Kristóf Baráti debuts with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under Gilbert Varga
This month, Kristóf Baráti makes his debut with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in two concerts at Liverpool's Philharmonic Hall on 7 and 8 February. Baráti performs Mozart Violin Concerto No.5, ‘Turkish’ under the baton of fellow Intermusica artist Gilbert Varga, who also leads the orchestra in Haydn Symphony No.49, ‘La Passione’, Wagner Faust Overture and Kodály Suite: Háry János.
Later this week, Kristóf returns to perform with Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra in Munich Gasteig. The concert, on 10 February, is part of Gergiev’s Tchaikovsky cycle with Baráti performing the composer’s Violin Concerto.
Gilbert Varga & the Orquesta Sinfónica de Euskadi perform in Madrid
Gilbert Varga travels to Madrid with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Euskadi for a concert at the Auditorio Nacional de Música on 18 May 2018. Varga was Music Director of the orchestra for ten seasons from 1998-2008, making him the longest-serving Music Director in the orchestra’s history.
The programme includes Brahms Academic Overture, Beethoven Piano Concerto No.4 with local soloist Joaquín Achúcarro and Tchaikovsky Symphony No.4.
Gilbert Varga returns to the Pannon Philharmonic with Kristóf Baráti
Gilbert Varga returns to the Pannon Philharmonic Orchestra for two performances in Pecs and Budapest on 22 and 23 February 2018. The programme features John Adams Short Ride in a Fast Machine, Barber’s Violin Concerto with Kristóf Baráti and excerpts from Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet Suites. Both Varga and Baráti enjoy frequent collaborations both with each other and with Pannon Philharmonic, where they perform every season.
Varga's other engagements this season include concerts with the Berlin Konzerthausorchester, the Malaysian Philharmonic and Orquesta Euskadi.
Baráti follows the concerts with the Pannon Philharmonic with his debut with the Munich Philharmonic. Further highlights include concerts with the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Prague Philharmonia, Lahti Symphony Orchestra and a return to the Verbier Festival.
Gilbert Varga conducts at the Curtis Institute of Music for the first time
Gilbert Varga travels to Philadelphia this month to conduct his first concert at the Curtis Institute of Music on 28 January 2018. Varga conducts the student orchestra in a performance of Bartók Miraculous Mandarin Suite and Rimsky-Korsakov Scheherazade at the city's Kimmel Center.
Prior to this, Varga returns once again to Taipei Symphony Orchestra for a performance on 13 January. The programme includes Haydn Symphony No.6, a selection of orchestrated Schubert Songs, and Brahms Symphony No.3
Gilbert Varga tours California with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra
Gilbert Varga embarks upon a Californian tour with Taipei Symphony Orchestra this month, with concerts taking place at Cupertino’s Flint Centre on 2 November, and at San Diego’s Copley Symphony Hall on 4 November 2017. The programme for the tour includes a new work by Taiwanese prize-winning composer Ching-Wen Chao, Reminiscences from Faraway Islands, Dvorák Violin Concerto with Taiwanese-American violinist Paul Huang and Tchaikovsky Symphony No.4 in F minor.
Varga then return to Taipei with the orchestra to conduct another programme including Messiaen Les offrandes oubliées, Dutilleux L’arbre des songes with Ilya Gringolts and Beethoven Symphony No.8 on 25 November at Taipei Zhongshan Hall.
Gilbert Varga returns to the Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Gilbert Varga returns to the Royal Scottish National Orchestra this month, conducting two performances on 29 and 30 September 2017. The programme for the concerts celebrates prominent Chinese composer Xiaogang Ye and includes three works by the composer – a piano concerto, a work for bass baritone and orchestra, and a double concerto for violin and percussion – as well as the Sea Interludes from Britten Peter Grimes.
Varga last performed with the orchestra in the 2013/14 season and the performances were lauded by critics:
“This was Roman hedonism writ large, with mad carousels – or maybe carousals – and a revelling trombone adding to a spectacle that could have resulted in carnage, but was brought to almost pictorial life with marvellous expertise.”
“Varga brought out all the detail – beautiful rolling waltz-time cellos in Respighi's Ancient Airs and Dances; a particularly lovely bass sound in the second movement of the Rodrigo – with apparently little effort.”
Gilbert Varga & Louis Schwizgebel return to the Macao Orchestra
Gilbert Varga returns to Macao Orchestra for a performance at Macao Cultural Centre on 10 June 2017. Varga conducts the orchestra in a programme of Mendelssohn Märchen von der schönen Melusine, Brahms Symphony No.2 and Saint-Saens Piano Concerto No.2, for which he is joined by fellow Intermusica artist Louis Schwizgebel.
Following this, Varga returns to the Taipei Symphony Orchestra for a performance at Zhongshan Hall on 25 June. Varga is joined by pianist Fazil Say who performs Mozart Piano Concerto No.12, K.414. Also on the programme is Mozart Masonic Funeral Music, Bartók 4 Pieces for Orchestra and Ravel Bolero.
