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Issue 1 – Spring 2018 www.askonasholt.co.uk

Lessons in Love and Violence George Benjamin on composing and conducting his new opera

Support for young singers Askonas Holt Rising Stars

CONDUCTOR FOCUS

My vision for the Met Yannick Nézet-Séguin steps up as Music Director in September 2018

PLUS

Remembering Robert Rattray · Karina Canellakis Roderick Cox · Nathalie Stutzmann · Kensho Watanabe


The Green Room

Contact us

Guest editor Gaetan Le Divelec

thegreenroom@askonasholt.co.uk The Green Room, Askonas Holt, 15 Fetter Lane, London EC4A 1BW

Contributing writers Sir Thomas Allen, Rupert Chandler, Toby Deller, Nina Large, Tim Menah, Sue Spence

Read online

Editorial committee Donagh Collins, Jonathan Fleming, Frances Innes-Hopkins

The Green Room is available as a free digital publication at www.askonasholt.co.uk/magazine. Should you wish to receive a printed copy, please complete the request form on our website, or email us at the address above.

Cover photograph © Hans van der Woerd

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EDITOR’S WELCOME

Welcome Welcome to this, the first issue of Askonas Holt’s new magazine, The Green Room. Green Rooms hold a special significance in our hearts: much of our work is done in these unique hubs where chance encounters with artists, presenters, members of the audience and patrons provide fertile ground for sharing information and hatching new plans. With this quarterly publication, we will share news about the artists and projects we manage, as well as discuss wider topics affecting our profession and the art form we serve. Each issue will have a central focus, as well as general content.

GAETAN LE DIVELEC GUEST EDITOR Gaetan was born in Nantes, France, and has lived in London since 1986. In 1991, he graduated from the Royal Academy of Music and went on to Canada for a six-month residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts. Until joining Askonas Holt in 1999, he worked in London as a freelance oboist. In 2011, he was awarded ARAM (Associate of the Royal Academy of Music) for his services to music. He is as trustee of the Young Classical Artists Trust. Gaetan’s hobbies include theatre, cycling and mountain hiking.

This issue’s focus is conductors. Conductors play a pivotal role in shaping the classical music world: we represent more than 50 conductors, and between them they hold 107 titled positions in 78 cities, in 23 countries across the world (details p.26). But it is not all about statistics. On and off the podium, conductors each bring their own unique qualities to the institutions they lead, and this issue has some fascinating insight into how they view their role: Yannick Nézet-Séguin talks to Rupert Chandler about the importance of showing love, his journey towards opera, freedom within discipline, and reflects on the dichotomy between opera and symphonic conducting (p.16). Sir George Benjamin offers us some candid insight on the interplay between composing and conducting (p.20), while Nathalie Stutzmann tells us about how she realised her long-held aspiration to pursue a dual career as a singer and conductor (p.14). Wisdom is often associated with age, but there is no shortage of inspired words of wisdom from young conductors Kensho Watanabe (p.11), Karina Canellakis (p.13) and Roderick Cox (p.22). “We have an obligation to lift as we climb”, says Roderick Cox. As I read this simple statement, I could not help but pause and reflect on the growing and perhaps most pressing challenge classical music is facing: inclusion. Culture is what binds communities and our art form risks being side-lined if we fail to challenge our glass ceilings, to transcend gender, class and ethnic barriers. When a problem is systemic, each part of the system must change. The opportunities: widening the talent pool, raising standards, revitalising the art form we serve, growing our audience pool. Embracing and nurturing young talent has always been in our genes, and we are continually reflecting on how best to provide young artists with the support they need in the crucial early years of their careers. Tim Menah tells us about our new initiative for young singers, Askonas Holt Rising Stars (p.23). Finally, we salute an exceptional colleague and friend whose professional and personal attributes have inspired so many of us and become an indelible part of our heritage. Sir Thomas Allen and Sue Spence’s personal and moving tributes to Robert Rattray (p.8 & 9) will resonate with all those who knew him, and those who did not will wish they had.

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CONTENTS

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IN THIS ISSUE 3 EDITOR’S WELCOME 6 NEWS Yi Huang, Gergely Madaras, Rafael Payare, Yuval Sharon & Alisa Weilerstein 8 REMEMBERING ROBERT RATTRAY Colleagues pay tribute to former Joint Chief Executive of Askonas Holt 10 FOCUS INTERVIEW Kensho Watanabe 13 FOCUS SPOTLIGHT ON... Karina Canellakis’ meteoric rise 14 FOCUS INTERVIEW Nathalie Stutzmann

16 FOCUS COVER FEATURE Yannick Nézet-Séguin reveals his vision for the Metropolitan Opera

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20 FOCUS ARTIST’S VIEW George Benjamin on his new opera, Lessons in Love and Violence 22 FOCUS SPOTLIGHT ON... Roderick Cox; breaking boundaries 23 AH RISING STARS New challenges for young singers in a digital age 26 FOCUS LISTINGS Conductors with appointments at orchestras, opera houses and festivals across the world 30 ON TOUR Upcoming projects in Europe and Asia, from Dublin to Bangkok

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CONTENTS

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23 Photos, clockwise from top left: Robert Rattray & Lies Askonas, Scottish Chamber Orchestra © Marco Borggreve, Roderick Cox © Josh Kohanek, Yannick NézetSéguin © Hans van der Woerd, Fatma Said © Felix Broede, Alisa Weilerstein © Decca / Harald Hoffmann, George Benjamin © Matthew Lloyd, Karina Canellakis © Matthias Bothor, Kensho Watanabe © Andrew Bogard, Nathalie

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Stutzmann © Simon Fowler

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NEWS HEADLINES

News Gergely Madaras Yannick NézetSéguin takes up his named Music Director of the OPRL post at the Met two Gergely Madaras has been appointed seasons early Music Director Designate of the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège. The youngest Music Director in the history of the OPRL, Gergely begins an initial three season tenure in September 2019.

Music Director of the Orchestre Dijon Bourgogne and Principal Conductor with the Savaria Symphony Orchestra, Gergely has been instrumental in doubling attendance of subscription concerts and also introducing programmes for younger audiences at both his orchestras. He is looking forward to continuing this commitment at the OPRL with their diverse and versatile main series, while also getting involved with their extensive recording and touring schedule. www.oprl.be

Yannick Nézet-Séguin will take up his post as Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera two seasons earlier than originally planned, in time for the start of the 2018/19 season. By freeing up some guest conducting weeks in his busy calendar in both the 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons, Yannick will now be able to conduct three operas and two Met Orchestra concerts at Carnegie Hall in each of those seasons, instead of the two operas per season originally scheduled. With the assumption of the Music Director title in the autumn of 2018, Yannick will also be taking on the full artistic responsibilities for the orchestra, chorus, and music staff. Yannick will begin conducting a minimum of five operas per season starting in 2020/21.

San Diego Symphony appoints Rafael Payare as next Music Director Rafael Payare has been appointed as the next Music Director for the San Diego Symphony. He began a four-year contract immediately [13 February 2018], as Music Director Designate, and will take up the role of Music Director on 1 July 2019. Currently Music Director of the Ulster Orchestra, Principal Conductor of the Castleton Festival and Honorary Conductor of Sinfonietta Cracovia, Rafael becomes the 13th Music Director in the orchestra’s 108-year history. He will debut in his new role in January 2019, when he launches the fourth annual San Diego Symphony January Festival. From 2019/20, he will conduct 10 weeks each season. www.sandiegosymphony.org

www.metopera.org Further reading: “My vision for the Met” page 16

© Balazs Borocz-Pilvax

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© Rose Callahan / Met Opera

© Benjamin Ealovega


NEWS HEADLINES © Decca / Harald Hoffmann

© John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Alisa Weilerstein begins multiseason role with the Trondheim Soloists

Yuval Sharon is first American to direct at the Bayreuth Festival

Cellist Alisa Weilerstein has begun a multi-season role as Artistic Partner of the Trondheim Soloists. This new collaboration was announced concurrently with her signing exclusively to Pentatone, and her first project with the Soloists is a recording of two Haydn concertos and Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht for the label, due to be released next Summer.

