Copyright Chris Christodoulou
For his 6th consecutive appearance at the BBC Proms, Leonard Elschenbroich gave the world premiere of the new cello concerto by Brian Elias. The Sunday Times called it a “superbly confident dispatch”, The Guardian wrote
After a focus on 20th century Russian music, spread across his three first albums for Onyx, the latest release surveys a century of French music. Opening with Dutilleux’s Tout un monde lointain… (1970) for cello and orchestra, the album explores the music of Messiaen, Ravel, Debussy, and ends with Saint-Saens Cello Concerto No.1 (1871). The BBC Scottish Symphony is conducted by Stefan Blunier and John Wilson. The pianist is Alexei Grynyuk.
Mark Simpson has been named composer-in-association of the BBC Philharmonic, a post previously held by Peter Maxwell-Davies, James MacMillan, and HK Gruber. His first commission for this tenure will be a new cello concerto written for Leonard Elschenbroich. The premiere will take place at Bridgewater Hall in Manchester on April 21, 2018, conducted by Clemens Schuldt.
For his third recording for ONYX, Leonard has recorded contrasting works by Alfred Schnittke, together with pianist Petr Limonov. The album features the atonal-bitonal Sonata No.1 and the ‘Madrigal in Memoriam Oleg Kagan’, alongside classicist stylisations like the ‘Suite in the Old Style’, comprised of musics for cartoons and films. The recording also includes Leonard’s own composition, written for the 10th anniversary of Schnittke’s death in 2008.
Over his two-year tenure as BBC New Generation Artist, Leonard performed and recorded 13 cello concertos with all five BBC orchestras, made 6 recordings at the Maida Vale Studios with various collaborators, gave 3 consecutive appearances at the BBC Proms, and gave recitals at the Wigrmore Hall, Sage Gateshead, and Cheltenham Festival. As part of a continuing relationship with the BBC Philharmonic, he will be releasing two CDs of British 20th century cello concertos, including a new concerto written for him by Mark Simpson (2017).
In November 2016, for his French concerto debut, Leonard will perform the Gilbert Amy Cello Concerto with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France at the Maison de la Radio in Paris. The concert will celebrate the 90th anniversary of the composer.
At the annual Britten Weekend in Aldeburgh in October 2016, Leonard will give three performances including a solo recital featuring a commissioned choreography, and a collaboration with a choir to feature works by John Tavener alongside Benjamin Britten.
For the fifth year in a row, Leonard will appear at the BBC Proms. This year he will debut with the Hallé Orchestras and Music Director Sir Mark Elder with a performance of Colin Matthews’ “Berceuse for Dresden”, a work for cello and large orchestra, composed to commemorate the restoration of the Frauenkirche Dresden.
In June 2016, Leonard will tour Latin America for four weeks. After recitals with Alexei Grynyuk in Lima and Quito, he will perform as a soloist with the Belo Horizonte Orchestra, the Bogotá Philharmonic, Medellin Philharmonic, and with his orchestra, the Orquesta Filarmonica de Bolivia, for their debut in La Paz.
The Orquesta Academica de Bolivia, which Leonard co-founded in 2013, took part in the baroque festival in the in the tropical Eastern region of Bolivia. There, they gave five performances in churches built in the 1700s by Jesuit missionaries, performing music written there at the time, known as American Baroque. A documentary film by Otto Schweitzer is soon to be released.
In March 2015, Leonard will give his New York debut at the Frick Collection. He will perform Sonatas by Brahms and Rachmaninov with Alexei Grynyuk, and will give the American premiere of Mark Simpson’s Night Music, a BBC commission premiered at London’s Wigmore Hall. A month later, Leonard will appear at New York’s Alice Tully Hall at the Lincoln Center as part of the CMS music series, alongside Chao-Liang Lin, Paul Neubauer, and the Sitkovetsky Trio.
Following the success of his debut album for Onyx, Leonard will record works by Kabalevsky and Prokofiev for this 2014 release. Combined with Prokofiev’s Cello Sonata and transcriptions from his ballet works, the album will feature Kabalveksy Cello Concerto No.2, recorded live at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, with the Netherlands Philharmonic and Andrew Litton, in February 2014.
