May 11 & 12, 2018
Concert Time: 8:00 pm
Mendelssohn – Overture "Ruy Blas"
Bernstein – Serenade after Plato’s Symposium
Mahler – Symphony No. 1 “Titan”
Giordano Bellincampi and the TSO’s own Merwin Siu celebrate Leonard Bernstein’s centennial with his Serenade, a dialogue of love inspired by Plato’s Symposium. The TSO concludes its season with Gustav Mahler’s First Symphony, a masterpiece that takes listeners from the mystic awakening of nature to an exhilarating heart-stopping finale.
Giordano Bellincampi is the Music Director of the Auckland Philharmonia and Chief Conductor of the Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra. Born in Italy and moving to Copenhagen at a young age, he began his career as a trombonist with the Royal Danish Orchestra before making his professional conducting debut in 1994.
Previously, he was the Principal Conductor of I Pomeriggi Musicali, Milan, General Music Director of the Duisburg Philharmonic from 2012-2017, General Music Director of the Danish National Opera, Aarhus from 2005–2013, Music Director of the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra from 2000–2006, and between 1997 – 2000, he was also Chief Conductor of the Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen, the leading contemporary ensemble in Denmark.
Bellincampi enjoys regular relationships as a guest with many orchestras around the world, particularly in Scandinavia and Europe, including the Royal Stockholm, Rotterdam, and Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestras and the St. Petersburg Symphony, and in North America, Asia, and Australia.
He also has excelled in the field of opera since making his debut with the Royal Opera in Copenhagen with “La Boheme” in 2000. He has since then conducted many of the great Italian works at the Royal Opera with particular focus on Puccini and Verdi, including leading its acclaimed new production of “Aida” at the opening of its new theater in 2005.
He also maintains close connections with many of the world’s leading opera singers, including Angela Gheorghiu, Joseph Calleja, and Roberto Alagna, regularly working with them in orchestral galas and recitals, as well as being a much-requested accompanist by leading instrumentalists such as Sarah Chang and Angela Hewitt.
Bellincampi’s extensive discography includes numerous recordings for the Da Capo and Marco Polo labels of Danish composers from the classical era through to the present day, including Holmboe, Lumbye, Joachim Andersen, Per Norgard, and the premiere recording of Weyse’s opera ‘Sovedrikken’, as well as Italian opera arias with Liping Zhang and the Prague Philharmonia, and Nielsen’s Thirds Symphony for EMI Classics, and works by Svendsen and Walton. His first recording with the Duisburg Philharmonic, featuring Nielsen’s Violin Concerto with soloist Kolja Blacher, was released in 2016.
As Associate Professor at the Royal Danish Academy, Bellincampi is dedicated to the work of educating coming generations of orchestra musicians and conductors. He also regularly gives master classes and serves as a jury member for a number of international conducting competitions.
In 2010 he was created a Knight of the Order of the Dannebrog, an award bestowed by the Danish Royal Family for services to Danish culture. He also holds the title of Cavaliere from the President of Italy for his international promotion of Italian music.
Merwin Siu holds the David W. Robinson Chair as the Toledo Symphony’s Principal Second Violin, and also serves as the TSO’s Artistic Administrator.
Merwin has made numerous solo appearances with the TSO, specializing in twentieth and twenty-first century compositions. His Classics Series appearances include the North American premiere of Fazil Say’s 1001 Nights in a Harem, Karl Amadeus Hartmann’s Concerto funèbre, and a conductor-less presentation of Piazzolla’s Four Seasons in Buenos Aires and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons alongside concertmaster Kirk Toth. Other recent highlights include works by Alban Berg, Chen Yi, John Corigliano, Keith Jarrett, DBR, and Bright Sheng.
Along with his programmatic work at the TSO, Merwin enjoys creating festival experiences for Toledo audiences. With his counterpart at the Toledo Museum of Art, Scott Boberg, Merwin has implemented an annual summer festival, beginning with a marathon performance of the Shostakovich String Quartets in 2015. This was followed by a twenty-four hour Bach Around the Clock Festival in 2016 and the celebration of Lou Harrison’s centennial in 2017. Merwin is a regular guest on performing arts series throughout the Midwest both as a recitalist and as a member of two chamber groups: the Bezonian Piano Trio and the Zin String Quartet.
An enthusiastic teacher, Merwin works with students at the University of Toledo, the Toledo Symphony School of Music, and his private studio. He frequently coaches local ensembles and orchestras and adjudicates regional and statewide events. His commitment to music education has led to workshops or master-classes at Bowling Green State University, Earlham College, Indiana University Wesleyan, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Miami University, numerous Toledo-area high schools and local non-profit groups. Fans of the TSO may also recognize Merwin as the presenter of the Classics Series pre-concert conversations, and as a regular participant on Toledo SymphonyLab, the TSO’s weekly podcast on WGTE FM 91.3.
Merwin holds a Masters in Music from Indiana University and degrees in English and Music from Montreal’s McGill University. He lives in Ottawa Hills with his wife, Kimberly, and their sons Kai and Matthias.
Watch a performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 1 "Titan."
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