Hungarian violinist Barnabás Kelemen and the Tapiola Sinfonietta give the Finnish premiere of Ryan Wigglesworth’s Violin Concerto

Published 4.2.2015

12 February 2015
Tapiola Hall, Espoo Cultural Centre

Barnabas Kelemen,
Ryan Wigglesworth, conductor

Tapiola Sinfonietta
"They don’t come any better than Kelemen”
- Rob Cowan, Gramophone, July 2013

Multi award-winning Hungarian violinist
Barnabás Kelemen gives theFinnish premiere of British composer Ryan Wigglesworth’s Violin Concerto at Tapiola Hall, Espoo on Thursday 12 February with the Tapiola Sinfonietta in a programme of contemporary music by composers Zosha di Castra, Oliver KnussenFred Lerdahl and György Ligeti. Following this Kelemen directs Het Kamerorkest in a series of 4 concerts across Belgium including Gent, Bruges, Kortrijk and Antwerp with a Bohemian-inspired programme of works by Sandor Veress, Raymond Vauterin and Josef Suk.

Kelemen gave the
UK premiere of Wigglesworth’s Violin Concerto in February 2014 at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall with the Halle Orchestra to warm reviews. The Telegraph commented: "Barnabás Kelemen was a superb advocate for the work, relishing its moments of yper-agility as well as its prevailing heady lyricism.” The Times concluded "his scurryings, prancings and lyrical flounces, none that far from tonality ... cast a spell.”

Scored for a classical-sized orchestra with the addition of a harp, the formal scheme of this single-movement work offers a quiet and reflective introduction and an epilogue that act as frames for two principal scherzandosections, which in turn appear either side of a central arioso. The work received its world premiere on 17 February 2012 at Amsterdam’s Muziekgebouw, with soloist Gordon Nikolic and the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra conducted by the composer.

Ryan Wigglesworth explains:
"My Violin Concerto explores the lyrical characteristics of the solo instrument. In a sense, the dramaturgy of the piece centres on a twofold search: first there is the ongoing pursuit to ‘recapture’ the simple melodic material stated by the solo violin in the opening bars. The second search is for a tonal resting place, the arrival of which is delayed until the close of the epilogue.”

Tapiola Sinfonietta (12 February) programme:
OLIVER KNUSSEN Music for a Puppet Court (Finland premiere)
ZOSHA DI CASTRI Strange Matter
FRED LERDAHL Spirals (Finland premiere)
RYAN WIGGLESWORTH Violin Concerto (Finland premiere)

Praise for Barnabas Kelemen
"Combining ethereal purity and gutsy commitment”
- The Guardian

"Barnabás Kelemen met the composer’s demands unflappably, stirring a rousing ovation.”
- New York Times

"Kelemen’s playing is perfectly poised between fastidiousness and a winning ink-still-wet spontaneity ... A fantastic violinist.”
- Classical Source

Barnabas Kelemen

An artist of ‘innate musicality’ with a technical execution that belongs ‘only to the greatest’ (The Guardian), Hungarian violinist Barnabás Kelemen has captured the attention of the music world. With repertoire that ranges from early Baroque to contemporary music, Kelemen gave the Hungarian premières of the Ligeti and Schnittke Violin Concertos as well as the Hungarian and world premières of violin works by Gubaidulina and Kurtág. In November, Kelemen reunited with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Michail Dworzynski to perform Penderecki’s Violin Concerto at the Royal Festival Hall in London on 27 November 2013 to wide critical acclaim. Later this season he will give the premiere of Ryan Wigglesworth’s Violin Concerto with the Hallé Orchestra at Bridgewater Hall in Manchester on 13 February 2014.

Born in Budapest in 1978, Barnabás Kelemen entered the Franz Liszt Music Academy at the age of eleven, later went on win the First Prize at the International Violin Competition in Indianapolis in 2002. In recognition of his achievements the Hungarian government awarded him the Sándor Végh Prize in 2001, the Franz Liszt Prize in 2003, Rózsavölgyi Prize in 2003 and most recently the Kossuth Prize in 2012. Since 2005 he has been a professor at the Franz Liszt Music Academy Budapest and a guest professor at Indiana University Bloomington.

Barnabás Kelemen collaborates with the BBC Symphony, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Hungarian National Philharmonic, Indianapolis Symphony, London Philharmonic and the Auckland Philharmonia amongst others. He performs with esteemed conductors such as Peter Eötvös, Ivan Fischer, Vladimir Jurowski, Zoltán Kocsis and Sir Neville Marriner. In chamber music, Kelemen has performed with Zoltán Kocsis, José Gallardo and Shai Wosner and held recitals at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Bozar Brussels, Wigmore Hall London and Carnegie Hall New York. He is first violinist of the Kelemen Quartet, which won first prize at the Beijing International Music Competition in 2011 and was placed second and won the Audience and Musica Viva Australia Prizes at the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition later that year.

Barnabás Kelemen’s varied discography has been received to critical acclaim; his recording of Brahms’ Sonatas for Violin and Piano with Tamás Vásáry has won a Diapason d’Or, and his release of Liszt’s complete works for Violin and Piano with Gergely Bogányi was awarded the Grand Prix du Disque 2001 by the International Liszt Society. Most recently he has been collaborating intensively with the worldrenowned pianist and conductor Zoltán Kocsis and the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra for a complete re-recording of Béla Bartók’s oeuvre Hungaroton to celebrate their native composer’s 125th anniversary which took place in 2006. His recording of Bartók’s Rhapsodies and Violin Concerto No. 2 was awarded the German Record Critics’ Award 2011 in the concerto category.

He performs on a Guarneri del Gesú violin of 1742 (ex-Dénes Kovács), generously loaned by the State of Hungary.

The Tapiola Sinfonietta

The Tapiola Sinfonietta
, the Espoo City Orchestra founded in 1987, represents uncompromising quality and emphasises the critical role of each musician. Composed of 41 musicians, it specialises in Viennese-Classical repertoire but also performs 20th century modern classics and premieres of contemporary works. It also enjoys forays into children's music, chamber music and crossover productions. The orchestra regularly performs with top soloists and conductors both Finnish and foreign and often also without a conductor.

Jorma Panula and Osmo Vänskä were among the orchestra's first Artistic Directors. Jean-Jacques Kantorow's era, beginning in 1993, had a decisive impact on shaping the orchestra's present-day profile and he was named Honorary Conductor in 2011. In 2014/15 conductor Mario Venzago, pianist Alexander Melnikov and guitarist Marzi Nymanserve as Artists in Association.

The orchestra's artistic board, consisting of a General Manager and two elected members of the orchestra, is responsible for all aspects of the Tapiola Sinfonietta's artistic planning.

The Tapiola Sinfonietta tours both in Finland and abroad. It records on the BIS, Ondine and cpo labels and has released over 60 discs.

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