Ballet by John Neumeier | Duse
Alessandra Ferri is considered to be one of the most talented dramatic ballerinas of our time. Born in Milan, she began her training at the school of Teatro alla Scala and then attended the Royal Ballet School in London. In 1980, Ferri won the prestigious Prix de Lausanne and joined the Royal Ballet that same year. In 1983, she rose to prominence when Sir Kenneth MacMillan selected the 19-year-old dancer for leading roles in his ballets "Romeo and Juliet", "Manon", and "Mayerling". Sir Kenneth went on to choreograph a number of roles for Ferri, making her principal dancer with the company. In 1985, Mikhail Baryshnikov invited Ms. Ferri to join American Ballet Theatre, where she danced as a principal until 2007. Ferri also appeared as principal dancer with Teatro alla Scala from 1992 until 2007.
Ms. Ferri has worked with many of the great choreographers of our time including Sir Frederick Ashton, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Jerome Robbins, Roland Petit, Jirí Kylián, John Neumeier, Billy Forsythe and Twyla Tharp. Ms. Ferri has received numerous prestigious international awards including the Sir Laurence Olivier Award, the Dance Magazine Award and the Benois de la Danse Prix. In 2006 Ms. Ferri was presented the Cavaliere della Repubblica Honoris by the President of the Italian Republic Carlo Azeglio Ciampi. In 2007, Ms. Ferri retired from the ballet stage. Since 2008 she has been the Director of Dance Programming at the Spoleto Festival in Italy.
After a six-year absence from the stage, Alessandra Ferri returned to performing at the Spoleto Festival in 2013 with a dance-play that she conceived and choreographed, "The Piano Upstairs", written by John Weidman and featuring Boyd Gaines. The Signature Theater production of "Chéri" marks Ferri's return to the American Stage, followed by the Gotham Chamber Orchestra acclaimed production of "The Raven". In May 2015 Wayne McGregor created for her a 3 acts ballet dedicated to Virginia Woolf on stage with the Royal Ballet.
photo: Lucas Chilczuk
Hailed for his “deeply felt interpretations” (La Presse, Montreal) and “ferocious intensity” (Chronicle Herald, Halifax) Brock has had great success conducting symphonic, operatic and ballet performances around the world. Through his long-term collaborations with the Montreal Symphony, the Hamburg State Opera and the National Ballet of Canada he has an exceptional amount of experience in an extremely varied repertoire in all 3 genres.
During 2015/16 and 2016/17 Brock joined the Hamburgische Staatsoper as second conductor and assistant music director to Kent Nagano. In 2016/17 he led performances of “Die Zauberflöte”, “Hänsel und Gretel”, “Eleonora Duse” and new ballets “Turangalila” and “Anna Karenina”. He led rehearsals of “Lohengrin”, “Tristan und Isolde”, as well as for new productions of “Lulu” and “Die Frau Ohne Schatten”. In the 2015-16 season in Hamburg, he led productions of “L’Elisir d’Amore”, Britten’s “The Little Sweep” and conducted performances of “Il Barbieri di Siviglia”. He also collaborated for the first time with legendary director/choreographer John Neumeier on his new ballet “Eleonora Duse”. Additionally, he led rehearsals for “Les Troyens”, “Elektra”, “Pelléas et Mélisande” and, “Stilles Meer” (Hosakawa).
In addition to his immersive work at the Hamburg theatre, Brock returns regularly to conduct symphonic concerts with the Montreal Symphony and l’Orchestre National D’Ile de France. His relationship with the Montreal Symphony began in 2009 as an assistant and continued as Resident conductor. In 5 seasons with the orchestra he has conducted over 125 performances, making his subscription week debut in April 2010 and having appeared with such artists as Maxim Vengerov and Stephen Hough.
He has conducted the symphony orchestras of Toronto, Québec, Edmonton, Nova Scotia, Thunder Bay and Victoria in his native Canada, and in France led multiple performances with l’Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire (Nantes) and l’Orchestre National Ile de France (Paris), as well as in Sweden with the Kunlinga Operan. He has performed over 50 times as a guest with the National Ballet of Canada appearing with the company in Toronto, Ottawa, New York and Washington in repertoire ranging from “Nutcracker” (Kudelka) to new productions of Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet” (Ratmansky) and “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” (Wheeldon/Talbot).
Brock is the recipient of the Ontario Arts Council’s Heinz Unger Award and the Jean-Marie Beaudet Award from the Canada Council for the Arts. For his creation of a new series of concerts for young adults in Montreal he was awarded the Quebec Music Council’s Prix Opus. As a producer his work (on CD - Sony, Analekta; television and radio CBC; web at Medici.tv) has won Quebec’s Prix Opus for best disc of the year (2015 Beethoven Symphonies/OSM) and been nominated several times for Canada’s Juno awards.
Committed to music education, he has worked with youth orchestras in Switzerland, the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra and given masterclasses and coachings at McGill University Montreal, University of Toronto and to youth orchestras throughout the Ile de Montreal region. He has conducted the Glenn Gould School orchestra at the Royal Conservatory in Toronto as well as “Jeunesses Musicales du Canada’s“ production of “La Bohème”. Also deeply dedicated to new music, Brock gave three world premiers during his time in Montreal and another two as a guest at ONDIF in Paris.
He finished his conducting studies in Zürich with Johannes Schlaefli and at the Aspen Conducting academy. Other important influences came from masterclasses with David Zinman, Bernard Haitink, Jorma Panula, Gennady Rozhdestvensky and Michael Tilson Thomas.
In addition to his accomplishments as a musician he also has a keen interest in history, with a degree in History and International Relations from the University of Toronto.
