ST. JOHN’S SMITH SQUARE
LGT YOUNG SOLOISTS
Tuesday 2nd October 2018 at 7.30pm
St John’s Smith Square, London SW1P 3HA
The LGT Young Soloists delight audiences worldwide with their rousing performances at highest artistic level. They are invited to perform regularly at renowned concert halls around the world in cities like New York, Beijing, Shanghai, Abu Dhabi, Moscow, Munich, Vienna, Zurich, Hong Kong, Singapore and Tel Aviv.
The string ensemble is made up of highly gifted young musicians aged between 12 and 23 years. Each member already has a successful soloist career: between them, the LGT Young Soloists have already won more than 80 prizes in national and international competitions.
In the season 2016/2017, the LGT Young Soloists opened the Liedwochen at Schloss Elmau along with the renowned soprano Juliane Banse and toured Israel, Germany, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. Highlights of the 2017 summer include their debuts at the Rheingau Music Festival and a performance at Zurich’s Tonhalle. The LGT Young Soloists have also been engaged for the first time for four concerts and two open rehearsals as orchestra in residence in Mattsee in Austria. They will return there during the next two summers as well.
The 2015-2016 concert season was marked by performances at the Gasteig in Munich, the Mozarteum in Salzburg, at the Shenzhen Concert Hall and the Taiwan Art Festival, as well as tours through Asia and Europe. The LGT Young Soloists also performed as orchestra in residence at the newly opened Art and Concert Hall Arlberg 1800.
The ensemble has recently released its second CD, Russian Soul, on RCA Red Seal (Sony), featuring works by Russian composers such as Tchaikovsky, Arensky, Rachmaninoff, Glinka and Koussevitzky. The Moscow-based composer and arranger Paul Struck arranged most of the works to be heard on this CD especially for the LGT Young Soloists. Thus, Glinka’s The Lark, transcribed by Balakirev for piano, will be heard in a completely new orchestra version.
In 2015 the LGT Young Soloists became the first youth orchestra in the world to have a CD released on this label – their Italian Journey featured works by various composers, most of them Italian. The CD won outstanding reviews and was nominated for the International Classical Music Award (ICMA). A DVD was released in February 2017 by C Major, produced by Bernhard Fleischer Moving Images.
Alexander Gilman and Marina Seltenreich initiated the LGT Young Soloists together with LGT Private Banking in 2013. The concept is as simple as it is unique: exceptional young talents perform together with their peers as soloists within their own orchestra, sometimes as tutti players, sometimes as soloists, accompanying each other and sharing their passion for music. This gives them the singular opportunity to regularly be on stage and gain experience as soloists, chamber and orchestral musicians, build repertoire and develop their stage presence. In all this, Alexander Gilman’s committed leadership has a lasting effect in the musical and personal development of the young musicians.
The members of the dynamic ensemble hail from various different countries and cultures, sharing new stimuli and impulses, and establish international relationships and friendships. In addition, the musicians are also given the opportunity to play top-level instruments such as Antonio Stradivari and Guarneri del Gesù, which are generously provided by various sponsors.
Commitment to people in need is particularly dear to the young virtuosos, and they make regular appearances at charity concerts. A part of the campaign “Children Helping Children”, the LGT Young Soloists have succeeded in raising considerable funds for children in need at various fundraising events.
Programme to be announced.
ALBERTO REYES, piano
Wednesday 17th October
St John’s Smith Square, London SW1P 3HA
The beginnings of Alberto Reyes’s life as a pianist are remarkably similar to those of any other gifted child. Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1948, Alberto Reyes was reading music by the age of three-and-a-half; started formal lessons at six, and made his recital debut in Montevideo as an eight-year-old in October 1956, playing works by Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin and Debussy, repeating the program a month later in Buenos Aires.
More recitals followed throughout Uruguay, and at thirteen he made his debut with the Uruguayan Symphony Orchestra (SODRE) at Montevideo’s Teatro Solís, the oldest extant theater in the Americas. For the next five years he led a busy life playing recitals and concerto performances, and making appearances on radio and television in Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil.
