“Listen to our cry”: An exceptional new CD release in exceptional times













In the first days of March 2021 saw the light of day a recording with the program composition, which has undoubtedly earned the predicate “Extraordinary”: The soloists Reinhold Friedrich (trumpet), Dorothee Mields (soprano), Eriko Takezawa (piano), together with the GCO Ingolstadt under the baton of its chief conductor and artistic director Ruben Gazarian, interpret music by Benjamin Yusupov, Ivan Fischer, Giya Kancheli, Alan Hovhannes and Luca Lombardi. Four premiere recordings are on this disc, which – like all other productions of the label “Ars-Produktion” – offers not only the normal CD version, but also the especially high-quality SACD version including the multi-channel mix.

The recordings for this CD were made in November 2020, in the middle of the worldwide Covid 19 pandemic and under difficult conditions. Ever-changing sanitary regulations pose major obstacles to the art and culture industry worldwide. The hope of all artists involved in this CD is hereby to make their contribution so that art and culture will emerge from this crisis not weakened, but strengthened.

“For art is a daughter of freedom, and from the necessity of spirits, not from the necessity of matter, it wants to receive its prescription.” Friedrich Schiller

Ruben Gazarian becomes new general music director at Theater Altenburg Gera

Ruben Gazarian, GMD in front of the Theater Altenburg Gera (Photo: Ronny Ristok / Theater Altenburg Gera)









  • On August 26, 2020, during a press conference in the Theater Gera, the signing of the contract took place, making Ruben Gazarian the new General Music Director at the Theater Altenburg Gera for at least four years, starting on September 1, 2020.
    Here is the official press release of the theater:

    “Despite corona-related restrictions, the year-and-a-half-long search for a successor to Laurent Wagner in the position of General Music Director at Theater Altenburg Gera was successfully concluded. 109 candidates had applied, 24 of them were invited, presented themselves on site and worked with the ensembles.
    Ruben Gazarian was able to convince the Philharmonic Orchestra, the music theater ensemble and the theater management the most with his fresh musicality, his expertise and his differentiated sound ideas. During the press conference on August 26th 2020, he signed a contract as the new General Music Director at Theater Altenburg Gera, starting this season, for at least four years.
    Ruben Gazarian is no stranger to the East Thuringian audience. He has already appeared as a violin virtuoso and also as a guest conductor with the Altenburg Gera Philharmonic Orchestra; in December 2010 he conducted a Philharmonic Concert with works by Alexander Borodin, Aram Khachaturian and Dmitri Shostakovich.
    His inaugural concert in the new position will be the 2nd Philharmonic Concert on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, 7:30 p.m. in the Gera Concert Hall. This concert will take place again on Wednesday, October 21 at 7:30 pm and on Thursday, October 22 at 2:30 pm and 7:30 pm in the Gera Concert Hall. It will be performed in the Theater Tent Altenburg on Friday, October 23 at 7:30 pm. Furthermore, he will conduct the 3rd Philharmonic Concert in November and is responsible for the musical direction of the production “Das Lied von der Erde” by Gustav Mahler in the chamber music version by Arnold Schönberg (premiere: November 27, 2020).”


New release with extraordinary repertoire by Mieczysław Weinberg

In early October 2020, the renowned Label CAPRICCIO in cooperation with Deutschlandfunk Kultur published a CD with works by Mieczysław Weinberg: The piano soloist Elisaveta Blumina, the GCO Ingolstadt and its principal conductor, Ruben Gazarian are the interpreters of Weinberg’s Piano Quintet op. 18 (arranged for Piano and String Orchestra by Mathias Baier). This release is based on the GKO subscription concert of June 6th 2019 at the Festsaal of the Ingolstadt theater and was also broadcasted back in June 2019 just days after the concert.

Five years after Shostakovich premiered his quintet to turbulent success in 1940, his new 24-years young friend Weinberg premiered one of his own. For the premiere on March 18th, the 27-year old Weinberg got the String Quartet of the Bolshoi and a 30-year old pianist, already famous then, by the name of Emil Gilels. The Quintet op.18 is one of the unequivocally great chamber pieces of that time and it is a superb entry-point into the world of Weinberg. As with any truly great masterpiece, a work like the Piano Quintet benefits and indeed demands many and diverging interpretations. This also includes different versions, such as this arrangement of the quintet for chamber ensemble. The idea is hardly far-fetched: Weinberg arranged several of his own works for chamber orchestra; his friend Shostakovich’s string quartets have popularly lent themselves to such arrangements. It suits the treatment naturally – and the orchestral version, therefore, gives us just one more way to discover and enjoy one of Weinberg’s ingenious gifts to his belated but finally eager public.

The concert life picks up again

After the interruption of several months due to the Corona pandemic, the GCO Ingolstadt and its chief conductor Ruben Gazarian are back on stage: End of July-beginning of August 2020, the orchestra played three different programs at a total of six performances. Two of these programs were part of this year’s subscription series and – in order to meet all legal requirements – were performed with an abbreviated duration and without an intermission. Since the maximum permissible number of visitors is currently strictly regulated, repeats of the concerts were unavoidable. On all evenings, the audience responded with great enthusiasm and celebrated the soloists, the orchestra and its chief conductor frenetically. The repeat of one of the subscription programs in the special atmosphere of the beautifully situated Danube Stage (with bayan virtuoso Aydar Gaynullin & his band) on August 1st, ended with standing ovations lasting minutes.

Here are several photo impressions:

Triumphant success at renewed performances in Israel

A welcome guest with several Israeli orchestras, Ruben Gazarian was enthusiastically acclaimed by not one but two of the country’s orchestras in November 2019: Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and Haifa Symphony Orchestra. Gazarian made repeat guest appearances in both Jerusalem – with one of Israel’s leading orchestras – and Haifa. This year’s program with the JSO included works by D. Shostakovich and P. I. Tchaikovsky, while the HSO performed Gustav Mahler’s 7th Symphony over two evenings. Reinvitations for the coming seasons have already been extended.

