LSM Newswire

Monday, March 9, 2009

Richard Tognetti's Australian Chamber Orchestra On Tour April-May 2009

Australian Chamber Orchestra with Violinist Richard Tognetti On Tour April and May 2009

Nine dates Coast-to-Coast Showcase ACO's Trademark Vitality and High Energy Performances

New York, NY ĺ─ý March 6, 2009 ĺ─ý This spring, the Australian Chamber Orchestra under the direction of violinist Richard Tognetti embarks on a nine city tour of the United States. With stops in Los Angeles at The Walt Disney Concert Hall, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Kansas City, Berkeley, Denver, Iowa, Princeton and New York at Carnegie Hall, this is one of the most ambitious US tours ever undertaken by the group, known as Australiaĺ─˘s most dynamic and acclaimed musical ensemble.

For this tour, the ACO will perform works of Haydn, Vivaldi, Haas, Rameau and American premiere performances of Footwork by Roger Smalley. Concerts in Santa Barbara, Berkeley, Denver and New York will also feature a performance of Handel arias with countertenor Andreas Scholl. In San Diego, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Iowa and New Jersey, pianist Paul Lewis joins the ACO for Mozartĺ─˘s Piano Concerto No. 12 (K. 414). Complete program details are listed below.

Founded in 1975, the Australian Chamber Orchestra is a product of the countryĺ─˘s vibrant, adventurous and inquiring spirit. Under the visionary leadership of violinist Richard Tognetti who celebrates his 20th year with the ensemble this season, these brilliant virtuosos are engaged with music at the highest level: seventeen minds ĺ─˙thinking and breathing as oneĺ─¨ (The Times). In performances around Australia, around the world and on many recordings, the ACO performs repertoire spanning four centuries with ĺ─˙unfailing virtuosity and unanimity of spiritĺ─¨ (New York Times) unmatched by other ensembles. The ACOĺ─˘s unique artistic style encompasses not only the masterworks of the classical repertoire, but innovative cross-artform projects and a vigorous commissioning program.

The outstanding Australian musician Richard Tognetti, ĺ─˙one of the most characterful, incisive and impassioned violinists to be heard todayĺ─¨ (Telegraph) is considered a National Living Treasure in Australia. He was appointed Artistic Director and Lead Violin of the Australian Chamber Orchestra in 1989. Tognetti is a noted soloist, composer, arranger, educator and an accomplished surfer (his documentary about the connections between music and surfing Musica Surfica was recently awarded best feature at the New York Surf Film Festival and was honored at the San Francisco Ocean Film Festival). While maintaining the highest artistic standards, Richard Tognetti has broadened the audience for classical music through collaborations with many non-classical entertainers like Barry Humphries (Dame Edna Everage) and Neil Finn (from Crowded House). For the 2003 film Master and Commander, Tognetti co-composed the soundtrack, performed as a soloist on the best-selling recording, and also taught Russell Crowe to play the violin for the film. Richard Tognetti plays a Guarneri Violin worth more than $10 Million that was lent to him by an anonymous donor.

Under Richard Tognettiĺ─˘s inspiring leadership, the ACO has performed as a flexible and versatile ĺ─˛ensemble of soloistsĺ─˘, on modern and period instruments, as a small chamber group, a small symphony orchestra, and as an electro-acoustic collective. In a nod to past traditions, only the cellists are seated ĺ─ý the resulting sense of energy and individuality is one of the most commented-upon elements of an ACO concert experience.

For more information about the Australian Chamber Orchestra, visit the website at

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Solti Foundation US increases number of grants awarded to young American conductors

The Solti Foundation U.S.

Increases Number Of Substantial Grants Awarded To Young American Conductors

Solti Fellow of $25,000 to be given in fall 2009

New Grant of $10,000 to be awarded in 2010

New Career Assistance Awards to be given yearly beginning in 2009

Evanston, Illinois ĺ─ý Dedicated exclusively to assisting young American conductors in the early stages of their professional careers, The Solti Foundation U.S. today announced its intent to award $25,000 to a young American conductor for the second time in its history this coming fall 2009. The Foundation also announced a new $10,000 grant to be awarded in 2010, in addition to its current $5,000 grant, and new, smaller Career Assistance awards to be given annually.

