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Pianist David Greilsammer Pursues International Solo, Chamber and Conducting Work in 2014-15, Builds on Geneva Camerata’s Reputation with Groundbreaking Programming

David Greilsammer, the young pianist and conductor hailed as “one of the most accomplished and adventurous musicians of his generation” by the New York Times, has launched into his 2014-15 season in typically bold, eclectic, and creative style. Managing brilliantly to juggle his prodigious conducting, piano playing, artistic directing and programming talents, he performs exciting programs around the world and continues to develop his innovative music directorship of the Geneva Camerata (GECA). With the orchestra he performs in prestigious venues and festivals in Italy, France, Turkey and Israel; conducts soloists such as Steven Isserlis, Avi Avital, Carolin Widmann, Jennifer Larmore, Daniel Hope, and Jacky Terrasson, among others; and presents imaginative programs that bring together baroque, classical, contemporary, jazz, folk, and electronic music. As pianist he reprises his successful 2014 Sony Classical album that juxtaposes the Sonatas of Scarlatti and Cage, and performs a captivating program of 20th century music and poetry for the prominent Modigliani Exhibition that opens this winter in Pisa, Italy.

This is Greilsammer’s second season with the Geneva Camerata (GECA), and it shows him in ambitious form, with top collaborators, in atypical venues, performing varied repertory that includes four world premieres, presenting encounters between Baroque and contemporary works, as well as exciting cross-cultural and multidisciplinary projects. The season got off to a flying start on September 30 with a musical homage to Gabriel García Márquez, featuring the great accordion virtuoso Richard Galliano in a program that ranged from Rameau and Mozart to Piazzolla and the world premiere of a new piece by the talented Jannik Giger. Earlier this month Greilsammer presented another program that included stunning juxtapositions, combining Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto, which he conducted from the piano, with works by French Baroque composer Marin Marais, as well as an exploration of jazz and Afro-Cuban music with New York based jazz pianist Jacky Terrasson, who improvised with Greilsammer and the orchestra. On January 29, Greilsammer and Geneva Camerata present “The Violin Dances,” a concert that will feature the world premiere of Magnitude for 22 dancers and orchestra by Marcos Balter, as well as classical and romantic works by Haydn and Schumann, with violin soloist Carolin Widmann.

Greilsammer continues the series of of original, interactive, and exciting family concerts he and the orchestra have developed with “King Arthur,” a new show for music and puppets based on Henry Purcell’s opera, with the Geneva Marionette Theater and soprano Capucine Keller (Feb 28). Other artistic partners and special guests throughout the season include violinist Giuliano Carmignola (Feb 6), jazz pianist Yaron Herman (Feb 19 and April 30), cellist Johannes Moser performing on both cello and electric cello (March 26), soprano Véronique Gens (May 21), and clarinetist Gilad Harel (June 7). The orchestra also ventures to Gstaad to perform “Love & Tragedy”, a program of Vivaldi, Boccherini, Purcell, Berg and Handel, with mezzo-soprano Jennifer Larmore (Feb 2).

Greilsammer is developing the orchestra’s unique profile internationally, and together they have many engagements abroad this season, including in Turkey, Israel, Italy and France. With Greilsammer at the piano, the orchestra has a residency at the renowned cultural center “Centquatre” in Paris, as they explore a singular contemporary approach to Klezmer music (Dec 5, 6). The group then performs twice at the Eilat Festival in Israel (Feb 5, 6), the first evening with celebrated cellist Steven Isserlis playing Haydn’s C Major Cello Concerto, and the second with Italian violin virtuoso Giuliano Carmignola, who will perform Mozart’s Third Violin Concerto. On March 28 Greilsammer and the orchestra present “A Folk Celebration!” in Rome, and on April 14 the group performs at the prestigious Is Sanat Concert Hall in Istanbul, with Greilsammer conducting a program of Vivaldi, Piazzolla, Lully, Vivaldi and Mozart, featuring Martynas Levickis on the accordion.

Greilsammer also enters his second year as Artist-in-Residence at the St. Etienne Opera, where he performs a variety of concerts as soloist and conductor, including a solo recital that juxtaposes the first and second “Viennese Schools” (Mar 22), and a concert at the opera house’s annual festival, in which he conducts from the keyboard Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1, in addition to conducting Webern’s Symphony Op. 21 (Mar 21). As part of the residency, earlier in the year he will be joined by his longtime colleague, mandolinist Avi Avital, in a “Bach and his Family” program (Jan 13). The residency also includes outreach events for children, as well as musical presentations and pre-concert lectures for students, about which Greilsammer is very passionate. He will team up once again with Avi Avital at the University of Chicago on February 20 for a singular program of masterpieces that have been arranged for mandolin and piano, as well as various solo piano works.

