Orchestral Touring Highlights
It seems a long time ago, but June saw the Philharmonia Orchestra’s debut at the Istanbul Festival, where they gave two concerts conducted by Principal Guest Conductor Leonard Slatkin. Slatkin brought one of his trade- mark pieces, Copland’s Third Symphony, in a programme which also included Leonidas Kavakos playing the Beethoven Violin Concerto. The second concert was Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in which the Orchestra were partnered by their own Chorus and a team of soloists including Christine Brewer. Melih Fereli, the Festival’s director, was once a member of the Chorus and the visit brought many happy reunions. Following these two concerts the Orchestra moved on to Izmir, repeating the Beethoven/Copland programme in the ancient amphitheatre of Ephesus, where the audience of several thousand were dwarfed by the incredible architecture of another time.

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra are regular touring partners with Intermusica, and this Summer they visited the San Sebastian Festival under their Music Director Daniele Gatti. The Festival is programming a lot of Mahler and the Orchestra’s visit included sensational performances of Symphonies 6 and 9. Two of the Orchestra’s wind principals shone as soloists in the concerts: John Anderson played Gatti’s own Oboe Concerto and Jaime Martin was the soloist in Bach’s Second Suite - an interesting and unusual introduction to Mahler 9! The Orchestra was immediately re-invited for the 2001 festival.

Intermusica’s major tour de force of the Summer was producing concert performances of Kurt Weill’s The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. Planned from the outset as a collaboration with our own HK Gruber, the eventual partners were the BBC Proms, the Bremen Musikfest and the Luzern Festival. The cast of eight included Marie McLaughlin, Gabriel Sade and Robert Wörle (making his 115th appearance in the role of Fatty!). The BBC Philharmonic and the BBC Singers completed the line up, with Gruber at the helm. “HK Gruber is second to none in this music.” (The Guardian) The London concert featured the Proms debut of the BBC’s Jeremy Paxman, whose recorded voice provided the narration. Bremen’s performance in a former wool factory lent a special Brechtian feel to the occasion, while the splendour of the Luzern Concert Hall provided a glamorous finish to the tour.

Venice is home to the sensational Venice Baroque Orchestra, who have a new CD out this month under a new exclusive long-term deal with Sony Classical. Featuring the violinist Giuliano Carmignola, this CD marks the beginning of a five disc project for Sony, and Intermusica are proud to be representing the Orchestra for touring in most of Europe. The Orchestra will be on tour with us in June of next year (Greece and Turkey) and will be making a further tour in August/September 2001.

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