Salzburg Mozartwoche 2024
30th January - 3rd February
COE & Mozartwoche
On 1st February, the Orchestra returns to the Salzburg Mozartwoche, performing works by Mozart, Salieri and Beethoven with pianist Kirill Gerstein, who made his COE debut in Kronberg last September. Very excitingly the Orchestra will be led and directed on this occasion by Polish violinist Maria Wloszczowska who we had hoped to meet for a project with Renaud Capuçon in 2020, but that project was sadly cancelled for reasons we all know. The concert in Salzburg will be followed on 2nd February by a Friends concert at the Kronberg Academy at the Casals Forum where the COE has been resident orchestra since the hall’s opening in September 2022.
The COE’s first performance at the Salzburg Mozartwoche was in 1993 with Nikolaus Harnoncourt. After some years, the COE was invited again in 2004 and since then the Orchestra has been a regular guest at the Festival.
This year’s programme features Antonio Salieri, a contemporary – and perhaps the fiercest rival of Mozart, although both composers admired each other’s works – whose compositions the COE has never played before. Salieri was a pivotal figure in the development of late 18th-century opera and was appointed director of the Italian opera by the Habsburg in Vienna. He was also the Austrian imperial Kapellmeister and, as such, was responsible for music at the court chapel and attached school. He was also one of the most important and sought-after teachers of his generation: Franz Liszt, Franz Schubert, Ludwig van Beethoven, Anton Eberl, Johann Nepomuk Hummel and Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart were among his most famous pupils. Unfortunately Salieri’s music slowly disappeared from the repertoire between 1800 and 1868 and was rarely heard after that period until the revival of his fame in the late 20th century, thanks to Peter Schaffer’s award-winning film Amadeus.
From Bach to Adès, pianist Kirill Gerstein’s playing is distinguished by a ferocious technique and discerning intelligence, matched with an energetic, imaginative musical presence that places him at the top of the international profession, with solo and concerto engagements taking him from Europe to the United States, East Asia and Australia. Born in Voronezh (Russia), Gerstein attended one of the country’s special music schools for gifted children and studied classical and jazz piano at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and under Solomon Mikowsky at the Manhattan School of Music in New York, followed by further studies with Dmitri Bashkirov and Ferenc Rados. He has won the prestigious Gilmore Artist Award, the Arthur Rubinstein Competition and the Avery Fisher Career Grant. In May 2021, he was awarded an honorary doctorate in music by the Manhattan School of Music. Kirill Gerstein is currently Professor of Piano at the Hanns Eisler School of Music in Berlin and a lecturer at the Kronberg Academy. Under the patronage of the Kronberg Academy, his series of free, open-access online seminars entitled Kirill Gerstein invites is now in its fifth season. This is Kirill Gerstein’s first appearance at the Mozart Week.
The Polish violinist MARIA WłOSZCZOWSKA is known for her versatile musicianship, performing as a soloist, conductor/concertmaster and chamber musician. She is a recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Emily Anderson Prize, the Hattori Foundation Senior Award and Poland’s Minister of Culture and National Heritage Prize. In 2018, she won both first prize and the audience award at the XXI International Johann Sebastian Bach Competition in Leipzig. A graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and a student of the Hungarian violinist and conductor András Keller, she regularly performs at the Wigmore Hall and at international festivals with renowned chamber music partners such as Jeremy Denk, Bengt Forsberg, Alasdair Beatson, Dinis Sousa, Thomas Adès, Philippe Graffin, Benjamin Grosvenor, Steven Isserlis, Steven Osborne, Hyeyoon Park, Timothy Ridout, the Doric String Quartet and the Valo Quartet, which she founded and leads. In recent seasons, she has been guest conductor of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and made solo appearances with UK and international ensembles. In the autumn of 2024, Maria Włoszczowska will become an artistic partner of the Royal Northern Sinfonia. She plays on a violin by Francesco Stradivari.