I’ve got two new CD releases to share with you!
In November, Harmonia Mundi released NEW SOUTH AMERICAN DISCOVERIES, recorded in Oslo with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and available on iTunes, Amazon.com.
And this month (December, 2016) Naxos released an album of works by the venerable Peruvian composer CELSO GARRIDO-LECCA, celebrating his 90th birthday year, recorded with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. (Also available on iTunes and at Amazon.com).
The Naxos Blog includes a great podcast by Raymond Bisha who introduces the recording. Click HERE to listen.
NEW CD RELEASE! Lutoslawski Concerto for Orchestra & Brahms (orch. Schoenberg) Piano Quartet in G minor with Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra
“…shines out with its precision, vigour and clarity of sound…A seriously interesting and worthwhile disc.”
–Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian, March 2016
On his fourth recording for harmonia mundi, released on April 1, 2016, Miguel Harth-Bedoya leads the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra in an all-orchestral program featuring Witold Lutosławski’s Concerto for Orchestra and Arnold Schoenberg’s orchestration of Brahms’s Piano Quartet No.1. With its use of folk melodies to generate tremendous momentum and dramatic impact, the Concerto for Orchestra established Lutosławski as Poland’s leading contemporary composer. This powerful and complex score is coupled with Schoenberg’s rich and colorful arrangement of one of Brahms’s most popular chamber works.
NEW RELEASE! Prokofiev Piano Concertos 2 & 5 with Vadym Kholodenko and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra
CLICK HERE FOR YOU TUBE VIDEO: Prokofiev Piano Concertos 2 & 5
RELEASED BY harmonia mundi usa, FEB 2016
From harmonia mundi usa:
A major highlight for February 2016 is Vadym Kholodenko’s “Prokofiev. Piano Concertos 2 & 5” with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Miguel Harth-Bedoya. Harth-Bedoya has two recent critically-acclaimed recordings for harmonia mundi, Jimmy López’s “Perú Negro” and “Grieg. Saint-Saëns. Piano Concertos”, the latter also featuring Kholodenko. Harth-Bedoya, who is in his 16th season as Music Director of the FWSO, named Kholodenko the orchestra’s first artistic partner for a three-year residency in 2014. This new recording further highlights the artistic partnership between the conductor and pianist, and launches a complete Prokofiev cycle with the FWSO – the second recording, which will include Concertos Nos. 1, 3 and 4, is scheduled for release in 2017.
Harth-Bedoya notes, “Prokofiev is one of my favorite composers, and I know that he is one of Vadym’s favorites as well. The second concerto is an amazing piece of music: massive, complex, and difficult. The fifth sort of wraps up everything that Prokofiev wrote into one piece, and requires a great dialogue between soloist and orchestra. I love that these concertos require virtuosity from both soloist and orchestra, and that Vadym and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra have such great chemistry and ease in their communication with each other.”
Of Kholodenko and Harth-Bedoya’s recent performances of the Prokofiev with the Atlanta Symphony, Arts ATL wrote:
“Kholodenko’s playing is well-suited to Prokofiev’s modernistic style — sparklingly clean, technically astute, and yet sensitive when called upon by the score…This performance under Harth-Bedoya was a secure and attention-holding rendering, with a satisfyingly good dash of personality.”
Harth-Bedoya will release a fourth recording on harmonia mundi in April with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, featuring Lutosławski’s “Concerto for Orchestra” and the Brahms “Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Opus 25 (orch. Arnold Schoenberg)”.
