Showcase Sommerfest 2014 - page 14

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MINNESOTA ORCHESTRA SHOWCASE
andrew l i t ton
Sommerfest Artistic Director
P
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O
F
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ndrew Litton, now in his 12th year as the Minnesota Orchestra’s Sommerfest
Artistic Director, has a distinguished international reputation and a warm
relationship with Orchestra musicians, staff and the community. His spirit
of collegiality, inspired programming and superb performances, both on the
podium and at the keyboard, have contributed to the appeal of Sommerfest and to his
classical subscription season concerts here, for audiences and artists alike. He recently
extended his contract through Sommerfest 2017, news that drew applause all around.
Litton holds additional major posts—as music director of Norway’s Bergen
Philharmonic, music director of the Colorado Symphony and conductor laureate of
Britain’s Bournemouth Symphony. He guest conducts leading orchestras and opera
companies around the globe and adds each year to his discography of more than 120
recordings, which have garnered honors including a Grammy Award.
Litton’s work in Bergen has brought numerous
tributes, including being named a Knight of the
Norwegian Order of Merit by the King of Norway,
recognizing his artistic achievements and his
extraordinary success in raising the international
profile of the Bergen Philharmonic. He has led
the orchestra on tour to Europe’s greatest concert
halls, from the Amsterdam Concertgebouw to the
Vienna Musikverein, and on a groundbreaking
U.S. tour that concluded with a triumphant
Carnegie Hall performance. In 2015 he will oversee
the orchestra’s 250th anniversary celebrations.
In his student days, Litton collaborated as piano soloist with legendary ballet stars
such as Rudolph Nureyev; this season he returned to ballet, conducting the New York
City Ballet’s new production of Delibes’
Coppélia
in February
.
In addition to guest
conducting across the U.S., he led the City of Birmingham and Bournemouth symphony
orchestras, toured with London’s Royal Philharmonic to Bucharest and debuted with
the Singapore Symphony and National Taiwan Symphony. He also released his first solo
piano album,
A Tribute to Oscar Peterson
, testimony to his passion for jazz, particularly
the music of that great pianist.
Litton has conducted major opera companies around the world, including the
Metropolitan Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Australian Opera. In Bergen, he was
key to founding the Bergen National Opera, which he has led in critically acclaimed,
sold-out performances of
Tosca
,
Carmen
,
The Flying Dutchman
,
La Bohème
and, most
recently, a new production of
Fidelio
. An acknowledged expert on George Gershwin—
having performed and recorded Gershwin widely as both pianist and conductor—he
led the Covent Garden debut of
Porgy and Bess
and arranged his own
Porgy and Bess
concert suite, which is now performed around the world.
Litton, a graduate of New York’s Fieldston School, earned degrees from the Juilliard
School in piano and conducting. He served as assistant conductor at La Scala and
at the National Symphony under Rostropovich. Among his numerous awards are
Yale’s Sanford Medal and the Elgar Society Medal. For more information, visit
minnesotaorchestra.org or andrewlitton.com.
Photo: Ann Marsden
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