Another fundamental interest of Greilsammer’s is the exploration of various art forms and how they cross-fertilize with music. His recital at Palazzo Blu in Pisa, Italy on January 20 is a perfect example of this curiosity and inventive approach: as part of the Modigliani Exhibition, he will perform pieces by composers who lived in Paris at the same period as Modigliani, including Satie, Debussy, Ravel, and Stravinsky, alongside poems by Apollinaire that will be read by renowned Italian actor Angelo Di Genio between the musical pieces.

Greilsammer will also continue touring with his program “Scarlatti:Cage:Sonatas,” a solo recital that juxtaposes sonatas for keyboard by Scarlatti and sonatas for prepared piano by John Cage, on two instruments. This recital, featured on his most recent Sony Classical album, was released in 2014 to great critical acclaim. Besides being praised by the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and BBC Magazine, the album was selected by NPR as one of the top 25 recordings of 2014 (all musical styles included), and The Telegraph wrote of it: “David Greilsammer blends the work of Scarlatti and Cage to intoxicating effect.” He will bring this innovative program to Geneva (Nov 18), Tel Aviv (Dec 15), and the Dortmund Konzerthaus in Germany (Jan 15).

Further details of David Greilsammer’s upcoming engagements are provided below, and more information is available at the artist’s website:

David Greilsammer: 2014-15 engagements


Nov 18

Geneva, Switzerland

Geneva Museum of Art & History

Scarlatti:Cage:Sonatas (piano)


Nov 25, 26

Tel Aviv, Israel

Israel Chamber Orchestra (piano/conducting)

Rameau, J.C Bach, Mozart, Jonathan Keren (World Premiere)


Dec 5, 6

Paris, France

Geneva Camerata in Residence at the Centquatre in Paris (piano/conducting)

With Gilad Harel, clarinet


Dec 10

Grenoble, France

Piano Festival Sainte-Marie-d’en-Bas

Baroque & Contemporary works


Dec 15

Tel Aviv, Israel

Meitar Ensenble

Concert 1: Scarlatti:Cage:Sonatas (piano)

Concert 2: Works by Cage, and world premieres by Abram and Klartag (conducting)


Jan 13

St. Etienne, France

St. Etienne Opera House

Geneva Camerata on tour (conducting)

“Bach and His Family”

Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach: Symphony in D minor

Johann Sebastian Bach: Keyboard Concerto in D minor (arranged for mandolin)

Johann Bernhard Bach: Suite in G minor – Overture

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: Flute Concerto in D minor (arranged for mandolin)

With Avi Avital, mandolin


Jan 15

Dortmund, Germany

Konzerthaus Dortmund

Scarlatti:Cage:Sonatas (piano)


Jan 20

Pisa, Italy

Palazzo Blu – Modigliani Exhibition Concert (piano)

Satie: Sarabande No. 2

Apollinaire: Clair de lune

Ravel: Une barque sur l’océan

Apollinaire: Crépuscule

Debussy: 3 Préludes

Apollinaire: L’Adieu

Satie: Deux Pièces froides

Apollinaire: La tzigane

Stravinsky: Tango pour piano

With Angelo Di Genio, actor


Jan 29 

Geneva, Switzerland

Geneva Camerata (conducting)

“The Violin Dances”

Haydn: Overture to L’isola disabitata

Marcos Balter: Magnitude for 22 dancers & orchestra (new commission, choreographed by Cindy Van Acker)

Schumann: Violin Concerto in D minor

With Ballet Junior de Genève; Carolin Widmann, violin; Cindy Van Acker, choreographer


Feb 2 

Gstaad, Switzerland

Geneva Camerata (conducting)

“Love & Tragedy”

Marin Marais: Alcione Suite

Vivaldi: Griselda, “Ho il cor già lacero”

Boccherini: Symphony in D minor, Op. 12, No. 4

Purcell: Dido and Aeneas, “When I am Laid in Earth”

Berg: Lyric Suite, Andante Amoroso

Handel: Giulio Cesare, “Va tacito e nascosto”

Vivaldi: Concerto for Two Oboes in D minor, RV 535

Handel: Ariodante, “Dopo notte”

With Jennifer Larmore, mezzo-soprano


Feb 5 

Eilat Festival, Israel

Geneva Camerata (conducting)

“A Luminous Cello”

Marin Marais: Alcione Suite

Haydn: Cello Concerto No. 1 in C Major

Ligeti: Ramifications

Mozart: Symphony No. 29 in A Major, K. 201

With Steven Isserlis, cello


Feb 6

Eliat, Israel

Geneva Camerata (piano/conducting)

“A Journey to the Red Sea”

Mendelssohn: Symphony for Strings No. 10 in B minor

Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 3 in G Major

Boccherini: Symphony in D minor, Op. 12, No. 4

Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 9 in E-flat Major, K. 271

With Giuliano Carmignola, violin


Feb 19

Meyrin, Switzerland

Geneva Camerata (conducting)

