It’s feels like a new year, but we are in September

Benjamin Beck performing at the Royal Albert Hall in London

Days are getting shorter, air is cooling down, some trees already start to loose their leaves… There is no doubt permitted, it is now time for the season opening !

As we are mid-September, I am aware that one more time, I am writing a post that is already late, but it is never too late to wish you a good new season ! And all the festivals are not finished yet: LSO was playing in Berlin Philharmonie yesterday night, and so was my last summer festival concert.

Each season is like a theatre piece: there are heroes, outsiders, dramas, betrays, love stories, rising and falling stars, and at the end, critics distribute their good and bad point, and decide who was worth or not his reputation, and who you should keep an eye on next time. No need to bet that this year’s theatre performance will be one more time full of hopefully good surprises. Who could be the hero ? Dijon Orchestra, fighting for its endangered life ? Will the musicians win against the evil bankers and city responsible who believe the city does not have money to keep them playing, and assume it’s just fine to have capital of region without any professional orchestra ?

After the Concertgebouw orchestra nominated Berliner Philharmoniker for the “Ice bucket challenge” to which Klaus grandiloquentely answered, who will be the next one trying to bring us back on earth ? I personally like living among the clouds and stars…

In the last season, we mourned giant artists, such as Claudio Abbado, or Lorin Maazel. Who were the one you think raised ? We also heard few days ago he ARD competition in Munich, and among the laureates (and even the others) there were some very strong and beautiful musical voices.

This new season so started already two weeks ago, with for me an incredible tour with the orchestra, to Salzburg, Luzern and London. No need to say how beautiful the concert halls were, the public was so warm and welcoming, and that one concert in the Royal Albert Hall, in front of more than 6,000 people, was fantastic to play. If you like to listen, the Luzern concert is online on Swiss television.

A new season implies challenges, and projects ! When we try to plan everything during spring, here comes the time I have a better idea about what will come.

First, after the lovely Konz festival, I will spend two weeks in Berlin playing with the orchestra, before flying to New York for the Carnegie Hall tour. In October comes the first part of my Doctor project with Paris Conservatory, a meeting with viola students of Picardie, followed by a recital on my beloved subject “viola and voice”. I will after play with the Orchestre des Lauréats du Conservatoire (the orchestra formed by alumni students of Paris and Lyon Conservatory) in Paris, Hindemith’s concerto Der Schwanendreher, a piece based on many German middle age’s folk songs. The second week of January will be one of the highlights of the year, with my first solo CD recording, thanks to the support of the Meyer Foundation. The project (always about viola and voice) and the program, Schubert, Brahms, Bridge, Hindemith, Zimmermann and Kurtag are already decided: I am only hesitating if I should start or not this recording with Kurtag. It somehow sounds like a good idea, because it is the most modern form of musical communication I present, but some of my colleagues advised me to start with something more mellow and traditional. At that point my string quartet will play in Philharmonie for a lunch concert (as you might have guessed, there is no page dedicated to my fantastic partners on this website, for the good reason that we don’t have a name yet !), and there will probably be some projects with my colleagues with who I played piano trio this summer. Also, we want with some other academicians, to found a string sextet, just because the repertoire for this formation is amazing and very beautiful, and those pieces are usually played during summer festival where we mostly don’t have enough time to practice them deep enough. Bien sûr, there will be many other meetings, who knows, probably recitals as well as chamber music !

And for next summer… Well, that’s what we are starting to plan now !

This season promises to be the most exciting one of my life so far. I believe I never got so close to my musical ideals, and I will work more and with more passion to get even closer with them. I have the chance to work every day with incredible people, and they inspire me to become a bigger musician, and a more complete human. Once more, I want to thank all those people who make this possible. I am aware of how much luck I have. And I thank you too, for reading this today.

Let’s make this season beautiful !

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