About the Project

Infernal Dance is an ambitious year long project by the Philharmonia Orchestra, headed by Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor Esa-Pekka Salonen; involving orchestral concerts, chamber concerts, study days, and talks.

MALCOLM GILLIES Series Consultant, Infernal Dance: Inside the World of Béla Bartók

Malcolm Gillies is a musicologist and linguist. Among his writings about Bartók are Bartók in Britain (Oxford University Press, 1989), Bartók Remembered (Faber & Faber, 1990) and The Bartók Companion (ed., Faber & Faber, 1993). He authored the ‘Bartók’ entry for the current New Grove Dictionary (2000), curated a Wigmore Hall series of Bartók concerts (2006) and wrote the Bartók Connections website for Boosey & Hawkes (2007), www.boosey.com/bartokconnections. Another completed volume, Bartók Letters: The Musical Mind, edited with Adrienne Gombocz, remains unpublished for copyright reasons. He is currently completing a biography of Bartók for OUP’s Master Musicians series.

He has also written extensively about Percy Grainger, including the volume of letters The All-Round Man (ed. with David Pear, OUP, 1994), Grainger on Music (ed. with Bruce Clunies Ross, OUP, 1999) and Portrait of Percy Grainger (with David Pear, U Rochester Press, 2002). The volume, Self-Portrait of Percy Grainger (ed. with David Pear and Mark Carroll, OUP, 2006), was awarded a Deems Taylor Award for scholarly excellence by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers in 2007.

Since 1997 Malcolm Gillies has been the editor of OUP’s Studies in Musical Genesis, Structure and Interpretation series, and during 2000-10 was Chair of the Board of the international contemporary-music ensemble, Elision.

With doctorates in Music from both the University of London and the University of Melbourne, Malcolm Gillies was appointed Professor and Dean of Music at the University of Queensland in 1991. He was subsequently an executive dean and pro-vice-chancellor at the University of Adelaide and, for five years, a vice-president of the Australian National University. Following a period as Vice-Chancellor of City University London he is now Vice-Chancellor of London Metropolitan University.

Malcolm Gillies has been President of the Musicological Society of Australia, the Australian Academy of Humanities and the Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. He is currently Chair of London Higher, the advocacy body for London's universities. Once a music and opera critic for The Australian newspaper, he now writes a monthly column for Times Higher Education.

DAVID PEAR Series Consultant, Infernal Dance: Inside the World of Béla Bartók

A Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Musical Research, London University and Visiting Professor at City University, London, David Pear is currently writing a biography of Percy Grainger, as well as editing, with Malcolm Gillies, a second edition of Grainger’s letters. In 2005, with Brian Allison and Astrid Krautschneider, he co-curated the National Library of Australia’s 2006 exhibition, Facing Percy Grainger, which saw over 20,000 visitors. He is also a co-editor of the new e-journal, Grainger Studies.

He was a co-recipient, with Malcolm Gillies and Mark Carroll, of the Deems-Taylor Award of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) in 2007 for their work Self-Portrait of Percy Grainger, and has also written on issues concerning the training of orchestral musicians, the history of youth orchestras and the history of the Australian Anglican church. He has at various times been Master of a university college, a university academic, a freelance editor and the inaugural Rose House Fellow at Yale University, Connecticut.


Yefim Bronfman © Dario Acosta

Yefim Bronfman is widely regarded as one of the most talented virtuoso pianists performing today. His commanding technique and exceptional lyrical gifts have won him consistent critical acclaim and enthusiastic audiences worldwide, whether for his solo recitals, his prestigious orchestral engagements or his rapidly growing catalogue of recordings.

Orchestral highlights of the 2009/10 season include two performances at the Tanglewood Festival with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under James Levine and Michael Tilson Thomas; an appearance at the Lucerne Festival with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen, followed by concerts with the Philharmonia and Christoph von Dohnányi performing both Brahms piano concertos; multiple concerts with the Vienna Philharmonic with Zubin Mehta and the Lucerne Academy Orchestra with Pierre Boulez; Artiste Etoile at the Lucerne Festival; a recital tour throughout Japan; a European tour with the New York Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert; and subscriptions with the Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Cleveland Orchestra.