The anniversary season 2020 of the GCO Ingolstadt was presented








Thirty years have passed since the Georgian Chamber Orchestra was reestablished in Ingolstadt – reason enough to make this anniversary the focus of the 2020 season.
As a result of the successful integration of the GKO in Ingolstadt, the ensemble sees itself as an ambassador for the dialogue between people and cultures. The “Artist in Residence” and at the same time “Composer in Residence” 2020, Fazil Say, is particularly representative of this profile. The prominent pianist and composer sees himself as a mediator. With his music, Say wants to build bridges, not least between Orient and Occident, but above all East and West, both as a performer on the piano and as a composer. At the GCO this year, “the whole Fazil Say” will be presented, the instrumentalist and the composer – together with an exhibition of his works, which at the same time reflects connections with the musical heritage. And of course, in 2020, the focus will also be on the jubilarian Ludwig von Beethoven. Since Beethoven would be inconceivable without Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, they deliberately form a special focus in the season’s program.
Here only some the highlights of the GCO subscription series: the prelude with the Soprano Sarah Gilford under the direction of Ruben Gazarian (January 16th) connects works of Joseph Haydn and Fazil Say. In the 6th and 7th subscription concerts, Fazil Say will perform Beethoven’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 3 in C minor (June 18th) as well as Mozart’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 12 in A major, K. 414. In addition, the pianist and composer will perform his own work, “Silk Road” (September 22nd). The pianist Sebastian Knauer – “Artist in Residence” of the GCO 2018 – devotes himself to piano concertos by Mozart and Beethoven in the 5th subscription concert (May 14th). The 8th subscription concert offers a showcase of works by pianist and composer Jenö Takács, who is considered the “Arab Bartók” (Oct. 15). Soloists of the concert are Nina Karmon (violin) and an old acquaintance of the orchestra and its chief conductor, Oliver Triendl (piano). This evening will again be recorded by Deutschlandradio and broadcast a few days later. Ruben Gazarian is particularly proud of this intensive collaboration with Deutschlandfunk Kultur, which now takes place every year. The GCO’s last subscription concert in 2020 with pianist Varduhi Yeritsyan (December 3rd) will once again focus on Mozart.
Other soloists in the 2020 season include violinists Sebastian Bohren (February 13th) and Linus Roth (April 23rd), pianist Eriko Takezawa and trumpeter Reinhold Friedrich (November 19th).
In 2020, for the first time, two open-air concerts will set special accents as part of the subscription: The “Sunset Orchestra Night” (20.06.), which took place for the first time as a special concert in the summer of 2017, will be a permanent part of the subscription from this year on. Between cocktails and deck chairs, the ensemble under the direction of Ruben Gazarian makes a guest appearance at the Danube Stage Ingolstadt. Together with the outstanding accordionist Aydar Gaynullin and his band, musical highlights of film history will be brought to life. Also in the second open air concert (July 23rd) the GCO shows no fear of contact beyond the classical music. Together with clarinettist Michel Lethiec, the GCO interprets works by Nino Rota, Leonard Bernstein and George Gershwin in the Turm Baur at sunset. The highlights of the season undoubtedly include not only the renewed appearance of GCO under the direction of principal conductor Ruben Gazarian at the Elbphilharmonie, but also the New Year’s Concert (January 2nd) together with the clarinet duo Gurfinkel, as well as the annual Audi Summer Concert on July 1st.

Joseph Haydn & Johann Simon Mayr













Only shortly after the CD-release with works by Grigori Frid in August 2019 on the CAPRICCIO label, the next recording of the Georgian Chamber Orchestra under the direction of its principal conductor Ruben Gazarian has been released in October 2019. This already fourth collaboration with the traditional label “Ars Produktion” – once again in a particularly high-quality audiophile CD/SACD version – is about music by Joseph Haydn and Johann Simon Mayr: in addition to Symphony No. 25 by the great Viennese classicist, it is the Piano Concertos No. 1 & 2 by J. S. Mayr with soloist Edna Stern that attract special attention, being absolute rarities of the repertoire. Therefore, this new release represents a highly welcome enrichment of the oeuvre of Johann Simon Mayr available on the recording market. The disc was produced in cooperation with the “International Simon Mayr Society” and was recorded during a subscription concert of the GCO in April 2019 in the Festival Hall of the Ingolstadt Theater.

Review by HRAudio.net

Review by pizzicato

Re-invitations to Israel

In November 2019, Ruben Gazarian makes guest appearances with two Israeli orchestras: Following his acclaimed debut with the Haifa Symphony Orchestra last year, he conducts Gustav Mahler’s epic 7th Symphony on two consecutive evenings earlier this month. Just weeks later, Gazarian returns to Israel, this time to accept a re-invitation from the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra: The program here includes works by Yonatan Keret (world premiere), Dimitri Shostakovich and Peter Tchaikovsky.


New album with extraordinary repertoire













In its latest CD recording of works by Russian composer Grigori Frid, the Georgian Chamber Orchestra Ingolstadt under the direction of Ruben Gazarian continues its commitment to the rediscovery of Soviet and Eastern European composers. With violinist and violist Isabelle Van Keulen and pianist Oliver Triendl, two accomplished musical partners are supporting the GKO and its principal conductor. This new recording was released on August 9, 2019 by the traditional label CAPRICCIO in co-production with Deutschlandfunk Kultur.
The Double Concerto for Viola, Piano and String Orchestra, op. 73 from 1981 is juxtaposed with two works from the 1960s: the Symphony No. 3 for String Orchestra and Timpani, op. 50 from 1964 and Two Inventions for String Orchestra, op. 46a from 1962. Despite the two decades that lie between the works, despite the two poles of his oeuvre – the proximity to Shostakovich as well as the environment of the younger generation of composers around Gubaidulina and Schnittke – a uniform personal style is noticeable.
Grigori Frid was a composer, writer and painter. Exposed to massive repressive measures under Stalinism and following his father into exile in Siberia in 1927, he studied first in Irkutsk, then from 1935 at the Moscow Conservatory. One of his formative teachers there was Vissarion Shebalin, an important representative of early Soviet modernism. In addition to his own work, Grigori Frid was committed to helping persecuted colleagues throughout his life. For example, he made possible the premiere performances of ostracized composers such as Sofia Gubaidulina and Alfred Schnittke in the “Music Club,” which he founded in 1965. In the West, he became known primarily for his mono-operas Diary of Anne Frank and Letters of van Gogh.

