Monday, 6 March 2017

Looking ahead: Usedom Music Festival celebrates Niels Gade

Niels Gade
Niels Gade
This year's Usedom Music Festival, which takes place on the island of Usedom in the Baltic, will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Danish composer Niels Gade and the festival continues the Danish theme with the Danish String Quartet as Ensemble in Residence.

Niels Gade was born in Copenhagen in 1817, and though relatively unknown today his Symphony No. 4, Op.20 was one of the most played works worldwide in the years 1850 to 1890. Gade was assistant conductor to the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra whilst Mendelssohn was chief conductor. On Mendelssohn's death, Gade took over as chief conductor but had to return to Denmark in 1848 when war broke out between Prussia and Denmark.

The festival's opening concert will feature music by Gade and by his friend Mendelssohn (performed by the Danish String Quartet and the choir of North German Broadcasting (NDR), whilst cellist David Geringas and friends will celebrate the friendship between Gade and Brahms. The sisters Esther and Lea Birringer (piano and violin) will perform music by Gade and by his pupil, Carl Nielsen. The festival's final concert with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, conductor Andris Poga, will feature Gade's opus 1, his Ouverture "Nachklänge von Ossian".There will also be performances from Ostseephilharmonie Gdansk, the cellist Andreas Brantelid, and the Baltic Sea Philharmonic under the baton of Kristjan Järvi.

The festival runs from 23 September to 14 October 2017, full details from the festival website.

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