Pianist and Conductor Jean Efflam Bavouzet
The Secret Marriage, symphony
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
The Marriage of Figaro, overture
Concerto for piano and orchestra in E flat major K. 449
Concerto for piano and orchestra in D minor K. 466
Putting together the symphony of The Secret Marriage (1792) by Domenico Cimarosa (1749-1801) and the overture of the Marriage of Figaro (1786) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-91) reminds us how at the time of their creation, the work of the composer from Aversa was welcomed in Vienna by a success that Mozart would have wished in vain for his Marriage. The Marriage was recognized as a masterpiece only during the encore performances, when the boos of “certain hired little boys” who had disturbed the premiere from the gallery, disappeared. The emperor Leopold of Habsburg-Lorraine who had scorned The Clemency of Titus, written by Mozart on the occasion of his coronation, wanted to invite, after the first performance at the Burgtheater in Vienna, the whole company of the Secret Marriage, asking for a resounding “encore” of the whole opera in his private apartments. The Concerts for Piano and Orchestra by Mozart, on the other hand, were unrivalled in the good Viennese society, which expressed all its enthusiasm during the “Academies” in which the author performed, as today Jean Efflam Bavouzet, in the double role of soloist and conductor. Full success was achieved by both the concerto in E flat major (1784), first of the great Viennese parlour concerts, written for the pupil Barbara Ployer who paid him “abundantly” and the concerto in D minor (1785), first solo concert in the modern sense of the term, where the dramatic eloquence of the piano dialogues with the rich symphony of the orchestra. Modernity that did not escape Mozart’s admirers and his “successor”, Ludwig van Beethoven, who performed it during a show organized at the Hofburgtheater in Vienna by Mozart’s widow, between one act and another of the Clemency of Titus.
Jean Efflam Bavouzet
“He makes you listen to music as if you are discovering it Eureka!-style: yes, that’s what the composer must have meant.” (Financial Times).
Award-winning pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet enjoys a prolific recording and international concert career. He regularly works with orchestras such as The Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, London Philharmonic, BBC Symphony and NHK Symphony orchestras, and collaborates with conductors including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Vladimir Jurowski, Gianandrea Noseda, François- Xavier Roth, Nicholas Collon, Gábor Takács-Nagy and Sir Andrew Davis amongst others.
Highlights during the 2018/19 season include the Lincoln Center in New York with the London Philharmonic under Edward Gardner, Orchestre national de Lyon, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, a Debussy focus with the Antwerp Symphony, his continuing collaboration with Manchester Camerata including an extensive tour of China as well as performances with Sapporo Symphony, Seoul and Taiwan philharmonic orchestras. Following his highly successful extended Debussy recital at the Barbican’s Milton Court and the 2018 Perth International Arts Festival, Jean-Efflam will present this programme at the Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam. Other recitals include a return to the Louvre, Wigmore Hall – both in solo recital and in collaboration with Kristóf Baráti and István Várdai, as well as a number of recitals in the U.K., Germany and Belgium. He will also return to the Verbier Festival in 2019.
Recent performances include the San Francisco Symphony, Aspen Festival, and Seattle, NHK and BBC symphony orchestras. He also appeared at the Philharmonie de Paris with Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo and Kazuki Yamada, BBC Proms performing Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and Nicholas Collon, Carnegie Hall, as part of a major North American tour together with the London Philharmonic under Vladimir Jurowski, as well as hr-Sinfonieorchester under Juraj Valčuha, Les Siécles and François-Xavier Roth which included concerts at London’s Royal Festival Hall and the Granada Festival.
Bavouzet records exclusively for Chandos and his recording of Grieg’s Piano Concerto with Bergen Philharmonic under Edward Gardner has been nominated for the Concerto category of the 2018 Gramophone Awards. Together with Manchester Camerata and Gábor Takács-Nagy, Bavouzet has recorded several of Haydn’s Piano Concertos and embarked on a series of Mozart concertos, which have been critically acclaimed. His complete Prokofiev Piano Concertos with BBC Philharmonic and Gianandrea Noseda won the Concerto category of the 2014 Gramophone Awards. Other recordings include the complete Beethoven Sonatas, Bartók’s Piano Concerto’s with the BBC Philharmonic and Noseda, and Stravinsky’s Complete Works for Piano and Orchestra with Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo under Yan-Pascal Tortelier. Also with Tortelier, Bavouzet’s recording of the Ravel Piano concertos with the BBC Symphony Orchestra won both a Gramophone and BBC magazine award. Bavouzet’s recordings have garnered other Gramophone Awards and BBC Music Magazine Awards, a Diapason d’Or and Choc de l’année. Ongoing recording projects include the Haydn Piano Sonata cycles.
Bavouzet has worked closely with Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen, György Kurtág, Maurice Ohana and Bruno Mantovani and is also a champion of lesser-known French music, notably that of Gabriel Pierné and Albéric Magnard. He is the International Chair in Piano at the Royal Northern College of Music.
