Romanian National Philharmonic Orchestra, Filarmonica Brasov
The city of Brasov inaugurated its public concert life with an artistic event held by the Brasov Philharmonic Society (“Kronstädter Philarmonische Gesellschaft”) on 6 May 1878, under the baton of Anton Brandner. Conductor, composer and teacher, he can be considered the initiator and founder of the society and, by extension, of today’s Brasov Philharmonic. Today, the Brasov Philharmonic is managed by pianist Ioan-Dragoș Dimitriu, and operates in the Patria Hall, which was renovated in 2013.
The Brasov Philharmonic currently organizes concerts and recitals that bring events of high artistic quality to the city of Brasov. Every Thursday, a new symphonic concert takes place at the Philharmonic. Every week, the artists of the Brasov Philharmonic perform together with guests from Romania and abroad.Read more
In addition to the Thursday evening’s concerts, the Brasov Philharmonic brings recitals, educational concerts and special events to Brasov audiences. In 2021, the Brasov Philharmonic organized more than 160 musical events. These consisted of symphonic concerts as well as jazz, pop music, film music and contemporary music concerts. The Philharmonic’s artists have performed not only at the Patria Hall, but also in St. John’s Square, in the Avantgarden 3 district, in Poiana Narciselor, or in the village of Șirnea, where they played on the occasion of the Olympic Day. The Brasov Philharmonic has also brought many artistic programs from abroad to the city, collaborating with the Embassy of the United States, the Embassy of Switzerland, and the Embassy of Croatia.
In February 2021, the Brasov Philharmonic received the award for Cultural Organization of the Year at the Cultural Awards Gala in Brasov, organized by the Corona Cultural Consortium. In addition to this award, it also won the prize for Concert of the Year, which was awarded for the collaboration between the philharmonic orchestra, conducted by maestro Cristian Oroșanu, and the Vița de Vie band, a concert performed as part of the Philharmonic’s Amplify Concerts project, co-financed by the National Cultural Fund Administration (AFCN).
This year, the Brasov Philharmonic focused a lot on musical education and also on inviting household names to play such as Mischa Maisky and Gary Hoffman, who played with the orchestra in the spring of 2022.
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Sergey Smbatyan, conductor
Armenian conductor Sergey Smbatyan is the Founding Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra and Principal Conductor of the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra.
The Armenian State Symphony Orchestra is a symphony orchestra performing internationally to great acclaim. Under Smbatyan’s artistic direction, its players are energetic, enthusiastic musicians with the shared objective of raising cultural awareness in Armenia and pursuing spiritual excellence through classical music.
Smbatyan has presented the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra and the Malta Philharmonic throughout Europe, Russia and the United States. Performances include Vienna’s Musikverein, the Berlin Philharmonie, Salzburg’s Großes Festspielhaus, London’s Barbican Centre, the Gasteig Munich, Rudolfinum in Prague, Grand Hall of the Moscow State Conservatory and New York’s Carnegie Hall where he made his debut at the age of 28.Read more
Born in Yerevan, Smbatyan was first introduced to music by his grandmother, the violinist and teacher Tatyana Hayrapetyan, who gave him violin lessons from an early age. He later studied at the Komitas State Conservatory of Yerevan and the Moscow P.I. Tchaikovsky Conservatory, receiving lessons from Bagrat Vardanyan and Zakhar Bron. Whilst studying for a PhD in Fine Arts in Yerevan with Yuri Davtyan, Smbatyan developed his passion and conducting skills working with the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra which he founded aged 18. As a conductor, Smbatyan has been significantly influenced by his lessons with Riccardo Muti and Sir Colin Davis which he undertook during his studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
A winner of multiple European conducting and violin competitions, Smbatyan has developed an international reputation that includes guest conducting engagements at the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Russian National Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic, Sinfonia Varsovia, and many others.
In 2015, Smbatyan became the youngest recipient of the Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters. He was presented with the award by the French Minister of Culture attended by Krzysztof Penderecki and Charles Aznavour, among other guests of honour. Two years later, as commendation for his promotion of Armenian music and culture, the President of the Republic of Armenia presented Smbatyan with the title of Honoured Artist of the Republic of Armenia.
