Spring tour 2024
17-27 April 2024
This tour actually includes two very different projects – one concert in Athens with Constantinos Carydis and Jan Lisiecki followed immediately by a tour to Spain and Germany with Joshua Bell – highlighting the orchestra’s versatility and adaptability.
Firstly, the COE travels to Athens where it will be joined by Greek conductor Constantinos Carydis and Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki. Together they will perform works by Schnittke, Koukos, Beethoven, Shostakovich, Xenakis and Skalkottas on 20th April. Xenakis’s Hiketides (Les Suppliantes d’Eschyle) is particularly challenging and features 2 trumpets, 2 trombones and a string orchestra. This piece was composed for the representation of the Aeschylian tragedy Les Suppliantes in 1964 at the Epidaurus Festival. Indeed the 1960s were marked by a revival of the Greek tragedies. The play was directed by Alexis Solomos and the collaboration with Xenakis was one of the most creative ones as musical and theatrical conceptions of the two artists were strongly connected. In fact the fusion between the two aspects of the play were such that Xenakis wrote to Solomos in April 1964: “Your wide and fresh mind allows me to hope that you will do anything in order to prevail the hierarchy of the music which, following the substance of your instructions, could sweep many parts of the tragedy to its current.” With Koukos’ Adagio for String Orchestra (1993), the Orchestra considers another Aeschylian tragedy as this work is an almost direct transcript from the composer’s cantata “The Persians”, based on Aeschylus’s tragedy of the same name. It’s a slow and elegiac work, which brings in mind the adagios of Tomaso Albinoni and Samuel Barber. Skalkottas’s Duo for Violin and Cello features violinist Steve Copes and cellist Will Conway. Composed a couple of years before his death, the work has elements of baroque music and Greek folk music, weaved together with the unconventional 12-tone technique inspired by his teacher, Arnold Schoenberg. Skalkottas is considered today as one of the most important Greek composers of the 20th Century.
After its Athenian stint, the COE is joined by Joshua Bell in Murcia, Spain, where they will rehearse Beethoven’s Egmont Overture, Symphony No. 4 and Brahms’s Violin Concerto. They will perform the programme in Murcia on 23rd April, Zaragoza on the 24th and Ludwigsburg on the 26th. Joshua Bell will assume three different positions in these concerts: he will direct the orchestra from the Leader’s seat in the Overture, as the soloist in the Concerto and at the front of the orchestra in the Symphony. The COE is very much looking forward to performing with Joshua again since their last project together in 2015 with Emmanuel Krivine.
Constantinos Carydis’ recent appearances include performances at the BBC Proms in London‘s Royal Albert Hall with Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen as well as invitations from Wiener Symphoniker, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, Filarmonica della Scala, Oslo Philharmonic and a new production of Idomeneo at the Bavarian State Opera’s Munich Opera Festival.
The 2023/24 season leads him to orchestras such as the Symphony Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio, Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. He will also return to work with WDR Symphony Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg and Wiener Symphoniker.
Constantinos Carydis has previously worked with orchestras such as the Wiener Philharmoniker, Berliner Philharmoniker, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Münchner Philharmoniker, Bamberger Symphoniker, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich or City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
As an opera conductor, Constantinos Carydis works with companies such as Bayerische Staatsoper and Oper Frankfurt as well as at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Wiener Staatsoper, Staatsoper Berlin, De Nationale Opera Amsterdam, Komische Oper Berlin, Opéra de Lyon and at festivals such as the Salzburger Festspiele, Edinburgh International Festival, Dresden Musikfestspiele, Hellenic Festival in Athens, Enescu Festival in Bucharest and Settimane Musicali di Ascona.
Constantinos Carydis was born in Athens. He studied piano and music theory at the Athens Conservatory and completed his studies in conducting at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich. In 2011 he was awarded the Carlos Kleiber Prize by the Bayerische Staatsoper.
Jan Lisiecki’s interpretations and technique speak to a maturity beyond his age. At 28, the Canadian looks back on a career encompassing a decade and a half on the world’s greatest stages, on which he performs over a hundred concerts a year.
Lisiecki works closely with the most eminent conductors and orchestras of our time. This season sees his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic as well as a recital in Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium. He will also perform at Vienna Musikverein’s Goldener Saal, with Bamberg Symphony and Manfred Honeck, and will play complete cycle of all five Prokofiev concertos over the next two seasons.
In June, he concluded a season as Artist in Residence both at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie and Cologne Philharmonie. His last recital programme, with which he concluded the Elbphilharmonie residency, was celebrated in over 50 cities around the globe, including at Konzerthaus Vienna’s Main Hall, Chicago Symphony Hall, La Scala in Milan, Seoul Arts Center and in São Paulo.
Recent return invitations include the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Symphony and Chicago Symphony, as well as Orchestre de Paris and Staatskapelle Dresden. Lisiecki is a fixture at major summer festivals across Europe and North America, has performed at the Salzburg Festival and made his third appearance at the BBC Proms in July.
Jan Lisiecki was offered an exclusive recording contract by Deutsche Grammophon at the age of 15. Since then, he has recorded nine albums which have been awarded with the JUNO Award, ECHO Klassik, Gramophone Critics’ Choice, Diapason d’Or and Edison Klassiek.
At eighteen, he received both the Leonard Bernstein Award and Gramophone’s Young Artist Award, becoming the youngest ever recipient of the latter. He was named UNICEF Ambassador to Canada in 2012.
