CD Production Wins OPUS KLASSIK Award

  • After the award ceremony in Berlin (left to right): WKO-Managing Director Madeleine Landlinger, Kathrin Christians and Ruben Gazarian

  • For her first CD with the Württembergisches Kammerorchester (WKO) Heilbronn and its artistic director, Ruben Gazarian, flutist Kathrin Christians has received the OPUS KLASSIK award as Newcomer of the Year. The recording was released by Hänssler CLASSIC in 2017.
  • OPUS KLASSIK is the new award for classical music in Germany, successor to the Echo-Klassik. The first award ceremony took place at the Konzerthaus in Berlin on Sunday, October 14, 2018.
  • In the award-winning recording, the flutist performs concertos by Jindřich Feld und Mieczysław Weinberg and the Adagio by Mikis Theodorakis in an intimate dialog with the Orchestra and its chief conductor. With this recording, the musical partners Christians, Gazarian and WKO Heibronn have brought to life (again) rarely heard items from the flute repertory.
    The accolade aired by the German SWR2 radio channel speaks of “joy of making music, virtuosity, and a delirium of sound,” and pizzicato magazine stresses the flutist’s intensity and the excellence of the Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn.

For more information, see www.opusklassik.de (in German only)

A Special Concert Evening at Harmonie Heilbronn at the End of Gazarian’s Tenure

After sixteen seasons as the artistic director and principal conductor of the WKO Heilbronn, Ruben Gazarian conducted his last subscription concert in this capacity on June 13, 2018. It was an all-Beethoven program. Besides the Third Piano Concerto with Lilya Zilberstein as the soloist and – as the crowning conclusion of the evening – the Third Symphony, “Eroica,” the Grosse Fuge, arranged for string orchestra, also occupied a special place in the program: “From the outset of our planning for this significant concert, I knew I would want to include a work in any case that was exclusively written for strings – that is, for the regular forces of the chamber orchestra. The work should not only showcase the WKO in the homogenous glory of its string sound but also be understood as a tribute to the chamber orchestra that had been an integral part of my musical life for so many years. For me, it was a heartfelt joy and honor to direct this nuanced powerhouse of an ensemble,” says Ruben Gazarian.

At the end of the musical part of this memorable evening, the orchestra and its conductor were celebrated with extended standing ovations. In the subsequent official part of the evening, Ralf Peter Beitner, president of the WKO board of trustees, looked back in his speech at Ruben Gazarian’s tenure in Heilbronn. He was followed by Konstanze Felber-Faur, chair of the musicians’ council, who in the name of the ensemble directed moving words at Gazarian. Numerous personal encounters between the grateful audience and the leaving artistic director of the WKO in the lobby of the Harmonie concert hall rounded off a long concert evening.

Here are a review (in German) and a photo gallery of the concert

“He touched us, brought us happiness and joy, and comforted us”: High honors for Ruben Gazarian

On June 11, 2018, Ruben Gazarian was awarded the Golden Coin of the city of Heilbronn in a solemn ceremony in the great hall of Heilbronn’s city hall. Lord Mayor Harry Mergel praised the merits the conductor had earned during his sixteen-years’ tenure as artistic director and principal conductor of the Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn.

Here is a report from the Heilbronner Stimme daily (in German)

Masterworks for Strings with the GKO: Arensky, Hindemith, Schreker, and Mendelssohn

In early May 2018, the “Ars Produktion” label released one more CD recording of the GKO (Georgian Chamber Orchestra) Ingolstadt with its principal conductor, Ruben Gazarian. The release is based on the GKO subscription concert of September 13, 2017 at the Festsaal of the Ingolstadt theater and includes works by Anton Arensky, Paul Hindemith, Franz Schreker, and Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (for more detailed information, click the “Discography” button). Again, this new release is a production that, besides the standard stereo CD, also includes a multi-channel SACD version satisfying the demands of advanced audiophiles.