Among the largest grants given to American conductors in the formative years of their careers, The Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award, also known as the Solti Fellow, is a grant of $25,000 that includes introductions to three of Chicagoĺ─˘s most prestigious performing organizations: Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chicago Opera Theater.

New, smaller annual Solti U.S. Career Assistance Awards, which vary in amount and number granted, will be introduced in 2009.

Beginning in 2010, the Foundation introduces The Sir Georg Solti Emerging Conductor Award, a grant of $10,000. The $5,000 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Development Award, last given in 2008 to Joseph Young, Assistant Conductor of the Baltimore Symphony, will also be given in 2010.

In announcing the new grants, Tom McNeill, Solti Foundation U.S. Board Chair, stated ĺ─˙It has been very exciting to see how well our recent awardees have done in their careers after being recognized by The Solti Foundation U.S. We hope that our enhanced awards program will attract many outstanding candidates.ĺ─¨

Established in 2000 to honor the memory of the legendary conductor Sir Georg Solti by his widow, Lady Valerie Solti, and their two daughters, Gabrielle and Claudia, The Solti Foundation U.S. seeks to lend significant support to talented young American conductors, providing critical assistance to them at the start of their professional careers. In 2004, The Foundation, which began with a more general mission, established its current focus of helping exceptional young U.S. conductors.

In 2007, to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the passing of Sir Georg, the Solti Foundation U.S. awarded its first $25,000 Solti Fellow to Anthony Barrese, who is rapidly establishing himself in the conducting arena. Mr. Barrese was appointed Music Director and Principal Conductor of Opera Southwest beginning this 2008-09 season. As a result of receiving the Solti Fellow, Mr. Barrese has been hired as a cover conductor with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for three different weeks. His con-ducting credits include the Dallas Opera, Fargo-Moorhead Opera, Sarasota Opera and Teatro Ventidio Basso (Italy), among others. Earlier in 2009, Mr. Barrese made his debut with Opera De Massy in France, conducting Turnadot. Upcoming 2009 conducting engagements include Don Giovanni with the Boston Lyric Opera, and La cenerentola with Opera Southwest.

The Solti Fellow, given to a promising young American conductor, is dispersed over a 24-month period and may be used for career training and activities that will further develop and enhance the recipientĺ─˘s talent and experience. Beginning in 2009, the Solti Fellow will be awarded biennially to a single individual.

Career Assistance Awards will be given annually. These awards, of which the number and amount(s) are determined at the discretion of the Artistic and Awards Committee, may be used for a variety of career development needs, including transportation expenses, language studies, the creation of demonstration DVDs and other worthy projects.

The Sir Georg Solti Emerging Conductor Award, a new one-year grant of $10,000, will be given for the first time in 2010. The Foundation also bestows The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Development Award, a one-year grant of $5,000. The awarding of these two grants is rotated biennially with the Solti Fellow.

The Solti Foundation U.S. endeavors to seek out those musicians who have chosen to follow a path similar to that followed by Sir Georg himself. In keeping with the spirit of Sir Georgĺ─˘s active approach to his career, young conductors must apply to be considered for the awards. Applications for the grants are available to be downloaded through the Foundationĺ─˘s website, Citizens or permanent residents of the United States who are career-ready artists in the field of conducting are eligible to apply.

Applicants for all Solti Foundation U.S. awards must be able to demonstrate that he/she is developing a career as a symphonic/operatic conductor. Applicants for the Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award (to be next awarded in fall 2009; application deadline is May 15, 2009) must be no more than 38 years of age by May 15th of the year the grant will be awarded. Applicants for The Sir Georg Solti Emerging Conductor Award (to be next awarded in fall 2010) must be no more than 35 years of age by May 15th of the year the grant will be awarded. Applicants for The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Development Award (to be next awarded in fall 2010) must be no more than 32 years of age by January 1st of the year the grant will be awarded. All applications from the above award categories are considered for a Solti U.S. Career Assistance Award (given annually). Applications are reviewed by an awards committee comprised of a panel of professionals with broad musical and conducting experience. The Foundation reserves the right to withhold a grant in any given year if the Awards Committee does not agree upon a suitable applicant.

The Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award (Solti Fellow) will be awarded in a gala event in Chicago this coming fall 2009.

Further details about The Solti Foundation U.S., grant applications, biographies and photos of the Foundationĺ─˘s past awardees and information about contributing to the Foundation can be found at

Labels: , ,