Two New Orchestral Albums With Miguel Harth-Bedoya Highlight Artistic Partnerships With Composer Jimmy López And Pianist Vadym Kholodenko
On August 14, 2015, Harmonia Mundi launches the release of two recordings featuring Grammy®-nominated and Emmy Award-winning conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya leading the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, where he has served as Chief Conductor since 2013. The first album is a world premiere recording of works by composer, and fellow Peruvian, Jimmy López, whose music Harth-Bedoya has championed for nearly two decades. The second album features Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor and Saint-Saëns's Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, in collaboration with Van Cliburn Gold Medalist Vadym Kholodenko. Mr. Harth-Bedoya, who is also Music Director of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, named Mr. Kholodenko the first artistic partner at the FWSO for a three-year residency in 2014. Both recordings highlight the close artistic partnerships that Mr. Harth-Bedoya has forged and nurtured with these young artists.
The collaboration between Miguel Harth-Bedoya and composer Jimmy López (b. 1978) began when the conductor met the composer as a teenager while conducting the Lima Philharmonic Orchestra in Peru. The conductor says, “I have enjoyed watching Jimmy López develop from a young talent into a mature and versatile composer. I admire his wide aesthetic range, which can tap into folk songs and culture in a work like Perú Negro, or could be completely abstract in a piece like Synesthésie. Jimmy's scope is reflective of one who has lived, worked, and traveled in many countries but also remains connected to his own cultural roots. His potential is unlimited.”
The orchestral disc features four of López’s orchestral scores: Perú Negro (2012), América Salvaje (2006), Lord of the Air (2012) [a cello concerto dedicated to its soloist, Jesús Castro-Balbi], and Synesthésie (2011). The composer writes, “Perú Negro and América Salvaje are firmly rooted in Peruvian folk music, making use of its instruments, rhythms and melodies. Lord of the Air, although inspired by the Andean condor, roams free from those musical attachments and constitutes a more direct look into my own harmonic and melodic language. Synesthésie, on the other hand, is an exercise in creativity inspired by the human senses and the subtle artistry of the French masters of orchestration.”
Mr. Harth-Bedoya commissioned Perú Negro (2012) for the 2012-2013 centennial season of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. He also recorded a previous disc of López’s music with the FWSO and continues to champion Mr. López’s music around the world, having conducted the composer’s works nine times in 2014, six times in 2013, and will conduct his works two more times in the upcoming 2015-2016 season. Mr. Harth-Bedoya also brought the composer’s music to the attention of soprano Renée Fleming, who ultimately selected Mr. López to compose a new opera for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Bel Canto, which will have its premiere in December, 2015.
The pairing of titan piano concertos by Grieg and Saint-Saëns on this album follows pianist Vadym Kholodenko’s critically-acclaimed Van Cliburn Gold Medal recital disc on harmoniam Mundi in 2013, featuring works by Stravinsky and Liszt. Throughout the Fourteenth Van Cliburn Piano Competition, Miguel Harth-Bedoya followed the progress of Kholodenko very carefully. “When I heard Vadym perform at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2013, I knew I was witnessing something extraordinary. Vadym's musicianship continues to inspire me. He has a marvelous ability to maneuver through a wide range of repertoire with excellence and mastery. He is truly a world-class pianist,” Mr. Harth-Bedoya says.
FUTURE PROJECTS: Kholodenko and Harth-Bedoya are recording the complete piano concertos of Sergei Prokofiev for Harmonia Mundi, planned for release in 2016 and 2017, and will collaborate in several performances, including repeat performances of the complete Prokofiev concerto cycle, with orchestras in the US and Europe in the 2015-2016 season.