Vladimir Jurowski & Nils Mönkemeyer
Nikodijevic's tender portrait of a girl killed in the Balkan war. Sadness and anger in Shostakovich's Eighth. Unheard to date Firssova's Viola Concerto
“cvetic, kucica … la lugubre gondola” – Trauermusik nach Franz Liszt für Orchester
Jelena Firssowa Konzert für Viola und Orchester op. 144
Dmitri Shostakovich Symphony No. 8 in C minor, Op. 65
Vladimir Jurowski - Conductor
Nils Mönkemeyer - Viola
Marko Nikodijevic’s touching portrait of a five-year-old girl killed in the Balkan war was unable to be performed publically in the pandemic year 2020. Now Vladimir Jurowski has once again scheduled a performance of the work by the RSB’s then Composer-in-Residence. Also in the programme the Symphony No. 8 by Dmitri Shostakovich, “the most important work of his life” (Sviatoslav Richter, 1978), which in its time also suffered a “cancellation”. It was politically expected of Shostakovich, the supposed music propagandist, to produce something confident and uplifting in 1943. Instead, he caused irritation with a grand painting of sorrow and destruction. But there is more: he ends the work with chamber music: modest, positive, intelligent.
Yelena Firsova’s Viola Concerto from 2014 is heard for the first time in the concert hall. Nils Mönkemeyer takes on the two-movement work, in which the solo viola tackles the first movement all alone, only to go on a life journey together with the orchestra in the second movement, till the last breath.
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.
Nils Mönkemeyer - Viola
Artistic brilliance and innovative programming are the trademarks that have earned Nils Mönkemeyer a reputation as one of the
world’s most successful violists, dramatically raising the profile of his instrument.
Under his exclusive contract with Sony Classical, Mönkemeyer has released numerous CDs over the past years, all of which have
won critical acclaim and prestigious awards. His programmes run the gamut from rediscoveries and first recordings of original
18th-century viola literature, to contemporary repertoire and arrangements of his own.
Nils Mönkemeyer works together with conductors such as Andrej Boreyko, Sylvain Cambreling, Elias Grandy, Christopher
Hogwood, Cornelius Meister, Mark Minkowski, Kent Nagano, Michael Sanderling, Clemens Schuldt, Karl-Heinz Steffens, Markus
Stenz, Mario Venzago and Simone Young, performing as a soloist with ensembles including Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, Helsinki
Philharmonic Orchestra, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Berne Symphony Orchestra, Deutsche
Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Dresden Philharmonic, Hamburg Philharmonic, Frankfurter
Opern- und Museumsorchester, MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra, NDR Radiophilharmonie, Weimar Staatskapelle,
Dusseldorf Symphony Orchestra, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra and Berliner Barock Solisten.
In the season 2021/22 he can be heard performing with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen and Kristiina Poska on a tour through BeNeLux and Estland, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and in Vienna, London, Barcelona, Berlin, Munich, at the Schubertiade, Niedersächsische Musiktage, Heidelberger Frühling and Mozartfest Würzburg. Further highlights of the season are concerts with Sabine Meyer and William Youn and with the Julia Fischer Quartett.
Furthermore, he is pursuing a heartfelt wish as a musician to build bridges with music by making it accessible to the disadvantaged.
To this end, Nils Mönkemeyer founded the chamber music festival “Klassik für Alle” in 2016, in collaboration with the charity
Mönkemeyer has been a professor at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich since 2011 – the same institution at
which he himself studied with Hariolf Schlichtig.
Nils Mönkemeyer plays a viola made by Philipp Augustin.