Recitals and duos in 2009/10 include appearances at Carnegie Hall, both solo and with Magdalena Kozena; a recital tour through ten US cities; and performances in Rome, Vienna and Warsaw. Mr Bronfman made a recent appearance on live tv with Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonia.

Mr Bronfman was born in Tashkent in the Soviet Union on 10 April 1958 and immigrated to Israel with his family in 1973, where he studied with pianist Arie Vardi, head of the Rubin Academy of Music at Tel Aviv University. In the United States, he studied at The Juilliard School, Marlboro, and the Curtis Institute, and with Rudolf Firkusny, Leon Fleisher, and Rudolf Serkin.

Yefim Bronfman became an American citizen in July 1989.


Kirill Gerstein

In January 2010 Gerstein was named the recipient of the 2010 Gilmore Artist Award, only the sixth musician to have been so honored. The Gilmore Artist Award is made to an exceptional pianist who, regardless of age or nationality, possesses broad and profound musicianship and charisma and who desires and can sustain a career as a major international concert artist.

Highlights of Mr. Gerstein’s 2009-10 North American season include debuts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Charles Dutoit, and with the Atlanta Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Rochester Philharmonic; re-engagements with the Detroit, Houston, and Oregon Symphonies; a tour with cellist Steven Isserlis that includes performances at the Kennedy Center and in San Francisco; and Gilmore Artist recital and concerto appearances at the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival. Internationally, Mr. Gerstein appears with the NHK Symphony Orchestra and Dutoit in Tokyo, tours Switzerland with the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia, and performs with Hanover’s NDR Orchestra in Austria and Italy. His summer 2009 schedule included appearances at the Verbier, Aix-en-Provence, Delft, and Lucerne Festivals; a second performance with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Saratoga Festival; and a return to Caracas with Gustavo Dudamel and the Simon Bolívar Youth Orchestra.

Mr. Gerstein’s most recent engagements in North America include performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, and the San Francisco, Baltimore, Dallas, Indianapolis, Vancouver, Oregon, and Utah Symphonies; the Philadelphia Orchestra at Mann Music Center; the Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Music Festival and Chicago’s Grant Park Festival; and recitals in Boston, New York, Cincinnati, Detroit, Vancouver, Kansas City, Portland OR, and Washington’s Kennedy Center.

Kirill Gerstein has worked with such prominent European orchestras as the Munich, Rotterdam, and Royal Philharmonics, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden, Zurich’s Tonhalle, the Finnish and Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestras, WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. He has also appeared in recital in Paris, Prague, Hamburg, London’s Wigmore and Queen Elizabeth Halls, and the Liszt Academy in Budapest. He made his Salzburg Festival debut playing solo and two-piano works with András Schiff in 2008.

Born in 1979 in Voronezh, Russia, Mr. Gerstein attended one of the country’s special music schools for gifted children and taught himself to play jazz by listening to his parents’ extensive record collection. He came to the U.S. at 14 to continue his studies in jazz piano as the youngest student ever to attend Boston’s Berklee College of Music. However, he also continued working on the classical piano repertoire. Following his second summer at the Boston University program at Tanglewood, he decided to focus mainly on classical music and moved to New York City to attend the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Solomon Mikowsky and earned Bachelors and Masters of Music degrees. He continued his studies with Dmitri Bashkirov in Madrid and Ferenc Rados in Budapest.

In addition to the 2010 Gilmore Artist Award, Kirill Gerstein was awarded First Prize at the 2001 Arthur Rubinstein Piano Competition in Tel Aviv, received a 2002 Gilmore Young Artist Award, and was chosen as Carnegie Hall’s “Rising Star” for the 2005-06 season. He became an American citizen in 2003 and is currently a professor of piano at the Musikhochschule in Stuttgart.


