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Their first CD is here: "Italian Journey"

September 14, 2015

This string orchestra is made up of young, highly talented musicians who captivate their audiences with their fresh, inspiring art of performance. All of this also comes across on their first CD. Their Artistic Director, Alexander Gilman, tells us about it in an interview.

This young string orchestra was founded just two years ago, and has now released its first CD. Its Artistic Director, Alexander Gilman, tells us about their choice of repertoire for the album "Italian Journey", and about the great significance of this debut CD to the young musicians themselves.

Mr. Gilman, tell us what’s so special about this CD!

These young musicians interpret this music with a sense of youthful vitality and virtuosity, and what thrills me is just how much this comes across on their CD. For me, it’s as exciting as a live performance. And the LGT Young Soloists offer an immense stylistic breadth. This CD features works from the Baroque and Romantic periods, alongside contemporary film music in a classical garb. 

Why make an "Italian journey"?

Italian classical music and Italian opera are perfectly suited to the age and ability of our young musicians. On the one hand there are typically sweet, often witty melodies, but on the other hand this music offers devilishly difficult passages. Here, the soloists can really let rip, and show off all their virtuosity.$

How did you choose the individual pieces?

Each individual soloist picked his or her piece, in consultation with me as the artistic director. Each work had to suit the soloist’s own tastes, but at the same time it had to be challenging. Considering their age, our musicians possess a sheer incredible degree of technical and musical maturity. And that’s also something they want to put on show.

Do you have a personal favorite among the pieces on this CD?

We felt it was important to put together a program that was rich in variety. "Italian Journey" offers virtuosic pieces for individual solo instruments alongside demanding orchestral suites, and famous melodies from opera and film scores. I love the whole spectrum of Italian music. This CD is to me like a bouquet of brightly colored flowers, and they’re all equally dear to me.

Were the recordings a special event for these young soloists?

Working in the studio was undoubtedly a high point in our work together. Studio recordings aren’t easy, not even for trained professionals. It’s one thing to be able to engage directly with your listeners, conveying the emotions of the music to an enthusiastic audience. But it’s very different when you’re sitting in the austere environment of a recording studio, playing just for yourself. For the LGT Young Soloists, being able to work in a studio and to learn first-hand about recording technology is a priceless experience at this early stage of their careers.
For me, it was very exciting to experience how our young musicians coped with this unfamiliar situation, and to see how they were still able to give an outstanding performance, despite the studio setting.

What does this CD mean for the ensemble as a whole?

To be able to hold your first-ever CD in your hands is a truly emotional experience, and it’s the high point of our work together thus far. The LGT Young Soloists are the first-ever youth orchestra to have recorded an album for RCA Red Seal/Sony – one of the world’s great record labels. This is a great honor for us, and a real sign that our work is recognized.
What’s probably most important, however, was our work in the studio. It’s an important experience, and a significant step in the development of our musicians – one that brings them closer to their goal of having a successful career as a professional musician.

Will you be going on tour to launch the CD?

Yes. In November we’ll be performing in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, in such renowned concert halls as the Gasteig in Munich and the Mozarteum in Salzburg. In December we’ll be traveling to Asia, where we’ll be performing in venues such as the Shanghai Concert Hall and the Shenzhen Concert Hall, as well as at the Art Festival in Taiwan.

And will there be more "journeys" to come?

The LGT Young Soloists project has two principal goals: first, it aims to offer talented young musicians an intensive training. Secondly, the members of the ensemble should gain extensive performing experience and get to know as many aspects as possible of the life of a musician. We are fortunate in being able to travel regularly, giving concerts all over the world. We’ll also be giving other concerts at home and abroad, besides our tours in November and December.

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