The inaugural edition of Classical:NEXT was celebrated with an opening on the evening of 30 May and a closing concert on 2 June, which included a keynote speech from James Jolly (United Kingdom) of Gramophone magazine.
In keeping with the name 'Classical:NEXT', the opening featured a predominantly 'classical' programme while the closing artists performed music that introduces innovation or, in other words, music that could be considered "NEXT". Tradition and Innovation – two halves which together make a whole.
Wednesday, 30 May, 19:00, Carl-Orff-Saal at Gasteig Munich
(in order of appearance)
Eldar Nebolsin has been called the Sviatoslav Richter of his generation since winning a prize in the legendary pianist’s name at Moscow’s first International Piano Competition in 2005. His second album on Naxos featuring Liszt’s First and Second Piano Concertos and the Totentanz with the Liverpool Philharmonic under Vassily Petrenko occupied the top place on the label’s best-selling digital platform for six consecutive months. He most recently released an album of works by Schubert and Brahms’ piano quartets are to follow. Nebolsin, an Uzbekistan native, has performed with orchestras throughout Europe and the U.S. under conductors such as Ricardo Chailly, Charles Dutoit, and Leonard Slatkin. A former student of Dmitri Bashkirov in Madrid, he has stayed in the Spanish city to serve on faculty at the International Institute of Chamber Music.
The young violinist Tianwa Yang has been turning heads toward her precocious career. This season includes debut performances with ensembles such as the Cleveland Orchestra, the Warsaw Philharmonic and the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie. A native of Beijing, she recorded the Paganini caprices at the age of thirteen. Her first Naxos album of works by Sarasate with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra and Ernest Martínez Izquierdo received the Pizzicato Supersonic Award last year. Further upcoming releases include the solo sonatas of Eugène Ysaÿe, Wolfgang Rihm’s Works for Violin and Piano, Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole, Manen’s violin concerto and the remaining albums for an eightdisc set of Sarasate works. Yang is the recipient of the Volkswagen Foundation prize “Star of Tomorrow” from Seiji Ozawa and the 2006 “Prix Montblanc.”
Mezzo-soprano Barbara Kozelj and pianist Jan Schultsz join for a performance of songs by the Swiss-German composer Joseph Joachim Raff, whose complete cycles they will release this fall in a on Divox in co-production with Swiss Radio DRS 2. Kozelj, a native of Slovenia, is increasingly in demand for baroque music and concert repertoire. She recently made her debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under Ivan Fischer in “St. Matthew’s Passion.” The Amsterdam born Schultsz, currently a professor at the Winterthur Conservatoire and co-founder of the Basle Chamber Ensemble, is also active as a conductor. He has presided over the Tonhalle Orchestra, the Mozarteum Orchestra, the Hungarian State Orchestra and others. His recording of Schubert’s “Die schöne Müllerin,” released in 2000, was awarded the “diapasson d’or.”
The German pianist Florian Uhlig has launched a versatile career ranging from contemporary to the baroque, performing with orchestras such as the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Dresden Philharmonic, and the Stuttgart Philharmonic. He recently appeared with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela in Krzysztof Penderecki’s Piano Concerto under the composer’s baton. Also active as an accompanist and chamber musician, he has collaborated with the late baritone Hermann Prey, the violinist Mirijam Contzen, the Philharmonia Quartet Berlin and others. He additionally writes his own cadenzas and arrangements as well as original compositions. He has released albums with Hänssler Classics, WERGO, EMI and others. Uhlig has served as artistic director to the Johannesburg International Mozart Festival since 2008.
Saturday, 2 June, 12:00, Black Box at Gasteig Munich
(in order of appearance)
Composer and pianist Moritz Eggert has penned a wide range of experimental stage works, including a “Foot Ballet” to open the 2008 Viennese Opera Ball and a “Soccer Oratorio” for the World Cup in 2006. His opera ”All these Days“ was recently unveiled in Bremen. Among his piano works, the “Haemmerklavier” cycle is most widely performed. A professor for composition at the Music University of Munich, Eggert maintains a well-read blog, “Bad Blog Of Musick,” about contemporary music and contributes to other publications. Since 2009 he has been member of the “Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur in Mainz”. He is a recipient of the German Rome prize, the Schneider-Schott Prize, the “Siemens Förderpreis” for young composers and others. His music is published by Sikorski, Hamburg. At Classical:NEXT, he will perform piano sonatas by John Cage.
The Orchestra Jakobsplatz Munich champions 20th century and contemporary music with an emphasis on composers of Jewish origin. The ensemble, founded in 2005 by Artistic Director Daniel Grossmann, includes musicians from over twenty countries and has formed partnerships with institutions such as the Bavarian State Opera and Theater as well as Munich’s Jewish Community Center. “The orchestra has successfully positioned itself in the orchestra city of Munich with new and Jewish music,” wrote the Neue Zürcher Zeitung last year. In 2009, the group embarked on a tour of Israel and released an album of works by the little-known composer Paul Ben-Haim. The following season it traveled through Moldavia, the Ukraine and Romania with the violinist Tanja Becker-Bender. In June, the orchestra will perform works by Hanns Eisler at Munich’s Schauspielhaus.
Recorders aren’t the first instruments that come to mind when one thinks of new music. Yet the Quartet New Generation (QNG), with an armory of all shapes and sizes, proves an exception to the rule, regularly inspiring composers to conceive works for them. At Berlin’s Ultraschall Festival this season, the female quartet premiered its own arrangement of Sofia Gubaidulina’s Flute Quartet alongside a premiere for prepared recorders by the young Greek composer Marianthi Papalxandri-Alexandri. Concerts have brought QNG from Schleswig-Holstein to the New York festival Bang on a Can and as far as South America, Asia and Russia. The 1998-founded recorder collective has won prizes from contemporary music competitions in The Netherlands, Poland, France and Germany. “A self-consciously fresh concept in chamber music,” wrote The Irish Times.