Saturday, June 10, 2000

CSO to play Europe's halls in 2001 tour

12-concert trip visits Spain, Germany, Poland

By Janelle Gelfand
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        In his final season, maestro Jesus Lopez-Cobos will lead the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in its first visits to Krakow and Warsaw, Poland, and mainland Spain.

        The 20-day, 12-concert tour will visit Spain, Germany and Poland Jan. 25 through Feb. 13, 2001.

        “I am absolutely delighted that in my last season as music director I will be able to take the orchestra back to Europe, and am particularly happy the tour includes concerts in my native Spain,” Mr. Lopez-Cobos said.

        A tour can thrust an orchestra into the international limelight, and result in more prestige at home and abroad. That, in turn, can result in higher sales of concert tickets and recordings.

        It's also good business for the companies that sponsor such tours, and who often entertain clients at the overseas concerts. The tour will be co-sponsored by CFM International (the joint venture of GE Aircraft and Snecma of France), Ernst & Young and Germany's Lufthansa airline.

        “Our world headquarters are here in Cincinnati, and we are very proud of this city,” said Gerard Laviec, president and chief executive of CFM International, which was also a sponsor for a Cincinnati Pops tour to Japan in 1998. The company will invite its customers, including LOT Polish Airline, Iberia, Air Europa and Lufthansa, to CSO performances in several cities.

        The CSO will depart from New York on Jan. 24, after CSO and Pops concerts at Carnegie Hall. The orchestra will play five concerts in Spain, at Euskalduna Jauregia in Bilbao (city of the famed Guggenheim Museum designed by Frank O. Gehry); Auditorio Nacional de Musica de Madrid; and Palau de la Musica in Barcelona.

        In Germany, the CSO will perform in the Philharmonie, home of the Berlin Philharmonic. It will also travel to Munich, to play in the Philharmonie am Gasteig (a stop on its 1995 tour), to Mannheim to play in the Mozartsaal, and to Rosenheim, for a concert at Stadthalle.

        The tour will end with three concerts in Poland, where the CSO will perform at the invitation of the composer Krzysztof Penderecki and his wife, Elzbieta.

        Cellist Han-Na Chang, 17, will accompany the tour as soloist in concertos by Shostakovich and Haydn.

        The tour program reflects Mr. Lopez-Cobos' Spanish heritage, with Falla's Three-Cornered Hat, Suites 1 and 2. Other works are Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6, “Pathetique,” Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5, Copland's Danzon Cubano, Barber's Overture to The School for Scandal, and Corigliano's Gazebo Dances.

        Mr. Lopez-Cobos, who will complete his 15-year tenure in August 2001, took the orchestra on a European tour in 1995, and to Japan in 1990.

        With a $27 million budget and an endowment of $92.7 million, the CSO is ranked among the nation's top-20 major orchestras.

        Paavo Jarvi, 37, will succeed Mr. Lopez-Cobos at the podium in September 2001.

Pianist begins CSO summer dazzlingly

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