What's on my desk…
The new year brings some exciting projects. In Brussels, we’ll play Beethoven’s music for Goethe’s Egmont (with its special relevance to Belgium and Flemish history) and Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony - a program of music speaking truth to power, then a program of Nature music with Messiaen’s Exotic Birds and Sibelius’ swan-inspired Fifth Symphony. In Tokyo, I’m conducting an all Copland concert with the New Japan Philharmonic. In the spring, a Goethe evening features Liszt’s Faust Symphony, and the students at New England Conservatory tackle Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. And in May, I’ll conduct the finals of the Queen Elisabeth Violin Competition, six concerts with twelve different violinists - my first experience with this grueling pressure cooker!
"Mr. Wolff and his young charges closed the concert with a bang-up performance of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 6. The Presto finale, with the young players reveling in the thrill of collective virtuosity, was sheer joy." - The New York Times
"Wolff's Shostakovich 10 was powerful, three-dimensional and devastating, and the Atlanta Symphony blossomed by his approach. Much of the opening movement builds to an unbearable tension. Wolff paced it tautly and meaningfully, with understated authority. When the music finally crossed that emotional threshold and plummeted into some dark netherworld of a broken psyche, Wolff did not, would not, relent... Credit Wolff with delivering the crucial essence of a harrowing masterpiece of the 20th century."
"Conductor Hugh Wolff presided over one of the Utah Symphony’s most high-spirited programs of the season on Friday. From Beethoven’s ever-popular “Leonore” Overture No. 3 to Saint-Saëns’ playful Cello Concerto No. 1 to Charles Ives’ invigorating Symphony No. 2, the concert was a sheer delight."
"Under Wolff's careful guidance, the [Minnesota] orchestra gave this music [Adès] the sort of wham-bam-socko performance it needs. Wolff, the former music director of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, is a gifted conductor who should be seen here more often."
"The evening's strength was the conductor, Hugh Wolff, an urbane host who without undue Sturm und Drang made Mendelssohn's Scottish Symphony, the composer's third, an absolute delight."
Click here to read the full review from the Washington Post