THE BRATISLAVA Music Festival (BMF), which for two weeks every year makes the capital a local mecca for lovers of classical music, is offering a full range of events and performers again in 2011. From intimate piano recitals to viola sonatas, and from operas to large orchestral performances, there is something for everyone. From November 25 to December 10, music fans can attend 27 concerts performed by artists from over 20 countries, Izabela Pažítková of the festival organising team told a press conference.
The 47th year of the BMF, or Bratislavské hudobné slávnosti as it is known in Slovak, begins on Friday, November 25, with the Slovak Philharmonic conducted by Emmanuel Villaume, and featuring Alexander Kniazev on cello, performing works by Ján Cikker, Dvořák, Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky. Cikker, a Slovak composer who was born exactly 100 years ago, composed an opera, Mr. Scrooge, inspired by Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, that will also be staged as part of the festival on November 26.
Among the most notable performers at this year’s BMF are: the RAI orchestra from Turin in Italy, conducted by the acclaimed young Slovak conductor Juraj Valčuha; world-famous US violinist Joshua Bell, who will play with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra; Russian pianist Grigory Sokolov; Russian cellist Natalia Gutman; French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet; the Nordic Symphony Orchestra, which combines musicians of 15 nationalities; and the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra with Mischa Maisky on cello. The honorary president of the BMF, opera diva Edita Gruberová, will sing on two occasions – at the benefit concert in St Martin’s Cathedral on Saturday, November 26, and in a special concert version of Donizetti’s opera Lucrezia Borgia. The mosaic will be completed by the China National Symphony Orchestra and the talented pianist Sa Chen performing work by Chinese composer Guan Xia, as well as by Ravel and Beethoven.
The New Talent 2011 competition that results in the SPP Foundation Award being given to selected young musical talents, will have two chamber concerts of semi-finals and one final evening introducing the winners.
The composers and their works also vary. Two works will be performed for the first time in Slovakia – Karl Jenkin’s Palladio and Arvo Pärt’s Tabula Rasa – and two works will receive their world premieres – Štefan Németh-Šamorínsky’s Slovak Rhapsody No 2 and Symphony No 3, Venetian, by Peter Martinček, which was written at the request of the Festival Committee. Detailed information can be found on the www.bhsfestival.sk website, which includes an English version of the programme.
21. Nov 2011 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff