>> Winner Thierry Scherz Prize Sommets musicaux de Gstaad 2023 <<
THE WARMTH AND POWER OF THE CELLO
Like many musicians, Tim Posner was born into a musical environment. His father is was a violist, and his mother, a cellist, “quite naturally” became his first teacher. Apart from a passing desire to embark on a career as an opera singer – which even led him to play the shepherd boy in Tosca at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden! – the prospect of a life dedicated to the cello became clear from the age of thirteen, fuelled in particular by his early discovery of the infinite field of chamber music. After studying at the Junior Department of the Royal Academy of Music, Tim Posner crossed the Channel at eighteen to join Leonid Gorokhov’s (winner of the First Prize at the Geneva competition in 1986) prestigious class at the Hochschule für Musik in Hanover at the age of eighteen. In addition, he regularly benefits from Steven Isserlis’ wisdom during masterclasses, which proved to be a decisive source of inspiration. He has since enjoyed a flourishing career, dividing his time between engagements as a soloist and chamber musician. In 2010, he founded the Teyber Trio with Tim Crawford and Timothy Ridout, with whom he is still active. He has also recently been appointed principal cello of Amsterdam Sinfonietta.
Following Tim Posner’s recording debut of a Concertante by the English romantic composer Cipriani Potter (with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales), this is his first major recording. Ernest Bloch’s Schelomo was the piece that stood out and around which the whole programme was built. “It’s a work that I’ve loved since childhood, and that I’ve always wanted to play, but as it requires a large-scale orchestra, the occasion never arose, so it’s a fantastic opportunity to finally be able to fulfill this dream here alongside Katharina Müllner and the Berner Symphonieorchester. Max Bruch’s Kol Nidrei, another work with Hebrew resonance, was a natural choice. To follow in the footsteps of these two composers, we could have added Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s Concerto, the work of a magnificent musician who had to flee Europe because of his Jewish origins. However, I preferred to opt for contrast and originality by following the suggestion of a friend who introduced me to Ernö Dohnányi’s underplayed Konzertstück. This jubilant work could not offer a more striking counterpoint to the tragedy of Schelomo.”
Ernest Bloch, a composer and violinist born in Geneva, studied with his compatriot Emile Jaques-Dalcroze, Eugène Ysaÿe in Brussels and Claude Debussy in Paris. After moving to the United States in 1916, he became the first head of the Cleveland Conservatory four years later before taking over as director of the San Francisco Conservatory. His music is strongly influenced by his Jewish culture, which he considered the only source for “producing alive and meaningful music”. Schelomo is one of the emblematic works of this legacy. The work was composed in the early months of the composer’s new American life. Bloch says he originally conceived the idea of translating passages from Ecclesiastes in which a preacher likened to Solomon (Schelomo) would develop a meditation on the theme “all is vanity”. With his poor command of Hebrew and his dissatisfaction with adaptations of the poem in Western languages, the composer finally decided to entrust the preacher’s voice to the warm, low tones of the cello. This piece of great instrumental and expressive density was first presented to the public on 3 May 1917 in New York by Hans Kindler and the Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by the composer, who also gave his “Israel” Symphony during the same concert. [..] - Antonin Scherrer
Read more in the booklet
Winner of the Thierry Scherz Prize at Sommets musicaux de Gstaad 2023, Tim Posner is also the first British cellist to have been awarded a prize at the International Karl Davidov Competition. Born in 1995, Tim has performed as soloist with orchestras including the NDR Radiophilharmonie, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Mozart Players with conductors such as Andrew Manze.
Tim recently made his debut concerto CD with the Bern Symphony Orchestra, recording works by Bloch, Bruch and Dohnanyi.Other recent highlights include a recording of chamber music by Boccherini with Steven Isserlis, a recording of Cipriani Potter’s Concertante with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the IMS Open Chamber Music tour and a recital debut in the Concertgebouw.
As a chamber musician, Tim plays in various ensembles and in 2010 founded The Teyber Trio with violinist, Tim Crawford and violist, Timothy Ridout, with whom he continues to perform internationally. He has performed at chamber music festivals including the Classiche Forme, Hindsgavl, IMS Prussia Cove (Open Chamber Music), Molyvos International Music Festival, Kronberg Chamber Music Connects the World, Musikdorf Ernen and Cheltenham festivals. As a chamber musician he has collaborated with musicians such as Steven Isserlis, Sir Andras Schiff, Gidon Kremer, Lars Vogt, Emmanuel Pahud and Beatrice Rana.
