end of summer concert in the Krypta of the Peterkirche in Vienna. Sylvie Rohrer - one of the narrators on HELLO STAGE - has just been to the Festival allegro vivo together with the Merlin Ensemble to perform Schönberg’s Pierrot Lunaire!

So wonderful that festivals happen in great summer destinations like Italy, Spain and Croatia and the audience can combine being on holiday and going to concerts!

Conductor Pablo Mielgo has been enjoying his first summer with the Orquestra Simfonica de Balears on the wonderful island Malllorca. Over the cause of the summer he welcomed the Labéque sisters, Simon Orfila and Juan Diego Flórez as well as many others to Palma to perform in the orchestra’s summer festival. His artistic partner in crime, Joji Hattori invited Piotr Anderszewski for his concert with their orchestra. Pianist Diego Rivera could be found in San Sebastián at the Quincena Musical Festival, the Juventudes Musicales Málaga and CAI Fundation Young Pianists Festival in Teruel, Spain. Violinist Anna Lindenbaum is performing twice at the Festival di Musica di Portogruaro in Italy (you can still catch her on Sep. 3rd!), Thormod Rønning Kvam was enjoying Cortina d’Ampezzo and the Festival e Accademia Dino Ciani where he performed in the Closing Concert. Just before the summer he got his Bachelor Degree with top honors in Oslo and is now off to study at the Royal Academy of Music in London despite a busy concert schedule in Scandinavia. Largo Maggiore Musica saw the recital of violinist Aylen Pitchin together with his pianist Sander Sittig end of August at the Palazzo Perabò di Cerro di Laveno. Together they also performed in Paris, Milan and Todi (a place I am specially fond of!!) this summer. Now back in Russia, he is looking at a full season ahead of him! The Zagreb Touristic Organisation has invited the award-winning Trio Lur to perform at the Church of St. Mark’s of their hometown.

The International Festival George Enescu has just opened it’s doors. They invited several HELLO STAGErs to Bucharest, Romania - amongst them the local Solartis Quartett who are proving their love for unusual repertoire. They are joined by the George Enescu Philharmonic to perform Peter Ruzicka’s „Clouds“ for string quartet and orchestra (conducted by the composer himself). Another quartet appearing at the festival are our founding members the Belceas who opted for a more traditional programme, performing the gorgeous Schubert Quintet together with legend Valentin Erben. It is also one of the many summer stops for Fazil Say who has had an incredibly busy summer. He toured and performed at his nativ Turkey in several festivals, performed at the Gstaad festival , toured France, Germany and Austria with the Minetti Quartett as well as joining the Junge Norddeutsche Philharmonie and Alexander Shelley on their summer tour! His recital at the Enescu Festival on Sep. 4th is already sold out.

Speaking of Fazil Say, Naci Ozguc conducted his work „Nazim Oratorio“ in Ankara just now with the Nazım Hikmet Choir and the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra.

In the UK we found cellist Corinne Morris performing a recital at the St. Lawrence Jewry Festival in London and the percussion ensemble 4-MALITY at the Lake District Summer Festival in Windermere. The ensemble has a great project for the new season: 4-MALITY will be performing a new work for percussion and mezzo-soprano. Jan Bradley, founding member and composer, has written a song cycle, setting the words of World War I female poets, and sung by Sarah Castle.

In the Netherlands Aude Dubois has been celebrating the Sibelius / Nielsen year at the Stadhuis in Arnhem as well as at the Muziekzomer Gelderland as a member of the Nederlands Jeugd Orkest. (Did you know that Nielsen’s great grand niece is a HELLO STAGER too? Check out flutist Kathrin Christians who is starting her own concert series in Heidelberg, Germany in the 15/16 seson! Toi toi toi for the new venture. No doubt we will keep a close eye on it!).

We also need to take a quick look at the things going on in the Americas again! We are always delighted to see two members getting together to play chamber music. Flutist Emi Ferguson joins Kit Armstrong in a Schubert evening at the Lake Champlain Music Festival in Colchester where she too is performing a baroque programme as well. Emi is also taking a Schubert and Roussel programme to the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts in Chicago. Down in Brazil, conductor Simone Menezes took her Orchestrathe Camerata Latino Americana on a tour of Festivals in São José do Rio Preto, Marília and Birigui. The young chamber orchestra (founded in 2012) is made up of soloists who play together in diverse formations and are concentrating on brazilian and Latin American composers exploring the unique energy of each composition.

We love the fact that so many great female conductors are making waves on HELLO STAGE. Talia Ilan has been conducting several orchestras in China as well as her nativ Israel this summer. To celebrate the end of the festival season she is joining the Haifa Symphony Orchestra for the Carneval des Animaux.

On the other side of the world, Monika Koerner was enjoying chamber music and orchestral fun in Brisbane, Australia.

Again two members meet in one production in Vilnius, where Monteverdi’s Orfeo is just being rehearsed to open on September 5th at the National Museum, Palace of the Grand Duke of Lithuania. This special Ofreo Production is put on in order to celebrate opera’s birthday in Lithuania and will run until the end of the month! Mezzosoprano and baroque specialist Nora Petrocenko is singing Messaggiera and the Norvegian baritone Stein Skjervold is taking on the lead role.

In Germany, Berlin’s Classical music festival is always happening at the beginning of the new season - they will be hosting concerts of the San Francisco Symphony and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra this year … we talked at length about the two orchestras before. Others invited are the Rundfunkchor Berlin and Nicolas Altstaedt . But Berlin has not been withdrawn from #classicalbuzz in the last couple of weeks! Yury Revich took part in the Berlin Klassik & Jazz Sommer at the Französische Dom at the Gendarmenmarkt. Together with the Berliner Camerata he performed Haydn’s violin concerti as well as Sarasate’s Carmen Fantasie - which I am sure heated things up even more in the hot weather. Pianist Jennifer Yu is taking her violin partner Seugwon Lee to perform at Sally Bowles Art Cafe and bar to celebrate the end of August with a Schumann, Hummel, Clarke programme (not exactly a summer festival but such a great venue - it defenately deserves a mention and lots of visitors!!) Also on Aug 30th, you can enjoy the wonderful soprano Barbara Krieger in a huge open air Gala concert at the Flughafen Tempelhof. I understand there are also spectacular waterworks going on…

Not such a long drive away from Berlin, we could have caught the Bach Concertos BWV 1050 and 1057 with Johanna Bartz at the Klosterkirche at the Preetzer Sommerkonzerte. Great to see that Schleswig-Holstein is having so much #classicalbuzz on top of the SHMF! Johanna also visited Switzerland where she has been given a carte blanche renaissance at the filter4voices Festival in Basel.

And here is looking ahead to summer 2016 which will see the birth of the Sommer Orchester Leipzig ! Musicians from the Gewandhaus, the MDR and the Leipziger Symphonieorchester are coming together in their summer break to present concerts in Leipzig. The longterm goal is to also to have an opera open air project. Get in touch with them directly or with Eva Meitner their spiritus rector. So far they have been making waves with a flashmob in Leipzig’s Johanna park.
Bettina Mehne manages the relationships with Artists, Ensembles, their Managements as well as Promoters on HELLO STAGE. She toured Orchestras around the world, worked for London and Germany based Managements, took care of Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen as their Artistic Manager and headed the Artistic Planning at the Wiener Konzerthaus for six seasons. Follow Bettina on Twitter - you can also always reach out to her at bettina@hellostage.com
Author: Bettina Mehne HELLO STAGE
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