The Wiener Concert-Verein (WCV) ranks, without doubt, among the most prestigious European music ensembles. From its home venue, the Wiener Musikverein (Vienna’s splendid concert hall), the WCV has established itself as a leading chamber orchestra, performing with the world’s most accomplished soloists and conductors.
The orchestra’s name originated in 1900 during the period of Viennese Modernism — when the Austrian capital was at the centre of the avant-garde movement in literature, philosophy and music. Over the years, the orchestra has developed a true dedication not only to the music of the Viennese Classical Period (the mid-18th to mid-19th centuries), but also to the music of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Tonight’s programme reflects this commitment. Joined by international violin star Vadim Repin, the orchestra will play pieces by Mozart and influential works by Tchaikovsky and Saint-Saëns. The idea of artistic reflection, so important later on for the Vienna Secession, will be felt in Dvořáks gracious Serenade which rounds off this unique evening of music and artistic experience.
Mischa Damev, conductor
Vadim Repin, violin
W.A. Mozart: Divertimento in D Major K. 136
P.I. Tchaikovsky: ‘Méditation’ from Souvenir d'un Lieu Cher op. 42, (arr. for violin and strings)
P.I. Tchaikovsky: Valse-Scherzo op. 34, (arr. for violin and strings)
P.I. Tchaikovsky: ‘Lensky's Aria’ from Eugene Onegin, (arr. for violin and strings)
C. Saint-Saëns: ‘Introduction & Rondo Capriccioso’ op. 28, (arr. for violin and string orchestra)
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 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 at 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 for the Nutcracker competition, on thepanel 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 the 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.
Vadim Repin was born in Siberia in 1971 and won all the categories of the Wienawski competition at the age of 11. His debuts in Moscow and St Petersburg followed immediately, and at the age of 14 he made his debuts in Tokyo, Munich, Berlin and Helsinki, and one year later at Carnegie Hall in New York, USA. At 17 he was the youngest-ever winner of the Reine Elisabeth Concours. Since then, he has performed with the world's most acclaimed orchestras and conductors and in all the major music centres.
Repin has recorded the great Russian violin concertos by Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky for Warner Classics. For Deutsche Grammophon, he recorded the Beethoven Violin Concerto and the Kreutzer Sonata, with fellow soloist Martha Argerich and the Vienna Philharmonic and Riccardo Muti, as well as the Brahms Violin Concerto and Double Concerto (with Truls Mørk on cello) with the Gewandhaus Orchestra and Riccardo Chailly. Deutsche Grammophon's recordings of trios of Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov with Mischa Maisky and Lang Lang won the Echo Prize, and a CD of sonatas by Grieg, Janacek and César Franck with Nikolai Lugansky won the BBC Music Award.
In 2010, Repin was awarded the highest French distinction, the Victoire d'Honneur and the title of Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres for his services to music. In Beijing he was appointed Honorary Professor of the Central Conservatory of Music in 2014 and in 2015, the Shanghai Conservatory also awarded him this title. In April 2014 he became founder and Artistic Director of the annual Transsiberian Arts Festival, which continues to be enthusiastically received in the magnificent new concert hall of Novosibirsk as well as at venues in Russia, Japan, Israel, Vienna, the USA and France. The festival has given world premieres of the violin concerti dedicated to him: Voices of Violin by Benjamin Yussupov, De Profundis by Lera Auerbach and, in 2018, the violin concert Dialogue: You and I by Sofia Gubaidulina, also commissioned by and dedicated to Repin.
The festival has succeeded in setting priorities for young musicians — music education plays an important role in Repin’s life — and he has given a series of masterclasses for young violinists at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg, and was a juror at the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in London and the Brussels Concours
On a European tour with the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, Repin played the world premiere and numerous first performances of the double concerto Shadow Walker by Mark-Anthony Turnage, together with Daniel Hope. Other recent highlights are performances of the programme Pas de Deux together with the internationally renowned ballerina Svetlana Zakharova in Hong Kong, Muscat, Japan and Korea; concerts at the Enescu Festival Bucharest, in Verbier and at the Montreal Festival, with the RAI Torino Orchestra; performances of the new violin concerto by Gubaidulina in Vienna with the RSO and Andres Mustonen; and in Leipzig a soon to be released CD on Deutsche Grammophon with the Gewandhaus Orchestra under Andris Nelsons.
Most recently, Repin premiered Arvo Pärt’s revised version of La Sindone to which the composer — marking his 85th year — added a solo violin part with Repin in mind.
Repin plays the 1733 'Rode' violin by Antonio Stradivari.