Maestros, Assemble! PROMS 2014 Some of the World's Greatest Conductors Are Gathering in London to Take Part in the World's Biggest Classical Music Festival, Which Starts Tomorrow. BBC Proms Presenter Petroc Trelawny Introduces the Key Players

The Evening Standard (London, England), July 17, 2014 | Go to article overview

Maestros, Assemble! PROMS 2014 Some of the World's Greatest Conductors Are Gathering in London to Take Part in the World's Biggest Classical Music Festival, Which Starts Tomorrow. BBC Proms Presenter Petroc Trelawny Introduces the Key Players


Byline: Petroc Trelawny

SAKARI ORAMO One brilliant teacher at Helsinki's Sibelius Academy has given the world a raft of important conductors. Now 83, and still teaching, Jorma Panula's students have included Osmo Vanska and Esa-Pekka Salonen as well as Sakari Oramo. Oramo's passion for English music makes him a perfect fit for the job of chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra. When he was in Birmingham (where he succeeded Simon Rattle), he championed John Foulds; at the Proms he will bring his highly considered, sensitive approach to works by Vaughan Williams and William Alwyn. A violinist by training, he'll duet with Janine Jansen in a Cadogan Hall Chamber Prom. But will it be English humour or Finnish reserve that triumphs in his Last Night Speech? (BBC Symphony Orchestra, Proms 28, 36, 49 & 76, Aug 7, 13, 23 & Sep 13; Cadogan Hall, Proms Chamber Music 4, Aug 11) MARIN ALSOP Of the four women conductors appearing at the Albert Hall this year, New York-born Marin Alsop enjoys the highest profile. She made her name in Britain revitalising the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, and is now music director of the Baltimore Symphony. Her acclaimed performance of Brahms's German Requiem at last year's Proms must have silenced any doubters. Her return on the Last Night, making history as the first woman to conduct the event, showed how much she learnt about showmanship from her teacher Leonard Bernstein; like him she relishes sharing classical music with the widest possible audience. Alsop is a really important conductor, irrespective of gender. (BBC Symphony Orchestra, Prom 63, Sept 4) DANIEL BARENBOIM He conducted the Beethoven symphonies in 2012, and a triumphant Ring Cycle last year. This time Proms audiences have to make do with just one appearance from Barenboim, when he leads the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, his remarkable ensemble that brings together young Israeli and Arab musicians. The project continues to grow and from next year his Barenboim-Said Academy in Berlin takes its first students. Now 71, Barenboim still has incredible energy, much of which he uses to realise his passionate belief that music can help solve seemingly intractable political crises. Unusually for such a celebrated conductor he still plays; his fourrecital cycle of Schubert's Piano Sonatas next year at the Royal Festival Hall will undoubtedly sell out quickly. (West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Prom 46, Aug 20) NICHOLAS COLLON The traditional format of overtureconcerto-symphony is seldom heard at an Aurora Orchestra concert. The young ensemble is shaking up the classical scene. Early music is programmed alongside new work from Nico Muhly and Anna Meredith, and players share the stage with capoeira performers, dancers and video projections. Yet Aurora concerts are not about gimmickry, the music always comes first. Thirty-oneyear-old Nicholas Collon leads the orchestra he co-founded with university friend Robin Ticciati (now Glyndebourne music director). He is in demand to guest with major symphony orchestras in Britain and abroad. As charming as he is talented, Collon is at the front of a rich pack of young British conductors. (Aurora Orchestra, Prom 41, Aug 16) ALAN GILBERT The best conductor you've never heard of? Alan Gilbert (below left), music director of the New York Philharmonic, has a surprisingly low profile in London. He wasn't due to appear at the Proms at all but was announced last week as guest conductor of the Leipzig Gewandhaus, replacing Riccardo Chailly who has broken his arm. Gilbert spent eight years honing his craft in Stockholm, before succeeding Kurt Masur in New York. The Philharmonic is in his blood; his father played in the orchestra and his mother still does. Convincing a very traditional audience to accept a sharp increase in new music has been one of his major triumphs. A new annual residency in Shanghai gives a clue to Gilbert's ambitions for the NYPO beyond Manhattan.

(Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Proms 73 & 75, Sep 11 & 12) IVAN FISCHER In 1983 Ivan Fischer decided to shake up the moribund orchestral scene in his native Hungary by creating a new ensemble, the Budapest Festival Orchestra. …

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Maestros, Assemble! PROMS 2014 Some of the World's Greatest Conductors Are Gathering in London to Take Part in the World's Biggest Classical Music Festival, Which Starts Tomorrow. BBC Proms Presenter Petroc Trelawny Introduces the Key Players
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