David Alexander Rahbee and Ludovic Morlot conduct the University Symphony and faculty cellist Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir in a program of music by Brahms, Bloch, and Hindemith. Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir is featured soloist on Bloch’s Schelomo (Hebraic Rhapsody). Ludovic Morlot conducts Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis of themes by Carl Maria von Weber, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the work’s composition.
Brahms: Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op.90
Bloch: Schelomo (Hebraic Rhapsody)
Soloist: Saeunn Thorsteinsdottir, cello
Hindemith: Symphonic Metamorphosis of themes by Carl Maria von Weber
[75th anniversary of its composition]
(Ludovic Morlot, conductor)
David Alexander Rahbee is currently Senior Artist in Residence at the University of Washington School of Music in Seattle, where he is Director of Orchestral Activities and teaches conducting. He is Music Director and Conductor of the University of Washington Symphony Orchestra and founder of the UW Campus Philharmonia. He is a recipient of the American-Austrian Foundation's 2003 Herbert von Karajan Fellowship for Young Conductors, the 2005 International Richard-Wagner-Verband Stipend, and a fellowship the Acanthes Centre in Paris in 2007.
Dr. Rahbee has appeared in concert with orchestras such as the RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Kammerphilharmonie Berlin-Brandenburg, Orchestre de la Francophonie, Orchesterakademie der Bochumer Symphoniker, the Dresden Hochschule orchestra, Grand Harmonie, the Boston New Music Initiative, Seattle Modern Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica de Loja (Ecuador), Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Savaria Symphony Orchestra (Hungary), Cool Opera of Norway (members of the Stavanger Symphony), Schönbrunner Schloss Orchester (Vienna), the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra, the Kennett Symphony, and the Divertimento Ensemble of Milan. He collaborated twice with the Seattle Symphony in 2015, assisting for the performance and recording of Ives’ Fourth Symphony, and as guest conductor for their Native Lands project. He has collaborated with several prominent soloists such as violinists Sarah Chang, Glenn Dicterow, David Chan, and Joseph Lin as well as pianists Jon Kimura Parker, Ana Marija Markovina and Jonathan Biss. He has been a guest rehearsal conductor for numerous young orchestras, such as the New England Conservatory Symphony Orchestra, The Symphony Orchestras of the Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music at Chapman University, and the Vienna University of Technology orchestra, the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras (BYSO), and Rhode Island Philharmonic Youth Orchestras (RIPYO). He has served on faculty of the Pierre Monteux School as Conducting Associate, has been resident conductor of the Atlantic Music Festival in Maine, and guest conductor at the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival.
Dr. Rahbee was an assistant at the Vienna State opera from 2002-2010. As part of his fellowship and residency at the 2003 Salzburg Festival, Dr. Rahbee was assistant conductor of the International Attergau Institute Orchestra, where he worked with members of the Vienna Philharmonic. He has been selected to actively participate in masterclasses with prominent conductors such as Kurt Masur, Sir Colin Davis, Jorma Panula, Zdeněk Mácal, Peter Eötvös, Zoltán Peskó and Helmut Rilling, and counts Nikolaus Harnoncourt to be among his most influential mentors. From 1997-2001, David Rahbee was conductor of the Fidelio Chamber Orchestra in Cambridge, Massachusetts, selecting its talented young members from Harvard University, the New England Conservatory, Boston University, The Boston Conservatory, and the Longy School. From 1997 to 2000, he served as assistant conductor of the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra (formerly known as the Hingham Symphony) in Massachusetts.
Dr. Rahbeeʼs principal conducting teachers were Charles Bruck and Michael Jinbo at the Pierre Monteux School. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in violin and composition from Indiana University, a Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory in orchestral conducting, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Montreal in orchestral conducting. He has also participated in post-graduate conducting classes at the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Vienna. His arrangements of various music for brass are published by Warwick Music, and his articles on the music of Gustav Mahler have appeared in journals of the International Gustav Mahler Gesellschaft, among others. Dr. Rahbee was a finalist for the American Prize, in the category of Orchestral Programming in the college/university division for the 2013-14 season, and was awarded second place for the 2014-15 season of the University of Washington Symphony Orchestra.
French conductor Ludovic Morlot has been Music Director of the Seattle Symphony since 2011. Among the many highlights of his tenure, the orchestra have won three Grammy Awards and gave an exhilarating performance at Carnegie Hall in 2014, as reported in The New York Times: “The performance Mr. Morlot coaxed from his players was rich with shimmering colors and tremulous energy.”