Christian Tetzlaff © Alexandra Vosding

Equally at home in the classical/romantic repertoire as in contemporary music, Christian Tetzlaff sets standards with his interpretations of the violin concertos of Beethoven, Brahms and Tchaikovsky as well as Berg, Ligeti and Shostakovich. He is particularly well known for his incomparable performances of the Bach Solo Sonatas and Partitas. 2005 Musical America named him 'Instrumentalist of the Year'.

In the coming seasons he will continue his series of the great violin concertos with the MET Opera Orchestra and James Levine at the Carnegie Hall with the Brahms violin concerto. After a residency at the Gewandhaus Leipzig last season he is Artist in Residence with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Frankfurt this season. In addition he tours with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen, plays with St. Cecilia Roma and Antonio Pappano in Rome and at the Gran Canaria Festival and in the Far East with the Deutsches Symphonie Orchestra Berlin and Ingo Metzmacher. Christian Tetzlaff’s premiere of the new violin concerto by Jörg Widmann is followed this season by the premiere of a new work by Mark-Anthony Turnage with the London and Stockholm Philharmonics as well as with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Christian Tetzlaff is a regular soloist at the major series of the most important US orchestras as well as the major European orchestras like the Berlin Philharmonic, the Orchestre de Paris and the Tonhalle Orchester Zurich. He also appears regularly at the major festivals such as BBC Proms, Edinburgh, Salzburg and Lucerne Festival and all major US summer festivals. He plays recitals with Leif Ove Andsnes, Alexander Lonquich and Lars Vogt and performs frequently with his string quartet.

Christian Tetzlaff has recorded for Virgin Classics and other labels, releases including the Beethoven, Brahms, Dvorak, Joseph Joachim, Lalo and Tchaikovsky Violin Concertos as well as Sibelius’ complete works for violin and orchestra, the Mozart Violin Concertos, Bartok Sonatas for violin and piano with Leif Ove Andsnes and the Bartok solo sonata and the three Brahms Violin Sonatas with Lars Vogt. Christian Tetzlaff received several awards for his recordings: the Diapason d’Or twice, the Edison prize, the Midem Classical Award as well as the ECHO Klassik prize and several nominations for the Grammy. His recent recording of all of Bach’s solo Sonatas and Partitas with Haenssler deserves special mention.

Christian Tetzlaff plays a violin by German violinmaker Peter Greiner. He lives with his family near Frankfurt.


Zsolt-Tilhamer Visontay © Guy Wigmore / Philharmonia Orchestra

Zsolt-Tihamér Visontay began playing the violin in 1988 taking lessons at the music school in Magedeburg and has since gone on to study under Professor Jost Witter at the Schloss Belvedere music school and the Franz Liszt music academy in Weimar.

As a soloist, Zsolt is the recipient of international music prizes including the International Louis Spohr Violin Competition and the International Henry Marteau Violin Competition. Solo engagements include performing with a number of German orchestras. In 2005 he became the leader of the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO), performing under conductors including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Bernard Haitink and Sir Colin Davis, and a year later he also became Concert Master of the Philharmonic Orchestra in Altenburg-Gera and led orchestras touring throughout Europe, Russia, Asia and Africa. Zsolt was appointed to the position of Joint Concert Master of the Philharmonia Orchestra in 2007.

MARK VAN DE WIEL clarinettist

Mark van de Weil © Guy Wigmore / Philharmonia Orchestra

Mark was born in Northampton and educated at Merton College, Oxford and the Royal College of Music. On graduating, he was immediately appointed principal clarinettist withWelsh National Opera and subsequently with Glyndebourne Touring Opera. Since 2000 he has been Principal Clarinet with the Philharmonia Orchestra and was appointed Principal with the London Sinfonietta in 2002.

