ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation
Young prodigy’s breathtaking performance wins prestigious Young Conductors Award at the Salzburg Festival
FANS OF CLASSICAL music and stage performance have been enthralled as the Salzburg Festival returned for its 96th year at Mozart’s birthplace in Austria with operas, plays and classical concerts.
As well, young, aspiring talents who catapulted their career to the international level with the Nestle and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award were also showcased. After wowing the audience with his rare talent, 27-year-old prodigy Aziz Shokhakimov from Uzbekistan became the seventh winner of the program.
From 86 contestants from five continents, three finalists were invited to perform at the stunning Camerata Salzburg concert hall at the Mozarteum Foundation to compete for the prestigious title that has launched promising careers in previous years. In addition to the classical-romantic repertoire, the finalists had to include their interpretation of a contemporary work.
This year’s finalists included Ciaran McAuley, from Ireland, who opened with an overture by Felix Mendelssohn’s “Das Marchen von der schonen Melusine Op 32” and took the audience on a sensorial journey with Mozart’s “Recitative and Rondo for Soprano and Orchestra K 374”, accompanied by soprano singer, Albina Latipova.
The contemporary work of his choice was Thomas Andes “Three Studies from Couperin” and he capped off the show with Schumann’s “Overture, Scherzo and Finale in E major, Op 52”.
British conductor Alexander Prior, 23, took centre stage with Per Norgard’s 1975 work, “Dream Play”, then delighted the audience with Mozart’s aria for soprano and orchestra K 583 “Vado, ma dove? Oh Dei!” with soprano Elbenita Kajtazi.
More classical works, Sibelius’s “Pelleas and Melisande Op 46” and Prokofiev’s “Symphony No. 1 in D major, Op 25” filled the hall with majestic sounds and long applauds as the concert concluded.
The winner, Shokhakimov, kicked off his concert with Jorg Widmann’s “Con brio”, followed by Mozart’s “Recitative and Aria for Tenor and Orchestra K 431 Misero! O Sogno” where Chinese tenor Mingjie Lei lent his powerful, captivating voice. The Uzbekistani concluded the concert with Beethoven’s “Symphony no. 7 in A major, Op 92”.
“It’s only logical for me to choose a number by Beethoven, because I adore the composer. And Jorg Widmann’s “Con Brio” is linked to Beethoven’s “Symphony number 7″. There’s a great connection between these two pieces, and it would make a great line up for the concert,” said Shokhakimov.
After the award ceremony he said, “Actually I love all of the composers, but there are some that are very close to my soul, such as Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Malher and Shostakovich.”
Born in Tashkent in 1988, he began studying at the Uspensky Music School for musically gifted children at the age of six. He first studied violin and viola, followed by conducting with Vladimir Neymer. He made his conducting debut with the National Symphony Orchestra of Uzbekistan in Beethoven’s fifth symphony and Liszt’s First Piano Concerto at the age of 13.
Shokhakimov has since made his widely acclaimed debuts with renowned orchestras such as the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra among many others.
“Music is my religion,” he said. “Whenever I open the score of a new piece I immediately feel inspired. I’ve never had any problems or difficulties so far with connecting to the musicians in the orchestras. I’m very determined to do my job, to have a great show and I believe they are hoping to do the same. Also, we are people who love music very much. If you really love music, they can feel it and we connect almost immediately.
“What I hope to achieve in life is to bring peace and joy through music. So I considered this experience at the Salzburg Festival a fantastic opportunity to make music with a renowned orchestra in front of an enthusiastic audience and with famous listeners in the jury such as Dennis Russell Davies, the chairman of the jury.”
Apart from the 15,000 euros cash prize, Shokhakimov will also conduct the Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna in the festival next year.
Nestle and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award was initiated by Nestle in 2010 to discover young conductors from all parts of the world and provide an important boost to their career.
“The connection between the award and Nestle is leadership,” Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Nestle SA, said.
“A successful orchestra can be delivered only if it is guided by an excellent conductor, and the same applies for a globally successful company. Our corporate motto, “in search of excellence” illustrates this very well. Both the conductor and the business leader need to display a high degree of leadership. With this initiative, we propose to offer young conductors a forum giving them an important impetus in their future careers.
“The career path of former award winners proves us right and we are very pleased. The Nestle and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award has been a decisive stepping stone to their world class success.”
The first winner, German David Afkham went on to showcase his skills around the world, and has been chief conductor of the Spanish National Orchestra in Madrid since 2014. The second winner, Ainars Rubikis from Lithuania, has led a production by Boris Godunow at the Bolshio Theatre, while the 2012 winner, Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla, another Lithuanian, is the director of music at the city of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
Ben Gernon, of Britain, who won the award in 2013, has worked extensively at orchestras all over the UK, while his successor French conductor Maxime Pascal has led Le Balcon, an orchestra specialising in contemporary music production.
Last year’s winner, Swiss Lorenzo Viotti earned huge success with his conducting of “La belle Helene” in Paris as well as “Carmen” later in Austria. Viotti also joined the festival this year and gave a magnificent performance in the Prize Winner’s concert.
The relationship between Nestle and the Salzburg Festival goes back 25 years, when the Swiss food company, the largest in the world, initiated the theme “young people and encouraging young talents” shortly after its involvement.
“The crucial criteria for our commitment were and are the quality and the innovative power of the festival – both are fulfilled by the Salzburg Festival,” said Brabeck-Letmathe.
“The art of combining tradition and innovation is a defining aim for us as an internationally active enterprise whose history goes back 150 years. When we started, there were quite a lot of negative remarks in the media insinuating that Nestle wanted to influence the programmatic and the artistic work, as well as the overall artistic orientation of the Salzburg Festival. Looking back at these 25 years, it is clear we never did that. The artistic freedom is highly important to us. Right from the beginning, our commitment has focused on youth promotion.”
Nestle has supported the Salzburg Festival for many years with its offer of subscription tickets for young people. In 2000, when Gerard Mortier was artistic director, the idea of presenting a concert by the Attersee Orchestra Institute at the Salzburg Festival was born.
Young musicians from all over the world had the opportunity to give a concert annually at the festival together with their teachers from the Attersee Summer Academy, under the baton of a famous conductor. “It goes without saying the sponsorship not only consists in financial donations, but also requires huge financial and personnel resources, which are a prerequisite to bringing sponsorship to life.” said Brabeck-Letmathe.
Application for Nestle and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award 2017 is open until February 1, 2017.
The Salzburg Festival 2016 continues till the end of this month. Visit http://www.Salzburger Festspiele.at/Summer.
More about Nestle and Salzburg Festival Young |conductors Award at http://www.Salzburg Festival.at/Nestle_YCA