The Netanya Israel Kibbutz Orchestra.
(photo credit: ERIK BØRSETHL)
The title of the January concert series of the Netanya Israel Kibbutz Orchestra is The Unexpected Guest. One of the upcoming guests is Norwegian musician Oystein Baadsvik, regarded as one of the greatest solo tuba players in the world. He will join the NKO’s multi-talented resident conductor Christian Lindberg, who is an acclaimed solo trombonist, in an evening of Mendelssohn, Copeland and world premieres for brass.
“I am looking forward to coming to Israel,” says Oystein emphatically. “It will be my first time, and I am excited because I have heard about the great enthusiasm of the orchestra and audiences. I am happy to be making music with Christian. Our friendship goes back to when we were students at the Royal Swedish Academy of Music.”
Both men chose the path of building careers as soloists on their individual instruments, the tuba and trombone. Successful in their fields, they have concert schedules that take them all over the globe and weave time into their busy schedules for composing, teaching and conducting.
For the past 15 years, Lindberg has added conducting to his resume as soloist. In addition to being the principal conductor of the Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra, he has signed a five-year contract with the Netanya Kibbutz Orchestra, during which he will appear as conductor a minimum of three times a year and is in charge of all programing. In addition, he will continue to accept numerous invitations as guest conductor and soloist with major orchestras throughout Europe, the US and the Far East.
Tuba player Baadsvik not only performs in concerts throughout Europe, the US and the Far East, but he also has a music clip on YouTube that has received more than two million hits. On the clip, he plays a piece that he composed for tuba and orchestra called “Fnugg Blue.”
Fnugg means “small” or “like a snowflake” in Norwegian. It also appears in the title (Fnugg Red), which is the piece he composed for tuba, trombone, and orchestra, which will have its world premiere with the NKO.
“Composing music is a wonderful experience for me,” explains Baadsvick. “It is a process where I play around and experiment. My goal is ‘What can I create today?’ I wrote both pieces, Fnugg Blue and Fnugg Red, based on the tonality of Norwegian folk music, over an underlying rock rhythm. The inspiration for the melody for Fnugg Blue came from the music of the Australian aborigine people, whereas the melody for Fnugg Red is inspired by American bluegrass music and the music of composer Aaron Copland.”
“Over the last 50 years,” he continues, “ fine composers such as Ralph Vaughan Williams, Paul Hindemith and Krzystof Penderecki have written beautiful and challenging music for tuba. As composers have discovered the tuba’s lyric capabilities, the tuba has gone from being a solely “oompah” instrument to finding its own voice and place on the musical landscape.”
The tuba can sing as Baadsvik first demonstrated in 2006 in his Carnegie Hall recital to delighted audiences and critical acclaim.
Today, he points out that orchestras worldwide are exploring the tremendous interest and demand for solo tuba in their concert series.
During the January NKO concerts, Lindberg will put down his baton and pick up his trombone, joining Baadsvik in a performance of Fnugg Red. Many 20th-century composers have written music especially for Lindberg, and he has premiered more than 300 works for solo trombone (90 of which are concertos for trombone). The number of premieres indicates that composers are discovering the potential of the instrument, and the trombone is coming into its own.
Likewise the tuba. Lindberg has written a concerto for tuba and orchestra, Panda in Love, which Baadsvik will perform. Ever since writing his first work in 1997-98, Arabenne for Trombone and Strings, he has received commissions for his works from more than 50 over fifty major orchestras.
Lindberg says that his philosophy on composition is that he does not compose in any one style.
“I just listen to what my brain and soul tell me, and I write it down on paper. To say anything more about my work would be pretentious nonsense,” he asserts.January 21 at 8 p.m. in Givat Brenner; January 22 at 7:30 p.m. at Beit Gavriel, Emek Hayarden; January 24 at 8 p.m. at Heichal Hatarbut in Nahariya; January 25 at 8 p.m. at Heichal Hatarbut in Netanya; January 26 at 8 p.m. in Ein Hachoresh; January 28 at 8 p.m. at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art; January 29 at 8 p.m. at Kibbutz Dorot. For further information: www.nko.co.il