'I'm fortunate to conduct many wonderful orchestras, and I don't think I've ever been so nervous about conducting one.' Conductor Ryan Bancroft is in Amsterdam for the occasion, and not just any occasion: once a year, the CvA Symphony Orchestra goes big, this year with a series of three concerts. On these evenings, the CvA Symphony Orchestra performs, with about a hundred members, unique works by American composers Adams and Ives; by Mahler, but also by fellow composition students Béla Braack and Jasmine Karimova. 'And yours truly is conducting it. That's quite the honor, really' Ryan says.
'I've lived in so many different places, but Amsterdam always feels like coming home.' We order an oat milk cappuccino at the student cafeteria. Three years ago, Ryan graduated from the National Master of Orchestra Conducting here, 'and I certainly haven't forgotten about these elevators,' he laughs as a harp presses against him. And just before he starts talking about his booming career as permanent conductor of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, he tells us that he learned Dutch thanks to Kinderen voor Kinderen. We could be in the cafeteria, or backstage at a major concert hall, it wouldn't make him any different.
You're only as good as the people you surround yourself with, is sometimes said. That's why the bar is set high for the CvA Symphony Orchestra and why the students work with stellar guest conductors. And it's also why composition students' work is held up to the light of Mahler, Adams, and Ives. 'That we get the time to perform, not often played, American masterpieces by Ives and Adams is fantastic. Plus we get to bring never-before-performed works by Braack and Karimova. That requires a lot of us," Ryan explains, "Some pieces have such an individual language, while with others we still have to figure out what the piece means, what color it needs, and how it's different from every other piece on the program. That's natural for Brahms and Mozart, but with this repertoire, you can't take that risk. And that's such a cool thing to explore.'
Intention is what connects everyone in the project, all in their unique way, and just this searching for a middle ground, is what makes for good interplay.
About the Project
Mystical and Minimal is a project of the CvA Symphony Orchestra. This year the orchestra is performing under the direction of American conductor Ryan Bancroft. The orchestra will perform The Unanswered Question by Ives; the Adagio from Symphony No. 10 by Mahler; Harmonielehre by Adams; and the world premiere of Growth, a symphonic poem, by CvA students Béla Braack and Jasmine Karimova. Find more information consam.nl/symfonieorkest.
vr 31 maart - 20.15 uur Muziekgebouw Eindhoven
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za 1 april - 16.00 uur Stadsgehoorzaal Leiden
let op: programma zonder Mahler
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zo 2 april - 15.00 uur Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ
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