Roberto Abbado strikes fire
with the New World Symphony
and LAWRENCE BUDMEN was there
What's in a name? Sometimes the answer is tremendous musical talent. Roberto Abbado, nephew of Claudio Abbado, is a superbly gifted conductor who has held principal symphonic and opera directorships in Turin and Munich. His operatic work has taken him to the podium of the Vienna Staatsoper, New York's Metropolitan Opera, and the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. He is currently one of the St Paul (Minnesota) Chamber Orchestra's Artistic Partners. On 10 December 2005 Abbado mounted the podium of the New World Symphony at the Lincoln Theater in Miami Beach, Florida, USA for an evening of fiery music making.
The New World Symphony is 'America's Orchestral Academy' -- the nation's only full time training orchestra composed of top graduates from major conservatories. In recent seasons the orchestra has also begun a conductor training program. Before Abbado appeared on stage, Steven Jarvi (another famous name), one of the NWS Conducting Fellows, led the ensemble in (K)ein Sommernachtstraum ((Not) A Midsummer Night's Dream) by Alfred Schnittke (1934-1998). This 1985 work is typical of Schnittke's response to Soviet cultural authorities' criticism of his avant garde musical tendencies. The composer turned to Haydnesque classicism and then satirized it. (Schnittke did the same thing in his Mozart a la Haydn, Suite in the Old Style, and even in his astringent Concerto Grosso No 1 for Violin and Orchestra.)
Copyright © 20 December 2005
Lawrence Budmen, Miami Beach, USA