September 14th heralds the opening of the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2014-15 season, one which features a truly exciting programme.
The first two performances – on September 14th and 21st – open the ‘Grande Saison’ series of 15 concerts which take place in the Auditorium Rainier III, home of the Orchestra since 2002, and also at at the Grimaldi Forum in the Salle des Princes, which has the capacity to accommodate the more substantial works of the symphonic repertoire.
The September 26th performance represents the first of five concerts in the ‘Salle Garnier’ series, taking place in the prestigious Salle Garnier de l’Opéra de Monte-Carlo.
The concert on September 14th, which marks the 5th anniversary of the Entrepôt Gallery, is devoted entirely to works by Liszt, and features – as a world first – all three of his piano concertos, two of which (Nos 1 and 2) have never before been performed in Monaco. The programme opens with Liszt’s Piano Concerto No 3 (the ‘Malédiction’), followed by his Piano Concerto No 1 (Concerto Pathétique), and his Piano Concerto No 2.
The Monte-Carlo Phillharmonic Orchestra is led by pianist, composer and conductor, Leslie Howard, whose accomplishments include his 97-CD survey (for Hyperion) of the complete piano music of Franz Liszt. This unique achievement covers over 300 world premieres and includes works prepared by Dr. Howard from the composer’s still unpublished manuscripts and works not heard since Liszt’s lifetime.
The guest soloist is NIcolas Horvath, who began his studies at the Prince Rainier III Academy of Musique in Monaco, where he won the Gold Medal for piano with honours, as well as the ‘prix Prince Rainier III’. By the time he was 32, he had won 11 international competitions – including seven Grands Prix – and was invited by Leslie Howard to join the Liszt Society.
Leslie Howard conducts the all-Liszt programme, with pianist Nicolas Horvath, on Sunday 14th September at Auditorium Rainier III at 6.00 pm. Tickets cost from €16 and may be reserved online.
The second concert in the ‘Grande Saison’ series is an all-Beethoven programme, featuring his Piano Concerto No 5 – the ‘Emperor’ – and his Symphony No 7, which Beethoven is believed to have considered one of his best works.
The performance is conducted by the Artistic and Music Director of the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic, Gianluigi Gelmetti, and the soloist is French pianist Philippe Bianconi (pictured below), an artist who has chosen a low key approach to his international career path.
Nevertheless, one of his London performances was described by The Times as “an extraordinary exhibition of musicianship, technical control and good taste which lent the music a freshness, immediacy and conviction one all too seldom encounters”. The Washington Post wrote of Mr. Bianconi as an artist whose playing is “always close to the soul of the music, filling the space with poetry and life”. Philippe Bianconi is Director of the American Conservatory of Fontainebleau, having succeeded such illustrious figures as Nadia Boulanger and Philippe Entremont.
Gianluigi Gelmetti conducts Beethoven, with soloist Philippe Bianconi, on Sunday, September 21st at the Auditorium Rainier III.
Auditorium Rainier III
Boulevard Louis II
Tel: +377 93 10 84 00
Photo of Philippe Bianconi via his official website; all other images courtesy Orchestre Philharmonique Monte-Carlo