This summer, Yuval Sharon will become the first American director to mount a production at the Bayreuth Festival. He directs Lohengrin, with stage design and costumes by Neo Rauch and Rosa Loy. Christian Thielemann conducts.

She commented, “I couldn’t be happier to begin my artistic partnership with the Trondheim Soloists. The chamber orchestra repertoire has always been very special to me and I could not ask for more engaged or generous musicians to collaborate with. Our fantastic chemistry was evident from the very first notes we played together, and I am very eager to continue developing it over the years ahead.”

Yuval comments, “I didn’t realise I was the first American director to work at Bayreuth in its history until the New York Times announced it in a headline. (I had secretly hoped I could be the first Jewish director there, but Barrie Kosky beat me to it last year!) The truth is, the opportunity to contribute to the festival’s legacy, in the house of Gesamtkunstwerk, is an honour much larger than any national or religious ‘record-breaking.’ But in a theatre that once extolled German values over all others, it is beautiful to see international artists invited to participate in articulating, celebrating, and examining the work of a creator who transformed the genre of opera.”

www.trondheimsolistene.no

www.bayreuther-festspiele.de

Alisa and the ensemble look forward to touring Scandinavia together this summer, with tours of Europe and the US planned for seasons to come.

Robert’s Run raises over £5,000 On Sunday 11 March, 25 members of the Askonas Holt team took part in the Stroke Association’s Resolution Run in memory of Robert Rattray, running, walking and jogging a total distance of nearly 200km. At the time of writing, our runners have raised a grand total of £5,439.24. Artist Manager Sophie Dand described her experience: “Early Sunday morning, grey skies, coffee downed, I joined 24 of my AH colleagues, adorned in purple, to run for our dear friend and colleague Robert Rattray. I was nervous, having never run 5km in my life and thinking to myself “what on earth am I doing here?!”... I saw a man with a note on his t-shirt saying he was “running for you, Mum” and it being Mothering Sunday it was all the more poignant. Of course, I immediately thought of Robert’s mother and father. But sun came out, despite the forecast rain, and I smiled to see colleagues – from the newer team members to the longstanding ones – all there willing to give their time to this special cause.” www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ askonas-holt

© Lewei Li

New signing: conductor Yi Huang Born in Beijing, 31-year-old Yi Huang has established himself as one of the brightest young conductors in China. He is Assistant Conductor at the China Philharmonic Orchestra and Artistic Director & Chief Conductor of the Kunming Nie’er Symphony Orchestra. He is a regular guest conductor with all the major Chinese orchestras including Huangzhou, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Shanghai, and makes his Hong Kong Philharmonic debut in September. In 2013 he was assistant to Christian Thielemann in a co-production of Wagner’s Parsifal between the Beijing Music Festival and the Salzburg Easter Festival. www.askonasholt.co.uk/artists/yi-huang Spring 2018 The Green Room 7


A TRIBUTE TO ROBERT RATTRAY

Our friend Robert All singers must ride a sinusoidal wave at times that can rock a career path, that may once have seemed to be no more than plain sailing. But it never is that simple... It certainly wasn't for me.

Courtesy of Thomas Allen

Robert though, was unafraid of dealing with the serious, potentially career threatening issues that needed attention. Not every manager can say that. He saw me through those rocky moments to calmer waters on the other side.

A tribute from Sir Thomas Allen I enjoyed for years an easy rapport with Robert. We liked many of the same things outside of the music world in which we worked. He always had something to say of the latest theatre, literature, and perhaps most of all, natural history, and birds in particular. Beyond that, I believe the connection was to do with his beginnings under Emmy Tillett, and then Lies Askonas. Neither of these great ladies represented me, it's just that there were far fewer agencies at that time, and everyone knew everyone else in the business. These two ladies oversaw a hugely gifted post war generation of singers. Robert and I heard, managed, and played with the best of them – we shared that belief. He managed my

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career, and therefore, my life, with all these shared factors in mind, and understood perfectly my needs and requirements. The knowledge he acquired from that rich background further enhanced his love of the poetry of music, and the immense involvement with song, whether it be English, French or of course, the Lied. My greatest thanks must be that whilst he knew me principally as an opera singer, he recognised my love of song and realised he must engineer a balance for me in these two aspects of a singer’s life. In that he was successful. He was honest with me. Partner in a close friendship with my wife Jeannie, I never underestimate the effect of the exchanges they shared over the years and how they affected and influenced me. From that friendship and those exchanges, I have been a very fortunate beneficiary.

Time since then has felt less like calmer waters, rather more an occupying and reaping of the benefits of the Elysian Fields. He was also wicked, and I suspect loved gossip. The mischievous displays I witnessed on so many occasions in one Askonas premises or another, must have made for a stimulating workplace. His legacy I observe in Sue and Henry and so many others now... For the skills he brought, I'm grateful. Robert was the most brilliant, caring, stimulating manager, wise mentor in so many ways and on so many occasions. I'm rehearsing Ariadne auf Naxos at the moment; the Musiklehrer. My aim is to follow the Rattray model, steering a young composer in my charge, to success in life's course. If I manage that, I shall have Robert to thank as I did for so many years of his loving management. î €


A TRIBUTE TO ROBERT RATTRAY

He would tell them what the magpie was doing who’d built his nest opposite his office window, or update them on the cricket test-match scores – especially those promoters from nations who had little or no interest in cricket, and would have been completely baffled by his explanation of the Duckworth-Lewis method.

Robert with Dorothea Röschmann

It was these firm friendships, based on trust and loyalty, that made Robert such a brilliant and respected Artist Manager – a role for which, it’s fair to say, he was the benchmark. It would take far too long, and would be too perilous in case of omissions, to detail the extraordinary list of artists he managed throughout his career. They are some of the greatest singers and conductors of our generation. And they knew that, in addition to being managed by the very, very best in the business, they could rely on him as adviser, confessor, and a true and loyal friend.

Robert had an extraordinary knowledge of his subject and always saw the bigger picture of a singer’s career – the long game. He once said, “it’s all about long-term investment. Long-termism, and slow-buck-ism.” He was persistent in promoting young singers he truly believed in, and would find it exhilarating when, after months of him – in his words – “banging on about them” a promoter would finally understand and engage them. He was passionate about Lieder recitals and made it a priority to find space for them in singers’ diaries. They could often be poorly paid and labour intensive, but he saw it as being so important for vocal health – and for singers to gain a real appreciation of text and communication with an audience. It also tied in with his own love of literature and poetry. He would quote Jane Austen to us, or George Eliot, Wordsworth, or Beethoven, Wagner, Britten and so many more. Robert wanted people to share in his enthusiasm and curiosity for the richer things in life – for nature and culture, and sometimes even the latest TV soap story that caught his attention. He couldn’t help himself wanting you to love the things that he enjoyed. When colleagues discuss their recollections of Robert, in every conversation we laugh at some point. There are so many anecdotes of him being hilarious, often outrageous, and many of them are unrepeatable here. We all remember him marching round the office – still in his socks – quoting lines from operas and demanding that we guess the title, some of his

favourites being, ‘Ich bin Salome,’ or ‘Wo bleibt Elektra?’. Robert loved nature and every Spring there was a three-line whip for us all to go and see the daffodils in Lincoln’s Inn Fields. Every time he ordered us – and it was absolutely an order – he would quote Shakespeare’s lines, “Daffodils, that come before the swallow dares, And take the winds of March with beauty”. We are proud to remember Robert as a friend, mentor and confidante, and it’s true to say that the way we work, and the way we look at the world – how we look at art and listen to music or appreciate nature – has been influenced and inspired by him.

Robert with Jonathan Friend in Bayreuth, 2 August 1984

If you ever visited our old offices, you will have seen Robert sitting in his room – smartly dressed, always with a shirt and tie – with his feet up on the desk, in his socks, with a phone to his ear. He’d be chuckling about something with an artist or a promoter who was, usually, also a close friend. Because, after business was done, Robert would share his experiences of the day with his friends and colleagues around the world.