REVIEW: Grieg/Saint Saëns CD – The Norwegian Radio Orch/Miguel Harth-Bedoya / Vadym Kholodenko, piano – Harmonia Mundi
FROM AUDIOFILE AUDITION – July 12, 2015
GRIEG: Piano Concerto in a minor, Op. 16; SAINT-SAENS: Piano Concerto No. 2 in g minor, Op. 22 – Vadym Kholodenko, p./ The Norwegian Radio Orch./ Miguel Harth-Bedoya – Harmonia mundi HMU 907629, (8/14/15) 54:22 ****:
Van Cliburn Competition Gold Medal winner for 2013, Vadym Kholodenko, engages the music of Grieg and Saint-Saens for his second issue (rec. August-September 2014 at NRK Store Studio, Oslo) for Harmonia mundi. Kholodenko and conductor Harth-Bedoya seem intent on lavishing every possible interior nuance upon the most perfect of all piano concertos, Grieg’s 1869 Concerto in a minor. Not that the lyrical-melodic tissue becomes over-wrought in this collaboration: the more fleet passages moved with arched grace always to the point of the next period. What consistently remains marvelous in the Grieg revolves around the eternal freshness of the intrinsically folk impulses, here set in controlled sonata-form. In the first movement cadenza, Kholodenko indulges his piano tone and coaxes the febrile counterpoints through a silken technical control of tremolando, octave, and arpeggiated figures. The Norwegian Radio Orchestra obviously needs few reminders of the composer’s sensitivity to color tissue. The transition from solo cadenza to the orchestral contribution to the coda combines quietude, serenity and singular poise.
Whatever of solitude and intimacy one wishes from the D-flat Adagio Kholodenko and Harth-Bedoya provide in tender, harmonic colors, the melodic tissue’s seeming to arise out of an azure, blue sky. The cello line rises into the woodwinds and French horn while the keyboard luxuriates in the climax of the main idea that dissolves back into a pearly aether. Buoyancy and folk wisdom should inform the last movement’s two main motifs, the halling and the astonishing flute melody. Kholodenko injects a playful authority into the former and a grandly lyrical sense of line into the latter in F Major. The brass section of the Norwegian Radio proves itself hearty and persuasive, as required in the outside sections of the dance, with the later transformation of the rhythm into ¾ when A Major dominates. Some deft fiddle playing in the last pages help to color the exquisite ensemble with a sense of apotheosis remarkable even in the glut of so many performances of this essential concerto.
The 1868 Saint-Saens Second Concerto – opening with Bach and concluding with Offenbach – has consistently provided a splendid bravura vehicle for virtuoso pianists. Its quasi-fantasia opening cadenza sets of a tone authority and classical severity tempered by glib coloration after the orchestra enters. Each of the three movements marks an acceleration of tempo; and in the E-flat Major Allegro scherzando second movement we hear the Saint-Saens (tympani-led) approach to Chopin’s E Major Scherzo. The deliberate and graduated colors of this pairing of Kholodenko and Harth-Bedoya may recall for some the fine impression fellow Russian pianist Grigory Sokolov made more than a generation ago in his recording with Neeme Jarvi. The even flux of the later cadenza takes us seamlessly into the woodwind response that leads, cyclically, to the first movement coda. After an appropriately light-handed second movement, Kholodenko launches into the acrobatic alla breve Presto, a whirlwind tarantella whose light or percussive feet often become a blur. The deft transitions in and out of duple time tax both soloist and conductor but evidently without any sense of strain. The excellent sonic image has been well captured by recording engineer Morten Hermansen.
To link to original review on Audiofile Audition, click here: http://audaud.com/2015/07/grieg-piano-concerto-in-a-minor-saint-saens-piano-concerto-no-2-vadym-kholodenko-p-the-norwegian-radio-orch-miguel-harth-bedoya-harmonia-mundi/
PRESS RELEASE: HARMONIA MUNDI USA RELEASES TWO ORCHESTRA ALBUMS FEATURING MIGUEL HARTH-BEDOYA LEADING THE NORWEGIAN RADIO ORCHESTRA
Media Contact: Paula Mlyn
A440 Arts Group
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 18, 2015
HARMONIA MUNDI USA RELEASES TWO ORCHESTRAL ALBUMS FEATURING MIGUEL HARTH-BEDOYA
LEADING THE NORWEGIAN RADIO ORCHESTRA
Recordings highlight artistic partnerships forged by Miguel Harth-Bedoya with composer Jimmy López
and 2013 Van Cliburn Gold Medalist Vadym Kholodenko
NEW YORK, NY – On August 14, 2015, Harmonia Mundi announces the release of two recordings featuring Grammy®-nominated and Emmy Award-winning conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya leading the Norwegian Radio Symphony, where he has served as Chief Conductor since 2013. The first album [HMU 907628] is a world premiere recording of works by composer, and fellow Peruvian, Jimmy López, whose music Harth-Bedoya has championed for nearly two decades. The second album [HMU 907629] features Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor and Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, in collaboration with 2013 Van Cliburn Gold Medalist Vadym Kholodenko. Mr. Harth-Bedoya, who is also Music Director of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, named Mr. Kholodenko the first artistic partner at the FWSO for a three-year residency in 2014. Both recordings highlight the close artistic partnerships that Mr. Harth-Bedoya has forged and nurtured with these young artists.
