Nicholas Carter & James Ehnes
“Le Tombeau de Couperin” – Suite für Orchester
Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Violin Concerto in D major, op. 35
“Ein Heldenleben” (A Hero’s Life), Op. 40
Nicholas Carter - Conductor
The 2022/2023 season is Nicholas Carter’s second season as Chief Conductor and Co-Opera Director of the Bern Opera, with “Die Walküre” (Wagner), “L’enfant et les sortilèges” (Ravel) and “Iolanta” (Tchaikovsky). A guest for the first time at Zurich Opera House, he will conduct Bizet’s “The Pearl Fishers”. He makes his debut at the Dresden Semperoper with Mozart’s “Die Zauberflöte”. He returns to the Metropolitan Opera New York with “Peter Grimes”, and at the Deutsche Oper Berlin he conducts a ballet production with the music of Verdi’s Requiem. Since 2019 (Dean, Vaughan Williams) it is his second time conduction the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin .
From 2018-2021 Nicholas Carter was principal conductor of the Stadttheater Klagenfurt and the Kärntner Sinfonieorchester. His repertoire there included “Tannhäuser”, “Pelleas et Melisande”, “Simon Boccanegra”, “Rusalka”, “Elektra”, “Cendrillon” and “La Clemenza di Tito”. In his debut at the Santa Fe Opera, he conducted “Die Fledermaus”, returned in 2021 with “Eugene Onegin” and also conducted “Don Carlo” and “Don Pasquale” at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein.
The Melbourne-born conductor maintains an ongoing relationship with all of Australia’s major orchestras, particularly the Adelaide Symphony, where he served as principal conductor from 2016 to 2019. In Europe, he was assistant to Simone Young at the Staatsoper Hamburg, then Kapellmeister at the Deutsche Oper Berlin since 2014, where he worked closely with GMD Donald Runnicles.
Nicholas Carter is equally present in opera houses and on concert stages. He has recently conducted symphonic repertoire with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National de Lille, the Orchestre Métropolitain (Montreal), the Orchestre Symphonique de Quebec, the Bochum Symphony Orchestra, the MDR Symphony Orchestra Leipzig, the Dallas and Oregon Symphony Orchestras and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.
James Ehnes - Violin
James Ehnes has established himself as one of the most sought-after violinists on the international stage. Gifted with a rare combination of stunning virtuosity, serene lyricism and an unfaltering musicality, Ehnes is a favourite guest of many of the world’s most respected conductors including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Marin Alsop, Andrew Davis, Stéphane Denève, Mark Elder, Iván Fischer, Edward Gardner, Paavo Järvi, Juanjo Mena, Gianandrea Noseda, David Robertson and Donald Runnicles. Ehnes’s long list of orchestras he has worked with include the Boston, Chicago, London, NHK and Vienna symphony orchestras, the Los Angeles, New York, Munich and Czech philharmonic orchestras, and the Cleveland, Philadelphia, Philharmonia and DSO Berlin orchestras.
Read more In 2021, Ehnes was announced as the recipient of the coveted Artist of the Year title in the 2021 Gramophone Awards which celebrated his recent contributions to the recording industry. This includes the launch of a new online recital series entitled ‘Recitals from Home’ which was released in June 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent closure of concert halls. Ehnes recorded the six Bach Sonatas and Partitas and six Sonatas of Ysaÿe from his home with state-of-the-art recording equipment and released six episodes over the period of two months. These recordings have been met with great critical acclaim by audiences worldwide and Ehnes was described by Le Devoir as being “at the absolute forefront of the streaming evolution”.
Recent orchestral highlights include the MET Orchestra at Carnegie Hall with Gianandrea Noseda, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig with Alexander Shelley, San Francisco Symphony with Marek Janowski, Frankfurt Radio Symphony with Andrés Orozco-Estrada, London Symphony with Daniel Harding, and Munich Philharmonic with Jaap van Zweden. In 2017, Ehnes premiered the Aaron-Jay Kernis Violin Concerto with the Toronto, Seattle and Dallas symphony orchestras, and gave further performances of the piece with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Throughout the 21/22 season, Ehnes is named as Artist in Residence with the National Arts Centre of Canada.
