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Thursday, December 01, 2011

La mer, Firebird, & Vixen in Ostrava & Zlin 2011

It was a great pleasure to be invited for return engagements with both the Janacek
Philharmonic Ostrava and the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic in Zlin.

We performed Igor Stravinsky's Firebird, Leos Janacek's The Cunning Little Vix
en, & Claude Debussy's La mer in educational concerts entitled "Colors of the Orchestra".

Our concerts also included images from Russian paintings of the Firebird story, the original drawings which inspired Rudolf Tesnohlidek in creating the tale of the Cunning Little Vixen, and a film with images of the sea!

The film of the sea was created by Gilda Tabarez, and every image was planned to match the mood of Debussy's music. It was a true thrill and adventure to synchronize the orchestra with the film, and I was extremely satisfied with both the musicians and the talented work of Gilda! You may view her film here:

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Slovak Sinfonietta in Zilina & Tomas Vinklat in Hainburg

I am very fortunate to be able to conduct in Slovakia and I am thankful that the Slovaks are so understanding of my limitations in regard to their language. To Czechs, Slovak may be very easy to understand, but although I understand Czech, Slovak is still often a very foreign language for me. So it is always a relief when the Slovaks seem to not mind that I am speaking Czech to them.

I had previously only conducted once in Bratislava with the Slovak Philharmonic and once before in Zilina with the Slovak Sinfonietta. Now in May of 2011, I was invited for a return engagemnet in Zilina, and we took the orchestra to Austria where I conducted once more for the Haydn Gesellschaft of Hainburg. Our concert in Zilina featured young soloists: soprano Zlata Krautová in Mozart's concert aria Bella mia fiamma, and Barbora Gálová in Mozart's Flute Concerto in D-major. More photos are available here.

The concert began with the sparkling overture to Il signor Bruschino by Rossini and later featured rich romantic colors in Wagner's Siegfried Idyll. The four principal string players of the Slovak Sinfonietta were also featured prominently in the virtuosic Introduction and Allegro for String Orchestra by Edward Elgar.

Our concert was repeated in Hainburg, but this time with violin soloist Tomas Vinklat who has been a member of the Vienna Philharmonic for 13 years and performs on a rare 1723 Gofriller violin. He performed the Haydn Violin Concerto in G-major as well as the Rachmaninoff Vocalise in the premier of my own arrangement for violin solo and string orchestra.

It was a wonderful honor to accompany a member of the Vienna Philharmonic and to perform Haydn's music in a city where he lived!