Brno, September 12, 2018
American classics of 20th century and more or less known Czech national music. Two principal dramaturgical lines of 63rd season of Filharmonie Brno. The very same combination presents the opening and the same time inaugural concert of new Chief Conductor Dennis Rusell Davies, with Dvořák´s Symphony No 1, „The Bells of Zlonice“ in the first half and Harmonielehre by John Adams in the second one. And as a Czech premiere. Live broadcasting by Czech radio Vltava to radio stations in EBU.
„Czech and American music will have an important role to play in our programming in the seasons to come, and my inaugural concert as Chief Conductor demonstrates this with two major works that , I can say with confidence, have never shared the same program: Dvořák’s 1st Symphony, a youthful work brimming with energy and ideas as an homage to Beethoven, a work with major youthful flaws and fantasies, unfortunately rarely heard in concert, juxtaposed with John Adams’s Harmonielehre, an assertive American answer to the values of the great Central European musical tradition. I have known John and conducted and played his music for some forty years and am very proud to be able to bring Harmonielehre to the Czech Republic for the first time“, says the Chief Conductor Dennis Russell Davies.
During his tenure as Chief Conductor he would like to take advantage of the Filharmonie Brno’s knowledge and experience with Dvořák’s music, especially the symphonies, and bring a personal perspective to the orchestra’s interpretation.“ I wish Dvořák had had the chance to hear his number 1, and I find myself in an intense dialogue with a highly gifted composer struggling to compensate for a lack of experience and guidance. The changes I have undertaken, some even structural, are done in the spirit of being a sounding board for a young genius. These are the suggestions I would have offered Dvořák, and I offer them to my Orchestra and its audience“, adds Daviese.
The Director of Filharmonie Brno Marie Kučerová finds the inaugural concert to be a music event of autumn. „It is proved by an interest of foreign hosts and journalists. We are expecting many important guests in the audience not only from the Czech republic. Along with Czech critics their foreign colleagues are coming”, says Kučerová. Tickets are still available in ticket office or on-line.
THE CHIEF CONDUCTOR´S INAUGURAL CONCERT
18/9/2018 I Stadion (Cultural Centre Babylon), Kounicova Street 20, Brno
ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 3 “The Bells of Zlonice
JOHN ADAMS Harmonielehre, Czech premiere
Dennis Russell Davies was born in Toledo (Ohio) and studied piano and conducting at the Juilliard School, New York. His activities as an opera and concert conductor, and as a pianist and chamber musician, are characterized by an extensive repertoire stretching from the Baroque to the latest music of our time. Widely considered to be one of the most innovative and adventurous conductors in the classical music world, Dennis Russell Davies has successfully challenged and inspired audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. He is noted for his exciting and well-structured concert programmes and for close working relationships with many composers, among them Luciano Berio, William Bolcom, John Cage, Manfred Trojahn, Philip Glass, Heinz Winbeck, Laurie Anderson, Philippe Manoury, Aaron Copland, Hans Werner Henze, Michael Nyman and Kurt Schwertsik.
After first appointments as Musical Director of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra 1972–1980 and Chief Conductor of the American Composers Orchestra in New York 1977–2002, Davies moved to Europe and settled down in Germany and Austria. He held positions as Music Director of the Staatsoper Stuttgart (1980–1987) as well as Chief Conductor of the Beethovenhalle Orchestra, Music Director of the Bonn Opera and the International Beethoven Festival (1987–1995). From 1997–2000 he was Chief Conductor of Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna, was entrusted with a conducting professorship at the Salzburg Mozarteum in 1997 and was Chief Conductor of Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra from 1995–2006, with which he recorded all 107 Symphonies of Joseph Haydn for CD, only the third complete recording of this oeuvre. In addition, he became Chief Conductor of Basel Symphony Orchestra from 2009–2016, from 2002–2017 he was Opera Director at the Landestheater Linz as well as Chief Conductor of Bruckner Orchestra Linz where he got awarded the title “GMD” in 2014.
As a guest, Dennis Russell Davies has conducted such renowned orchestras as those in Cleveland, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston and the New York Philharmonic, as well as Yomiuri Nippon Symphony. In Europe, he has worked with Accademia di Santa Cecilia di Roma, Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala di Milano, Orquesta Nacional de España, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Dresdener Philharmonie, the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Munich and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, the Concertgebouworkest Amsterdam and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic.
After his début at the Bayreuth Festival 1978–1980, his operatic work has included conducting at Lincoln Center Festival New York, Houston Grand Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Metropolitan Opera New York, Opéra National de Paris, Teatro Reál de Madrid, Hamburg and the Bavarian State Operas, Salzburg Festival and Wiener Staatsoper.
During his tenure as GMD in Linz, the new Linz Opera House was inaugurated in April 2013, at which occasion Dennis Russell Davies conducted the world premiere of Philip Glass’s opera The Lost as well as Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier. In addition, he conducted new productions of the whole Ring des Nibelungen, Pelléas et Mélisande, Falstaff, Salome, the European premiere of McTeague as well as world premieres by Moritz Eggert and Michael Obst at the new “Musiktheater”.
Davies’ work also had a crucial and lasting effect on the concert sector of Bruckner Orchester Linz by reaching out to modernity and new audiences, and frequent touring activity while still working on their core repertoire, e.g. the recording of all symphonies of Bruckner in every version.
In 2016/17/18, Dennis Russell Davies was a guest – among others – at Gewandhaus Leipzig, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, DSO Berlin, SWR Stuttgart, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale (Torino), Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia, New Japan Philharmonic and Yomiuri Nippon SO, as well as at the Festivals “Prague Spring” (with Filharmonie Brno) and Ravenna (with Cherubini Orchestra).
Starting with season 2018/19 Dennis Russel Davies takes up his new position as Artistic director and Chief Conductor of Filharmonie Brno. Several other guest performances for the season 2018/19 will lead him to the opera Frankfurt (Eötvös Drei Schwestern), the Staatsorchester Stuttgart, the Hamburger Philharmoniker, the Radio Symphonie Orchester Wien, the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra and to the Orquesta Sinfónica de Radio Televisión Española Madrid.
He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In December 2014, the title “Commandeur des Arts et Lettres” was bestowed on Dennis Russell Davies by the French government, in 2017, he received the “Österreichische Ehrenkreuz für Wissenschaft und Kunst 1. Klasse” by the Austrian government.
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