Evening Recital N° 1

Mihhail Gerts Conductor
Johanna Schellenberger Harp

Claude Debussy

  • »Petite suite«, arranged for orchestra by Henri Büsser

Alberto Ginastera

  • Harp Concerto, Opus 25

Johannes Brahms

  • Serenade No 1 in D major, Opus 11

Symphonic echoes

In the summer of 1857, Johannes Brahms took up a position as piano teacher and choir director at a princely court in the city of Detmold. Inspired by his study of Haydn and Mozart, he wrote two orchestra serenades during his time there. The character of the first shifts back and forth between its professed genre and the symphony. Brahms originally intended to write music of a lighter character, namely an octet for a small orchestra with simple instrumentation, before ultimately deciding on a larger ensemble. The celebrated violinist and conductor Joseph Joachim directed the premiere of this version in Hanover on 3 March 1860.

Mihhail Gerts

Hailed by critics for his »astonishing precision, highly expressive gestures and warmth« as »a name to remember«, the Estonian conductor Mihhail Gerts has made a name for himself following recent successful debuts with the Orchestre Nazionale delĺ Accademia di Santa Cecilia, BBC Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France with the acclaimed baritone Matthias Goerne as soloist. Gerts has established a regular collaboration with orchestras such as RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Varsovia, National Philharmonic of Russia and Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. Highlights from the last seasons include a successful debut with Opera Saint-Etienne in Benjamin Godard’s Dante, as well as debuts with NHK Symphony Orchestra, Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra etc. In addition to his symphonic concert career, Gerts has also gained extensive operatic experience as First Kapellmeister and deputy GMD of the Hagen Theater (2015 to 2017) and resident conductor of the Estonian National Opera (2007 to 2014).

During these years, he conducted over forty different productions of opera and ballet, most recently a new production of The Flying Dutchman. As a guest conductor, he has appeared at the Teatro la Fenice, Teatro delle Muse, Mikhailovsky Theater St. Petersburg, Belarus National Opera, and many others. Gerts studied conducting at the Estonian Academy of Music and the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler, Berlin. In 2011 he received his PhD. From 2013 to 2017 he was a Stipendiate of the Dirigentenforum Programme of the German Music Council, and in 2014 was a finalist in the London Symphony Orchestra’s Donatella Flick Competition and Evgeny Svetlanov Conducting Competition.

Johanna Schellenberger

Principal Harp