Baldur Brönnimann’s Ligeti with BIT20 Ensemble named in Best of 2017
Baldur Brönnimann’s recent recording of Ligeti Concertos with BIT20 Ensemble, Joonas Ahonen and Christian Poltera on the BIS label is honoured in several “Best of 2017” features. Kate Molleson of the Herald has included the disc in her list of the top 20 classical releases of 2017, Presto Classical named it one of the top recordings of the year and Finland’s Helsingin Sanomat have declared it one of the ‘Classical Records of the Year 2017’.
The disc received critical acclaim, including from the Guardian:
"Brönnimann and the ensemble are vivid advocates of Ligeti’s music. They provide a reminder that even at its most magically elusive it retains a strong rhythmic spine... the clarity and precision of everything is still remarkable... The whole disc provides a fine introduction to Ligeti’s unique and often ravishingly beautiful musical world."
Baldur Brönnimann returns to the Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música to conduct Dusapin
Baldur Brönnimann returns to Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música on 18 November 2017 to conduct Pascal Dusapin’s new cello concerto, Outscape. The piece was premiered in 2016 by Alisa Weilerstein and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and performances since have included by Stuttgart Opera Orchestra, Orchestre de l’Opera de Paris, and BBC Symphony Orchestra at the 2017 BBC Proms. Anssi Karttunen is the soloist in this particular performance of the piece, taking place at Casa da Musica, when Brönnimann also conducts Sibelius’ Symphony No.2.
Elsewhere this month, Brönnimann returns to the Basel Sinfonietta on 12 November 2017 to conduct a programme of Georges Aperghis The Walls have Ears, Nikos Skalkottas The Return of Ulysses: Overture and Scriabin Symphony No.5 'Prometheus' with pianist Stefan Wirth.
Baldur Brönnimann makes his debut with the Oregon Symphony
Baldur Brönnimann makes his debut with the Oregon Symphony this month, conducting three performances at Portland's Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall on 14, 15 and 16 October 2017. The programme features Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto No.1 featuring cellist Johannes Moser, as well as Shostakovich Symphony No.5 and Angela da Ponte’s The Rising Sea.
Elsewhere in October, Brönnimann makes a second debut, this time with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra on 27 October. He leads the orchestra in a programme of works by Romitelli and Boulez, among others, at Tallinn’s contemporary music festival AFEKT.
Baldur Brönnimann makes debut with the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne
Baldur Brönnimann makes his debut with WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne on 23 September 2017, conducting a programme of Zimmermann Un Petit Rien and Stille und Umkehr, Christophe Bertrand Scales and Satie Uspud. The concert, which takes place at Cologne's Funkhaus Wallrafplatz, will be broadcast live on WDR3.
Esewhere in September, Brönnimann returns to the Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música for an outdoor concert at Avenida Dos Aliados on 9 September. The eclectic programme includes works by Offenbach, Grieg, Tchaikovsky, Gershwin and Mascagni, and Brönnimann also conducts the orchestra in performances of works by Portuguese composers. He also returns to Basel Sinfonietta for their season opening concert on 17 September, with works by Saariaho and Romitelli.
Baldur Brönnimann makes debut at Mostly Mozart Festival with Hans Zender's Dark Mirror
Baldur Brönnimann makes his debut at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival on 12 August 2017 when he once again revives Netia Jones’ multimedia staging of Hans Zender’s Winterreise reimagining, The Dark Mirror. Brönnimann once again joins forces with Ian Bostridge for the performance in the Rose Theater.
Brönnimann has previously conducted performances of this work in London, Taichung and Perth (Australia) and this time the orchestra is New York’s International Contemporary Ensemble. Brönnimann conducts a second performance of The Dark Mirror on 13 August.
Following this, Brönnimann conducts the ICE in another performance at Mostly Mozart on 14 August. This time he leads the ensemble in a programme of works by Pauline Oliveros, Anna Thorvaldsdottir and Liza Lim.
Baldur Brönnimann makes debut with the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
Baldur Brönnimann makes his debut with the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra with a performance at Vienna Konzerthaus on 1 June 2017. The Boulez-themed programme includes the composer’s Figures-Doubles-Prismes and Mémoriale as well as Ibert Flute Concerto with Emmanuel Pahud, Pintscher Osiris and Debussy La Mer.
