Music George Gershwin
Conductor and pianist Wayne Marshall
Giuseppe Verdi Symphony Orchestra of Milan
Gershwin in Hollywood
- Rhapsody in Blue for piano and orchestra
- I Got Rhythm Variations for piano and orchestra
- Overture to Girl Crazy
- An American In Paris
Conductor, pianist, and organist Wayne Marshall is one of today’s most versatile and creative musicians. Born in England into a family of Caribbean origins, he attracted favorable attention at the start of his career mainly as a talented organist. A significant milestone in his career was his participation as pianist in the renowned production of Porgy and Bess at the Glyndebourne Festival Opera under the baton of Simon Rattle, which led to the work subsequently being recorded under the EMI label and a television version of the musical. Since then he has increasingly concentrated on playing the piano and conducting orchestras to become, in but a few short years, one of the most acclaimed interpreters of music by Gershwin, Ellington, and Bernstein, as well as of other twentieth-century American composers. As pianist and conductor he has performed with all the major British orchestras as well as with world-renowned ensembles, including the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Belgium National Orchestra, the NDR Symphony Orchestra, the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Berlin Philharmonic to name but a few.
He made his Italian debut in 1998 as conductor at La Fenice theatre in Venice, and his visits to Italy have increased significantly over the past few years as a regular guest artist with Italy’s main orchestras: from the RAI in Turin, to the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence, the San Carlo Teatro in Naples, Palermo’s Teatro Massimo, the Cherubini Orchestra, and the Rome Academy of Santa Cecilia to his appointment as lead guest conductor with the Giuseppe Verdi Symphony Orchestra in Milan.
He debuted at La Scala in Milan in 2001.
For the 2008/2009 season, he performed for the first time with the Arturo Toscanini Philharmonic in Parma and the Opera Theatre in Cagliari. He then performed in Bologna, Milan, and Rome and finally he conducted the Christmas Concert from Assisi for the second time with the RAI National Symphony Orchestra which was broadcast on the Italian state television network RAI Uno.
In the season that has just ended, he took part in new productions of Porgy and Bess in Dallas and at the Paris Opéra Comique as well as conducting concerts in Sydney, Baltimore, Beijing, and London. In June he will return, as he does every year, to Vienna, and in July he will embark on a grand tour to Venezuela with Gustavo Dudamel’s Youth Orchestra.
Wayne Marshall is an outstanding interpreter of musicals, a genre to which he increasingly devotes more time. He has conducted West Side Story on numerous occasions and, in 2000, he debuted in Vienna with Wonderful Town which he performed again in 2007 at Rome’s Santa Cecilia Academy to rapturous public and critical acclaim.
Organist-in-residence since 1996 at Bridgewater Hall with its magnificent Marcussen organ, Marshall continues to perform as an organist. In 2004, he inaugurated the organ at the Disney Hall in Los Angeles with a new composition for organ and orchestra by James MacMillan, A Scotch Bestiary, which he then also played at the 2005 BBC Promenade concerts.
He has recorded for the Virgin/EMI label, winning many major European awards and, in 2004, was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Bornemouth.
Giuseppe Verdi Symphony Orchestra of Milan
The Giuseppe Verdi Symphony Orchestra of Milan, founded in 1993 by Vladimir Delman, has in a few short years established itself as one of Italy’s most important symphony orchestras, presenting a repertoire which ranges from Bach to the main composers of nineteenth- and twentieth-century symphonic music. Every year, the Orchestra’s calendar includes over thirty symphonic concerts with a repertoire that finds classics alongside lesser known series, as well as other seasonal programs, such as the key educational project “Crescendo in Musica” (Growing in Music) for schoolchildren. Riccardo Chailly filled the role of musical director from 1999 to 2005 and is today the Orchestra’s Conductor Laureate. Beginning with the 2008/2009 season, Vladimir Fedoseyev is the Principal Conductor, with Wayne Marshall and Helmuth Rilling as Principal Guest Conductors. Beginning in the 2006/2007 season, Maestro Rudolf Barshai, who has a long-standing relationship with the orchestra, has been the Conductor Emeritus—a role which, until his passing, was filled by Carlo Maria Giulini. Horn player Radovan Vlatkovic and pianist Simone Pedroni have been the resident artists since the 2007/2008 season.
Several recurring appointments mark the musical journey of the Verdi orchestra: the complete cycle of Mahler’s Symphonies, the annual performances of Bach’s grand Passions around Easter time, and the New Year Concert with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.
Alongside the traditional symphonic season concerts, the 2008/2009 season will include a series of twentieth-century music, compile by Maria Colombo.
Among others, the orchestra has been conducted by Riccardo Chailly, Georges Prêtre, Riccardo Muti, Valery Gergiev, Rudolf Barshai, Claus Peter Flor, Christopher Hogwood, Helmuth Rilling, Peter Maag, Marko Letonja, Daniele Gatti, Roberto Abbado, Ivor Bolton, Kazushi Ono, Vladimir Jurowski, Yakov Kreizberg, Ulf Schirmer, Eiji Oue, Herbert Blomstedt, Krzysztof Penderecki, Leonard Slatkin, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Wayne Marshall, and Sir Neville Marriner.
The orchestra has collaborated with such soloists as Martha Argerich, Mstislav Rostropovic, Vadim Repin, Lynn Harrell, Viktoria Mullova, Han-Na Chang, Sarah Chang, Midori, Alexander Kobrin, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Nelson Freire, Salvatore Accardo, Mario Brunello, Alexander Toradze, Hilary Hahn, Radovan Vlatkovic, Enrico Dindo, Domenico Nordio, Yefim Bronfman, and Massimo Quarta.
In addition to the rich symphonic season at its theatre in Milan, the Orchestra is often invited to celebrated halls throughout Italy and abroad.
On April 24, 2008 the Verdi Orchestra and Choir performed in the Sala Nervi at the Vatican under the direction of Oleg Caetani, in the presence of Pope Benedict XVI and the President of the Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano, in a concert offered by the President to celebrate the third anniversary of Benedict’s Pontificate.
The Orchestra and Choir were invited to Baku, Azerbaijan, for the second Mstislav Rostropovich International Festival on December 12-13, 2008. Directed by the Maestro Eugene Kohn, they performed Verdi’s Requiem Mass for soloists, choir, and orchestra, also taking part in the Gala Opera "World Stars,” presenting arias from the operas of Verdi, Puccini, Mascagni, and Bizet.
As it was in 2002, the Verdi Orchestra is again the resident orchestra at the Spoleto Festival dei Due Mondi for this 52nd edition.