Lost in Fugues
Christopher Moulds and Julian Steckel
Johann Sebastian Bach
Orchestersuite Nr. 3 D-Dur BWV 1068
Konzert für Violoncello und Orchester C-Dur Hob VIIb:1
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Sinfonie C-Dur KV 551 (“Jupiter”)
Christopher Moulds - Conductor
An experienced and versatile conductor, Christopher Moulds is in demand at opera houses throughout Europe. Enjoying strong links with both the Staatsoper Berlin and the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, Moulds conducts repertoire ranging from Monteverdi, Handel and Mozart through to Britten’s Turn of the Screw and contemporary works such as Birtwistle’s Punch and Judy.
This season he makes his debut with Opera National du Rhin for Alcina and Theater an der Wien for Saul as well as joining the Moscow State Phiharmonic Society for a cycle of three Handel operas in the summer: Giulio Cesare, Tamerlano and Rodelinda. He also returns to Stuttgart Opera for Alcina and Bayerische Staatsoper Munich for Die Entführung aus dem Serail. Other houses he has worked with recently include Staatsoper Hamburg, Semperoper Dresden, Theater Basel, Norwegian National Opera and San Francisco Opera.
Moulds is often seen leading repertoire from the baroque era. In January 2015 he led Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, a co-production between the Royal Opera House and the Roundhouse which received much critical acclaim. Other recent performances include Semele at the Händel-Festspiele Karlsruhe, La Calisto at Bayerische Staatsoper Munich and he returned to Madrid for Sasha Waltz’s acclaimed production of Dido & Aeneas. Outside Europe, Moulds has appeared in Russia numerous times at the Bolshoi Theatre including the Russian premiere of Rodelinda and also with the Musica Viva Chamber Orchestra Moscow. Most recently he joined the Moscow Chamber Orchestra for a concert performance of Handel’s Ottone.
Further afield Moulds has appeared in New York for performances of Semele with the Canadian Opera Company at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Following a series of performances in Israel and the Sydney Festival, Sasha Waltz’s production of Handel’s Dido & Aeneas received performances at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires and the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma under Moulds’ baton.
On the concert platform Moulds has conducted orchestras including Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Concerto Köln, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. Recent highlights include performances with Concentus Musicus Wien at the Internationale Barocktage Stift Melk and the Kammerakademie Potsdam. His festival appearances include the Bregenz Festival, the Händel Festspiele Halle and performances of La Clemenza di Tito with the Vienna Philharmonic at the Salzburg Festival.
Moulds began his career in 1991 as a member of the music staff at English National Opera. From 1994-8 he was chorus master at Glyndebourne, after which he began his international career.
Julian Steckel - Violoncello
Written music is potential energy that a performer must unleash. Audiences can tell if a musician really feels that energy, or if their expression is second-hand. When Julian plays, he is sharing something fragile and alive.
“As an interpreter, I’ve started trusting my inner life more and letting the audience in,” he says. “It’s a kind of vulnerability that makes you stronger.” His first child was born at the end of 2018. Since then, his conviction has grown, his sense for metaphor expanded.
He knows that making music for an audience occasionally involves tipping the scales too far one way or another. But he is aware of his responsibility toward what is often called the “intentions of the composer.” He dives deep into scores, investigating the organic connections that give a work its unity. “If you know one room in an apartment, but not that the apartment has seven other rooms, you won’t even understand the room you’re in,” he says. When Julian plays, the music is in safe hands. You listen for his discoveries; what the music, through him, is trying to tell you.
Every life is a series of experiences, encounters, memories, places. Sometimes it’s possible to understand the contours of a musician’s ability through a list of these moments. Julian’s solo career was launched after he won the prestigious ARD Musikwettbewerb in 2010. Since then, he has soloed with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic. He’s worked with the conductors Christoph Eschenbach, Sir Roger Norrington, Valery Gergiev, Jakub Hrůša, Mario Venzago, Fabien Gabel, John Storgårds, Lahav Shani, Antony Hermus, Christian Zacharias and Michael Sanderling. His chamber music partners include Janine Jansen, Christian Tetzlaff, Karen Gomyo, Antje Weithaas, Renaud Capuçon, Veronika Eberle, Vilde Frang, Antoine Tamestit, Lars Vogt, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Paul Rivinius, Denis Kozhukhin, the Modigliani, Armida and Ébène quartets.
For Julian, these experiences and encounters are the result of organic growth, not external pressure. It’s a development that tends to happen when a musician of his ability goes through life with an open mind.
His playing is effortless, unhindered by technical boundaries. He derives energy from appearing not to try. It’s a quality that many look for and few find. He sees his talent and his musical upbringing as a gift. His mentors are responsible for the rest.
“My very first teacher considered lightness and simplicity to be at the core of cello playing,” Julian says. “Listen to yourself, plan what you’re doing, get it right the first time. I owe everything to these insights.” He studied with Ulrich Voss, Gustav Rivinius, Boris Pergamenschikow, Heinrich Schiff and Antje Weithaas. Now he is a teacher too, at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich.
In the 2020/2021 season Julian will appear amongst others with the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony, London Philharmonic Orchestra and Bamberger Symphoniker. In October 2020 he will play the world premiere of Gerald Barry’s cello concerto at the Cello Biennale Amstedam, together with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra under Hannu Lintu, and will premiere Karola Obermüller’s cello concerto in February 2021 with the Philharmonic Orchestra Heidelberg under Elias Grandy.
Along with this, chamber music remains for him a source of inspiration and a hotbed for communication: concerts with long time partners as Antje Weithaas, Tobias Feldmann, Lise Berthaud und William Youn are planned, amongst other venues in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, in the Liszt Akademie Budapest and at the Schubertiade in Hohenems. Furthermore, in spring 2021 he will be on tour with Sharon Kam and Enrico Pace.
Bach’s Orchestra Suite BWV 1068 and two Viennese classics