What’s on my desk today (and my playlist)?
2015 finished with a fun performance of Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra at NEC.
I never tire of this music - a powerful valedictory composed by a gravely ill man.
In the coming months, I’ll be returning to Washington DC and the National Symphony,
the orchestra that gave me my first professional job, and to Frankfurt where I was chief conductor for nine years.
In Frankfurt, we’ll be part of a day-long event conceived by the architect Daniel Liebeskind,
performing music in unlikely urban locations. Along the way, I’ll be doing new works by Aaron Jay Kernis,
Andrew Norman and Mason Bates and marking the centenary of the Henri Dutilleux with a performance of his Métaboles.
I was fortunate to meet this remarkable composer and gentle, elegant man years ago when I conducted his Baudelaire
inspired masterpiece Tout un Monde Lointain ... with Mstislav Rostropovich. His works are few but each is a jewel.
"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.