Sunday, October 14, 2018

Christian Baldini in Conversation with Enrique Arturo Diemecke

Maestro Diemecke conducting the Buenos Aires Philharmonic

Maestro Diemecke at the Teatro Colón (Buenos Aires), joining Christian Baldini to celebrate Baldini's operatic conducting debut with Strasnoy's World Premiere (Requiem for a Nun).

Christian Baldini: Maestro Diemecke, it is a real honor to have the opportunity to ask you a few questions for our audience to learn more about your music and your musical identity. Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences with us! Your "Chacona a Chávez" is a great example of a piece that combines multiple aesthetics. You quote Handel (the Chaconne HWV 435), and you also combine your own voice and a joyful Latin American spirit, very imaginative use of diverse percussion instruments, from maracas to drums, to this Neo-Baroque Language that looks into the future. How would you explain your compositional process? Did you have the pleasure of meeting Carlos Chávez in person, and did this have an influence in you?

Enrique Arturo Diemecke: I composed this piece for the 100 anniversary of Carlos Chávez. He was the founder of many artistic organizations in Mexico, including the National Symphony. His legacy extended with the impulse of the Nationalistic movement in composition. One of his best known pieces is Chaconne in E for orchestra based on Buxtehude's organ chaconne. Chavez, like many other musicologists, have thought that the Dance chaconne was originated in Mexico. So I took a Handel chaconne with the idea of honoring Chavez.
I have added percussion instruments that were originated in both America and Europe to give the idea of going thru to the path with the rhythm as it went from America to Spain and then to France and Germany and then came back to America (Mexico).

CB: You are a world famous conductor, having lead some of the most important orchestras in Europe and North America, besides your great presence in Latin America, now as Artistic Director of the most important opera house in the continent, the historic Teatro Colón. How do you find time in your life to compose, combining your Music Directorships (Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Flint Symphony Orchestra)?

EAD: I have to say that the most difficult thing for a conductor is to build the repertoire, so I have had years conducting a vast number of compositions and thus created a "know how" that would make me able to just pick a work and perform it.

CB: What are some of the most memorable musical experiences you've gone through? And who are some of the people that inspire you the most? What are you most grateful for?

EAD: I have many great moments in my life and I have had great teachers starting with my father. Thanks to him in those early years of my childhood I was ready to have as a violin teacher one of greatest violinist of all times, Heryk Szering. But my idea was always to be a conductor so I went to study at the Pierre Monteaux School to be the assistant to Charles Bruck, one of the greatest conducting teachers ever.
If I have to mention of the best moments of my live is hard to just pick some since I consider that there are many. I have conducted so many wonderful orchestras in the world, as you just mention before. I had so many famous violinists, Perlman, Zukerman, Joshua Bell, Midori. And cellists, Rostropovich, Starker, Yo Yo MA, to name few, and many well known pianists and singers starting with Plácido Domingo, Jessy Norman, Ricciarelli, Battle, Araiza, Alagna, etc
With all of them I share memorables performances in many places in the world.

CB: Once again, Maestro, thank you for your time, and we very much look forward to featuring your beautiful Chacona a Chávez in the right context, in a program including Chávez's Sinfonía India, as well as a work by Marta Lambertini (Angel apasionado II) and by Alberto Ginastera (Piano Concerto No. 1).

EAD: Thank you for performing the dear piece of mine. Enjoy it as much as if it was your own. Best to you.

Enrique Arturo Diemecke with Joshua Bell

Enrique Diemecke is Artistic General Director of the famed Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. The first internationally acclaimed conductor to hold the position, he is in an unprecedented 12th season as Music Director of the Buenos Aires Philharmonic, and his 28th season as Music Director of the award-winning Flint Symphony Orchestra in Michigan.

The leading Mexican conductor of his generation, Enrique Diemecke enjoys an international recording, operatic, and concert career. He brings an electrifying balance of passion, intellect and technique to his performances. Warmth, pulse, and spontaneity are all hallmarks of his conducting – conducting that has earned him an international reputation for performances that are riveting in their sweep and dynamism. In the words of The New York Times, Diemecke is a conductor of “fierceness and authority.” A noted interpreter of the works of Mahler, Maestro Diemecke has been awarded a Mahler Society medal for his performances of the composer’s complete symphonies.

Maestro Diemecke is a frequent guest of orchestras throughout the world, most notably the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, French National Orchestra, BBC Symphony, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, L’Orchestre de Paris, Residentie Orkest in The Hague, Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Warsaw Philharmonic, the Residentie Orkest in The Hague, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra in Brisbane, the Russian National Orchestra, the Bogota Philharmonic, the Puerto Rico Symphony, Simon Bolivar Orchestra in Caracas, l’Orchestre National de Lorraine, the National Orchestra of Montpellier, the Valladolid Symphony, the ORCAM Madrid, L’Orchestre de Isle de France, and the symphony orchestras of Baltimore, Houston, Minnesota, and Auckland.

