domingo, febrero 21, 2010

Interesting concert life this season

On November 17, 2009, I wrote for the Herald "The Colón´s troubled opening in 2010", and in it I mentioned the Bicentenary Subscription Series, a distinguished and expensive concert cycle. Space precluded the inclusion of the Buenos Aires Philharmonic programming, and again I will postpone it now, until I have official information about the other main concert orchestra we have, the National Symphony. This article will deal with the offerings of the main private concert organizations.

Ever since the 2002 devaluation, things have become much harder for them and prices have grown exponentially, for the euro and the dollar are the yardsticks in any international concert series. And access has become consequently more difficult. This is a fact of life that will unfortunately remain with us for a long time to come. The North´s crisis hasn´t ameliorated things, of course, but it is to be hoped that this year there won´t be cancellations, for the worst seems to be over, and also it would be too unlucky to have another influenza episode. Another factor will be the opening after May 25 of the Colón, always a magnet that attracts foreign artists.

As has been the case for decades, the Mozarteum dominates with its two cycles. Perhaps prudently, they have programmed concerts at the Colón beginning in August, and the first four will be at the Coliseo. In May the Dresden Philharmonic returns led as before by the veteran and much appreciated Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos as conductor; the valuable cellist Johannes Moser will be featured. Another cellist, the admirable Argentine Sol Gabetta, will play and lead the Basel Chamber Orchestra. In June, the Eggner Piano Trio (debut). In July, the Ballet Stockholm 59º North.

The Colón welcomes our great pianist Nelson Goerner in early August. Then comes perhaps the highest point of the season: the West Eastern Divan Orchestra under Daniel Barenboim plays the almost complete Beethoven symphonies (the Ninth will also be done but in the Colón´s own Bicentenary series). October brings us a Baroque ensemble, Musica Angelica, led by Martin Haselböck, with soprano Carolyn Simpson and countertenor Daniel Taylor. Then, an important visit: Radio France´s Philharmonic under the talented Korean Myung-Whun Chung (debut), with pianist Sergio Tiempo. And beginning November, the most welcome return of the Leipzig Thomanerchor with the same city´s Bach Gewandhaus Orchestra, all under Georg Christoph Biller (debut).

Nuova Harmonia will have a good season at the Coliseo, except on October 2 the Munich Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta at the Colón. The institution´s year will be marked by many orchestras and debuts. They start on April 22 with Gli Archi Ensemble, followed on May 4 by the Stockholm Sinfonietta under Okko Kamu with pianist Stefan Arnold. The NDR Hannover Philharmonie will be conducted by Eiji Oue featuring violinist Isabelle van Keulen. On July 7, the Orchestra da Camera di Padova e del Veneto will play, led by cellist Enrico Bronzi.

August 3 will be the date of the Haydn Piano Trio, and eight days later, the Pinchas Zukerman Players. September will bring us the Kaleido Ensemble, an Italian chamber group, on the second day of the month, and the Czech Chamber Soloists with oboist Vilém Veverka on the 23rd. The season closes on October 13 with the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam).

Festivales Musicales calls its season "Bach and the Schumann circle", stressing the bicentenary of the Romantic composer´s birth. The programming combines distinguished Argentine artists with some imports. There´s another bicentenary this year, that of Chopin, and Horacio Lavandera will pay homage to him on April 28 at the Coliseo. La Barroca del Suquía, the Córdoba-based Baroque ensemble under violinist Manfredo Kraemer, will feature flutist Jed Wenz and soprano Soledad de la Rosa on May 10 at the Auditorio de Belgrano. The Nuevo Trio Argentino plays Clara Wieck, Robert Schumann and Mendelssohn at the Avenida (June 15). The Buenos Aires Philharmonic under Arturo Diemecke and cellist Natalie Clein give an all-Schumann concert at the Colón on July 14. Our international mezzosoprano Berrnarda Fink, accompanied by Anthony Spiri, will offer songs by Schumann, Clara Wieck and Guastavino at the Avenida (July 28).

Zhu Xiao-Mei, a specialist, will again play Bach´s Goldberg Variations (Colón, August 11). Our admirable Carmen Piazzini will give a piano recital at the Auditorio de Belgrano on September 7: Bach, Brahms and Schumann. A few days later, the Mandelring Quartett (debut) will play at the same venue Brahms and Schumann. The debut of the Norddeutscher Figuralchor of Hannover (Jörg Straube), always at the Auditorio and on October 12, will give us Bach, Brahms, Schumann, Wieck and Mendelssohn. The season ends on November 12 at the Colón with Bach´s St Matthew Passion, led by Mario Videla with the Camerata Bariloche, the Orfeón de Buenos Aires and tenor Christoph Einhorn.

The plans of AMIJAI haven´t been announced as yet. But Pilar Golf keeps having the best Gran Buenos Aires programming. April 24: Orff´s "Carmina Burana", chamber version, conductor Carlos Vieu. May 29: Franco Luciani Duo (harmonica and piano). June 26: Ensamble Instrumental de Buenos Aires. July 17: Bruno Gelber, piano. August 14: Virginia Tola, soprano; Jorge Ugartamendía, piano. A recital worth waiting for. September 25: María Cecilia Muñoz, flute; Fernando Pérez, piano. October 30: Fiori Musicali: Roberto Rutkauskas (Baroque violin), Juan Manuel Quintana (viola da gamba), Jorge Lavista (harpsichord). November 27: Camerata Bariloche (Fernando Hasaj).

For Buenos Aires Herald

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