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Private Concert in City Park - Letter to the Editor

We received the following letter to the editor about the atmosphere which the young artists and teachers of the Sulzbach-Rosenberg International Music Festival created in our city.

Over the last few weeks, Sulzbach-Rosenberg was filled with music, piping, plucking and trumpeting from many windows. As resident of this town who normally travels by foot, I loved it.

Even the trombonists' practice sessions in the city park in my neighborhood were a pleasure for the ears; I played in a trombone choir myself for many years. On Friday, once more, a trombonist showed up under the dome of the pavilion and began to practice his scales and arpeggios dutifully. After a while, a young woman and a young man joined him and began to play "Amazing Grace" - improvising with beautiful solemnity (and excellent embouchure).

A little later, the two young men discovered the echo which calls back across the pond there. And now, the rehearsal became a lively game of call and response, virtuosic, at the highest level of improvisation, and very exciting for all those who overheard. Unfortunately, the workers from the city were also busy at a neighboring construction site making a frightful din.

Still later (by this point, the first trombonist must have been there for three hours), another handful of brass-players arrived, who brought a conductor with them. Then came the most wonderful treat of all: the Radetzsky March sounded out – played with great liveliness, ability and joy in the music and their own playing.

I had started cooking in the meantime, but I left my bratwurst in the pan and ran out into the garden to enjoy this once in a lifetime experience with all my senses: a whole combo of excited musicians, in t-shirts instead of suits, their conductor almost dancing in front of horns, and I wasn't certain that there wasn't a bit of improvisation going on here, too. In any case, it was simply beautiful – a little compensation for the loud nights and weekends that our fellow citizens sometimes provide us in the city park, and especially under the pavilion.

My heartfelt thanks goes out to the organizers and their aids, who make this amazing music possible for me and all us in our city every year.

trombone letter
  • Sulzbach-Rosenberg. The presenters of SRIMF-Concerts (Sulzbach-Rosenberg International Music Festival) have come up with something new this year. An opera offering - namely "The Coronation of Poppea", by Claudio Monteverdi. The roles were performed by singers from Stetson University Opera Theatre and West Chester University Opera Workshop.

    All young singers, with only a week of rehearsal, but with infinitely more dedication and passion, threw themselves into one of the earliest extant operas. With verve, the members of the orchestra played the continuo convincingly with harpsichord, 'cellos, violins, violas, oboes and bassoon. They evoked sounds, with surety and beauty, in the auditorium of State Vocational School on Wednesday evening. Under the artistic direction of Stephen Ng (music) and Russell Franks (director) they delivered with their ensemble a masterpiece!

    Was there a need for scenery like the throne room of Nero, Poppea's garden or the villa of Seneca? For the Sulzbach performance, the confidence of the actors' successful singing paired with their dazzling acting abilities alone was enough.

    With youthful freshness they present the ancient story: The Praetor Otho loves Poppea but she loves the Emperor Nero. Poppea shrewdly leaves her past behind and won't allow anything to halt her quest: to ascend the throne. Including Seneca, the philosopher! After his execution, nothing stands in the way of her coronation!

    Monteverdi not only describes the lives and loves of high society. He also allows their pages and nurses to have their say. To be precise, it's the gods of Olympus pulling the strings. All for love! And so begins the story: The goddesses of fate argue who has greater power over mankind...

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  • Cellist Misha Quint

    The Sulzbach-Rosenberg International Music Festival takes off with a concert by founder and cellist Misha Quint.

    Sulzbach-Rosenberg. Once more, music will fill the city for two weeks. SRIMF, the Sulzbach-Rosenberg International Music Festival, has planned seven concerts, open to music-lovers throughout the region. The opening concert was given, as is tradition, by cellist and festival founder Misha Quint and pianist Svetlana Gorokhovich. The auditorium of the Professional School was almost too small to contain the many people who wanted to hear this renowned duo.

