29th March (Friday), 19:00, BNR, Concert Studio – EURientale

 piano Recital by

(© Jean-Baptiste Millot)

 Featuring the vocal ensemble

(© Maria Radeva) 

Severin Vasilevconductor
Emiliya Kircheva – soprano
Elitsa Mircheva – soprano
Daniela Panchevska – alto
Ivaylo Donkov – tenor
Boyan Vasilev – tenor
Petar Dimov – bass

Tōru Takemitsu (1930 – 1996, Japan):
Sakura (Cherry Blossoms) for mixed SATB choir (1979)

Somei Satoh (b. 1947, Japan):
Hakucho no uta (A Song of White Bird) **
for a cappella vocal ensemble (2018)
[Commissioned by Severin Vasilev;
specially written for Cantanti DAI MONTI VERDI]

 * * *

Minako Tokuyama (b. 1958, Japan):
Jo no Mai (Noh Dance Prelude) (2018) *
[Dedicated to Kotaro Fukuma]

Dai Fujikura (b. 1977, Japan):
Two Little Pieces (2011) *
Seksek (Hopscotch)
Ayatori (Cat’s Cradle)

Yuka Takechi (b. 1972, Japan):
Winter Light / Ephemera (2015) *
[Dedicated to Kotaro Fukuma]

Somei Satoh (b. 1947, Japan):
Choral (2000) *

* * *

Claude Debussy (1862 – 1918, France):
Rêverie (1890)

Albena Petrovic Vratchanska (b. 1965, Bulgaria/Luxemburg):
River of Dreams (2019) **
[Dedicated to Kotaro Fukuma; commissioned by ppIANISSIMO]

Tōru Takemitsu (1930 – 1996, Japan):
Rain Tree Sketch (1982) *
Rain Tree Sketch II (1992) *
[In memory of Olivier Messiaen]

Allain Gaussin (b. 1943, France):
Tokyo City (2008) *

* Bulgarian premiere
** World Premiere

* * *

This concert has been made possible 
thanks to the generous support of:


  * * *

 Born in Tokyo, Kotaro Fukuma (b. 1982) began learning piano at the age of five and has received many high awards in international competitions, including the “Arthur Rubinstein” (Tel Aviv), “Paloma O’Shea” (Santander), “Maj Lind” (Helsinki), BNDES (Rio de Janeiro) and “Gina Bachauer” (Salt Lake City). In 2003, at the age of 20, Kotaro won both First Prize and the Chopin Prize at the 15th Cleveland International Piano Competition. Since then, his concert career has developed on five continents – North and South America, Europe, Africa and Asia.
He has performed in major concert venues, including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center (New York), Wigmore Hall (London), Berliner Philharmonie and Konzerthaus (Berlin), Gewandhaus (Leipzig), Salle Gaveau (Paris), Victoria Hall (Geneva), Auditorio Nacional (Madrid), Forbidden City Concert Hall (Beijing), Suntory Hall (Tokyo) and Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall.
His performances with orchestras include those with the Cleveland Orchestra, Moscow Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, Finnish Radio Symphony, Dresden Philharmonic, Lille National Orchestra, Galicia Royal Philharmonic and NHK Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of such conductors as Yuri Simonov, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, François-Xavier Roth, Asher Fisch, Hannu Lintu, Juanjo Mena, Jahja Ling, Mihhail Gerts and Kazuki Yamada. In the beginning of July 2016, within 24h notice, he stepped in for Nelson Freire to perform Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse, conducted by Tugan Sokhiev.
Passionate about contemporary music, Kotaro has performed world and national premieres of works by Tōru Takemitsu, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Renaud Gagneux, Thierry Escaich, Thierry Huillet, Peter Klatzow, Mutsuo Shishido, Minako Tokuyama and Yuka Takechi. He has released thirteen CDs on the following labels: Naxos, DENON, ARS Produktion, Editions Hortus, Orpheus Classical, Accustika, Esprit du piano. His performances and recordings have received critical acclaim in such music magazines as Gramophone, Diapason, American Music Records, Monde de la Musique, Classica, Bayern 4 Klassik and Classic Today.
Kotaro Fukuma studied music at the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris with Bruno Rigutto and Marie-Françoise Bucquet, then at the University of Arts in Berlin with Klaus Hellwig and at the International Piano Academy Lake Como in Italy. He also has studied with several great masters of the piano, including Leon Fleisher, Mitsuko Uchida, Richard Goode, Alicia de Larrocha, Maria João Pires, Leslie Howard and Aldo Ciccolini.
Currently, he lives in Berlin.
(© T. Shimmura)

Russian-Bulgarian choral conductor, choir singer and organiser Severin Vasilev (b. 1986) started off relatively late in music, initially studying languages and earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Scandinavian Studies from Sofia University. He then went on to earn a five-year integrated Master's Degree in Choral Conducting at the “Prof. Pancho Vladigerov” National Academy of Music in Sofia. He has attended master classes of choral conducting, notably with Brady Allred (Vaison-la-Romaine), Andreas Herrmann (Rousse) and Krikor Chetinyan (Plovdiv).
Over the years, he has been active on the Bulgarian music scene by participating in numerous choirs and ensembles as a singer, organising concerts with Nordic music and assisting the team of the ppIANISSIMO Festival since 2013. Most recently, he founded the early music vocal ensemble Cantanti DAI MONTI VERDI, combining his skills as organiser and conductor.
 (© Maria Radeva)

Cantanti DAI MONTI VERDI is a madrigal ensemble, formed in 2017 as the debut project of conductor Severin Vasilev. To date, the ensemble has given several concerts presenting programmes of madrigals and motets from the early Baroque and the late Renaissance from well-known masters such as Monteverdi, Gesualdo and Tallis, alongside rarities, such as Danish Renaissance composer Mogens Pedersøn. The ensemble’s participation in ppIANISSIMO 2019 with a specially commissioned madrigal from world famous Japanese composer Somei Satoh is their first (and part of their planned) foray into contemporary music.
The ensemble is comprised of some of the most accomplished chamber singers in Bulgaria, alongside multi-talented musicians, all united by their love for early music. The new season will also see a change in the ensemble’s line-up, current members being: Emiliya Kircheva (soprano), Elitsa Mircheva (soprano), Daniela Panchevska (alto), Ivaylo Donkov (tenor), Boyan Vasilev (tenor), Petar Dimov (bass) and Severin Vasilev (conductor).