Portuguese Symphony Orchestra, Julia Jones & Johannes Stert, Portugal, 2009

Tour Dates: 27 Dec - 7 Jan, 2010

Julia Jones - Principal Conductor
Johannes Stert - Conductor

Founded in 1993 the Portuguese Symphony Orchestra (OSP) constitutes one of the artistic structures of the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, with a symphonic activity of its own, in which a regular programme of concerts and participations in national and international music festivals is included.

Apart from a regular transmission of its concerts in Antena 2 radio, the OSP also participates in radio initiatives such as the Pedro de Freitas Branco Award for Young Orchestra Conductors, Young Musicians RDP Award and International Grandstand for Young Interpreters. Within other collaborations its presence in the following events should also be pointed out: 8th Eurovision Contest for Young Musicians broadcast by Eurovision to approximately fifteen countries (1996); closing concert of the Granada 47th International Music and Dance Festival (1997); Opening Gala concert of the Frankfurt Book Fair; closing concert of Expo 98; Alicante Contemporary Music Festival (2000); and Mérida Classical Theatre Festival (2003).

The OSP has also performed at lyric and symphonic seasons under the direction of prestigious conductors such as Rafael Frühbeck from Burgos, Alain Lombard, Nello Santi, Alberto Zedda, Harry Christophers, George Pehlivanian, Michel Plasson, Krzysztof Penderecki, Djansug Kakhidze, Iuri Ahronovitch, Milán Horvat and Jeffrey Tate among others.

The orchestra discography includes two CD’s for the label Marco Polo, with Symphonies no. 1 and no. 5, and no. 3 and no. 6, by Joly Braga Santos, which were recorded under the direction of its first leading maestro, Álvaro Cassuto, who took over from José Ramón Encinar (1999/2001) and Zoltán Peskó (2001/04) in the same position. Donato Renzetti held the position of Principal Guest Conductor until June 2007.

Beginning in 2008/09 season, Julia Jones will occupy the job of Principal Conductor.

Julia Jones - Principal Conductor

From the beginning of the current symphonic season (08.09) of Teatro Nacional de São Carlos holds the position of Principle Conductor of Portuguese Symphonic Orchestra.

English-born Julia Jones is forging a highly successful career in Europe, where she regularly appears at some of the most respected opera houses.

Recent appearances include Otello with Hamburg State Opera, Carmen in Stuttgart, and The Marriage of Figaro with Oper Frankfurt and Canadian Opera. With the Vienna State Opera she has conducted Così fan tutte, Die Zauberflöte and La Bohème and in 2004 she made her debut at the Salzburg Summer Festival with The Abduction from the Seraglio. Other performances include Aida and Madama Butterfly with the Berlin State Opera, La Traviata at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, The Flying Dutchman with Strasbourg Opera, Lohengrin at Teatro Comunale di Firenze as well as appearances in Washington, Sydney, Geneva, Lisbon, and at Volksoper Wien.  From 1998 – 2002 she was chief conductor of Opera Basle where her most admired productions were Verdi’s Otello and Macbeth, and Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier.

In the concert hall, Julia Jones has worked with a large number of orchestras including the Vienna Radio and Montreal Symphony Orchestras, Gürzenich Orchester, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Strasbourg Philharmonic and the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.

Forthcoming engagements include returns to Frankfurt Opera (Cosi fan tutte, Un ballo in maschera) and Hamburg Opera (Macbeth) and concerts in Tokyo, Lisbon and New Zealand.

Johannes Stert - Conductor

Born in 1963, in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany.  He began his musicaleducation with lessons in piano, violin and trombone. In 1980, he won the First Prize of the German Government’s program, “The Young Make Music.”Succeeding years as Principal Conductor at the Cologne Opera, and Principal Guest  Conductor for the Graz Opera, Johannes Stert rapidly has become a sought-after guest at important opera houses around the world. 

In 2008, he debuted at the Teatro Nacional de Sao Carlos, in Lisbon, Portugal, with Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito, and has become a favorite guest there, with Don Giovanni scheduled for 2009, and La Dona Branca in 2010. Also during the 2009-2010 season, Stert debuts at the Theater Magdeburg, Germany, in bothseveral opera productions, and concerts with the Magdeburg Philharmonic. Stert has been a guest at various festivals, such as the Wiener Festwochen, the Triennale Köln, the Festival in Montepulciano, the Festival “Dei due Mondi” in Spoleto, the Dresdner Festival for Contemporary Music, the Festival in Hitzacker, the “Schreyaner Autumn” and the Hamburg State Opera.

His conducting career began in 1993 as Second Conductor for two seasons at the Pfalztheater Kaiserslautern. There he started a fruitful collaboration with Günter Krämer when the company made a tour to Japan with Weill’s Threepenny Opera. Krämer later engaged him at the Cologne Opera.Johannes Stert was for ten years (1995-2005) closely associated with the Cologne Opera as a conductor, and created an important part of every season (premieres, concerts, repertoire).  In 2001, he was elevated to the position of First Conductor.

In 2001, Philippe Jordan and Karin Stone invited Maestro Stert to conduct at the Graz Opera, where he was engaged as Principal Guest Conductor after two highly successful productions there. Highlights of his five seasons (through 2006) in Graz include his concerts with the Graz Philharmonic, as well as productions of Wagner’s Parsifal, Mozart’s La finta Giardiniera, Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre and Henze’s Boulevard Solitude.Since 1990, Stert has been Music Director of the Orchesterverein Hilgen. TheGerman government’s Music Endowment presented them with a First Prize in 1996, 2000 and2004.  In May, 2008, the orchestra won the First Prize of the international “Eolla” competitionin Strasbourg, France.



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