Conductor

Gérard Korsten


Principal Conductor, Symphonieorchester Vorarlberg-Bregenz


A renowned Mozartian, Gérard Korsten is highly regarded for his distinguished performances of Classical repertoire and Italian opera. Former Concertmaster of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, his exceptionally high artistic standards and particular knowledge of the ensemble as well as expertise in achieving distinct orchestral colours are recognized among orchestras and opera houses worldwide.

He works with Opéra national de Lyon, Deutsche Oper Berlin, La Scala Milan, Glyndebourne Opera, Bregenz Festival, Hungarian State Opera, Budapest Festival Orchestra, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, London Mozart Players, Leipzig Gewandhaus, BBC Scottish Symphony, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony and the Hong Kong Philharmonic.

 

Gérard Korsten returns to the Bregenzer Festspiele

31 Jul 2014

Gérard Korsten returns to the Bregenzer Festspiele this month to conduct the Vorarlberg Symphony Orchestra in opera and concerts. The double bill of Stravinsky’s Le Rossignol, based on...

Gérard Korsten tours China with the London Mozart Players

12 May 2014

Gérard Korsten embarks on a tour of China with the London Mozart Players on May 19th, performing in Wuhan, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing. The all-Mozart programme includes Symphony No. 38,...

Gérard Korsten returns to Gävle Symfoniorkester

02 May 2014

Gérard Korsten returns to Sweden to conduct the Gävle Symfoniorkester at the Gävle Konserthus on Friday May 9th. The programme includes Farrenc Overture No. 2, Schumann Symphony No.2 and the...

Gérard Korsten conducts London Mozart Players’ 25th Anniversary Concert

20 Mar 2014

In the presence of HRH Earl of Wessex, London Mozart Players’ patron, Gérard Korsten conducts a celebratory concert for the 25th Anniversary of LMP as resident orchestra at Fairfield...

Gérard Korsten’s debut at Hungarian State Opera with Don Pasquale

22 Jan 2014

Gérard Korsten makes his debut on 18th January with six performance of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale at Hungarian State Opera, Budapest.

Further performance are on 21,  23,  ...

Gérard Korsten makes his debut at Deutsche Oper Berlin with La Traviata

09 Oct 2013

Making his debut at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Gérard Korsten conducts six performances of Verdi’s tragic opera La Traviata from 20th October.  Götz Friedrich’s production has Dinara Alieva...

Gérard Korsten returns to the Swedish Chamber Orchestra and embarks on his final season as Music Director of London Mozart Players

24 Sep 2013

Gérard Korsten returns to perform two concerts with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra at Orebro  next week with a programme of Jörgen Dafgard’s Symphony No 1, two Haydn works, his  Scena de...

Gérard Korsten conducts Camerata Salzburg at the “Schubert in Gastein Festival”

27 Aug 2013

Returning to conduct Camerata Salzburg, Gérard Korsten performs two important concerts with the orchestra in the cultural festival "Schubert in Gastein", a tribute to Franz Schubert’s close...

Gérard Korsten celebrates Polish music at the Bregenz Festival with Symphonieorchester Vorarlberg

13 Aug 2013

Gérard Korsten continues a tradition of showcasing Polish music at the prestigious Bregenz festival this week. Last night with the Symphonieorchester Vorarlberg he celebrated the centenary of the...

Gérard Korsten returns to Freiburg and visits South Africa

10 Jun 2013

Gérard Korsten has returned to Freiburg this week to conduct SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg.  He conducted a programme of Satie’s Jack in the Box and...

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“The orchestra’s Music Director Gérard Korsten has the swerve and pounce of a fencer on the podium, and the orchestra’s sound was similarly swift on its feet. But all this fleetness and gruff humour wasn’t at the expense of the music’s grandeur. Korsten seized hold of the climax towards the end of the 1st movement, where the harmony shoots dizzyingly upwards, and made sure we felt its amazing originality.”

