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Stefan Asbury

Music in Changing Times: New Beginnings
Thomas Adès, Debussy, Vaughan Williams, Smetana and Elena Langer

Boston Symphony Orchestra


Watch the video here

Available January 14 - February 14

In January, the three episodes in the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s second BSO NOW streaming concert series explore different facets of the concept "New Beginnings." The first episode’s BSO performances, led by conductor Stefan Asbury, focus on the idea of rejuvenation in the natural world: Smetana’s depiction of the river Moldau from its source to its end, Debussy’s colorful, musical Spring, and Thomas Adès’ Dawn, an addition to the great tradition of musical sunrises. American violinist Elena Urioste is soloist in Vaughan Williams’ ever-fresh, bucolic The Lark Ascending. Elena Langer’s chamber music work Five Reflections on Water was commissioned for and originally premiered by the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, who perform it here with guest conductor Jorge Soto. This episode also includes a rhapsodic feature exploring musical depictions of rivers as a complement to Smetana's The Moldau, as well as introductory remarks by BSO violinist Jennie Shames and a conversation between conductor Stefan Asbury and soloist Elena Urioste.

Featured Performers

Stefan Asbury, conductor
Stefan Asbury, conductor View biography in full page >

Chief Conductor of the Noord Nederlands Orkest and Artist in Association at the Tapiola Sinfonietta, Stefan Asbury is in demand with many of the leading orchestras worldwide. The 2011/12 season includes performances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (with Lang Lang as soloist), Sinfonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig amongst others.

Recent seasons have also included guest engagements with the London Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, RAI Turin, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Dresdner Philharmonie, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, West Australian Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra of St Luke's. He enjoys frequent collaborations with the Basel Sinfonietta, WDR Sinfonieorchester, hr-Sinfonieorchester, NDR Sinfonieorchester and ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien. Asbury is also regular guest conductor at festivals such as Automne en Normandie, Wien Modern, Wiener Festwochen, Munich Biennale, the Salzburger Festspiele and La Biennale di Venezia.

Since 1995 Stefan Asbury has served on the faculty of the Tanglewood Music Center and currently holds the Sana H. Sabbagh master teacher chair on the Conducting Faculty which he has held since 2005. From 1999 to 2005 he was Associate Director of New Music Activities. In addition to his regular summer teaching he has given conducting master classes at institutions such as the Hochschule der Kunste (Zurich), Venice Conservatory, Tokyo Wonder Site, and his master classes are featured in the Boston Symphony Orchestra's Inside the TMC.

Stefan conducted John Adams' A Flowering Tree for the 2009 Perth International Arts Festival, a performance which won 'Best Symphony Orchestra Concert' for the 2009 Helpmann Awards. Other recent opera productions have included Wolfgang Rihm's Jakob Lenz for the 2008 Wiener Festwochen, a concert version of Benjamin Britten's Owen Wingrave with Tapiola Sinfonietta, the world premiere of Van Vlijmen's Thyeste with Théâtre Royal de La Monnaie and the Nationale Reisopera, Johannes Maria Staud's Berenice at Munich Biennale and Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream in Karlsruhe. Stefan has collaborated with the Mark Morris Dance Group in their production and tour of Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet. Performances took place at Lincoln Center and at the Barbican amongst other venues. This season sees him collaborate with them again on Four Saints in Three Acts at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Stefan Asbury has particularly strong relationships with many living composers including Oliver Knussen, Steve Reich, Wolfgang Rihm, Unsuk Chin and Mark Anthony Turnage, and collaborates regularly with Ensemble Modern, Klangforum Wien, Musikfabrik and the London Sinfonietta. He was Music Director of the Remix Ensemble Casa da Musica Porto from 2001-2005, working with them to commission new works and programming an innovative mix of jazz, film and music theatre. Notable amongst his recordings are a recording of works by Unsuk Chin with Ensemble intercontemporain on Deutsche Grammophon. His CD of music by Jonathan Harvey was awarded a 'Monde de la Musique CHOC' award, and his complete cycle 'Espace Accoustique' by Gerard Grisey with WDR Sinfonieorchester won the German music critics award (Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik.)

Stefan Asbury, conductor
Program Notes Audio
Thomas ADÈS - Dawn
DEBUSSY - Printemps
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS - The Lark Ascending
SMETANA - The Moldau
Elena LANGER - Five Reflections on Water (world premiere; BSO commission) (15min)
Full Program Notes - Available Here