Gergely Madaras replaced Zubin Mehta on 22 June at the prestigious Maggio Musicale Festival in Florence. This special occasion was also his succesful debut with the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. Mehta – who was compelled to step back due to illness – lead the orchestra between 1985 and 2017, but still remains its honorary conductor.
The concert programme included Speaking Drums by Peter Eötvös, a piece for solo percussion and orchestra, which uniquely combines speech and its rythm based on texts by Hungarian poet Sándor Weöres and Sanskrit poet Jayadeva, calling the solo percussionist – this time, Simone Rubino – to dialogue with the orchestral instruments. The second part of the concert was dedicated to Franz Schubert’s Ninth (or The Great) Symphony, which is a musical jewel among the oeuvres of Schubert – a complex and large symphony written in 1828 but only performed publicly after the death of the composer.
Madaras has maintained a professional relationship with Eötvös for several years now, with such Eötvös pieces on his repertoire like DoReMi and The Gliding of the Eagle in the Skies. In August, they will be working together on Stockhausen’s Inori with the Orchestra of the Lucerne Festival Academy, to be performed at the Philharmonie Paris on 14 September.
Photo credit: Marco Borggreve