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Vermaak | Entertainment > Musiek | Music > Optredes | Gigs

Cellist conducts cellist in last JPO concert of the season in Pretoria with famous Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt the solist

Ina van Rooyen - 2011-08-18

Untitled Document

 Bernhardt Gueller in concert
ZK Mathews Great Hall in Muckleneuk, Unisa
Sunday 21 August: 15h00
Bookings: Computicket

In the last concert of the third season concert, Bernhardt Gueller,  the principal guest conductor of the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, will swing the baton in a concert of works by Mussorgsky, Dvořákand Borodin.

Gueller began his career as a cellist, but won the United German Radios Conducting Competition in 1979 and for nearly 20 years ran tandem careers, deputing for the legendary conductor Sergiu Celibidache who regarded Gueller as his best “pupil”. Gueller also attracted the attention of the renowned arts administrator Ernest Fleischman who "was deeply impressed by his extraordinary musicianship, his marvellous ability to communicate with the musicians, and… his charismatic impact on the audience".

It can therefore be assumed that he will have exceptional insight into the playing and orchestral accompaniment for lauded German cellist, Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt,  who will be the soloist in the stirring Cello Concerto op 104 in B minor by Antonin Dvořák.

One of the most famous Russian cellists of all time, Mstislav Rostropovich, called Wolfgang Emanuel  Schmidt  “…one of the leading cellists of his generation, of our time”, while Yo-Yo Ma said: „Schmidt proved himself to be a cellist of impeccable technique, poise and taste“, while the famous music magazine, The Strad, wrote in a review, amongst others, that „...Clearly Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt proves to be both a brillant cellist and a perfect musical chameleon, tapping into all the contrasting aspects of Prokofiev’s inspired musical language.... (Schmidt) manages to carve out an individual identity, while demonstrating great virtuosity in the searingly intense performance. The gladiatorial hurdles are immaculately cleared, with great perception coupled with an acute ear for the underlying orchestral writing.“

Apart from writing thet Schimdt, „... whose instrumental expressive power is often mentioned in the same breath as Rostropovitch...“, A critic of the famous German newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, hailed the cellist as follows: “Soulful and imminently deep expression is what distinguishes Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt's interpretations. Astonishing technical supremacy and a remarkable presence of artistic inspiration are almost perfectly united. To describe his tone as “beautiful” would be an excessive understatement.“

According the the great pianist and conductor, Emanuel Ax, „It is my great honor to recommend Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt. We also played some chamber music, and I found it a privilege to be his partner. He is a magnificent cellist, a searching musician, and a truly delightful colleague.“

Others hail the young cellist for his exceptional technique „With his beautiful tone and his high musical intellect, Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt is exceptional in the world of young cellists.“ (Siegfried Palm)

Already during his studies with Aldo Parisot at the Juilliard School in New York and David Geringas at the Musikhochschule Lübeck, Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt won the First Prize of the German National Music Competition in Bonn as well as the First Prize at the 1st International Adam Cello Competition in New Zealand, at the International Music Competitions in Bayreuth and Markneukirchen / Germany. At the International Rostropovitch Competition in Paris the international jury headed by Mstislav Rostropovitch awarded him the “Grand Prix de la Ville de Paris” and in addition the prize for contemporary music. He is also prize winner of the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and the International Leonard Rose Cello Competition in the USA.

Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt has performed in Europe, Russia, Japan and the USA as soloist with such prestigious orchestras as the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, the NDR Radiophilharmonie, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France in Paris, the Sinfonia Varsovia, the Slovenian RTV Symphony Orchestra, the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Houston and Baltimore Symphony Orchestras as well as the Prague Philharmonia under the baton of Charles Dutoit, Gerd Albrecht, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Jiri Belohlavek, Vassili Sinaiski, Andrey Boreyko, Hugh Wolff, Heinz Wallberg, Heinz Rögner and Marek Janowski.

Schmidt has also performed in the Berlin Philharmonic Hall, the Philharmonic Hall in Munich, the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, the Theatre du Champs Elysee, the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, the Wigmore Hall London, the Carnegie Hall and the Alice Tully Hall in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington, as well as in the Suntory Hall in Tokyo.

Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt devotes himself also to chamber music and has already performed together with such renowned artists as Lang Lang, Christoph Eschenbach, Emanuel Ax, Gil Shaham, Nicolaj Znaider, Leonidas Kavakos, Kyoko Takezawa, Miriam Fried, Edgar Meyer and David Shifrin.

From 2000-2002 he was a member of the Chamber Music Society Two of Lincoln Center in New York. He is a member of the Goldfeld-Schmidt-Nebolsin Piano Trio.

His first CD for Sony Classical – “french impressions-” was released in autumn 2001. In 2004 Sony Classical released his the second recording including all cello concertos by Sergei Prokofiev. Sony Classical released his CD featuring cello concertos by Schumann and Elgar in April 2009. The Label “Capriccio” released his recording of Bloch’s “Voice in the Wilderness”.

Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt holds a professorship at the University of Music “Carl Maria von Weber” in Dresden and at the “Universität der Künste” in Berlin. He plays on an instrument built by Matteo Goffriller, which previously belonged to Hugo Becker.

The opening work on the programme is Mussorgsky’s Khovantchina: Introduction (Dawn on the Moskva River)(Rimsky-Korsakov, while it will close with Borodin’s Symphony No.1 in E-flat major.

Bernhard Gueller is principal guest conductor of the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra and has been music director of Symphony Nova Scotia since 2002.

Well known to audiences internationally for the passion, mastery and drama he brings to the concert hall podium, Gueller is also acclaimed for his “profound interpretations”, the “stunning responses he gets from musicians” and the excitement he elicits. He is celebrated  by musicians, critics and audience for his musical purity and continually garners praise for the fresh approach he brings to the podium .

He has served as music director and principal conductor with various orchestras, including the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra, a position he relinquished last year.

Gueller has collaborated with many leading soloists such as cellists Daniel Mueller-Schott, Maria Kliegel, Claudio Bohorquez and David Geringas; pianists Anton Kuerti, Ivo Pogorelich, Ignat Solzhenitsyn, Lars Vogt, Peter Donohoe and Wayne Marshall, violinist James Ehnes, trumpeter Maurice Andre and entertainers Lionel Ritchie and  David Foster.

With a reputation for his mastery of contemporary works, Gueller has commissioned several concerti for Symphony Nova Scotia. These include a concerto for accordion, for oboe and one for piano. He has also given the first performance of works by composers such as the German composer Werner Egt and is the dedicatee of several works.

His career has taken him to many top concert halls from America and Australia to Russia, Japan, China, Korea, South Africa and Brazil, as well as countries in Europe such as Spain, Italy, France, Norway and Sweden and his native Germany.
He has made many recordings for national and international broadcast. His CD, Dancing in the Light, of works by contemporary Canadian composer, Christos Hatzis, with Symphony Nova Scotia, was released to critical acclaim. This followed a CD with mezzo soprano Hanneli Rupert and the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra and others with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart, German Brass and the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra.

In the past season, Gueller made lauded appearances with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in America and the Victoria and Calgary symphony orchestras in Canada.

  • The concert takes place on Sunday 21 August at 15:00 in Unisa’s ZK Mathews Great Hall in Muckleneuk. Bookings can be made at Computicket.