Zubin Mehta has an appointment with Barcelona again

BCN Clàssics does not throw in the towel and gambles again by programming Zubin Mehta for the 2023-24 season, who for health reasons had to cancel his performance in this same venue on November 29.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
17 March 2023 Friday 23:47
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Zubin Mehta has an appointment with Barcelona again

BCN Clàssics does not throw in the towel and gambles again by programming Zubin Mehta for the 2023-24 season, who for health reasons had to cancel his performance in this same venue on November 29. The 86-year-old Indian conductor, who has suffered various serious illnesses, has, however, just conducted Mahler's 3rd Symphony in Los Angeles, "and the criticism has been spectacular," says Llorenç Caballero, director of Ibermúsica and of the Barcelona cycle So its planned presence at the Palau de la Música Catalana on January 28, 2024, together with the Munich Philharmonic and with a Brahms monograph on the lectern, is well worth the risk. 2x1 on the price of tickets provided they are purchased on the La Vanguardia sales website.

"He wants to do this tour next year -explains the director of the cycle-, a tour that starts in Munich, continues through Spain and ends at Carnegie Hall in New York". What's more, then he plans to conduct the Staatskapelle in Berlin, with Daniel Barenboim, which on balance, and taking into account the state of health of the Argentine maestro and pianist, poses a double risk of cancellation. His replacement at the BCN Clàssics concert, if that were the case, could be Luis Toro, Gustavo Dudamel's deputy, who has also worked as an assistant with Mehta in Los Angeles.

Another date with symphony will be that of Gianandrea Noseda. The Italian conductor, who since he won the Cadaqués conducting competition in 1995 has had a close relationship with the organizers of the Barcelona series, has been the head of the Washington National Symphony for five years, an orchestra that has not performed in Barcelona for 42 years (last time was with Rostropovich). The unusual concert will feature the American violinist Hilary Hahn -winner of three Grammys- as a soloist at the Korngold concert (II/16/2024).

On the other hand, maestro Semión Bychkov will appear with the Czech Philharmonic to perform Dvorák's New World Symphony (a work that Gustavo Dudamel will also perform that same season at Palau 100), in addition to the cello concert by the same composer, with the young from Madrid Pablo Ferrández (7/III/2024).

But the symphony proposals will begin in BCN Clàssics with the ADDA Sinfónica de Alicante directed by Josep Vicent (13/XII). There, the cycle is allowed to combine a great work from the repertoire such as Beethoven's 9th, performed by Orfeón Donostiarra and outstanding solo voices such as soprano Erika Grimaldi, with the Cant espiritual de Montsalvatge, also by the Donostiarra ensemble.

BCN Clàssics likes to rescue artists who haven't performed in Barcelona for years. The cycle will start and end next season with two of them, soloists who, although they were in great demand in the past, are no longer present on Spanish programming.

The first is the Russian violinist Maxim Vengerov (Novosibirsk, 1974), a figure who was ubiquitous in the 1980s and 1990s, but who, as is often the case with artists who depend on classical circuits, ended up disappearing from the Spanish sphere. The other artist is the French pianist Hélène Grimaud, who last performed 13 years ago at Palau 100 and it is a mystery why her career has not continued to develop here.

"Vengerov is still the violinist he was," says Caballero. Last year he played with the Berlin Philharmonic, but curiously it's been 28 years since he came to Barcelona”. His last appointment with Barcelona was in 1995, at Palau 100, with the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino directed precisely by Zubin Mehta.

Trained in the Soviet style with Zajar Bron (although he also has German and Israeli nationality), Vengerov soon gave concerts with orchestras such as the Concergebouw or the BBC Philharmonic, and his career has run, and continues to run alongside great masters: he inaugurated with Riccardo Chailly the pre-pandemic season of La Scala. In his performance at the Palau de la Música (17/X) he goes, however, in recital format, with Roustem Saitkoulov at the piano and works by three composer friends: Clara Schumann, Johannes Brahms and Robert Schumann, to which he will add sonatas by Shor and Prokofiev.

The French violinist Renaud Capuçon also returns, with the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra of which he is the principal, assuming both functions, that of conductor and that of soloist, in a program that combines Mozart, R. Strauss and Beethoven (16/XI) . And as every year, the cycle reserves one of the concerts for the Baroque, an appointment that in this edition will be starred by harpsichordist and conductor Ton Koopman, with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra performing Bach's Suite in B minor.

The programming of km 0 will feature heritage recovery and contemporary works: by Miquel Ortega, Núria Giménez-Comas and Ramón Humet. And Luís González's trumpet will sound.

With eight seasons of life, counting the slowdown of the pandemic, the BCN Clàssics has 450 subscribers, striving to expand the young audience: last season, 13% were under 30 years of age. Ticket sales begin on April 1 and tickets on May 1.