Robert with he AH Singers team in 2011

A tribute from AH’s Sue Spence

He loved the theatre and would try to catch the latest new production in the West End, or at the National Theatre, and more recently on Broadway. One of his favourite plays was Alan Bennett’s The History Boys, and this quote of Hector’s resonates strongly with our feelings for our dear friend: “Pass the parcel. That’s sometimes all you can do. Take it, feel it and pass it on. Not for me, not for you, but for someone, somewhere, one day. Pass it on, boys. That’s the game I want you to learn. Pass it on.” 

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© David DeBalko

INTERVIEW: KENSHO WATANABE


INTERVIEW: KENSHO WATANABE

Kensho Watanabe, Assistant Conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra, speaks to Nina Large about his relationship with the orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and skills beyond music Tell me about life with the Philly, how closely do you work with Yannick? I get to see a pretty wide scope of his responsibilities as Music Director. He has been really open about including me in some of the meetings and development events so I have been able to immerse myself in all fields that the orchestra is working on. More specifically, we did a concert performance of Bluebeard’s Castle and he entrusted me with preparing the sound effects. Something really rewarding has been a weekly project of planning and delivering the half hour pre-concert lectures. As an assistant you don’t get the chance to ‘perform’ all that often, so I see it as my chance every week; 30 minutes of interacting with the audience. They are a great range both in age and experience and it has been a challenge to tailor my remarks for both of them. Tell me about your relationship with The Philadelphia Orchestra – it was formed in a fairly unique way My earliest memory is a CD of Riccardo Muti and The Philadelphia Orchestra doing Tchaikovsky 5. I wore it out! I was just in love with the sound, an iconic sound really. Then when I was a student at precollege Juilliard the concertmaster of the Phil, David Kim, came to do a sectional with the strings. I was blown away by his teaching and his playing. That night I went to see the orchestra at Carnegie Hall doing Mahler 5 – my first time listening to that orchestra live. I was blown away

by it. It was one of those concerts that kind of stays with you. So then fast forward a little and I am at Curtis, and I am up at Verizon Hall hearing the orchestra every week! I was studying conducting but I still wanted to keep up the violin so I took an audition to be a sub-violinist and I ended up being able to play in the orchestra itself. It was such an honour for me, having had that history growing up with their sound to then be performing as part of them. At the same time, I was working with Yannick as part of my conducting course, and then a little while later I auditioned for the assistant conductor role. It’s funny how things are circular in that way. Playing with the strings must have given you an amazing insight into the orchestra Yes, I have a very tactile relationship with their sound because I have literally been inside it. It informs a lot about how I mould the sound and perceive it as a conductor – I am able to launch myself into their sound instead of perhaps skating over the top of it. I can feel it physically, even as I’m talking with you. Your conducting debut with them came somewhat unexpectedly when you had to take over from Yannick at the last minute… It was one of those absolutely surreal experiences. I had just finished doing an opera rehearsal at Curtis, when I got the call to say Yannick

was sick. I was slated to make my debut later that month on a family concert programme and suddenly I had a premature debut happening! The programme was particularly unique including a premiere of Mason Bates’ Alternative Energy, and a Mozart Piano Concerto with Daniil Trifonov which was pretty amazing at that point of my career. But what I remember so fondly is the number of calls, texts and emails I got from not only musicians, but people who worked for the orchestra, and Yannick called me right after the performance. It’s testament to what a special organisation that orchestra is. Yannick sounds like a mentor to you Absolutely, I am not here without Yannick’s mentorship and support. I started out as his student at Curtis. We would sit down as teacher student and talk about scores and discuss some of my concerts, but it went so much beyond that as well – he supported me with my own selfcriticism and self-doubt as a young conductor. You can only imagine how much his time is demanded of as the conductor in Philly, but when he is with you he has a way of making you believe that you are the only thing that is in front of him at that moment – you have 100% of his attention. How he interacts and gives all of himself to that person in that moment, is indicative of how he makes music and I think that’s what makes him as special as he is. He is a role model to aspire to, to be that kind of conductor and person.

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INTERVIEW: KENSHO WATANABE

How do you find working with a completely different ensemble, after being with The Philadelphia? So much of conducting is striving for that thing which is just out of reach. It’s about finding your concept of the sound and how to produce it. My experience with the Philly is an invaluable gift in terms of being able to have that sound in my brain and my soul and go for it. That process is special no matter who you are working for.

Music and science have always been tied together for me. I think if you are maths and science inclined then there are ways in which you are able to problem solve and think logically which can really help with your approach to rehearsals and understanding music and scores. I started playing violin aged three, but aged five I lost my grandfather on my mother’s side and that pointed me in the direction of wanting to help those that are sick – it’s a very common reaction in little kids I think. So all the way through I was playing violin and I loved it but I couldn’t stop the science either. I found a great five-year programme

TIMELINE 1987: born in Yokohama, Japan 2005 to 2010: Bachelor in Science, Master in Music at Yale 2007: joined the staff at Greenwood Music Camp 2010 to 2013: Curtis Institute of Music Diploma 2012 to 2016: substitute violinist in The Philadelphia Orchestra 2013 to 2015: inaugural Rita Hauser Conducting Fellow at Curtis Institute of Music, under the mentorship of Yannick Nézet-Séguin April 2017: stepped in with three hours’ notice to make his Philadelphia Orchestra debut

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© Andrew Bogard

For many years your musical passions ran in tandem with your passion for science. Can you tell me about that?

at Yale incorporating a BA in science as well as a Masters in Music. I ended up walking right into a conducting opportunity there so started doing that whilst also playing violin at a very high level and at the same time doing organic chemistry and neurobiology! After my exams I went on a six-week conducting course at the Pierre Monteux School. It was a transformative experience studying with the teacher Michael Jinbo. He taught in a truly inspiring way about bettering the person which in turn improved you as a conductor. It was a real light-bulb moment for me. I went on to Curtis to study conducting and around that time was my last chance to write a personal statement applying for medical school. But I finally knew medicine was not going to be something I could do as my life’s pursuit. The way you talk about it, a person’s character very much influences their music Yes absolutely. In terms of being a conductor, and this goes for all positions of leadership, you can study all the hours, know your technique

and be ready, but ultimately you are sharing yourself. If I don’t better myself then I am severely sabotaging my ability to make music with others. It’s something that I think about a lot, constantly. I’ve just been teaching at a chamber music camp: the amount of listening and reacting they have to learn, doing things that are not quite what they thought, adjusting to what is happening and to another person... these are skills which go beyond music. They are about how to be a better citizen of the world, which is pretty important these days. I do feel that becoming a conductor has made me a better person, in terms of my overall confidence in myself and also how I communicate with others. All of these are lessons which I have learnt through music, and have made me a stronger person. There is a lot to look forward to!  Nina Large is a classical music journalist and photographer based in London, who has written for BBC Music Magazine, Classic FM, The Times, and Classical Music magazine. www.ninalarge.com


SPOTLIGHT ON...

Karina Canellakis Having first trained as a violinist at the Curtis Institute, she performed in both the Berliner Philharmoniker and Chicago Symphony, as guest concertmaster with the Bergen Philharmonic, and as soloist with several North American orchestras before pursuing conducting. In an interview last year, she mused that (though perhaps unconsciously) conducting may have always been on the cards: “I may have always

Karina descends the famous Concertgebouw stairs, making her venue debut with Radio Filharmonisch Orkest in March 2018 © Daniel Bracker

wanted to do this but didn’t know it! I was definitely always interested in the score, to get more details about why the music sounds the way it sounds, even from when I was really small.” In fact, her father – also a conductor – took her to conducting classes from as young as 12 because he thought all musicians should learn a little conducting. Her years in Dallas offered an invaluable platform for Karina to learn the ropes quickly; in conversation with Emanuel Ax back in 2014, she talked happily of the large number of scores she needed to study in order to prepare the orchestra for concerts. Karina has said that her experiences of performing in an orchestra are always with her on the podium in some way, and perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that her favourite moment in a performance is one of human connection with the musicians: “I really love the moment when you are looking at a wind player before they have an important solo to play. They have to breathe right before they play, and you breathe with them, and there’s an eye contact and a moment of total vulnerability from that person. You have to invite them and make them feel comfortable, and somehow communicate something that will enable them to play the best they can play. It’s just a great moment of human connection without words that is really special.” 

