A GREAT orchestra conducted by one of the most charismatic musicians of his generation.
That is what is in store next week when the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra returns to Huddersfield Town Hall with Russian conductor Vasily Petrenko.
The orchestra will play works by Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev and Mozart on May 20 as part of the Kirklees Concert Season. The soloist will be Russian pianist Kirill Gerstein.
Conductor Petrenko has proved a real favourite and not just with audiences in Kirklees.
He made his conducting debut with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic in 2004 and went on to become their youngest ever principal conductor.
Within six months of arriving on Merseyside he had his contract extended to 2012.
His skills quickly caught the imaginations both of critics and audiences and this sensational young conductor has become one of the biggest success stories in British orchestral life in the last decade.
Petrenko is admired for his exciting platform performances and he has been praised for “revitalising” the orchestra in Russian repertoire.
“Petrenko has performed here before. He’s astonishing. In all the years that I’ve known the Phil, they have never been better,” said Dougie Scarfe, concerts director for Opera North who manage the concert season.
Joining them will be Russian pianist Kirill Gerstein, one of today’s most intriguing young musicians.
Born in 1979 in Voronezh, Russia, Gerstein attended one of the country’s special music schools for gifted children. He taught himself to play jazz by listening to his parents’ record collection.
At 14, he went to the US to continue studying jazz piano becoming the youngest student ever to attend Boston’s Berklee College of Music.
He continued to work on the classical piano repertoire and moved to New York City to attend the Manhattan School of Music where by the time he was 20 he had earned Bachelors and Masters of Music degrees.
Last year Gerstein won the prestigious Gilmore Artist Award. He is only the sixth pianist to be given the award which recognises exceptional musicianship and charisma.
It signals the arrival of a major artist on the international scene and is recognition of an extraordinary musician.
Gerstein is admired for his musical technique, his musical curiosity and his outstanding talent.
A professor of piano by the time he was 27, Gerstein has won major music prizes and now has a full performance schedule at the world’s major music centres and festivals.
He became an American citizen in 2003 and is currently a professor of piano at the Musikhochschule in Stuttgart.
His current season of engagements reads like the itinerary for a world tour.
He has played in America, Stockholm and London and has also clocked up the mileage playing in Germany and Israel.
Programmed by Opera North and Kirklees Council, the concert will include Tchaikovsky’s Suite No.4 ‘Mozartiana’ and Serenade for Strings, Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No.1 in D and Mozart’s Don Giovanni: Overture.
Tchaikovsky’s Suite No.4 ‘Mozartiana’ was originally written as a tribute to Mozart on the 100th anniversary of the composition of Don Giovanni.
Light-hearted and melodic piece. Mozart’s Don Giovanni: Overture is said to have been written in just one evening.
Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings, arguably one of the Romantic era’s most definitive compositions, will also be performed.
Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No.1 in D is a ‘one-movement’ piece and the shortest of all of Prokofiev’s piano concertos.Š
Filled with deep, dark tones, the 15 minute piece reaches a glorious, spine tingling finish.
The concert will start at 7.30pm with a pre-concert discussion at 6.40pm. Tickets, priced at £7.50 to £22.50 (plus concessions) are available from Kirklees Booking Offices, ticket hotline 01484 223200 / 01484 222444 / 01924 324501 or book online at www.kirklees.gov.uk/townhalls.