LSM Newswire

Thursday, September 17, 2009

ISO Announces Remaining Guest Conductors for 2009-2010 Season

Roster of nine includes one debut appearance; repertoire additions include Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony on Oct. 16 & 17 and the ISO's first-ever performance of Fauré's Requiem on January 29 & 30

INDIANAPOLIS—The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra today announced the guest conductors who will take the podium for 10 of the 20 classical concerts previously scheduled for Mario Venzago in the 2009-2010 season. The season's original schedule of major works and featured artists remains intact; however, additional works such as Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5 and the ISO's first-ever performance of Fauré's Requiem were added to enhance the classical concert offerings.

"We're delighted to be able to present such a strong roster of new and returning conductors to our stage," said Simon Crookall, President & CEO of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. "These conductors are among the best in the field, and we are looking forward to a great year of music-making with them."

Lilly Classical Series
In the ISO's Lilly Classical Series, Juanjo Mena will return to the podium and conduct concerts featuring the works of Felix Mendelssohn, including the popular Violin Concerto with the ISO's Principal Guest Concertmaster Alexander Kerr on Oct. 8-10. Mena also will lead the orchestra in Mahler's "Resurrection" Symphony with the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir on May 21 & 22. A native of Spain, Mena has been Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra since 1999 and debuted with the ISO for the 2008-2009 finale featuring Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition.

On Nov. 13 & 14, Ludovic Morlot will conduct the program showcasing violin superstar Joshua Bell performing Ravel's Tzigane, Massenet's "Meditation" from Thaϊs and Bruch's Scottish Fantasy. Morlot first appeared with the ISO in 2007 for concerts featuring HK Gruber's Frankenstein!!, and the complete ballet music from Ravel's Mother Goose. As one of the leading conductors of his generation, Morlot recently appeared with the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Dresden Staatskapelle, Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and the Seoul Philharmonic.

Pietari Inkinen, the recently appointed Music Director of the New Zealand Symphony, debuts with the ISO and the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir on January 29 & 30. The previously scheduled Walton's Belshazzar's Feast will be replaced with Mahler's song cycle Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer) with baritone Hugh Russell and the ISO's premiere performance of Fauré's Requiem—the composer's most recognized choral orchestral piece. Inkinen has won unanimous praise from audiences and critics for his performances in New Zealand and for his recordings with the orchestra on the Naxos label. In November 2010, he leads the New Zealand Symphony on a major tour of Europe with violinist Hilary Hahn. Inkinen will assume the post of Principal Guest Conductor of the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra later this month.

Returning to the ISO podium for his fourth appearance, Gilbert Varga will lead concerts on Feb. 5 & 6 featuring Schumann's Symphony No. 3 ("Rhenish") and Brahms' Violin Concerto performed by world renowned virtuoso Christian Tetzlaff. Varga is the son of the celebrated Hungarian violinist, Tibor Varga. He has held positions with and guest conducted many of the major orchestras in Europe and the United States including the Orchestre de Paris, Hungarian National Philharmonic, the Berlin Konzerthaus Orchester, and the orchestras of Minnesota, Philadelphia, Dallas, Detroit and St. Louis. Varga previously conducted the ISO in 1994, 1999 and 2008.

Carlo Rizzi will return for concerts on May 14 & 15 and lead the ISO in the world premiere of Principal Trombone James Beckel's newest work, In the Mind's Eye: Images for Horns and Orchestra featuring the five members of the ISO's horn section, and works by Mozart, Wieniawski and concluding with Stravinsky's Firebird Suite as previously scheduled. Rizzi's first appearance with the orchestra was in May 2009 during the ISO's popular "Russian Nights" program. Rizzi is Music Director of the Welsh National Opera, and is a regular conductor at the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera Covent Garden, Opéra de Bastille, Zurich Opera and at La Scala in his hometown of Milan.

Symphonic Hits Powered by Lilly

Introduced for the 2009-2010 season, the new Symphonic Hits Powered by Lilly concerts feature the orchestral masterpieces by some of the most recognized names in classical music. Symphonic Hits programs begin at 7:30 p.m. (rather than the usual 8 p.m. start time) and include Sound Off, a pre-concert, multimedia presentation with musicians and special guests and Reverb, a post-concert meet-and-greet with patrons and members of the orchestra. Symphonic Hits can be purchased individually or through the flexible options of Your Season Your Way and Symphony on Demand voucher packets.

Returning to the ISO podium after nearly a decade, Matthias Bamert leads the orchestra in the first Symphonic Hits concert on Oct. 16 & 17 with renowned pianist Garrick Ohlsson performing Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 2. In addition, Shostakovich's Festive Overture and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5 will replace works by Liszt and Offenbach. Bamert's most recent performance with the ISO was in March 2000 which featured Sibelius' Symphony No. 5. Bamert's career began at the Cleveland Orchestra, and he has since held Music Director positions with the Swiss Radio Orchestra, London Mozart Players and most recently at the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.

Noted American conductor Michael Stern returns to the ISO for his fifth appearance to conduct the second Symphonic Hits program on Nov. 5-7. These concerts will premiere prolific American composer Jennifer Higdon's Concerto 4-3, written for and performed by Time for Three, the trio featuring ISO Concertmaster Zach De Pue. Other works on the program include Beethoven's Leonore Overture No. 3 and Mozart's Symphony No. 41 ("Jupiter"). Stern's previous ISO engagements occurred in 1995, 2002, 2003 and 2006. Stern is in his fourth season as Music Director of the Kansas City Symphony and has just completed his first season as Principal Guest Conductor of Orchestre National de Lille, France. In addition, Stern is founding Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the IRIS Orchestra in Germantown, Tennessee.

Jun Märkl makes his fourth appearance with the ISO in concerts on May 7 & 8 featuring the originally scheduled program of Saint-Saëns' Africa (Fantasy for Piano and Orchestra), Brahms' Symphony No. 2 and Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 2 with guest artist Marc-André Hamelin. Born in Munich, Märkl has been Music Director of the Lyon National Orchestra since 2005, and became Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the MDR Sinfonieorchester (Leipzig Radio Symphony) during the 2007-08 season.

Special Event

On Thursday, Oct. 1, Jeffrey Kahane will conduct the ISO's one-night-only special concert featuring world renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma (sold out). This is Kahane's third appearance with the ISO, as he previously led the orchestra in classical concerts in 2001 and 2002. A native of Los Angeles, Kahane is in his 13th season as Music Director for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and his fifth season as Music Director for the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. As a pianist, Kahane has enjoyed a long musical friendship with Yo-Yo Ma, collaborating with the cellist in recitals around the world.

Opening Weekend

As previously announced, ISO Conductor Laureate Raymond Leppard will open the ISO's 2009-2010 Lilly Classical Series season on Friday, Sept. 25 at 8 p.m. and will host its annual Opening Night Gala on Saturday, Sept. 26 at 6 p.m. Leppard will conduct a program of works by American composers titled A Musical Portrait of America which includes Aaron Copland's Lincoln Portrait with narration by Academy Award-winning actor F. Murray Abraham and John Williams' Air and Simple Gifts (which was premiered at President Obama's inauguration) with pianist Gabriela Montero (who also performed in the premiere) and ISO principal musicians Alexander Kerr (violin), David Bellman (clarinet), and Perry Scott (cello). Montero also will present George Gershwin's popular Rhapsody in Blue, and the Orchestra will perform music by Leonard Bernstein and Indiana native Hoagy Carmichael to round out the program.

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