Shanghai Orchestra Academy (SOA) celebrated its fifth anniversary with the commencement of 10 graduates on July 1. SOA is a collaboration between the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra (SSO), New York Philharmonic, and Shanghai Conservatory of Music. It provides a new approach in China to train fresh graduates from music conservatories to become professional orchestra musicians through a two-year program and international partnership.
The majestic foothills of the Teton Mountain Range promise a sublime, serene backdrop for the Grand Teton Music Festival’s 58th season, July 3 to August 17. Offering inspiration, rejuvenation, and wonderment for all, the Festival honors the natural environment it calls home and those composers and works that draw inspiration from nature. The Festival’s 2019 lineup includes more than 60 events over seven weeks.
Gerard Schwarz is an exemplary musician. He was a hotshot trumpeter — one of the best in the world. Then he became a leading conductor. For many years, he led the Seattle Symphony, and also the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York. He has led other institutions too. Now he is going to the Palm Beach Symphony. I joke that this is a “hardship post.”
The Georgian pianist Nicolas Namoradze, the winner of the 2018 Honens International Piano Competition in Calgary, has already impressed pianists of rare knowledge and experience. Like the two Honens winners before him (Pavel Kolesnikov in 2012 and Luca Buratto in 2015), Namoradze will make his debut recording for Hyperion.
Mahan Esfahani was nine when he first heard a harpsichord. He and his parents were visiting Iran, the country where he was born, and which his family had left for the US five years before. “An uncle gave me a bunch of cassettes,” he says. “One was of Karl Richter [the German conductor and harpsichordist] playing Bach. Well, I listened to it, and I thought: ‘This is what I’ve got to do.’ I don’t mean in terms of a career. I just thought my life would be well spent in the company of this instrument. I thought I would get a profession, which is what every Iranian parent wants for their child, and that – once I was a doctor or lawyer – I’d be able to buy a harpsichord, and play at home.”
Having been appointed to the faculty of the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami last month, conductor Gerard Schwarz is planting further roots into the Florida sands by accepting the post of music director of the Palm Beach Symphony. He starts next season, succeeding Ramón Tebar, who held the job for eight years.