BARS’s Davies Symphony Hall Debut – December 6, 2012 8 p.m. as guests of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus
Roster and Program Notes
|Christian Baldini, Guest Conductor
Clayton Bullock, section leader
Steve Harvey, section leader
Don Hubert, asst. section leader
Russ Bartoli, section leader
Steve Willis, section leader
Tom DiSanto, section leader
David Doan + Piccolo
Fred Fox + English horn, section leader
Gene Nakajima + bass clarinet, section leader
Stephen Zielinski + bass clarinet
Barbara Jones, section leader
Rachel Harvey, section leader
Jeffrey Johnson, asst. section leader
Jamie Hops, section leader
Danny Weinstein, tenor, section leader
Johannes Mager, tenor
Daniel Cech, bass
Kevin C. Devine
Mark Saccomano, section leader
Christian Foster Howes, asst. section leader
Vicki Zalewski + drum kit
Tchaikovsky Waltz of the Flowers from the Nutcracker Suite
notes by Kevin C. Devine
Pyotor Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) premiered his Nutcracker ballet in St. Petersburg in 1892, a year before his death. The ballet itself did not meet with immediate acclaim, but the suite condensed from the two act ballet was an instant success.
The suite consists mostly of the characteristic dances from Act II which represent the celebrations in honor of Clara in the Land of Sweets.
The Valse des Fleurs is the final movement in the suite. In keeping with his other ballet music suites, the piece opens with an impressive harp cadenza. The first section has two major motives: the first is a rising theme played by the horns and the second theme is a graceful, descending motive for the strings. The next section brings an interjection from the flutes followed by and expressive theme from the tenor strings. We of course return to the first section again and end with an energetic coda.
Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet and its music are staples of the holiday season and beloved around the world. Enjoy!
About Dr. Christian Baldini, guest conductor
In his early 30s, based in California, and of Argentinian and Italian descent, Christian Baldini is a dynamic and diverse young artist. Equally at home in the core repertoire as in the most daring corners of the contemporary repertoire, he is an accomplished conductor and a natural communicator, with a pure and warm sense of musicality. He has conducted orchestras and ensembles internationally, including the Munich Radio Orchestra, Buenos Aires Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra (Washington, D.C.) and San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. He has also conducted opera for the Aldeburgh Festival (England). Equally at home conducting symphonic repertoire, chamber ensembles, and opera, Baldini has been an advocate for contemporary music since early on in his career and has conducted the world premières of more than 60 new works. In this capacity he has collaborated closely with composers such as Brian Ferneyhough, Steven Stucky, Philippe Hurel, Fabian Panisello and Steve Mackey. After conducting the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra (OSESP, Brazil), the Folha de São Paulo gave him a rave review “this charismatic young conductor lead Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 by memory, lavishing his musicality and leaving sighs all over the hall and the rows of the orchestra.” In Buffalo, New York, Baldini garnered excellent reviews conducting Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du soldat with members of the Buffalo Philharmonic at the Kavinoky Theater.
Baldini was privileged to learn from such conducting luminaries as Peter Eötvös, Martyn Brabbins, Leonard Slatkin and Kurt Masur. He holds degrees from the State University of New York at Buffalo (Ph.D. in Composition), the Pennsylvania State University (Master’s in Conducting), and the Catholic University of Argentina (Bachelor’s Degree in Conducting and Composition).
Baldini is also a noted composer and his music has been performed in Europe, South America, North America and Asia by orchestras and ensembles including the Orchestre National de Lorraine, Southbank Sinfonia (London), New York New Music Ensemble, Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Israel Contemporary Players, Daegu Chamber Orchestra (South Korea), Munich Radio Orchestra, Chronophonie Ensemble (Freiburg) and Ensemble Modern (Frankfurt). His music appears on CD on the Pretal Label, and has been broadcast on Südwestrundfunk and Bayerischer Rundfunk in Germany, as well as on the National Classical Music Radio of Argentina. He has also conducted and recorded contemporary Italian music for the RAI Trade and Tactus labels. His compositions are published by Babel Scores in Paris.
Baldini’s work has received awards in several competitions including the top prize at the Seoul International Competition for Composers (South Korea, 2005), the Tribune of Music (UNESCO, 2005), the Ossia International Competition (Rochester, NY, 2008), the Daegu Chamber Orchestra International Competition (South Korea, 2008), and the São Paulo Orchestra International Conducting Competition (OSESP – Brazil, 2006). He was also a finalist for the Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award in April 2012.
In past seasons, Baldini has been an assistant conductor with the BBC Symphony and the Britten-Pears Orchestras, and a cover conductor with the National Symphony Orchestra (Washington, D.C.). Since 2009, Baldini has served as the Music Director of the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra (University of California), and was recently appointed as Music Director with the Camellia Symphony Orchestra in Sacramento. In the summer of 2012, he made his debut in South Africa conducting two concerts with the National Youth Orchestra, and returned for a second engagement conducting the Buenos Aires Philharmonic.