What’s on my desk today (and my iPod)?
After a summer of travel to Europe, Asia and the Aspen and Grant Park festivals, I am looking forward to
the start of the new season. I decided to challenge the students at New England Conservatory with Esa-Pekka Salonen's L. A.
Variations on their first concert. Later in the fall we will premiere the revised version of Leon Kirchner's Music for Flute
and Orchestra. The work was written for Paula Robison who played the premiere more than thirty years ago.
Kirchner revised it before he died in 2009 but left a complicated and ambiguous trail of hand-corrected manuscripts.
Thanks to the advocacy of Paula Robison and the hard work of David Flachs and others at G. Schirmer, this beautiful piece
is having a second life. Then I am off to Brussels for a return engagement with the wonderful Orchestre National de Belgique
and to Canada for my first concerts with the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec.
"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."
"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.