Tim is principal cellist of Amsterdam Sinfonietta.
Born in 1995, he began playing the cello at the age of eight, studying with his mother, Julia Desbruslais and subsequently with Robert Max. He then studied in the ‘Solo Class’ of Prof. Leonid Gorokhov at the Hochschule für Musik in Hanover. He draws great inspiration from masterclasses with Steven Isserlis at Prussia Cove.
Katharina Müllner studied conducting, music education and psychology / philosophy in her hometown of Vienna.
After graduating, she joined Landestheater Linz as an accompanist with conducting commitments, and conducted productions such as Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Il matrimonio segreto, as well as operettas and concerts for young audiences. She also appeared at Chemnitz Theatre with Die Zauberflöte and at Aachen Theatre with Roméo et Juliette.
In 2020/21 Katharina Müllner gave successful debuts at Theater St. Gallen with a new production of Die Zauberflöte, at Vienna Volksoper with Suppès Der Teufel auf Erden and Britten’s Death in Venice. Other conducting engagements took her to Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Kammeroper Wien, Robert Schumann Philharmonie Chemnitz and Wuppertal Symph-ony Orchestra. At German National Theatre in Weimar she conducted the premiere of Carmen.
2022/23 brought Katharina back to Deutsche Oper am Rhein for the new production Krabat as well as to Theater St. Gallen for the revival of Die Zauberflöte. Theater Essen invited her for Carmen and she stood in at short notice for Così fan tutte (directed by Kirill Serebrennikov) at Komische Oper Berlin. She received invitations from the Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra, Coburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Brandenburg Symphony Orchestra and SWR Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart.
In 2023/24 Katharina Müllner will conduct the premiere of the ballet Der 35. Mai oder Konrad reitet in die Südsee by Raphaël Coumes-Marquet and Gordon Kampe at Semperoper Dresden. She will also return to the Deutsche Oper am Rhein for the premiere of A Kiss to the World by Dominique Dumais as well as the revival of Krabat. In addition to her opera engagements, she is scheduled for symphonic performances with Staatsphilharmonie Nürnberg, Stadttheater Klagenfurt and Düsseldorfer Symphoniker, among others.
BERN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
The Bern Symphony Orchestra (Berner Symphonieorchester) looks back on 145 years of tradition as the orchestra of the Swiss capital. Founded in 1877 as the “Bernischer Orchesterverein”, the BSO is one of the largest and most important orchestras in Switzerland with around 100 musicians from over 20 different nations. Since 2011, it has been operating as a part of the city’s opera, theatre, and ballet performing arts organization, know as “Bühnen Bern”, while maintaining its artistic independence. The BSO performs more than 50 concerts per season in addition to the musical theatre performances at Bühnen Bern, which have been under the musical direction of Nicholas Carter since 2021.
The principal conductors of the Bern Symphony Orchestra were, most recently, Conductor Emeritus Mario Venzago for more than a decade, and before him Andrey Boreyko, Dmitrij Kitajenko, Charles Dutoit and Paul Klecki, among others. Renowned guest conductors such as Sir Neville Marriner, Eliahu Inbal, Susanna Mälkki, Jaap van Zweden, Santtu-Matias Rouvali, Simone Young, Klaus Mäkelä, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla and James Conlon have left their mark on the orchestra. The BSO currently operates without a principal conductor and works with a large number of renowned guest conductors.
World-class soloists such as Sol Gabetta, Hilary Hahn, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Daniel Barenboim, Frank-Peter Zimmermann, Martha Argerich, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Emmanuel Pahud and Fazil Say, as well as young classical stars such as Kian Soltani, Regula Mühlemann, Vilde Frang, and Alexandre Kantorow, contribute to spreading the reputation of the Bern Symphony Orchestra far beyond the country’s borders. This leads to regular invitations at home and abroad.
In addition to the symphonic repertoire there is also focus on the promotion of contemporary composers. The orchestra reaches a wide audience with diverse formats such as family and toddler’s concerts, as well as concerts in the region. A special highlight of each season is the open-air concert on the Bundesplatz and the crossover concerts with popular music artists in “Über ds Chrüz”.
The management structure of the orchestra is strongly democratic. Program planning and artist invitations are the responsibility of the concert commission, which consists of elected members of the orchestra.