As a soloist he has performed with the Philharmonia Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, London Chamber Orchestra (at La Scala, Milan), Thames Chamber Orchestra, Mozart Festival Orchestra (on a major UK tour),Welsh National Opera Orchestra, English Classical Players, Arhus Orchestra, Belgrade Strings and the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. He is particularly well known for his performances of contemporary music and has given many premières. Solo highlights have included a number of London premières in the Philharmonia’s Music of Today series, including Helen Grime’s Concerto, Enno Poppe’s Holz and Deirdre Gribbin’s Celestial Pied Piper; and elsewhere, the European première of George Palmer’s Clarinet Sonata in York, the Spanish première of the Elliott Carter Concerto in Madrid, Berio’s Sequenza at the Sydney Opera House, the UK première of Sir John Taverner’s Cantus Mysticus with the London Sinfonietta at the Proms, the London première of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’s Clarinet Quintet with the Brodsky Quartet at Kings Place, Graham Fitkin’s Agnostic with the London Chamber Orchestra at St John’s Smith Square and the Mozart Concerto with the Mozart Festival Orchestra in the UK and Switzerland.

Mark was principal clarinettist with the Composers’ Ensemble from 1992 to 2000, and has been principal clarinettist with the Endymion Ensemble since its formation. He is also principal with the London Chamber Orchestra. He appeared for several years as the clarinet and basset horn soloist in the production of Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich.

Mark has recorded chamber music for EMI, ASV, NMC and Finlandia records, and as a soloist for Olympia and NMC.

Mark’s services to music have been recognised with an Honorary Associateship from the Royal Academy of Music, where he is a Professor, and with an Honorary Doctorate from Northampton University.

ESA-PEKKA SALONEN Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor

Esa-Pekka Salonen © Richard Haughton

Born in Helsinki, the conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen studied at the Sibelius Academy, and made his conducting début with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1979. He was Chief Conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra for ten years (1985-1995) and Director of the Helsinki Festival in 1995 and 1996. From 1992 until 2009 Salonen was Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and was named the orchestra’s Conductor Laureate in April 2009.

Since September 2008 Salonen has been Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Philharmonia Orchestra. In his first season in this role he devised and led City of Dreams, a nine-month exploration of the music and culture of Vienna between 1900 and 1935. The project, which presents the music of Mahler, Schoenberg, Zemlinsky and Berg in its social and historical context, has travelled to 18 cities across Europe, culminating with semi-staged performances of Berg’s Wozzeck, with Simon Keenlyside in the title role, in October 2009. A series of recordings from the project will be released on the Philharmonia/Signum label, starting with Gurrelieder in September 2009. Other highlights of the 2009/10 season with the Philharmonia Orchestra include the UK première of Magnus Lindberg’s new choral work GRAFFITI, and touring throughout Europe and Japan.

His appointment with the Philharmonia cements a relationship that dates back over 25 years. Esa-Pekka Salonen made his London conducting début with the Philharmonia Orchestra in September 1983 (when he was 25 years old), stepping in at the last minute for an indisposed Michael Tilson Thomas to conduct a now-legendary performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 3. The chemistry was immediate, and Salonen formed a strong bond with the players. He was offered the position of Principal Guest Conductor, which he held from 1985-1994, and he has returned to conduct the Orchestra on a regular basis ever since. Some of the Philharmonia’s most ambitious and important projects during this time, from Clocks and Clouds (Ligeti, 1996) to Related Rocks (Magnus Lindberg, 2001-2), have taken place under his artistic leadership.

Esa-Pekka Salonen’s guest conducting engagements in the 2009/10 season include, amongst others, appearances with the New York Philharmonic, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. In August 2009, Salonen conducted the Vienna Philharmonic at Salzburg Festival. He will also conduct the new production of Janáček’s opera From the House of the Dead at the Metropolitan Opera New York and the Teatro alla Scala under the direction of Patrice Chéreau.

In his time as Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, highlights have included residencies at the Salzburg Festival, Köln Philharmonie and at the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, as well as numerous European tours and guest performances in Japan. On the occasion of his 17 year-tenure the Los Angeles Philharmonic celebrated him with a series of concerts in April 2009, including the première of his own violin concerto.

Salonen is the recipient of many major awards including the Siena Prize by the Accademia Chigiana in 1993, the first conductor ever to receive the prize; in 1995 he was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Opera Award and in 1997 received the Society’s Conductor Award. In 1998 he was awarded the rank of Officier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. In May 2003 he received an honorary doctorate from the Sibelius Academy in Finland and in 2005 the Helsinki Medal. Musical America named Salonen as its Musician of the Year 2006. In June 2009 Salonen received an honorary doctorate from the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts.

