Rhapsody in Blue

Sunday, April 22, 2018
Kolarac Foundation Hall at 8 pm





Leonard Bernstein:
On the Town, Three Dance Episodes


Bob Mintzer:
Rhythm of the Americas, for saxophone quartet and orchestra




George Gershwin:
Rhapsody in Blue, for piano and orchestra

Porgy and Bess, symphonic picture


In cooperation with NOMUS Festival and with the support of the Goethe Institute


“Regardless if their music is ear-piercing, sharp, or painful, the audience seems to sink into its streams completely. Playing sometimes powerful and fast, sometimes gentle and slow, but always with certainty, firmly, and memorably the artists show impressively on their saxophones the usual “classical” potentials of these instruments, although they are even more impressive in convincing revealing of the notes one would never have thought possible to produce. At the same time, they achieve a perfect homogeneity of the quartet sound, providing to their playing, which goes on in a special mood, the attributes of an unforgettable event and rare listening experience.”
These were the impressions, translated freely, published in the German Magazine Rhein Main Presse in September 2010 on the occasion of one of the concerts held by the Signum Saxophone Quartet, which connects four different sound and artistic characters in a unique performing body. In addition to huge dynamic range and extraordinary musicality, these four exceptional musicians are also known after the exciting joy of creation, which singles out this ensemble among many other excellent chamber formations.
Being colleagues from their students’ days, Blaž Kemperle (soprano saxophone), Erik Nestler (alto saxophone), Alan Lužar (tenor saxophone) and Guerino Bellarosa met in Cologne where they founded their rare ensemble in 2006. Their education links them also with Vienna and Amsterdam, and from the very beginning they have been inspired by the Quatuor Ébène, Artemis Quartet and Gabor Takács-Nágy. The award-winning at international competitions amongst others in Lugano, Berlin, and Verona (first prize in the chamber music category at Torneo International Competition, 2011), the Signum Quartet nowadays plays in numerous major concert halls and at festivals all over Europe. In 2013, they made their debut in the Carnegie Hall in New York. The Rising Stars 2014/2015 recognition awarded to them by the European Concert Hall Organisation (ECHO) is of special significance. The concert map of Signum that has been spreading via France, Holland, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia, Lithuania, and Montenegro all up to Thailand and Russia, including the above-mentioned renowned festival events, last year encompassed the concerts in London (Barbican Centre), Vienna (Konzerthaus), Amsterdam (Concertgebouw), Brussels (Palais des Beaux Arts), Florence (Teatro della Pergola), Lisbon (Gulbenkian), Baden-Baden, Luxembourg, Hamburg, Dortmund, Cologne, and Schleswig Holstein. This season it continues with new concerts in the Barbican Centre, Grand Philharmonic Hall in St. Petersburg, in Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, then again in Luxembourg, Salzburg, Zürich, Bern, Bremen, Dresden, Japan, and the debut at the Arts Center in Seoul and at Novi Sad Music Festivities. Searching constantly for new contacts the ambitious saxophonists have worked with Folkert Uhde in a production of Bach’s Art of Fugue as well as with several interesting artists with whom they extended their ensemble. They were the cellist Mario Brunello, Mathias Bartolomey, and Harriet Krijgh, a young Lithuanian accordion player Martynas, and pianists Michail Liftis, and Julien Quentin. The co-operation with diverse orchestras yielded with the idea on premiere performing of the Concerto for Orchestra and Sax Quartet by Philip Glass in Genova and Vilnius this year.
Since recently, the Signum Quartet has been involved in music theatre for children and teenagers, creating their first own theatre show titled Stand by me – the Signum sound experience directed by Letizia Renzini, a kind of visual concert for families with children (8+), about sound, imagination and friendship. A successful premiere produced by Philhamonie Luxembourg and Kölner Philharmonie was held in Luxembourg in January this year. The first CD of the Quartet titled DEBUT featuring the works by Grieg, Ravel, Bartók and Schostakowitsch was released in May 2011 under the ARS Produktion label. The second CD titled Balkanication was released in December 2014. The third one is expected to be released this year.


Born in Zagreb on March 2nd 1973, Matija started playing classic piano at the age of five. After he finished Music high school “Vatroslav Lisinski” in 1991, he went to Graz to Jazz Academy where he graduated in 1997 under prof. Harald Neuwirth and took private lessons with J. Taylor in Cologne, Hal Galper, Bill Dobins and Barry Harris. In July 2002 Matija performed on the Montreux Jazz Festival in France as one of the 11 finalists that were chosen from more than 400 pianists around the world.
Since he was raised in the family surrounded by pop and traditional musicians, he began to listen to all kinds of music very early, soon discovering jazz and finding that it allows him abstract and more personal musical point of view. After returning to Zagreb in 1997 he begins to play more often, and his work is recognized in and out of Croatia. During those years he played with his own band Boliers Quartet, with whom he supported the likes of B. Golson, K. Burell, R. Haynes, J. Feliciano and All Stars Band. Meanwhile he also had a chance to play in in Tamara Obrovac Quartet. Over the years he played in Italy, Germany, Slovakia, England, Brazil, Belgium, Turkey, Spain, Austria, Slovenia, Serbia, FYR of Macedonia, France, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Hungary, Greece, Morocco, USA, Czech Republic, Bosnia, Montenegro, Argentina, Portugal with names like Alvin Queen, Martin Drew, Boško Petrović, Marc Murphy Band, Gianni Basso, Miles Griffith, Tomi Emanuel, Lenny White, Kendrick Scott, Jim Madison, Jeff Ballard, Vicente Archer, Buster Wiliams, L.arry Grenadier, N.H.O. Pedersen, Bojan Z, John Hollenback etc.
He writes music for television and theatre, and also occasionally performs with some big pop names on Croatian music scene. Croatian authors’ society awarded him for the album “Octopussy” as the best author and best jazz newcomer in the last 10 years!