In 1966, as a recipient of a grant from the Organization of American States, Alberto Reyes came to the United States to study at the world-renowned Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington. A string of prizes and awards followed starting in 1969, including the Rio de Janeiro International Piano Competition, the 1970 Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow, the 1971 Leventritt Competition in New York, and the 1973 Van Cliburn International Competition in Texas, leading to successful tours in the U.S. (where he made his orchestral debut under the baton of Aaron Copland), Canada, the Soviet Union (with eight appearances in Russia, Belarus, Lithuania and the Ukraine) and South America.
In 1971 he was appointed to the Piano Faculty at Indiana University. Reyes made his recital debut in Moscow in 1972 and his New York debut at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall, in 1974.
Then, in 1976, his musical life underwent a dramatic departure from the usual script. Deeply doubtful of the attractions of a touring pianist’s existence, and equally skeptical of his own suitability for the academic life, Reyes made a startling career change, and in just six months mastered the considerable demands of the profession of a simultaneous interpreter, earning a place on the permanent staff of the United Nations in New York City.
For thirty-one years until his retirement in 2007, Reyes, working as an interpreter in the U.N. Security Council and General Assembly, had a front-seat view of the political and diplomatic dimensions of the major international issues of our time, such as the two Gulf wars, the dismantling of Apartheid, the war in the Balkans, the Middle East conflicts, the World Trade Center attack and the war on terrorism, as well as the international investigation of human rights abuses in Pinochet’s Chile, and participated in U.N. conferences in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America.
During those three decades, Reyes was content to limit his infrequent concert appearances to New York City, (where he played a recital at the 92nd Street Y in 1988 that was praised in The New York Times for “[his] way of capturing each work’s essence – the quality of its nervous energy, its musical fingerprint – and his ability to transform it into something like a living organism”), and his native Montevideo. Perhaps, the relative anonymity in which he worked during those years was partly responsible for his falling victim – along with many other pianists such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Yefim Bronfman, Marc-André Hamelin and John Browning- to one of the recording industry’s most notorious scandals: the Joyce Hatto hoax. In fact, in 1991, Connoisseur Society had released his recording of Franz Liszt’s complete Verdi Opera Paraphrases and Transcriptions, a recording that was praised in American Record Guide, Gramophone (U.K.) and Scherzo (Spain) among other publications. Two tracks of that CD were lifted wholesale by Concert Artists Recordings, an English label, and passed off as the work of British pianist Joyce Hatto who, at the time, was being hailed by The Boston Globe as “the greatest living pianist that almost no one has heard of”. In 2006, William Barrington-Coupe, Hatto’s husband and producer of the Concert Artists Recordings, admitted responsibility for the fraud.
After his retirement from the U.N. Reyes returned to his professional activities as a pianist, recording a double-CD of music by Chopin that was released by VAI Audio in late 2009. The recording garnered unanimous praise in publications such as Fanfare, International Record Review, BBC Music, Pianist, Scherzo and ABC, in the U.S., the United Kingdom and Spain. In 2010, in honor of the Schumann Bicentennial, VAI released Reyes’s recording of the composer’s Kreisleriana, Kinderszenen and Fantasy in C Major, eliciting accolades from Gramophone and American Record Guide and Fanfare.
His recent public appearances have included recitals in London’s Wigmore Hall, New York City, Washington D.C., the International Piano Festival of Houston, Texas, the Beethoven Festival of Bogotá, Colombia, and The Teatro Solís’ Great Performers series in Montevideo, Uruguay.
Alberto Reyes had only two teachers in his pianistic life, and his playing reflects the influence of two major piano schools of the early XX Century. In Uruguay, his teacher was Sarah Bourdillon, who throughout the 1930s studied at Alfred Cortot’s Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris. In Bloomington, his mentor was American pianist Sidney Foster who, along with Jorge Bolet, Shura Cherkassky and Abbey Simon, studied with David Saperton at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, which was then under the aegis of legendary pianist, Josef Hofmann. In the words of London critic Colin Clarke, Reyes is “a musician who clealy hearkens back to the Golden Age of piano playing in the Romantic tradition”.
Mr. Reyes nowadays divides his time between New York and Montevideo. His other passion besides music is the thoroughbred horse, and his favorite vacation is a trip to Royal Ascot, Glorious Goodwood, Saratoga Springs, or the Breeders’ Cup Championship Series, although his handicapping skills lag far behind his pianistic prowess.
Programme to be announced.