(click on photo for more information)
Program of Beethoven and Dvořák available on-demand. . .
Following acclaimed performances across Europe and America, James Feddeck concludes his 2018-19 season in Asia. . .
Feddeck returns to Germany and leads concerts in historic Weimar. . .
Feddeck returns to the Chicago Symphony to lead performances of Beethoven and Dvořák. . .
2019 continues with concerts in the United States. . .
James Feddeck discusses Dvořák and Smetana in Warsaw video interview. . .
Glasgow and Warsaw performances mark continued major European debuts. . .
Return Netherlands and U.K. performances. . .
The 2018-19 concert season continues with a return to Montréal. . .
James Feddeck returns to Brussels to begin the 2018-19 concert season with Richard Strauss’ Don Juan and Verklärte Nacht of Arnold Schoenberg. . .
A concert program called, "Hungarian Tones," commemorates the 75th anniversary of Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra. . .
Given in recognition to James Feddeck, “for his intellectual and spiritual gifts and through his music generously enriching the lives of those in America and around the world”. . .
BBC Radio 3 on-demand listening: Britten Four Sea Interludes, Dvorak Cello Concerto, Strauss Death and Transfiguration. . .
On tour with Belgian National Orchestra. . .
Orchestre National de France performance on Arte TV and available for on-demand viewing. . .
James Feddeck continues the concert season with debuts in Paris, London, Barcelona. . . .
Broadcast available for on-demand streaming . . .
Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony and Emperor Concerto with pianist Rudolf Buchbinder, available for on-demand listening. . .
In partnership with Deutschlandfunk Kultur, this CD features music of one of Germany's leading Neo-romantic musical figures, Georg Schumann . . .
On September 8, James Feddeck conducts a performance to benefit hurricane victims . . .
James Feddeck leads a five-city tour with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, a world premiere in Tasmania, and returns to the Belgian National Orchestra for Bruckner's Symphony No. 5 . . .
After a four-year stay as a staff conductor for the Cleveland Orchestra, Feddeck received the 2013 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award, and shortly thereafter began his journey as an itinerant conductor. “When people ask me ‘so what do you do for a living?’ I typically answer that I work at the airport. After all, that IS actually where I spend most of my time,” Feddeck said in a speech at the 2015 Georg Solti Foundation Gala . . .
Chicago Symphony broadcast available for on-demand listening
Click here to listen.
In March 2019, James Feddeck returned to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to conduct a program of Beethoven’s Overture to Coriolan, Beethoven’s Fifth Piano Concerto (“Emperor”) with pianist Nicholas Angelich, and Dvořák’s Seventh Symphony. These March 2019 performances mark his fourth appearance as a guest of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since his debut on the orchestra’s MusicNOW contemporary music series in September 2014.
Chicago Tribune's Howard Reich comments:
In Dvořák’s Seventh Symphony, Feddeck “found ample means for impassioned phrase-making. The sustained crescendo he built in the opening pages of the first movement foreshadowed climaxes yet to come…in the second movement, Feddeck kept pressing ever forward. The famous scherzo danced and swayed gracefully, and Feddeck presented a ruddy, animated account of the finale…”
Together with pianist Nicholas Angelich, “it was easy to admire the balance Feddeck struck between ensemble and soloist, the conductor conjuring ample orchestral sound that still yielded attention to Angelich where required.”
Taipei Symphony Orchestra
With acclaimed performances across America and Europe, James Feddeck concludes his 2018-19 concert season in Asia where he debuts with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra in Taiwan’s historic Zhongshan Hall.
On June 15, 2019, he presents a concert of Brahms’ Fourth Symphony, paired with Beethoven’s Overture to Coriolan and in collaboration with cellist Isang Enders for the Cello Concerto of Robert Schumann.
For more information, please visit: Taipei Symphony Orchestra.
TAIPEI SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
15 June 2019: Taipei, Taiwan
Ludwig van Beethoven: Overture to Coriolan, Op. 62
Robert Schumann: Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 129
Isang Enders, cello
Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98
James Feddeck returns to Germany and conducts the Staatskapelle Weimar in a program of Ravel, Bartók, and Dvořák on May 12 and 13.
The Staatskapelle Weimar is one of the historic musical institutions of Germany, whose prestigious lineage of musical leadership include Johann Sebastian Bach, Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Franz Liszt and Richard Strauss.
