New IPO music director kicks off 2012-13 season
By Don Snider November 7, 2012 2:13PM
David Danzmayr, the new music director of the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, will kick off the 2012-13 season on Nov. 10-11. | NedThePhotographer.com photo
ORCHESTRA SEASON OPENER
◆ 8 p.m. Nov. 10 and 3 p.m. Nov. 11
◆ Lincoln-Way North Performing Arts Center, 19900 S. Harlem Ave., Frankfort
◆ Tickets, $35 to $55
◆ (708) 481-7774; ipomusic.org
Updated: December 10, 2012 6:11AM
The Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra begins a new era on Nov. 10-11.
For the first time in a quarter of a century the Southland’s largest arts organization will open a season with a new music director.
David Danzmayr survived an elite group of seven finalists from an initial field of 165 applicants to succeed Carmon DeLeone as IPO conductor.
DeLeone retired after 25 years and Danzmayr was named to the post in June.
“David ultimately was the IPO search committee’s unanimous choice, not only because of his musical ability but for organizational issues and leadership philosophy,” said Charles Amenta, a past IPO president and committee member.
A Salzburg, Austria, resident, Danzmayr has been an up-and-coming international conductor with guest appearances in America, South America, Africa and Asia as well as Europe.
He interrupted his busy work in Europe to audition with the IPO in January.
Danzmayr dazzled the IPO board and a Southland audience with an all-Felix Mendelssohn concert.
After being named the new music director, he conducted an IPO open house at Ravisloe Country Club in Homewood in August.
“It went really well,” Danzmayr said. “We had a lot of people there — 450, I think — and now I’m excited and very happy to be starting the season.”
He will conduct the 35th season-opening concerts on Nov. 10-11 at the Lincoln-Way Performing Arts Center in Frankfort.
“I’ve had to finish up a lot of European projects,” Danzmayr said. “But I think the audience will be pleased with this program.”
Even though the new director was not announced in May, the IPO presented season subscribers a tentative 2012-13 schedule.
With his limited time, Danzmayr said he will try to stick to some of those programs but he has made several revisions.
For example, the concerts set for Nov. 10-11 will be totally new.
“I want to play some American pieces (during the season),” he said, “so I will open with ‘The Incredible Flutist’ by Walter Piston.”
The IPO’s Cindy Fudala will perform the flute solo.
“It’s not huge solo part,” Fudala said. “It comes in the middle of the piece, but I am honored to open the program.”
Piston (1894-1976) was a professor at Harvard University. His students, who later became renowned composers including Leroy Anderson, Leonard Bernstein and Elliott Carter.
Fudala, of Forest Park, has been with the IPO 16 years and also is a music professor at Valparaiso University in Indiana and Concordia University Chicago.
She is among several IPO members who met their future spouses while playing in the orchestra. Greg Fudala plays the trumpet.
“This season is going to be a lot of fun,” she said. “Danzmayr brings excitement and vitality to the orchestra.”
Danzmayr’s debut program then switches to international pieces, highlighted by the appearance of acclaimed guitar soloist Ana Vidovic.
The Croatia native, who has been a U.S. resident since 2003, appeared with the IPO in 2004 and has won numerous prizes and international competitions.
She and the IPO will perform Joaquin Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez,” a beautiful work inspired by the gardens at Palacio Real de Aranjuez, the royal residence in Madrid, Spain.
The Washington Post has called the 32-year-old Vidovic an “exceptionally gifted and interesting musician.”
Finally, Danzmayr will conduct Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s powerful “Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Opus 64.”
This passionately emotional Romantic symphony, first conducted in 1888, features memorable melodies and a triumphant march.
“It’s one of my favorite pieces,” Danzmayr said.
Amenta said he is looking forward to this opening concert because “in my imagination, I can see David as an international star in 10 years, but returning to his IPO launching pad throughout the years.
“Welcome maestro Danzmayr. It was a long journey to get here but now the real adventure starts.”
Don Snider is a local freelance writer.
David Danzmayr has had to make a lot of quick decisions since being named the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra’s new music director in June.
These decisions included where to live and what program to conduct for his opening concert, as well as for his entire first season.
“I’ve also had a lot of European projects to finish up,” the Austria native said. “I plan to move to the U.S. and I hope to have it all decided in the next month.”
Meanwhile, the IPO board of directors provided Danzmayr with an outline for the 2012-13 season. He already has tweaked it a bit.
Here is the revised IPO schedule, with all concerts set for the Lincoln-Way North Performing Arts Center, 19900 S. Harlem Ave., Frankfort, except where otherwise noted:
NOV. 10 (8 P.M.) AND NOV. 11 (3 P.M.): Concert I: “The Incredible Flutist” by Walter Piston; “Concierto de Aranjuez” by Rodrigo de Aranjuez featuring guitar soloist Ana Vidovic and “Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Opus 64 by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
DEC. 15 (3 P.M.) AND DEC. 16 (3 P.M.): BMO Harris Bank Holiday Concerts with guest conductor Lucia Matos, a Brazilian-born music professor at Northern Illinois University. Soloists include tenor Steve Wallace and the Lincoln-Way Area Chorale.
JAN. 19 (8 P.M.): Concert II: “Water Music” by George Frideric Handel; “Four Interludes” from “Peter Grimes” by Benjamin Britten; “The Lark Ascending” by Ralph Vaughan Williams featuring solo violinist Hal Grossman, the IPO concertmaster; and “La mer” by Claude Debussy.
FEB. 16 (8 P.M.) AND FEB. 17 (3 P.M.): Concert III: “Divertimento for Small Orchestra (Chicago-area premiere) by Lee Actor, “Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35” by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky with violin solo by Ilya Kaler, and “Symphony No. 92” by Joseph Haydn. The Feb. 16 concert will be at Lincoln-Way North and the Feb. 17 performance will be at the Ozinga Chapel at Trinity Christian College, 6601 W. College Drive, Palos Heights.
MARCH 23 (8 P.M.): Concert IV: “Oberon” by Carl Maria von Weber, “Cello Concerto No. 1,” by Dmitri Shostakovich with cellist Joshua Roman, and “Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73,” by Johannes Brahms.
MAY 11 (8 P.M.): Concert V: “Lincoln Portrait” by Aaron Copland and “Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125,” by Ludwig van Beethoven. Guests will include the DePaul University choirs.
Tickets are $35 to $55.
Information: (708) 481-7774, ipomusic.org.