Action Packed Three Weeks

And more to come.
Huntsville Symphony has had a successful opening classical week with Mussorgsky-Ravel Pictures at an Exhibition and Orff’s Carmina Burana. It was just the perfect way to start the season and to create lots of positive buzz. My first weekend of the 2017-18 season at Huntsville also included an extensive day of auditions for several positions, including Concert Master and Principal Cello. We have hired some talented players and will be inviting candidates to fill the principal spots starting January.
The week after I have traveled to New Brunswick, NJ and conducted the Rutgers Symphony Orchestra. The program was the following: Ravel: La Valse, Haydn: Cello Concerto in C, Stravinsky: Petrushka. It was a great week with the young players and with this fun program. Also the first time ever I have stayed at an actual university campus. It was good to reunite and to spend some time with my friend, Al Baer, principal tuba player of the New York Phil and the head of the brass department at Rutgers. Last Friday I have conducted the second classical show of the season in Huntsville. Both our soloist, Claire Huangci and the orchestra did a great job in an especially difficult program. Ravel: Rapsodie Espagnol,Piano Concerto in G, Respighi: Fountains of Rome, and Debussy: La Mer. Just two days later, on Sunday we presented our first Casual Classics performance with Schubert’s genius Octet for which I have picked up my clarinet again. It was our usual, annual dinner/concert setting with the musicians telling funny stories about themselves. Oh yes, and the performance took place at the Yellowhammer Brewery’s Speakeasy, a perfect venue for this serenade-like composition.
I am writing this post at the KLM Lounge at the Amsterdam Airport. When I am done, I am going to continue watching YouTube videos of 77 young conductors who have applied to the multi year mentor program of the International Eotvos Contemporary Music Foundation. This week Peter Eotvos and I will be selecting the ones who will travel to Budapest in December to participate in a live audition along with 30 some young composers.
On Tuesday I am starting the rehearsals with the Hungarian Radio Symphony for our November 14 concert. For the program click the link below!

Stay tuned and thanks for reading!

Mozart Symphony tailored to fit Mahler 4

First concert of “Voices and Symphonies” series with Hungarian Radio Symphony (MR Symphony)
at Palace of the Arts, Budapest.
First half: Mahler Symphony #4
Second half: Mozart “Prague” Symphony with ‘Un moto di gioia’ concert aria as the “missing minuet”

I designed this program to tell the ‘story’ of the “Lied Symphonie”. Mahler’s Fourth is the last of his symphonies inspired by “The Boy’s Magic Horn” collection of poems.
I picked a three movement Mozart Symphony for the second (!) half of the program and inserted an aria about “the joyous movement of the heart” (written as an addition to Marriage of Figaro). It rhymes with the Mahler Symphony and “completes” the three movement classical symphony into a four movement piece. It is also a reminder that back in the days of Mozart the usual concert format was very different. They often mixed genres. A concert-aria could end up after one or two movements of a symphony paired with a concert rondo for piano and orchestra for example.

I am curious what the critics will have to say about this. 🙂