Brönnimann makes a second trip to Vienna on 19 June to join Klangforum Wien at the Wiener Festwochen on 19 June 2017. Brönnimann conducts a programme featuring Boulez Répons and …esplosante-fixe…
Also in June, Brönnimann returns to both Orquestra Sinfonica do Porto Casa da Musica for a French programme on 9 and 10 June, and to the Basel Sinfonietta for a programme centred around outer space from across musical history, featuring works by Cage, Holst, Vivier, Johann Strauss II, Lentz and Offenbach. The performance takes place at Kunsteisbahn Margarethen on 24 June.
Baldur Bronnimann makes debut with Danish National Symphony Orchestra at PULSAR 2017
Baldur Brönnimann makes his debut with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra on 9 March 2017, conducting the orchestra in a programme of new works by Jeppe V Ernst, Mads Emil Dreyer, Bara Gisladottir, Anna Thorvaldsdottir and Ib Norholm. The performance takes is part of the Royal Danish Academy of Music's PULSAR Festival of Contemporary Music, which is this year marking the institute's 150th anniversary by presenting both new works and those of composers long associated with the academy.
Following this, Brönnimann returns once again to Klangforum Wien for a performance at Wiener Konzerthaus, including music by Xenakis, Rebecca Saunders and Enno Poppe on 21 March.
Baldur Bronnimann conducts Hans Zender's Winterreise with West Australian Symphony Orchestra
Baldur Brönnimann once again conducts performances of Hans Zender's Winterreise reimagining, The Dark Mirror, this time with West Australian Symphony Orchestra in Perth on 10 and 11 February 2017. The multimedia-enhanced performances, directed by Netia Jones, take place at Perth Concert Hall. The performances of this production last year at the Barbican Centre in London were met with critical acclaim:
"Brönnimann’s attentiveness and care was impressive... the conductor pointedly communicated harmonic and temporal arguments."
Elsewhere in February, Brönnimann makes his debut with the Munich Chamber Orchestra, in a programme of Xenakis, Mark Andre, Jorg Widmann and Julia Wolfe at Munich's Schwere Reiter on 22 February, and Brönnimann returns to Basel Sinfonietta where he is Principal Conductor for a programme of Revueltas, John Adams and Rolf Wallin on 18 February.
Baldur Brönnimann conducts Basel Sinfonietta & Kirill Gerstein at Mozarteum Salzburg
Baldur Brönnimann is joined by Kirill Gerstien for a performance at the Dialogues Festival at Mozarteum Salzburg on 3 December 2016 with the Basel Sinfonietta.
The contemporary music festival focuses on the work of Wolfgang Rihm, and Brönnimann conducts a programme featuring the composer's Sotto voce and Sotto voce 2. Gerstein joins Brönnimann and the orchestra to perform Mozart Piano Concerto No.19 and Busoni Nocturne symphonique.
Baldur Brönnimann conducts Hans Zender's Winterreise in Taiwain
Baldur Brönnimann travels to Taiwan this month to conduct Netia Jones' multimedia production of Hans Zender's Winterreise reimagining, The Dark Mirror, on 4, 5 and 6 November 2016.
Brönnimann conducts the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra at Taiwan's newest theatre, the National Taichung Theatre, with Ian Bostridge returning in the role of the Traveller. Brönnimann and Bostridge collaborated on Jones' production of The Dark Mirror at the Barbican Centre in May:
"Brönnimann’s attentiveness and care was impressive... the conductor pointedly communicated harmonic and temporal arguments."
"The Britten Sinfonia was excellent under the unobtrusive and masterly direction of Baldur Brönnimann."
Also in November, Brönnimann returns to Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música for performances on 11 November with Bartók Concerto for Orchestra and Shostakovich Violin Concerto No.1 with Alina Ibragimova, and on 25 and 27 November when he conducts a Russian programme including works by Mussorgsky, Borodin and Rimsky-Korsakov.
Baldur Brönnimann & Louis Schwizgebel debut with Aurora Orchestra in Bilbao
Baldur Brönnimann and Louis Schwizgebel make their debuts with Aurora Orchestra at Bilbao’s Sociedad Filarmónica de Bilbao on 26 October 2016.
