Encountering young people of extraordinary talent and ability is like an intellectual infusion of new blood: we are filled with hope and energy as their talent flows through us. It is this joy and enthusiasm that we can experience every year at the Rising Stars concerts of the European Concert Hall Organisation.
The events will once again take place in the Festival Theatre and, as in previous years, the cream of European music talent will light up a weekend from Friday afternoon to Sunday evening. The organisers are continuing to build the production around the principle of change – in every sense. We will hear a German percussionist in Vanessa Porter and her compatriots the Aris String Quartet, while the young baritone James Newby and the saxophone virtuoso Jess Gillam will further the reputation of English musical culture. The oboist Cristina Gómez Godoy is the pride of Spain, and Diana Tishchenko first held a violin bow in the Crimean city of Simferopol. An outstanding musician from Hungary will also take the stage as her accompaniment on piano. This is not the first time Zoltán Fejérvári will encounter the winner of the Long–Thibaud–Crespin Competition in Paris; they have already recorded a successful album together. The programme of the evocative young musicians is captivatingly diverse: Vanessa Porter will introduce exciting new playing techniques in a series of modern works and Jess Gillam will largely play special arrangements for saxophone. As every year, Rising Stars considers it its mission to promote new music: Each musician's concert will feature a brand new contemporary composition commissioned by ECHO. In this area, too, the organisers strived for variety: The composers of the new works are just as likely to be Japanese or French as English or Spanish. Let's seek out new values! This is what Rising Stars is encouraging us to do with its wonderful concerts.