Smbatyan’s championing and commissioning living composers, promoting cultural heritage and developing new audiences are central to his artistic life and are reflected in his work as the Founder and Artistic Director of the Armenian Composing Art Festival; the Penderecki Contemporary Classics’ Festival; the “Armenia” International Music Festival; the Khachaturian International Festival. The latter has its distinct positioning in Smbatyan’s cultural activities as a calling card for the Armenian performing arts. These values also define his work as Artistic Director of the Khachaturian International Competition.
Smbatyan deeply believes that only culture can shape our future and unite everyone by spreading harmony and peace. This is the main message conveyed in the orchestras he has founded: 24/04 World Orchestra, the “Generation of Independence” All-Armenian Choir and Orchestra and the Pan-Armenian Symphony Orchestra. Smbatyan’s passionate advocacy for increasing the level of cultural education and engagement, and social responsibility among young people was fulfilled by founding the UNICEF Children’s Chamber Orchestra and DasA, an innovative high school-based project that offers students hands-on experience of making classical music.
A recognised pioneer in the uses of AI and other technologies in classical music, Smbatyan has developed multiple collaborations with leading institutions. As part of the 2019 World Congress of Information Technology he conducted the first-ever concert of music written live by AI. An audience of over 75,000 people watched the open-air concert performed by the WCIT World Orchestra, a specially created orchestra of players from the fifteen countries that had ever hosted the Congress.
A creative concert programmer, Smbatyan has worked with the world’s leading soloists and actors including John Malkovich who performed and toured with him several projects in Latin America, Asia and Armenia including narrating excerpts from The Book of Lamentations by Armenian poet Grigor Narekatsi.
Smbatyan’s discography is rich and includes many recordings for ArmSyphony Records including Khachaturian’s Symphony No.2, The Bell, which was made to celebrate the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra’s 15th anniversary. A particular focus of Smbatyan’s recording activities is contemporary music which he primarily records with the Armenian State Symphony and Malta Philharmonic orchestras, alongside other orchestras such as London Symphony Orchestra.
Future performances include concerts with both the Armenian State Symphony and the Romanian National Philharmonic Orchestras throughout the United Kingdom in the 2022-23 concert season.
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Maxim Vengerov, violin
Universally hailed as one of the world’s finest musicians, and often referred to as the greatest living string player in the world today, Grammy award winner Maxim Vengerov also enjoys international acclaim as a conductor and is one of the most in-demand soloists.
Born in 1974, he began his career as a solo violinist at the age of five, won the Wieniawski and Carl Flesch international competitions at ages 10 and 15 respectively, studied with Galina Tourchaninova and Zakhar Bron, made his first recording at the age of 10, and went on to record extensively for high-profile labels including Melodia, Teldec and EMI, earning among others, Grammy and Gramophone artist of the year awards.
In 2007 he followed in the footsteps of his mentor, the late Mstislav Rostropovich, and turned his attention to conducting and in 2010 was appointed the first chief conductor of the Gstaad Festival Orchestra. June 2014 saw Mr Vengerov graduate with a Diploma of Excellence from the Moscow Institute of Ippolitov-Ivanov with Professor Yuri Simonov and he has since finished a further 2-year program of opera conducting.
In the last few seasons Maxim Vengerov has performed as soloist and/or conductor with all major orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, Chicago, Montreal and Toronto Symphony Orchestras and toured extensively around the world in Recital.Read more
In January of last year, Maxim Vengerov became Classic FM’s first solo Artist in Residence and released a new recording of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with conductor Myung-Whun Chung and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, coupled with works by Saint-Säens and Ravel as well as a live recital from Carnegie Hall. Further recordings will follow to coincide with Maxim Vengerov’s celebration of 40 years on stage at the Royal Albert Hall, originally planned for June 12, but now rescheduled to September 2022. He will be joined by his colleagues Misha Maiski, Martha Argerich, the Oxford Philharmonic with its Music Director Marios Papadopoulos and students from the Royal College of Music London.
Mr Vengerov has also received numerous awards including Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (with Orchestra) (2003), two Gramophone awards (1994, 1995), a Classical Brit Award (2004), five Edison Classical Music Awards (1995, 1996, 1998, 2003, 2004), two ECHO awards (1997, 2003) and a World Economic Forum Crystal award (2007) – honouring artists who have used their art to improve the state of the world.
He plays the ex-Kreutzer Stradivari (1727).
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