Alongside his concerto work, Ehnes maintains a busy recital schedule. He performs regularly at the Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall, Symphony Center Chicago, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Ravinia, Montreux, Chaise-Dieu, the White Nights Festival in St Petersburg, Verbier Festival, Festival de Pâques in Aix, and in 2018 he undertook a recital tour to the Far East, including performances in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. In 2016, Ehnes undertook a cross-Canada recital tour, performing in each of the country’s provinces and territories, to celebrate his 40th birthday.
As part of the Beethoven celebrations, Ehnes was invited to perform the complete cycle of Beethoven Sonatas at the Wigmore Hall in 2019/20. His third and final instalment of Beethoven Violin Sonatas recordings with Andrew Armstrong was released by Onyx in 2020 and was given a glowing review by Gramophone: “[Ehnes gave us] the flawless technique, the purity of his sound, and the extent to which everything always feels elegant and just right, with no attention-grabbing quirks or determined originalities… a huge spectrum of colour and articulation [is] employed”.
As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with leading artists such as Leif Ove Andsnes, Renaud Capuçon, Louis Lortie, Nikolai Lugansky, Yo-Yo Ma, Antoine Tamestit, Jan Vogler, Inon Barnatan and Yuja Wang. In 2010, he formally established the Ehnes Quartet, with whom he has performed in Europe at venues including the Wigmore Hall, Auditorium du Louvre in Paris and Théâtre du Jeu de Paume in Aix, amongst others. Ehnes is the Artistic Director of the Seattle Chamber Music Society.
Ehnes has an extensive discography and has won many awards for his recordings, including a Grammy Award (2019) for his live recording of Aaron Jay Kernis Violin Concerto with the Seattle Symphony and Ludovic Morlot, and a Gramophone Award for his live recording of the Elgar Concerto with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Andrew Davis. His recording of the Korngold, Barber and Walton violin concertos won a Grammy Award for ‘Best Instrumental Soloist Performance’ and a JUNO award for ‘Best Classical Album of the Year’. His recording of the Paganini Caprices earned him universal praise, with Diapason writing of the disc, “Ehnes confirms the predictions of Erick Friedman, eminent student of Heifetz: ‘there is only one like him born every hundred years’.” Recent releases include sonatas by Beethoven, Debussy, Elgar and Respighi, and concertos by Walton, Britten, Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Strauss, as well as the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Andrew Manze, which was released in October 2017 on Onyx Classics.
Ehnes began violin studies at the age of five, became a protégé of the noted Canadian violinist Francis Chaplin aged nine, and made his orchestra debut with L’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal aged 13. He continued his studies with Sally Thomas at the Meadowmount School of Music and The Juilliard School, winning the Peter Mennin Prize for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Music upon his graduation in 1997. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and in 2010 was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada. Ehnes was awarded the 2017 Royal Philharmonic Society Award in the Instrumentalist category.
Ehnes plays the “Marsick” Stradivarius of 1715.
Being part of the whole
“It was his conviction that the tonal system was not exhausted, could never be exhausted; that there were still infinite melodic and harmonic sound combinations waiting in space for their “redeemer”. He often compared the artistic creative process to that of eternally renewing nature.” Luzi Korngold’s approach, handed down from her husband, to music as a perpetual continuity inherent in nature is one of the most sympathetic and fruitful theories of music ever put forward by man. Nicholas Carter’s whole programme is to be understood under this aegis. And James Ehnes is the right soloist to bring Korngold’s “Attempt for the Survival of the Melodic Type of Symphonic Music” to bursting life.
Ravel and Strauss locate themselves no less clearly than Korngold in the tradition of music. If in “Heldenleben” Strauss narrates autobiographically-good-naturedly and thoroughly self-ironically a “Maulheldenleben”, elsewhere he dealt just as lovingly as his French colleague Ravel with the once legendary harpsichord master and composer François Couperin.
Moderated rehearsal for the concert:
On 23.03.2023 you can listen to the rehearsal of this work in the moderated rehearsal with Nicholas Carter. To register and for more information, click here.
Concert introduction: 7.10 p.m., South Foyer, concert introduction by Steffen Georgi
Radio broadcast on Deutschlandfunk Kultur 26.03.2023, 8.03 p.m.
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