JIMMY LÓPEZ: PERÚ NEGRO, SYNESTHÉSIE, LORD OF THE AIR, AMÉRICA SALVAGE [HMU 907628]
The collaboration between Miguel Harth-Bedoya and composer Jimmy López (b. 1978) began when the conductor met the composer as a teenager while conducting the Lima Philharmonic Orchestra in Peru. The conductor says, “I have enjoyed watching Jimmy López develop from a young talent into a mature and versatile composer. I admire his wide aesthetic range, which can tap into folk songs and culture in a work like Perú Negro, or could be completely abstract in a piece like Synesthésie. Jimmy’s scope is reflective of one who has lived, worked, and traveled in many countries but also remains connected to his own cultural roots. His potential is unlimited.”
The orchestral disc features four of López’s orchestral scores: Perú Negro (2012), América Salvaje (2006), Lord of the Air (2012) [a cello concerto dedicated to its soloist, Jesús Castro-Balbi], and Synesthésie (2011). The composer writes, “Perú Negro and América Salvaje are firmly rooted in Peruvian folk music, making use of its instruments, rhythms and melodies. Lord of the Air, although inspired by the Andean condor, roams free from those musical attachments and constitutes a more direct look into my own harmonic and melodic language. Synesthésie, on the other hand, is an exercise in creativity inspired by the human senses and the subtle artistry of the French masters of orchestration.”
Mr. Harth-Bedoya commissioned Perú Negro (2012) for the 2012-2013 centennial season of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. He also recorded a previous disc of López’s music with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and continues to champion Mr. López’s music around the world, having conducted the composer’s works nine times in 2014, six times in 2013, and will conduct his works two more times in the upcoming 2015-2016 season. Mr. Harth-Bedoya also brought the composer’s music to the attention of soprano Renée Fleming, who ultimately selected Mr. López to compose a new opera for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Bel Canto, which will have its premiere in December, 2015.
GRIEG AND SAINT-SAËNS: PIANO CONCERTO IN A MINOR; PIANO CONCERTO NO. 2 IN G MINOR [HMU 907629]
The pairing of titan piano concertos by Grieg and Saint-Saëns on this album follows pianist Vadym Kholodenko’s critically-acclaimed Van Cliburn Gold Medal recital disc on the Harmonia Mundi label in 2013, featuring works by Stravinsky and Liszt.
Throughout the Fourteenth Van Cliburn Piano Competition, Miguel Harth-Bedoya followed the progress of pianist Vadym Kholodenko very carefully. “When I heard Vadym perform at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2013, I knew I was witnessing something extraordinary. Vadym’s musicianship continues to inspire me. He has a marvelous ability to maneuver through a wide range of repertoire with excellence and mastery. He is truly a world-class pianist,” Mr. Harth-Bedoya says.
The two artists are in the process of recording the complete piano concertos of Sergei Prokofiev for Harmonia Mundi, planned for release in 2016, and will collaborate in several performances, including repeat performances of the complete Prokofiev concerto cycle, with orchestras in the US and Europe in the 2015-2016 season.
