For its second evening in Abu Dhabi, the Wiener Concert-Verein (WCV) will again offer music from the Viennese Classical Period and of the late 19th century.
Playing for the first time in the region, the WCV, Vienna’s leading chamber music ensemble, will perform one of the most popular classical music pieces ever written: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, (A Little Night Music). The serenade, composed in 1787, represents the very art of the Viennese Classical Period. While its artistic quality reaches unprecedented perfection, it is at the same time intended to be music for everyone, known to everyone, and has brought millions of fans together over the centuries.
The orchestra will be joined on this special night by the young Russian piano virtuoso Dmitry Shishkin to perform Chopin’s splendid first piano concerto (Piano Concerto No. 1). Premiered in Warsaw just before the November uprising in 1830, Chopin’s piece builds a perfect link to the third piece of the evening, Grieg’s Holberg Suite. Both compositions represent different aspects of the Romantic period.
The Vienna Concert Verein (known as WCV) is an orchestra of international stature. It was founded in 1987 by members of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra (VSO), and bears the VSO’s original name. Its repertoire ranges from orchestral works of the Viennese Classical composers to contemporary music. Since its inception the WCV has given successful world premiere performances of more than 100 works by contemporary Austrian composers, notably in a high profile series at Vienna’s famous Musikverein.
Since its acclaimed debut in 1987, WCV has toured throughout Asia, Canada and the United States of America. It is a welcome guest at music festivals in Europe such as the Bregenz Festival, the Menuhin Festival Gstaad, the Dubrovnik Festival, the Mozart Festival Würzburg, the Oldenburger Promenade Concerts, the Mozart@Augsburg Festival, the Prague Autumn, the Ljubljana Festival, the Haydn Festival Eisenstadt, International Santorin Music Festival, the European Weeks Festival Passau and venues such as the Festival Hall Baden-Baden, the Cologne Philharmonic, the Megaron Hall Athens, the Dubai Opera House, IS Sanat Hall Istanbul, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Zagreb’s Lisinski Hall, the Great Hall of the Tchaikovsky Conservatoire Mosow and the Berlin Philharmonic.
WCV has worked with internationally acclaimed conductors and soloists such as Vladimir Fedoseyev, Claus Peter Flor, Leopold Hager, James Judd, Fabio Luisi, Andres Orozco-Estrada, Krzysztof Penderecki, Kristiina Poska, Ildiko Raimondi, Ulf Schirmer, Giedrė Šlekytė, Martin Sieghart, Andreas Ottensamer, Alison Balsom, Giuliano Carmignola, Mischa Maisky, Julian Rachlin, Radovan Vlatkovic, Christopher Park, Olga Scheps, Lorenzo Viotti, James Judd, Thomas Rösner, Benjamin Schmid, Vadim Repin, Kian Soltani, Emmanuel Tjeknavorian, Richard Galliano and Renaud Capuçon.
The WCV's CD releases are a tangible result of the duality in the orchestra's programming, highlighting the connections between classical and contemporary music.
WCV's Michael Haydn recording was nominated for the Amadeus Classic Award, competing with recordings by the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras. This CD also features music by Leopold Mozart, Reinhard Süss and Jean Françaix.
The WCV is subsidised by the City of Vienna, the Office of the Federal Chancellor of Austria, the Austrian Interpreters Association (OESTIG) and the Austrian Authors, Artists and Music Publishers Association (AKM). The WCV has been awarded prizes by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation on four occasions.
Multi-talented Mischa Damev is of Franco-Bulgarian descent, and was born in 1963 in Sofia, Bulgaria. He received his first music lessons from his grandfather, Michael Lefterov, a famous Bulgarian conductor. When he was 10 his family moved to Switzerland. In 1986 he completed his piano studies at the Musikhochschule in Basel and gained a soloist diploma. Then he studied with Alexis Weissenberg in Paris, France, and Nikita Magaloff in Geneva, Switzerland.
Between 1990 and 1999 he was artistic director of the Orpheum International Festival for Young Soloists in Zurich, Switzerland. Between 1992 and 2007 he led the Swiss Lilienberg recital series and the Lilienberg Foundation Art & Culture Division. In 2000 he was appointed Trustee of the London International Master Prize Competition for Contemporary Symphonic Music.
In 1991, on the advice of his mentor, Mariss Jansons, Damev switched careers from being a concert pianist to study conducting intensively in Vienna with the legendary Professor Karl Österreicher. After his successful debut with the Orchestra of the Bulgarian National Radio and the Opera House in Sofia, he spent several years working as assistant to Georges Prêtre and Vladimir Fedoseyev.
Damev has conducted extensively in Europe with orchestras such as the Orchestra del Teatro San Carlo di Napoli, Orchestra Sinfonica Giuseppe Verdi di Milano, Orchestra della Fondazione Arturo Toscanini, the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, the Slovenian Philharmonic Ljubljana, Bulgarian National Orchestra, the Tonkünstler Orchestra Vienna, Scala di Milano, Orchestra di Santa Cecilia di Roma, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Prague Philharmonia and the Münchner Rundfunk Orchestra, among others, always with great success.
