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Cello versatility
First public performances, world premières and specially commissioned compositions at Kronberg Academy's 9th Cello Festival

28.08.2009


Kronberg, 27 August 2009. The Festival begins with an open air concert and ends with a three-part orchestral concert. The 18 concerts between these two events cover a wide range of different styles. They include the new "Blue Series", three specially commissioned compositions, two first public performances and four world premières.

For the first time, this year's Cello Festival - with its "Counterpoints" leitmotif - will begin on 28 September with an open air concert. The work performed at that concert has been composed by one of the most colourful musical personae of the 20th century, Friedrich Gulda, a passionate jazz musician who is known for his efforts to gain more recognition for the classical music business and to remove the barrier between "serious" and "light" music. His Concerto for Violoncello and Wind Orchestra announces the new direction taken by this year's Cello Festival. The audience can look forward to a blend of very different styles from across the musical spectrum - from swinging rock rhythms and veritable hard rock passages through elegant minuets that are reminiscent of dances at the court of the French Sun King to a brass band march and brilliant cello runs. The cello played by the soloist László Fenyö will be fitted with an amplifier to enable it to hold its own against the wind orchestra of the Young German Philharmonic conducted by 32-year-old Erik Nielsen.

Opening with a specially commissioned work and closing with world premières
The Cello Festival will open officially on 30 September with a specially commissioned composition and will end on 4 October with two world premières. "Midsummer Song" by Raminta Serksnyte was specially commissioned by Kronberg Academy for this year's Cello Festival. For this work, the Lithuanian composer drew her inspiration from the magical fascination that the summer solstice has long had for people. Of her work, the 34-year-old says, "I composed my piece as a kind of pantheistic song, where initial melodies, coming from separate notes, little by little spread out into variety of colours and shapes (the melodies sound quite like recitatives, arias and choruses). Finally, after an ecstatic climax, the song gradually disappears into meditative music of the morning of ‘endless summer'."

The final concert on 4 October will include the world premières of the "Concerto for two solo celli and ensemble" by Saed Haddad and the composition "E. C. I. Tell Me Everything" by Ernst Reijseger. Both works were specially commissioned by Kronberg Academy for the Cello Festival.

Haddad's work is entitled "In Contradiction", which hints at his life's cultural ambivalence. The 37-year-old is a traveller between different worlds. Born a Christian Arab in Jordan, he first studied philosophy in Belgium before deciding in 1993 to devote his attention to composition. Haddad completed his music studies in Jordan, Jerusalem and London and currently lives in Germany. The two cultural worlds give him a sense of simultaneous security and alienation, which he seeks to convey in his compositions through a synthesis of musical traditions.

The Dutch cellist Ernst Reijseger is one of the leading jazz cellists in Europe. He has done more than any other European to further the complete emancipation of the cello in the world of jazz. His improvisational style is a blend of classical rigour and romantic lyricism, mixed with real and imaginary folklore and easy-going rock rhythms. The audience can look forward to hearing his composition.

First performance in Germany
The Festival programme includes first performances of Hayden Chisholm's film music suite for Rebecca Horn's short film "Fata Morgana" on 2 October and the modern version of Giovanni Platti's "Sonata quinta for violoncello and basso continuo in B flat major" on 3 October. The jazz saxophonist, clarinettist and composer Chisholm has been working with the performance artist Rebecca Horn since 2002 and has composed the music for several of her installations.
Giovanni Platti is one of those artists who have perhaps been unjustifiably overlooked. He arrived at the court of the Prince-Bishop in Würzburg in the early 18th century. For the Count von Schönborn, an amateur cellist, he composed a large number of cello works, including concertos, trios, duos and sonatas. The B flat major sonata is taken from an autograph manuscript dated 1725 and can now be heard in its modern version for the first time.

New paths
Kronberg Academy is treading new paths by shifting its focus from the life of a specific artistic persona to the great expressive versatility of the cello. At the same time, it enters new territory with the "Blue Series". Six evenings will give music-lovers an opportunity to hear many things that are not naturally associated with the cello - original, daring and improvisational music. This series is launched on the very first evening (28 September, 8 pm) by the Brazilian composer, cellist and arranger Jaques Morelenbaum. He focuses on the samba with its captivating rhythms full of sensuality, melodic beauty and harmonic sophistication, the bossa nova and jazz. Together with his Cello Samba Trio, which includes Lula Galvão (acoustic guitar) and Rafael Barata (percussion), he will take the audience off on a musical tour of South America. "My blue cello", "Cello magic", "Reijseger/Sylla/Gueye Trio", "Fata Morgana", "Pasodoble" and "Virtual Counterpoints" are the titles of the other concerts in this series, which emphases the cello's expressive versatility.

The concert programme is supplemented by numerous workshops, films and exhibitions as well as by a violinmaker and bowmaker workshop.
The main sponsors of the Ninth Cello Festival are the Bank of AmericaMerrillLynch, the Ernst Max von Grunelius Foundation and the Sparkassen Finanzgruppe as well as Sal. Oppenheim as Kronberg Academy's partner. The workshops are being funded by Accenture. Our media partners are the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and again the Hessische Rundfunk with hr2 kultur, which will be making live recordings of various concerts, including the Opening Concert.

Tickets and information can be obtained from Kronberg Academy by telephone on +49 6173 783377, by email to karten@kronbergacademy.de, online or at the box office.

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Press contact: Annette Wittkopf, Ulrike Schmid
For further information and photo material please contact:
Ulrike Schmid
Ulrike Schmid-Kommunikation
Niedenau 39 60325
Frankfurt am Main
Tel: +49 69 7079 8182
Email: ulrike.schmid@us-k.eu


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