Ravel’s La Valse (1919-20) takes homage to the waltz of Nineteenth-century Vienna and is regarded as a metaphorical representation of Europe in the aftermath of World War I. Ravel begins with murmurs that mature into a sophisticated waltz. The dancing moves faster and faster, and ultimately it chaotically spins out-of-control to complete breakdown.
Bela Bartók’s Third Piano Concerto (1945) was written as a gift for the composer’s wife. The charming character of this concerto contains Bartók’s characteristic rhythms as well as a quotation from the third movement of Beethoven’s fifteenth string quartet, “Heiliger Dankgesang eines Genesenen an die Gottheit” (“Holy song of thanksgiving of a convalescent to the Deity”). This musical reference lends a particularly personal insight from the composer.
Feddeck concludes the program with Dvořák’s New World Symphony (1893), written while Dvořák was director of the National Conservatory of Music of the United States. Commissioned by the New York Philharmonic and premiered at Carnegie Hall, this symphony centers upon Dvořák's experience while away from his native homeland, and his fascination with American music: its folk melodies and spirituals.
For more information about these performances and the Staatskapelle Weimar, please visit: Deutsches Nationaltheater und Staatskapelle Weimar.
12-13 May 2019: Weimar, Germany
Maurice Ravel: La valse
Béla Bartók: Piano Concerto No. 3 in E Major
Vadym Kholodenko, piano
Antonín Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95 ("From the New World")
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
James Feddeck returns to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on 7, 9, and 10 March at Symphony Center's Orchestra Hall in downtown Chicago and on 8 March at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois.
These March 2019 concerts are Feddeck's fourth appearances with the Chicago Symphony. Since his debut on the orchestra’s MusicNOW contemporary music series in September 2014, he has been reinvited to the orchestra to lead performances in June 2015 and October 2015.
Feddeck conducts the CSO in a majestic program including Dvorak’s dynamic Seventh Symphony, together with Beethoven’s Overture to Coriolan: music which portrays the aggression and hubris of the Roman leader, Caius Marcius Coriolanus. Feddeck again collaborates with renowned pianist Nicholas Angelich, and presents Beethoven’s beloved Fifth Piano Concerto, “Emperor”.
Colored by turbulence, these pieces seem to be artistic resonances with the world today, where music offers a primary source of comfort and illuminative perspectives of understanding. These musical works contrast power and tenderness, strength and peace—qualities echoed in every ounce of our mutual human experiences.
For more information, please visit: Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
7, 9, 10 March 2019: Orchestra Hall, Chicago, Illinois
8 March 2019: Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois
Ludwig van Beethoven: Coriolan Overture, Op. 62
Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major, Op. 73 (“Emperor”)
Nicholas Angelich, piano
Antonín Dvořák: Symphony No. 7 in D minor, Op. 70
Oregon Symphony Orchestra
James Feddeck continues 2019 with concerts in the United States, leading the Oregon Symphony Orchestra on February 23, 24, and 25 in Portland’s Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.
The performances open with John Adams’ Doctor Atomic Symphony (2007), a concert work fashioned using material from the 2005 opera. It offers a musical reading of the events surrounding the first full-scale nuclear bomb test, “Trinity” of the 1940s-era Manhattan Project. Orchestral sonorities describe the innovation and anxiety surrounding the test, as well as depictions of historic characters, for example, the gruffly-barking General Leslie Groves (represented via the trombone) and the solemn trumpet aria—J. Robert Oppenheimer’s soliloquy recitation of John Donne’s Divine Sonnet 14, “Batter my heart, three-person’d God, for you as yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend…”.
Richard Strauss’ Death and Transfiguration (1888-89), written when the composer was 25 years old, is the main work. It chronicles the reflections of an artist, and his soul’s yearning to life eternal. The listener experiences the recollections of life from dawn until dusk: the innocence of childhood, the struggles and attainment of worldly recognition, and finally, the ultimate transfiguration of the soul.
Also on the program is Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 (1900-1901), performed with Marc-André Hamelin. This concerto was an act of self-salvation for the composer, as prior to this, Rachmaninov suffered from debilitating depression upon the poor reception of his First Symphony in 1897. The score is dedicated to his saving physician, Nikolai Vladimirovich Dahl, as a token of personal gratitude. This concerto is one of Rachmaninov’s most-loved and oft-played works, and is the backbone of Rachmaninov’s oeuvres.
For more information, please visit: Oregon Symphony Orchestra.
OREGON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: 23, 24, 25 February 2019
John Adams: Doctor Atomic Symphony
Sergei Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18
Marc-André Hamelin, piano
Richard Strauss: Tod und Verklärung, Op. 24
BBC Scottish Symphony and Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestras
2018-19 concert season continues with further major European orchestras
James Feddeck debuts with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in Glasgow on December 6 in a program of Samuel Barber, Benjamin Britten and Gustav Holst.