© Mathias Bothor

On 4 October 2014, just weeks into her first season as Assistant Conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO), Karina Canellakis stepped in at the very last minute to conduct the DSO and soloist Emanuel Ax in place of MD Jaap van Zweden. Since then, the New York native has been on an upward trajectory of impressive scale.

AT A GLANCE: DEBUTS 2014/15: Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Houston Symphony 2015/16: Danish National Symphony, Stockholm Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Mostly Mozart Festival, Hong Kong Philharmonic 2016/17: LA Philharmonic, CBSO, Orchestre National de Lyon, Toronto Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Swedish Radio, BBC Proms, BBC Symphony, Opernhaus Zurich 2017/18: Orchestre de Paris, Wiener Symphoniker, RundfunkSinfonieorchester Berlin, Guerzenich-Orchester Köln, Bamberger Symphoniker, Orquesta Nacional de España, Radio Filharmonisch Orkest, Hallé Orchestra, Seattle Symphony 2018/19: London Philharmonic, DSO Berlin, Oslo Philharmonic, Dresden Philharmonie, St Louis Symphony, Montreal Symphony, Melbourne Symphony

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INTERVIEW: NATHALIE STUTZMANN

“I said it’s possible... Conductor and contralto Nathalie Stutzmann talks to Toby Deller about her dual career

...and I did it“ 14 The Green Room Spring 2018


INTERVIEW: NATHALIE STUTZMANN

“I am never happy if I work with people who have no really instinctive reactions,” says Nathalie Stutzmann. “If I do a rubato, the kind of people who say: ‘You’re going faster here and slower there’. I know immediately it’s impossible.” She does so cheerfully, however, even though it is after a day’s rehearsing at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo where she is preparing to conduct Tannhäuser. But then, as she goes on to add, “You need a lot of humour in rehearsals – in the world, in music. I love to work very hard and I’m very disciplined but some people take themselves so seriously that it’s very boring.” The observation comes after some 30 years as a contralto with an international career and now more than 50 recordings to her name. But she also says it as one of the rare singers of that kind of calibre to have made an undeniably successful diversion into orchestral conducting. The move first came to fruition in 2009 when she set up the period and modern instrument chamber orchestra Orfeo 55, taking on a hybrid role of conductor and singer that allowed her a greater freedom to develop interpretations closely with instrumentalists. “Everybody said it’s impossible, you can’t sing and conduct at the same time; I said it’s possible and I did it. And now many people copy [the idea] and I’m very happy!” In fact, Stutzmann’s dreams of conducting go back further, when she also played the bassoon and piano and before her singing took her in another direction. “I was always fascinated by the conductor’s work, and when I was a teenager I wanted to conduct. But when I was a teenager, being a woman was a big

Photo © Simon Fowler

issue and it was very clear when I was attending the conducting class that the teacher was very unfriendly and wouldn’t give me any chance to get on the podium. I quickly understood that I couldn’t make it as a woman, so I left it and I was so lucky with the voice. But I guess I always had a little hope in my brain that things would change a little bit and evolution would allow me to go on with that passion.” She credits two conductor friends with helping her make the initial transition: Seiji Ozawa, who invited her to test the water by conducting his orchestra in Japan; and Sir Simon Rattle, who pointed her in the direction of the conducting teacher Jorma Panula. After an incognito audition with this ‘maestro of maestros’, as she calls him, she was accepted into his class, fitting sessions into her singing career. She also began working on a mentor basis with Rattle (who she still consults) and invitations to conduct started to come from outside of her own ensemble: her freelance engagements outside France have included Japan, the USA, Sweden, Norway, Spain, the Netherlands and the UK. “Now the future is pushing me a little bit more to conducting than singing. But in the meantime it’s, let’s say, a luxurious position because as a singer I take only the things I really want to do, in terms of repertoire, partners, places. The idea for me from next season is basically I will have 70% of my year as a conductor and 30% shared mainly with my own orchestra in baroque repertoire and recitals that I also love to do – this year I’ll do about 12, which is quite a lot but it’s also very healthy for my voice. And

sometimes it’s nice not to have to explain anything and just to sing, just to produce a sound, you know.” Two recent appointments are pushing her still further down the conducting route. First came a threeyear contract, beginning in 2016, as Associate Artist with the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, a position created especially for her in which she comes for two weeks a year to conduct and one week to sing. And more recently still comes another three-year appointment, this time for five weeks a year, as Principal Guest Conductor of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra in Ireland from September 2017. Although that one is a non-singing role, it seems that her work on the podium will be heavily influenced by her singer’s instincts. “It’s quite clear that for me I work most on the phrasing, on the organic form, on expressivity. I really believe in the role of the interpreter – the kind of conductor who says you just need to do what is in the score, that is not me. We have much more to do than this: we have to have an idea of how we feel, we have to put all our emotions, our experience of life in this music. And try of course to respect what the composer wants, but you need an interpreter, otherwise you can just use a computer.”  Reproduced with kind permission from the March 2017 edition of Classical Music magazine. www.classicalmusicmagazine.org Editor’s note: since this article was published, Nathalie has also been appointed Chief Conductor of the Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra, a role she will take up in September 2018.

Spring 2018 The Green Room 15


© Rose Callahan / Met Opera

COVER FEATURE: YANNICK NÉZET-SÉGUIN

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COVER FEATURE: YANNICK NÉZET-SÉGUIN

My vision for the Met Yannick Nézet-Séguin speaks to Rupert Chandler about his journey to the Metropolitan Opera, and what he hopes to achieve as Music Director Let’s start with a broad question: how do you feel about your role and mission as a conductor? I guess I always feel that I’ve done my job right if the musicians are happy and able to give their best. We have to remember that we are there to give some beauty or comfort back to the world, and as a conductor you’re there to give this to those you conduct, so they in turn can offer it to the audience. Part of my role at the helm of such a large organisation is to be someone who can be there through healing times for musicians and staff, always through music and not being afraid to share my true love of music. The conductor can sometimes forget this with so many things to consider. When this happens, you see a person in front of the orchestra who is somehow detached, like a school master; even as a young person, if you forget to show this commitment then it is much less engaging. I just try to be as honest as I can; if I love a moment then I will show it and share it. Which in return will probably help the musicians remember why they do this, and create a more engaging experience for the audience.

I am going to the Met determined not to change who I am. Of course, it seems like a given, but I think that leading up to the moment of taking the reins right away, some of my fears were based on it being such a big organisation with so many pressures and influences. But then I stepped back to reflect on the fact that I was chosen because of who I am and not because of what I could become; and this has become a kind of motto for me. Looking back at your journey and all your experience, what are some of your thoughts around this; and does the Met appointment represent a goal for you? I think that not many people know I wasn’t really interested in opera in my early student years as a conductor; as a teenager I was more focused on symphonic repertoire. Then I made a few trips to NYC and saw a few operas which made a huge impact on me. I then became much more engaged in opera when I was asked to become the Chorus Master at Opéra de Montréal in 1998 – something not part of my original plan. Once I became more closely involved,

I found a more direct link to my background of vocal music and choral conducting, and it quickly became something very important to look forward to. You might remember that when we started working together five years later, we had to consciously keep the opera at bay for a while. [RC: I do!] Purely due to the time-consuming aspect of it. We were very careful, and I think successful, in always keeping some opera but not too much, so that I could still develop symphonically. By the time of my Met debut, around six years later, I had conducted opera in Salzburg and Toronto, but not yet at Covent Garden or La Scala. It’s almost too beautiful to be true – and sometimes I think it’s unbelievable. To have a dream, ‘yes one day I am going to be there’, and then actually end up being there. I hope this is an inspiration for every young musician, to know that if you have a dream, it really can happen. But the journey had several stages – I first arrived at the Met having already established a solid background as an assistant in opera, and already experienced as a symphonic conductor with a certain authority in front of an orchestra.