Click here for the review at Online Merker
Click here for the review at MusicWeb International

New CD-release in June 2019













Praised by the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” for his “thrillingly individual, energetic, enchantingly singing in the high registers and always clearly contoured, masculine tone in the lower registers,” Valentin Radutiu is one of the up-and-coming cellists of his generation, combining intellectual penetration with expressive sound culture. Together with the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn under the direction of Ruben Gazarian, Radutiu creates sonorous interpretations of the cello works of Haydn, Casadesus and Janson.

Successful return to Poland









The connection between Ruben Gazarian and the Wrocław Philharmonic Orchestra has been further deepened through repeated collaborations: After 2015 and 2017, the conductor made another guest appearance with this tradition-rich orchestra in May 2019. This time the program included works by P. I. Tchaikovsky (Suite from “Sleeping Beauty), D. Shostakovich (Violin Concerto No. 1) and E. Elgar (Enigma Variations). The intense, gratifying and successful musical reunion immediately led to a new invitation for Gazarian in the 2020/2021 season.

Ruben Gazarian touring in China with the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra

The ten concert halls where the WCO performed during its China-Tour 2019 (Photos: Hans Georg Fischer).

As a genuine touring ensemble, the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra also leaves its sound traces with an international audience. In February-March 2019, the orchestra was once again on tour under the direction of its former principal conductor Ruben Gazarian, with ten concerts in various regions of China. After stops in Beijing, Huanggang, Changsha, Hefei, Ma’anshan, Nanjing, Zhuhai, Dongguan and Huizhou, the final concert took place in Shanghai. The program of the tour included works by Edvard Grieg, Nino Rota and Gustav Holst.









New release: “Carneval” with Asya Fateyeva

“Even purists would give in,” wrote the Berliner Zeitung in 2017 about Asysa Fateyeva’s then release “Bachiana,” on which she arranged Bach compositions for the saxophone (together with the WCO Heilbronn and Ruben Gazarian) – an instrument that did not even exist during Bach’s lifetime. On her latest CD, the soloist takes unusual paths once more. This time, again joined by the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Ruben Gazarian, she explores the world of carnival, its dramas, characters and ever-surprising human entanglements. According to Fateyeva, the saxophone is perfectly suited for this: “The title ‘Carneval’ describes the spirit of the saxophone. It likes to dress up, try things out, explore different styles and slip into the roles of other instruments.”

Georgian Chamber Orchestra Ingolstadt: The programm of the upcoming season 2019 has been revealed

“Artist-in-Residence” 2019 in Ingolstadt: Sergei Nakariakov











  • Border crossings between tradition and modernity, the familiar and the rare have always characterized the Georgian Chamber Orchestra Ingolstadt. This orientation of the orchestra developed even more and deeper when Ruben Gazarian became chief conductor and continued to sharpen the profile of the GCO further.
  • In the 2019 season, this approach will be in focus once again. An emphasis on the symphonies of Joseph Haydn (210 years after his death) will continue also in the coming season, as well as the focus on Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. A special anniversary will mark the 100th birthday of Mieczysław Weinberg (1919-1996) in December 2019. The important Russian composer of Polish-Jewish origin and close friend of Dmitri Shostakovich remains largely undiscovered in the Western music world. The works of Catalan composer Miquel Ortega are also less well known.
  • For the special profile of the new season, Sergei Nakariakov is an excellent ambassador as “Artist-in-Residence” 2019. The Russian trumpeter, who just introduced himself at the GCO in a joint performance with Sebastian Knauer (the 2018 Artist-in-Residence”), is himself a border crosser. In his broad repertoire, he intensively cultivates contemporary music. Jörg Widmann created his “ad absurdum” especially for him, a highly demanding work tailor-made for Nakariakov’s outstanding musical and technical abilities. In the opening concert of the season on January 16, 2019, the artist can also be experienced with precisely this composition at the GCO under the direction of Ruben Gazarian.
  • The third subscription concert on March 21, 2019 is solely in the hands of principal conductor Ruben Gazarian, who, in addition to Eric Satie, Maurice Ravel and Pēteris Vasks, will also focus on the jubilarian Mieczysław Weinberg, whose music will be heard again few months later, in the program with Russian pianist Elizaveta Blumina (on June 06, 2019).
  • Music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, Arthur Honegger, Johann Simon Mayr, Niels Gade, Gustav Holst, P. I. Tchaikovsky and many others testifies to the richness of the musical “kaleidoscope” that will provide unforgettable musical experiences for the audience of the 2019 Ingolstadt subscription series. Several performances will be recorded for Broadcast and CD productions, including for Deutschlandfunk Kultur.
  • Through numerous guest appearances, the Georgian Chamber Orchestra Ingolstadt presents its distinctive profile within Germany, including a return invitation to the renowned Rheingau Music Festival, in Munich, Frankfurt, Dortmund, Witten, Blaibach, Kempten and Donauwörth, as well as at Schaffhausen Klassik in Switzerland with Khatia and Gvantsa Buniatishvili. Another Swiss guest performance will take place in Brugg, with a recording for the radio station SRF Kultur. In addition, the GCO and its principal conductor are guests at two other major European festivals: Emilia Romagna Festival in Italy and Festival Ljubljana in Slovenia.
  • Of course, the upcoming GCO season has much more in store in terms of fascinating projects, musical insights and discoveries, all of which is waiting to be explored on the orchestra’s website: www.georgisches-kammerorchester.de

Ruben Gazarian and Sergei Nakariakov after the press conference about the upcoming season 2019


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.

