More Power to the Horns!

In the last few weeks I have been working on Béla Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle and Peter Eötvös’s Senza sangue, an opera double-bill at the Hamburg Opera in Germany. It is going to be a beautiful staging by Dmitri Tcherniakov, see a NY Times review about his work here
with four powerhouse singers in the principal roles, and the orchestra of Staatsoper Hamburg. The performances will all be in November.
I am not sure if the expression of “taking a break from sg” can be applied to my schedule. Conducting Mahler 5 does not sound like a break at all, and it sure is a great challenge for orchestra and conductor alike. Well, I am “taking a break from” opera this week and conducting a program of Mahler’s amazing symphony along with Mozart’s Magic Flute Overture and DiLorenzo’s Phoenix Concerto with the Huntsville Symphony.
The latter composition was written for the amazing French Horn player William Vermeulen, whom I had the pleasure to work with on a few occasions.
His playing and our extended horn section for Mahler 5 will sure make this week a powerful one!

I am excited and proud that our Huntsville Symphony can present such divers and exciting program to all the music lovers in the area. At the end of September for our first Casual Classics program called “Yoga with Live Music” we played compositions by Steve Reich, Arvo Pärt and John Cage at Lowe Mill. This week we are back with great symphonic repertoire at the Von Braun Center. Come and join us!

Scarlatti and The Musical Robots

On Saturday, November 30 at 5PM local time I get to conduct a concert at the helm of the Budapest Strings
at the Palace of The Arts in Budapest, Hungary. The concert includes two world premieres, one by the world famous composer, Peter Eotvos. It is a composition for French Horn and string orchestra, a very elegant and sensitive piece of music. It is an honor to be able to do the World Premiere of a new composition by Eotvos, who is turning 70 in January 2014 and whom I can call my teacher and mentor in both composition and conducting.
See the composer’s webpage about this new composition entitled Hommage a Domenico Scarlatti:

More compositions by Eotvos will be included in my 13-14 season.
As part of the so called “Mini Festival” at the end of January in cooperation with Neue Oper Wien and Palace Of The Arts I get to conduct the Hungarian premiere and the studio recording of Eotvos’ latest opera: Paradise Reloaded (Lilith).
In February Huntsville Symphony is presenting an orchestral composition of his entitled “The Gliding of The Eagle in The Skies”, and also a very interesting action-piece called “Brass The Metal Space”.
Watch my blog posts about these performances in the next few months!

The other world premiere this Saturday is that of my “Gulliver Suite” for Tubular Bells and Strings, an 11 minute long composition based on “Gulliver in Faremido”, a piece of mine for narrator and 5 players. You can buy the commercial recording of the latter piece by going on iTunes or to this website:
The story behind the music is based on a Gulliver-sequel by 20th Century Hungarian author, Frigyes Karinthy. In this modern voyage Gulliver ends up on a planet where robot-like beings communicate by music instead of speech. More program notes and the story itself can be found on the Budapest Music Center link above. The movements of “Gulliver Suite” are: 1) Gulliver in Faremido 2) Robot Concert 3) Story Of The Two Headed Monster 4) Be That As It May

Since the performance is part of the “Master and Student” conversation-concert series Mr. Eotvos and I will be joined by musicologist Prof. Imre Foldes. I am hoping for an interesting and stimulating conversation about the new pieces and the two Baroque compositions by Georg Philipp Telemann.

I picked Telemann’s Gulliver Suite (originally for two solo violins, but we play it with 5+4 players in a stereo setting) and one of his Horn Concertos to compliment the modern music performed. This will be my first time to work with the great, young horn player, Szabolcs Zempleni.