In the upcoming 2015-2016 season, Miguel Harth-Bedoya will conduct the world premiere of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon’s first opera, Cold Mountain, at the Santa Fe Opera from August 1-22, 2015 (where Mr. Harth-Bedoya also conducted the company premiere of Golijov’s Ainadamar in 2005). Harth-Bedoya leads the first of three annual Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra “Great Performances” Festivals, featuring music by Beethoven, Haydn, and Mozart from August 27-29, 2015. On October 15, 2015, the conductor returns to the Eugene Symphony (where he served as Music Director from 1996-2002) for the orchestra’s 50th anniversary gala. For that program, he will conduct the complete ballet, Estancia, complete with dancers, by Argentinian composer Alberto Ginastera, the first of several performances by Harth-Bedoya in 2015-2016 that will honor the composer’s centennial birthday. Other notable guest engagements include the New Zealand Symphony, Sydney Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, and the BBC Scottish Symphony. In addition to his traversal of the Prokofiev cycle with Mr. Kholodenko in 2015-2016, next spring Mr. Harth-Bedoya leads a tour of Spain with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Grammy®-nominated and Emmy Award-winning conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya is currently Chief Conductor of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra/Oslo and just concluded his 15th season as Music Director of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. He is also the Founder and Artistic Director of Caminos del Inka, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to performing and promoting the music of the Americas. He regularly conducts the upper echelon of American orchestras including the Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Cleveland, Minnesota, National Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic and Philadelphia Orchestras. In Europe, Miguel Harth-Bedoya is a regular guest with the Helsinki Philharmonic, MDR Sinfonieorchester Leipzig, National Orchestra of Spain and has appeared with the London Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony, Munich Philharmonic, Dresden Philharmonic, Zurich Tonhalle, Orchestre de Paris, Finnish Radio Symphony, and with orchestras throughout Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand, and Asia. Equally at home in the theatre, in summer 2015 he conducts the world premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s first opera, Cold Mountain, for Santa Fe Opera. Other opera productions include La Bohème at English National Opera directed by Jonathan Miller, and productions of Golijov’s Ainadamar with the Cincinnati Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and at the New Zealand Festival. Harth-Bedoya’s recordings include Traditions and Transformations: Sounds of Silk Road Chicago with the Chicago Symphony and Yo-Yo Ma, which received two Grammy® nominations; Nazareno (music by Revueltas, Golijov, and Ginastera), and Sentimiento Latino with Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flórez. Recording projects for Harmonia Mundi include three discs of piano concertos (Grieg/Saint-Saëns and the complete Prokofiev) featuring the 2013 Cliburn Gold Medalist Vadym Kholodenko.
The Norwegian Radio Orchestra (NRK Kringkastingsorkestret) is known and cherished throughout the land and regarded by music-loving Norwegians with a unique combination of respect and affection. Owing to its remarkably diverse repertoire, it is doubtless the orchestra heard most often — on radio, television, the internet, and at its numerous and varied venues around the country. It is a flexible orchestra, playing everything from symphonic and contemporary classical music to pop, rock, folk and jazz. Every year the orchestra performs together with internationally acclaimed artists at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert, which is aired to millions of viewers worldwide. Among those with whom it has collaborated in recent years are Kaizers Orchestra, Mari Boine, Jarle Bernhoft, Diamanda Galás, Renée Fleming, Andrew Manze, Anna Netrebko, and Gregory Porter. The Norwegian Radio Orchestra was founded by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation in 1946. Its first conductor, Øivind Bergh, led the ensemble in a series of concerts from the main studio that established the basis of its popularity and its status as a national treasure. The orchestra continues to perform in the context of important media events. It is comprised of highly talented classical instrumentalists, yet its musical philosophy has remained the same: versatility, a light-hearted approach, a curiosity for all kinds of music, and an unwillingness to pigeonhole musical styles.
Born in Lima, Peru in 1978, Jimmy López is one of the most admired among the younger generation of South American Composers. His works have been performed by leading orchestras around the world including the Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Sydney Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, and the National Symphony Orchestras of Peru, Argentina and Chile. His music has been heard in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Grant Park and Sydney Opera House, and during the Tanglewood, Aspen, Darmstadt and Donaueschingen Music Festivals. As part of the Renée Fleming initiative, the Lyric Opera of Chicago has commissioned him a full-length opera based on the bestselling novel Bel Canto. The world premiere is scheduled for December of 2015. He has received numerous awards, including the Prince Prize, Kranichsteiner Musikpreis, Morton Gould Young Composer Award, and took First Prize at the ALEA III International Composition Competition and the Nicola De Lorenzo Music Composition Competition. López began his formal studies at the National Conservatory of Music in Peru, and then went on to obtain a Master of Music degree from the Sibelius Academy in Finland and a PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. He is published by Filarmonika LLC.
