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Alexandre Kantorow, Guillaume Connessor and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra

Music From 22.06.2023 to 23.06.2023

© Marco Borggreve

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Guillaume Connesson is one of the most fascinating composers of his generation, with multiple influences and a very personal style, free from aesthetic and ideological conventions. His rich, captivating pieces have met with great success both in France, where he was named Composer of the Year in the Victoires de la Musique Classique in 2019, and internationally. 

Naturally, the Fondation Louis Vuitton wanted to showcase this leading musical figure and has commissioned him to write a piano concerto. Framed by the two guiding figures of Fauré and Poulenc, Guillaume Connesson's piano concerto will be performed in its worldwide premiere by Alexandre Kantorow with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Lionel Bringuier to close the 2020-2021 concert season at the Fondation.

Scottish Chamber Orchestra Concert

Lionel Bringuier, direction
Alexandre Kantorow, piano
Guillaume Connesson, creation of a concerto for piano and chamber orchestra

The artists

Scottish Chamber Orchestra

The internationally celebrated Scottish Chamber Orchestra is one of Scotland’s National Performing Companies. Formed in 1974 and core funded by the Scottish Government, the SCO aims to provide as many opportunities as possible for people to hear great music by touring the length and breadth of Scotland, appearing regularly at major national and international festivals including the Edinburgh International Festival, BBC Proms, and by touring internationally as proud ambassadors for Scottish cultural excellence.

Making a significant contribution to Scottish life beyond the concert platform, the Orchestra works in schools, universities, colleges, hospitals, care homes, places of work and community centres through its extensive Creative Learning programme.


The SCO has long-standing associations with many eminent guest conductors including Conductor Emeritus Joseph Swensen, Principal Guest Conductor Emmanuel Krivine, François Leleux, Pekka Kuusisto, Richard Egarr, Andrew Manze and John Storgårds.


The Orchestra also enjoys close relationships with many leading composers and has commissioned almost 200 new works, including pieces by the late Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Sir James MacMillan, Martin Suckling, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Nico Muhly and Associate Composer Anna Clyne.

An exciting new chapter for the SCO began in September 2019 with the start of dynamic young conductor Maxim Emelyanychev's tenure as the Orchestra’s Principal Conductor. 

The SCO and Emelyanychev released their first album together (Linn Records) in November 2019. The repertoire - Schubert’s Symphony No. 9 in C major ‘The Great’ – is the first concert Emelyanychev performed with the Orchestra in March 2018.

Lionel Bringuier

French conductor Lionel Bringuier is unquestionably one of the most experienced conductors of his generation, having led top orchestras around the world, both on stage for memorable concerts and in recordings for various major labels.

The 2019/2020 season brought him back to his hometown in France as an associate artist at the Opéra de Nice. For this homecoming, he invited several key artists to perform with him, including Hélène Grimaud, Renaud Capuçon and Nicolas Bringuier, along with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice, for five exceptional concerts. Together, on the French Riviera, they would present works by Dukas, Stravinsky, Brahms, Ravel and Shostakovich. After working with the most sought-after soloists of the global classical scene, Lionel wanted to return to his first love – the Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice – and present local audiences with his musical favourites of recent years. It was therefore with great pleasure that he agreed to return to his city, giving him the opportunity to again work with this excellent orchestra and craft a programme of superior quality to shine a spotlight on the Opéra de Nice as a national and international centre of culture.


Between these dates at the Opéra de Nice, Mr Bringuier would also tour with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra and conduct the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in the exquisite Sydney Opera House. He then returned to the United States to work with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra before leaving for Vienna’s Musikverein, where he would conduct Hummel’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in A Minor, Opus 85 performed by Kirill Gerstein and accompanied by the Camerata Salzburg.


Over the course of the previous season, Mr Bringuier worked around the world on international tours. From New Zealand to South Korea, Singapore to Austria, he has conducted many world-famous artists, including his friend, pianist Yuja Wang. He appeared with the Staatskapelle Dresden, presenting an eclectic and eloquent programme assembling works by Bartók, Schumann and Eötvös. He also conducted legendary violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra during an evening dedicated to Paris-inspired works, garnering unanimous acclaim from both the medias and the public for the spellbinding character of his conducting. Lastly, Mr Bringuier toured the United States, where he conducted the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, opening these concerts with an elegant performance of Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and closing with Shostakovich’s intense Symphony No. 6 in B Minor.