Spring 2018 The Green Room 17


COVER FEATURE: YANNICK NÉZET-SÉGUIN

“I understood that to travel the distance between being comfortable there for one production and trying to fulfil the dream of eventually being at the helm of an opera house, I needed to gain more experience...” The choice of Carmen for my Met debut was maybe slightly safe because of the language. With opera, language always seems to be so important; for example, if you’re a French speaker you should conduct French repertoire. The choice of Don Carlo as my second title was deliberate; Italian coming after the French was I think a good idea. Then the Netherlands Opera came into my life and I think that as much as I felt so good at the Met from the beginning, I understood that to travel the distance between being comfortable there for one production and trying to fulfil the dream of eventually being at the helm of an opera house, I needed to gain more experience, and an understanding how other houses worked through a variety of repertoire. This very fine balance between symphonic and operatic conducting was for me very healthy. Though I think it’s important to add that such a balance doesn’t have to be for everyone; just that it was significant for me. Although I do have a strong opinion that a conductor should first be operatic, and then symphonic by extension. This is kind of an old-fashioned idea... Symphonic conducting without any real concept of phrasing or breathing, or which feels too safe and overly calculated can sometimes destroy music making! In opera you are dealing with anything that can conceivably happen because it is a human voice, which is not the same from one day to the other, nor even from one act to the next. And certainly no two singers are the same. It forces you to be in the moment, one half of yourself listening and the other

18 The Green Room Spring 2018

half leading. And that is basically chamber music, just on a different and exploded scale. I’ve always been attracted, in both operatic and concert repertoire, to the big stuff! I remember when my Rotterdam Philharmonic saw me conduct Turandot, they were fascinated at the children’s chorus, the main chorus, the backstage people, and the big orchestra, and that I seemed to be so at ease will all these elements – probably thanks to my years of choral training. The responsibility of the job at the Met is not purely musical and fortunately, for 25 years (over half of my life), I have been the Artistic Director of something. At 18 I was already the MD of two large choruses which, although not professional, required me to be involved with the Board, to understand what it is to sell a concert, to programme a season, to programme rehearsals, to have an assistant. At 20 I founded La Chapelle de Montréal which was small but had a concert season with subscription series: we had to rent a hall, rehearsal spaces, order the music, copy the bowings and so on. Not for a moment forgetting being Music Director of my Orchestre Métropolitain for 20 years, Rotterdam Philharmonic for ten, and now The Philadelphia Orchestra for seven. The happy result is that I am not at all overwhelmed by the task ahead of me – everything at the Met is familiar, just bigger! And it is just wonderful timing, this opportunity at this point in your career, because you are ready. Indeed. The saying ‘right place at the right time’ comes to mind. Of

course, five years ago I wouldn’t have felt ready but now I feel that I have a good base of experience, yet am still in my early prime, with enough youth and energy to undertake it all. So yes, I think it comes at an ideal time. What are some of the challenges you look forward to and expect, and the vision that you will bring to this great institution? The first and most direct connection as a Music Director of either an opera house or an orchestra is the same – the orchestra itself. The Met orchestra is an amazing group and I am not even biased when I say that in many ways this is the best opera orchestra in the world. So, I first have to keep this and maintain that level. But maintaining a level doesn’t only mean making sure it’s tidy and nice; it means working to improve it. I am not arrogantly claiming that I will make the orchestra better – I don’t have that pretention – but that I need to work it in detail and yes, there are several points on which I want to work: sound, ensemble, flexibility. This is what we all do as conductors with each ensemble. When I arrived in Philadelphia the level of the playing was already amazing, and I feel I kept that level, but to do that we had to work hard and in great detail! It’s like everything in life, if you don’t try to make something better it actually goes downhill. In the mind of many people there is an opposition between rehearsing things and being spontaneous. I believe that one cannot go without the other. Of course, if something is rehearsed to the point where all details are so fixed that nothing can change, this is a killer in


COVER FEATURE: YANNICK NÉZET-SÉGUIN

Yannick speaks with cast members during rehearsals at the Met for Elektra, February 2018 © Jonathan Tichler/Metropolitan Opera

opera, because it doesn’t allow performances of a run to live. At the same time, how can you be truly spontaneous in the service of the music without having rehearsed properly? So, rehearsals and details are important for me because they set certain parameters; like a kind of fence, in the middle of which is a field where you can play. If you have no fence it is just chaos! Looking to the challenges ahead, the Met orchestra has a lot of new younger musicians who have been appointed in the past five years or so, and are really thirsty. Not to be told how to play because they play beautifully but just to hear from me, “colleagues, this is what we’re going to, this is what we aim for”. Halfjokingly in rehearsals I will say “from now on (at least until 2025!) when you see this, that is going to mean this”. And they smile because the Met produces such a large volume of performances for which guest conductors may have very limited time to fix or change things – the sense of style and the collective knowledge of how to play something become even more important. Another challenge for me will be to revisit our bel canto style, our

Mozart style, our German style, our Russian style, our Verdi… to take time to pause a little bit and just re-set things. None of this is to say the orchestra will stop being flexible; on the contrary, there just needs to be a greater sense of direction. Much more generally, the challenge ahead is to develop the same sense of purpose in terms of why we are playing opera at all. I feel the Met bears the responsibility of being the standard-bearer in our world of opera, at every level, in every repertoire and in every style. In that sense I will craft the artistic decisions – meaning which productions, which kind of repertoire – with Peter Gelb. This is an ongoing conversation, and we will build the artistic strategy and vision together. Alongside this, I strongly believe that in order to achieve this, we will also have to broaden our repertoire. It is not a question of drastic change; in the same way I still do Beethoven Symphonies with Philadelphia we will still do Verdi, Wagner, Puccini etc, and it remain very important. But I also think that there is a place for new operas, commissions, world premieres; operas that we could stage in different spaces but still as

the Met; tours with the orchestra and – let’s dream! – the whole company once again. I feel it’s also important to have more communityoriented projects. In my view, being an international institution must go hand in hand with being really close to the people who surround you, in our case the residents of New York. This belief will inform all the projects that we are crafting for the coming years. My personal challenge over the next couple of years will be taking up the full responsibilities of my role; conducting three operas and two concerts while knowing that will rise to five or six titles each season. I firmly believe that in this digital age, with so many ways of communicating and reaching out with our work, and with my physical presence never far away in Philadelphia and Montreal, this will be achievable.  Rupert Chandler is a Senior Artist Manager at Askonas Holt. Following post-graduate studies in piano accompaniment, Rupert joined Askonas Holt in 1999, and represents conductors and instrumentalists. He and Rona Eastwood have worked with Yannick since late 2003.