Esa-Pekka Salonen is renowned for his interpretations of contemporary music and has given countless premieres of new works. He has led critically acclaimed festivals of music by Berlioz, Ligeti, Schönberg, Shostakovich, and Stravinsky and Magnus Lindberg. In April 2006 he returned to Paris Opéra Bastille to conduct the première of Kaija Saariaho’s new opera, Adriana Mater, having previously conducted the Finnish premiere of her first opera L’amour de loin in 2004. In August 2007, he conducted Saariaho’s La Passion de Simone in a production by Peter Sellars at the Helsinki Festival (first Finnish performance) before taking the production to the Baltic Sea Festival in Stockholm.

Salonen is artistic director of the Baltic Sea Festival, that he co-initiated in 2003. As an annual event in August in Stockholm and across the Baltic Sea region, it invites celebrated orchestras, conductors and soloists to promote unity and ecological awareness among the countries around the Baltic Sea.

Esa-Pekka Salonen has a considerable discography. In addition to the Gurrelieder recording, forthcoming releases with the Philharmonia on the Signum/Philharmonia label will include Mahler’s 6th and 9th symphonies and Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique. Other recent releases, on Deutsche Grammophon, include a disc of Salonen works performed with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and a DVD of Kaija Saariaho’s opera L’amour de loin with the Finnish National Opera as well as two CDs with Hélène Grimaud with works by Pärt and Schumann. In November 2008, Deutsche Grammophone released a new CD with Salonen’s piano concerto and his works Helix and Dichotomie. The first recording of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Salonen for Deutsche Grammophon (Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring - first CD recording ever at Walt Disney Concert Hall) was released in October 2006 and nominated for a Grammy in December 2007. After recording for Sony Classical for many years, Salonen has an extensive discography with repertoire ranging from Mahler and Revueltas to Magnus Lindberg and his own works. Most of his works are also available at DG Concerts on iTunes.


Michelle DeYoung © Christian Stiener

Michelle DeYoung was raised in Colorado and California. In opera she has performed at the Metropolitan Opera; the Lyric Opera of Chicago; the Houston Grand Opera; the Seattle Opera; the Glimmerglass Opera; La Scala, Milan; the Bayreuth Festival; Berliner Staatsoper; the Opera National de Paris; the Thèâtre du Châtelet, and the Tokyo Opera. Her many roles include Fricka, Sieglinde and Waltraute (Der Ring Des Nibelungen); Kundry (Parsifal), Venus (Tannhäuser), Brangäne (Tristan und Isolde), Dido (Les Troyens), Eboli (Don Carlos), Amneris (Aida), Marguerite (Le Damnation de Faust), Judith (Bluebeard’s Castle), Gertrude (Hamlet), Jocaste (Oedipus Rex), and the title role in The Rape of Lucretia. She also created the role of the Shaman in Tan Dun’s The First Emperor at the Metropolitan Opera.

Ms DeYoung has appeared with many of the world’s leading orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, The Met Orchestra (in Carnegie Hall), the Met Chamber Ensemble, Vienna Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Bayerische Staatsoper Orchestra, Berliner Staatskapelle, Sao Paulo Symphony, and the Concertgebouworkest. She has also appeared at the festivals of Ravinia, Tanglewood, Aspen, Cincinnati, Saito Kinen, Edinburgh, Salzburg, and Lucerne.

The conductors with whom she has worked include Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, James Conlon, Sir Colin Davis, Stéphane Denève, Christoph von Dohnányi, Gustavo Dudamel, Christoph Eschenbach, Bernard Haitink, Manfred Honeck, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Kent Nagano, Seiji Ozawa, Antonio Pappano, Andre Previn, David Robertson, Donald Runnicles, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Mariss Jansons, and Michael Tilson Thomas.

In recital, she has appeared at the Lincoln Center; Carnegie Hall; San Francisco Symphony’s Great Performances series; Cal Performances in Berkeley; Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto; the Thèâtre du Châtelet; the Gulbenkian; the Edinburgh Festival; London’s Wigmore Hall and Brussels’s La Monnaie.

