The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra brings a spectacular series of concerts to an online audience this season. Following the success of its live-streamed concerts earlier in the year, the Orchestra has just launched a new series of ten performances, starring some of the world’s finest soloists and conductors and all performed at the De Doelen concert hall in Rotterdam.
Every two weeks, as of 20th November, the Rotterdam Philharmonic presents a different concert on its streaming platform PULSE – Rotterdam Philharmonic Online – performances which will be available from their release date through 31 October 2022.
Three concerts which were pre-recorded at De Doelen are now available. The first features Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Music Director of both the Vienna and Houston symphony orchestras, Principal Conductor of the Filarmónica Joven de Colombia and the Orquesta Sinfónica Freixenet de la Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía. Known for his success in conducting both concert and opera, Maestro Orozco-Estrada leads the Rotterdam Philharmonic in a performance of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with soloist Leonidas Kavakos, Carnegie Hall Perspectives Artist for the 2021/22 season. Described by Bachtrack as an “…. étoile of the first order”, Kavakos is – according to the Guardian – “…. superbly articulate and incisive, yet rapturously lyrical” – regarded the world over as an artist of rare quality. The programme also features the Beethoven Symphony No 4.
Also available on-demand now is a recital featuring baritone Matthias Georne and pianist Lahav Shani performing songs by Mahler, Schubert and Shostakovich. Georne is one of the most versatile international vocalists, as comfortable in recital, opera as he is in the recording studio. Peter van der Lint, a jury member for the Edison Klassiek award (the Netherlands equivalent of the Grammy), is quoted as saying: “Matthias Georne’s vocal cords will turn everything they touch into pure gold”.
Lahav Shani is presently Chief Conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Music Director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as a pianist of note. Next month, he leads the Rotterdam Philharmonic in a five-city tour of Germany, taking in a performance at the Wiener Konzerthaus as well, before leading Dutch National Opera in performances of Richard Strauss’ Salome. The Berliner Morgenpost writes: “It scarcely seems possible to have a greater beauty of sound and joy in performance than that offered by Lahav Shani.”
The third programme available now is entitled Bach Meets Schoenberg in which François-Xavier Roth leads the Orchestra in a programme featuring Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony No 2 and Bach’s Orchestral Suite No 1. According to The Times, “If he hasn’t already got the nickname Special FX, then Roth should adopt it … empathetic musicality and flair for colour, sometimes conjuring up such startling touches that the players look stunned”. With a repertoire which ranges from the Baroque to Romantic and also Contemporary music, Maestro Roth is Principal Guest Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra and has directed the Gürzenich Orchestra and Opera in Cologne since 2015.
Still to come in this online programme stream is a concert, on 3rd December, led by Lahav Shani and featuring brilliant pianist Yuja Wang. The sheer genius of Ms Wang’s performance, and her captivating personality grant her star status wherever she appears. The Financial Times writes: “Her combination of technical ease, colouristic range and sheer power has always been remarkable … but these days there is an ever-greater depth to her musicianship, drawing you into the world of each composer with compelling immediacy”. In this concert with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, to be recorded at De Doelen on 3rd December, Yuja Wang plays Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No 2 – surely one of the most popular works in the piano repertoire. Also on the programme is the wonderfully melodic Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique.
In the pipeline are Handel’s Messiah, the New Year’s Concert – Musical Meets Opera – an evening of chamber music by Brahms – Jukka-Pekka Saraste conducting Sibelius’ Kullervo Symphony, Marta Argerich plays Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G, and Lahav Shani conducts Mahler’s Symphony No 1. There’ll be more on these concerts at a later date.
These concerts have been recorded in – or previously streamed live from – De Doelen, the concert hall and international congress centre in Rotterdam. De Doelen is a listed monument, with a history which dates back to the 17th century, during which an orchestra of local musicians gave public concerts. The current De Doelen building was opened in 1966, since when new conference facilities have been built on the roof and the old inner courtyard. Today, the building is a listed monument, and considered to be a major symbol of Dutch reconstruction.
Prices to view these online concerts by the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra vary – from pay what you want to € 10 per performance. A ticket for the series of 10 concerts is also available for € 50, which means a saving of € 7,50. For more information visit the PULSE – Rotterdam Philharmonic website.
Information sourced from:
Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra programme notes
De Doelen concert venue and convention centre in Rotterdam