The National Youth Orchestra of Canada has a long-standing tradition. It was founded in 1960 by the British-Czech conductor Walter Susskind, who directed it until 1964 and also led its first tour to Europe in 1966. Ever since, the orchestra has accompanied about 3,000 music students on their way towards a professional career in music. About 40 percent of all members of Canadian orchestras are graduates of the NYO of Canada, and many others can be found in other ensembles around the world. Every year, about 500 young musicians apply for its 100 seats; the summer working phase takes place at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. This is followed by a national tour through Canada’s leading concert halls. Additional tours have taken the NYO of Canada to the USA, to Japan and China. Its performance at Berlin’s Konzerthaus marks the orchestra’s debut at Young Euro Classic.
Ulrich Deppendorf is a doyen of public television in Germany, whose appearance signalled important information on current world events – he moderated the Report from Berlin no less than 289 times. Berlin is the adopted home of this child of the Ruhr area, the place the 68-year-old feels at home. After studying law in Münster, he interned at the WDR, whose television programme director he ultimately became, after many successful years as an editor responsible for multiple features and programming areas, including “ARD aktuell” and its signature shows Tagesschau and Tagesthemen. That job interrupted his position as the head and chief editor of the ARD Capital Studio, which he then took up again from 2007 to 2015. To many, perhaps himself included, he thereby “returned home”.He finds it easy to deal with the gruff nature of the Berliners; perhaps it is also the city’s cultural riches that attract him. After all, the self-confessed classical music fan originally harboured quite a different dream profession: “I never regretted my decision to become a journalist, not even for one day. But in my next life, I would like to be a conductor.” As one of the founding fathers of Young Euro Classic, he has actively accompanied the festival from the very first minute. We hope this will remain the case for many years! In May of this year, he also became the chairman of the charitable association supporting the German Historical Museum Berlin.
The British conductor Jonathan Darlington is a musical citizen of the world. Born in England in 1954, he was General Music Director at the Duisburg Opera from 2002 to 2011, lives in Paris today and has also been Music Director at the Vancouver Opera in Western Canada. Darlington started his career as a pianist, accompanist and répétiteur. He assisted Olivier Messiaen, Pierre Boulez and Myung-whun Chung in Paris; he was also the accompanist to master courses of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Janet Baker and Peter Pears at the Britten-Pears School in Aldeburgh. Since his 1984 conducting debut in Paris, Darlington has appeared with innumerable orchestras – including the Konzerthaus Orchestra in Berlin – and at opera houses in Europe and the USA. Apart from his position in Vancouver, he conducts regularly at the Semper Opera in Dresden (e.g. Die Zauberflöte, Die Fledermaus), but also in Vienna (Madama Butterfly) and Frankfurt (The Makropoulos Case).
Aged only 21, the horn player Martin Mangrum is currently enrolled at the Colburn School, a conservatory in Los Angeles, where the principal horn player of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Andrew Bain, is his teacher. Martin Mangrum received his first horn lessons at the age of ten, subsequently moving on to the Montreal Music Conservatory and to the Marianopolis College. He has received several scholarships for the Aspen Music Festival during recent years. In the concert series “Jeunes et Pros” (Young Musicians and Professionals) in Montreal, the horn player has performed with members of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Martin Mangrum has also been a substitute during concerts of the Los Angeles Philharmonic several times. In 2017 he won the Sénecal Mozart Prize and was invited as a soloist to the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra. This year, the Canadian Arts Council honoured the musician with the Michael Measures Prize.
"Catfish Row" Suite from "Porgy and Bess" (1936)
Horn Concerto No. 2 in E-flat-Major Op. 132 (1942)
"Moontides" (2018, German Premiere)
"Le Poème de l’extase" Op. 54 (1905-1908)
7 pm: Pre-Concert Talk with Dieter Rexroth at the Werner-Otto-Saal
Free admission for ticket holders at 6:45 pm
A premiere in the history of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada: for the first time in its more than 50 years of history, the young Canadians perform at Young Euro Classic in Berlin. And their musical selections are definitely a perfect calling-card: the concert begins with something nonchalant from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, followed by Richard Strauss’ Horn Concerto No. 2, a brilliant solo number. Then, importantly, a contemporary work by the Canadian composer John Estacio. The crowning finale is the resounding, sensuously overwhelming spectacle of Alexander Scriabin’s Le poème de l’extase. The National Youth Orchestra of Canada is led by Jonathan Darlington, an experienced conductor, known to German audiences from his ten-year tenure as general music director at the Rheinoper in Duisburg.
This concert is recorded by Deutschlandfunk Kultur and broadcasted nationwide – via FM, DAB +, Kabel, online and app. The date of the broadcast is August 12, 2018, 20:03-22:00.