FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ANNUAL KURT MASUR CONDUCTING SEMINAR at
MANHATTAN SCHOOL OF MUSIC
Monday, January 21 through Friday, January 25, 2013
All sessions take place in Manhattan School of Music’s Borden Auditorium
Unique program returns for an eighth year offering emerging conductors direct instruction from Kurt Masur; all conductors were personally selected by Maestro Masur
Each day offers Seminar Conductors the opportunity to conduct the Manhattan School of Music Orchestra in a Master Class under Maestro Masur’s guidance; followed by post rehearsal discussion and critique
All Master Class Sessions are FREE; Public is invited to attend
Repertoire to be studied includes:
Beethoven: Symphony No. 1 in C Major, op. 21
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, op. 55, (“Eroica”)
Weber: Overture to Oberon
Concluding Seminar Concert -- Friday, January 25, 7:30 pm;
Showcases Manhattan School of Music Orchestra conducted by Selected Seminar Conductors and Maestro Kurt Masur
The Kurt Masur Conducting Seminar returns to Manhattan School of Music on Monday, January 21, taking place through Friday, January 25, in the School’s Borden Auditorium. Started in 2004 and now in its eighth year, this unique program offers an international pool of emerging conductors, all personally selected by Maestro Masur, direct instruction. The seminar conductors are given the opportunity to conduct an orchestra comprised of Manhattan School musicians in a master class format. Following these rehearsals all of the participating conductors take part in post rehearsal discussion and critique sessions with Kurt Masur. This year’s roster of eleven conductors includes three Americans as well as participants from Taiwan, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Switzerland, Korea, Italy and Austria. The repertoire to be studied will include two Beethoven symphonies – No. 1 in C Major, op. 21 and Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, op. 55, (“Eroica”) and Weber’s Overture to Oberon.
All master class rehearsal sessions are free and open to the public. A final concert led by Maestro Masur and selected seminar conductors will take place on Friday, January 25 at 7:30 pm in Borden Auditorium. The program featured on the evening’s concert will be the same repertoire studied all week.
Commenting on the Kurt Masur Conducting Seminar, Maestro Masur stated, “After years of friendship with Manhattan School of Music, I am happy to establish a Masur conducting master class at the School where I can share the tradition of the European masters with the young conductors of the future. Through the years I have observed the Manhattan School of Music orchestra program, and I know that the School recognizes the importance of that tradition.”
This year’s participating conductors are listed below in alpha order:
• Daniel Black, age 33, from Ventura, CA; Music Director of the Rockford Symphony Youth Orchestra (IL) and UIC String Orchestra
• Tung-Chieh Chuang, age 30, a native of Taiwan; Curtis and Peabody Institute graduate
• Jesse Henkensiefken, age 31, American; Artistic Founder/Music Director, Ars Viva Music Studio and Chamber Orchestra; Conductor, Noel Pointer Foundation Youth Orchestra
• George Jackson, age 25, from London; currently studying in Vienna and a 2009 graduate of Trinity College Dublin with First Class Honours and a Gold Medal
• Roger Kalia, age 28, from New York; Music Director, Columbus (IN) Symphony Orchestra, Lake George Music Festival, and Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra
• Earl Lee, age 28, from Korea; MSM Master’s degree candidate studying orchestral conducting with George Manahan
• Gemma New, age 26, British/New Zealand native; currently assistant conductor for the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Director of Baltimore-based Lunar Ensemble
• Jean-Claude Picard, age 32, from Canada residing in Switzerland; participant in 2011 Järvi International Conducting Academy; currently conducts three orchestras in Switzerland
• Kleanthe Russo, age 25, born in Florence Italy; Graduate of the Milan Conservatory and First Prize recipient of the 2011 “A. Votto” conducting competition (Milan)
• Azis Sadikovic, age 29, from Vienna; Founder/Music Director of Ensemble Wien sound
• Johannes Zurl, age 33, from Landshut, Germany; Winner of Munich’s ARD International Music Competition
For CONCERT ONLY, tickets required, priced at $20; $12 for seniors and students. All rehearsal master classes are FREE and the public is invited to attend. For information, call 917.493.4428 or visit the MSM website at www.msm.nyc.edu. Manhattan School of Music is located on the northwest corner of Broadway and 122nd Street and is easy to get to by bus (the M104 and M4 stop at 122nd Street and Broadway) and subway, the No. 1 train (stops at 116th Street and Broadway).
Kurt Masur has shared a longstanding relationship with Manhattan School of Music, playing a significant role since 1992 as a guest conductor of the School’s orchestras in concerts, orchestral readings and rehearsals. He has also been the key figure in symposia on Brahms and Mendelssohn, and in 1993, MSM awarded Kurt Masur the Degree of Doctor of Musical Arts, honoris causa.
Kurt Masur, one of the most widely admired and respected musicians of his generation, is well known to orchestras and audiences not only as a distinguished conductor but also as a humanist. He served as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic for eleven years from 1991 to 2002, and was named the orchestra’s Music Director Emeritus, becoming the first New York Philharmonic music director to receive that title, and only the second (after Leonard Bernstein, who was named Laureate Conductor) to be given an honorary position. The New York Philharmonic established the “Kurt Masur Fund for the Orchestra”, which will endow conductor debut week at the Philharmonic in perpetuity in his honor. Since leaving the New York Philharmonic in 2002, other orchestras that he has an association with include the London Philharmonic where he served as principal conductor for seven years, and the Orchestre National de France, where he served as music director since 2002 and, in 2008, assumed the title of Honorary Music Director for Life. Maestro Masur continues to guest conduct orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, Israel Philharmonic (Honorary Guest Conductor), the Gewandhaus (named first-ever Conductor Laureate) and Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Since 1989, when he played a central role in the peaceful demonstrations that led to Germany’s reunification, his leadership has attracted worldwide attention. In 1995 he received the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany; in 1996 he was awarded the Gold Medal of Honor for Music from the National Arts Club; and in 1997 he was awarded the titles of Commander of the Legion of Honor from the government of France and New York City Cultural Ambassador from the City of New York. Subsequently, in 2007, Maestro Masur was named Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor, a rank rarely given to foreign citizens. In 1999, he received the Commander Cross of Merit of the Polish Republic, one of the country’s highest honors. In 2004 the board of the Beethoven House Bonn, the composer’s birthplace, unanimously appointed Maestro Masur chairman. In March 2002 the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Johannes Rau, bestowed upon him the Cross with Star of the Order of Merit, and in September 2007, the President of Germany, Horst Köhler, bestowed upon him the Great Cross of the Legion of Honor with Star and Ribbon. In October 2004 the city of Münster bestowed upon Maestro Masur the Freedom Prize.
Education is very important to Maestro Masur. In addition to his work at Manhattan School of Music, he often conducts youth orchestras and gives master classes and has been a professor at the Leipzig Academy of Music since 1975.