Press Release date: February 2007
BBT News Update February 2007
Martin Fröst (Photo by Mats BÃ¤cker)
Fröst’s BBT award funded the commissioning of a clarinet concerto from Finnish composer Kalevi Aho (premiered in April 2006) and has also resulted in a recording of the work. The CD is released by BIS in February 2007 (BIS-SACD-1463) featuring the Lahti Symphony Orchestra conducted by Osmo Vänska.
Ralph Van Raat (Photo by Marco Borgreve)
Ralph Van Raat
First BBT-supported CD is released in February 2007 (Naxos 8.559285.) featuring the complete piano works of John Adams who, on working with van Raat, commented that the pianist "astonishes and amazes" him.
Mitsuko Uchida, Robin Ticciati, Jonathan Biss
BB Trust News
"The success of our BBT winners consistently validates the judgement of our artistic committee."
The adage ‘once a BBT artist, always a BBT artist’ comes to mind as Mitsuko Uchida, a founding member of the Trust, brings earlier winners back into the BBT artistic fold for more music-making. Although extremely busy with her own international performance schedule, Uchida is unfailingly committed to actively working with BBT award-winners when the opportunity arises - as when young principal conductor of the Swedish Gävle Symphony Orchestra Robin Ticciati (2005 BBT fellowship winner), pianist Jonathan Biss (BBT 2003 award-winner) and Uchida performed Mozart’s Concerto for Two Pianos in E flat major K 365 in northern Sweden in January this year. Uchida is also planning two BBT 5th anniversary tours in 2008 (America in May and Europe in November) with BBT winners from 2003 to 2005.
Meanwhile the creative projects continue to develop a valuable legacy of musical endeavour made possible by the Trust:
Mahler Urlicht (Onyx 4014) released in October 2006, was the second of two CDs supported by Stotijn’s BBT Award. Like the first, it met with great critical acclaim: “Stotijn’s voice – rich and suggestive, sly and sorrowful as required, with shades of Janet Baker’s gravitas, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson’s candour, and Anne Sofie von Otter’s playfulness – is tailormade for Mahler’s Ruckert Lieder and Das Knaben Wunderhorn.” (Independent on Sunday); “…a Mahler recital of astonishing range and sophistication” (BBC Music Magazine); “ with a mezzo voice this expressive, flexible, and free of faults no wonder her star is rising.” (The Times).
Leopold String Trio (Photo by Benjamin Ealovega)
Leopold String Trio
“unfailingly well-tuned, lustrously toned and responsively balanced, and ever alive to the interplay of phrasing and vibrato, nuance and colour that the choice, but perilously small classic string trio repertory requires to keep it fresh.” (The Independent). The Leopolds continue their ambitious BBT-supported Series showcasing music for the trio ensemble. Series 7 and 8 concerts at London’s Wigmore Hall (9/10 March) and Southampton’s Turner Sims Concert Hall (11/13 March) feature monumental works by Bach, Webern and Mozart and a Viennese School theme with works by Brahms, Mahler, Schoenberg and Webern. Violinist Marianne Thorsen, one of the founding members of the 15 year old trio, has left the ensemble and is succeeded by Dutch violinist Isabelle van Keulen.
Korean-American soprano Hyunah Yu’s EMI Debut Disc, Bach•Mozart Arias (0946 3 68255 2 6) was released in January 2007 and has been warmly received: “a fabulous voice” (The Independent); “Yu’s lightheaded coloratura beams with both touching and fearsome character in the three arias from Zaide… mouth-watering evidence of significant potential.” (Gramophone)
Bach Ligeti Chaconne is the title of Tamestit’s debut solo recording on the Ambroisie Naïve label (AM111 AD 098) – the first of a 3-CD series supported by BBT in which he aims to explore the range of work written and arranged for viola. Bach and Ligeti both go to extremes in these virtuosic dance-themed pieces and have been juxtaposed in a single recording to reflect not only Tamestit’s particular fondness for both pieces, but also his keenness not to be confined to any particular era of musical composition. The CD is released in France, UK, Switzerland and Belgium on 26 Feb and in the US and other territories in March 2007.
Christian Poltéra plays Othmar Schoeck is the first of four BBT-supported recordings to be released in April/May 2007(BIS-CD-1597). It features both of the Swiss composer’s works for solo cello - Sonata for cello and piano (with Julius Drake) and the Concerto for Cello and String Orchestra Op 61 (Malmö Symphony Orchestra conducted by Tuomas Ollila) – plus six songs arranged for piano and cello from times in his career ranging from 1906 to 1946. Schoeck (1886-1957) is best known as a composer in the German lied tradition and a vocal sensibility is indeed prevalent in the concerto (premiered in 1947 by Pierre Fournier) and the ‘unfinished’ sonata (premiered in 1958 by James Whitehead and Schoeck’s pianist daughter Gisela). Forthcoming releases feature unfairly neglected works by two other Swiss composers, Arthur Honegger and Frank Martin.