Both Barber's Second Essay for Orchestra (1942) and Britten's Violin Concerto (premiered 1940) are wartime works premiered in New York that fall within the shadows of emotional reflection of the Second World War. The second half of the program features Gustav Holst’s The Planets (1914-16).
The following week, he travels to Warsaw where he will lead the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra in a program including works of Smetana and Dvořák on December 14 and 15. These performances are his debut appearances in Warsaw.
For more information, please see: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra.
BBC SCOTTISH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: 6 December 2018
Samuel Barber: Second Essay for Orchestra, Op. 17
Benjamin Britten: Violin Concerto, Op. 15
James Ehnes, violin
Gustav Holst: The Planets
WARSAW PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA: 14/15 December 2018
Bedřich Smetana: Vltava ("The Moldau") from Má vlast
Philip Glass: Concerto for Saxophone Quartet and Orchestra
Signum Saxophone Quartet, soloists
Antonín Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95 ("From the New World")
Residentie and Bournemouth Orchestras
James Feddeck continues the 2018-19 season with returns in Europe to the Residentie Orkest of The Netherlands and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in England. These performances mark his third collaboration with both orchestras.
Feddeck first conducted the Residentie Orkest in 2014 at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and was immediately reinvited for concerts in 2016. This season, he conducts the orchestra in a program of Beethoven and Sibelius for the 30th-season-celebration of the Festival van Zeeuwsch-Vlaanderen on October 13 and at the Zuiderstrandtheater in The Hague on October 14.
Following memorable performances earlier this year and in 2017, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra have invited Feddeck to lead concerts in Poole and at University of Exeter on October 31 and November 1. The program will include emblematic works of Bedřich Smetana, Edvard Grieg, and Carl Nielsen.
RESIDENTIE ORKEST: 13/14 October 2018
Ludwig van Beethoven: Overture to Egmont, Op. 84
Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58
Nino Gvetadze, piano
Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 3 in C Major, Op. 52
BOURNEMOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: 31 October/1 November 2018
Bedřich Smetana: Vyšehrad ("The High Castle") from Má vlast
Edvard Grieg: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16
Saleem Ashkar, piano
Carl Nielsen: Symphony No. 4, Op. 29 ("The Inextinguishable")
Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal
James Feddeck returns to the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, following his critically-acclaimed 2017 debut, to conduct Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade and Prokofiev’s Sinfonia Concertante (together with cellist Truls Mørk) on October 2 and 3, 2018 at the Maison symphonique de Montréal.
The following article was published in anticipation of the two performances.
DISCOVER CONDUCTOR JAMES FEDDECKPublished 24 September 2018
Original publication in French | Original publication in English
An impassioned multi-instrumentalistAs a young child, New York conductor and rising star James Feddeck always believed that music would be an integral part of his life. More uncertain, however, was how he would take possession of this art. At the age of eight, he began to play the organ in a church, then went on to become a choirmaster, oboist, pianist and, finally, a conductor.
Took the plunge with WagnerComposers each present a certain degree of complexity for conductors. James Feddeck certainly did not opt for the easiest when he performed Richard Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll at the Oberlin Conservatory, his first time conducting an orchestra! But the experience confirmed what he sensed: he would become a conductor.
Following his own adviceIn a 2014 interview, Feddeck advised students to never get discouraged and to always be ready to take the stage. Surprises abound over the course of a musical career, and being well prepared allows for flexibility and responsiveness. The young conductor heeded his own advice and proved his readiness when several orchestras—including the OSM in February 2017, with whom he made a very good impression—asked him to step in at short notice for colleagues who had to bow out at the last minute.
"Musicians of his calibre are like gold dust." - The Herald
How to understand an orchestraFor James Feddeck, the most important thing about being a guest conductor is to listen. Each orchestra has a story that you have to understand, that you have to hear, because, he says, you momentarily become part of that story for a few concerts. Only then can you take an orchestra in a direction that dovetails logically with its identity. What colour will Feddeck give Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade with the OSM?
See for yourself on October 2 and 3 at the Maison symphonique.
“I think it’s my job now to open a new world of experience to [people] who maybe don’t know the symphonic repertoire. Perhaps the most exciting aspect of what I see on my path ahead is having the chance to be that force, to engage as many people as possible with music.”