Winner of the coveted gold medal at the Fourteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2013, Vadym Kholodenko captured the attention of jury, audience, and critics alike for powerful, exhilarating performances that “showed the guts of a true
superartist” (San Francisco Classical Voice). Also taking home prizes for best performance of the piano quintet and best performance of the commissioned work, he further demonstrated his artistry with a stunning cadenza in Mozart’s Concerto No. 21 — which
he composed himself on the plane from Moscow to the Competition. Since then, Mr. Kholodenko has continued to build an international reputation for interpretations that are “impeccable, tasteful and vibrant, and also something more: imaginative” (Cleveland Plain Dealer), appearing with major orchestras and in recital within and outside of the United States, including UK, France, Germany, Japan and Singapore. Last season marked the beginning of his three-year association with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra as its first ever artistic partner. The collaboration includes performances of the complete Prokofiev concertos, which are being recorded for harmonia mundi, as well as chamber projects and international touring in 2016. Mr. Kholodenko has worked with Leonard Slatkin, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Yuri Bashmet, Carl St. Clair, Christopher Seaman, Vladimir Spivakov and other distinguished conductors, and held a residency at the Mariinsky Concert Hall, where he was named Artist of the Month by Valery Gergiev. A committed chamber musician, he has collaborated with Vadim Repin, Alena Baeva, and Nina Kotova, and formed the piano duet iDuo with Andrey Gugnin. Mr. Kholodenko’s first recording for harmonia mundi was released in November 2013, featuring Stravinsky’s Trois mouvements de Pétrouchka and the complete Liszt Transcendental Etudes. This disc of the Grieg Piano Concerto and Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra under the baton of Miguel Harth-Bedoya will be followed by the Prokofiev Concerto cycle with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra in 2016 and 2017. Born in Kiev, Vadym Kholodenko is the first musician in his family. He made his first appearances in the United States, China, Hungary, and Croatia at the age of 13. In 2005, Mr. Kholodenko moved to Moscow to study at the Moscow State Conservatoire with Professor Vera Gornostaeva. He currently resides in Fort Worth, Texas with his wife and two daughters.
Of Peruvian heritage and raised in France, American cellist Jesús Castro-Balbi is an internationally sought-after artist-teacher, with regular appearances at Carnegie Hall, solo performances with major orchestras, recitals and master-classes from the Leipzig Gewandhaus to the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center. He has presented 54 world premiere performances and recordings, including 22 works written for him by prominent composers. Jesús Castro-Balbi holds advanced degrees from the Yale School of Music and The Juilliard School. His mentors include Aldo Parisot and Janos Starker. He is currently the cello professor at Texas Christian University.
Miguel Harth-Bedoya and the Norwegian Radio Orchestra (Oslo) perform four Brahms symphonies in two days:
April 28, 2015: Brahms Symphonies 1 & 2
April 29, 2015: Brahms Symphonies 3 & 4.
With Rolf Lennart Stensø, Chief Executive of Norwegian Radio Orchestra (KORK)
On Sunday, October 27, from 5:30 – 8:30 pm SYDNEY TIME, the Sydney Opera House 40th Anniversary Concert will be streamed live on its YouTube site:
The Concert will close with Miguel and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra performing the work that opened the Opera House in October 1973, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, featuring soloists from Opera Australia, and Sydney Philharmonia Choirs.
To check the time difference so that you can connect at the correct time, wherever in the world YOU happen to be, go to www.timeanddate.com/worldclock.
Sydney Opera House 40th Anniversary Concert, October 27, 2013
MHB IN SYDNEY, OCTOBER 2013: GOLIJOV’S “NAZARENO” AND THE SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE’S 40TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
Upon arrival in Sydney I went straight to work on Golijov’s “Nazareno” with (pictured) Raphael Séguinier, Marielle Labèque, Katia Labèque and Gonzalo Grau.
In addition to three concerts including “Nazareno” and Jimmy Lopez’ “Fiesta!”, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and I will also be performing Beethoven’s 9th Symphony as part of the Sydney Opera House’s 40th Birthday Celebration. This performance is planned to be live-streamed – more information and link forthcoming!
For full concert information, CLICK HERE to go to the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s website. For information on the Sydney Opera House 40th Birthday Celebration,