The Telegraph, Ivan Hewitt (Beethoven Symphony No. 2, London Mozart Players) - May 2014

“Because the acoustics allowed no wayward tempos, due to the sensitive conducting of Gérard Korsten and a small cast of six first and second violins and a cello section, miracle sounds were heard.”

Salzburger Nachrichten (Camerata Salzburg, Schubert in Gastein Festival) - Sep 2013

“Gérard Korsten‘s energetic and risky conducting carries away musicians and audiences alike, however, providing a safe haven simultaneously. Under such care, the orchestra presents itself unleashed in the final movement of the symphony.”

Vorarlberger Nachrichten (Martinu Symphony No 4 , Symphonieorchester Vorarlberg Bregenz) - Aug 2013

“The Musikkollegium was masterfully up to the difficulties of the piece (Xavier Dayer’s new work “Le temps entre deux minuits”) since the conductor Gérard Korsten led the orchestra in a very inspired and confident way.”

Landbote (Musikkollegium Winterthur) - Nov 2012

“It was amazing with how much commitment the Musikkollegium Winterthur performed Xavier Dayer’s latest work for the first time under the direction of Gérard Korsten. The sound of the strings especially was glowing in many nuances, rarely to be heard in Frank Martin’s late “Polyptyque” for solo violin and two small string orchestras.”

Neue Zürcher Zeitung (Musikkollegium Winterthur) - Nov 2012

“A highly refreshing ‘Hommage à Mozart’, historically informed and the conductor motivated the orchestra in giving a pleasing, fluent and studied interpretation which examined every minor tonality and every rhythmic playfulness.”

Wiesbadener Kurier (Hesse State Orchestra Wiesbaden) - Nov 2012

“The South African born and student of Sandor Vegh, Gerard Korsten, led his orchestra to a new musical peak of achievement through the performance of Bruckner’s Fourth. They provided a brilliant ending to the traditional Sunday afternoon matinee concerts with Detlev-Glanert-glamour and Anton-Bruckner-power.”

Vorarlberger Nachrichten (Vorarlberg Symphoniorchester Bregenz) - Aug 2012

“In the pit, Gérard Korsten’s conducting electrified the musicians at the Opera de Lyon”

Le Progrès (La Vie Parisienne at Opéra de Lyon ) Dec 2011 - Feb 2012

“The very lively conducting of Gérard Korsten brings in its wake, a top rate cast...Three hours of pleasure and an irreplaceable interpretation”

Diapason D'Or Award Le Nozze di Figaro (La Scala, 2006) Arthaus DVD - Jan 2012

“The impression of hyped-up energy was even more pronounced in the Beethoven symphony, where, in fairness, rhythmic drive is everything. Here the agile strings, alert woodwinds and pointed brass made a fully responsive team, with Korsten tapping the primal energies that make this masterpiece so exhilarating, no matter how many times one has heard it.  ”

The Chicago Tribune (Irish Chamber Orchestra US Tour) - Oct 2011

“Gerard Korsten showed an approach to the classical repertoire that was tight and urgent. The Eroica was driven with fire and energy.”

Irish Times (Irish Chamber Orchestra) - Sep 2009

“Maestro Gérard Korsten's conducting was brilliant, and the orchestra kept the tempi necessary to never let fun and verve move into the background.”

Arti e Spettacoli (La Fille du Régiment, Teatro Verdi, Trieste) - May 2009

“His truth-seeking mission closely reflects the aims of the production, revealing a high level of textural detail and musical-emotional characterisation. No single phrase is simply allowed to slip by, yet the overall effect remains visceral.”

The Stage (Così fan tutte, Glyndebourne Festival Opera) - Oct 2006

“The performance is beautifully held together by conductor Gérard Korsten, who brings a forward impetus to the music whenever he can, lingers on the lovely, melodic moments, and makes certain that Schubert's masterful orchestration is clear.”