– James Feddeck
Claude Debussy: Clair de lune from Suite bergamasque
Sergei Prokofiev: Sinfonia concertante, Op. 125
Truls Mørk, cello
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: Schéhérazade, Op. 35
Belgian National Orchestra
James Feddeck returns to conduct the Belgian National Orchestra at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels on September 23, 2018.
This performance marks a continued artistic partnership with the BNO since his Brussels debut in December 2016 (Bruckner Symphony No. 5), and having led the orchestra on two recently acclaimed concert tours of Germany in December 2016 and July 2017.
The concert, part of the orchestra's season titled, "Garden of Earthly Delights," features orchestral masterpieces written by composers when they were all of youthful age (23, 24, and 25 years-old, respectively), yet of mature artistic vision.
The concert begins with Arnold Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht, written when he was 25-years-old. The work's limitless soaring lyricism blends into haunting chromaticism as Schoenberg musically depicts Richard Dehmel's poem.
In the second half is the tone poem of Richard Strauss, Don Juan, written in 1888 (Strauss was 24 years-old). Its immediate success and technical virtuosity has made Don Juan one of the most often-played works in the orchestral repertoire.
Also on the program is the Sinfonia Concertante for viola and violin of Mozart, composed in 1779, when Mozart was 23-years-old. Violinist Esther Yoo, and violist Rosalind Ventris join the orchestra as soloists.
For more information, please visit: Belgian National Orchestra.
Arnold Schoenberg: Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Sinfonia concertante in E-flat Major, K. 364
Esther Yoo, violin and Rosalind Ventris, viola
Richard Strauss: Don Juan, Op. 20
Return: Copenhagen Philharmonic at Tivoli Festival
James Feddeck returns to the Copenhagen Philharmonic on August 5, 2018 for a program called “Hungarian Tones” at Tivoli Concert Hall.
The concert opens with Tzigane, Maurice Ravel’s evocative gypsy rhapsody and Pablo de Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen (“Gypsy Airs”), in collaboration with violinist Arabella Steinbacher, followed by a suite of Johannes Brahms’ colorful Hungarian Dances.
In the second half, Feddeck leads the orchestra in the five-movement Concerto for Orchestra, first penned by the celebrated Hungarian composer, Béla Bartók 75-years ago (August 1943). It was premiered the following year in the United States by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and has since remained a well-loved and popular work in the core orchestral repertoire.
For more information about the Copenhagen Philharmonic and this performance at the Tivoli Festival please visit: Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra.
Maurice Ravel: Tzigane
Arabella Steinbacher, violin
Johannes Brahms: Hungarian Dances (selections)
Pablo de Sarasate: Zigeunerweisen, Op. 20
Arabella Steinbacher, violin
Béla Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra
Sapere Aude Award
On June 15, 2018, James Feddeck received the Sapere Aude Award from Thornton-Donovan School in recognition "for his intellectual and spiritual gifts and through his music generously enriching the lives of those in America and around the world."
Now in its 118th year, Thornton-Donovan is one of New York's premier independent academies with an interdisciplinary and international educational focus devoted to cross-cultural learning, community responsibility, and global citizenship.
The phrase, Sapere Aude, (Latin for "dare to be wise"), originates from the Epistularum liber primus of Horace and was a motto later embraced by the philosopher, Immanuel Kant to express the ideals of Enlightenment.
This award is given biennially for exemplary achievement and commitment to education and culture.
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra concerts and broadcast
James Feddeck returns to the U.K. and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in a program of works by Britten, Dvorak, and Richard Strauss.
The concert is available for on-demand listening via BBC Radio 3 (click to listen).
(available until May 25, 2018)
Benjamin Britten: Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes
Antonín Dvorák: Concerto for Violoncello in B minor, Op. 104
Daniel Müller-Schott, cello
Richard Strauss: Tod und Verklärung, Op. 24
David Truslove, Classical Source
April 25, 2018
"Feddeck's reading of Richard Strauss's Tod und Verklärung (Death and Transfiguration) was mightily impressive...nobility and heroism, loves and passions and artistic pursuits before soft strokes of the tam-tam signal the moment of death. Feddeck implied all this most graphically and convincingly. After the soul's deliverance, he wondrously realised that glorious heartfelt melody suggesting the soul had met its reward. Paradise indeed."
Ian Lace, Seen and Heard International
April 26, 2018
On Tour with the Belgian National Orchestra
James Feddeck leads the Orchestre National de Belgique in Germany for concerts at Frankfurt's Alte Oper on March 24 and the Kurhaus in Wiesbaden on March 27.