The WKO Looking Back at a Successful Chinese Tour (September 2017)

   Before the concert in Wuxi, Poly Grand Theatre

After fifteen days, eleven concerts, and more than 21,000 kilometers traveled, the Württembergisches Kammerorchester (WKO) Heilbronn and its artistic director Ruben Gazarian have returned to Heilbronn.

Playing works by Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Tchaikovsky, the WKO was a guest in eleven cultural centers such as Shanghai, Wuxi or Nanjing in the east of China, functioning as an ambassador of the city of Heilbronn, Germany, and Europe. In the course of its tour, the orchestra with its concertmaster Zohar Lerner as a soloist appeared in some of the most impressive newly built concert halls in China, such as the Nanjing Poly Grand Theatre, one of the last building projects of the recently deceased architect Zaha Hadid.

“Such an extended tour through China is something extraordinary. I am truly happy for the fact that the WKO’s general manager, Madeleine Landlinger, successfully sealed the deal for this large foreign tour. It is wonderful to see how enthusiastic the mostly young Chinese audiences are about “European” music. And if one has the privilege of performing Mozart’s “Kleine Nachtmusik,” Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in D minor, or Tchaikovsky’s Serenade under such circumstances, then real moments of bliss will occur – both to the audience and to us musicians“, concludes Ruben Gazarian.

The 2017–18 Season of the WKO Heilbronn Has Been Announced

WKO photo.

The 2017–18 season of the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn is under the slogan “Discoveries.” The guiding idea is, “Discovery is only possible if one remains always curious.” The musical universe offers unlimited wealth, which to discover is the mission of the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra and its audience in the uniqueness of each moment of a concert.

In the 2017–18 season, the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra (WKO) again offers its subscription series in Heilbronn and Ulm—with ten concerts in Heilbronn and five in Ulm. Ruben Gazarian will take the rostrum in five concerts in Heilbronn and four concerts in Ulm in his sixteenth and final season as principal conductor and artistic director of the WKO.

The WKO Heilbronn dives into the symphonic cornucopia of Joseph Haydn and performs four symphonies that the orchestra has never played before. Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto is likewise a new item in the WKO’s repertory. But even less well-known composers like classicist Joseph Martin Kraus, French violoncellist and composer Jean-Baptiste Janson, Czech Vilém Tauský or Danish national hero Carl Nielsen appear in the season’s program. The Viola Concerto by Pēteris Vasks, played by Maxim Rysanov, one of the world’s leading violists, will see its German première with the WKO and its principal conductor Ruben Gazarian in Heilbronn. The orchestra rediscovers the great symphonist Gustav Mahler and his Lied von der Erde (Song of the Earth) in terms of chamber music and pays homage to French impressionist Claude Debussy on the occasion of the centennial of his death.

In September 2017, the WKO sets out again (after 2013) for an extended tour of the cultural centers of eastern China as a musical ambassador of Heilbronn. The orchestra will appear in eleven cities in the guise of an all-strings ensemble with its concertmaster Zohar Lerner as soloist and its principal conductor Ruben Gazarian at the helm. The program features works by Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Tchaikovsky.

New Year’s Day Concert of 2018, the last under Ruben Gazarian as principal conductor and artistic director, focuses on Russian composer Peter I. Tchaikovsky and his musical settings of three love stories. Excerpts from the opera Eugene Onegin with Armenian soprano Karine Babajanyan, the Fantaisie-overture Romeo and Juliet, and a selection from the ballet score for The Sleeping Beauty make up the substance of the year’s opening concert, which traditionally cultivates a grand symphonic sound.

In September 2017, Ruben Gazarian celebrates his fifteenth anniversary as principal conductor and artistic director of the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn. On this occasion, a five-volume CD box with live recordings of orchestral works culled from the Heilbronn concert programs of the last fifteen years is released in a limited edition. The CD box is available at the Heilbronn concerts, at selected advance ticket outlets and from the web shop on the website of the WKO at a price of €39.

Precious Rarities for Flute: New Release with Kathrin Christians

On the CD with flutist Kathrin Christians and the WKO Heilbronn conducted by Ruben Gazarian, released by Hänssler Classic in May 2017, concertos by Jindřich Feld and Mieczysław Weinberg are heard as well as the Adagio by Mikis Theodorakis—all seldom performed works for flute and orchestra.

The German radio program SWR2 Treffpunkt Klassik comments on June 20, 2017: “The joy of making music, virtuosity, a delirium of sound and finally, an apocalyptic explosion with a hellish scenario all rolled in one… At this time, the recording with Kathrin Christians and the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra under Ruben Gazarian should be the best choice for a new discovery of this literally staggering piece (by Jindřich Feld). A chamber orchestra bursts at its seams, what a wonderful horror… Here the piece literally blows up in your ears in a way that is sheer fun.”

 “A courageous program, thanks to the passion and curiosity of Kathrin Christians. The raison d’être of her first CD was the Flute Concerto by Jindřich Feld, a Czech composer practically forgotten. Especially here, the flutist demonstrates what a boundless range of timbres can be conjured up from her instrument—from a warm, soft sound that rises straight to utmost intimacy to a vigorous, energetic rebellion that makes the listener shiver… The Württemberg Chamber Orchestra under Ruben Gazarian is a reliable partner also here…” Concerti, May 26, 2017.

Gazarian Renews His Contract in Ingolstadt through 2020

On May 5, 2017, the contract between the Georgian Chamber Orchestra (GKO) Ingolstadt and Ruben Gazarian was extended by another three years. In advance, both the orchestra and the advisory board of the IN Veranstaltungs gGmbH expressed their unanimous support for the renewal of the contract. The Armenian-born conductor has been at the helm of the orchestra as its artistic director since 2015 and has made a vital contribution to the GKO’s emergence as an integral part of the cultural life of Ingolstadt and its surroundings.

