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|WESTDEUTSCHE SINFONIA directed by Dirk Joeres
“Crystal clear classical splendour” Musikverein, Wiener Zeitung
In 1991 when Dirk Joeres and the West German Sinfonia gave their debut in the Golden Hall of the ‚Musikverein’ Vienna, the press acclaimed the Sinfonia’s„crystal clear classical splendour“. Since then the Orchestra has captivated audiences in halls such as the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Berlin’s Philharmonic Hall, Barbican Hall London and the Kennedy Center Washington.
The Orchestra’s foundation in 1987 is based on an original concept: leading musicians from eight major orchestras in the western region of Germany make up the Sinfonia. Their first CD recording appeared in 1989; in 1990 they toured the USA for the first time. Fanfare (USA) wrote on the occasion of the first disc in their Schubert Symphony Series: „Elegant, witty and graceful performances“.
The Sinfonia’s repertoire is based on the Classics such as the complete Beethoven and Schubert Symphonies, which are being recorded for a CD cycle. It also includes unjustly neglected works as well as first performances at festivals such as the International Beethovenfest Bonn and the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival.
On the occasion of their debut at the ‘Großen Festspielhaus’ Salzburg in 2004, the press wrote: “the Orchestra is superbly grounded in technical discipline and tonal balance. Joeres belongs to those conductors who certainly know how to make music speak”.
In 2012 the Sinfonia celebrates its 25th. Anniversary with a tour in Spain, their debut concert at the Beaux Arts in Brussels and an appearance at the Flanders Festival, in addition to continuing their highly acclaimed concert series “Klassik Sonntag!”
DIRK JOERES: „illuminating originality“ The New York Times
Nadia Boulanger, the grande dame of 20th. Century musical life, characterized Dirk Joeres as “a consummate musician with charismatic presence on stage”. Born in Bonn, Joeres studied piano, conducting and composition in Berlin, Cologne, London and Paris, receiving important stimulus from Nadia Boulanger and Bruno Seidlhofer. He came into the limelight in 1972 winning first prize at the International Piano Competition in Vercelli and taking over a recital at short notice from an indisposed Claudio Arrau with sensational success. Engagements with renowned orchestras soon followed, as well as repeated appearances at festivals such as Berlin Festwochen, Klavierfestival Ruhr, Prague Spring.
The music press described him as a “sensitive poet of the keyboard” and “a reflective musician”to quote Joachim Kaiser, who emphasised his “feeling for expansive phrasing, for musical insight” (Süddeutsche Zeitung, Munich).
In 1983 Dirk Joeres expanded his activities into conducting and was appointed Artistic Director of the Westdeutsche Sinfonia in 1987. Joeres appears regularly as guest conductor with orchestras such as London’s Royal Philharmonic, who appointed him in 2007 as their Permanent Guest Conductor. He has taken both the Royal Philharmonic and the Sinfonia to international festivals (Beethovenfest Bonn, Budapest, Cheltenham, Brucknerfest Linz, Schleswig-Holstein) and tours with them in Europe and the USA.
His wide-ranging musical interests led Dirk Joeres to explore innovative ways to present classical music in today’s world. In 2008 he devised the “KlassikSonntag!” Series which the German press acclaimed as “a fascinating concept to deepen the understanding of classical music”. This unique all-day format meanwhile enjoys cult status.
In the past Dirk Joeres curated thematic music festivals such as “Music from Great Britain”, “Johannes Brahms: The Early Years” and “Music from St. Petersburg”. In 2002 he initiated the annual “Dreiklang” Festival which links a challenging combination of music, literature and philosophy.
Both Dirk Joeres’ solo and orchestral recordings have received superb ratings in the international music press: Record of the Month in the USA (“Brahms and Friends”), Gramophone’s Critic’s Choice (Brahms Serenades with the Westdeutsche Sinfonia) and Pizzicato’s Supersonic Award for a Schumann CD with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.