"I can tell you one thing about conducting... batons are much cheaper than buying a violin!"
"The woman who wants to conduct, must be better than the males. [She must] compete and survive."
"If you get on the podium... make sure that you have something to say about the music."
"Conducting is a strange thing: it's very special and hard to describe."
"I want to bring my ideas, input and energy and do it my own way."
"the most important task is to give the orchestra a vision."
Ones to Watch
They may be young (or young-ish – it’s all relative if you’re a conductor, given that you can still be a new kid on the block in your late 30s) but the LSO’s debutants and returning younger maestros this season all have well-established careers and experiences behind them. Tom Service introduces these youthful conductors that should give the sumptuous repertoire they’re conducting a fresh twist of insight and interpretation.
‘I am very much looking forward to making music again with this wonderful orchestra. I shared some of my earliest professional experiences with these fantastic musicians.’
Nikolaj Znaider is familiar to Barbican audiences as multi-talented violinist and conductor; he returns to lead Mahler’s pantheistic First Symphony, and works in partnership with Rudolf Buchbinder in Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto. David Afkham won the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in 2008, and came back to lead the Orchestra in 2010. In 2015, Afkham undertakes one of the orchestral repertoire’s most intimidatingly beloved masterpieces, Brahms’ Second Symphony. Xian Zhang will be a jury member for this year’s Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition. She also joins the LSO to conduct more Prokofiev – her Ivan the Terrible gained five stars in The Guardian with the LSO in 2011.
‘Symphonie fantastique is a monumental work and it is a special honour to have the opportunity to conduct it with the LSO. It is also a privilege to work again with Joshua Bell in the masterpiece that is Sibelius’ Violin Concerto.’
Venezuelan protégé Rafael Payare makes his debut with the colouristic glories of Dukas and Rimsky-Korsakov surrounding Beethoven’s Second Piano Concerto, while the irrepressibly energetic Spanish conductor Pablo Heras-Casado works with Joshua Bell on Sibelius’ Violin Concerto.
Two ever-vivacious Russian war-horses dominate the programmes of the Ossetian Tugan Sokhiev (who as well as running orchestras in Toulouse and Berlin has just been appointed Music Director of the Bolshoi Theatre) and the Polish Krzysztof Urbanski, who’s currently Music Director of the Indianapolis Symphony: Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.
Individually, all of these conductors represent seven different visions of what it means to be a younger conductor today; together, they show how richly and fascinatingly diverse the musical future should be.
Ones to Watch
> Thu 9 Oct 2014
DUKAS The Sorcerer's Apprentice
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No 2
Rafael Payare conductor
Elisabeth Leonskaja piano
> Mon 8 Dec 2014
Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition – Final
BEETHOVEN Overture: Egmont
STRAVINSKY Symphony in Three Movements
> Thu 18 Dec 2014
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No 4
MAHLER Symphony No 1 ('Titan')
Nikolaj Znaider conductor
Rudolf Buchbinder piano
> Sun 18 Jan 2015
VERDI Overture: La forza del destino
PROKOFIEV Piano Concerto No 2
FALLA The Three-Cornered Hat
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Capriccio Espagnol
Xian Zhang conductor
Valentina Lisitsa piano
> Sun 1 Feb 2015
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No 3
BRAHMS Symphony No 2
David Afkham conductor
Nicholas Angelich piano
> Thu 30 Apr 2015
MESSIAEN Les offrandes oubliées
BARTÓK Violin Concerto No 2
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No 4
Tugan Sokhiev conductor
> Sun 3 May 2015
GLINKA Overture: Ruslan and Lyudmila
SZYMANOWSKI Violin Concerto No 1
MUSSORGSKY Pictures at an Exhibition
Krzysztof Urbanski conductor
Nicola Benedetti violin
> Sun 28 Jun 2015
BERLIOZ Symphonie fantastique
SIBELIUS Violin Concerto
Pablo Heras-Casado conductor
Joshua Bell violin
ARTIST INTERVIEWS ON THE LSO BLOG
As part of Ones to Watch we’re putting the spotlight on our seven up-and-coming conductors in a series of interviews on the LSO Artist Interviews Blog.
We’ll be finding out what makes our up-and-coming conductors tick, what they think makes a great conductor great, what a baton is for and crucially… who they would invite to a fantasy dinner party!
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