Managing director Tobias Klein comments on the renewal of the contract: “Ruben Gazarian is an excellent conductor who has significantly enhanced the Georgian Chamber Orchestra Ingolstadt in its identity and regional importance.“ Gazarian is likewise happy about the decision: “I am looking forward to the continuation of my collaboration with the GKO because I feel deeply attached to the orchestra. For me, the orchestra’s unanimous vote for the renewal of my contract is a very pleasant confirmation of the course we have taken. Many new, exciting projects are awaiting us.” In the past years, the conductor has already implemented some innovations. He has defined topical focus areas for his concerts and, as a consequence, the Ingolstadt audience has heard new, exciting works. Thanks to his international contacts, he has also been able to recruit famous soloists for the GKO and to establish an annual “artist-in-residence.” This year, it is cellist Daniel Müller-Schott, who will come to Ingolstadt for several concerts.

Since the beginning of its collaboration with Ruben Gazarian, the GKO has been back on the market of recordings and has released three CDs documenting its widely varied artistic range. In addition, the orchestra does not only perform in Ingolstadt, but it also regularly appears at festivals such as the Internationales Musikfest Kreuth and the Oettinger Residenzkonzerte (both in Bavaria). Foreign tours have taken the orchestra to Spain, France, Georgia, Austria, Switzerland and, most recently, Israel. Besides his artistic directorship with the GKO, Ruben Gazarian is also the principal conductor of the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn. He has been holding that position since 2002 and will hand it over to a successor after sixteen years in summer 2018.

A New Release with Asya Fateyeva

Among musicians and music lovers all around the world, Johann Sebastian Bach enjoys the status of a canonized saint. Classical saxophonist Asya Fateyeva has also been preoccupied with Bach’s music since her youth, but in contrast to many of her colleagues, she has a handicap: there are no original compositions by Bach for saxophone. The young musician, who won the ECHO-Klassik award in 2016 as “newcomer of the year,” cannot be stopped by that: in her new recording “Bachiana” with works by Johann Sebastian Bach and Heitor Villa-Lobos she proves to be not only a virtuoso on her instrument but also a talented arranger. At her side, the Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn shines under its artistic director Ruben Gazarian, accompanying the soloist with inspiration and discretion.

The CD, released by Berlin Classics, has been available for sale since late March 2017.

Between Tradition and Adventure: The 2017 Season of the Georgisches Kammerorchester (Georgian Chamber Orchestra) Ingolstadt under Its Artistic Director Ruben Gazarian

The 2017 season of the Georgisches Kammerorchester (GKO) Ingolstadt is under the motto “Reflexionen” (reflections). The audacious programming of the orchestra skillfully treads the line between tradition and things yet to be discovered. The program of 2017 meditates on change, being and willing, provenance and identity, tradition and innovation. There is Mendelssohn, whom Schumann labeled the “Mozart of the nineteenth century” and whose music is considered a link between classical form and Romantic content. Some of the concert nights again revolve around the star of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in the new season; the 225th anniversary of his death is commemorated in December 2016. Beyond, the GKO forges a musical bridge from C.P.E. Bach by way of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Richard Strauss, and Franz Schubert through classics of the twentieth century, such as Béla Bartók, Edward Elgar, Paul Hindemith, Franz Schreker, Alfred Schnittke, Karl Amadeus Hartmann, and Erich Wolfgang Korngold. Contemporary composers like Minas Borboudakis and James MacMillan will also be heard.

The series of the subscription concerts starts on January 12 with the orchestra’s artist-in-residence, cellist Daniel Müller-Schott, who will not only play the solo part but also conduct. Artistic director Ruben Gazarian wields the baton in six subscription concerts. One of the highlights is his joint concert with Daniel Müller-Schott (May 4); others are the all-Mendelssohn program with soloists Linus Roth and William Youn (June 1), the open air concert at the Turm Baur (July 27), and the evening with clarinetist and ARD International Music Competition winner Sebastian Manz and the Swiss Casal Quartett (19.10.). More subscription concerts with the artistic director will be held on February 9 and September 13. Further soloists in the subscription concerts include: the promising young percussionist Richard Putz; the clarinetist Annelien van Wauwe, another laureate of the ARD International Music Competition; the Alliage-Quartett, one of Germany’s best-known saxophone ensembles; and Japanese pianist Kotaro Fukuma.

The artist-in-residence of 2017, Daniel Müller-Schott, is ranked among the leading cellists in the world. For two decades, he has been fascinating audiences and the press thanks to his outstanding musical interpretations and his winsome personality. After violinist Julian Rachlin (2015) and clarinettist Sharon Kam (2016), Daniel Müller-Schott is the third artist-in-residence at the GKO, a position inaugurated by Ruben Gazarian when he assumed the office of artistic director.

There are more musical highlights in the GKO’s special concerts. The concerts of Audi AG, one of the orchestra’s two main sponsors alongside Sparkasse Ingolstadt, have been a regular part of the season for many years. The fruitful partnership continues in 2017 with two concerts within the Audi Summer Concert series—the Classic Open Air on July 22 and the Audi children’s concert “Horch mal!” (Listen!) on July 23—as well as the traditional Audi Christmas concert on December 15.

Daniel Mueller-Schott

A CD for Children: The Princess and the Pea and The Beetle

A musical setting of Hans Christian Andersen’s popular fairy tales The Princess and the Pea and The Beetle, by Andreas N. Tarkmann, has been recorded by the Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn under the baton of its artistic director Ruben Gazarian, together with the children’s choir of the Stuttgart opera and narrator Juri Tetzlaff. This new CD release by the Coviello Classics label is available for sale immediately.

The two fairy tales are connected by an essential idea: the quest for happiness. The beetle is striving for recognition and approval; the prince is seeking the princess of his dreams. Both embark on a journey and have to pass difficult trials.

For the Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn and its artistic director Ruben Gazarian, this is already the second encounter with composer Andreas N. Tarkmann for the purpose of a CD recording. In 2012, the successful recording OPERA! (for the Berlin Classics label) was produced with clarinetist Sharon Kan, for whom and for whose instrument Tarkmann arranged operatic arias.

