Another historic concert this week. For this one, it’s the debut with The Cleveland Orchestra with American/Portuguese violinist Elmar Oliveira, who joins Music Director Lorin Maazel in music by Vieuxtemps and Berlioz.
A short concert this time, a matinee originally broadcast on May 11, 1978 (not the actual performance date) with Oliveira and Maazel playing the Violin Concerto Number 5 by Henri Vieuxtemps. And after intermission, a performance of Berlioz’ Harold In Italy with Principal violist Robert Vernon in the solo part.
A distinguished violinist with a large recorded repertoire to his credit, Oliveira made his debut with The Cleveland Orchestra around the time he won the Gold Medal in Violin performance at the Sixth Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and was the only American violinist who had won the award up to that time. He has since performed with every major symphony orchestra throughout the world and frequently tours as a recitalist.
Lorin Maazel was Music Director and Principle Conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra from 1972 until 1982, before leaving to become General Manager and principal conductor from 1982 until 1986. Maazel then went to Pittsburgh, where he was Music Director from 1988 until 1996, after serving as principal Music consultant from 1986 until his appointment in 1988.
Maazel had a long and productive career and was frequently in demand as guest conductor, which he continued to do as well as hold directing posts with various orchestras until his health began to fail early in 2014. Maazel died in July of 2014. During his career he recorded some 300 commercial albums and was recipient of numerous awards, including 10 Grand Prix du Disque awards for outstanding performances.
And in keeping with Anti-Road Rage Wednesday, here are two pieces easily qualifying for that distinction. My advice is to turn up the player and relax. It’s all downhill from here.