Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos, Spain’s Gift to America
EmpressofBiz…JoAnn R. Forrester
The Pittsburgh Symphony performance of Sheherezade on NOvember 8, 2013 was amazing! I do not know many conductors names, and seldom if ever really glow over a conductor… But oh my, Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos is an exceptional conductor who led the orchestra and featured guests to a brilliant performance.
The first part of the concert was devoted to the up and coming young artists and the Symphony No 6 "Symphony of Sorrows" and composed by Leonardo Balada. This piece was commissioned in 2005 by the Barcelona Symphony and National Orchestra of Catalonia to mark the seventieth anniversary of the start of the brutal Spanish Civil War…a miniature version of the World War II with all its devastation, sorrow and destruction. It was a dramatic and haunting piece aptly presenting in music the horror and futility of war.
The second piece featured was concerto No 1 in D Major for violin and Orchestra Opus 19 composed by Sergei Prokofiev and featuring German violinist Arabella Steinbacher, one of today’s leading violinist on the international scene. I enjoyed this piece greatly and especially enjoyed the rapport between Ms. Steinbacher and conductor Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos. His interaction with her was intense and weaved a magical circle of interaction between the two leading her to exceptional performance. Quite enjoyable.
The second half was all Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos and he led the PSO on a thrilling performance of "Scheherazade," Opus 35 by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. I love the story of the Sultana Scheherazade weaving tales of adventure to amuse and outwit the fickle Sultan Shakira who had the practice of putting each of his wives to death after the wedding night. Night after night Scheherazade weaves these wondrous tales and the PSO make them come alive under his exceptional direction.
The audience was enchanted as I was and gave him a standing ovation which lasted almost ten minutes. If you ever have a chance to hear and see Maestro Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos conduct an orchestra…you must go… he is exceptional and how I wish could follow him around the world and just listen to his concerts.
Named Conductor of the Year by Musical America in 2011, other numerous honours and distinctions he has been awarded include the Gold Medal of the City of Vienna, the Bundesverdienstkreutz of the Republic of Austria and Germany, the Gold Medal from the Gustav Mahler International Society, and the Jacinto Guerrero Prize, Spain’s most important musical award, conferred in 1997 by the Queen of Spain. In 1998 Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos received the appointment of "Emeritus Conductor" by the Spanish National Orchestra. He has received an honorary doctorate from the University of Navarra in Spain. Since 1975 he has been a member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando.
Roving Pittsburgher Good News Reporter, JoAnn
Forrester is the Host of "Empress of Biz, Reinvent in Rugged Times," a business Talkcast syndicated on PPLMag, Pittsburgh's First Internet Radio and TV Network. You can hear JoAnn and Business friends every Thursday at 9 AM on the TalkShoe network or archived later at: http://pplmag.com Jo Ann has also been a regular business tip columnist at the Pittsburgh Business Times.