Martijn Dendievel Earns Acclaim for DON GIOVANNI at Teatro communale Bologna

5 Jun 2024

Martijn Dendievel has earned critical acclaim for conducting Teatro communale Bologna’s new production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Directed by Alessandro Talevi, the May 2024 performances featured Nahuel Di Pierro and Vincenzo Nizzardo in the title role; Olga Peretyatko, Valentina Varriale and Ruth Iniesta as Donna Anna; Abraham Rosalen as Il Commendatore; René Barbera and Annibal Mancini as Don Ottavio; Karen Gardeazabal and Alessia Merepeza as Donna Elvira; and Davide Giangregorio and Francesco Leone as Leporello.

“The attack of the overture already outlines what will be the distinctive feature of Martijn Dendievel’s Mozart, more soft than nervous, inclined to define delicate timbral atmospheres rather than to lash out mordant accents. Yet, this is not a watercolor Mozart, or a charming rococo porcelain; the Belgian conductor has a very clear vision that is not without shadows and internal tensions,” writes Roberta Pedrotti in L’Ape musicale. They add that, “the nocturnal scenes, in fact, are very beautiful – and that he does not feel the need to overreach and impose his own papier-mâché protagonism. Dendievel places the reasons for singing – vocally, instrumentally and theatrically – at the centre, with taste and confidence, confirming himself as an encouraging, serious rising star (he was born in 1995) in a world always on the hunt for new phenomena.”

Paolo Marchegiani, in Artists and Bands, agrees, praising his conducting, noting that in his, “conducting there is the right energy and impetus in the Overture; the lyrical and exuberant, but essentially non-interventionist conducting ensures a brilliant sound for the orchestra while letting the music flow at the right pace; it deftly follows the progression towards the opera’s climax and some key moments, such as the ‘Protegga il just ciel’ trio in the ball scene, are excellent. The tempos, phrasing and emphasis are entirely appropriate, without excess and the dinner scene always appears poised: momentum and tension build from the opening without boiling over as happens throughout many directions.

Giuseppina La Face in Music Paper, found his performance “a pleasure from the first to the last note,” calling special attention to “the sparkling musical texture of passions and conflicts was splendidly supported by the sinuous, ductile, snappy gesture of Martijn Dendievel.”

The rising star Martijn Dendievel is Chief Conductor of the Hofer Symphoniker. Currently Associate Conductor of the Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen, he becomes the orchestra’s Chief Conductor form January 2026. From 2016 – 2020, he was Principal Guest Conductor of the Academic Orchestra Halle.

The young Belgian is the winner of the 2021 German Conductor’s Award and the first Conductors’ Academy of the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich. He is also a laureate of the LSO Donatella Flick Competition. In June 2022, he became a prize winner at the first International Conducting Competition Rotterdam.

Highlights of his 2023/24 season include his debuts with the Tonkünstler-Orchester Wien, Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège, Sinfonia Varsovia, Gävle Symfoniorkester, Robert Schumann-Philharmonie Chemnitz, and will return to the WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, Hofer Symphoniker, and the Belgian National Orchestra. In previous seasons, he has enjoyed success conducting renowned orchestras including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Gürzenich Orchester Köln, Staatskapelle Weimar, and the Rotterdam Philharmonic.

Dendievel’s completes his successful season conducting the Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna (6 June), conducting a programme of works by Busoni and Suk, featuring pianist Vincenzo Maltempo; Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, with violinist Lisanne Soeterbroeck, with works by Respighi, Fontyn, Alpaerts and Britten (20 June); and the Hoffer Symphoniker, with violinist Liya Petrova, performing Howell’s Lamia (symphonic poem for full orchestra), Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending and Holst’s The Planets (5 July).

Photo credit: Clara Evens