With a career spanning almost four decades, GRAMMY® Award-winning violinist Joshua Bell is one of the most celebrated artists of his era. Bell has performed with virtually every major orchestra in the world, and continues to maintain engagements as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, conductor and as the Music Director of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields.
Bell’s highlights in the 2023-24 season include an international tour of his newly-commissioned project, The Elements, featuring works by renowned composers representing each of the five elements. Composers include Jake Heggie (Fire), Jennifer Higdon (Air), Edgar Meyer (Water), Jessie Montgomery (Space), and Kevin Puts (Earth). The work will receive its premiere performances with the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Hong Kong Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Seattle Symphony Orchestra. Bell will also release his new album on Sony Classical, Butterfly Lovers, in summer 2023. The record features the Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto by Chen Gang and He Zhanhao, newly arranged for a traditional Chinese orchestra conducted by Tsung Yeh. Bell will also lead the Academy of St Martin in the Fields on tour in Australia and throughout the United States. Bell appears as artist-in-residence this season with the NDR Elbphilharmonie, and as guest artist with the New Jersey Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony and more.
Lucy Gould has been a member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe since 1996 where she holds the position of principal 2nd violin. One of the first times that Lucy heard the COE was at the Barbican, in London, when she was only 21. Their performance of the Dvorak Serenades left a strong impression on her and it was then that she decided to become part of the COE.
Whilst studying at the Royal Academy of Music with Gyorgy Pauk, Lucy formed the Gould Piano Trio. The trio was chosen for the Rising Stars scheme in 1998, performing in many of the great concert halls from Carnegie Hall to the Concertgebouw and has an extensive and varied discography. Many of these recordings have been selected as Chamber Disc of the month/Editor’s choice in the BBC music and Gramophone magazines. As a guest leader, Lucy has appeared with many of the British orchestras and very much enjoys the varied repertoire she has played on these occasions. She teaches at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff where she lives with her husband, the clarinettist Robert Plane, and their three children, Florence, Rufus and Iris.
Violinist Steven Copes leads a diverse and enthusiastic musical life as soloist, chamber musician and orchestral leader. He joined the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra as Concertmaster in 1998, and since then has led the SPCO from the first chair in many highly acclaimed, eclectic programs. He appears frequently as soloist with the SPCO, having performed concerti by Bach, Beethoven, Berg, Brahms, Hartmann, Hindemith, Kirchner, Korngold, Lutoslawski, Martin, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Piazzolla, Prokofiev, Schnittke and Weill. In addition, he has performed as soloist with the Philharmonia Orchestra of London, the Colorado Symphony, Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra in Boston, the Sao Paolo State Symphony, the Orlando Philharmonic, The Knights, and the Mexico City Philharmonic.
A zealous advocate of the music of today, he gave the world premiere of George Tsontakis’ Grammy-nominated Violin Concerto No. 2 (2003), which won the 2005 Grawemeyer award and has been recorded for KOCH Records, and also gave the NY premiere of Lutoslawski’s Subito (1992) for Violin and Piano. In June of 2017 he gave the World Premiere of Pierre Jalbert’s Violin Concerto with Thomas Zehetmair conducting the SPCO. He performed John Novacek’s Four Rags with the composer on NPR’s Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor, and has also appeared on the PBS series Now Hear This.
William Conway is a founder member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and was invited to become their principal cello in the last year of his studies at the Royal College of Music.
He is an internationally renowned cellist and conductor, whose performances have been described as ‘astonishingly convincing’ (Opera magazine), ‘a tour de force’ (Guardian), with ‘a flair for the unpredictable’ (Financial Times). On the podium, he is known for his conviction, clarity and intelligent musicianship, while his collaborations with Hebrides Ensemble, of whom he is the Artistic Director and founding member, have been praised for their fresh and inspirational approach to programming.
Born in Glasgow, Will studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music then London’s Royal College of Music before returning to Scotland to take the position of Principal Cello with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, a post he held for ten years. He is a passionate advocate of contemporary music and has commissioned and performed a huge range of new works from composers such as Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and Sir James MacMillan. His work with Hebrides Ensemble, described by The Scotsman as ‘one of the most innovative and thrilling ensembles in Europe’ and now in its third decade, underpins this commitment. By placing new music at the heart of a diverse range of repertoire, often in new and surprising contexts, Hebrides Ensemble encourages audiences to embrace new music and to approach familiar music with fresh ears. His dedication to developing contemporary music has been recognised by an award from the Scottish Society of Composers for an outstanding contribution to new music.
As a conductor, he studied in Helsinki with Jukka-Pekka Saraste and was a finalist and prizewinner in the 1994 Leeds Conductors’ Competition. Since then, he has established himself as a conductor of versatility in chamber, symphonic and operatic repertoire, and has conducted the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia, English Sinfonia, Chamber Orchestra of Europe (with whom he has made a CD recording released by Warner), and the Symphony Orchestras of Cairo, Sofia, Zagreb, de Filharmonie of Flanders, the Belgian orchestra Beethoven Academie, Teatro di Cagliari, Göettingen, Aalborg Symphony and the American Phoenix Symphony Orchestra in all repertoires from baroque to present day. He is a regular guest with many young orchestras including the National Youth orchestras of Scotland and Australia.
Former Music Director of Edinburgh Studio Opera for ten years he is currently Music Director of EUMS Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Advisor of St Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh. He broadcasts regularly on BBC Radio 3 and has recorded for Linn Records, Unicorn-Kanchana, Delphian Records and Deutsche Grammophon.
He plays on a cello from 1695 by Giovanni Tononi of Bologna.