Opening concertNiklas Benjamin Hoffman © Tristan Fewings
Fatra House of Arts, Žilina
Dolný Val 138/49, Žilina
The Slovak Sinfonietta Žilina
[profile of ensemble]
The Slovak Sinfonietta Žilina is one of the best known professional orchestras in Eastern Europe and holds a very important position in the Slovak musical life. It was founded in 1974 as the only "Classical period" chamber orchestra in Slovakia. Since then the orchestra has attained a prominent position in both the Slovak and Czech Republics, as well as it has achieved a considerable international reputation. Its 34 members are graduates of the major Czech and Slovak music academies and many of them are winners of international competitions and active both as soloists and chamber musicians. The quality of the players together with the experience and musicianship of the founding music director and conductor Eduard Fischer (1930 – 1993) brought about the quick artistic growth of the orchestra. Following chief conductors were Jan Valta, Leoš Svárovský and Oliver von Dohnányi. Mr. Simon Chalk was appointed the Chief Conductor of the Slovak Sinfonietta Žilina. He took up his post in September 2015. Principal Conductor of the Slovak Sinfonietta is Theodore Kuchar. Chief conductor emeritus is maestro Tsugio Maeda from Japan. By 1977 the orchestra attained international recognition when it was invited to the Salzburg Festival and designated the official orchestra of that prestigious festival. Soon after followed appearances at the "Prague Spring" and the major festivals throughout Europe, including Wiener Festwochen, Spring Festival and Haydn Festival in Vienna, Sofia's Musical Weeks, Festa Musica Pro in Assisi, Festival de Catalunia in Spain, Festival El Djem in Tunisia, Festival de Bonaguil in France, Music in Old Krakow, Budapest Spring Festival, Bratislava Music Festival, Melos Ethos Bratislava, Mozartfest Schwetzingen, Mozart Sommer Schloss Salem, Schleswick-Holstein Festival, Festival de Manaus in Brasilia, Festival van Vlaanderen, Aspekte Salzburg, Johann Strauss Festival in Vienna, Bodensee Festival in Switzerland, Ankara Musik Festival, Slovenian Music Days, NCPA Festival Beijing, and many others. The Sinfonietta played at such prestigious international venues as the Musikverein and Konzerthaus Vienna, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Philharmonic Halls in Berlin, Munic and Cologne, House of Artists Prague, Tonhalle Düsseldorf, Komische Oper and Konzerthaus Berlin, St. Francis' Cathedral Assisi, Auditori Barcelona, Palau St. Jordi and Palau de la Musica Catalana Barcelona, Teatro Arriaga Bilbao, the Symphony Hall Osaka, Tokyo's Metropolitan Hall, Theatre de la Monnaie Brussels, Mozarteum Salzburg, Teatro Abadia and Palacio de Deportes Madrid, Tonhalle Zürich, Pavilhao Atlantico Lisbon, NCPA Beijing, Seoul Arts Center, Les Invalides and L’eglise de la Madeleine Paris, and the Great Concert Hall of the St. Peterburg Philharmonic among others. Altogether the orchestra has given more then 3,000 concerts in almost every country of Europe, in Asia, Africa, Japan, China, Korea, Brasilia, Canada and the U.S.A. Among the prominent artists who have performed with the orchestra are conductors Peter Maag, Marco Armiliato, Theodore Kuchar, Claus Peter Flor, Jean-Bernard Pommier, Nicholas Kraemer, Erik Zainermand, Alexander Schwinck, Misha Katz, Vladimír Válek, Petr Vronský, Ľudovít Rajter, Christian Benda, Dwight Bennett, Christian Pollack, Peter Breiner, Vladimír Kiradjiev, Ernst Märzendorfer, Martin Sieghardt, Stefan Lano, Janusz Powolny, Pawel Przytocki, Rastislav Štúr, Martin Leginus, Volker Schmidt Gertenbach, Georg Mais, Urs Schneider, Ondrej Lenárd, Nicola Giuliani, Elim Chan, Francesco Angelico, Karel Marc Chichón, Daniele Rustioni and soloists: Igor Oistrach, Narciso Yepes, André Gertler, Václav Hudeček, Ivan Ženatý, Sophia Jaffé, Baiba Skride, Dalibor Karvay, Liana Issakadze, Vanessa Mae, Marián Lapšanský, Eugen Indjic, Till Felner, Paul Badura Skoda, Timur Sergeyenia, Ludmil Angelov, Michael Kofler, Mario Carbotta, Peter Dvorský, Sergej Kopčák, Vittorio Grigolo, Michél Senechal, Stefan Elenkov, Edita Gruberová, Vesselina Kasarova, Georg Tichy, Pavol Breslik, Otokar Klein, Peter Mikuláš, Gabriela Beňačková, Magdaléna Kožená, Pretty Yende, Jana Kurucová, Adriana Kučerová, Ľuba Orgonášová, Magdaléna Hajossyová, Gustáv Beláček, Izabela Labuda, Benno Schollum, Ildikó Raimondi, Olivia Stapp, David Miller, Sarah Joy Miller, Pavol Hammel, Miro Žbirka, Andrej Šeban Band, Korben Dallas, the singer Kristína, Pacora Trio, Baroque Jazz Quintet, Emil Viklický, Radovan Tariška, Radka Fišarová, Petr Vondráček, Bohemia Voice, Lucie Bílá, Il Divo, and Il Volo. The Slovak Sinfonietta Žilina is a member of the Orchestra Network for Europe (ONE), a distinctive network of classical symphony orchestras initiated in 2004. Focusing on addressing the specific issues of the classical music sector, ONE has designed cooperation project promoting intercultural dialogue and extending artistic reach across borders. Since 2005, the network has received support from the European Union under the Culture Creative Programmes for five succesive periods of activity called ONE, ONE a new dimesion, ONE step further, ONE goes places, and ONE is more (2015 – 2019).
