The Westdeutsche Sinfonia, a hand-picked best-of ensemble of the major North Rhine-Westphalian orchestras founded in 1987 and directed by Dirk Joeres, and the International Classical Music Awards (ICMA) have agreed to a collaboration, under which the Westdeutsche Sinfonia will stage an annual concert featuring one of the young artists honored by the ICMA. The first concert will take place on April 21, 2024, as part of the KlassikSonntag series in Leverkusen. The soloist will be Julian Kainrath, Discovery Award winner 2022.
ICMA President Remy Franck says, « Recognizing that an internationally coveted prize from the International Classical Music Awards can help young artists in particular launch their careers, we now have three awards that go to young musicians, the Discovery Award, the Young Artist Award and the ICMA Classeek Award. The fact that we can now, with the help of the Westdeutsche Sinfonia, help one of these award winners to give a concert each year fills me with great joy, and I thank conductor Dirk Joeres for his trust. »
Dirk Joeres says: « I was very pleased to take up Remy Franck’s idea of inviting young artists who have been awarded an ICMA prize to give a solo performance with the Westdeutsche Sinfonia. I am particularly pleased that these young artists can thus present themselves in the successful ‘KlassikSonntag!’ series. After all, this all-day concert format aims on the one hand to provide a deeper understanding of music through a detailed introductory matinée, but also gives the respective soloist the opportunity to come into direct contact with the audience in a personal conversation – an aspect that is becoming increasingly important in today’s classical music scene. »
(c) Horst A. Scholz
About the Westdeutsche Sinfonia:
When the Westdeutsche Sinfonia, conducted by Dirk Joeres, made its debut at the Musikvereinssaal in Vienna in 1991, the press praised the « crystal-clear classical splendor » of the sound. In the meantime, the orchestra has also conquered concert halls such as Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Berlin’s Philharmonie, London’s Barbican and Washington’s Kennedy Center.
The Sinfonia owes its founding in 1987 to the original idea of bringing together leading musicians from ten orchestras in North Rhine-Westphalia. The orchestra has its own concert series, ‘KlassikSonntag! concert series at the Forum Leverkusen and tours Europe and the USA.
Festivals such as Beethovenfest Bonn, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Bratislava, Budapest, Cheltenham, Ljubljana, London have repeatedly invited the Sinfonia. On the occasion of their debut in the Großes Festspielhaus Salzburg in 2004, the Salzburger Nachrichten wrote: « The orchestra is excellently consolidated in playing discipline and tonal balance. Joeres is one of those conductors who always know how to make music ‘speak’ directly ».
CD and DVD releases of the Westdeutsche Sinfonia have received excellent press coverage.
About the ICMA:
The International Classical Music Awards (ICMA) were established in 2010 by the jury of the former MIDEM Classical Awards. The jury is composed of music critics from 16 different countries, representing 20 print magazines or websites and radio stations: Andante (Turkey), Crescendo (Belgium), Das Orchester (Germany), Deutsche Welle (Germany), IMZ (Austria), MDR-Klassik (Germany), Musica (Italy), Musical Life (Russia), Musik & Theater (Switzerland), Opera (United Kingdom), Papageno (Hungary), Pizzicato (Luxembourg), Polskie Radio Chopin (Poland), Radio 100. 7 (Luxembourg), Radio Klassik Stephansdom (Austria), Radio Romania Muzical (Romania), ResMusica (France), Rondo Classic (Finland), Scherzo (Spain), Unison (Croatia).
Each year, 16 audio and video production awards and a number of special awards (Lifetime Achievement, Artist of the Year, Young Artist of the Year, Label of the Year ….) are presented to outstanding musicians from around the world.