“The Golden Twenties”: Marie Jacquot conducts the Karajan Academy
16 Feb 2021
Online festival: The Golden Twenties
Scholars of the Karajan Academy
Suite for Orchestra No. 3, op. 26 “Kuhle Wampe” (10 min.)
Concerto for Violin and Wind Orchestra, op. 12 (27 min.)
Kolja Blacher violin
Symphony No. 2 (29 min.)
Kolja Blacher in conversation with Oliver Hilmes (8 min.)
Marie Jacquot in conversation with Oliver Hilmes (7 min.)
Creative crises were more or less unknown to Kurt Weill, so his multifaceted oeuvre is impressive, both qualitatively and quantitatively. The list of works of purely instrumental compositions remained short only because Weill concentrated almost exclusively on music theatre in his later Berlin period and then again in American exile. The 1925 Concerto for Violin and Wind Orchestra and the Second Symphony, partly written in exile and premiered in Amsterdam under the direction of Bruno Walter, already represent the composer’s last contributions to absolute music. Both works are on this programme with conductor Marie Jacqot and the scholarship holders of the Karajan Academy. The soloist is Kolja Blacher, who was first concertmaster of the Philharmoniker between 1993 and 1999.
When the previously close and productive partnership with Kurt Weill began to dissolve at the end of the 1920s, Hanns Eisler gradually took the place of Berthold Brecht’s most important musical collaborator. Brecht was involved as a scriptwriter in the early sound film Kuhle Wampe oder: Wem gehört die Welt?, set in the world of the working-classes, with music composed by Eisler. In view of the economic crisis depicted in the film, the score forgoes all despair and sentimentality and uses rhythmic energy to bolster the political awakening evoked by Brecht. The Third Suite of the music from the film performed in this concert ends with an instrumental version of the famous Solidarity Song.
The young French conductor Marie Jacquot has been First Kapellmeister at Deutsche Oper am Rhein since the 2019/20 season, where in addition to opera performances – including Samson et Dalila, Hansel and Gretel, Roméo et Juliette and La traviata – she also conducts the concerts of the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker and the Duisburger Philharmoniker. In recent years, she has also made guest appearances with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln, the Malmö Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne. She has a closer collaboration with the Bayerische Staatsoper: for example, she conducted the world premiere of Die Vorübergehenden by Nikolaus Brass at the 2018 Munich Opera Festival. In 2016, she assisted Kirill Petrenko in the world premiere of South Pole by Miroslav Srnka. From 2016 to 2019, Marie Jacquot was First Kapellmeister and deputy general music director at the Mainfranken Theater Würzburg; there she conducted new productions of Nabucco and Il barbiere di Siviglia, among others.
Marie Jacquot studied trombone in Paris and conducting in Vienna and Weimar. A scholarship holder of the “Dirigentenforum”, the German funding programme for conductors, she has also attended numerous master classes.
Kolja Blacher grew up in Berlin and went to New York’s Juilliard School at the age of 15 to study under Dorothy DeLay. He then completed his training under Sándor Végh in Salzburg. From 1993 to 1999, he was first concertmaster of the Berliner Philharmoniker before deciding to pursue a career as a soloist. His repertoire ranges from works for solo violin and the great concertos of the Romantic and Classical repertoire for his instrument to contemporary pieces, for example by Hans Werner Henze, Bernd Alois Zimmermann and Magnus Lindberg. He performs worldwide with leading orchestras such as the Oslo, Munich and London Philharmonic Orchestras, the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig and the Orchestra di Santa Cecilia in Rome. Kolja Blacher has worked with conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Alan Gilbert, Mariss Jansons, Vladimir Jurowski and Kirill Petrenko. In recent years, the artist has increasingly cultivated his passion for “play-lead”-concerts in which he leads the orchestra from the concertmaster’s desk. He has performed in this form with the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Festival Strings Lucerne, the Camerata Bern, the Dresdner Philharmoniker and the Orchestra of the Komische Oper Berlin.
As a professor of violin, Kolja Blacher taught for many years at the Hamburg University of Music and Theatre; since 2009, he has taught at the Academy of Music Hanns Eisler Berlin.