The programme for the concert features Mozart Overture to Don Giovanni and Symphony No.40, with Schwizgebel performing Beethoven Piano Concerto No.1, which he recorded with the London Philharmonic Orchestra to great acclaim:
“Schwizgebel is a fine pianist technically, with a keenly attuned sense of poetry. His shaping of the melodies in these two concertos is beautifully done… Schwizgebel produces a beautifully nuanced account.”
“Schwizgebel’s playing is poised, lively and full of subtle, changing detail."
BBC Music Magazine
The concert in Bilbao is Brönnimann's second of the month in Spain, following a performance in Madrid with the Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música on 15 October.
Schwizgebel arrives in Bilbao following a series of solo recitals across the UK and France, in Germany where he was playing with Ray Chen, and a tour of Switzerland with the Orchestre du Chambre de Lausanne conducted by Santtu-Mathias Rouvali.
Baldur Brönnimann brings the Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música to Madrid
Baldur Brönnimann and the Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música perform once again at the Auditorio Nacional de Música on 15 October 2016.
Brönnimann and the orchestra perform a varied programme including Debussy La Mer, Ravel Daphnis et Chloé Suite and Boulez Notations, alongside new works by Angela da Ponte and Luis de Freitas Branco.
Brönnimann returns to Spain later in the month to conduct his first concert with Aurora Orchestra in Bilbao.
Baldur Brönnimann makes his BBC Proms debut in Boulez tribute concert
Baldur Brönnimann makes his debut at the BBC Proms on 2 September 2016 conducting a programme commemorating Pierre Boulez with the ensemble founded by Boulez himself, Ensemble Intercontemporain.
Also featuring the BBC Singers, the programme includes Boulez Anthèmes 2 and Cummings ist der Dichter, as well as Bartók Three Village Scenes and Carter Penthode, written in 1985 for the ensemble. Taking place at the Royal Albert Hall, the performance begins at 22:15 and will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.
Also in September, Brönnimann conducts his inaugural performance as Principal Conductor of Basel Sinfonietta on 24 September at Volkshaus Basel, featuring works by Andrew Norman, Brett Dean and Toshio Hosokawa, among others. He also returns to Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música for a programme on 10 September including works by Dvorák, Borodin, Smetana and Elgar.
Baldur Brönnimann conducts South American premiere of Die Soldaten in Buenos Aires with Leigh Melrose
Baldur Brönnimann returns once again to Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires to conduct the Latin American premiere of Zimmermann Die Soldaten on 12 July 2016. Brönnimann is joined by Leigh Melrose, making his company and role debut as Stolzius. Further performances of Pablo Maritano's new production are on 15, 17, 19 and 20 July.
Brönnimann's previous collaborations with Teatro Colón include Helmut Lachenmann The Little Match Girl in 2014, narrated by the composer, and Ligeti Le Grand Macabre in 2011. Of the former, critics said:
“Direction was entrusted to the brilliant strategist Baldur Bronnimann… the cold, the wind, the snow, the light, the flame, the stars, the ascension; it was all filtered by the orchestra and the electronic sounds. With the upper balconies occupied by performers and speakers, the music surrounds the audience in an evolving arch; some kind of gigantic glissando graduated to perfection by Bronnimann.”
“Director Baldur Bronnimann, leading a very committed Orquesta Estable, proved once more his ability to sort out the most arduous challenges; in this case, it wasn’t only about the technical difficulties of Lachenmann’s musical language for each instrument, but the incessant changes in meter resolved with precision by the director.”
Melrose is rounding off a hugely successful season which included his role debut as Alberich Das Rheingold at Ruhrtriennale Festival, the title role of Wozzeck at Zurich Opera House and at the Royal Festival Hall under the baton of Fabio Luisi, Friedrich in a new Das Liebesverbot at Teatro Real and the world premiere of Louis Andriessen Theatre of the World with Dutch National Opera and the LA Philharmonic.
Next season Melrose returns to Zurich to star as Ruprecht Fiery Angel in a new production by Carlos Bieito and a much anticipated debut as Golaud. Future engagements include returns to Zurich Opera House and Teatro Real as well as a much anticipated debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
“Baritone Leigh Melrose is the undisputed star of this show.”
Theaterkrant, September 2015
"Leigh Melrose was outstanding as Alberich”
Die Welt, September 2015
Baldur Brönnimann conducts Schoenberg in collaboration with Netia Jones at Bergen International Festival
Baldur Brönnimann returns to the Bergen International Festival once again to conduct Bergen Philharmonic at the Grieghallen on 28 May 2016.
