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)
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
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)
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)