Gilbert Varga makes his debut with Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Gilbert Varga makes his debut with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in two performances at Cincinnati’s Taft Theatre on 12 and 13 May 2017. Varga conducts a programme of Bartók Two Portraits for Orchestra, Roussel Bacchus et Ariane and Stravinsky The Firebird Suite, alongside Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No.2 with Anna Vinnitskaya.
Varga and Vinnitskaya recorded the concerto alongside Ravel Piano Concerto in G back in 2011 to great critical acclaim:
“One of the finest Prokofiev Seconds on record”
Classic FM Magazine
“Gilbert Varga’s direction is precise and detailed as well as being atmospheric.”
BBC Music Magazine
Following this, Varga returns to Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de México to conduct Haydn Symphony No.4, Schumann Piano Concerto with soloist Eliane Reyes and selections from Grieg Peer Gynt Suites 1 and 2. Performances take place on 19 and 21 May at Palacio de Bellas Artes.
Louis Schwizgebel makes debut with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra with Gilbert Varga
Louis Schwizgebel makes his debut with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra on 2 and 5 March 2017, performing under the baton of fellow Intermusica artist Gilbert Varga. Schwizgebel joins the orchestra to perform Ravel Piano Concerto on 2 March and Grieg Piano Concert on 5 March. In addition to the concertos, Varga conducts works by Liszt and Bartók, as well as Ravel Mother Goose Suite and Grieg Peer Gynt.
Schwizgebel then travels to Canada to make a second debut of the month, this time with the Orchestre Symphonique de Quebec. He performs Ravel Piano Concerto alongside the orchestra and conductor Fabien Gabel at the Grand Théâtre de Québec on 26 March.
Gilbert Varga conducts Ray Chen & the Taipei Symphony Orchestra in Shanghai
Gilbert Varga, Principal Conductor of the Taipei Symphony Orchestra, conducts the orchestra on 23 October 2016 at Shanghai Symphony Hall as part of the ensemble’s China tour. The programme consists of Shostakovich Symphony No.10 and Bruch Scottish Fantasy featuring violinist Ray Chen.
The tour to China is part of a busy and varied season for Varga and the Taipei Symphony Orchestra. So far in 2016/2017, Varga has led the orchestra in Nielson Symphony No.3, the Otaka Flute Concerto, and a previous performance of Shostakovich and Bruch. Later in the season, Varga conducts the orchestra in works by Satie, Bizet, Bartók and Ravel.
Varga is a noted interpreter of Russian repertoire, with his performances attracting critical praise:
"Varga used slashing, dramatic gestures in the service of a compelling interpretation that brought out every bit of the composer's high drama without sacrificing clarity or descending into exaggeration... Varga delivered, from memory, a high-octane interpretation filled with grand gestures, strong contrasts, and a fine feel for the many wonderful orchestral details."
Stage Left, March 2016
Gilbert Varga returns to the Nashville Symphony for three concerts
Gilbert Varga returns to the United States in April to perform once again with the Nashville Symphony in three concerts on 7, 8 and 9 April 2016. Varga conducts a programme of Haydn, Mozart, and Rimsky-Korsakov, with Anne-Marie McDermott performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.15. Varga enjoys an ongoing relationship with the orchestra, having last visited in November 2013 with a programme of Stravinsky, Mendelssohn, Schumann and Dvorak, when a critic noted that his performance “glistened and sparkled – the soft, scurrying strings in the opening had an ethereal quality that was magical.”
Following this, Varga returns to Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for four performances between 14 and 17 April, in a programme of Franck, MacDowell, Wagner and Tchiakovsky featuring pianist Andre Watts.
Gilbert Varga conducts Mozart & Bach in return to Minnesota Orchestra
Gilbert Varga returns to Minneapolis on 25 February 2016 for three concerts with a chamber ensemble from the Minnesota Orchestra. The programme includes Mozart Piano Concerto No.21 featuring Jon Kimura Parker, and Bach Brandenburg Concerto No.5 with Parker at the harpsichord. Also on the virtuosic and varied programme is Martin’s Concerto for Seven Winds, Timpani, Percussion and String Orchestra, as well as Honegger’s Symphony No.2.
Gilbert Varga conducts Mendelssohn, Schumann and Tchaikovsky in Tonkünstler Orchestra debut
Gilbert Varga makes his debut with Tonkünstler Orchestra with three performances this month, at Vienna’s Musikverein on 18 and 20 December and at Festpielhaus St Pölten on 21 December 2015.
Varga conducts a programme of Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture, Schumann’s Piano Concerto with soloist Javier Perianes and Tchaikovsky’s ‘Pathetique’ Symphony.
Gilbert Varga makes his debut with Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Gilbert Varga makes his debut with Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra at Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall on 11 April. Varga will conduct a programme featuring Mendelssohn A Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture and Brahms Symphony No.2. Varga will be joined by regular collaborator Anna Vinnitzkaya, who will play Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No.2, a piece that the artists recorded with the Deutsches Symphonieorchester Berlin in 2010.