A regular guest conductor with the London Symphony Orchestra and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Redmond holds concerts and he works with many of the leading British and European orchestras. In his homeland he has given concerts with the Philharmonia, and BBC Concert, as well as with philharmonic orchestras from Hallé, Liverpool, and Ulster, and National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and Sinfonia Viva orchestra. He has been co-operating for years with the Manchester Camerata, and in 2006 was appointed the principal conductor of the Cambridge Philharmonic. Abroad, Redmond has appeared with the Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini, Concerto Budapest, in Finland he is frequently conducting the Oulu Sinfonia. He has conducted the Sarajevo Philharmonic, Macedonian Philharmonic, Maribor Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, and Wexford Festival Orchestra in Ireland. Timothy Redmond is well-known and appreciated as a conductor of contemporary music, in particular the works by Thomas Adès with whom he co-operated closely for the premiere of his The Tempest (Covent Garden), as well as critically-acclaimed productions of musical-stage piece Powder Her Face (prepared for the English National Opera, Royal Opera House and Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg). Recently, he gave the Hungarian premiere of Totentanz and assisted the composer for the New York premiere of The Tempest at the Metropolitan Opera.
Timothy Redmond is also highly demanded opera conductor in England (Opera North, English National Opera, English Touring Opera, Almeida Opera) and abroad. Among others he prepared and conducted the world premiere of Peter Ash’s The Golden Ticket for Opera Theatre of St Louis which he also performed in Europe at the Wexford Festival.
As theatre artist, Redmond is also present in Bregenz, at Tenerife and in Los Angeles, as well as in the American Lyric Theater in New York, festivals at the Buxton and Aldeburgh, and he is also a member of music management at De Vlaamse Opera in Antwerp, and opera houses in Strasbourg, Garsington and Glyndebourne. Timothy Redmond made numerous recordings for Warner Classics, Harmonia Mundi, EMI and CDs with the Royal Northern Sinfonia. Recently, among other accomplishments he celebrated successful premieres of works by Edward Rushton and Peter Maxwell Davies (with the London Symphony Orchestra), his debut in China, and the open air concert (at the Trafalgar Square) that was attended by 10,000 people. This season, in addition to regular concerts with „his” permanent orchestras, he is expected at a debut concert in Canada, Romania and Italy. The artist also plans to conduct concert performances of Bartok’s’ Bluebeard’s Castle in Cambridge, as well as new opera performances in Aldeburgh and in Independent Opera at Sadler’s Wells Theatre. Redmond was a prominent student at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester University and the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, as well as the student at master classes held by great conductors such as George Hurst, Ilya Musin, Yan Pascal Tortelier and Pierre Boulez and an assistant to Elgar Howarth, Valery Gergiev and Sir Colin Davis.
Recently, he was appointed Professor of Conducting at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.


Continuing the tradition of Vojvodina Symphonists, the orchestra has been performing since 2011 as Vojvodina Symphony Orchestra, organised on “staggione” ensemble principle. Until now, the orchestra has given around 100 concerts and achieved a significant level of music playing and good interpretation standards. Vojvodina Symphonists always attracted a large audience to their concerts in the Synagogue and Serbian National Theatre in Novi Sad, whose acclamations were showing that their expectations related to the quality of symphony sound, performing discipline, assurance, and balanced playing were not betrayed. Insisting on diversity of classical, and sometimes of a wider repertoire in terms of genre (in particular when it comes to more popular, so-called Gala New Year’s concerts), the orchestra has shown itself the best until now in the late-Romanticism pieces of symphony and concert literature, capturing the audience with its rich sound, wide dynamic scale and rich cantilenas, and it has also proven itself as an excellent orchestra through interpretations of 20th century pieces, as well as pieces of contemporary national authors.
Within the previous period, the orchestra has performed successfully more than seventy premiere programmes with participation of internationally recognised national and foreign conductors. Among renowned guest artists of international musical scene that the orchestra has co-operated with it is important to mention the maestros such as Saulius Sondeckis, Marco Parisotto, Mats Liljefors, Marcus Poschner, Ligia Amadio, Phillip Pickett, Francesco la Vecchia, Bundit Ungrangasee, Mladen Tarbuk, and attractive soloists such as Valery Oistrakh, Martin Kofler, Sreten Krstić, Cyprien Katsaris, Aleksandar Madžar, Rita Kinka, Jasminka Stančul, Nemanja Radulović, Roman Simović, Xavier Phillips, Jean-Marc Phillips Varjabedian, Nicolas Altstaedt, Maja Bogdanović, piano duet of Sanja and Lidija Bizjak, Stefan Milenković, Aniello Desiderio, Ratimir Martinović, Aleksandar Tasić, Ksenija Janković and many other exceptional music performers. According to the expert critics, as well as the involved guest-conductors and soloists, Vojvodina Symphony Orchestra has reached a high level of interpretation of a respectable professional ensemble at a national level and as such, it participates regularly at Novi Sad Music Festivities.
In July 2014, Vojvodina Symphonists entered the international “waters” for the first time and they presented themselves at the 60th Split Summer and 65th Dubrovnik Summer Festival. Finally, the latest recognition to our ensemble came from the Magazine Musica Classica whose jury awarded it the Orchestra of the Year Prize for 2014 for its successful work. In November 2015, the Orchestra had its first acclaimed performance in the great hall of the Kolarac Endowment Hall in Belgrade and in October 2016 at Belgrade Music Festival (BEMUS) in that same hall.

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