12. März 2018
After great successes in 2017 with New York City Opera at Lincoln Center in New York, in Sao Paulo, Geneva and Sofia, the conductor Ira Levin has been re-invited by the Grand Théâtre Genève in February/March 2018 to replace in a shortest possible time Peter Schneider, who became ill while his trip to Geneva. For 5 concerts Levin was conducting the Orchestra of the Suisse Romande with Schumann’s SCENES FROM GOETHE’S FAUST at the Victoria Hall of Geneva. According to the international media, Levin, the singers and the orchestra impressed the audience very deeply:
I. “From the very first measures, conductor Ira Levin offered an interpretation full of energy and passion, marked with a great sense of theater. The orchestra of the Suisse Romande responded perfectly to his intentions, with the silky and luminous sounds of it’s greatest nights.” (Claudio Poloni in Concerto Net, March 1, 2018 click)
II. “Thank God a replacement was found in the shortest possible time to replace Peter Schneider, who became ill during his trip to Geneva. The Chicago-born conductor and pianist Ira Levin, who has lived for many years In Germany and has a very large opera and concert repertory, is already known to our readers as an excellent conductor from previous reviews and interviews. Much was promised and that promise was fulfilled. He began the overture with a sweep that tore one from their seat. With his circular movements, he repeatedly achieved moments of the greatest emotion. Schumann obviously intended for the orchestra to make the greatness and significance of his earthshaking subject palpable and the Suisse Romande orchestra has not only the name but the ability to realize that. Great music drama was in store. But it was never too loud or glaring in sound, the singers were always easily audible. With great sovereignty and sensitivity, this substitute conductor was able to achieve a sense of the whole out of the many disparate elements.” (Sieglinde Pfabigan in Der Neue Merker, February 28, 2018 click)
III. “To give life to such a composite work, the right conductor is needed, and in this respect, the directors of the Grand Theater had a happy hand by choosing the American Ira Levin who, from the first bars of the somewhat thick orchestration of the Overture showed his goal of extracting extreme passionate lyricism. He also aroused the dark and terrifying moments of the Dies Irae as well as the iridescent and ethereal tones of the final scene. In this, he was assisted by the Orchester de la Suisse Romande which responded more and more to the constant exhortations of this energetic conductor. The entire presentation of this work was remarkable.” (Paul-Andre Demierre in Crescendo, March 1, 2018, click)
IV. “For a work with such an overabundance of meaning and sound, the conductor Ira Levin deployed a constant energy and sweep that animated the impressive ranks of the Orchestra of the Suisse Romande and the Choir of the Grand Théâtre de Genève. The musicians and singers were all excellent, each sound clearly audible, every tone perceptible.” (Fabrice Malkani in ForumOpera.com March 3, 2018, click)
V. “The Suisse Romande was conducted by Ira Levin, who replaced the ill Peter Schneider on short notice. From his precise and authoritarian gestures, the American conductor was constantly attentive to balances and colours, often urging his musicians to extremes of dynamics, especially in piano. The orchestra, thanks to its excellent musicians, responded by showing many contrasts and colours.” (Emannuel Derouux in Olyrix, February 26, 2018, click)
February 07, 2018
The young Russian cellist Anastasia Kobekina won the Prix Thierry Scherz and the Prix André Hoffmann at the Swiss winter music festival “Sommets musicaux de Gstaad”, which includes a recording with an orchestra for the Swiss recording label Claves.
In Gstaad Anastasia Kobekina also has given her first interview for the Strad Magazine: click.
Here now Asya Fateyeva in the programme KlickKlack from 24th April 2017 (BR-Klassik) with Sol Gabetta.