Varga will then travel to Portland, where he will make his debut with Oregon Symphony with two performances at Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall on 25 and 27 April. Varga will be joined by violinist Karen Gomyo, who will perform Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in a programme completed by Haydn and Brahms’ second symphonies.
On 19 April, Varga will return to the Taipei Symphony Orchestra to conduct a performance of Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suites, Sibelius Valse triste Op.44, No.1 and Jennifer Higdon’s Percussion Concerto with soloist Colin Currie.
Gilbert Varga returns to Houston Symphony for three performances
Gilbert Varga returns to the Houston Symphony for three performances on 26, 28 and 29 March at Houston’s Jones Hall. On the programme is Mendelssohn Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture, Bartók Violin Concerto No.2 with soloist Augustin Hadelich, and Mozart Symphony No.39.
Prior to this, on 19 March Varga returns to Taipei Symphony to conduct the orchestra in a programme of C. P. E. Bach, Mozart ‘Turkish’ Violin Concerto with Karen Gomyo, Sibelius and Prokofiev.
Gilbert Varga returns to Royal Scottish National Orchestra for two concerts
Gilbert Varga returns to the Royal Scottish National Orchestra for two concerts taking place at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall on 6 February and Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on 7 February.
The French-themed programme will feature Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto No.1 and Fauré Elégie, played by cellist Daniel Müller-Schott, Franck Les Éolides, and Ravel Mother Goose and La Valse.
Gilbert Varga tours Japan with Taipei Symphony Orchestra
Following a performance at Zhongshan Hall, Taipei on 15 November, Gilbert Varga and Taipei Symphony Orchestra embark on a tour of Japan. Varga and the orchestra are joined by pianist Anna Vinnitskaya for an all-Tchaikovsky programme, including his first Piano Concerto and Symphony No.6, 'Pathetique'. They will perform at Sapporo Concert Hall (18 November) and Yokohama Minato Mirai Hall (20 November).
Varga and Vinnitskaya have previously collaborated on a critically-praised disc of Ravel and Prokofiev concertos with Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (Naive, 2011). BBC Music Magazine awarded the recording a 5-star review and praised Varga's direction as "precise and detailed as well as being atmospheric."
Gilbert Varga returns to Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
Milwaukee Symphony welcomes Gilbert Varga back to the podium in May and June to conduct two programmes across six performances. For concerts on 30, 31 May and 1 June, Varga conducts a programme including Elgar’s Serenade for Strings in E minor, Schumann’s Cello Concerto with cellist Susan Babini, and Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances, Op.46.
The programme for Varga’s second week with the orchestra – with performances on 6, 7 and 8 June – is a selection including Mozart’s Overture to Le nozze di Figaro, Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, Bartok’s The Wooden Prince Suite, and Ravel’s Bolero.
Gilbert Varga returns to Berlin Konzerthaus Orchester and Nashville Symphony
Gilbert Varga returns to the Berlin Konzerthaus Orchester for concerts on 31 October, 1 and 2 November where he will conduct Franck’s Symphony, and joined by Lise de la Salle in Liszt’s First Piano Concerto.
The Nashville Symphony Orchestra then welcomes Varga back for concerts on 7, 8 and 9 November, with a varied programme of Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture, Schumann’s Piano Concerto with Gabriela Montero, Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite, and a selection of Dvorak’s Slavonic Dances, Op.46.
Gilbert Varga appointed as Principal Conductor and Consultant at Taipei Symphony Orchestra
In May Gilbert Varga took up two new roles in Taipei: as well as being the new Principal Conductor of the Taipei Symphony Orchestra, he assumes an important role as Consultant as the orchestra embarks on an ambitious plan to build a brand new concert hall to house the orchestra’s activities.
During his three-year term as Principal Conductor, Varga aims to bring the orchestra onto the international stage, and to give the orchestra a chance to perform with renowned conductors and soloists. He says of the appointment:
"It is my hope that as we move ahead, the orchestra and I will become like a tight-knit family, moving in unison toward the same goals, sharing the achievements of our hard work, and making the people of Taipei proud of their city orchestra."
Gilbert Varga returns to the Utah, St Louis and Houston Symphony Orchestras
Gilbert Varga returns to the Utah and St Louis Symphony Orchestras in January for three performances with each orchestra. Following his concerts with the Utah Symphony Orchestra last season, Varga will present a programme of Grieg, Sibelius, Kodaly and Enescu. In St Louis, where he last conducted in the 2010/11 season, Varga will conduct three concerts in the iconic Powell Hall featuring Bartok’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with Peter Serkin as soloist and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.
Following his highly successful debut with the Houston Symphony Orchestra last season, Varga is back in Houston to conduct the orchestra in a Valentine’s Day-inspired programme including Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. He is joined by young Norwegian violinist Vilde Frang, who is also his soloist with the Atlanta Symphony at the start of month, when he conducts Schumann’s Third Symphony.