Sensational Brazilian conductor Eduardo Strausser leads the ANAM Orchestra for the first time in a curated program of ballet works inspired by Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes – the legendary company that presented ground-breaking work by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Vasily Kandinsky, Henri Matisse, Coco Chanel, Jean Cocteau, Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy and Igor Stravinsky.
The concert opens with the Polovtsian Dances – the ballet from Borodin’s opera Prince Igor. One of the Ballets Russes’ first great successes, it is a treasure-chest of memorable melodies that makes for a dynamic curtain-raiser.
Featuring music of ravishing beauty and fiery rhythms, selections from Falla’s El sombrero de tres picos (The Three-Cornered Hat) follows, as Stravinsky’s landmark ballet Petrushka closes the concert – all energy, lyricism, playfulness and pathos, wrapped up in kaleidoscopic orchestral colours.
“Petrushka is a story within a story,” says Strausser. “It is about how we, as humans, find purpose for existing. Through the loves and jealousies of three puppets, the narrative is filled with adventure, evocative colours… and very complex archetypal entities (drawn from the commedia del’ arte of 16th century Italy) that brings to these ‘scènes burlesques’ a universal appeal. I just can’t wait to bring the puppets to life with the collaboration of the ANAM Orchestra.”
Having been described by the Daily Revolution as “a real force of nature”, Strausser has collaborated with a number of top soloists, including Isabelle Faust, Richard Galliano, Barnabas Kelemen and Sergei Krylov, establishing himself as “one of the new faces in the music world, and part of its exciting future.” (Vecernji list, Zagreb)
Strausser was Resident Conductor of the Theatro Municipal de São Paulo from 2014-2016, where he led performances of Strauss´ Elektra and Carlos Gomes´ Fosca, as well as performances of The Nutcracker with the Balé da Cidade de São Paulo and a Stefano Poda production of Mahler’s Symphony No.1.
Strausser has conducted Die Zauberflöte with the Meininger Hofkapelle, and in 2016 led Puccini’s La bohème at the Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro. As well as concerts at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice in January 2017, he conducted performances of La bohème at the Teatro Verdi di Padova and the Teatro Sociale di Rovigo, and conducted Puccini’s Tosca at Theater Magdeburg in May 2018.
In 2017/18, Strausser conducted performances with Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra in a Russian program and made his Australian debut with Queensland Symphony Orchestra, conducting Bruckner’s Symphony No.4. He was joined by pianist Steven Osborne in an all-Beethoven program with I Pomeriggi Musicali.
In the 2018/19 season, Strausser returns to Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Magdeburg Theater Orchestra and Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg. He also debuts with the Oslo and Jena philharmonic orchestras, as well as with Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne and at the Staatstheater Darmstadt. He is joined by Jan Lisiecki for performances with the Orchestra della Toscana, and conducts Bruckner’s Symphony No.3 with the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra.
“Eduardo Strausser is a charismatic, passionate conductor” said ANAM Artistic Director Nick Deutsch. “His fiery energy and knowledge will undoubtedly inspire our young musicians resulting in a vibrant concert experience for musicians and audience alike. Eduardo is a rising-star making his mark on the conducting world and it is a privilege to welcome him to ANAM for the first time.”
Elisabeth Murdoch Hall – Melbourne Recital Centre, Southbank Boulevard, Southbank
Performance: Saturday 7 September 2019 – 7.0pm
Information and Bookings: www.melbournerecital.com.au
Image: Eduardo Strausser – photo by Charles Brooks