Rising young stars come together for Hallé concert

Classical pianist David Kadouch
Classical pianist David Kadouch
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AS both conductor and soloist at this Saturday’s Hallé concert in the Sheffield International Concert Season at the City Hall are reluctant to give interviews, here is what we know about them.

As at the superb City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra concert a couple of weeks ago, both are young, in fact younger, as neither has yet reached his 30th birthday with Robin Ticciati having being born in 1983 and David Kadouch in 1985.

Conductor Robin Ticciati

Conductor Robin Ticciati

London-born conductor Ticciati, if not quite the red hot property that Andris Nelsons who was here a fortnight ago is, looks as if he may well be, given his achievements and the acclaim he has received so far. He is certainly hot!

Of Italian ancestry, in his formative years he studied piano, violin (his older brother is a professional violinist) and percussion.

He was also a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and it was a Henry Wood Prom concert with them, conducted by Colin Davis, that prompted him to take up conducting at the age of 15 without any formal training.

Sir Colin was to become one of his mentors (Simon Rattle is the other!), which almost certainly has something to do with Ticciati’s apparent fondness for Berlioz so far, given the older conductor’s lifelong espousement of the composer.

Indeed, Saturday’s concert opens with the Frenchman’s jolly overture to his opera Beatrice and Benedict after Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

After reading music at Cambridge University, Ticciati’s first conducting post was as chief conductor of the Gävle Symphony Orchestra in Sweden from January 2006, a position that lasted until May 2009.

In the meantime he had become music director of Glyndebourne (opera) on Tour in 2007, this tenure running through to the end of 2009 by which time he had just moved in as principal conductor of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

The appointment was spearheaded by popular demand from orchestra itself after its members took to him after he had guest conducted them in 2008. An initial three-year contract from the 2009-10 season was soon extended through to the 2014-15 season.

Effective from the present season, 2010-11, he has become principal guest conductor of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, again on an initial three-year contract.

But it is when you look at his activity away from fixed appointments that you begin to realise the scope of a very short career so far.

Among others, he has pending return engagements to conduct the Filarmonica della Scala (the Milan opera house’s symphony orchestra), Leipzig Gewandhaus and Los Angeles Philharmonic, while debuts include the Vienna Symphony, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Philadelphia and Cleveland orchestras.

He debuted at the Salzburg Festival in 2006 conducting Mozart’s Il Sogno di Scipione and returns this year for the composer’s Marriage of Figaro with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment – next up in the International Concert Season in a fortnight’s time!

Having conducted the Glyndebourne Festival’s Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, in the Sussex opera house and Henry Wood Proms last year, he returns this summer for Figaro again and Don Giovanni.

His Royal Opera House debut was in 2009 and future opera house debuts include La Scala, Milan and the New York Metropolitan.

The profile of French pianist David Kadouch is not as high, although he comes with an impeccable pedigree and many rave notices to his name. Born in December 1985 in Nice, he began studying at his hometown conservatory and, aged 13, was invited by Itzhak Perlman to play at Carnegie Hall in New York.

At 14, he began studying with Dimitri Bashkirov in Madrid and was invited to play at the Tchaikovsky Academy in Moscow.

2005 was a busy year with another invitation, this one from Daniel Barenboim to take part in Barenboim on Beethoven, which has been issued on DVD, being named best pianist in the International Summer Academy Mozarteum in Salzburg; and taking third prize in the International Beethoven Competition in Bonn.

To go by reviews of subsequent concerts in Bonn leading from the competition, he should have won it hands down!

His CV can cite masterclasses with, as well as Barenboim, the likes of Maurizio Pollini and Murray Perahia, while it may mention fourth place in the last Leeds Piano Competition in 2009 which saw its first female winner, Sofya Gulyak, who appears with the Hallé in Sheffield on June 3.

As a chamber musician, Kadouch performs with among others, France’s two leading string quartets, the Ebène, who Music in the Round audiences will remember from last year, and the Ardeu with whom he has recorded Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet and solo, the 24 Preludes Op 34.

This Saturday it is Ravel, his Piano Concerto in G, written when jazz was all the rage in Paris in 1920s, which is reflected in the work’s outer movements.

As one commentator has remarked, it is the piano concerto Gershwin tried to write twice, bringing to mind the often-related story of the American composer going to Ravel and asking him for lessons.

Ravel asked him how much he earned in a year and upon being told responded with: “It is I who should be taking lessons from you.”