Classics Today (Schubert: Alfonso und Estrella CD, Dynamic) - Aug 2004

“So we've got every right to be proud of our orchestra, this time performing under Principal Conductor Gérard Korsten, who directed with a steady hand but also with intense passion and sensitivity to the nuances of the music.”

Vorarlberger Nachrichten (Janecek, Szymanowski, Ravel) - Aug 2009

“At least there’s good news at the London Mozart Players - or there will be when the music director-designate, Gerard Korsten, gets stuck in next season. His concert at Croydon's Fairfield Halls last weekend was a statement of intent, and right from the start of Dvorak's Serenade for Strings he showed that he will be working the orchestra hard. No detail was overlooked..., as the South Africa-born conductor brought tautness and intensity to Dvorak's bracing tunes.”

The Telegraph - May 2010

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Gérard Korsten is Principal Conductor of the Symphonieorchester Vorarlberg Bregenz. Born in South Africa, he began his career as a violinist after studying with Ivan Galamian at the Curtis Institute and with Sándor Végh in Salzburg. Following his studies in the US and Europe he became Concertmaster and Assistant Music Director of the Camerata Salzburg and later Concertmaster of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe from 1987-1996.

Korsten held positions of Principal Conductor of the State Theatre in Pretoria and the Uppsala Chamber Orchestra before he was appointed Music Director of the Orchestra del Teatro Lirico di Cagliari from 1999-2005. In Cagliari he conducted the first Italian performances of Richard Strauss’s Die ägyptische Helena, Weber’s Euryanthe, Delius’s A Village Romeo and Juliet and Schubert’s Alfonso und Estrella, as well as the productions of the core operatic repertoire including Die Zauberflöte, Don Giovanni, Lucia di Lammermoor, Carmen, Die Fledermaus, Tosca, Aïda, The Barber of Seville and Don Pasquale. In 2009 he was appointed Music Director of the London Mozart Players, the position he relinquished at the end of last season.

Gérard Korsten has appeared in the most notable opera houses and concert halls around Europe including Teatro La Scala Milan (Le nozze di Figaro), Maggio Musicale Florence (Così fan tutte), Teatro Reggio di Parma (La sonnambula), Teatro Lirico Verdi Trieste (Don Pasquale and La fille du régiment), Opéra de Lyon (Ariadne auf Naxos, Henze’s L’Upupa und der Triumph der Sohnesliebe, Siegfried, La Traviata and La Vie Parisienne), Royal Swedish Opera (Don Giovanni), Netherlands Opera (Così fan tutte), English National Opera (Aïda), Glyndebourne Festival Opera (Albert Herring) and the Lincoln Centre New York.

His past symphonic engagements have included concerts with the Budapest Festival Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Orchestre National de Lyon, Salzburg Mozarteum, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai Turin, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Camerata Salzburg, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, Swedish Radio Symphony, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie and Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra.

Gérard Korsten’s recordings feature CD of Tchaikovsky’s Serenade and Souvenir de Florence with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe on Deutsche Grammophon, Die ägyptische Helena and Euryanthe and DVDs of Alfonso und Estrella and Don Pasquale with the Orchestra del Teatro Lirico di Cagliari.  His 2011 DVD recording of Le Nozze di Figaro at La Scala has been awarded a Diapason D’Or and was Critic Choice in the Opera News.

Recent highlights have included debuts with the Deutsche Oper Berlin (La Traviata) and the Hungarian State Opera (Don Pasquale), BBC Scottish Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic and returns to Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Camerata Salzburg, Gavle Symphony, Swedish Chamber Orchestra and the London Mozart Players on tour in China.

In the 2014/15 season Gérard Korsten brings Vorarlberg Symphoniorchester Bregenz to Vienna Musikverein and returns to Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra and to Lyon Opera for a new production of Idomeneo.

www.gerardkorsten.com

September 2014