The concerts of the BFO on May 27th, 28th and 29th, closing the orchestra's 2010/2011 season, featured two excellent guest artists, British conductor Mark Elder and American star pianist, Jonathan Biss.
The concerts started with Elgar's concert ouverture "In the South", Op.50, followed by Mozart's Piano Concerto in A Major, K.414. The second half of the programme presented Richard Strauss' monumental symphonic poem, "A Hero's Life", Op.40.
The British conductor is the music director of the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester but frequently guest conducts with other prominent orchestras. He has strong relationship with the London Philharmonic, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He is a well-known opera conductor who worked at the Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera, and the Bastille Opera as well as at the Bayreuth Festival. In the recent past, he performed with the Berlin and Munich Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw of Amsterdam and the Russian National Orchestra. Elder has conducted the Budapest Festival Orchestra for the first time.
This 26-year-old American artist is an outstanding member of the younger generation of pianists. He comes from a family boasting several generations of musicians: Samuel Barber's Cello Concerto was written for his grandmother, Raya Garbousova, and his mother is the outstanding violinist Miriam Fried. In spite of his youth he has worked with a roll call of great conductors (Barenboim, Dutoit, Levine, Zinman, Maazel, etc.), and has performed with almost all of the USA's pre-eminent orchestras (Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco). He is a sought-after guest at the great music festivals: Salzburg, Luzern, Tanglewood, Ravinia, Aspen and La Roque d'Antheron. In 2006 he made his debut in Paris, Brussels and Milan, and at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. He is an exclusive artist at the EMI label.