Damev has been privileged to be a guest conductor with the great orchestras of Russia, such as the Moscow Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, under the special invitation of Vladimir Fedoseyev; the Russian National Orchestra, under the special invitation of Mikhail Pletnev; and the Mariinsky Symphony Orchestra, under the special invitation of Valery Gergiev.
In the 2004–05 season he shared the podium with Georges Prêtre in the productions of Carmen at Santa Cecilia in Rome and Pelleas and Melisande at La Scala di Milano, in Italy. Since 2006, Damev and composer Jon Lord (of the rock group Deep Purple) have enjoyed a close cooperation on many European stages. Since 2011, Damev has also conducted in China on a regular basis.
In the 2016–17 season, Damev conducted in Russia, as mentioned above, and was specially invited to the Sao Paulo Opera Theatre in Brazil. In July 2016, he conducted Mozart’s Don Giovanni at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg. He also made his first appearance with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, London, in 2016.
In November 2016, Damev completed a very successful tour of China with the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra Moscow performing all six symphonies in the major Chinese cities. He has recently completed another tour in China with the China Philharmonic Orchestra, specially invited by Long Yu.
During the 2017–18 season, Damev returned to the Mariinsky Orchestra in St Petersburg on several occasions including a concert at the White Night Festival in which he appeared in previous years. He also conducted the orchestra in Vladivostok and Vladikavkaz. In the same season, he was invited to conduct the BBC Symphony Orchestra in London.
In October 2018, Damev was invited by the Rachmaninoff Festival to conduct the Russian National Orchestra at the new concert hall Zaryadye in Moscow, together with the soloist Konstanin Lifschitz. He was again invited to perform with the Mariinsky Orchestra in St Petersburg at their annual organ festival. In December 2018, Damev was part of the jury at the Nutcracker competition where he was on the panel of the Schelkunchik piano competition for young musicians. He conducted the final concert which was transmitted live by the Russian TV Channel Cultura.
In the 2019–20 season, he returned to Russia to conduct programmes with the Mariinsky Orchestra and the Russian National Orchestra, with soloists such as Sergey Dogadin and Konstantin Lifschitz. Highlights of that season were his concert with the Hungarian National Symphony Orchestra and programme with the pianist Louis Schwitzgebel at the Liszt Akademie in Budapest.
Damev also continues his work as the intendant of the renowned international symphonic concert series Migros-Kulturprozent-Classics and as artistic director of the festival Septembre Musical Montreux-Vevey.
“More notable than the limpid clarity of this passagework is the subtly imaginative pointing to his phrasing - something that bodes well for a life beyond familiar repertoire.” Gramophone
"Dmitry is a flamboyant pianist, of great musical honesty and rigor. We have awarded musicians that we have come to know and who have proven to be complete and brilliant in other repertoires. " Tribune de Geneve
“Dmitry is a serious and dedicated pianist: high professionalism combined with natural musical subtlety and artistry.” Evgeny Kissin
“Dmitry delivered an electrifying interpretation” Le temps
Dmitry Shishkin is a critically acclaimed Russian pianist who has been highlighted for both his creative and individual approach to music, as well as his brilliant piano skills by the international press. “In his playing we can hear both excellence and playfulness.” He was awarded a silver medal in June 2019 at the prestigious 16th International Tchaikovsky Competition and won the first place prize in November 2018 at the 73rd Geneva International Music Competition where he performed with Orchestre de la Suisse Romande.
Born in Chelyabinsk, Siberia, Dmitry demonstrated an exceptional talent for the piano at a very young age. He performed his first recital at the age of three and orchestra concert at the age of six. He then entered the prestigious Gnessin Moscow School of Music for gifted children (class of Mikhail Khokhlov) at the age of nine and then attended the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory (class of Eliso Virsaladze). He has also studied in Sicily at the “Vincenzo Bellini” State Conservatory in Catania with Epifanio Comis, and in Hannover at Musikhochschule with Arie Vardi.
From a young age, Dmitry has won many competitions, and received numerous awards and scholarships from Russia and abroad. He is a prize winner of such renowned competitions as Busoni in Bolzano (third place prize in 2013); Rio de Janeiro (second place prize in 2014); Chopin in Warsaw (sixth place prize in 2015); Queen Elisabeth in Brussels (finalist in 2016); and the first place prize winner of the Top of the World Competition in Tromsø (2017).
Dmitry currently resides in Switzerland, but performs around the world. Most notably, he has collaborated with the Mariinsky Theatre (conductor: Valery Gergiev); State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia “Svetlanov Orchestra”; Russian National Orchestra (conductor: Mikhail Pletnev); Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra (conductor: Vladimir Fedoseev); Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra; National Orchestra of Belgium (conductor: Marin Alsop); Staatskapelle Weimar; Orchestre de la Suisse Romande; and Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. Dmitry’s concert schedule additionally includes festival performances; notably Dubrovnik Summer Festival, Bergen Music Festival, Chopin and his European Festival, and Brescia Bergamo Music Festival.