The COE and Daniel Harding
21-31 October 2019
The Chamber Orchestra of Europe is looking forward with great anticipation to working with British conductor Daniel Harding for the first time this October. The Orchestra first met Daniel when he was assistant to Claudio Abbado in the 1980’s. Many COE musicians have kept in close contact with him over the last decades and it is with great pleasure that we now join him for a five-concert tour in performances of Dvorak’s Slavonic Dances op. 72 and Brahms’s Symphony No. 2 in Bordeaux, in the brand new concert hall in the Swiss mountain village of Andermatt, in Udine, Mantova and Modena.
Back in 2000, the COE recorded all of Dvorak’s 16 Slavonic Dances (op. 46 and 72) with Nikolaus Harnoncourt to great acclaim. Gramophone magazine commented: “The accent is precisely right, and the spirit too. Each dance on this exciting disc is granted its rightful, rustic character.” The Orchestra performed the series of 8 Slavonic Dances op. 72. earlier this year with Sir Antonio Pappano during our tour to the Netherlands, Italy and Germany.
Brahms’s Symphony No. 2 has been in the COE’s repertoire since 1994 when the Orchestra first performed it with the late Georges Prêtres. This Symphony then featured in concert programmes with other world-class conductors including Herbert Blomstedt, Bernard Haitink, Emmanuel Krivine, and the late Carlo Maria Giulini, Paavo Berglund (with whom we recorded the four Brahms symphonies in 2000) and Nikolaus Harnoncourt.
One of the reasons why it is difficult for most people to pinpoint the remote alpine resort of Andermatt on a map is that, for decades, the village was used as an army garrison. Following the downscaling of the Swiss armed forces, Andermatt’s economy suffered such a significant decline, that, in 2005 the Swiss government invited Egyptian developer Samih Sawiris to come up with a proposal to regenerate the resort and turn it into a tourism destination to rival the likes of Verbier and Gstaad. Music-loving Sawiris included a new purpose-built concert hall in his plan which also features six new four- and five-star hotels, 42 apartment buildings, 28 plots of land for the construction of private chalets and an 18-hole golf course. In June this year, the concert hall was opened by 45 musicians from the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and the COE is thrilled to be one of the first orchestras invited to perform in this brand new 650-seat venue built by Studio Seilern Architects and the same acoustics team as for the Paris Philharmonie.
Daniel Harding is Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris. He is also Music Director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, with whom in 2017 he celebrated his 10-year anniversary. In the 2014/15 season he devised and curated the celebrated Interplay Festival with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, presenting a series of concerts and related inspirational talks and installations involving artists, academics, scientists and philosophers. The influential programming continues to be a popular feature at Berwaldhalle. A renowned opera conductor, his current projects include Teatro alla Scala, Milan, the Teatro Reggio Turin, the Wiener Staatsoper and the Aix-en-Provence Festival. He continues to work regularly with the Wiener Philharmoniker, Berliner Philharmoniker, Bayerischer Rundfunk Orchestra Munich, Filarmonica della Scala Orchestra, Dresden Staatskapelle and the London Symphony Orchestra. In 2018 he was named Artistic Director of the Anima Mundi Festival. He is a qualified airline pilot.