Remembering Gennady Rozhdestvensky

The esteemed Russian conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky passed away last Saturday. He was 87. Following studies at the Moscow Conservatory, Rozhdestvensky made his conducting debut at the age of 20 at the Bolshoi Theatre with Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. He went on to lead the BBC Symphony Orchestra (1978-1981), the USSR Ministry of Culture Orchestra (1983-1991) and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic (1992-1995), among other ensembles. Rozhdestvensky will be remembered for his associations with some of the …

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Tchaikovsky’s Fateful Fourth Symphony

It begins with one of the most powerful, bold, and memorable statements in all of symphonic music. Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 in F minor opens with a blazing fanfare, first heard as a piercingly metallic proclamation in the horns and then augmented by trombones and soaring trumpets. Regarding this opening, Tchaikovsky wrote, The introduction is the seed of the whole Symphony: This is fate: that fateful force which prevents the impulse to happiness from attaining its goal, which …

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Conductor News on Both Sides of the Pond

Two recent announcements promise to shake up the orchestra world. Late last month, the New York Philharmonic announced that Dutch conductor Jaap van Zweden would succeed Alan Gilbert to become the orchestra’s Music Director, beginning in 2018. He is currently Music Director of the Dallas Symphony and the Hong Kong Philharmonic.  Jaap van Zweden, who was concertmaster of Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra for 17 years, first picked up a baton at the request of Leonard …

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