Reviews: 13 April 2012 – International Conductors’ Academy of the Allianz Cultural Foundation

On Friday 13 April, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and pianist John Lill performed at Royal Festival Hall under three up-and-coming conductors as the culmination of the 2011/12 International Conductors’ Academy of the Allianz Cultural Foundation. The three conductors were Thomas Blunt from the UK, Venezuelan Domingo Hindoyan, and Ward Stare from the USA.

Reviewed by Colin Anderson,
‘Thomas Blunt sculpted a fiery, graceful and poised ‘Haffner’ Symphony (his baton-less gestures expressive rather than textbook), with dynamics finely observed and much that was stylish …
The first-movement cadenza [of the Beethoven concerto] was of strength and fantasy, the slow movement was given rare eloquence, and the finale enjoyed Lill’s puckish and rambunctious approach – or rather he knows just how the music goes and brought it to witty life. Indeed, throughout, one hung on every note, each one recognisable but seemingly new-minted…
Stare lucidly progressed through [Stravinsky’s Symphony in C] not over-expressing its pastoral simplicity, but making it sincere nonetheless, and finding a compelling solemnity at the opening of the finale. Otherwise the music pirouetted with grace and the decoration and deft counterpoint was intelligibly realised. The playing was deft and poetic.’

Reviewed by Edward Seckerson, The Independent:
‘This suave and self-assured young man [Domingo Hindoyan], a tall and rangy presence, immediately exhibited his skills in a shapely opening paragraph, the martial atmosphere crisply maintained with a frisson of excitement in the clinching crescendo. Lill is a past master of Beethovenian “distillation” and Hindoyan was at one with him in capturing the mystical spareness of their exchanges in the slow movement …
The dapper Ward Stare is already installed as Resident Conductor at the Saint Louis Symphony and his accomplished account of the evening’s most demanding piece – Stravinsky’s Symphony in C – was cool, collected, super-clear in its intentions, and often beautiful – nowhere more so than in the valedictory (and exceedingly tricky) wind chordings of the closing bars.’

Read more about the International Conductors’ Academy of the Allianz Cultural Foundation

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