In 2007 he created the Aaron Brock Foundation in memory of his brother, accomplished classical guitarist Aaron Brock. The foundation supports a number of educational initiatives and performances in Toronto.
1st Concert Master
Konradin Seitzer, 1983 in Aachen geboren, begann als Vierjähriger mit dem Violinspiel und wurde im Alter von vierzehn Jahren als Jungstudent in die Klasse von Atila Aydintan an der Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hannover aufgenommen. Anschließend setzte er sein Studium bei Antje Weithaas an der Hochschule für Musik „Hanns Eisler“ fort, wo er im Januar 2009 sein Konzertexamen mit Auszeichnung ablegte. Als Solist spielte er weltweit mit Orchestern wie dem Konzerthausorchester Berlin, dem Brandenburgischen Staatsorchester Frankfurt und dem Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie, dabei führten ihn seine Auftritte unter anderem in das Konzerthaus Berlin, in die Bremer Glocke und das Seongnam Arts Center in Südkorea. Neben seinen solistischen Auftritten widmet sich Konradin Seitzer auch intensiv der Kammermusik und konzertierte u.a. mit Künstlern wie Robert Levin, Thomas Brandis und Ulf Hoelscher. Konradin Seitzer war 1. Konzertmeister im Orchester der Komischen Oper Berlin, seit 2012 ist er 1. Konzertmeister des Philharmonischen Staatsorchesters Hamburg. 2015 erhielt er den Eduard Söring-Preis der Stiftung zur Förderung der Hamburgischen Staatsoper.
photo: Foto: Michael Haydn
Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg
The Philharmonic State Orchestra is Hamburg’s largest and oldest orchestra, looking back on many years of musical history. When the “Philharmonic Orchestra” and the “Orchestra of the Hamburg Municipal Theatre” merged in 1934, two tradition-steeped orchestras combined. Philharmonic concerts have been performed in Hamburg since 1828, artists such as Clara Schumann, Franz Liszt and Johannes Brahms being regular guests of the Philharmonic Society. The history of the opera company goes back even further: Hamburg has been home to musical theatre since 1678, even if a regular opera or theatre orchestra was only formed later. To this day, the Philharmonic State Orchestra has embodied the sound of the Hansa City, a concert and opera orchestra in one.
During its long history, the orchestra encountered great artist personalities. Apart from composers of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, such as Georg Philipp Telemann, Piotr I. Tchaikovsky, Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler, Sergey Prokofiev and Igor Stravinsky, since the 20th century chief conductors such as Karl Muck, Eugen Jochum, Joseph Keilberth, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Horst Stein, Gerd Albrecht, Ingo Metzmacher and Simone Young have shaped the orchestra’s sound. Renowned conductors of the pre-war era such as Otto Klemperer, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Bruno Walter, Karl Böhm and Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt gave brilliant performances, as did outstanding conductors of our times: suffice it to mention Sir Neville Marriner, Christian Thielemann, Semyon Bychkov, Kirill Petrenko, Valery Gergiev and Sir Roger Norrington.
Starting with the 2015/2016 season, Kent Nagano has taken on the position of Hamburg’s General Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Philharmonic State Orchestra and the Hamburg State Opera. In his first season Kent Nagano initiated a new project, the Philharmonic Academy at St. Michaelis, focusing on experimentation and chamber music. In 2016 Nagano and the Philharmonic undertook a successful three-week concert tour in South America. Since 2017 Kent Nagano and the Philharmonic State Orchestra have continued the traditional Philharmonic Concerts at the new Elbphilharmonie, for which they commissioned Jörg Widmann to compose the oratorio ARCHE, which was given its world premiere during the hall’s opening festivities.
The Philharmonic State Orchestra offers approximately 35 concerts per season and performs more than 240 performances per year at the Hamburg State Opera and the Hamburg Ballet – John Neumeier, making it Hamburg’s busiest orchestra. The stylistic bandwidth covered by the 134 musicians, ranging from historically informed performance practice to contemporary works and including concert, opera and ballet repertoire, is unique throughout Germany. Chamber Music has a long tradition at the Philharmonic State Orchestra: what began in 1929 with a concert series for chamber orchestra has been continued since 1968 by a series of chamber music only, which celebrates its 50-year anniversary in 2017/18.
In 2008 Simone Young and the Philharmonic State Orchestra won the Brahms Award of the Schleswig-Holstein Brahms Society. In 2012 Simone Young received a Helpmann Award for performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 and Wagner’s Rheingold with the Philharmonic in Brisbane, Australia. The orchestra has recorded the complete Ring by Wagner as well as the complete symphonies of Johannes Brahms and Anton Bruckner – the latter in the rarely-performed original versions – as well as works by Mahler, Hindemith and Berg, and has released DVDs of opera and ballet productions by Hosokawa, Offenbach, Reimann, Auerbach, J.S. Bach, Puccini, Poulenc and Weber.
The members of the Philharmonic State Orchestra feel equally beholden to the Hansa City’s musical tradition and responsible for the city’s artistic future. Since 1978 the musicians have been participating in education programmes in Hamburg’s schools. To this day, the TV format Musikkontakte initiated by Gerd Albrecht during his tenure as General Music Director is unforgotten. Today, the orchestra maintains a broad education programme, including school and kindergarten visits, patronage for music projects, introductory events for children and family concerts. The orchestra’s own academy prepares young musicians for their professional careers. The Philharmonic’s musicians thereby make an equally enjoyable and valuable contribution to tomorrow’s music education in the music metropolis of Hamburg.
photo: Foto: Felix Broede