Showcase March-April 2015 - page 50

Michael Stern
, conductor
Michael Stern has conducted many of
the world’s top orchestras, from the
New York Philharmonic to the London
Symphony to Tokyo’s NHK Symphony.
These concerts mark his Minnesota
Orchestra debut.
Stern is in his ninth season
as music director of the Kansas City
Symphony; together they have drawn
acclaim for creative programming as
well as for recordings and commissions.
He is also the founding artistic director
and principal conductor of the IRIS
Orchestra, and he has held leadership
posts with Germany’s Saarbrücken Radio
Symphony Orchestra and two French
ensembles: the Orchestre National de
Lyon and the Orchestre National de Lille.
Stern has made four
recordings with the Kansas City
Symphony on the Reference Records
label, including a Grammy-winning disc
of Britten works and, in 2014, an album
of three works by Adam Schoenberg
commissioned by Stern and the Kansas
City Symphony. Their next project is a
disc of Saint-Saëns works.
Of interest:
Stern co-edited an edition
The Grammar of Conducting
, a widely
used textbook by Max Rudolf, his former
teacher at the Curtis Institute.
Simon Trpčeski
, piano
Macedonian pianist Simon Trpčeski,
now welcomed for his first Minnesota
Orchestra appearances, performs
regularly with the world’s most
prestigious orchestras. He is also active
one-minute notes
The Pleasure-Dome of Kubla Khan
Griffes’ music, impressionistic and exotic, imagines a sacred river and a sunlit palace in which revelers dance.
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3
This concerto balances moments of song-like simplicity and thunderous virtuosity. The opening
is subtle
and soulful, while the latter movements offer catchy themes, ingenious variations and a feather-light waltz.
The Rite of Spring
Of this work—which drew jeers at its 1913 premiere—Stravinsky wrote: it “represents pagan Russia and is unified
by a single idea: the mystery and great surge of the creative power of Spring.” Vibrant sounds of nature set the
scene for the story, an imagined pagan ritual in which a sacrificial virgin dances herself to death.
as a recitalist and chamber musician on
major international stages.
Recent, upcoming:
This season he
performs with orchestras including
the London Symphony, London
Philharmonia, Los Angeles Philharmonic,
Netherlands Radio Philharmonic,
Russian National Orchestra and Iceland
Symphony, and he tours Australia and
New Zealand. He also gives recitals
with cellist Daniel Müller-Schott in
Amsterdam, London and Bilbao, Spain.
He has made three award-
winning concerto recordings with the
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, including
two all-Rachmaninoff discs and, most
recently, Tchaikovsky’s first two piano
concertos. His five recital albums
have garnered acclaim, including two
Gramophone Awards. Forthcoming is
a disc of his 2014 recital at London’s
Wigmore Hall.
In 2009 he was awarded
the Presidential Order of Merit for
Macedonia, conferred by that country’s
president; more recently he was the
first to be named National Artist of the
Republic of Macedonia.
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