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Greilsammer takes Geneva Camerata on first European tour

In these—for the classical community—less than auspicious times, David Greilsammer has achieved the near impossible, launching a new orchestra, the Geneva Camerata (GECA), with aplomb. Just weeks after GECA’s season-opening concert, at which Greilsammer and the ensemble impressed the Tribune de Genève with their “cohesion, harmony, vivacity, unity, and precision,” the intrepid Music and Artistic Director is already set to take the orchestra on its inaugural tour. Far from starting small, GECA and Greilsammer will perform in three major European music capitals, kicking off at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris (Nov 7) before heading to RADIALSYSTEM V in Berlin
(Nov 10) and culminating with an appearance in the “Bach Unwrapped” series at London’s Kings Place (Nov 22). For many years, Greilsammer has been demonstrating, both as pianist and conductor, a gift for visionary and eclectic programming; the New York Times calls him “a standout musician who has it in him to challenge, inform and delight,” and the UK’s Telegraph confirms that his “real penchant is for devising programs that challenge our attitudes towards listening.” True to form, Greilsammer’s tour program, titled “Bach and His Family,” offers a characteristic twist: guest soloist Avi Avital will perform J.S. Bach’s D-minor keyboard concerto and C.P.E. Bach’s flute concerto, not on the instruments for which they were originally composed, but on the mandolin.
For all its originality, the enterprise is one that J.S. Bach himself would have surely appreciated. Greilsammer explains, “Performing these works with mandolin and orchestra could sound crazy, but I am certain that such a project would have made Bach smile; throughout his life, he enjoyed creating unusual arrangements and transcriptions, for a wide variety of instruments.” Avital, the first mandolin player to be nominated for a Grammy in the “Best Instrumental Soloist” category, recently signed an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon. Like the upcoming GECA tour, Avital’s label debut features Bach concertos arranged for mandolin, drawing glowing praise from the press internationally. According to Gramophone magazine, “The mandolin really comes into its own as a truly cantabile instrument, the combination of filigree transparency and intimacy allowing Avital to take far more purely expressive risks.” Likewise, BBC Music magazine declared: “Avital’s mandolin is hauntingly beautiful, putting this firmly on the wish-list of any Baroque enthusiast.”
In recent seasons, Greilsammer has achieved similar success in the Baroque repertory. His album Baroque Conversations was pronounced “an astonishing achievement, a triumph of innovative programming and brilliantly probing execution,” that prompted the San Francisco Chronicle to conclude: “There’s no question that he’s an artist of major importance.” Alongside the collaboration with Avital, Greilsammer will also conduct in this program little-known works by two more of the J.S. Bach’s relatives: an overture by his second cousin Johann Bernhard and a symphony by his ninth son, Johann Christoph Friedrich, sometimes known as the “Bückeburg Bach.”
Further details of David Greilsammer’s upcoming engagements are provided below, and more information is available at his web site: For full details of the Geneva Camerata’s inaugural season, visit the ensemble’s web site:

David Greilsammer: first European tour with the Geneva Camerata
“Bach and His Family”
Geneva Camerata
David Greilsammer, conductor
Avi Avital, mandolin
Johann Bernhard Bach: Suite in B minor (overture)
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: Flute Concerto in D minor (arranged for mandolin)
Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach: Symphony in D minor
Johann Sebastian Bach: Keyboard Concerto in D minor, BWV 1052 (arranged for mandolin)
Nov 7
Paris, France
Théâtre du Châtelet
Nov 10
Berlin, Germany
Nov 22
London, UK
Kings Place
“Bach Unwrapped Festival”
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© 21C Media Group, October 2013


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