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ARTIST’S VIEW: SIR GEORGE BENJAMIN

Lessons in Love Sir George Benjamin on writing and conducting his new opera, Lessons in Love and Violence, which premieres at the Royal Opera House in May

Writing a full-length opera must feel like a huge mountain to climb at the beginning! How and where did you start? The process is, indeed, enormous and – once underway – the seasons do drift by, year after year, seemingly without end. But then, suddenly the final double-bar is within reach and the creative journey is coming to its conclusion – a moment of intense elation as well as relief. For me the hardest task of all is starting a new piece. Within the initial pages essential characteristics of the tone, mood and pace of a work are fixed – as well as the associated techniques which underpin them – and they can take months to get right. With an operatic

20 The Green Room Spring 2018

work I don’t start at the beginning; instead I find a quiet place in the drama where the text invites me in, and where the initial challenges associated with beginning can be disguised. Do you think that your experiences as a conductor influence your composing, and vice versa? Yes, but perhaps not as much as one might think, as they remain very distinct activities – one social, physical and active, the other reclusive, solitary and lengthy. Of course, I have learned a great deal from conducting other composers’ scores, both classics of the repertoire and those of my contemporaries, colleagues and students. Amongst various elements, I have encountered

instruments with which I wasn’t directly familiar – basset horn, cimbalom, mandolin, bass flute, euphonium – which I have then felt inspired to include in subsequent pieces of my own. Of course, one also gathers continually new information about standard orchestral instruments too – their capacities seem inexhaustible. The analytical mind associated with composition perhaps fosters an approach to scores which is somewhat different from that of someone who has never written music, and the inner ear required for composing might also have its uses on the platform. But the best ways to collaborate with musicians and, above all, employ the arm and baton effectively – these are things


ARTIST’S VIEW: SIR GEORGE BENJAMIN

and Violence

a composer-conductor has to learn, and continue to learn. And he or she has to try to grasp such essential matters swiftly – for one’s main job remains at the desk, not on the podium. How involved do you get with the process after the work is complete? My publisher, Faber Music, is renowned for the quality of its editing, typesetting and printing, and I like to be directly involved with the fine detail at every stage of the process. Also, once a score is complete – and if I’m due to conduct it myself – I have to try to reduce my feelings associated with the music and memories of how it was written. Ideally one should try to view the

Photo © Matthew Lloyd

notes as if they were the work of someone else; the main task in hand, after all, is to direct with clarity and enable the performers to play and sing with confidence and precision. A conductor overloaded with an excess of internal emotion or wrapped up hermetically with inner hearing – instead of the reality of the sound – will be unable to listen, and the magic of communication and response, which can evolve in performance, will be blocked. So this is a serious matter! When composing Written on Skin, you wrote with specific artists in mind. Did you do the same for Lessons in Love and Violence? Yes, absolutely. I met and heard all eight singers before a note of the

music was written – and their specific vocal qualities and exceptional talents were very much in my mind while I composed. While working on Written on Skin I had the sound of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in my mind; this time I have written for the wonderful orchestra of the Royal Opera House, who I’ve got to know well over the last five years.  Lessons in Love and Violence premieres at the Royal Opera House on 10 May 2018. Future performances include at Dutch National Opera (17/18), Staatsoper Hamburg and Opéra de Lyon (18/19), and Lyric Opera of Chicago, Gran Teatre del Liceu and Teatro Real Madrid (20/21) www.roh.org.uk

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SPOTLIGHT ON...

Roderick Cox “We have an obligation to lift as we climb,” Roderick Cox told the Minnesota Star Tribune in January 2017, noting how Marin Alsop has used her profile to champion fellow female conductors. Though once wary of being known as ‘that AfricanAmerican conductor’ rather than for his merits as a musician, he now uses his rising influence to seek out diverse audiences for classical music, and to help inspire young people from underrepresented communities.

His medium is the music. When conducting the Minnesota Orchestra’s first ever concert in north Minneapolis, at Shiloh Temple International Ministries with the Shiloh Temple Chorus lending their gospel tones to Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus, he told the audience: “Music explains how a black kid from Macon, Georgia, can wind up with the Minnesota Orchestra. Despite ideologies, creeds, race, we can agree on music, no matter what form it is.” Growing up with a basketball-playing brother and attending the same church as Little Richard, Roderick would assemble his action figures in line, conducting along to gospel records. Though he went to college to study music with the original aim of becoming a teacher/band leader, he was soon encouraged to pursue orchestral conducting by professors. In 2005 he became one of the first individuals to be supported by the

© Josh Kohanek

“Despite ideologies, creeds, race, we can agree on music, no matter what form it is” Otis Redding Foundation, through which he gained opportunities to study in Oxford, UK, and to attend masterclasses and competitions in the Czech Republic and Spain, as well as his first guest conducting opportunity outside college at the Foundation’s annual Evening of Respect. Roderick has already graced the podium of many orchestras in the US and beyond, including the Cleveland Orchestra, Chineke! Orchestra, Santa Fe Symphony, Johannesburg Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra Washington, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and Nashville Symphony Orchestra, to name just a few. A video from his subscription debut with the Minnesota Orchestra went viral, attracting more than eight million viewers across multiple channels – the biggest reach the orchestra has ever had. 

UPCOMING HIGHLIGHTS 5 May · BBC Symphony debut / Bernstein, Stravinsky, Gershwin & Copland 24 – 28 Jun · public conducting masterclasses / Daniele Gatti, Concertgebouw © Greg Helgeson

18 Jul · Grant Park Festival debut / Wagner, Beethoven & Haydn 27 Jul · Minnesota Orchestra’s Sommerfest “Music for Mandela” 16 & 18 Nov · Los Angeles Philharmonic debut / Poulenc & Saint-Saëns 25 Jan – 8 Feb 2019 · Houston Grand Opera debut / Bizet The Pearl Fishers

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INTRODUCING... ASKONAS HOLT RISING STARS

Stars on the rise Tim Menah introduces the thought behind our Askonas Holt Rising Stars initiative, launched earlier this year with singers Samuel Hasselhorn, Fatma Said & Dominic Sedgwick

Supporting young talent is not a new venture for Askonas Holt. Our roster includes an impressive number of artists who started with us fresh from music college and have moved on to major careers. I have been with Askonas Holt for very nearly 25 years and it has always been part of our philosophy that the long-game is the important and most exciting one: and especially so when it comes to young singers. ďƒš

Š Marco Borggreve

Spring 18 Askonas Holt Magazine 23


INTRODUCING... ASKONAS HOLT RISING STARS

“... what has changed dramatically over my time with the company is the extraordinary explosion in technology. There has never been a better – or, depending on your view, a more challenging – time to use technology in support of building a career ...”

Achieving consistency of excellence is the goal: learning how to deal with all the above when the voice is young and vulnerable, and when technique is still being perfected, can be a major challenge in achieving this consistency.

Our patron Ann Murray DBE © Sian Trenberth

It can be argued that none of this is new – singers throughout history have had to deal with similar challenges. But what has changed dramatically over my time with the company is the extraordinary explosion in technology. There has never been a better – or, depending

24 The Green Room Spring 2018

on your view, a more challenging – time to use technology in support of building a career. 25 years ago, our tools were the telephone and the fax but we now have a bewildering range of options that when used advisedly can be of enormous benefit to a young artist. So with these added challenges it seemed to us that we needed to offer young singers something different; something that could be both innovative and nurturing and, hopefully, help give them an edge over their peers. It is with all this in mind that earlier this year we announced the Askonas Holt Rising Stars. In addition to full management on our roster these artists will be offered a bespoke support platform, including mentoring on all aspects of starting and maintaining a career, tailored advice on how to deal with the above challenges, and a distinct spotlight within our publicity and website. On a purely human level they will have the opportunity to draw on the inestimable advice and experience of Ann Murray. I have known Ann since my very earliest days at Askonas Holt and she is unquestionably one of the great singers of our generation. But I have also been lucky enough to see her teach in masterclasses and to hear her give advice with profound understanding, wit and generosity. She is an inspiration

and her ability to pinpoint a young singer’s strengths and weaknesses and to instruct and encourage accordingly is in my experience almost unrivalled. I had serious ambitions once to be a singer: if I had been lucky to have her as a guide and mentor at the beginning of my career then maybe, just maybe...  Tim Menah is an Associate Director at Askonas Holt. After a career as a singer in opera and musical theatre, he joined Lies Askonas in 1994.

© Nikolaj Lund

Because of the nature of their instrument – it is part of their physical being – it is unique in being particularly vulnerable to outside influences. You cannot take a voice out of its case and protect it. A simple cold can immediately seriously compromise a singer’s performance. These influences stretch to all the vagaries of modern life: pollution, allergies etc, and any singer will tell you how much their vocal production can be affected by everyday emotions both good and bad.


INTRODUCING... ASKONAS HOLT RISING STARS

DOMINIC SEDGWICK BARITONE

SAMUEL HASSELHORN BARITONE

FATMA SAID SOPRANO

Best musical advice received? Sing words not notes. (The mantra of Martin Lloyd Evans and Dominic Wheeler at GSMD)

Where did it all begin? Why music? I grew up singing in choirs. I always loved choir singing and that type of repertoire. At some point I simply wanted to test my “soloist-voice”. As I approached university, music was the only thing I could imagine studying and doing with my life.

