Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (QPO) continues to entertain those who are enthusiastic about western classical music by bringing in world renowned conductors, composers and instrumentalists.
The recent performance by the orchestra captivated the audience with a wonderfully melodious piano music. In the ongoing orchestral music season, the QPO has been inviting outstanding pianists from across the world.
The concert ‘Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2’ at Opera House of Katara- the Cultural Village saw the tantalising performance by ace German pianist Gerhard Oppitz. The orchestra was conducted by classy Marcus Bosch, a conductor from Germany.
The performance started with Concerto No. 2 in B-Flat Major for (1833-1897) Piano and Orchestra, Op. 83, a composition by Johannes Brahms, a romantic era German composer and conductor. The pianist also played other compositions of Johannes including Allegro non troppo, Allegro appassionato, Andante, and Allegretto grazioso.
After the intermission, the orchestra presented Symphony No. 6 in A Major (Nowak Edition) by Anton Bruckner, who was an Austrian composer, organist, and music theorist. The other compositions included Maestoso, Adagio: Very solemnly, Scherzo: Not fast — Trio: Slowly, and With motion, but not too fast.
Gerhard was born in Frauenau (in the Bavarian Forest) in 1953. At the age of five, he began to play piano and debuted with a performance of Mozart’s Piano Concerto in D Minor when he was 11. Along with his great enthusiasm for school, especially for science and mathematics, he continued his musical education in Stuttgart and Munich starting in 1966 with professors Paul Buck and Hugo Steurer, and later with Wilhelm Kempff, concentrating on the works of Beethoven.
In 1977, he was awarded first prize at the Artur Rubinstein Competition, after convincing an international jury, with Artur Rubinstein himself as its head, by performing the fifth Piano concerto by Beethoven and the First Piano Concerto by Brahms. This event marked the beginning of his worldwide concert activities – recitals in the major music centres of Europe, America and East Asia, as well as collaborations with the most renowned conductors and orchestras.
His main interest is the classical-romantic repertoire, although he has always devoted himself to music of the 20th century, as well, playing premier performances of several piano concertos. Again and again, he has demonstrated his particular fondness for presenting major groups of work cycles, such as Bach’s Wohltemperiertes Klavier, Mozart’s eighteen Sonatas, Beethoven’s 32 Sonatas, all the solo works by Schubert and Brahms’ complete piano works.
Gerhard’s discography comprises over 70 titles. Future plans include performances of all Mozart piano concertos, the main piano works of Liszt and the complete solo works of Debussy and Ravel. In 2014 he was awarded the Bavarian Maximilian Order for Science and Art.
In addition to his busy playing, the pianist also has a broad spectrum of other interests: he is a qualified professional air pilot and frequently pilots himself to his concert engagements across Europe. He is an informed gourmet. He speaks seven languages and lives with his Japanese wife near Munich.
Conductor Marcus Bosch is one of the most prominent figures in the German conducting scene and a much-sought-after guest conductor across the world. This German artiste of Brazilian-Italian descent decided early on to embark on the kapellmeister career path followed by many conductors in Germany.
After positions at the state theatres in Wiesbaden and Saarbrücken and with the Staatsorchester Halle, he was general music director of the City of Aachen from 2002 to 2012 and at the Staatstheater and Staatsphilharmonie in Nuremberg from 2011 to 2018.
His operatic repertoire now includes more than 90 works of music theatre, among them large-scale projects such as Wagner’s Ring cycle and Berlioz’s Les Troyens. He succeeded in putting the Sinfonieorchester Aachen – once led by conducting greats such as Herbert von Karajan and Wolfgang Sawallisch – back on the international classical music map with live CD recordings of symphonies by Anton Bruckner.
CONCERT: Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 underway at Opera House of Katara- the Cultural Village. Photo by Shemeer Rasheed