The programme features Schoenberg Erwartung and Verklärte Nacht, with video art and staging from director Netia Jones, with whom Brönnimann collaborated in London earlier in the month. Joining Brönnimann and the orchestra for this complex multimedia staging of these twentieth-century mainstays is soprano Allison Cook.
Baldur Brönnimann conducts Ian Bostridge at the Barbican Centre in new production of Winterreise
Baldur Brönnimann returns to London this month to conduct the Britten Sinfonia in Netia Jones' new production of Hans Zender’s reimagining of Schubert Winterreise at the Barbican Theatre on 12, 13 and 14 May 2016.
In Zender’s version, Schubert’s haunting song cycle is orchestrated and reimagined to evoke the abrasive cabaret style of post-Weimar Germany, and is adapted for stage in this theatrical production. Featuring celebrated tenor Ian Bostridge, Netia Jones has created this production using video art, projections and traditional set design, with Brönnimann at the helm of the on-stage orchestra.
Brönnimann and Jones have collaborated on a number of acclaimed projects in the past, most recently on Unsuk Chin Alice in Wonderland at Barbican with BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Baldur Brönnimann conducts world premiere of Rolf Wallin's Elysium at Norwegian Opera
Baldur Brönnimann returns to Norwegian Opera this month to conduct the world premiere of Rolf Wallin’s opera Elysium on 12 March 2016. The opera, a collaboration between Wallin and British playwright Mark Ravenhill, runs until 2 April.
Brönnimann made his debut at Norwegian Opera in February 2014, when he conducted a semi-staged performance of Kaija Saariaho L’amour de Loin.
Baldur Brönnimann performs premiere of Thorvaldsdottir opera in Trier
Baldur Brönnimann conducts the premiere of Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s new chamber opera, UR_, at Theatre Trier on 11 and 12 September 2015. The work revolves around a central character, portrayed by an actor, and three singers who represent different aspects of the consciousness, with the score performed by BIT20 Ensemble.
Later in the month, Brönnimann returns to Klangforum Wien, where he conducts every season, for a programme of contemporary music by Eva Reiter, Vito Zuraj, Agata Zubel, Simon Steen-Andersen and Stefan Prins on 21 September at Vienna’s Konzerthaus.
Baldur Brönnimann returns to West Australian Symphony Orchestra
Baldur Brönnimann returns to West Australian Symphony Orchestra for the second time this season, this time to conduct the world premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s new trumpet concerto, Håkan, written for and performed by Håkan Hardenberger. Also on the programme is Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, and Sibelius Symphony No.5 & The Swan of Tuonela. Performances take place on 8 and 9 May 2015, and will be broadcast on ABC Classic FM on 11 May.
Later this month, Brönnimann makes his debut with Orchestre National de Bordeaux Aquitaine on 21 May with pianist Ivor Tchetuev in a programme of Beethoven, Webern & Schoenberg.
Baldur Brönnimann: UK premiere of Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland at Barbican Centre
Baldur Brönnimann returns to the Barbican Centre for the UK premiere of Unsuk Chin’s operatic adaptation of Alice in Wonderland on 8 March with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Chin’s score sets a libretto by David Henry Hwang in an innovative multimedia staging designed by Netia Jones, using illustrations by Ralph Steadman, interactive animated video projections, eclectic costumes and choreography.
Following this, Brönnimann returns to Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música for a programme featuring Strauss Metamorphosen and Beethoven 'Eroica' Symphony on 13 March.
Finally, Brönnimann makes his debut with Goteborgs Symphony Orchestra in a series of schools concerts from 17 to 20 March. The performances will feature Rolf Wallin Strange News, a work for orchestra and actor, using surround sound and video footage, and detailing individual stories of children used in war across the world.
Baldur Brönnimann becomes first Principal Conductor of the Basel Sinfonietta
Baldur Brönnimann has been appointed as the first Principal Conductor of the Basel Sinfonietta in the orchestra’s 35-year history.
The orchestra, comprising 138 members, is firmly committed to promoting and performing new music and new musical forms, and in addition to traditional concerts, they have staged productions with jazz, dance and performance art, as well as multimedia projects. Responsible for performing over 150 world premieres, the orchestra appear regularly at home in Switzerland and at festivals across Europe. Heavily involved in the local community, they frequently participate in educational projects, and support and nurture young musical talent.
