Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Austrian Composer Kurt Schmid Nixed in Lugansk Due to Austrian Foreign Ministry

00 Kurt Schmid. Lugansk. LNR. Novorossiya. 06.05.15

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Well-known Austrian composer Kurt Schmid, who performed in Lugansk before the war with the Lugansk Oblast Philharmonic Society, wanted to visit the LNR, but the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration, and Foreign Affairs nixed the trip. Vera Getsy, manager of the Lugansk Philharmonic told us, “Schmid was trying to come to Lugansk; he even opted to enter through Russian territory, in particular, through Volgograd. However, the Austrian Embassy only gave the composer permission to enter territory controlled by the Kiev authorities”. Getsy was commenting on remarks posted earlier today on the website of the so-called “Lugansk Military-Civilian Administration” by Gennady Moskal that Schmid would conduct a Victory Day concert in Severodonetsk, where the junta sources claimed that the Lugansk Philharmonic moved “almost at full strength”. Getsy denied this fib, “Of our 80 musicians, only five left, who, after wandering in the Ukraine, landed in Severodonetsk. They joined with the student orchestra of the Severodonetsk music school, which now claims that it’s the Lugansk Philharmonic. Schmid was and remains honorary conductor of the Lugansk Philharmonic”.

Getsy pointed up that almost all the Lugansk Philharmonic remained in the city, even in the most difficult days of July and August last year. Musicians gave impromptu concerts in the besieged city under fire, often under the open sky. She said, “There is video of these concerts, there are eyewitness accounts. We’ve posted many of them on the internet, for free access. Our orchestra was born at the time of the Great Victory… some of the first musicians of our ensemble took part in the Victory Parade in Moscow in 1945. In fact on 30 May, we invite all Lugansk people to our anniversary programme”.

Getsy said that more than 15 percent of the musicians have been with the ensemble for more than 50 years, and 70 percent have played for 30 years. All of the best musicians in the orchestra remain; they continue to delight their fans with their creativity. She said, “Today, the orchestra participates in the action Книга памяти (Kniga pamyati: Memory Book) and we give concerts all over our country. Yesterday, 5 May 5, we were in Krasny Luch, tomorrow, 7 May, we’re going to Sverdlovsk. On top of that, we have planned a tour of the Russian Federation. The Lugansk Philharmonic never moved. Our first formal concert this season will be 6 September”. Posters of all the Philharmonic concerts are on its official website; you can be sure that Lugansk’s favourite artists and musicians are still here. Our next concert will be on 10 May, presenting a programme entitled, Песни Победы (Pesni Pobedy: Songs of Victory). Moskal’s allegations that we present “bush league” concerts in Lugansk are simply not true”.

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As noted on Schmid’s official website, in 2002, he became artistic director of the Academic Symphony Orchestra of Lugansk Oblast Philharmonic. He organised numerous concerts of the orchestra in Austria, the most striking of which were performances at the Great Hall of the Wiener Konzerthaus, where they played Little Russian music and masterpieces of the Viennese classics. In other Austrian cities, they performed traditional folk music and Mozart’s Requiem. During the period of coöperation with Schmid, the orchestra first performed such works as Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Carmina Burana by Orff, Stabat Mater by Pergolesi, amongst others. Since December 2003, Schmid taught at the Institute of Culture and Arts of Shevchenko Lugansk National University. In 2004, he received the title of honorary professor of the university. In 2006, Schmid received the Medal “For Significant Contributions to the Cultural Development of Lugansk Oblast” (Third Class).

6 May 2015

LITs Lugansk Information Centre

http://lug-info.com/news/one/izvestnyi-kompozitor-kurt-shmid-ne-smog-posetit-lnr-iz-za-pozitsii-posolstva-avstrii-3071

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Italian Conductor Claudio Abbado Dies at 80

00 Claudio Abbado. 22.10.14

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Editor’s Note:

I’ve always been a fan of Claudio Abbado. He took a deep interest in Russian music, and was one of the finest interpreters of the genre. I think that his recordings of the Tchaikovsky Symphonies are close to being definitive. Oh, yes… Signore Abbado was a leftist… an Italian Communist who believed in equal chances for all, regardless of financial standing. We’ll miss him…

Вечная ему память… May his memory be eternal…

BMD

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A close collaborator told AFP that Italian conductor Claudio Abbado, whose stellar career took him from La Scala to the Berlin Philharmonic to the Vienna Staatsoper died on Monday at the age of 80. A tearful Attilia Giuliani, head of the Abbadiani fan club, who first met Abbado in 1988 at the Teatro di San Carlo in Napoli, said, “I found out half an hour ago from his personal doctor. This is such a painful moment. I can’t speak”. Abbado was one of the most outstanding conductors of his time; he headed La Scala for 15 years and was artistic director at the Vienna Philharmonic and the Berlin Philharmonic orchestras. Abbado, who’d been ill for several years, was far from the stereotype of tyrannical maestros and made hundreds of recordings, spanning from Italy’s lyrical repertoire to classical music of the 20th century. Italian President Giorgio Napolitano appointed Abbado Senator for Life last year and gave over his salary for scholarships for young musicians. Lately, he’d cancelled several recent performances and appearances.

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Born on 26 June 1933 in Milano in a musical family, Abbado began his studies in his hometown and completed his training with Hans Swarowsky in Vienna from 1957 at the start of a long love story with Austria. Abbado was a convinced European and global citizen. The maestro started out at La Scala in 1960, where he won accolades for his performance of Giacomo Manzoni‘s opera Atomtod in 1965 and he served as musical director of the celebrated theatre until 1986. Abbado was a leftist and gave concerts in factories and schools, trying to open up the classical music world. From 1971, he also became a regular at the Vienna Philharmonic and he conducted the London Symphony Orchestra between 1979 and 1988, where critics praised his concerts of his favourite composer Gustav Mahler. He was also musical director of the Vienna Staatsoper between 1986 and 1991, where he received the prestigious title of musical director general of the Austrian capital, “Generalmusikdirektor“. The members of the Berlin Philharmonic elected him their head in October 1989 after the death of Herbert von Karajan; he established an excellent rapport with the orchestra, where he worked until 2002. He used to say, “I’m not their boss, we work together”.

20 January 2014

Voice of Russia World Service

http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_01_20/Italian-conductor-Claudio-Abbado-dies-aged-80-5631/

 

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