These performances continue his ongoing relationship with the Belgian National Orchestra following performances of Bruckner's Fifth Symphony in Brussels and Germany last season.
The March 2018 performances feature Dvorak's Symphony No. 7, the Oberon Overture of Weber and the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with Ray Chen as soloist.
About the Belgian National Orchestra.
Orchestre National de France Performance Available on Arte Concert
James Feddeck’s Paris debut with the Orchestre National de France is available to watch on-line via ARTE TV.
This performance was recorded live at the Maison de la Radio in Paris on January 25, 2018 and features works of J.S. Bach/Webern and Sergei Rachmaninoff.
Click here to watch.
PROGRAM AVAILABLE FOR VIEWING:
Johann Sebastian Bach/Anton Webern: Ricercare (No. 2 from Musical Offering)
Sergei Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27
Paris, London, Barcelona: January and February 2018
James Feddeck continues the 2017-18 concert season with debuts in Paris, London, and Barcelona.
On January 25, he leads the Orchestre National de France at the Maison de la Radio in Paris for a concert that features Rachmaninoff's Second Symphony, Anton Webern's orchestration of J.S. Bach's Ricercare from The Musical Offering and Hindemith's Violin Concerto (1939) with Arabella Steinbacher as soloist.
This concert will be video simulcast live via ARTE TV and radio broadcast through France Musique.
The following week, February 2, 3, and 4, he conducts Elgar's treasured First Symphony and partners again with clarinettist Martin Fröst (Anders Hillborg's "Peacock tales") at Barcelona's L'Auditori with the Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona. The February 4 performance will be broadcast live via Catalunya Música/Radio Clàssica.
And on February 9, he joins the BBC Symphony Orchestra at London's Barbican Centre for a program which includes Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition and Samuel Barber's masterful First Symphony (1936). After recording with the BBC Symphony concert works of William Sterndale Bennett (1816-1875) in November 2014, Mr. Feddeck now makes his official Barbican debut with this performance.
James Feddeck and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic on BBC Radio 3
James Feddeck’s debut with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra has been featured on BBC Radio 3 and is available for on-demand Internet streaming:
Click here to listen.
(available until November 21, 2017)
This broadcast, recorded live on Thursday, 19 October, 2017 at Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall, features Gustav Holst’s The Planets with Leonard Bernstein’s suite of music composed for the 1954 Academy Award-winning film, On the Waterfront.
Specially featured on the program is Aaron Jay Kernis’ Legacy (concerto for solo horn, strings, harp and percussion) performed by Timothy Jackson (horn principal, RLPO). James Feddeck leads this European premiere, co-commissioned between the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the Grant Park Music Festival.
Leonard Bernstein: On the Waterfront
Aaron Jay Kernis: Legacy
Timothy Jackson, French Horn
Gustav Holst: The Planets
James Feddeck leads the Dallas Symphony Orchestra
James Feddeck leads the Dallas Symphony Orchestra on September 28, 30, and October 1, 2017 in a program which features Beethoven's Eroica Symphony and Emperor Concerto with pianist, Rudolf Buchbinder.
This concert is available for listening via the Dallas Symphony Orchestra website on-demand: click here and select "DSO Broadcast #2".
Scott Cantrell, Dallas Morning News, October 1, 2017
CD with Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin released
The Symphony Op. 42 and Overtures of Georg Schumann were released in August 2017: a collaboration between James Feddeck and the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin in partnership with Deutschlandfunk Kultur, the CPO record label, and the Georg Schumann Gesellschaft. It was recorded in the historic Haus des Rundfunks at Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg.
Georg Schumann (1866-1952) was an influential figure in European musical life through his work as a conductor in Danzig and Bremen, and further in his capacity as director of the renowned Sing-Akademie of Berlin. He is often considered today for his choral compositions, but his position as director at this critical cultural intersection for European musical life offered a unique vantage point to encounter the leading active musical figures: Liszt, Rubinstein, Brahms, Arthur Nikisch, Mahler, Felix Weingartner, Joseph Joachim, and Max Bruch, which influenced his work as a performer and composer.
This recording marks the first-ever to be made of the Opus 42 F minor symphony (1905). This symphony enjoyed significant endorsements from leading conductors of its day, from the premiere in Berlin with conductor Felix Weingartner, touring performances in Europe, and to prominent attention in the United States including Boston and New York.
It is the intention of this recording to offer a renewed visibility to this symphony and its composer.