Niklas Benjamin Hoffmann
The German conductor Niklas Benjamin Hoffmann is one of the most attractive conductors of his generation. In November 2016 he won the prestigious 14th Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition in the London Barbican Centre and later he was appointed the assistant conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra. Since then he has become a sought-after guest conductor in the whole of Europe. His ardour and creative approach to music beguiles both the audience and musicians. Hoffmann graduated from the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt in Weimar in 2016, where he had studied with the teachers Nicolás Pasquet, Gunter Kahlert, Martin Hoff and Markus Frank. During his studies he worked with professional orchestras like Jenaer Philharmonie, MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra and Staatskapelle Weimar. He was the music director of the Akademische Orchestervereinigung Göttingen and holder of the renowned scholarship of the German programme Dirigentenforum, awarded by the German Music Council supporting the emerging generation of gifted conductors. He had a public debut with the London Symphony Orchestra in March 2017 in Vietnam. The concert took place outdoors in front of over 60,000 spectators. Since then he has been invited as a guest conductor by famous orchestras like Haydn Orchestra of Bolzanoand Trento (Italy), Aarhus Symphony Orchestra (Denmark), St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra (Russia), Folkwang Chamber Orchestra (Germany), Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland Pfalz (Germany) and Orchestra della Toscana (Italy). In London he has collaborated with world-known conductors like Sir Simon Rattle and guest conductors Valery Gergiev and Bernard Haitink. Besides his interest in Classical repertory the young conductor is a keen advocate of performance of contemporary tonal music. Niklas Benjamin Hoffmann is also an active composer. His goal as a conductor and composer is to create a fruitful interaction between the musicans and the audience. In the running season he will be conducting Orchestra I Pomeriggi Musicali in Milan and Orchestra della Toscana in Florence.
The 19-year-old Ukrainian violinist Dmytro Udovychenko has dedicated himself to music since he was five. Being just six he started to study at the Kharkov Specialized Secondary Music Boarding School, where he attended the violin classes with the teacher Ludmila Varenina. He participated in masterclasses with the exponents of violin art Boris Barlitsky (Paris), Dmitry Sitkovetsky (London), Sergey Ostrovsky (Geneva,Neuchâtel), Natalia Boyarskaya (London), Olga Parkhomenko (Helsinki) and others. At present he is studying under the Russian violinist Boris Garlitski at the Folkwang University of the Artsin Essen, Germany. The young performer is a holder of numerous awards from domestic and international competitions. He acquired 1st prize at the public competition in violin playing within the 15th international festival Music is our Common Home, moderated by the Russian national artist Tatiana Grindenko. In April 2009 he was awarded 1st prize at the international competition for young performers Art of the 21st Century in Kiev. His successes include also the 2nd place at the 8th International M. G. Erdenko Violin Competition in 2010 and 1st place at the 10th international competition Accords of Khortytsa, which he won in March 2010 in the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhia. In July 2011 he was awarded the Grand Prix at the 8th international music festival Visiting Aivazovsky in Feodosia. In October 2015 it was the 1st prize at the 3rd International Leopold Auer Violin and String Quartet Competition in St. Petersburg. In March 2016 he won Grand Prix at the 3rd Leonid Kogan Violin and Cello Competition. He can also boast the 2nd place and EMCY Prize from the 5th International Jascha Heifetz Competition for Violinists in Vilnius. Udovychenko debuted with renowned ensembles like Moscow Virtuosi under the baton of Vladimir Spivakov, Kharkov Philharmonic Orchestra, Kharkov Youth Symphonic Orchestra and other orchestras from Ukraine, Germany and Lithuania. In 2014 he was invited by a Russian conductor and violinist Yury Bashmet to perform at the international festival Elba Isola Musicale D’Europa. In 2012 and 2014 he accepted the invitation of the conductor Vladimir Spivakov to play in the Grand Hall of the Moscow International House of Music during the opening ceremony of the Moscow Welcomes Friends international festival with the accompanying orchestra Moscow Virtuosi led by Spivakov himself. The Ukrainian violinist has recorded several concert performances for the National Recording House in Kiev.
(1932 – 2007)
Slovak composer. Concurrently with his secondary school studies, he privately studied harmony and counterpoint with Ján Zimmer and piano with Rudolf Macudziński. In 1956, he completed the study of composition with Ján Cikker at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava with his First Symphony. He worked as repertory advisor in Slovak Philharmonic and Slovak Radio, and afterwards as a freelance. His numerous works include ten symphonies, twenty-five piano sonatas, fourteen string quartets, and many other chamber and concert compositions. He also produced music for more than one hundred films. Zeljenka was one of the most prominent figures of the generation of Slovak composers which was formed under the influence of the 20th-century musical classics and the European avantgarde of the 1950s and 1960s. Stylistically his work was clearly individualised even from his very first opuses. In the formation of Zeljenka’s musical language, there are several notable registers, from neoclassicism, through post-Webern conceptions and the influence of the new music of the 1960s, his own concept of „cell-composition“, to the folklore-inspired work and neoromantic orientation of the 1970s. Outgrowing tradition and striving for new expressive nuances, Ilja Zeljenka sketched out a new, distinctive mode of shaping sound and form, thanks to which his works were successfully presented both in Slovakia and abroad. He received numerous domestic and foreign awards for his composition.Sarcasm (2006)
(1809 – 1847)
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in E minor, Op. 64 (1844)
Allegro molto appassionato
Andante con moto
Allegretto non troppo. Allegro molto vivace
(1809 – 1847)
String symphony No.2 in D major
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
(1756 – 1791)
Symphony No. 35 in D major “Haffner”, K. 385 (1782)
Allegro con spirito