During the 2017–2018 season Morlot and the Seattle Symphony will continue on their incredible musical journey, focusing particularly on the music of Berlioz, Stravinsky and Bernstein. In addition, they will be presenting some exciting new works by John Luther Adams, David Lang and Andrew Norman and welcoming Alexandra Gardner for a residency. The orchestra will also be performing on tour in California, including a two-day residency at the University of California, Berkeley. The orchestra has many successful recordings, available on their own label, Seattle Symphony Media. A box set of music by Dutilleux was recently released to mark the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth.
This season, Morlot will be conducting at Seattle Opera for the first time (Berlioz Béatrice et Bénédict), make his debut with the Orchestra of St Luke’s and will return to the Atlanta and Houston Symphony Orchestras. He has regular relationships with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and New York and Los Angeles philharmonics. Morlot also has a particularly strong connection with the Boston Symphony Orchestra having been Seiji Ozawa Fellowship Conductor in 2001 at Tanglewood and subsequently appointed assistant conductor for the orchestra and their Music Director James Levine (2004–07). Since then he has conducted the orchestra in subscription concerts in Boston, at Tanglewood and on a tour to the west coast of America.
Outside North America, recent and future debuts include the Berliner Philharmoniker, Vienna Symphony (closing concert of the prestigious Wien Modern Festival), Yomiuri Nippon Symphony, MDR Leipzig and Bergen Philharmonic Orchestras. Morlot has conducted the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall in London and on tour in Germany. Other recent notable performances have included the Royal Concertgebouw, Czech Philharmonic, Dresden Staatskapelle, Tonhalle, Budapest Festival, Orchestre National de France, Helsinki Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony, Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. Morlot served as conductor in residence with the Orchestre National de Lyon under David Robertson (2002–04).
Morlot was Chief Conductor of La Monnaie for three years (2012–14). During this time he conducted several new productions including La Clemenza di Tito, Jenůfaand Pelléas et Mélisande. Concert performances, both in Brussels and Aix-en-Provence, included repertoire by Beethoven, Stravinsky, Britten, Webern and Bruneau.
Trained as a violinist, Morlot studied conducting at the Royal Academy of Music in London and then at the Royal College of Music as recipient of the Norman del Mar Conducting Fellowship. Morlot was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in 2014 in recognition of his significant contribution to music. He is Chair of Orchestral Conducting Studies at the University of Washington School of Music in Seattle.
“Riveting” (NYTimes) cellist, Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir, has appeared as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Toronto and Iceland Symphonies, among others, and her recital and chamber music performances have taken her across the US, Europe and Asia. Following the release of her debut recording of Britten’s Suites for Solo Cello on Centaur Records, she has performed in some of the world’s greatest halls including Carnegie Hall, Suntory Hall and Disney Hall. The press have described her as “charismatic” (NYTimes) and praised her performances for their “emotional intensity” (LATimes).
An avid chamber musician, she has collaborated in performance with Itzhak Perlman, Mitsuko Uchida, Richard Goode and members of the Emerson, Guarneri and Cavani Quartets and has participated in numerous chamber music festivals, including Prussia Cove and Marlboro, with whom she has toured. She is cellist of the Manhattan Piano Trio and a founding member of Decoda; a group that seeks to revitalize the world of chamber music through refreshing concert experiences, creative education, and community engagement.
Along with the masterpieces of the 18th, 19th and 20th century, Sæunn is constantly inspired by works composed in our time and enjoys working with living composers. In addition to working closely with Daníel Bjarnason on his award-winning composition “Bow to String”, she has premiered dozens of works, including new pieces by Peter Schikele, Paul Schoenfield, Kendall Briggs and Jane Antonia Cornish.
Sæunn has garnered numerous top prizes in international competitions, including the Naumburg Competition in New York and the Antonio Janigro Competition in Zagreb, Croatia. She received a Bachelor of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music, a Master of Music from The Juilliard School and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from SUNY Stony Brook. Her principal teachers include Richard Aaron, Tanya L. Carey, Colin Carr and Joel Krosnick.
Sæunn was a fellow of Ensemble ACJW—The Academy, a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education—performing chamber music at Carnegie Hall and bringing classical music to students in the New York City Public Schools.
Born in Reykjavik, Iceland, Sæunn first moved to the states as a child however, she still has family in Iceland and enjoys going back, both for concerts and family visits.