Monday, November 1, 2010

African-Canadian Maestro Kwamé Ryan in 4th Year at the 'Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine'

[Maestro Kwamé Ryan (Photo Credit: Nicolas Tucat)]

On October 11, 2007 AfriClassical posted: “Kwamé Ryan, Black Canadian Conductor in Bordeaux.” His role brings to our mind that of another North American conductor of African descent, Edmond Dédé (1827-1903), who is profiled at Edmond Dédé was born in New Orleans and conducted in Bordeaux for 27 years. Now that Maestro Ryan is in his fourth year in Bordeaux, we thought we would take another look at his career. The following biography is provided by his agent:

The 2010/11 season marks Kwamé Ryan's fourth season as Music Director of the Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine. Kwamé Ryan’s work with his orchestra is attracting increasing international attention - not only as a result of their hugely successful concerts in Bordeaux but also as a result of the orchestra's appearances throughout Europe (including extensive tours of Spain and Switzerland) and Japan. The 2009/10 season ended with a concert at the Festival Choregies d'Orange.

Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine's relationship with the record label Mirare continues to thrive and now includes recordings of Schubert’s Symphony No. 9, which was praised by Le Figaro as “an individual approach to Schubert, clear, transparent, flowing". The orchestra have also recorded Rachmaninov’s Symphony No. 2, described by Classic FM Magazine as a “…modern, sophisticated reading…rich in detail and clarity”, and Beethoven’s Piano Concertos No. 1 and 2 as part of an ongoing cycle with Shani Diluka. Future recording plans include Schumann’s Symphonies No. 2 and 4. This season Kwamé will conduct Strauss’s Ariadne of Naxos, following-on from last seasons' production of Peter Eotvos' Le Balcon which will be recorded for BMC.

As a result of his successful work in Bordeaux, Kwamé Ryan was invited in 2009 to become Musical Director of Orchestre Français des Jeunes, the 2010/11 season includes concerts in Aix en Provence, Rennes and Paris.

As a guest conductor, Kwamé ended the 2009/10 season with a production of Morton Feldman’s Neither, directed by Peter Mussbach, at the Musica de Hoy Festival in Madrid. Future highlights include a new production of Berlioz Damnation of Faust for Wurttembergische Staatsoper Stuttgart in autumn 2011, a debut with Orchestre National de Belgique in June 2011 with soloists Gautier and Renaud Capuçon and a debut at the Grant Park Festival in Chicago in July 2011.

Kwamé has worked with such orchestras as City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR and SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg. Past engagements have also included Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Bamberger Symphoniker, Bayerische Staatsorchester and Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen.

Kwamé Ryan held the position of General Music Director of Theater Freiburg and the Philharmonisches Orchester Freiburg between 1999 and 2003, having previously been Assistant Conductor of the Staatsoper Stuttgart where he gave the premiere of Gérard Pesson's Pastorale and a criticically acclaimed filmed production of Hartmann's Simplicius Simplicissimus (DVD-Arthaus). His close association with his mentor Peter Eötvös has seen him conduct the first French revival of the composer’s Tri Sestri at Opéra de Lyon and the German premiere of Le Balcon. Kwamé Ryan has also conducted Salome for English National Opera, Honneger's Jeanne d'Arc au Bucher for the Edinburgh International Festival and the world premiere of Pintscher's L'espace dernier for Opéra National de Paris (Bastille).

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