    The duo began the evening with a sonata by Jean-Baptiste Bréval, which allowed the concert-goers to 'arrive.' Then, wild dynamism marked their interpretation of Richard Strauss's "Cello Sonata in F Major." From the first note, the musicians let loose a concussive storm, a suffering soul crying out in pain. The audience listened spellbound and, in the short pause before the second movement, could be heard audibly to exhale.

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  • Sulzbach-Rosenberg Orchestra Concert

    The Sulzbach-Rosenberg International Music Festival (SRIMF) says goodbye with a powerful orchestral sound.

    The international music festival with the almost unpronounceable (but easily decipherable) abbreviation "SRIMF" has been an enrichment to the Upper Palatinate for almost a decade. We can thank the initiative of Christl Pelikan-Geismann and Misha Quint for the swarms of talented musicians who flock to the city each July as dependably as the pilgrims for Annabergfest.

    King of Cello Quint

    More than anything else, however, Misha Quint is a true cellist who performs the highlights of the cello repertoire as effortlessly as if pulling them out of a hat. Following up his recital a few days ago (without horn accompaniment), he performed Dvorák's Cello Concerto in B minor at the final concert from memory with great aplomb and technical mastery, as energetic and powerful as it was touching and lyrical. Quint's noble, vibrant tone spoke for itself, in the more soloistically accompanied passages and the solo cadenzas.

  • Orchestra Music Festival

    It was another grand finale for this year's SRIMF days. In the fully packed Christuskirche, all of the young participants could be heard in the symphony orchestra, ornamented with high caliber solo performances. Surely, we do the soloists no injustice if we first celebrate the quality, disciple and musical ability of the young musicians and of their conductor, Andrzej Grabiec, who, along with these engaged young people, put such a gargantuan program together in only a short time. The young musicians helped him in this task splendidly, under the leadership of concertmistress Maithena Girault.

    But first our host at the Christuskirche, Deacon Karlhermann Schötz, greeted his guests in fluent English as well as German, thanking the organizers, particularly Christl Pelikan-Geismann, without whom the SRIMF would not exist. Schötz called on his audience especially to remember those in war zones. "While we enjoy this special music tonight, let us not forget those who suffer from war, discrimination and forced displacement."

    At the beginning, in "Mozartian orchestration," they played his overture to "Il re pastorale." Here the conductor demonstrated the extent of his faith in his young musician. After conducting two beats, he let the musicians play alone. And this they did, with remarkable discipline and concentration, making the opening number, with it nimble violin work and cleverly contrasting dynamics, into quite an experience.

    Dvorák's famous cello concerto followed with Misha Quint as the soloist. From the first note, the now full symphonic orchestra conveyed the emotional substance of the music with an intense string sound, clean horns and a soloist, who, in rapturous melodic swells, gave the work shape with passion and power. In the beautiful second movement, which began with a chorale of winds and developed in broad, mysterious pattens, Misha Quint reveled in the extended lyric passages with excellent flute section. And, in the final movement with the (too) big brass sound, the concertmistress had an impressive solo as well, before the work came to an end with a brilliant chordal finish.

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  • trombone students

    The first student concert of the SRIMF takes new paths – in the footsteps of the masters

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    Sulzbach-Rosenberg (aks). In English, they sometimes call horns 'winds.' The expression is a fitting one: the trumpeters, flutists and bassoonists who came this year for the first time to the Sulzbach-Rosenberg International Music Festival (SRIMF) blew a fresh wind into the first student concert, stoking the excitement of music-lovers of the ducal city in a most entertaining way.

    The uncommon combinations alone – trombone/piano, bassoon/piano, trumpet quartets and even a trombone septet – would have been more than enough to awaken passions in the Town Hall in new musical directions.

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Articles 2014

See us in the news! Reviews of our concerts and articles about what's going on in New York, Italy, and Germany 2014. Click on the articles to read the English translations, and look at the originals.

Articles 2013

See us in the news! Reviews of our concerts and articles about what's going on in New York, Italy, and Germany 2013. Click on the articles to read the English translations, and look at the originals.