Vasily Petrenko has been announced as the new music director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The 42-year-old Russian will begin a five-year contract in August 2021, coinciding with the RPO’s 75th Anniversary Season, succeeding Charles Dutoit.
Petrenko will leave his position as principal conductor at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (RLPO), where he has enjoyed huge success as one of its longest-serving conductors. On appointment in 2006, he became the youngest ever principal conductor in the Liverpool ensemble’s history. Despite his new London appointment, he will remain as the RLPO’s conductor laureate, preserving links with the ensemble and city.
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This is not the first time Petrenko has worked with the RPO. Two years ago he conducted Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, ‘Resurrection’, at the Royal Albert Hall. Last year his thrilling performance of Verdi’s Requiem at the Royal Festival Hall cemented the relationship and grew a ‘unique musical synergy between Vasily and the RPO’s musicians’, according to Adam Wright, chairman and sub-principal trumpet of the London ensemble.
‘His title of Music Director is significant,’ says James Williams, managing director of the RPO. 'It recognises the artistic leadership that Vasily will bring to the Orchestra, both on and off the podium and within the communities it serves, drawing on his passion for music education and widening access to orchestral music to make it truly inclusive.'
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The RPO has a busy touring schedule, with programmes across the USA, Europe, the Middle East and Asia scheduled as far ahead as 2022.
‘I am delighted to become Music Director at this stage in the RPO’s history,’ Petrenko discloses, ‘This Orchestra, with its outstanding musicians and clear vision from management, has enormous potential. This will be a new chapter for an orchestra with a glorious past and high ambitions for the future; my goal is to see this realised on the world’s leading concert platforms.’
While we all sit back and recover from the outstandingly tense match between England and Colombia in the World Cup, we have gathered some of the best pieces of music about sport. You will probably want to have our playlist on repeat for the next few weeks, as England (hopefully) progresses through the competition and Wimbledon gets underway!
Debussy’s Jeux was premiered by the Ballets Russes just two weeks prior to the riotous debut of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. The short ballet pays witness to three young people searching for a lost tennis ball at dusk, ending with a sinister conclusion. The music is in a swift triple-metre, often interrupted by syncopation and rubato.
Arthur Honegger: Rugby (1928)
Honegger’s Rugby (Mouvement Symphonique No. 2) is an orchestral tone poem representing a game of rugby through the passing of a musical theme from one section of the orchestra to another. The dichotomy of dissonance and consonance reflects the struggle of the game, and the final passages glorify the winner’s victory.
Jean Sibelius: The Lonely Ski Trail (1925)
The Lonely Ski Trail is scored for speaker and piano and is based on a poem by Bertel Gripenberg. The piece rotates themes of loneliness and mortality around skiing and brings them to the fore with syncopated rhythms and wistful melodies. It is sometimes performed in a version for harp and strings.
Mauricio Kagel: Match (1964)
Kagel’s Match is a piece for two cellos and percussion. A game of tennis is represented through the two cello lines whilst the percussionist takes the role of the interfering referee.
Listen to our sporty tunes here:
Émile Waldteufel: The Skaters’ Waltz (1882)
The Skaters’ Waltz, Op. 183 is probably the best known work by French composer Émile Waldteufel. It evokes a frozen scene around the Seine in Paris. Waldteufel contrasts the stately grandeur of a French horn line with flurrying scalic passages in the flute, piccolo and violin parts. The use of sleigh bells and the triangle adds a seasonal touch to the piece.
Mark-Anthony Turnage: The Silver Tassie (1997-9)
The Silver Tassie is an opera based on a play of the same name by Seán O'Casey. Set during the First World War, the opera opens with local sporting hero Harry as he accepts a prize (the Silver Tassie) for his acheivements. The plot goes on to document his demise at the hand of experiencing the tragedies of war.
Charles Ives: Yale-Princeton Football Game (1898)
Ives’s Yale-Princeton Football Game is the perfect encapsulation of his shared passion for music and sport. As a Yale graduate, the composer returned to the university for the game, the experience of which he wanted to express afterwards in music. Like in Honegger's Rugby, the use of instrumentation characterises the different players on the pitch.
Erik Satie: Sports et divertissements (1914)
Satie’s Sport et divertissements is a collection of 21 piano miniatures, each presented alongside a short poem. Each depict a sport or leisure activity, and Satie uses music programmatically to reflect the characteristics of each game. A bouncing ball in tennis can be heard in the short staccato quavers; the smooth waves under a yaught in legato quavers.
Classic Album Sundays will host a special free session with our friends at Vinyl Me Please celebrating 50 years of Trojan Records and the re-issue of The Silvertones debut album Silver Bullets at London’s Giant Steps on Thursday 12th July.
Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy will be joined be Soul II Soul’s Jazzie B and reggae toaster and producer Dennis Alcapone will talk about the impact of Trojan records and why it remains relevant 50 years later followed by a full album playback of Silver Bullets.
This event will be free but due to the expected demand we will be running a ticket ballot. Register your interest here and we will confirm your spot by Monday, 9 July.
Our Classic Album Sundays session will be followed by DJ sets from Hot Chip, Jazzie B (Soul II Soul) and Trojan Sound System.
Listen: Classic Album Sundays and The Royal Albert Hall present Jazzie B: Revolutionary Soul and Ska
Time & Date: Thursday 12th July 2018
Doors at 18:00
Classic Album Sundays session starts promptly at 18:30 and finishes at 20:00
Giant Steps, Swab Wharf, Dace Road, London E3 2NN
Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy with Jazzie B of Soul II Soul and Dennis Alcapone
The 40th edition of the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival takes place from 13 to 22 July at venues around the city with a wide ranging programme. Big jazz names include Grammy-winning vocalist Kurt Elling; Indojazz super-trio Crosscurrents featuring tabla master Zakir Hussain and heavyweight jazzers Dave Holland and Chris Potter; compelling US trumpet star Keyon Harrold (above left) and the powerful New York sound of the Vijay Iyer Sextet (above centre).
The bevy of blues, funk and world names also appearing include Jools Holland Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, Davina & The Vagabonds, Mud Morganfield, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, The Average White Band, Blind Boy Paxton, Curtis Stigers, Betty Lavette and Maggie Bell. New Orleans’ tri-centenary is marked by a bounty of brass-led bands including Crescent city crew the Soul Brass Band, as well as the UK debut of the all-female trad jazz band Shake ‘Em Up. UK and European artists also line-up in the form of Soweto Kinch, Zara McFarlane and Zoe Rahman, plus Czech pianist Vit Kristan and Norwegian saxophonist Harald Lassen.
There’s an abundance of Scottish jazz stars on hand to mark this 40th edition too, with Martin Taylor, Carol Kidd, Brian Kellock and Tommy Smith, plus a Blues Gala with Maggie Bell, Bernie Marsden and Tim Elliott. It’s also the 10th year of the festival’s £120,000 EXPO fund, which has enabled the development of multiple projects, many of which will receive their world premiere at the festival. These include a chance to catch singer/violinist Seonaid Aitken (above right) appearing with the 24-piece Scottish Session Orchestra, conducted by Adam Robinson, (Assembly Rooms, 22 July) performing classic jazz songs from the 1930s, 40s and 50s; American clarinet player Evan Christopher lining up with The Scottish Swing Orchestra for a ‘Kings of Swing’ concert; Scandinavian group Haftor Medbøe dueting with Swedish pianist Jacob Karlzon and talented young Scots bassist Andrew Robb collaborating with Norwegian saxophonist Petter Wettre.
– Mike Flynn
For full listings and tickets visit www.edinburghjazzfestival.com