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British star conductor to lead the BFO


British star conductor to lead the BFO

The Budapest Festival Orchestra's upcoming concerts at Müpa Budapest on 6, 7 and 8 October will feature beautiful music from Russian composers, by a poetic British conductor.

Going back in time, we see that these works are linked by more than their origins: none of them were born easily. Lyadov was not very prolific; Prokofiev's Violin Concerto was written in the turbulent year of 1917, and the lead-up to Rachmaninov's Symphony No.3 was a painful memory: after the failure of his first symphony, he did not work in the genre for almost twenty years, and after the second, it was another ten years before he started on the third. So, if not simply, all three works are ready to be heard next time at the Budapest Festival Orchestra's concert in early October, conducted by Robin Ticciati. The Italian-born but British Ticciati works extensively in Berlin and England as music director of the German Symphony Orchestra and the Glyndebourne Opera Festival. The conductor, only 39, has conducted the BFO several times, which is also thanks to the fact that the orchestra loves working with him: he is very direct, friendly and, according to some of his musicians, "a poetic phenomenon". Despite his young age, Ticciati already holds an OBE from the Royal House of England, and although he studied violin, piano and percussion, and even began conducting at the age of 15, he never received formal conducting training. But meanwhile he counts as mentors none other than masters Simon Rattle and Colin Davis. He came to music through his family, as his grandfather was a composer and cellist and his brother a violinist. He founded his first chamber ensemble, Aurora, at the age of 22, and a few months later he replaced no less a star than Riccardo Muti at La Scala in Milan, becoming the youngest conductor at the legendary Italian opera house. In a short portrait film about him, Ticciati says that he believes there are many ways to be a conductor, but a deep love of music must be a constant, and in addition to a lot of learning, a constant childlike curiosity is also necessary. He considers it very important to find a balance between working with individual musicians and listening to and instructing the orchestra as a whole. "The musicians put their soul into each note, the audience gets this, and the music lives halfway between the two. And what's incredible about it is that as soon as it sounds, it disappears: it's for that one moment," he says.

The solo in Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No.1 (D major) is played by Alina Ibragimova, described by The Guardian as "direct and honest". Born in Russia in 1985, the versatile violinist studied at the Gnesins Russian Academy of Music and then in London, at the Yehudi Menuhin School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music, where she was taught by Christian Tetzlaff, among others. Since then, Ibragimova has received numerous prizes and many international invitations to the world's greatest music venues, and is performing with the Festival Orchestra for the first time.