CD Cover

Prinzessin auf der Erbse/Der Mistkäfer

A New Recording: Carmen Suite

The Georgisches Kammerorchester (Georgian Chamber Orchestra) Ingolstadt and its artistic director Ruben Gazarian presents their third joint CD recording. Rodion Shchedrin’s Carmen Suite pays homage to the great Russian dancer and choreographer Maya Plisetskaya, who died in her adopted hometown of Munich in May 2015. At the same time, it honors her husband, composer Rodion Shchedrin, who in 2017 celebrates his eighty-fifth birthday. Rodion Shchedrin wrote Carmen Suite in the mid-1960s for his wife. The work is a ballet score for strings and percussion after motives from Georges Bizet’s opera of the same name. The best-known melodies from the opera are stylistically modified by a nuanced orchestration that changes the overall coloring, and by more poignant rhythm. Furthermore, Carmen Suite reflects motives from the Second L’Arlesienne Suite.

The present CD release is the live recording of a concert in Ingolstadt on October 15, 2015. It has been available for sale since July 2016.


New Release “One Night in Amsterdam – WKO Live at Concertgebouw” (Limited Edition)

  • This concert hall is a legend, a stroke of genius in terms of acoustics. Every year it lures the best orchestras in the world to Amsterdam. On July 16, 2014, the luminously sensual sound of the Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn under the baton of its music director Ruben Gazarian filled the Amsterdam Concertgebouw—with two works for string orchestra that celebrate the fascinating variety of sounds and power of expression that this complement of instruments is capable of producing.
  • Benjamin Britten succeeds in his Simple Symphony in a simple but witty way: He quotes and develops his own first attempts at composition, which had been sitting in his drawer for years. He assigns fanciful titles like “Playful Pizzicato” and “Sentimental Saraband” to the four movements, and he parades a whole catalog of tone colors of strings.
  • The Serenade op. 28, composed in 1880, is Peter I. Tchaikovsky’s loving homage to the great Mozart, who established the genre. “It is warmed by feeling and, as I hope, of real value,” the composer said about his work. Derived from the Italian adjective sereno, the genre promises a melodic language akin to a clear, bright sky (especially at night). It comes in handy for “One Night in Amsterdam – WKO Live at Concertgebouw.”
  • A fascinating document in sound, a precious and authentic acoustic snapshot enriching the multi-faceted discography of the WKO and Ruben Gazarian.

(A production of the WKO Heilbronn ©2015 // For sale only at the orchestra’s subscription concerts in Heilbronn or by order from info@wko-heilbronn.de)

Amsterdam CD_Cover

WKO Heilbronn on Tour in Spain

  • In late January 2016 the WKO Heilbronn under the direction of Ruben Gazarian toured Spain. On three nights in Madrid, Burgos, and Zaragoza, works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Divertimento in F, K. 138; and Piano Concerto no. 12 in A, K. 414, with Alexander Schimpf as soloist), Hugo Wolf (Italian Serenade), and Antonín Dvořák (Serenade for Strings) were heard. The appearances aroused the audiences’ unanimous, enthusiastic acclaim—at the Great Hall of the Auditorio Nacional in the Spanish capital, at the Auditorio de Caja Circulo in Burgos, and at the Great Hall (Sala Mozart) of the Auditorio de Zaragoza.
  • The reviewer of Heraldo de Aragon judged: “The sound of the well-attuned strings is clean and nuanced, with much sense of acoustic balance in the tutti passages [of the Mozart] and also in those passages where the strings blend with the pianist. Already carried away into a romantic mood by the preceding piece, the musicians tackled the Czech’s composer’s [Dvořák’s] compilation of reminiscences of folk themes with elegant assurance. It is appealing and effective music that Gazarian conducted with much attention to the contrasts between the euphoric and nostalgic feelings that characterize this work. In the Larghetto the musicians displayed utmost subtlety in their bowing in order to express the depth of the pain, which is compensated in the subsequent final movement, Allegro vivace, by surging joy and the rhythmic play of the voices, transmitting the joy of life.”
  • Foto: Hans Georg Fischer und Martin Windhorst

    WKO Heilbronn and Ruben Gazarian in Auditorio de Zaragoza    Photo: Hans Georg Fischer and Martin Windhorst

The GKO Opens Its 2016 Season in Ingolstadt

  • Two weeks after the official launch of the 2016 season at the enthusiastically received New Year’s Day concert, the new subscription series has begun as well—with a soirée completely under the auspices of Mendelssohn: besides the Hebrides overture, the Violin Concerto in E minor (soloist: Alexandra Soumm) and the Third Symphony (“Scottish”) were performed.
  • After Julian Rachlin had figured as artist-in-residence in 2015, Sharon Kam could be won over for the present season. The new season of the Georgisches Kammerorchester (Georgian Chamber Orchestra; GKO) holds in store many more musical highlights with a wide repertory and great soloists. Likewise, the GKO’s busy recording schedule, begun last year, will continue under the direction of Ruben Gazarian; new CD productions are forthcoming.
  • Here is the link to a video clip from Ingolstadt’s local TV station INTV about the opening concert of the 2016 subscription series

On Tour with Vesselina Kasarova

In November 2015, Ruben Gazarian conducted a concert series of the WKO Heilbronn and Vesselina Kasarova. The program with the star singer was presented within the subscription series in Heilbronn and also in Osnabrück, Braunschweig, Erlangen, and Ludwigsburg.

