Evening Recital N° 2

Gregory Vajda Conductor
Lukas Stepp Violin

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

  • Symphonie No. 25 in g minor, K. 183

Karl Amadeus Hartmann

  • Concerto funebre for Violin and String Orchestra

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

  • Symphony No. 29 in A major, K. 201

György Ligeti

  • »Concert Românesc«

Music of sorrow

Karl Amadeus Hartmann’s only violin concerto was composed in 1939. »The time frame suggests the basic character and occasion of my piece,« he later wrote about the context in which it was written. Due to his anti-fascist stance, Hartmann knew that any hope of a performance in Germany was in vain; instead, the 1940 premiere of his »Concerto funebre« was held in St. Gallen, Switzerland. The four movements of the concerto reflect the complex emotional world of an artist in a state of inner exile, fluctuating between isolation and the spirit of resistance: »I intended to balance the sense of hopelessness felt at that time by all free thinkers with an expression of confidence in the two chorales at the beginning and end.«

Gregory Vajda

Gregory Vajda has been resident conductor of the Oregon Symphony for over seven seasons. He currently serves as the music director of the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, and is principal conductor of the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, for both of which he conducts annually. He has been artistic director and conductor of Music in the Mountains (CA) and in 2014 was named Artistic Advisor to the Armel Opera Festival.

Maestro Vajda has recently conducted a double-bill of Bartók’s »Bluebeard’s Castle« and Eötvös’ »Senza Sangue« with the Staatsoper Hamburg, as well as the Armel Opera Festival’s production of »Die Zauberflöte« at the Hackney Empire in London. He has made recent guest orchestra appearances with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, the Montreal Symphony at the Lanaudière Festival, the Pannon Philharmonic, the Hungarian Radio Symphony, Symphony Silicon Valley, and Miklos Perenyi and the Szeged Philharmonic. For the opera stage he recently conducted »Don Carlo« and »Die Fledermaus« at Budapest Opera.

Past orchestral highlights include taking the podium with the Baltimore Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Louisiana Philharmonic, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa), Philadelphia Orchestra, Santa Barbara Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Toronto Symphony, and Winnipeg Symphony. He has also appeared as guest conductor at the Grant Park Festival, Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center, and the Woodstock

Mozart Festival.

A champion of contemporary music, Gregory Vajda has conducted the Ensemble Intercontemporain and led the Klangforum Wien in performances of Péter Eötvös’ »As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams« and »Three Sisters« as part of the Wiener Festwochen. He was chosen to participate in the inauguration of Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (USA), conducting a performance of Grabstein für Stephan by György Kurtag.

In addition his presence on the podium, Maestro Vajda is also a gifted clarinetist and composer. In 2011 he gave the US premiere of his work Duevoe with the Oregon Symphony, which was previously recorded with the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, as well as his one - act opera Barbie Blue. The same year he premiered his work »Czardas Obstine« for piano and orchestra at the Round Top Festival. He has also given premiere performances of his chamber opera »The Giant Baby« at the New Theater in Budapest.

Born in Budapest the son of renowned soprano Veronika Kincses, Gregory Vajda studied composition at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music under Professor Ervin Lukács. He was also a conducting pupil of world-renowned composer and conductor, Péter Eötvös. He received the Zoltán Kodály State Scholarship for composers, and the Annie Fischer State Scholarship for music performers.

Lukas Stepp