Conductor: Irwin Hoffman Soloist: Deborah Hoffman – harp Verdi: La Forza del Destino – overture Ginastera: Harp Concerto, op. 25 Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique, op. 14 The MAV Symphony Orchestra was formed in 1945 immediately after World War 2 and has played a major role in Hungary’s music life ever since. It performs frequently abroad and was the only Hungarian ensemble to accompany the legendary “3 Tenors”, for a concert in Tokyo in January 1999. The orchestra has been a regular guest at the Palace of Arts ever since the initial testing phase of the building with its “Master Series” which invites many leading musicians to perform with them. Irwin Hoffmann from America became world famous when he was music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra before Sir Georg Solti took over, and he remained also a resident conductor alongside Solti. In 2005 he first conducted the MAV Symphony Orchestra and it was such a success that he has been invited back. Berlioz’s Symphony Fantastique is a great challenge for both orchestra and conductor, with its evocation of a secretive fantasy world and its miraculous sound colours. Presenting the Harp Concerto by Alberto Ginastera (1916–1983) is a true musical highlight. The Argentinean composer was a contemporary of Astor Piazzolla and followed the same traditions as his famous colleague: the fusion of Argentinean tango tradition and its unique sonority with the sound of 20th century music. The guest soloist is the American “first lady” of the harp, Deborah Hoffman. She won a number of international competitions and since 1986 has been the solo harpist of the Metropolitan Opera. As a soloist she has toured the whole of America and also appeared with many major European orchestras. Besides being an active performer, she is also a professor at the Manhattan School of Music.
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