Haydn: Symphony No. 49 in F minor

Purcell: Fairy Queen Suite / Improvisations

Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 14 in E-flat Major, K. 449

Mozart / Ellington: “It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing”

Rameau / Yaron Herman: “Pygmalion Blues”

Yaron Herman: “Mojo”

With Yaron Herman, jazz piano and improvisations


Feb 20

Chicago, IL

University of Chicago Presents (piano)

Mozart: Sonata K. 301 in G Major (orig. violin and piano, arr. for mandolin and piano)

Berg: Piano Sonata, Op. 1

J.S. Bach: Sonata BWV 1019 in G major (orig. violin and harpsichord, arr mandolin and piano)

J.S. Bach: Partita BWV 1004 in D minor – Chaconne (orig. violin solo, arr. mandolin solo)

Mozart: Fantasia in C minor, K. 475

Pärt: Fratres (arr. mandolin and piano)

Bartók: Romanian Folk Dances (arr. mandolin and piano)

With Avi Avital, mandolin


Feb 28

Geneva, Switzerland

Geneva Camerata (conducting)

“King Arthur”: Family concert – based on Henry Purcell’s opera “King Arthur”

With Capucine Keller, soprano & narrator; Liviu Berehoi, puppeteer

In collaboration with the Geneva Marionette Theater


March 21

St. Etienne, France

St. Etienne Opera (piano/conducting)

St. Etienne Symphony Orchestra

Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K. 466

Webern: Symphony, Op. 21

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, Op. 15


March 22

St. Etienne, France

St. Etienne Opera (piano)

“Viennese Schools”

Webern: Variations, Op. 27

Haydn: Variations in F Minor

Berg: Sonata Op. 1

Mozart: Sonata in A major

Schoenberg: Six short pieces, Op. 19

Schubert: Six Moments Musicaux, D. 780


March 26

Geneva, Switzerland

Geneva Camerata (conducting)

“Rock Cello!”

Vivaldi: L’Olimpiade Overture

Bartok: Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta

Jonathan Keren: Concerto for Electric Cello

J.C. Bach: Cello Concerto in C minor

With Johannes Moser, cello and electric cello


March 28

Rome, Italy

Geneva Camerata (piano)

“A Folk Celebration!”

With Avi Avital, mandolin; Gilad Harel, clarinet


April 14 

Istanbul, Turkey

Is Sanat Concert Hall

Geneva Camerata (conducting)

“Exotic Dances”

Vivaldi: L’Olimpiade Overture

Piazzolla: “Aconcagua” Concerto for bandoneon and orchestra

Vivaldi: Concerto No. 4 in F minor, “Winter” (arranged for accordion)

Lully: Le Bourgeois gentilhomme, excerpts

Mozart: Symphony No. 29 in A Major, K. 201

With Martynas Levickis, accordion


April 21

Geneva, Switzerland

Geneva Camerata Workshop

“In the court of the Sun King”


April 30

Monthey, Switzerland

Geneva Camerata (conducting)

“Pygmalion Blues!”

Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 12 in A Major, K. 414

Purcell: Fairy Queen Suite

Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 14 in E-flat Major, K. 449

Ellington: “It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing”

Rameau / Yaron Herman: “Pygmalion Blues”

With Yaron Herman, jazz piano


May 3

Geneva, Switzerland

Grand Théâtre – Geneva Opera House

Geneva Camerata (conducting)

“Cupid at the Opera”

With Geneva Opera’s young singers troupe


May 21

Geneva, Switzerland

Geneva Camerata (conducting)

“Carte Blanche with Véronique Gens”

Beethoven: Coriolan Overture

Purcell: The Fairy Queen, “If love’s a sweet passion”

Rameau: Hippolyte et Aricie, “Cruelle mère des amours”

Gershwin: “The Man I Love”

Mozart: Così fan tutte, “Come scoglio”

Michael Pelzel: “Chatoiements de l’air” (World Premiere)

Mozart: Symphony No. 35 in D Major “Haffner”

With Véronique Gens, soprano


June 6 

Mézière, Switzerland

Geneva Camerata (conducting)

“A Wild Violin”

Haydn: Symphony No. 39 in G minor

Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 12 in A Major, K. 414

Schnittke: Moz-Art à la Haydn

Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 3 in G minor, K. 216

With Daniel Hope, violin


June 7 

Mézière, Switzerland

Geneva Camerata (conducting)

“Balkan Baroque!”

Vivaldi: L’Olimpiade, Overture

Traditional Balkan dances from Macedonia

J.C.F. Bach: Symphony in D minor

Traditional Balkan dances from Bulgaria

J.S. Bach: Concerto for Two Violins in D minor, BWV 1043

Traditional Balkan dances from Greece

Telemann: Oboe Concerto in G minor (arranged for clarinet by Gilad Harel)

Medley of traditional Balkan Songs

With Gilad Harel, clarinet

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© 21C Media Group, November 2014

Photo By: Julien Mignot

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