  • “Just as much Vesselina Kasarova charges her rendition of Vitellia’s recitative and aria from La clemenza di Tito with drama, conductor Ruben Gazarian charges his Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn with tension. There everything is concise and powerful, and the finale from Luigi Boccherini’s symphony ‘La Casa del Diavolo’ makes the spirits of hell dance in a really devilish manner.”
  • (Ludwigsburger Kreiszeitung)
  • “The interpretation of two operatic overtures by Mozart and Rossini demonstrated in an impressive manner in what an appropriate, differentiated, and also perceptive manner this Swabian ensemble is capable of presenting works of distinguished composer of different eras. The vigorous Ruben Gazarian, who has been successfully leading his “Württembergers” as their artistic director through international concert halls since 2002, warrants it. (…) The musicians and their energetic conductor Gazarian with his wide repertory of gestures have understood to transmit the melancholic character (of Mozart’s G minor symphony) with its moments of resignation convincingly. (…) The subsequent Andante made a deep impression. Especially in the highly dramatic finale, the orchestra succeeded in making this, one of the most significant works of symphonic literature, accessible to the Erlangen audience through joy of play, intensity, expressiveness, and originality.”
  • (Erlanger Nachrichten)
  • “The instrumentalists from Württemberg, with their delicate blend of sounds and subtle dynamic shades, are Kasarova’s congenial partners. In Mozart’s Symphony no. 40 in G minor, conductor Ruben Gazarian juxtaposes to great effect the brusque eruptions of the finale with the Landler-like coziness in the trio of the minuet. Lots of applause.”
  • (Braunschweiger Zeitung)


20151127_Vesselina Kasarova_c_Suzanne Schwiertz

Copyright: Suzanne Schwiertz

Bohuslav Martinů with the GKO Ingolstadt and the Storioni Trio

Just a few months after their first CD production, the second disc of the Georgisches Kammerorchester (Georgian Chamber Orchestra) Ingolstadt has been released in early November 2015. In contrast to its predecessor, this new album is a compilation focusing on one composer only: Bohuslav Martinů. You will find more detailed comments on the CD’s content under “Discography.” Again, the label ARS-Produktion released the recording as a hybrid CD/SACD with high-quality multichannel sound. The review on the web portal HighResolutionAudio.net is here.


New Release “Wartime Consolations”

Ende Mai veröffentlichte das niederländische Label „Challenge Classics“ die neue CD des Geigers Linus Roth mit dem Württembergischen Kammerorchester Heilbronn und seinem Chefdirigenten. Unter dem Titel „Wartime Consolations“ sind auf dem Tonträger Werke von Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Mieczyslaw Weinberg und Dmitri Schostakowitsch vereint. Dies ist die dritte CD-Neuerscheinung binnen eines Monats mit Ruben Gazarian als Dirigent. Auch diese Aufnahme erscheint als hochwertige Hybrid CD/SACD mit einer Mehrkanal-Fassung.

Hier geht es zu den Rezensionen:


A Voice for the Arts (Voix-des-Arts)

The Strad


MusicWeb International

2383 X

New CD Release with the GCO Ingolstadt

  • Within days of the release of the “Horn Concertos” CD another new CD with Ruben Gazarian conducting has been published. It is his first recording with the Georgisches Kammerorchester (Georgian Chamber Orchestra) Ingolstadt, which he has been directing since January 2015 alongside his tenure as music director in Heilbronn. The CD presents the program of his inaugural concert in Ingolstadt featuring works by Paul Juon, Fabian Müller, Ernest Bloch, and Arthur Honegger. The soloists are Kamilla Schatz (violin) and Pi-Chin-Chien (violoncello). The disc is published by the label “Ars Produktion” as a hybrid CD/SACD that offers, in addition to the regular stereophonic recording, a multi-channel version meeting the highest demands of audiophiles.
  • Here is the Trailer of the CD-Recording

2006_Villa Hu¨gel_Booklet

New CD Release: “Horn Concertos”

On April 17, 2015, the label “Berlin Classics” released the second album of the ECHO laureate Felix Klieser. Unlike his first CD, his second is dedicated to the music of the classical era: Joseph and Michael Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. For this recording, the exceptional horn player has found the perfect musical complement in the Württembergisches Kammerorchester (Württemberg Chamber Orchestra) Heilbronn conducted by Ruben Gazarian. “We have worked together with much intensity and passion but also with lots of fun and delight in music. I most cordially invite you to share this joy with me,” Felix Klieser says.

Klieser Cover

Gazarians Gives His Debut with the Wroclaw Philharmonic

Immediately after conducting the opening night of Mozart’s Così fan tutte in Heilbronn, Ruben Gazarian flew to Poland to give his debut with the Wrocław Philharmonic Orchestra. The program included works of Richard Strauss, Sergei Prokofiev and Kurt Weill; the russian piano virtuoso Andrei Korobeinikov was the soloist. Gazarian’s collaboration with the orchestra was such a resounding success that he was promptly invited back for the 2016-17 season.

Cheers at the opening night of “Così fan tutte”

  • A remarkable new departure has deepened the long-standing fruitful collaboration between the Württembergisches Kammerorchester (Württemberg Chamber Orchestra) Heilbronn and the municipal Heilbronner Theater: For the first time ever, these two organizations launched an original production in a joint venture with the Musikhochschule (Music Academy) Stuttgart, and for starters, they chose one of the most frequently performed works from the operatic repertory: Mozart’s Così fan tutte. Mozart’s ingenious creation saw its Heilbronn premiere on April 4, 2015. The audience acclaimed all participants with standing ovations.
  • Likewise, all critics praised the production unanimously: “The guarantor of this orchestral delectation is placed in the pit: the Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn under the baton of its music director Ruben Gazarian. Already the overture turns into a masterpiece of precision, so delicate, ethereal, and enormously lively in its quick runs… The standard for this night is set, and it is set high.” (Heilbronner Stimme); “Ruben Gazarian turns out to be… a naturally born Mozart conductor who knows, above all, how to instill a flexible legato and clear intonation into the string section. This becomes evident already in the overture, bristling with vigor… As a conductor, Gazarian has, in any case, a knack for the orchestration abounding in minute details.” (Der neue Merker) “And how Gazarian here guides his musicians through the score, on the waves of the sea and of love, and how the young singers get supported throughout this marathon for six voices…” (Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung) “Singing and acting were perfectly supported by the Württembergisches Kammerorchester, whose initial weightless sound seemed to grow to that of a full-bodied symphony orchestra in the course of the evening, and precisely coordinated by Ruben Gazarian.” (Bachtrack.com).
  • The opera will be performed on a total of nine nights, remaining on the playbill of the Heilbronner Theater until the end of July 2015. 


