20th February: Iford Arts’ new home, Riga-Jurmala Festival line-up and Axel Kober is music director of Duisburg Philharmonic

Wednesday 20th February 2019

Iford Arts secures new home for 2019 season

The Iford Arts 2019 season is set to take place at Belcombe Court, a Grade 1 listed historic house set 6 miles outside of Bath and home to one of Britain’s leading creatives, Paul Weiland OBE, and his wife Caroline.

Director Paul Weiland OBE, whose work includes Mr Bean, Blackadder, City Slickers II, Made of Honor and Sixty Six, said: ‘we are honoured to host Iford Arts at Belcombe, as it has been a long time ambition of ours to have an opera in the garden.’

Iford Arts is a small, charitable institution with an international reputation, renowned for its stylish new opera productions staged in the round picnic proms and its work with emerging artists. It will open its 2019 season in the banqueting room of Bath’s Guildhall on 18 and 19 May with a Gala night performance of Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, starring comic baritone Simon Butteriss, before setting up home in the grounds of Belcombe Court, Bradford-on-Avon.

First ever Riga Jurmala Music Festival announces line-up

A new summer festival in Latvia, the Riga Jurmala Music Festival, has announced a dazzling line-up of classical music stars for its first ever year in 2019.

The new-concept festival takes place in the historic cities of Riga and Jurmala and presents four powerful weekends – July 19 – 21, August 16 – 18, August 23 – 25 and August 30 – September 1. Each weekend is anchored by a leading international orchestra and conductor with a range of symphonic concerts and recitals, featuring the foremost stars of classical music.

The festival is designed to contribute to the rich panorama of cultural offerings in Latvia and provides a major platform for young talent from the Baltic region and beyond.

Highlights to include performances from:

Axel Kober erhält einen Sondervertrag

Im jüngsten Philharmonischen Konzert rückte Intendant Alfred Wendel vorsichtshalber noch immer nicht so ganz mit der Sprache heraus: Er begrüßte „unseren hochgeschätzten Chefdirigenten Axel Kober“. Natürlich hätte Wendel bei dieser Gelegenheit auch verkünden können, dass Axel Kober ab der kommenden Spielzeit nicht nur Chefdirigent der Duisburger Philharmoniker sein wird, sondern als Nachfolger von Giordano Bellincampi sogar Generalmusikdirektor. Bereits am 4. Oktober ist eine Findungskommission  nach ausführlicher Beratung zu der einstimmigen (!) Entscheidung gekommen, dass Kober der neue GMD der Duisburger Philharmoniker sein soll.

In der Musikwelt wird diese Entscheidung einhellig begrüßt, hat man mit Axel Kober doch einen Dirigenten  für das GMD-Amt gewinnen können, der national und international renommiert ist. Kober dirigiert in Wien, Kopenhagen, Zürich, Hamburg und – als Krönung – in Bayreuth.  Sein Repertoire ist ungewöhnlich weit: Von der Barockoper über Wagner bishin zur Operette und wichtigen Opern des 20. Jahrhunderts und der Gegenwart.

As of next season, Axel Kober will not only be the chief conductor of the Duisburg Philharmonic, but also the general music director as successor to Giordano Bellincampi. 

In the music world, this decision is unanimously welcomed, since Axel Kober is renowned as a conductor both nationally and internationally. Kober conducts in Vienna, Copenhagen, Zurich, Hamburg and – as a coronation – in Bayreuth. His repertoire is unusually wide: from baroque opera to Wagner to operetta and important operas of the 20th century and the present.