The album is completed with two of Georg Schumann's charming character overtures, the Overture to a Drama, Opus 45 and the "Lebensfreude" Overture, Opus 54.
For more information: Georg Schumann Gesellschaft, Berlin.
James Feddeck leads benefit concert for the American Red Cross with musicians of the Cleveland Orchestra and others
James Feddeck will conduct a benefit concert on Friday, 8 September, the aim of which is to raise funds for the American Red Cross' work in support of those affected by the devastating hurricanes this month. Musicians of the Cleveland Orchestra will be joined by students from Cleveland Institute of Music, Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Credo Music. All musicians involved are donating their time.
Summer 2017: New Zealand/Tasmania and Germany Concert Tours
In June 2017, James Feddeck begins a five-city concert tour with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in a Brahms/Barber program which also features the Schumann Cello Concerto played by Daniel Müller-Schott. The tour which spans two weeks includes five cities: Hamilton, Auckland, Wellington, Blenheim, and Christchurch.
Following the Christchurch performance, he travels to Hobart, Tasmania for the world premiere of Maria Grenfell's Spirals with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. This new work for solo clarinet, bassoon and orchestra (performed by Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra principal players, Andrew Seymour and Tahnee van Herk), was conceived as a companion piece to Richard Strauss' Duett-Concertino, also performed on this program. These clarinet-bassoon centerpieces are framed by Schubert's Unfinished Symphony and Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring Suite.
In July, he tours with the Belgian National Orchestra in Wiesbaden, Germany to perform Bruckner's Symphony No. 5 (this follows their acclaimed Brussels performance in December 2016) and in March 2018, their performances continue in the German cities of Mannheim, Regensburg, Essen, and Frankfurt.
James Feddeck Talks of the Joys, Challenges of Guest Conducting at Solti Foundation Gala
“How would you like to go to Helsinki?”
Not the words one expects to hear while sitting in a dentist chair. But for James Feddeck, it’s all part of the job.
“When people ask me ‘so what do you do for a living?’ I typically answer that I work at the airport. After all, that IS actually where I spend most of my time,” Feddeck said in a speech at the 2015 Georg Solti Foundation Gala.
He clarified he is grateful for the opportunities, even if it does mean crazy hours and short-notice trips to Finland.
When his manager asked him about Helsinki, it was just four hours before he was to board the plane. He finished up with the dentist, packed his bags and was leading a rehearsal of Rachmaninoff’s Third Symphony in front of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra the next morning.
Such phone calls, paired with an extensive repertoire of conducting under his belt, have resulted in Feddeck leading world-renown ensembles in San Fransisco, Chicago, Vancouver, and Berlin. And that’s just scratching the surface.
After a four-year stay as a staff conductor for the Cleveland Orchestra, Feddeck received the 2013 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award, and shortly thereafter began his journey as an itinerant conductor. And while it’s not been a traditional path, it’s certainly been fruitful, even as it presents unique challenges that in-house conductors don’t face.
“Under the best of circumstances the chemistry ‘just works’ between conductor and his orchestra … and those moments are the most cherished for musicians, conductor, and audience alike,” Feddeck explains. As a staff conductor, he had weeks to establish that chemistry. Now he has days, even hours. But the reviews reveal that his ability to connect with the players is impeccable.
“The CSO players gave Feddeck everything he asked for, and then some.” John von Rhein of the Chicago Tribune said recently of Feddeck’s Chicago Symphony Orchestra subscription debut.
Marc Shulgold of Classical Voice America called him first-rate, saying, “he is a talent to watch. The future seems bright.”
2016 looks like more of the same. Feddeck begins the year with appearances with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Sacramento Philharmonic, then travels to France, the Canary Islands, Canada and Germany to lead the Orchestre National de Lyon, Orquestra Sinfonica de Tenerife, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the Deutsches-Symphonie Orchester Berlin, respectively.
Feddeck says the award he received from the Solti Foundation US gave him the stability and support he needed to launch this phase of his career.
Feddeck’s 2016 schedule is already bursting at the seams. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t prepared to answer his phone and hear, “You know Bruckner 8, don’t you?”
That’s exactly what his manager asked, which lead to another exciting 2015 debut. “Next week the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra would like you to take over the three performances.”
That’s part of the excitement of Feddeck’s work. The adrenaline isn’t only when he first steps in front of a new ensemble, or on the first downbeat in a new concert hall. It’s on the other side of that phone call, where a new adventure could be waiting.
Reprinted by kind permission of the Solti Foundation U.S. Original publication.