The 2016/2017 season has started off very well.
Beginning in October, I went on quite a tour. I started in Worcester, Massachusetts to perform with my 6 piano colleagues our annual Duo-Piano-Gala concert. This was our 10th anniversary (it is amazing how time flies!) so we performed pieces from previous concerts – we had a lot of fun and the always sold-out crowd loved it.
From there, I traveled to Seoul to work with the National Orchestra and Ballet companies as well as with Marcia Haydee in her famous production of “Sleeping Beauty” which we created in Stuttgart many years ago. I am always grateful to Marcia as she supported me and my work when I first came to Stuttgart. It was wonderful to work with her again and with Sue-Jin Kang, former star dancer of the Stuttgart Ballet and now head of the company in Seoul. The performances there were very successful.
As soon as this was finished, I went to Perth to work once again with the West Australian Ballet and Philharmonic Orchestra in a fabulous new production of “The Nutcracker”. This piece is very special for me, musically, as the score is so well conceived with just the right length of each section. Together with excellent choreography, beautiful sets & costumes, great dancers and a wonderful orchestra, it was a great, joyful experience for me!
After the 22nd performance in Perth, I immediately left for Metz, France, to prepare a different production of “Sleeping Beauty” - this time with the ballet and orchestra at the Metropole Theatre. Laurence Bolsigner, the director of the company choreographed it for the 14 (!) dancers and I found it very inventive and she made it work very well. I was also very proud because this production marked the debut of my own set of orchestra material – after putting the entire score on a computer program, editing for cuts and order of numbers required for this version and printing out the separate parts, the orchestra was able to read it easily so they could concentrate more on making music.
In between this production in Metz, I returned home to Stuttgart for a short guest appearance to unpack, pack and play a chamber music concert with members of the Staatsorchester Stuttgart. Together with a clarinetist and violist, we performed Kurtags “Hommage a Schumann”. This was originally scheduled to be performed two years ago but then, due to illness, got postponed to the following year, then was AGAIN postponed (also illness). Although it looked like it was my turn to get sick, I didn't and we finally performed it and we added the “Märchenbilder” of Schumann.
As soon as Metz finished, I went to Strasbourg to prepare the ballet by Uwe Scholz: Le Rouge et le Noir” with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg and the Ballet du rhin. With music by Berlioz, it was a challenge for all, especially the orchestra – difficult music with non-stop playing – but it turned out to be very successful.
During this run, I traveled to Munich where I conducted Herold's ballet “La Fille Mal Gardée” and also prepared for the second premiere of the season, “Alice's Adventures in Wonderland”, ballet by Christopher Wheeldon with a fabulous score by Joby Talbot. This was a special challenge as we had a huge orchestra – the right side of the pit was filled with percussion instruments and players – and it was difficult music to perform but the music had many colors and was very descriptive and we all had a great time. The premiere was a great success and all the performances are sold out!
In March, I played another chamber music concert in Stuttgart, this time performing the Ravel Piano Trio. This is an exquisite piece and I had two fabulous partners from the Staatsorchester who joined me.
So far, it has been a very busy season for me. At one point, I had been away from home for about 4 months! I am very grateful that I can live all these great experiences and that almost all my work with these groups have been repeat appearances.
Yours in Music,
P.S. If anyone needs clean, fresh orchestra materials for “Sleeping Beauty”, please get in touch with me. I offer tailor-made score and parts with the cuts and order of pieces that are required for your production that can be put together. For more information, please get in touch with me (my contact details on this site) and mention the name of the edition, Pas-de-Chat Music.
This season has started out
with a lot of excitement.
One was my being
nominated for the Marie Taglioni European Award for "Best Conductor"