This is the second season of collaboration between the Orchestre national de Lyon and Ben Glassberg, who won the Concours international de Besançon 2017 (in which he conducted the ONL) and is the new Music Director of the Opéra de Rouen Normandie.
- How would you sum up your first year with the ONL?
- B. G.: I had the good fortune to conduct some very diverse works, from Haydn’s Farewell Symphony to Strauss’s Alpine Symphony, and together we found the right style for each. Few orchestras know how to do justice to such a varied repertoire, and our mutual trust is growing with each concert.
- This season, you are conducting works by several women composers...
- B. G.: I love Camille Pépin’s music (she was born in 1990). As for Louise Farrenc, who is one of the nineteenth century’s most original composers, I wanted her to come before Beethoven’s Triple Concerto – in which the ONL’s soloists will do a brilliant job – and Mendelssohn’s First Symphony. I’m very attached to this symphony: I first got to know it as timpanist in a performance conducted by Roger Norrington !
- Why conduct Sibelius ?
- B. G.: He deserves to be played more often in France. In England, where I come from, he is very popular. His Second Symphony is full of light and contrast; really exciting for both the performer and the listener.
- What can you tell us about the pianist Benjamin Grosvenor, who you will be accompanying in Beethoven’s Third Concerto ?
- B. G.: He’s a compatriot, a great friend, a fabulous pianist and an artist with whom it’s always a joy to share music. He, the orchestra and I are in for some intense moments.
Ben Glassberg studied with Sian Edwards at the Royal Academy of Music in London after completing a degree in music at Cambridge University. He won the Grand Prix and special prizes in the 55th International Young Conductors Competition in Besançon, where the Orchestre national de Lyon played the final round.
A regular guest at the Glyndebourne Festival Opera, where he debuted in summer 2017 with La clemenza di Tito, making him one of the youngest conductors to have performed at this prestigious festival. He returned to Glyndebourne in the summer and autumn of 2018 to conduct Madama Butterfly and La traviata : Behind the Curtain. From the start of the 2019/2020 season, he will be principal conductor of the Glyndebourne Tour, where his first production will be L’elisir d’amore.
Recent appearances include his debuts with the Kammerakademie Potsdam, the Orchestre de chambre de Paris and the London-based Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and Die Zauberflöte at La Monnaie in Brussels. In 2019, he will conduct the English National Opera in a new production of Hänsel und Gretel, and make his debut at the Salzburg Festival. Other engagements will include conducting the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Saint Petersburg Symphony Orchestra and the Musikalische Akademie Mannheim.
At the head of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, Ben Glassberg has premiered the new work of Vikki Stone, Concerto for Comedian and Orchestra, which he conducted at the Glastonbury, Latitude and Edinburgh Festivals.
Since the final round of the Besançon international competition, where the Orchestre national de Lyon awarded Ben Glassberg its “orchestra’s favourite” award, the orchestra was keen to support the young conductor as his promising career takes off. After an initial concert series, the orchestra created the title of “associate guest conductor” for him and will begin a close collaboration for three seasons, beginning in 2019/2020.
Concert diffusé sur Radio Classique
BEETHOVEN / SIBELIUS