Her recordings include Kindertotenlieder and Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony which was awarded the 2003 Grammy Award for Best Classical Album. She has also been awarded the 2001 Grammy Awards for Best Classical Album and Best Opera Recording for Les Troyens with Sir Colin Davis and the London Symphony Orchestra. Her discography also includes a recording of Mahler Symphony No 3 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Bernard Haitink; Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1, ‘Jeremiah’ with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Leonard Slatkin for Chandos, Das Klagende Lied with the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas for BMG, and Das Lied von der Erde with the Minnesota Orchestra for Reference Recordings. Her first solo disc was released on the EMI label.

Recent engagements include her debut at the Basel Opera as Amneris in Aida, concert performances of Das Lied von der Erde with the Met Orchestra in Carnegie Hall and Oedipus Rex and Bluebeard’s Castle with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, both conducted by James Levine. Upcoming engagements include performances of Bluebeard’s Castle with Esa-Pekka Salonnen and the New York Philharmonic, and concerts with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. Next season, she returns to the Houston Grand Opera in the title role of The Rape of Lucretia, and appears with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra.


Attila Fekete

The young, rising tenor Attila Fekete was born in Budapest (1973) where he finished his studies at the Franz Liszt Music Academy with diploma. After having joined several masterclasses (e.g. with László Polgár, Anna Reynolds) he soon made his début at the Hungarian State Opera in Budapest, where he has appeared in several new productions for the past years and built up a huge repertory: e.g. Lensky in Tchaikovsky’s Eugen Onegin, Gustavo in Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera, Duca in Rigoletto, Ismaele in Nabucco, Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Bohème (alongside Ilona Tokody as Mimì), Roberto in Puccini’s Le Villi, the title part in Puccini’s Edgar, as well as the Puccini heroes Cavaradossi, Des Grieux and Pinkerton and Jason in Cherubini’s Médée. Attila Fekete had huge successes as Chénier in a new production of Giordano’s Andrea Chenier (in February 2007) and as Gounod’s Faust. Besides Attila Fekete has participated in several world premières of Hungarian contemporary Operas.

Attila Fekete made his American début in 2005 when he sang Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Bohème at the Detroit Opera, in 2006 he had his successful début at the Toronto Opera (Rodolfo in La Bohème, followed by Pollione in Bellini’s Norma, alongside June Anderson). In June 2006 he had a big success at NY Carnegie Hall with Jason in a concert performance of Cherubini’s Médée. In June 2009 he had his début as Arrigo in a new production of Verdi’s I Vespri Siciliani at the Hungarian State Opera and was highly acclaimed by critics and audiences.


Michele Kalmandi © Nakuri

Baritone Michele Kalmandi started his musical studies in his native country Romania and made his opera début in the age of 24 in the role of Nabucco. Later he moved to Budapest to accomplish his studies with Professor Eugen Sipos, an advocacy of the Italian singing tradition.

Michele Kalmandi is nowadays based in Budapest and is principal guest soloist of the Hungarian State Opera. He is especially known for his big Verdi roles such as Rigoletto, Nabucco, Scarpia, Renato, Macbeth, Conte di Luna, Amonasro and his German baritone repertoire Holländer, Jochanaan, Kurvenal etc. He is also famous for his strong interpretation of Bluebeard by Bela Bartòk.

His international career include performances on many distinguished opera stages such as Teatro Giuseppe Verdi in Trieste, Teatro del Opera in Rome, Teatro Massimo Bellini, Catania, Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Palau des Arts of Valencia, Großes Festspielhaus in Salzburg, Hessises Staatstheater Wiesbaden, Essen Aalto Theatre, Grand Théatre de Bordeaux, Prague State Opera, Stockholm Royal Opera, Mikhailovsky Theatre of St Petersburg, Savonlinna Opera Festival, Daejeon Arts and Culture Center, South Korea etc.