Cast and crew of the Heilbronn production of Cosi fan tutte right before the opening night.

Photo: Thomas Braun

Highly Promising Season Opener in Ingolstadt

The new music director of the Georgisches Kammerorchester (Georgian Chamber Orchestra) Ingolstadt, Ruben Gazarian, celebrated a highly acclaimed debut in the first subscription concert of the season on January 15, 2015. The conductor and his musicians dedicated the concert, under the motto “Swiss Made,” to the four Swiss composers Paul Juon, Fabian Müller, Ernest Bloch, and Arthur Honegger. They were joined by violonist Kamilla Schatz and cellist Pi-Phin Chien. “Such programs have to be possible, even more so as they allow the GKO to gain recognition beyond our region… Gazarian and the orchestra could not have left a more distinctive mark on their debut—in every respect.” (Donaukurier) A recording of the concert will be released on CD in May 2015 (Ars Produktion)—“already now, an enriching document.” (Donaukurier)

Presentation of the first Georgian Chamber Orchestra season under Gazarian’s Leadership

On November 4, 2014,  the program for the new season of the Georgian Chamber Orchestra, which begins January 2015, was presented in the Ingolstadt Audi Forum. The exceptionally high media attention with numerous representatives from print, television and internet was due to the changeover of the artistic leadership: As previously reported, Ruben Gazarian will commence his position as principal conductor of the GCO Ingolstadt in the upcoming season. Therefore, one of the most important topics of the press conference was the new program direction, presented personally by the designated principal conductor, as well as the planned recording activities of the orchestra. The online version of the GCO brochure for the 2015 concert season can be downloaded here:  www.gko-in.de.

Württemberg Chamber Orchestra under Gazarians baton at the “Niedersächsiche Musiktage” 2014

At the beginning of October, the WCO, led by its principal conductor, made four appearances at the “Niedersächsische Musiktage” Music Festival. Together with the soloists of this concerts – Veronika Eberle (violin) and Nils Mönkemeyer (viola) – they performed works of Mozart and Dvořák. The concerts sparked a unanimously positive echo everywhere, not only with the audience but also with the critics. The live recording of one of the performances will be broadcasted 7th of December 2014 at 11am on Radio NDR Kul­tur.

Bartók and Mozart with Sebastian Knauer in Heilbronn, Ulm and Ludwigsburg

For the first time in its over 50 year history, the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn performed “Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta” by Béla Bartók. This masterpiece was combined with two brilliant creations of the First Viennese School: Mozart’s Piano Concerto K. 595 (with soloist Sebastian Knauer) and the “Jupiter”-Symphony. The reviewer from the “Heilbronner Stimme” hailed the evening as a “glorious moment of the Classic Modernism”. The “Augsburger Allgemeine” spoke of the same program performance in the second WCO subscription series in Ulm likewise with the highest of praises: “With a crystalline temperament, the orchestra, inspired by its omnipresent conductor, steered Mozart’s last symphony to concertante Olympus. How… Gazarian incorporated the pulsating fugato of the “Allegro molto” into the well-awakened overall sound is a mastery of dynamic arrangement.” Read more from the reviews in the link „Press“.

An enthusiastically acclaimed end of the season

For Ruben Gazarian and the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn, the final concerts of the 2013-14 season turned into triumphs. A standing ovation acclaimed the orchestra and its principal conductor at the famed Amsterdam Concertgebouw. Likewise, the audience at Eberbach Abbey, where Gazarian and his orchestra appeared a few days later in the course of the Rheingau Music Festival, broke into applause that did not seem to end. The orchestra and its artistic director departed for their summer break after performing works by Rossini, Albéniz, Rodrigo and Mendelssohn’s “Italian” symphony.

From January of 2015, Gazarian will direct two orchestras

From the beginning of 2015, Ruben Gazarian will assume artistic leadership of the Georgian Chamber Orchestra (Georgisches Kammerorchester) in Ingolstadt, Germany. Simultaneously, he will retain the same position at the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra (Württembergisches Kammerorchester) Heilbronn, whose director he has been for twelve years. He was appointed to the helm in Ingolstadt in response to the unanimous preferences of the orchestra, its management and the city’s cultural officers. “I am looking forward to this intriguing task and my future collaboration with the musicians of the Georgisches Kammerorchester, to whom I am already now, after some appearances as a guest conductor, connected in a very warm relationship”, Gazarian said at the official announcement.

Successful Debut with the Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion (Orchestra of the Tel Aviv Opera)

In early March, Ruben Gazarian returned from a concert series with the Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion (ISORL), which doubles as the resident orchestra of the Israeli Opera Tel Aviv. The programs included works by Haim Permont (a world premiere), Beethoven, Prokofiev, and Khachaturian. On each of the four nights, the conductor was enthusiastically acclaimed by audience and orchestra alike. After the Camerata Jerusalem and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the ISORL has been already the third Israeli orchestra with which Gazarian had his highly successful debut within the last year.

CD release “… back to the roots: Armenian Classic”

Just in time for Christmas 2013, “Bayer Records” announces the release of a new CD with Ruben Gazarian, the pianist Vardan Mamikonian and the Wuerttemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn. Titled Ruben Gazarian …back to the roots: Armenian Classic, the recording departs from standard symphonic repertoire to explore the music of Gazarian’s homeland. The composers Eduard Mirzoyan, Tigran Mansurjan, Aram Khachaturian and Arno Babajanian represent 20th century Armenian music at its finest. The CD includes the world premiere recording of Tigran Mansurjan’s “Fantasy” for Piano and Orchestra.

CD Back to The Roots - Armenian Classic