Showcase Sep-Nov 2014 - page 37

Andrew Litton
, conductor
Andrew Litton, a distinguished conductor
on international stages and a favorite of
local audiences, has been the Minnesota
Orchestra’s Sommerfest artistic director
since 2003. He recently extended his
tenure in that post through 2017.
Additional positions:
As music director
of Norway’s Bergen Philharmonic, he is
overseeing that venerable ensemble’s
250th anniversary celebrations. He
holds the same title with the Colorado
Symphony, and he is conductor laureate
of Britain’s Bournemouth Symphony.
His recent guest conducting
engagements have taken him from Dallas
and Detroit to Britain, Singapore and
Taiwan. Also an accomplished opera
conductor, in recent seasons he has
led several productions of the Bergen
National Opera, which he helped found.
Litton, an accomplished
pianist, this year released his first solo
piano album, a tribute to the late jazz
pianist Oscar Peterson.
In 2011 Litton was named a
knight of the Norwegian Order of Merit,
recognizing his work with the Bergen
Philharmonic. Among his additional
honors is a 1997 Grammy Award.
Anthony Ross
, cello
Anthony Ross, now in his 27th year as a
Minnesota Orchestra member, assumed
the principal cello post in 1991. While
here he has drawn acclaim for his solo
performances of many great concertos
and chamber works, including, most
recently, two Prokofiev works—the
Sinfonia concertante and the Sonata for
Cello and Piano. In addition, in April
2014 he was the featured soloist in
Eric Whitacre’s
The River Cam
, with the
composer conducting.
Chamber music:
Ross is a member of
one-minute notes
Don Quixote
Strauss captures the humor and humanity of Cervantes’ great novel in a magnificent work for cello. With Don
Quixote portrayed by the solo cello and his long-suffering squire, Sancho Panza, primarily by the viola, the
music depicts their escapades in a series of colorful variations. Among the most famous: the Don’s battles with
windmills and an unsuspecting flock of sheep, and an encounter with his imagined, idealized lady love, Dulcinea.
Salome’s Dance
, from
This opera selection offers a glimpse of the mad Salome, who dances provocatively for her stepfather, King
Herod; notable are the Salome motif for the flute’s low register, virtuosic xylophone scales and a dazzling trill
for the entire orchestra.
Strauss: Suite from
Der Rosenkavalier
The orchestral suite from
Der Rosenkavalier
, Strauss’ first operatic collaboration with the poet-librettist Hugo
von Hoffmannsthal, is as beloved with audiences worldwide as the opera itself. It abounds with exquisite
textures, beautifully balancing the story’s romance, rowdy farce and sentimentality.
9, 10, 11
Accordo, a chamber ensemble composed
of principal string players from the Saint
Paul Chamber Orchestra and Minnesota
Orchestra. He also plays with the
Chamber Music Society of Minnesota.
Ross has performed at music
festivals in the U.S. and Europe and has
been a faculty member at the Grand
Teton, Aspen, Madeline Island and
Indiana University festivals.
His recordings include
Three Meditations
, made with
the Minnesota Orchestra, and Carter
and Rachmaninoff sonatas for Boston
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