Here is a review by HRAudio.net (in German)

Limited Special Edition: “WKO Live – 15 Jahre Ruben Gazarian” (15 Years with Ruben Gazarian)

On Ruben Gazarian’s fifteenth anniversary as artistic director of the Württembergisches Kammerorchester (WKO) Heilbronn, a box of five CDs under the title “WKO LIVE – 15 Jahre Ruben Gazarian” (WKO Live – 15 Years with Ruben Gazarian” has been released as a limited edition. It includes a selection of live recordings from concerts at Harmonie Heilbronn, the hall that the WKO calls its home. Each CD has its own dramaturgy, and in over six hours of music, there is a wide variety of facets of the WKO’s sound to be heard. The unedited recordings offer a selection from the entire range of the WKO’s repertory: monumental pillars of music history for string orchestra, excerpts from symphonic works with the enlarged chamber orchestra, and selections from the New Year’s Day concert programs.

The CD is exclusively available from the Webshop of the WKO.

The 2018 Season of the Georgisches Kammerorchester (Georgian Chamber Orchestra) has been announced in Ingolstadt

The concerts of the Georgisches Kammerorchester Ingolstadt have become an integral segment of the regular cultural offerings of the city. The 2018 season is themed “Klangwelten”—“sound worlds.” It takes the audience to the most varied listening experiences and geographical regions, such as Argentina, Austria, the Balkans, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Georgia (the former Soviet republic in the Caucasus), Italy and Russia.

The orchestra’s “Artist in Residence“ in 2018, chronologically the fourth, is the pianist Sebastian Knauer. He looks back to an international carrier of twenty-five years as a performer with distinguished partners and at notable venues. Serious “understatement” combined with musical excellence mark his playing and his style, have brought him numerous successes and have established his name on the international musical scene. In addition, Sebastian Knauer is known for his resourcefulness in programming, and he is the founder and director of the mozart@augsburg festival. With the Georgisches Kammerorchester Ingolstadt, he opens the series of subscription concerts likewise with Mozart, on January 18. He will also be seen and heard in the all-Shostakovich concert (November 7, subscription concert no. 9).

In 2018, the subscription concerts again lure renowned classical musicians to Ingolstadt. Among these are Benedikt Klöckner, one of the most exciting cellists of his generation (March 1); Isabelle van Keulen, a grande dame of the violin and the viola who has set new standards in her recordings many times (May 8, live broadcast on the German Deutschlandradio channel); or the sisters Khatia and Gvantsa Buniatishvili at the piano in a grand homage to Mozart (June 6). Two specially themed nights take us first to France (September 20), when Ruben Gazarian will demonstrate his knack for French colors, and then to Russia (November 7): in this concert, entirely dedicated to Dmitri Shostakovich, our “Artist in Residence”, Sebastian Knauer, will again participate. Further soloists of the 2018 subscription concerts are violinist Hugo Ticciati, whom critics have already been ranking among the “truly great musicians of tomorrow” (February 6), contrabass player Petru Iuga (April 12), flutist Massimo Mercelli (October 18) and the well-known trumpeter Reinhold Friedrich (November 29).

Through its guest concerts, the ensemble also has a pioneering function with an outreach far beyond its home region. In 2018, this entails sort of a sensation: As one of the first chamber orchestras ever, the Georgisches Kammerorchester Ingolstadt will perform at the newly opened Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg. The concert with the piano duet Khatia und Gvantsa Buniatishvili, conducted by Ruben Gazarian on March 31, 2018, is part of a festival exhibiting the Caucasus.

The “Artist in Residence” of the previous season, the cellist Daniel Müller-Schott, will be back with the orchestra for three guest concerts.

A series of non-subscription concerts make up further highlights of the season. The New Year’s Day Concert (January 1), is a musical trip half around the world—to Latin America. Pieces by the king of Tango, Astor Piazzolla, are in focus. The star bandoneon player Daniel Binelli and pianist Polly Ferman are excellent specialists for this repertory. For the Open Air Turm Baur on July 27, the celebrated David Orlowsky Trio will join us. They come to Ingolstadt with their own compositions in the spirit of world music, which also bear the scent of Istanbul or the Balkans. The chamber orchestra also appears again at the AUDI summer concerts and will play the traditional AUDI Christmas concert.