“Luigi Cherubini” Youth Orchestra
Founded by Riccardo Muti in 2004, the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra was named after one of the finest composers of all times, born in Italy but active all over Europe. This choice underlines the Orchestra’s vocation, combining a strong Italian identity with a natural inclination towards a European vision of music and culture. The Youth Orchestra, a privileged link between the conservatoires and the professional worlds, set up its residence in Piacenza, and elected the Ravenna Festival as its summer home. The young instrumentalists of the Cherubini Youth Orchestra are all under 30, and come from all over Italy. They were selected through audition by a committee of top musicians from prestigious European orchestras, headed by Riccardo Muti himself. Dynamism and continuous renewal are a distinctive feature of the Orchestra, and it is in this perspective that members are only appointed for a period of three years, after which they may start collaboration with a major professional orchestra.
In recent years, under the baton of Riccardo Muti, the Orchestra has tackled a repertoire ranging from baroque to XX century music, alternating concerts in many Italian cities to important European and world tours in the theatres of Vienna, Paris, Moscow, Salzburg, Cologne, St. Petersburg, Madrid, Barcelona, Lugano, Muscat, Manama, Abu Dhabi, Buenos Aires, and Tokyo. The début of Cimarosa’s Il ritorno di Don Calandrino at the Salzburg Whitsun Festival (2007) marked the first step of a five-year project undertaken by the prestigious Austrian event and the Ravenna Festival with a view to re-discovering and reviving the legacy of the Neapolitan School of music of the XVIII century. The Cherubini Youth Orchestra was the protagonist of this project as orchestra-in-residence.
The Orchestra returned to Salzburg in 2015, the only Italian ensemble invited to the prestigious Summer Festival. On this occasion, it performed Ernani under the baton of Riccardo Muti, who had already conducted it in 2008 in a memorable concert in the Golden Hall of the Musikverein, Vienna. Just a handful few months before, the ensemble had been awarded the prestigious Abbiati Prize 2008 as the Best musical venture for “the outstanding achievements that made [the Cherubini Youth Orchestra] an excellent ensemble, appreciated at home and abroad”.
Besides an intense activity under its founder’s baton, the Orchestra has extensively collaborated with such artists as Claudio Abbado, John Axelrod, Rudolf Barshai, Michele Campanella, James Conlon, Dennis Russel Davies, Gérard Depardieu, Kevin Farrell, Patrick Fournillier, Herbie Hancock, Leonidas Kavakos, Lang Lang, Ute Lemper, Alexander Lonquich, Wayne Marshall, Kurt Masur, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Kent Nagano, Krzysztof Penderecki, Donato Renzetti, Vadim Repin, Giovanni Sollima, Yuri Temirkanov, Alexander Toradze and Pinchas Zukerman.
The Orchestra had a challenging and unquestionably important role in the Ravenna Festival’s project of the “trilogies”, which the saw orchestra star in the celebrations for Verdi’s bicentenary under the baton of Nicola Paszkowski and the direction of Cristina Mazzavillani Muti: on these occasions, the Orchestra performed 6 of Verdi’s operas, all staged at the Alighieri Theatre. In 2012, Rigoletto, Il Trovatore and La Traviata were performed on the same stage on three consecutive days. In 2013 the “Shakespearean Trilogy” followed, with Macbeth, Otello and Falstaff, and in 2017 Vladimir Ovodok led the Cherubini in Cavalleria rusticana, Pagliacci and Tosca. More recently, the Orchestra has regularly tackled the operatic repertoire in several co- productions of the Alighieri Theatre, Ravenna, and some major Italian traditional theatres. From 2015 to 2017, the Cherubini also featured at the Spoleto Festival with the “Mozart-Da Ponte trilogy” conducted by James Conlon.
The Orchestra’s ties with Riccardo Muti made it a perfect match for the Italian Opera Academy for young conductors and répétiteurs, which the Maestro started in 2015: the first year the Cherubini tackled Falstaff, in the following years the attention was concentrated on Traviata, Aida and Macbeth.
At the Ravenna Festival, the Orchestra’s summer residence, the Cherubini regularly stars as the protagonist of new productions, concerts, and the “Roads of Friendship” project, which has taken it to a number of venues like Nairobi, Redipuglia, Tokyo and Tehran since 2010. In 2018, the concert, once again conducted by Riccardo Muti, was staged in Kiev.
The management of the Orchestra is entrusted to the Cherubini Foundation, jointly established by the municipalities of Piacenza and Ravenna, the Toscanini Foundation and Ravenna Manifestazioni Foundation. The Orchestra’s activity is supported by the municipalities of Piacenza and Ravenna, the Toscanini Foundation and Ravenna Manifestazioni Foundation. The Orchestra’s activity is supported by the Ministry for Arts and Culture.