What do you love most about your career? The amount of passion involved.

Most memorable live music experience as a performer? Running on stage as Marullo in Rigoletto, with the banda blazing away, for my ROH debut was an unforgettable moment, but performing in Barrie Kosky’s Saul was an amazing experience too. …and as an audience member? Peter Grimes at ENO – the noise and vibration of the entire ENO chorus singing out ‘PETER GRIMES’ right to the audience… it was breathtaking. Last thing you listened to? Malin Byström singing the last 20 minutes of Strauss’ Salome. Incredible performance from her and the orchestra! Favourite book? The Master and Margarita by Bulgakov. Which non-classical musician would you most like to work with? Integrating completely different musical genres with opera would be fun – mixing the genre with Ólafur Arnalds/Moby/Daft Punk for example! Photo © Clare Park

Was there a big ‘light-bulb’ moment? Not really – I think my love for music just got bigger and bigger while experiencing it singing in choirs and playing in the school orchestra. (I played bassoon.) However singing, and the vocal repertoire, always felt closer to me than purely instrumental music. What do you love most about your career? I think the thing I love the most about my career is meeting all the different people through my travelling and different projects. Working with them, being inspired, never getting into a routine, and being able to choose what I want to do are things I really like! First record you ever bought? It was a Schubert CD with Bryn Terfel and Malcolm Martineau, which is still the recording I listen to the most whenever it comes to Schubert Lieder. Photo © Nikolaj Lund

Where did it all begin? It all began with some courage at the age of 13 to go audition for a solo part in my school’s choir. Best musical advice received? Never go on stage having certain expectations of how you should sound like. Always create and recreate and be spontaneous! Last thing you listened to? Le Donne Belle Domenico Modugno. Who would you invite to your ideal dinner party, living or dead? And why? Mozart. I’d simply like to get to know the person he really was. Which non-classical musician would you most like to work with? Beyoncé. She inspires me so much as an artist! She’s so much more than a great singer. Which other talent would you most like to have? Figure skating. How do you relax when not working? I go dancing. Photo © Marco Borggreve

Read the full interviews at www.askonasholt.co.uk/risingstars

Spring 2018 The Green Room 25


LISTINGS: CONDUCTORS & THEIR APPOINTMENTS

Listings Conductors with appointments at orchestras, festivals and opera houses across the world THOMAS ADÈS Artistic Partner, Boston Symphony Orchestra DAVID AFKHAM Principal Conductor, Orquesta y Coro Nacionales de España GIOVANNI ANTONINI Founder and Director, Il Giardino Armonico Artistic Director, Wratislavia Cantans Festival Principal Guest Conductor, Mozarteum Orchester Principal Guest Conductor, Kammerorchester Basel DANIEL BARENBOIM General Music Director, Staatsoper & Staatskapelle Berlin Founder, West-Eastern Divan Orchestra KRISTIAN BEZUIDENHOUT Principal Guest Director, The English Concert Artistic Director, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra HARRY BICKET Artistic Director, The English Concert Chief Conductor, Santa Fe Opera (Music Director from October 2018) ALEXANDRE BLOCH Music Director, Orchestre National de Lille Principal Guest Conductor, Düsseldorfer Symphoniker GUY BRAUNSTEIN Artist-in-Residence, Trondheim Symphony Orchestra Associate Artist, Hamburger Symphoniker

26 The Green Room Spring 2018

NICHOLAS CARTER Principal Conductor, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra Chefdirigent, Stadttheater Klagenfurt & Kärntnersinfonieorchester (from 2018/19) KAREL MARK CHICHON Chief Conductor & Artistic Director, Orquesta Filharmónica de Gran Canaria MYUNG-WHUN CHUNG Honorary Music Director, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra Principal Guest Conductor, Staatskapelle Dresden JONATHAN COHEN Music Director, Les Violons du Roy (from 2018/19) Artistic Director, Arcangelo Associate Conductor, Les Arts Florissants Artistic Partner, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra RODERICK COX Associate Conductor, Minnesota Orchestra JAMES GAFFIGAN Chief Conductor, Luzerner Sinfonieorchester Principal Guest Conductor, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic EDWARD GARDNER Chief Conductor, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra EMMANUELLE HAÏM Music & Artistic Director, Le Concert d’Astrée BERNARD HAITINK Conductor Emeritus, Boston Symphony Orchestra Honorary Conductor, Royal

Concertgebouw Orchestra Honorary Member, Berliner Philharmoniker Honorary Member, Chamber Orchestra of Europe DANIEL HARDING Music Director, Orchestre de Paris Music Director, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra Conductor Laureate, Mahler Chamber Orchestra DOMINGO HINDOYAN Principal Guest Conductor, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra YI HUANG Assistant Conductor, China Philharmonic Orchestra Artistic Director & Chief Conductor, Kunming Nie’er Symphony Orchestra KIRILL KARABITS Chief Conductor, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra Artistic Director, I, CULTURE Orchestra General Music Director & Principal Conductor, Deutsches Nationaltheater & Staatskapelle Weimar BERNARD LABADIE Music Director, La Chapelle de Québec Principal Conductor, Orchestra of St Luke’s (from 2018/19) LOUIS LANGRÉE Music Director, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Music Director, Mostly Mozart Festival, Lincoln Center New York CRISTIAN MACELARU Music Director, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music


LISTINGS: CONDUCTORS & THEIR APPOINTMENTS

Thomas Adès

David Afkham

Giovanni Antonini

Daniel Barenboim

Kristian Bezuidenhout

Harry Bicket

Alexandre Bloch

Guy Braunstein

Nicholas Carter

Karel Mark Chichon

Myung-Whun Chung

Jonathan Cohen

Roderick Cox

James Gaffigan

Edward Gardner

Emmanuelle Haïm

Bernard Haitink

Daniel Harding

Domingo Hindoyan

Yi Huang

Kirill Karabits

Bernard Labadie

Louis Langrée

Cristian Macelaru

Gergely Madaras

Photo credits: Adès © Brian Voce, Afkham © Felix Broede, Antonini © Decca / David Ellis, Barenboim © Peter Adamik, Bezuidenhout © Marco Borggreve, Bicket © Dario Acosta, Bloch © Sebastian Ene, Braunstein © Guy Braunstein, Carter © Annette Koroll, Chichon © Marco Borggreve, Chung © JeanFrancois Leclercq, Cohen © Marco Borggreve, Cox © Josh Kohanek, Gaffigan © Daniela Kienzler, Gardner © Benjamin Ealovega, Haïm © Marianne Rosenstiehl, Haitink © Todd Rosenberg, Harding © Julian Hargreaves, Hindoyan © Simon Pauly, Huang © Lewei Li, Karabits © Denis Manokha, Labadie © Francois Rivard, Langrée © Benoit Linero, Macelaru © Sorin Popa, Madaras © Balazs Borocz

Spring 2018 The Green Room 27


LISTINGS: CONDUCTORS & THEIR APPOINTMENTS

GERGELY MADARAS Music Director, Orchestre Dijon Bourgogne Music Director, Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège (from 2019/20) Chief Conductor, Savaria Symphony Orchestra

RAFAEL PAYARE Music Director, San Diego Symphony (from July 2019) Chief Conductor, Ulster Orchestra Principal Conductor, Castleton Festival Honorary Conductor, Sinfonietta Cracovia

ANTONELLO MANACORDA Principal Conductor, Kammerakademie Potsdam Principal Conductor, Het Gelders Orkest

TREVOR PINNOCK Principal Guest Conductor, Royal Academy of Music Concert Orchestra

