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