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Nikolaj Znaider makes Salzburg Festival debut

summer festival performances in the US with the Cleveland Orchestra under Franz
Welser-Möst, the New York Philharmonic under Alan Gilbert and the Los Angeles
Philharmonic under Leonard Slatin, Nikolaj Znaider performs in a pair of
concerts at the Salzburg Festival with the Vienna Philharmonic under the baton
of Gustavo Dudamel.  Znaider will
perform the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto on August 27 and
August 29.  These will be his first
performances with the Vienna Philharmonic since his recording sessions under
Valery Gergiev for the recently released Brahms and Korngold concertos, a disc that earned this rave from the
Dallas Morning News: “The Copenhagen native with matinee-idol looks serves up
deeply committed and lustrously intoned performances of both the Brahms and
the…Korngold.”  The Daily
wrote of the Brahms recording: “Znaider’s
own playing transmits thoughtfulness, expressive power, concentration and
command of the nuances of phrasing, combined with an overarching sense of

started his summer on this side of the Atlantic, welcomed back first to
Cleveland where he has become a popular visitor. Writing about his
interpretation of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with the Cleveland Orchestra at
the Blossom Festival, the Plain Dealer praised a performance “marked by a honeyed tone and
exceptional precision. … Few violinists relish the finer points of music the
way Znaider does. No potentially subtle or velvety passage goes by untapped.” The
next stop on Znaider’s festival tour was Napa Valley’s Festival del Sole, where
he played the Brahms concerto; a few days later he left California for the
Bravo!-Vail Valley Music Festival, repeating the Brahms with the resident New
York Philharmonic under Alan Gilbert, its new music director.

On August
6, Znaider stepped in to replace Leonidas Kavakos (who was recovering from
surgery) at the Hollywood Bowl, playing Tchaikovsky’s concerto with the Los
Angeles Philharmonic and conductor Leonard Slatkin.  Although he was brought in at very short notice, Znaider
dazzled both audiences and critics with his seemingly effortless performance.
Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times raved:

“[Znaider] has learned from Heifetz
to make the impossible sound effortless… Znaider skated over the orchestra, his
reflexes a delight. Nothing Slatkin could throw at him fazed him. The central
Canzonetta was weightless and a wonder.”

rounds out his summer with appearances at the Jerusalem International Chamber
Music Festival (Sept 1 and 2) and then at northeast Germany’s regional Festival
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Sept 5), where he will play Brahms’s concerto with the
Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. 
His summer draws to a close in the Swiss Alps at the Ascona Festival (Sept
10); there he conducts the Lugano Orchestra in a concert featuring
Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3 and Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 2, which he will
lead from the violin.

this summer Znaider recorded Sir Edward Elgar’s violin concerto with the Staatskapelle
Dresden and Sir Colin Davis for release next year on BMG/Red Seal, the Sony
Classical-held label for which Znaider records exclusively.  He will perform the work widely next
season, during the centennial of its creation. 

Nikolaj Znaider at the Salzburg Festival

August 27 & 29, Salzburg, Austria

Vienna Philharmonic / Gustavo Dudamel

Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto

© 21C Media Group, August 2009

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