Michele Kalmandi has worked with many well known conductors and stage directors to mention Piergiorgio Morandi, Fabrizio Carminati, Gianluigi Gelmetti, Kent Nagano, Osmo Vänskä, Adam Fischer, Tamas Vasary, Bebbe de Tommasi, Pierluigi Pier’Alli, Stefano Vizioli, Henning Brockhaus among others. His concert performances have brought him to England, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Greece and Brazil.


Sir John Tomlinson

John Tomlinson was born in Lancashire. He gained a BSc. in Civil Engineering at Manchester University before winning a scholarship to the Royal Manchester College of Music. He was awarded a CBE in 1997 and knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours of 2005.

John Tomlinson has sung regularly with English National Opera since 1974 and with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, since 1977 and has also appeared with all the other leading British opera companies. He sang at the Bayreuth Festival for eighteen consecutive seasons as Wotan (Das Rheingold and Die Walküre), Wanderer (Siegfried), Hagen (Götterdämmerung), Titurel and Gurnemanz (Parsifal), King Marke (Tristan Und Isolde), Heinrich (Lohengrin) and Der Fliegende Holländer. Other engagements include Geneva, Lisbon, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin (Deutsche Oper and Deutsche Staatsoper), Dresden, Hamburg, Munich, Vienna and Bilbao and the Festivals of Orange, Aix-en-Provence, Salzburg, Edinburgh and the Maggio Musicale, Florence. His repertoire further includes Hans Sachs (Die Meistersinger Von Nürnberg), Landgraf (Tannhäuser), Baron Ochs (Der Rosenkavalier), Boromeo (Palestrina), Orestes (Elektra), Moses (Moses Und Aron), Green Knight in the world première of Harrison Birtwistle’s Gawain And The Green Knight, Claggart (Billy Budd), Rocco (Fidelio), King Philip and Grand Inquisitor (Don Carlos), Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte), Leporello and Commendatore (Don Giovanni), Lindorf, Coppelius, Dr Miracle and Dapertutto (Les Contes D’hoffmann), Golaud and Arkel (Pelléas et Mélisande), Boris Timofeyevich Ismailov (Lady Macbeth Of Mtsensk), title role and Pimen (Boris Godunov), The General (The Gambler) and the title role in the world première of Birtwistle’s The Minotaur.

Engagements in 2010/11 include Hagen in the new production of Götterdämmerung in Hamburg, Hunding in the new production of Die Walküre at La Scala, Gurnemanz for English National Opera, Thomas à Becket in the new production of Assassinio Nella Cattedrale in Frankfurt and concerts throughout Europe. Future performances include returns to the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera, New York, English National Opera, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Vienna.


Coro Gulbenkian

The Coro Gulbenkian was founded in 1964 by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. With a full symphonic formation of about 100 singers, it can also appear as a smaller vocal ensemble, according to the nature of the specific performed works. Thus the Coro Gulbenkian may appear as an a cappella ensemble, performing 16th to 18th century Portuguese polyphony, or join the Gulbenkian Orchestra or other orchestras to perform the Classical and Romantic mainstream choral-symphonic literature, as well as 20th century music, having performed (and often premiered) many contemporary works by Portuguese and international composers. It has been frequently invited to collaborate with major international orchestras - the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, the Monte Carlo Philharmonic, the Baden-Baden Symphony, the Berlin Philharmonic, the London Philharmonic, the Vienna Symphony, the Budapest Festival Orchestra, the Czeck Philharmonic, the Strasbourg Philharmonic and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, among others - working with conductors such as Colin Davis, Frans Brüggen, Claudio Abbado, Istvan Fischer, Gerd Albrecht, Emmanuel Krivine, Theodor Guschlbauer, Michael Gielen, Rafael Frübeck de Burgos and Franz Welser-Möst.

Besides its regular season in Lisbon and its national tours, the Coro Gulbenkian has repeatedly toured Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Japan, Macao (under Portuguese administration), Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom and Uruguay.

In 1992 a tour of Holland and Germany with the Orchestra of the XVIII Century led to the live recording of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony for Philips, within Frans Brüggen's complete Beethoven cycle. It would be the beginning of a close partnership between the Coro Gulbenkian and the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, which resulted in several other international tours in Germany, France, Japan, Italy, Netherlands, United Kingdom and in China (Hong Kong).