Maestro Diemecke is an experienced conductor of opera, having served as Music Director of the Bellas Artes Opera of Mexico from 1984-1990, where he led more than 20 productions including Faust, La bohème, Salome, Elektra, Ariadne auf Naxos, Der fliegende Hollander, Rigoletto, Turandot, Madama Butterfly, and Roméo et Juliette. He has since returned as a guest conductor with new productions of Lohengrin, Boris Godunov, and Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice.

Maestro Diemecke returned to opera as he opened the 2007-2008 season of the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires with a new production of Werther, followed by performances of Massenet’s Le Jongleur de Notre Dame with tenor Roberto Alagna in Montpellier, which was released by Deutsche Grammophon and awarded the prestigious Grand Prix de l’Academie du Disque Lyrique. He is a regular guest of the famed Teatro Zarzuela in Madrid, and was awarded the Jean Fontaine Orpheus d’Or Gold Medal for “best vocal music recording” by France’s Academy of Lyric Recordings for his recording of Donizetti’s The Exiles of Siberia with the L’Orchestre Philharmonique de Montpellier-Languedoc-Roussillon. Maestro Diemecke was previously honored with a Gold Medal from the Academy of Lyric Recordings with the Bruno Walter Orpheus d’Or Prize for “Best Opera Conductor” for his live recording of Mascagni’s Parisina, from the Radio France Festival.

With 20 years at the helm of the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de México, Maestro Diemecke led the ensemble on a ten-city tour of the United States, culminating with a program of Latin American masterworks at New York’s Carnegie Hall. He and the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de México were nominated for “Best Classical Album” for the 3rd Annual Latin Grammy Awards, for their recording of Carlos Chávez’ Violin and Piano Concertos with violinist Pablo Diemecke and pianist Jorge Federico Osorio.

He is also frequently invited to festivals such as the Lincoln Center Summer Festival, the Hollywood Bowl Festival, Wolf Trap, Autumno Musicale a Como (Italy), Europalia (Brussels), World Fair Expo Sevilla (Spain), Festival International Radio France, and the World Orchestra Festival in Moscow where he led the Bogota Philharmonic.

Maestro Diemecke is an accomplished composer and orchestral arranger, and has conducted his Die-Sir-E, during the Mexican National Symphony Orchestra tour of the U.S. in 1999. The Die-Sir-E was commissioned by the Radio France Festival for the World Cup Final Concert in France in 1998. Maestro Diemecke was commissioned to write a tone poem for the Flint Symphony Orchestra, and his works Chacona a Chávez and Guitar Concerto have received many performances both in Europe and in the United States. During the 2001-2002 season, he gave the world premiere of his work Camino y vision, dedicated to President Vincente Fox, with the Tulsa Philharmonic.

Christian Baldini has served as Music Director of the Camellia Symphony Orchestra in Sacramento since 2012. He has also served as the Music Director of the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra and Barbara K. Jackson Professor of Conducting at the University of California, Davis, since 2009. With these orchestras he has conducted multiple world premieres, and local premieres of such important works as Varèse's AmériquesLuciano Berio's SinfoniaLigeti's Violin Concerto, and many relevant symphonic cycles like those by Sibelius, Brahms and Schumann.

Baldini has conducted opera at the English National Opera (most recently Verdi's Aida at London's Coliseum in November 2017), Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires (Dallapiccola's Il prigioniero, Dallapiccola's Volo di notte, and the world premiere of Oscar Strasnoy's Requiem), and the Aldeburgh Festival in England (Britten's The Rape of Lucretia). Since 2009 he has been the Music Director of the Rising Stars of Opera in collaboration with the San Francisco Opera at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, showcasing some of the most talented operatic singers of the young generation.

Baldini previously served as an assistant conductor with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony. His CD recording "Mozart: Opera Arias and Overtures" conducting the Scottish Chamber Orchestra was chosen as "Recording of the Month" by the BBC Classical Music Magazine, and received 4- and 5-star reviews by the specialized press. He is a frequent international guest conductor with appearances leading the Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Munich Radio Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra (of Argentina and Portugal), Teatro Argentino de La Plata and the Florida Orchestra. He first came to international attention when he made his conducting debut in Salzburg at the Awards Weekend, chosen as one of three finalists selected among 91 applications worldwide.

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