Classical Beat: Claudio Abbado, Martin Alsop, Eugene Watanabe ...

Cabrillo Music Festival closes with James MacMillan premiere.

Claudio Abbado, the principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, will be unable to lead the famed orchestra during their European tour this month. The 67-year-old Abbado has not fully recuperated from emergency ulcer surgery in July. Bernhard Haitink, former conductor of the Concergebouw Orchestra, will replace Abbado for the tour from Aug. 25-Sept. 2. The tour is scheduled to cover Salzburg, Austria; London; Lucerne, Switzerland; and Freiburg, Germany.

The Cabrillo Music Festival closed on Sunday (Aug. 13) in San Juan Bautista, Calif., with music director

color="#003163">Martin Alsop giving the North American premiere of Scottish composer

color="#003163">James MacMillan's Triduum. A full-length triptych on Easter themes, Triduum

consists of three independent orchestral works: "The World's Ransoming,'' a not-quite-concerto for English horn and orchestra,

followed by aCello Concerto and closing with a symphony subtitled Vigil. MacMillan, 41, is best known for

his percussion concerto Veni, Veni, Emmanuel. ...

Salt Lake City-born Eugene Watanabe returned home Thursday (Aug. 17) to

close out the Utah Symphony's summer season. The versatile Watanabe performed Mozart's D Minor Concerto, K466, which he first performed

with the orchestra 10 years ago. "There are many things I see in it that I don't think I was mature enough to see back then.

Hopefully that will be reflected in my playing," Watanabe told the Salt Lake Tribune earlier. Also on the program, conducted

by Utah Symphony music director Keith Lockhart, were Mozart's Symphony

No. 35 ("Haffner") and two pieces written as tributes to Mozart: Jacques

Ibert's "Hommage Mozart" and Tchaikovsky's Suite No. 4

("Mozartiana"). ...

Rock band the Scorpions, known for their anthem "Rock You Like a

Hurricane," recently composed a new anthem for Germany's Expo 2000, which they recorded with the

COLOR="#003163">Berlin Philharmonic. The band will tour the United States with a full orchestra — but

not the Berlin Philharmonic — in support of its recently released album, Moment of Glory. Scheduled concerts

are Phoenix (Sept. 21), Las Vegas (Sept. 23), Los Angeles (Sept. 28) and San Francisco (Sept. 30). Producer

COLOR="#003163">Christian Kolonovits arranged the orchestrations for the band. When the album was first

released, some members of the Berlin Philharmonic protested the song's explicit lyrics. ...

Pianist András Schiff will be in Lucerne, Switzerland, from Aug. 30

until Sept. 12, performing the music of J.S. Bach. Schiff will present selections

from the Well Tempered Klavier on Aug. 30 and Sept. 12; selections from the Partitas on Sept. 3; the

French Suites and French Overture on Sept. 5; the English Suites on Sept. 8 and the Goldberg

Variations on Sept. 10. The Internationale Musikfestwochen will conclude Sept. 16 with performances of

COLOR="#003163">Anton Bruckner by the Vienna Philharmonic.

...

Violin maestro Giuliano Carmignola and the

COLOR="#003163">Venice Baroque Orchestra have signed exclusive contracts to record for Sony Classical.

Their first recording for the label is due internationally this fall and will feature three world premiere recordings of the Italian

Baroque master Antonio Vivaldi's concerti, in addition to a new

interpretation of The Four Seasons. Carmignola, an Italian violinist whose style spans the whole spectrum of classical

music, has received recent praise for his period performances of Italian Baroque music, specifically the works of the Venetian

school. ...

The Korean Opera Group will present its own commissioned opera,

Hwangjinie, Aug. 24–25 in Beijing. The story is based on the life of a famous 16th-century "kisaeng" (female

entertainer) who passed through the social circles of kings and philosophers of the era. Some of Korea's greatest modern

artists, poets and choreographers collaborated on the project, which made its debut in April 1999. After performances in China,

the Korean Opera Group will take the production to Japan in April. ...

Amid the onslaught of CD releases from a variety of labels celebrating baritone Dietrich

Fischer-Dieskau's 75th birthday, Milan's Myto Records jumps into the fray with what is being billed as his "first

operatic appearance." The recording features the German baritone as the Marquis of Posa in

COLOR="#003163">Guiseppe Verdi's Don Carlos, performed by the

COLOR="#003163">Stadtische Oper Berlin (now the Deutsche

Oper) in 1948. Fischer-Dieskau sang his first recitals in 1945 while held as a prisoner of war in Italy. ...

The Manchester based BBC Philharmonic has launched an e-mail club as a reward to

those who visit its Web site. Conductors, soloists, orchestral members or administrative personnel will pen the biweekly e-

mails sent to subscribers, giving a fresh perspective to the duties and rigors of life in a major symphonic orchestra. The e-mails

also will serve as a basis for launching sneak previews, recent recordings and personal behind-the-scenes views from

Manchester and on extensive tours. ...

Lou Harrison has won this year's Edward MacDowell medal, making him the 12th

composer to receive the award. Composer Chester Biscardi was chairman of this

year's selection committee for the MacDowell Colony, which also included music historian Vivian Perlis and composers

Meredith Monk, Alvin Singleton and

Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. Harrison is the first experimental composer to receive the

medal. "In choosing Lou Harrison," Biscardi said in a statement, "the search committee recognizes his gentle and generous

spirit, as well as the very personal and multifaceted way in which he is and will continue to be a major presence in American

and world music." Harrison's works have been commissioned by such notables as Lester Horton, Jean Erdman, Merce

Cunningham, the Cabrillo Music Festival, the Mark Morris Dance Company and the Louisville

Orchestra. He also played a large role in the introduction of the Indonesian gamelan to American audiences. The

award ceremony will be held Aug. 20 at the MacDowell Colony in Petersburgh, N.H.

— sonicnet.com staff report