Brönnimann will take up the new post from the 2016/17 season and will conduct four performances per year.
Baldur Brönnimann receives acclaim for Birtwistle 80th birthday concerts at Barbican Centre
Baldur Brönnimann’s contributions to the Barbican Centre’s celebrations of Harrison Birtwistle’s 80th birthday have been well received by critics. On 29 May, Brönnimann made his debut with Britten Sinfonia and conducted Birtwistle’s rarely heard opera Yan Tan Tethera, a typically enigmatic pastoral tale. Soloists were Roderick Williams, Omar Ebrahim, Claire Booth and Daniel Norman:
"Baldur Brönnimann struck an ideal balance between lyrical flow and dramatic momentum."
John Allison, Daily Telegraph, May 2014
“It certainly allowed all the beauties of Birtwistle's glistening, mysterious score, with its constantly shifting "music of the hill" underpinning everything, to be appreciated in all its detail under Baldur Brönnimann.”
Guardian, May 2014
“Baldur Brönnimann took good care conducting the orchestra, whose sounds spread like a carpet of repeating patterns, glinting with flecks of harp, percussion and pirouetting violins.”
Times, May 2014
The following night, Brönnimann conducted a programme showcasing a contrasting side of Birtwistle’s oeuvre. Two Birtwistle works – Fields of Sorrow and Melencolia I – were set alongside earlier English composers, Holst and Vaughan Williams:
"The layers of Birtwistle's magical, interlocking network of musical mobiles – with its choirs of woodwind, chiming pianos and percussion, as well as a solo horn, underpinning the choir and its antiphonal solo sopranos – were all balanced with great care by Brönnimann."
Guardian, May 2014
Baldur Brönnimann conducts Lachenmann’s Little Match Girl and makes Royal Stockholm Philharmonic debut
Baldur Brönnimann returns to Teatro Colon to conduct Lachenmann's radical opera, The Little Match Girl on 15 and 16 March. The work - based on the Hans Christian Andersen tale of the same name - is a highly challenging piece of sound-art incorporating a huge range of unconventional sound production techniques, and will be narrated in this performance by Helmut Lachenmann himself.
Following this, Brönnimann makes his debut with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic on 10 and 12 April as part of a Composer’s Weekend celebrating the work of Swedish composer, Jesper Nordin. Across two concerts, Brönnimann leads the orchestra in a number of works by the composer as well as Stokowski’s orchestration of Bach’s Passacaglia & Fugue in C minor.
April also sees Brönnimann return to Bergen to conduct BIT20 Ensemble as they record Ligeti’s Piano Concerto. Following this, he once again returns to Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música where he will conduct two programmes, on 25 and 26 April, alongside Laurence Cummings, with Brönnimann’s contribution to include works by Schoenberg, Berg and Janáček.
At the end of April, Brönnimann returns to London to conduct the London Sinfonietta in a programme of works by Michel van der Aa, featuring the world premiere of Hysteresis, a clarinet concerto, and Here Trilogy, which will receive its first full UK performance at this concert, on 30 April
Baldur Brönnimann: debut at Theater An Der Wien with Romitelli’s An Index of Metals
Brönnimann returns to Klangforum Wien once again, for his debut performance at Theater An Der Wien on 30 January. The ensemble are joined by soprano Barbara Hannigan, for Fausto Romitelli’s radical ‘video-opera’, An Index of Metals. The work merges video sequences of the effects of light on metallic surfaces, an electronically-filtered soprano voice, and an 11-piece electronically-amplified ensemble into a complex visual and acoustic experience.
Baldur Brönnimann makes Oslo Philharmonic debut and conducts four concerts with Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg
On 13 September, Baldur Brönnimann makes his debut with the Oslo Philharmonic, in an evocative programme which includes Charles Ives Three Places in New England and an eclectic selection of Ives’ songs, arranged by Georg Friedrich Haas and John Adams, with baritone Leigh Melrose. Also on the programme will be Frank Zappa’s Sad Jane and the premiere of a new work by Norwegian composer Lene Grenager, VEV.
Later in September, in another debut, Brönnimann leads the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg for four concerts in Séléstat (20 September), Bischwiller (21 September), Saverne (22 September), and Strasbourg (24 September). The varied programme includes works by Grieg and Sibelius, as well as by Saariaho, Hakola, and Lindberg.