ENRIQUE MAZZOLA Artistic & Music Director, Orchestre National d’Ile de France ZUBIN MEHTA Music Director for Life, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra LUDOVIC MORLOT Music Director, Seattle Symphony YANNICK NÉZET-SÉGUIN Music Director, Metropolitan Opera (from 2018/19) Music Director, The Philadelphia Orchestra Music Director, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, Orchestre Métropolitain de Montreal Honorary Member, Chamber Orchestra of Europe DAVID NIEMANN Assistant Conductor, Opéra Orchestre National Montpellier TADAAKI OTAKA Music Director, Osaka Philharmonic Honorary Music Director, Sapporo Symphony Permanent Conductor, NHK Symphony Conductor Laureate, BBC National Orchestra of Wales DIETRICH PAREDES Principal Conductor, Symphony Orchestra of Caracas

MATTHIAS PINTSCHER Artistic Director, Ensemble Intercontemporain Principal Conductor, Lucerne Festival Academy Artist in Association, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra SIR SIMON RATTLE Chief Conductor & Artistic Director, Berliner Philharmoniker Music Director, London Symphony Orchestra Principal Artist, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment AINARS RUBIKIS Music Director, Komische Oper Berlin (from 2018/19) ALEXANDER SHELLEY Music Director, National Arts Centre Orchestra Principal Associate Conductor, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra THOMAS SØNDERGÅRD Principal Conductor, BBC National Orchestra of Wales Principal Guest Conductor, Royal Scottish National Orchestra (Music Director from 2018/19) NATHALIE STUTZMANN Principal Guest Conductor, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland Chief Conductor, Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra (from September 2018) Associate Artist, Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo

View all conductors on our roster at www.askonasholt.co.uk/conductors

28 The Green Room Spring 2018

MIKHAIL TATARNIKOV Music Director and Principal Conductor, Mikhailovsky Theatre ROBIN TICCIATI Music Director, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin Music Director, Glyndebourne Festival Principal Conductor, Scottish Chamber Orchestra MICHAEL TILSON THOMAS Music Director, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra Founder & Artistic Director, New World Symphony Orchestra Conductor Laureate, London Symphony Orchestra CHRISTIAN VÁSQUEZ Chief Conductor, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra Music Director, Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra of Venezuela Principal Guest Conductor, Het Gelders Orkest LARS VOGT Music Director, Royal Northern Sinfonia KENSHO WATANABE Assistant Conductor, The Philadelphia Orchestra LONG YU Artistic Director, Beijing Music Festival Artistic Director, China Philharmonic Orchestra Music Director, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra Music Director, Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra Co-director, MISA Shanghai Summer Festival Principal Guest Conductor, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra THOMAS ZEHETMAIR Chief Conductor, Stuttgarter Kammerorchester (from 2019/20) Conductor Laureate, Royal Northern Sinfonia Principal Conductor, Musikkollegium Winterthur


LISTINGS: CONDUCTORS & THEIR APPOINTMENTS

Antonello Manacorda

Enrique Mazzola

Ludovic Morlot

Zubin Mehta

Yannick Nézet-Séguin

David Niemann

Tadaaki Otaka

Dietrich Paredes

Rafael Payare

Trevor Pinnock

Matthias Pintscher

Sir Simon Rattle

Ainars Rubikis

Alexander Shelley

Thomas Søndergård

Nathalie Stutzmann

Mikhail Tatarnikov

Robin Ticciati

Michael Tilson Thomas

Christian Vásquez

Lars Vogt

Kensho Watanabe

Long Yu

Thomas Zehetmair

Photo credits: Manacorda © Nikolaj Lund, Matheuz © Carlos Vargas, Mazzola © Eric Garault, Morlot © Lisa-Marie Mazzucco, Nézet-Séguin © Hans van der Woerd, Niemann © Mario Sinastaj, Otaka © Martin Richardson, Paredes © Marco Borrelli, Payare © BGE, Pinnock © Matthias von der Tann, Pintscher © Felix Broede, Rattle © Oliver Helbig, Rubikis © Jˉ anis Porietis, Shelley © Thomas Dagg, Søndergard © Martin Bubandt, Stutzmann © Simon Fowler, Tatarnikov © tarlova.com, Ticciati © Giorgia Bertazzi, MTT © Art Streiber, Vasquez © Wolf Marloh, Vogt © Giorgia Bertazzi, Watanabe © Andrew Bogard, Zehetmair © Julien Mignot

Spring 2018 The Green Room 29


ON TOUR: APRIL, MAY & JUNE

On Tour Upcoming projects organised by our Tours & Projects department

© Oliver Helbig

LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA & SIR SIMON RATTLE Part of an ongoing relationship with the NCH, which sees the LSO return to the hall once a season, with conductors including Sir Simon, MTT & Giandandrea Noseda

SCOTTISH CHAMBER ORCHESTRA & PIOTR ANDERSZEWSKI 16 May · Kölner Philharmonie, Cologne 18 May · Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam 20 May · Kursaal, San Sebastian 22 May · Béla Bartok National Concert Hall, Budapest IN WAR & PEACE: HARMONY THROUGH MUSIC, JOYCE DiDONATO, IL POMO D’ORO & MAXIM EMELYANYCHEV 22 May · Gulbenkian, Lisbon 24 May · Hessisches Staatstheater, Wiesbaden 26 May · Händelhaus, Halle 28 May · Kulturpalast Dresden 30 May · Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg 1 Jun · Hagia Irene, Istanbul 17 Jun · Philharmonie im Gasteig, Munich 19 Jun · Béla Bartók National Concert Hall, Budapest 22 Jun · Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, Athens

Sir Simon’s last London appearance with the Berlin Phil as their Music Director, with UK premieres of both Abrahamsen’s Three pieces for orchestra, and a new commission from Jörg Widman

TEATRO ALLA SCALA, RICCARDO CHAILLY, TAMARA WILSON, EKATARINA GUBANOVA, FABIO SARTORI & FERRUCIO FURLANETTO

WIENER PHILHARMONIKER, DANIEL HARDING & ELISABETH KULMAN 28 Apr · Tampere-Talo, Tampere 29 Apr · DR Koncerthuset, Copenhagen 30 Apr · Musikkens Hus, Aalborg 2 May · Konserthuset, Stockholm

30 The Green Room Spring 2018

BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER & SIR SIMON RATTLE

30 & 31 May · Royal Festival Hall, London

18 Apr · National Concert Hall Dublin

BOURNEMOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, KIRILL KARABITS & SUNWOOK KIM 6 May · Concertgebouw, Amsterdam

Marco Brescia and Rudy Amisano © Teatro alla Scala

BERGEN PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA, EDWARD GARDNER & VIKTORIA MULLOVA 15 Apr · Vatroslav Lisinski Hall, Zagreb 16 Apr · Teatro Giovanni da Udine 17 Apr · Cankarjev Dom, Ljubljana 18 Apr · Teatro Sociale, Bergamo 19 Apr · Teatro Grande, Brescia

7 Jun · Philharmonie, Paris LES VIOLONS DU ROY, MAGDALENA KOŽENÁ & BERNARD LABADIE 9 Jun · Palacio Bellas Artes, Mexico City 11 Jun · Sala São Paulo, São Paulo 13 Jun · Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Bogotá

© Brooke Shaden

View all projects at www.askonasholt.co.uk/tours


© Prince Mahidol Hall, Bangkok

ON TOUR: APRIL, MAY & JUNE

LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, GIANANDREA NOSEDA & YEFIM BRONFMAN The LSO’s performances at the Prince Mahidol Hall in Bangkok will mark their debut in Thailand 6 & 7 Jun · Prince Mahidol Hall, Bangkok 10 Jun · Shenzhen Concert Hall 12 Jun · Changsha Concert Hall 14 & 15 Jun · Shanghai Symphony Hall 16 Jun · Nanjing Poly Grand Theatre 18 Jun · Wuhan Qintai Concert Hall 20 Jun · Tianjin Grand Theatre 21 Jun · National Centre for Performing Arts, Beijing

Spring 2018 The Green Room 31


© Askonas Holt 2018 15 Fetter Lane, London EC4A 1BW +44 (0)20 7400 1700 info@askonasholt.co.uk 32 The Green Room Spring 2018 www.askonasholt.co.uk

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