Eager to further excel and familiarise himself with all the repertoires of the classical canon, Mr Bringuier has also worked on many operatic oeuvres: in 2018, having presented various works in Europe at the Mariinsky Theater and the Valladolid Opera, he led a new production of Rigoletto at the Royal Swedish Opera. On another note, Lionel has many world premieres to his name, such as the Concerto for English Horn and Orchestra by Rands, Karawane by Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Swiss premiere of Trans for Harp and Orchestra by Saariaho. His discography includes two compilations of music by Ravel from Deutsche Grammophon.


Lionel Bringuier was named Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite by the French government, was unanimously chosen to receive the Médaille d’Or with the jury congratulations at Monaco’s Prince Rainier III Academy, as well as the Aigle de Cristal and the Médaille d’Or of the City of Nice, France.

Alexandre Kantorow

Piano
In 2019, aged 22, Alexandre Kantorow became the first French pianist to win the Gold Medal at the Tchaikovsky Competition, where he also won the Grand Prix, which has only been awarded three times before in the competition’s history. Hailed by critics as the “Young Tsar of the Piano” (Classica) and “Liszt reincarnated” (Fanfare), he has received numerous other awards and has been invited to perform worldwide at the highest level.


Mr Kantorow began performing professionally at an early age, making his debut at the La Folle Journée festival in Nantes at just 16 years of age. Since then, he has played with many of the world’s major orchestras, including regular appearances with the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev. Highlights in the coming season include concerts with the Orchestre de Paris, Staatskappelle Berlin, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, as well as tours with the Orchestre National de Toulouse, Budapest Festival Orchestra and the Munich Philharmonic.


He has performed solo recitals at major concert halls across Europe, such as the Amsterdam Concertgebouw in their Master Pianists series, the Konzerthaus Berlin, Philharmonie de Paris, BOZAR in Brussels and Stockholm Konserthus. He has also appeared at some of the most prestigious festivals, including La Roque d’Anthéron, Piano aux Jacobins, the Verbier Festival and Klavierfest Ruhr. Chamber music is another of his great pleasures and he regularly performs with Victor Julien-Laferrière, Renaud Capuçon, Daniel Lozakovich and Matthias Goerne.


Mr Kantorow records exclusively with BIS. His most recent recording (solo works by Brahms) received the 2022 Diapason d’Or. His two previous recordings (Saint-Saëns concerti 3-5 and solo works by Brahms, Bartok and Liszt) each received the Diapason d’Or and Choc Classica of the Year in 2019 and 2020, respectively. The solo disc was Gramophone magazine’s Editor’s Choice, his performance described as “a further remarkable example of his virtuosity and artistry, showing both skill and sensitivity throughout”. His earlier recital recordings, entitled à la Russe, also won numerous awards and distinctions, including the 2017 Choc de l’Année (Classica), Diapason découverte (Diapason), Supersonic (Pizzicata) and CD des Doppelmonats (PianoNews).


Mr Kantorow is a laureate of the Safran Foundation and Banque Populaire, and, in 2019, was named “Musical Revelation of the Year” by the Professional Critics Association. In 2020, he won France’s Victoires de la Musique Classique in two categories: Recording of the Year and Instrumental Soloist of the Year.


Born in France of Franco-British heritage, he has studied with Pierre-Alain Volondat, Igor Lazko, Frank Braley and Rena Shereshevskaya.

Guillaume Connesson

Guillaume Connesson, born in 1970, is currently one of the most widely performed French composers worldwide. Commissions are at the origin of most of his works (Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, etc.) including Pour sortir au jour, commissioned by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (2013) and Les Trois Cités de Lovecraft (co-commissioned by the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestre National de Lyon). His music is regularly played by numerous orchestras (Brussels Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, National Symphony Orchestra of Washington, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra and others).

He won a Victoire de la Musique award in 2015 and again in 2019, as well as Sacem's Grand Prix in 2012. His discography includes two monographs of chamber music and three symphonic monographs on the Deutsche Grammophon label. The first, Lucifer, and the third, Lost Horizon, obtained a Choc from Classica magazine, and the second, Pour sortir au jour, numerous critical distinctions such as the Diapason d'Or de l'Année as well the Classica Choc de l'Année

After studying at the Conservatoire National de Région in Boulogne-Billancourt (his birthplace) and the Paris Conservatoire, he obtained first prizes in choral direction, history of music, analysis, electro-acoustic and orchestration. He has taught orchestration at the Aubervilliers-La Courneuve Conservatory since 1997.

From 2016 to 2018, he was in residence with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra as well as with the Orchestre National de Lyon. From 2019 to 2021, he is in residence with the Orchestre National d'Ile-de-France.


Gabriel Fauré
Masques et Bergamasques op.112
Guillaume Connesson
Concerto pour piano (working title) - World premiere, A work commissioned by the Fondation Louis Vuitton
Francis Poulenc
Sinfonietta