Kazushi Ono concludes this week his stage at the helm of the Barcelona and National Symphony Orchestra of Catalonia (OBC), before its new director, Ludovic Morlot, takes over the reins. His in Barcelona has been a period of seven years in which he has been able to take the pulse of Catalan music and society, he says.
“There is a beautiful point and that is that both have a very solid base. And as an individual you only exist on a basis like that”, commented the musician in his last meeting with the press. “I have directed Hèctor Parra, Ferran Cruixent, both with their approach to technology, but also a lot of Benet Casablancas, and there you see a powerful force and spirit that are built on solid foundations. It seemed like a very fresh and profound experience to me”, he added.
This week, from Friday the 27th to Sunday the 29th, he bids farewell conducting Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 2 Resurrection. A closing of the OBC season that will also feature the soprano Lydia Teuscher, the mezzo Mihoko Fujimura and the Orfeó Català.
"In these times, this work takes on a double meaning - Ono said in her final meeting with the press -: on the one hand it speaks to us of rebirth at the end of a stage and on the other it brings the message about the dignity of the human being, which it has been denied and destroyed by violence. A violence that should have no place in our human world”, he reflected in relation to the war in Ukraine.
“I am very happy to face new things”, assured the Japanese musician, grateful for his experience at the head of the OBC but looking to the future as head of the Brussels Philharmonic, where he will assume as one of his main challenges the “responsibility of programming concerts by living composers”, while remaining at the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony and as artistic director of the Opera House in the Japanese capital.
Maestro Ono has a big smile on his face as he recalls his first concert with the OBC, when in September 2015 they performed Fauré's Requiem at the Sagrada Família. And also when thinking about the success of the tour of Japan that he organized with Turandot, on the occasion of the Culture Olympiad. An opera with a montage by Àlex Ollé that had its sequel, despite the pandemic, because in 2021 they worked together again in Carmen and they do not rule out a new collaboration.
During her time at the OBC, Ono also championed the celebration of the Beethoven Festival and the Brahms Symphonies. And he recorded Les ballets de Picasso, a compilation of some ballets by Manuel de Falla, Stravinsky, Satie and Milhaud. On the other hand, he has been involved in new creation and is committed to the premiere of works by Hèctor Parra or Fabià Santcovsky.
L'Auditori has thanked Ono for his role as a "fundamental piece in the process of renewing the OBC" and his commitment to the "search for musical excellence and sound cohesion for the ensemble".
“Overcoming the coronavirus we have been able to do very good auditions –concludes the director–. Magnificent string and wind musicians have joined, young people with whom the orchestra has achieved a good intergenerational balance, with experienced and competent artists who are still there, and young people from whom we expect many good things. This balance is a good sign."