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David Oistrakh Festival a Jewel on the Baltic

    Posted: Feb 21, 2008 - 3:49:39 PM in: news_2006
Pärnu Concert Hall, Pärnu, Estonia (photos by Mary Ellyn Hutton)

The David Oistrakh Festival in Pärnu, Estonia is like a jewel tucked away in a drawer. In this small town on the Baltic Sea, a 90-minute drive from  Tallinn, one can experience a wide range of fine music in some of the loveliest and most congenial venues imaginable. (This article was first published in American Record Guide, Nov-Dec. 2006.  The 2008 festival, celebrating the centenary of the birth of legendary violinist David Oistrakh, takes place July 17-Aug. 1, complete schedule to be announced. For information, visit www.oistfest.ee.)

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A New Haydn Concerto But Which Haydn?

    Posted: Dec 30, 2006 - 12:00:00 AM in: news_2006
Pop open the bubbly, and drink a bicentennial toast to composer Michael Haydn (1737-1806)!  You know Michael? The less famous, less flamboyant composer in the family. While big brother Joseph wrote dozens of symphonies and string quartets and set the gold standard for both in centuries to come, Michael wrote big sacred opuses by the dozen for the Salzburg (Austria) Cathedral.
Now, it's Michael's turn to be feted. Because thanks to him, an important 18th-century cello concerto has turned up in his library collections, lost for two centuries.
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Music for the Political Season

    Posted: Nov 2, 2006 - 12:00:00 AM in: news_2006
Cincinnati Symphony music director Paavo Järvi met composer Dmitri Shostakovich in 1970 in Pärnu, Estonia. He was seven years old. "Now I wish I had more understanding of what happened,” he said.  He will share some of that knowledge on CSO concerts this weekend. Centerpiece of the program, just in time for Election Day, is Shostakovich’s wartime Symphony No. 7, the “Leningrad,” one of the most politically charged compositions in history.   - [Read more]

John Leman's "Wonderful Ride"

    Posted: Oct 20, 2006 - 12:00:00 AM in: news_2006
A visit with John Leman is like stepping into a saner world, where the meaning of life becomes clearer.   - [Read more]

A New Pilot for Tall Stacks

    Posted: Oct 4, 2006 - 12:00:00 AM in: news_2006
It still comes as a surprise to many that the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra owns Riverbend. It may be even more of a surprise that the CSO also produces and manages Tall Stacks, Cincinnati’s periodic steamboat heritage festival, which steams into the Port of Cincinnati for its sixth incarnation Wednesday through Sunday. In a venture perhaps unique to the CSO among the nation’s major orchestras, the CSO created Music and Event Management, a wholly owned subsidiary incorporated in 2001, to share its expertise with the community by assisting events such as Tall Stacks.   - [Read more]

Järvi's Life a Balancing Act

    Posted: Sep 21, 2006 - 12:00:00 AM in: news_2006
There is an Estonian legend that once a year an old man rises from Lake Ülemiste next to the capital city Tallinn and asks “Is Tallinn finished yet?”  The answer must never be “yes,” Estonians know, for if it is, he will flood the city. The consequences may be less drastic for conductors, but the task of mastering their craft is never finished either, said Cincinnati Symphony music director Paavo Järvi.   - [Read more]

Uniting the Baltics With Music

    Posted: Sep 21, 2006 - 12:00:00 AM in: news_2006
The Baltic Sea Festival, founded in 2003 by Esa-Pekka Salonen, Valery Gergiev and Michael Tyden (general manager of Stockholm’s Berwald Concert Hall), has lofty goals cultural, environmental and political. Hopes are to involve all nine countries that touch the Baltic, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany and Denmark, plus Scandinavian neighbor Norway. The political and the environmental work may take some doing. Culturally, however, the festival is already a resounding success and artistic director Salonen hopes that music will be a catalyst for progress in the other areas, as well.   - [Read more]

New Hanseatic League for the Baltic

    Posted: Sep 8, 2006 - 12:00:00 AM in: news_2006
Stockholm's Baltic Sea Festival is a combustible mix. Founded in 2003 by Esa-Pekka Salonen, Valery Gergiev and Michael Tyden, managing director of Stockholm’s Berwald Concert Hall, it has the critical mass to become a sought-after summer festival destination. The 2006 event, August 20-26 in Berwald Hall, featured festival artistic director Salonen in Mahler’s Eighth Symphony, Gergiev in Shostakovich’s Seventh (“Leningrad”), Paavo Järvi in Estonian Erkki-Sven Tüür’s “Magma” with percussionist Evelyn Glennie and Manfred Honeck in Shostakovich’s Fifth.   - [Read more]

Why Don Giovanni?

    Posted: May 10, 2006 - 8:54:39 PM in: news_2006
Like all villains, Don Giovanni has an irresistible attraction for audiences.  Is it power, charisma, the attraction of evil?  All of the above, perhaps, says stage director Paula Williams, who directs Mozart's opera at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music this month (first published in The Cincinnati Post May 9, 2006).
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Reading the Runes at the CSO

    Posted: Mar 11, 2006 - 10:13:24 PM in: news_2006
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's 2006-07 season, its sixth with music director Paavo Järvi, will include the return of Estonian guest conductor Olari Elts to the Music Hall podium and the Cincinnati premiere of John Harbison's Double Bass Concerto featuring CSO principal bassist Owen Lee.  (For full details, see the online edition of the Cincinnati Post March 11 and the Post Living section March 12.)  Challenges and questions also face the orchestra as it enters a new season.  Music Hall, the largest concert hall in the U.S. (3,516 seats) and whether it should be "downsized" is one of them. Another is Järvi himself, whose CSO contract expires at the end of the 2008-09 season (first published in The Cincinnati Post March 10, 2006).
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