Tag Archives: Alexander Schimpf
Guest soloist Alexander Schimpf performed Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in a Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra performance led by guest conductor Andrew Grams. Grams also guided the CSO in Stravinsky’s Concerto in D and Bartók’s “Concerto for Orchestra.”

CSO shines with new friends Grams, Schimpf

What a delight, as Alexander Schimpf played Beethoven’s silences, the gaps between sound, and the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra established a balance to the evening air, a summer idyll. It was the luxury of a fine art at Chautauqua.

It doesn’t get much better, and the mid-sized audience knew just what was happening, as it fell into the silence and stilled as gatherings do when something really special is happening. Even the cicadas, I swear, quieted their background accompaniment for a few moments.

The Piano Concerto in B-flat Major was young Ludwig van Beethoven’s first performed piece under public auspice, in Vienna, when he was in his early 20s, and just his 19th work created. Many today — and even then — hear Mozart and Haydn in the young composer’s work, though Thursday in the Amphitheater, another young German pianist held his audience spellbound with a timing and delicacy that invited their participation.

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Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra violinists perform during last Thursday’s 
concert in the Amphitheater. Photo by Michelle Kanaar.

Guest conductor Grams and pianist Schimpf debut at Chautauqua with CSO tonight

As the orchestra grew silent before the cadenza in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2, soloist Alexander Schimpf said it felt like he must deliver a speech.

“You really have to make a statement,” Schimpf said. “It’s a challenge. All of a sudden, you need to create a special atmosphere, a special kind of magic moment, but really, you have to get your audience’s attention in that moment.”

Knowing Schimpf’s history as winner of the 2008 German Music Competition, the 2009 International Beethoven Competition in Vienna, and most recently, the 2011 Cleveland International Piano Competition, his musical statement at 8:15 p.m. tonight in the Amphitheater will be a memorable one.

Schimpf will perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in a concert featuring guest conductor Andrew Grams, who will also lead the CSO in Stravinsky’s Concerto in D and Bartók’s “Concerto for Orchestra.”

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The Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra performs last season in the Amphitheater. Daily file photo

Symphony embarks on a second season under many batons

At 8:15 p.m. Saturday, June 30, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra will begin its 84th season under the Amphitheater roof. For the second season in a row, the CSO will not be under the familiar baton of a music director.

The orchestra instead will welcome 17 guest conductors to the Amp, along with 15 guest soloists. The conductors, several of whom will be new to Chautauqua, will conduct classics from Beethoven to Wagner, with a sprinkling of pops, opera selections and several contemporary works.

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