Dancing on the volcano
Vladimir Jurowski & Julia Fischer
Rachmaninoff summons the Day of Wrath, Shostakovich imposes a reckoning with Stalinism on the symphonically integrated solo violin. A heroic role for Julia Fischer
Dmitri Shostakovich Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 77
Sergei Prokofiev Andante aus der Klaviersonate Nr. 4 – für Orchester bearbeitet von Sergei Prokofjew op. 29bis
Sergei Rachmaninoff Sinfonische Tänze op. 45
Vladimir Jurowski - Conductor
Julia Fischer - Violin
Dancing on the volcano
In 1940, Sergei Rachmaninoff not only concealed some captivating music under the innocuous title Symphonic Dances, but in the last movement, in the heat of battle he summons the medieval Dies irae, the Day of Wrath. Dmitri Shostakovich expects of the symphonically integrated solo violin part to convey nothing short of Judgment Day for Stalinism – a fitting role for world-class artist Julia Fischer. However, the key details are hardly noticeable on a single hearing. For they happen so ludicrously fast that the tempo in this case acts as a mask. The scherzo whirls by – in garish colours, grimacing yet grinning – that not only the Stalinists felt as if they had been beaten to death by it.
This is preceded by Vladimir Jurowski once again presenting a rarity that has it all: the orchestral arrangement of the second movement, Andante assai, of the Piano Sonata No. 4 op. 29 b by Sergei Prokofiev.
Vladimir Jurowski - Conductor
Vladimir Jurowski has been chief conductor and artistic director of the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin since autumn 2017. The conductor, pianist and musicologist Vladimir Jurowski takes on all challenges whether they be stylistic, technical or music-historical.
After receiving training at the Moscow Conservatory Vladimir Jurowski emigrated to Germany in 1990. Here he continued his studies at the music conservatories in Dresden and Berlin – conducting with Rolf Reuter; correpetition and song accompaniment with Semion Skigin. In 1995 he made his international debut at the British Wexford Festival with Rimski-Korsakov’s “Mainacht” and in the same year at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden with “Nabucco”. Subsequently he was, among other things, First Kapellmeister of the Komische Oper Berlin (1997- 2001) and Music Director of the Glyndebourne Festival Opera (2001-2013). In 2003 Vladimir Jurowski was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and has been its Principal Conductor since 2007 and will stay on until summer 2021. He is also Artistic Director of the State Academic Symphony Orchestra Yevgeny Svetlanov of the Russian Federation until summer 2021, Artistic Director of the International George Enescu Festival in Bucharest and Principal Artist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in Great Britain. He works regularly with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the ensemble unitedberlin. With the start of the 2021/2022 season, Vladimir Jurowski will take on one of the most prestigious roles in German musical life in addition to his engagement with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, by becoming General Music Director of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, a position for which he signed a contract in 2018.
Vladimir Jurowski is in high demand around the world as a guest conductor. He has conducted the major orchestras of Europe and North America, including the Berlin, Vienna and New York Philharmonic Orchestras, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, the Boston and Chicago Symphony Orchestras, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, the Staatskapelle Dresden and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. As a guest conductor, Vladimir Jurowski conducted Prokofiev’s “Semyon Kotko” with the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest of the Netherlands in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, made his debut at the Salzburg Easter Festival with the Staatskapelle Dresden, debuted with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, performed with the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra at the Lucerne Festival and conducted a unique project with the London Sinfonietta in Moscow to mark the UK-Russian Year of Culture. Together with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin he performed in Japan in spring 2019 and at the George Enescu Festival in Bucharest in autumn 2019.
The first joint CD by Vladimir Jurowski and the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin from 2015 immediately marked a milestone. Alfred Schnittke’s Symphony No. 3 was followed in 2017 by a Strauss/Mahler recording and a CD of violin concertos by Britten and Hindemith with soloist Arabella Steinbacher. In 2020, a critically acclaimed recording of Gustav Mahler’s “Das Lied von der Erde” was released.
Vladimir Jurowski has been the recipient of numerous awards for his achievements, including various international record prizes. In 2018, the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards named him Conductor of the Year. In 2016, he was bestowed an honorary doctorate from Prince Charles at the Royal College of Music in London. In 2020, Jurowski will be awarded the Order of Cultural Merit by the Romanian President in recognition of his work as Artistic Director of the George Enescu Festival.
Julia Fischer - Violin
One of the world´s leading violinists, Julia Fischer is a versatile musician also known for her extraordinary abilities as a concert pianist, a chamber musician and a violin teacher. Born in Munich to German-Slovakian parents Julia received her first violin lessons at the age of 3 and her first piano lessons shortly after from her mother Viera Fischer. At the age of 9 she started studying with the renowned violin professor Ana Chumachenco, later becoming her successor. The first prize at the international Yehudi Menuhin Competition in 1995 was one of the milestones in her early career and she has since performed with top orchestras worldwide frequently working with renowned conductors such as Herbert Blomstedt, Riccardo Muti, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Yuri Temirkanov and Franz Welser-Möst.
Julia Fischer started the 2018/19 season touring Europe with her long-time chamber music partners Nils Mönkemeyer and Daniel Müller-Schott. She then embarked on a tour of Asia with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski performing in Seoul, Taipei, Beijing and Shanghai as well as with the Dresden Philharmonic and Michael Sanderling with concerts in Japan and Korea. She was joined by violinist Augustin Hadelich for an extensive tour of Germany with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, an orchestra she frequently collaborates with.
Highlights of the past seasons include concerts with the Bayerisches Staatsorchester under Kirill Petrenko at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg and New York’s Carnegie Hall and a residency with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and Philippe Jordan.
In 2011 Julia Fischer founded her own Quartet with Alexander Sitkovetsky, Nils Mönkemeyer and Benjamin Nyffenegger and continues to tour extensively in this formation. Her concert at the Alte Oper Frankfurt in 2010 marked her debut as a pianist: She performed the Grieg Piano Concerto in the second half of the concert, having played Saint-Saëns’s Violin Concerto No. 3 in the first half. The performance is available on a Decca-released DVD. Teaching is another integral part of her musical life as she continues to nurture and guide young talent. In February 2019, she performed together with her students Eva Zavaro and Louis Vandory with the Kammerakademie Potsdam at the Berlin Philharmonie. She regularly gives masterclasses at Musikferien at Lake Starnberg (Starnberger See).
Over the course of her artistic career Julia Fischer has released numerous critically acclaimed and awarded CD and DVD recordings, first under the Pentatone label and later under Decca. Breaking new ground in the classical music market, she has recently launched her own music platform, the JF CLUB, which offers exclusive audio and video footage, previews of her new recordings as well as personal insight into music and her her work. The six solo sonatas by Eugène Ysaye, César Franck’s Sonata in A major and Karol Szymanowski’s Sonata in D minor are all available exclusively on JF CLUB.
Julia Fischer holds numerous awards including the Federal Cross of Merit, Gramophone Award and the German Culture Prize. She plays a violin by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini (1742) as well as an instrument made by Phillipp Augustin (2018).
Sun 27 March 2022 - 8 pm Konzerthaus Berlin