Spanish conductor Juanjo Mena makes his much-anticipated debut with the Berlin Philharmonic in May
Juanjo Mena, the Spanish conductor in demand across the globe and as Chief Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic, makes his debut with theBerlin Philharmonic in May with a Latin inspired programme. Sir Simon Rattle asked Mena to conduct Falla’s El Sombrero de Tres Picos (The Three-Cornered Hat), following his seminal performance of the work with the BBC Philharmonic at the BBC Proms in 2013. To these works, Mena suggested adding Ginastera’s Harp Concerto with the Philharmoniker’s principal harpist Marie-Pierre Langlamet to mark the centenary of Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera’s birth, and Debussy’s Iberia, celebrating the French theme that runs throughout the Berlin Philharmonic’s season.
The Orchestra dell'Accademia di Santa Cecilia opens the Edinburgh Festival with Sir Antonio Pappano
Following their triumph at the BBC Music Magazine Awards where their recording of Verdi's Aida won the Album of the Year and the Opera category, the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Sir Antonio Pappano return to the Edinburgh Festival on 6-7 August for the first time in almost 70 years. The last time the Orchestra appeared at the festival was in 1948 for a 6-concert residency with conductors including Furtwängler in his first UK appearance following the Second World War (Furtwängler had regularly worked with the Orchestra in Rome every season for over twenty years prior to this). This year, the Orchestra opens the festival with two contrasting concerts; both themed around Shakespeare including Rossini's Stabat Mater, classical interludes from Bellini and Verdi operas and the lesser known Pelleas und Melisande by Schoenberg.
Christophe Rousset revisits Mozart's early opera Mitridate in a new production at La Monnaie
Christophe Rousset revisits Mozart's early opera Mitridate in a new production by Jean-Philippe Clarac and Olivier Deloeuil at La Monnaie, 18 years after his recording with a stellar cast including Cecilia Bartoli, Natalie Dessay and Brian Asawa. This recording followed on from the success of Rousset's soundtrack to the film Farinelli, which sold more than a million discs worldwide. The artistic duo Clarac and Deloeuil from Bordeaux won La Monnaie's competition to stage Mitridate with the idea of setting the opera at a EU summit in the Belgian capital. From the podium, Rousset leads an outstanding cast including Michael Spyres in the title role, Lenneke Ruiten, Myrtò Papatanasiu, David Hansen, Simona Saturová, Sergey Romanovsky and Yves Saelens.
Line up announced for this year's Incontri in Terra di Siena chamber music festival
The 28th Incontri in Terra di Siena - founded in memory of Antonio Origo and his wife Iris, the Anglo-American author of War in the Val d'Orcia returns to mark the centenary of violin legend Yehudi Menuhin, a close friend of the Origo family and founding member of the Tuscan chamber music festival. The week long festival based at La Foce, one of Italy's most enchanting gardens, runs from 29 July to 5 August and will welcome back pianist Jeremy Menuhin who will join Artistic Director Antonio Lysy and Norwegian violinist Henning Kraggerud. Israeli Arab and Jewish musicians from Polyphony Ensemble make a much-anticipated return with pianist Saleem Ashkar to open the summer festivities. The festival has announced the appointment of pianist Alessio Bax as the Artistic Director for 2017.
Programme for 2016 Itinéraire Baroque Festival announced
Ton Koopman's Itinéraire Baroque Festival in the Dordogne, set in the picturesque medieval villages and towns around Riberac and Brantôme, returns for its 15th edition from Thursday 28 July to Sunday 31 July 2016. The festival's annual highlight is the Saturday pilgrimage circuit to small forgotten Romanesque churches for five "taster" concerts, following Koopman's uplifting morning recital on the organ.