Original cuts from newspapers, quotations, critics, interviews...some only in original language.
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for Finnish original klick on newspaper-excerpt, English translation by Anna Rombach below
picture by Lauri Vänskä
Turku Philharmonic 1.11. 2013 @ St. Michael´s Church- Nazanin Aghakhani, conductor, Kalle Toivio, organ- Mozart, Beethoven, Saint-Saëns.
Plenty of music lovers from toddler to senior citizen had gathered at St. Michaels` Church. There is worse ways to spend your friday evening. Musical multitalent Nazanin Aghakhani led the orchestra determinedly and enthusiastically. Fortunately nowadays the mere fact that a woman is swinging the baton is no longer newsworthy. Aghakhani, however, is a pioneer in many ways, and, in the context of classical music, even emancipatory.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozarts' (1756–1791) overture from the opera The Abduction from the Seraglio constituted an energetic opening, piccolo and percussion imitating turkish style musical influences charmingly. Due to the acoustics of the concert venue the more thickly instrumented parts came across sounding quite massive. The overtures' slow middle section was played beautifully and slenderly.
Ludwig van Beethovens' (1770–1827) symphony nro 1 C-major op. 21 does not yet strongly represent the composers original symphonic voice, but is rooted in the foundations created by Mozart and Haydn. The symphonys' opening is unusual, as it doesn't start out in the main key as it should according to tradition. The scherzo is disguised as a minuet. Also the instrumentation is cautiously innovative. The performance was wonderful.
Camille Saint-Saëns' (1835–1921) symphony nro 3 in c-minor, also called the organ symphony, could have offered a richer variety of different sound colours, although clarity and balance were the composers ideals. The churches' acoustics blurs details, and the choice of seat also has a big influence on the listeners' experience, so relying on clarity is not enough, though it is more important than usually.
As a whole the concert was magnificent. Kalle Toivios` organ melted into the orchestras´ soundscape naturally, despite an occasional hint of timing problems. The churches acoustics are challenging in terms of ensemble playing. Nonetheless Aghakhani did her job zealously and the tempo regained its stability quickly. During the course of this pleasant evening we got to hear moderation in expression and form on many levels.
Only corrections: I am a mother to a son...& I am a little shorter than 1,60...
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First female conductor of Tehran Symphony Orchestra in History!
“The intense and clear conducting of young female conductor Nazanin Aghakhani had an immense enchanting effect on the whole audience and also her musicians. During the entire performance and even after, the hall was filled with the mental storm she had produced solely through her pure musicianship.”
“...Aghakhani's controlled and restrained use of the baton, provided clear guidance to the orchestra, but she refrained from excessive gesticulations intended to excite the audience. Her well maintained contact with the soloist undoubtedly made an active contribution to the highly creditable result.” Hallandsposten, Sweden/ 2005
on concert performance with Halmstad Chamber Orchestra & Maximilian Bratt (piano, violin)
on Tim Page's chamber piece "Philomela", worldpremiere at Musica Nova Festival, Helsinki
“A conductor who gets her musicians to put the bits and pieces onto the right spots.”