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Competitions / VIOLIN 2019 / Orchestras and Conductors
Orchestras and Conductors
Orchestra
Nearly 61 years ago, in 1958, Lola Bobesco created “Les Solistes de Bruxelles” [Brussels Soloists], renamed “Ensemble d’archets Eugène Ysaÿe” [Eugène Ysaÿe String Ensemble], now known as the Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie [Royal Chamber Orchestra of Wallonia]. The orchestra has worked together regularly with the biggest names in music on the most important international stages : José Van Dam, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Aldo Ciccolini, Mischa Maïski, Maurice André, Arthur Grumiaux, Philippe Hirschhorn, Georges Octors, Jean-Pierre Wallez, Gidon Kremer, Louis Lortie, Jian Wang, Ivry Gitlis, Antoine Tamestit, Henri Demarquette, Richard Galliano, the Modigliani Quartet, Jean- Philippe Collard, Gérard Caussé, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Augustin Dumay, Maria João Pires ; in Paris, Beijing, Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Bucharest, Bayreuth, Munich, Luxembourg, Zurich, Geneva, Saint Petersburg, Brussels, etc. From 2003 to 2013, the orchestra benefited from the dynamism and renown of its Music Director and Principal Conductor, Augustin Dumay. In 2014, Frank Braley took over the reins with enthusiasm. The Royal Chamber Orchestra of Wallonia performs regularly in Belgium with Jean-François Chamberlan, its principal violinist. The orchestra is a regular partner of the Queen Elisabeth Competition, the Queen Elisabeth College of Music, Bozar [Brussels Centre for Fine Arts], Flagey, and many Belgian music festivals, as well as the Queen Paola Foundation. In Mons, its city of residence, with Mars (Mons Arts de la Scène) [Mons Performing Arts], and the support of the City of Mons, the orchestra gives concerts with a diversified and original repertoire. Frank Braley schedules a season with internationally renowned artists : Michel Portal, Paul Meyer, Eliane Reyes, Ronald Van Spaendonck, Augustin Dumay, Gérard Caussé, Steve Houben, Aurélien Pascal, Les Violons du Roy, Sylvain Cremers, Jean-Pierre Wallez, Richard Galliano, Jean-Paul Dessy, l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège, Renaud Capuçon, le Quatuor Modigliani, Jean-Philippe Collard, Anne Quéffelec, Miguel da Silva, Sergio Alapont, Barnabás Kelemen, Mathieu Herzog, Vahan Mardirossian, Henri Demarquette.
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Conductor
D’origine russe, Jean-Jacques Kantorow est né à Cannes où il commence à étudier le violon. A l’âge de 13 ans, il entre au Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, dans la classe de René Benedetti, où, un an plus tard, il obtient le Premier Prix de violon. Entre 1962 et 1968, il remporte une dizaine de prix internationaux dont le Premier Prix Carl Flesh à Londres, le Premier Prix Paganini à Gênes, le Premier Prix du Concours International de Genève et obtient une bourse de la Fondation Sacha Schneider en 1970. Avec le pianiste Jacques Rouvier et le violoncelliste Philippe Muller, Jean-Jacques Kantorow forme un trio avec lequel il remporte le Premier Grand Prix du Concours de Musique de Chambre de Colmar en 1970. Sa carrière de concertiste l’a amené dès le début à se produire sur les plus grandes scènes internationales : aux Etats-Unis, au Canada, dans les pays de l’Est, en Inde, au Japon, en Afrique… donnant plus de 100 concerts par an. Désireux de rompre avec l’isolement du soliste et par le biais de la musique de chambre, il évolue naturellement vers la direction d’orchestre. Il dirige alors diverses formations étrangères, dont le Tapiola Sinfonietta dont il fut le Directeur Musical de 1993 à 2013. Jean-Jacques Kantorow donne également de nombreuses masterclasses dans le monde entier. Pendant dix ans, il a aussi été le Directeur Musical de l’Orchestre d’Auvergne et, en 1994, il est nommé à la tête de l’Ensemble Orchestral de Paris. Jean-Jacques Kantorow poursuit parallèlement une carrière de soliste et de chambriste, trouvant ainsi l’équilibre dans la pluralité de ses activités musicales. Jean-Jacques Kantorow enregistre en tant que soliste et en tant que chef pour des maisons de disques importantes, notamment pour Denon, Emi, Erato, CBS, Bis etc… Nombre de ses disques ont été primés par des récompenses internationales. Son enregistrement « Sonates Françaises » est sorti en janvier 2014 sous le label NoMadMusic. Il y interprète avec son fils Alexandre au piano, des œuvres méconnues du répertoire français (Chevillard, Fauré & Gedalge). Son dernier enregistrement est sorti en 2015 sous le label BIS. Il y dirige son fils Alexandre et le Tapiola Sinfonietta dans les concertos de Liszt.
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Orchestra
Founded in 1936, the Belgian National Orchestra, previously known as the National Orchestra of Belgium, has a special partnership with BOZAR. From 2012 to 2017, the orchestra’s principal conductor was Andrey Boreyko. Since September 2017, the US conductor Hugh Wolff has been at the helm. The Belgian National Orchestra has performed with renowned soloists such as Vadim Repin, Gidon Kremer, Boris Berezovsky, and Rolando Villazón, as well as with many talented younger musicians. It is also keen to attract a new generation of audiences and takes part in innovative projects such as a collaboration with the pop-rock artist Ozark Henry and participation in the Tomorrowland festival. This season sees the orchestra share the stage with eminent soloists such as Sergey Khachatryan, Nelson Freire, Elisabeth Kulman, Alexander Gavrylyuk, and Lorenzo Gatto, as well as a number of guest conductors, including Kazushi Ono and Hartmut Haenchen. Its discography, which has for the most part been released on the Fuga Libera label, has won worldwide acclaim and includes six recordings made under its former conductor Walter Weller.
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Conductor
Born in Paris to American parents, Hugh Wolff spent his early years in London and Washington DC. His final year in high school, he studied piano with Leon Fleisher and composition with George Crumb. After graduating from Harvard College in 1975, Wolff won a fellowship to study conducting with Charles Bruck and composition with Olivier Messiaen in Paris. As a conductor he has a well-defined vision on the functioning of a symphony orchestra and a special interest in education : he strives to make symphonic music more interesting and appealing for youngsters. In addition, Hugh Wolff emphasizes the importance of a thematic approach of each concert, he also does so for each concert season. He is known for his creative programming and placing opposing works together. Hugh Wolff has previously visited the National Orchestra of Belgium to conduct Mahler’s Third Symphony (in 2010) and First (in 2012). In September of 2017, Hugh Wolff took over the baton from Andrey Boreyko, the music director of the Belgian National Orchestra since 2012.
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