In June 2014, Leonard will give three concerts at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. with the National Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Christoph Eschenbach. He will perform Brahms Double Concerto with Nicola Benedetti, following previous performances at the Ravinia Festival with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the Royal Festival Hall with the London Philharmonic, both also under the direction of Christoph Eschenbach.
Following the success of his first release by the Onyx label, Leonard’s second recording will feature Dmitry Kabalevsky’s 2nd Cello Concerto, recorded with the Netherlands Philharmonic and Andrew Litton at the Concertgeouw in Amsterdam. It will also include the Cello Sonata and arrangements of ballet music by Sergey Prokofiev, recorded with Alexei Grynyuk and Petr Limonov. To be released in November 2014.
Leonard will return to the BBC Proms to perform Penderecki’s Concerto Grosso for 3 cellos and orchestra, alongside Daniel Müller-Schott and Arto Noras, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Charles Dutoit.
In November 2013, Leonard gave the world premiere of Arlene Sierra’s new Piano Trio ‘Butterflies Remember a Mountain’. Commissioned by Leonard, with support of he Philharmonic Society Bremen, the premiere opened his three-year residency at the chamber music season of the Philharmonic Society. In March 2014, Leonard will premiere Mark Simpson’s new work for cello and piano, commissioned by the BBC, at London’s Wigmore Hall. On Tour in Australia later that month, he will give the world premiere of a new piano trio by Carl Vine.
In November 2012 Leonard will record his first album for the ONYX label. It will feature the Cello Sonata and Vocalise by Sergei Rachmaninov and the Viola Sonata by Dmitri Shostakovich, his last work, transcribed for cello by Daniil Shafran with permission by the composer. The pianist will be Leonard’s recital partner Alexei Grynyuk.
For three consecutive seasons Leonard Elschenbroich will be the first ever Artist-in-Residence of the Chamber Music Season of the Bremen Philharmonic Society. In addition to giving various performances over three years, he will be asked to curate 3 out of 8 subscription concerts per season. Each season will include one commissioned world premiere, starting with a new piano trio by Arlene Sierra in November 2013.
In June 2013 Leonard returns to Latin America for a three-week tour. Performances include Dvorak Cello Concerto with Montevideo Philharmonic (Uruguay), recitals in Salvador and at Sala São Paulo (Brazil). He will also work and perform with musicians of the Medellin Academy (Colombia) before his return to Santa Cruz (Bolivia) to the newly formed Bolivian Philharmonic who have chosen Leonard to be their Artistic Mentor from 2013. He will be teaching the musicians, coaching the orchestra, and will perform Brahms Double Concerto alongside Nicola Benedetti.
In September 2012 Leonard will embark on his first tour of mainland China. Performing with the Sitkovetsky Trio, he will appear at Shanghai Orchestra Hall, Tianjin Concert Hall, Beijing Concert Hall, and Xinhai Concert Hall in Guangzhou.
After his Japan debut in April 2011 with the Nagoya Philharmonic, Leonard will return to Japan to perform the Dvorak Concerto with the Japan Philharmonic, under Music Director Alexander Lazarev, at the Tokyo Metropolitan Hall in October 2012. He will also give recitals at the Bandai Highlands Music Festival in Fukushima, which was established there after the the earthquake and Tsnuami, and he will give a recital at Nikkei Hall in Tokyo.
After giving his American debut at the Ravinia Festival with the Chicago Symphony in 2010 where he performed the Saint-Saens Concerto, Leonard will return to this coming festival in 2012. As well as performing the Brahms Double Concerto with Nicola Benedetti and the Chicago Symphony, directed by Christoph Eschenbach, he will give a recital and trio concert with at the festival.
Following his performance in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, in May 2012, Leonard has been appointed Artistic Mentor of the newly formed Bolivian Philharmonic Orchestra. Leonard will oversee its artistic development, as well as inviting international soloists to work and perform with the orchestra. The first performance took place in April 2013 with Philippe Quint, play-directing Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’. In June Leonard will perform Double Concertos by Brahms and Vivaldi, alongside Nicola Benedetti.
Front page article in El Deber – click to read