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Auck Philharmonia: Kaplan steps in at short notice

Mark Kaplan steps in at short notice

"The musicians I admire most tend to be selfless types for whom razzle-dazzle is clearly anathema; for them, the composer always comes first. Mark Kaplan is exactly that kind of violinist… Kaplan's tone is attractively plain, emphasizing sinew over plushness, and his rubato is remarkably efficient. Interpretatively, too he is serious but never dour... Most impressive of all, Kaplan maintained a feeling of the dance throughout the length of the D minor Chaconne, in a gripping performance of ever-increasing lyrical intensity." [The Strad, May 2004]

Yesterday, violinist Salvatore Accardo’s agent advised that serious illness prevented him from travelling to New Zealand to perform with the Auckland Philharmonia and to serve on the jury of the third Michael Hill International Violin Competition.

Yesterday also saw the appointment of the Auckland Philharmonia’s new Manager of Artistic Planning, Antony Ernst. Antony was in Auckland to become acquainted with his new position before officially beginning in late June, but he quickly found himself immersed in a minor crisis – Salvatore Accardo had cancelled; a replacement needed to be found urgently! “Being thrown in at the deep end is not really such a bad thing,” Antony said “as it gives you a focus for getting a handle on the job.”

By 4am this morning, after being up all night on the phone to Europe and the US, Antony had secured Mark Kaplan, one of the leading violinists of his generation, as the artist to perform in an all-Beethoven programme with the Auckland Philharmonia on Thursday 2 June, and from Friday 3 to Saturday 11 June, to serve on the jury of the Michael Hill International Violin Competition in Queenstown and Auckland.

Mark Kaplan’s flourishing career in Europe began in 1975 when he was asked to replace Pinchas Zukerman in a concert conducted by Lawrence Foster in Cologne. This led to engagements with the Berlin Philharmonic and the New York Philharmonic with Klaus Tennstedt which launched his international career.

He has subsequently performed in all the principal European cities and has collaborated with many of the world’s foremost conductors, among them Ormandy, Tennstedt, Maazel, Masur, Dutoit, Bychkov, Comissiona, Conlon, Foster, Rattle, Salonen, Skrowaczewski, Slatkin, Gatti and Zinman. In the United States he has played with nearly every major American orchestra including the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras, the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington DC, and the symphony orchestras of St Louis, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Dallas and Houston. He is currently Professor of Violin at UCLA in California.

Mark Kaplan's repertoire stretches from the baroque to the present day with a strong commitment to contemporary music. He is also a dedicated chamber musician.

Antony Ernst’s background includes work as a director, dramaturg, lecturer and writer with leading theatre and opera houses in his home country of Australia, and Europe. Most recently he helped manage the changeover at Sydney Symphony of existing Chief Conductor and Artistic Director Edo de Waart to his successor, Gianluigi Gelmetti.

Auckland Philharmonia Vero Premier Series + 5 Aotea Centre Concerts

Concert 6 – presented by Glenfiddich

Thursday 2 June – 8pm, Aotea Centre

Giancarlo Guerrero (conductor), Mark Kaplan (soloist)

Beethoven: Egmont Overture

Beethoven: Symphony No.2 in D

Beethoven: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D

Adult tickets from $23; concessions available (service fees apply). Phone the Ticketek Orchestra Hotline on 307 5139

Michael Hill International Violin Competition

Sat 4 to Mon 6 June, all day (Rounds I & II) – Queenstown

Wed 8 and Thu 9 June, 7pm (Round III) – Auckland

Sat 11 June, 7.30pm (finals with the Auckland Philharmonia) – Auckland

All competition rounds open to the public. Phone Ticketek Orchestra Hotline on 307 5139

The Auckland Philharmonia receives major funding from Creative New Zealand and a major grant from Auckland City.


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