In addition to those tours and the ones that the Coro Gulbenkian has frequently done abroad with either the Gulbenkian Orchestra or other significant orchestras and ensembles, the Choir has collaborated with important music festivals around the world, including presentations in Eurotop Festival (Amsterdam), the Veneto Festival (Padua and Venice), the International Music Festival of Granada and the Hong Kong Arts Festival.

The Coro Gulbenkian has recorded extensively for Philips, Archiv-Deutsche Grammophon, Erato, Cascavelle, Musifrance, FNAC-Music, performing a wide-spanned repertoire, from Early-Renaissance polyphony to Xenakis, either a cappella or with different orchestras. Several of these albums received international awards such as the Berlioz Prize of the French Académie Nationale du Disque Lyrique, the Grand Prix International du Disque of the Charles Cross Academy or the Orphee d'Or, amongst others.

Michel Corboz has been the Chief Conductor of the Coro Gulbenkian since 1969, with Fernando Eldoro and Jorge Matta as Associate and Assistant Conductors respectively.


Meng Yang Pan

Critics have described Meng Yang Pan’s playing as 'so fine that time seemed to stand still. Her shading, use of tone colour, and the most brilliantly clear and precise placing of the music in the highest register was a real joy to hear'.

Based in London, Meng Yang regularly performs in some of the most prestigious concert halls throughout the UK such as the Royal Festival Hall, Wigmore Hall, The National Gallery, St John's Smith Square and Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.

Concerto performances with Maestro Vladimir Ashkenazy and John Wilson are among the highlights of her career to date. Meng Yang has also received numerous prizes and awards such as First Prize at the 2010 Bromsgrove International Young Musicians Platform and Second Prize and Audience Prize at the Dudley International Piano Competition. Upon graduating from the RCM, HRH Prince Charles presented her with one of the College’s most prestigious awards, The Tagore Gold Medal, for outstanding representation of the RCM.

Born in China, Meng Yang was accepted by the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, 1996. In 1998, she won First Prize at the MIDO Piano Competition in China followed by Second Prize at the Ettlingen International Piano Competition for Young People in Germany, 1999.

Meng Yang was then awarded a full scholarship by the Wall Trust to study at The Purcell School, where she worked with Professor Tessa Nicholson. During her three years there, she appeared both as a soloist and chamber musician at many prestigious venues including the Purcell Room and the UNESCO in Paris.

Supported by a full scholarship, Meng Yang went onto study at the RCM with Gordon Fergus Thompson and Head of Keyboard, Vanessa Latarche, between 2003 and 2010. During this time she performed in masterclasses with Murray Perahia, John Lill, Barry Douglas, Dimitri Alexeev and Jonathan Plowright. In 2006, she won First Prize in the Robert William and Florence Amy Brant International Pianoforte Competition and in 2009, Mengyang was the winner of the MBF Educational Award.

Meng Yang would like to thank Vanessa Latarche, Gordon Fergus Thompson, Sir Roger Carr and Lady Stephanie Carr for their generous support.

Profiles / Biographies


Yefim Bronfman, piano
Michelle DeYoung, soprano
Attila Fekete, tenor
Michele Kalmandi, baritone
Christian Tetzlaff, violin
Sir John Tomlinson, bass
Zsolt-Tihamér Visontay, violin
Mark van de Wiel, clarinet
Meng Yang Pan, pianist
Coro Gulbenkian
Performers from the Royal College of Music


Esa-Pekka Salonen

Series Consultants

Malcolm Gillies
David Pear

Bluebeard's Castle At the Crossroads Bartok at the Piano Bartok in NYC Salonen & Bronfman meet Muzsikas Muzsikas Bartok on Stage Bartok's Orbit Folk Inspiration Folk Music Concerto for Orchestra Introduction to Bartok


Infernal Bartok Bartok and Folklore Bartok at the Keyboard Bartok on the Stage

Programme Notes

12 Nov 2011 13 Nov 2011 14 Nov 2011 15 Nov 2011