The Youth Chamber Orchestra St. Petersburg began its artistic life in 2012, when the conductor Migran Adagzhanyan founded it together with other highly motivated young musicians. A professional attitude, enthusiasm and a conscious focus on music of the 21st century unites the members of the orchestra, many of whom are winners of Russian and international competitions. Since its founding, the Youth Chamber Orchestra St. Petersburg has given more than 200 concerts; its repertoire ranges from baroque to modernism and includes world premieres and national premieres. The orchestra has a special working relationship with the American violinist Joshua Bell. Furthermore, the orchestra strives to work with the best conductors, composers and sound engineers of St. Petersburg. In December 2017 the musicians first organized a master class for young conductors, which featured Puccini’s opera La Bohème.
Tough times in Brussels! After the British voted for Brexit, the European capital then had to survive the “Krexit” as well in 2016: Rolf-Dieter Krause, the ARD’s “Mr. Europe” for decades, retired amidst well-earned accolades. “Factually competent, analytically critical, clearly expressive,” the Medium Magazin described him when naming him “Journalist of the Year” in 2012. Now he is a true Berliner. Krause, born in Lüneburg, began his career as a reporter for newspapers, joined the WDR in Düsseldorf in 1982 and became the ARD Correspondent in Bonn from 1985 to 1990. In 1990 he finally landed where he belonged: in Brussels. With refreshing openness, he recounts: “At the time, I had no particular views on the European Community. I was simply young and curious.” After an intermezzo as a Deputy Studio Director in Bonn and Head of Programming for the WDR TV in Cologne in 2000, Brussel welcomed him back in 2001 – for 15 years, the rest of his professional life. Today he works as advisor and as speaker on European Affairs.
The 26-year-old Migran Agadzhanyan is a true multi-talent. On the one hand, he has a successful career as a tenor, having studied with Renata Scotto at the Opera Studio of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome and won prizes at renowned vocal competitions in Italy and Russia. In 2017 he made his debut at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg in Verdi’s opera I vespri siciliani; he has also performed there as Don Carlo, Don José in Carmen and Rodolfo in La Bohème. On the other hand, Agadzhanyan is equally successful as a pianist, winning competitions in Kiev, Paris and Pesaro. He still studies piano at the State Conservatory in St. Petersburg, where he is also a member of the conducting class of Vladimir Altschuler. In addition to his position as founder and conductor of the Youth Chamber Orchestra St. Petersburg, Agadzhanyan regularly conducts other Russian orchestras and composes as well.
The Russian oboist Aleksandr Bykov, born in Leningrad in 1991, graduated from the State Conservatory Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov in St. Petersburg in 2017 and has been the assistant to Prof. A. Kazakov at that institution since then. He was also appointed principal oboist in the State Kapella Orchestra in St. Petersburg in 2014. Bykov is regularly invited to perform as a guest the Mariinsky Theatre St. Petersburg, the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra and by Theodor Currentzis’ MusicAeterna Orchestra. The Russian has attended master classes with oboists such as François Leleux, Maurice Bourgue, David Walter and Gregor Witt of the Berlin Staatskapelle.
The Russian soprano Karina Flores first studied vocal performance in Rostov-on-Don before moving to Rome, where Renata Scotto was her teacher at the Opera Studio of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. She won awards at numerous vocal competitions in Rome, Piacenza and St. Petersburg. In the meantime, Karina Flores has become a sought-after singer in the Italian fach; her roles include Bellini’s Norma and Verdi’s Elisabetta (Don Carlos) as well as Aida in Peter Stein’s production at Moscow’s Stanislavsky Theatre. Most recently, she was heard as Tosca in Braunschweig at the end of 2017 and as Desdemona in Verona in February 2018. Of course, she also commands roles such as Tchaikovsky’s Tatiana and Liza and Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District.
The Russian bass Felix Kudryatsev completed his vocal studies at the State Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow in 2004. In 2003 he joined the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theatre in Moscow. Since 2008 he has been engaged there as a soloist and has appeared in many productions, ranging from Rimsky-Korsakov’s May Night and The Tale of Tsar Saltan and Prokofiev’s Betrothal in a Monastery to Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia, Massenet’s Werther and Manon as well as Cherubini’s Médée.
Symphony No. 14 for Soprano, Bass and Chamber Orchestra Op. 135 (1969)
Concerto for Oboe and Chamber Orchestra (2004, German Premiere)
Serenade for String Orchestra in C-Major Op. 48 (1880)
7 pm: Pre-Concert Talk with Anne Kussmaul at the Werner-Otto-Saal
Free admission for ticket holders at 6:45 pm
Professionalism, enthusiasm and a focus on music of the 21st century – those are the pillars upon which the Youth Chamber Orchestra St. Petersburg was founded only six years ago. These pillars also mark the programme with which the musicians from St. Petersburg make their debut at Young Euro Classic. First there is an obligatory piece for any Russian orchestra, Tchaikovsky’s popular Serenade for Strings in C-Major, a resounding homage to the composer’s great role model, Mozart. With a view to the 21st century, the young players from St. Petersburg then perform a brand-new Oboe Concerto by Dovlet Anzarokov, giving the work its German premiere. And finally, they rise to a very special challenge: Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 14 with its soprano and bass solo parts, whose texts all deal with the subject of death, setting poems ranging from Federico García Lorca to Rainer Maria Rilke.
The concert will be streamed LIVE and ON DEMAND on ARTE CONCERT: concert.arte.tv/young-euro-classic