Conductors


 

Jose Serebrier
CONDUCTOR
José Serebrier is one of the most recorded conductors of his generation. He has recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, Rome (RAI) Symphony Orchestra, Sicilian Symphony Orchestra, Belgian Ragio Symphony Orchestra, and the Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide Symphonies of Australia, among others. He records for RCA Victor, Decca Laserdiscs, Chandos, ASV, IMP Classics, and has made VHS format videos for Decca and Kultur. "Serebrier conducts Prokofiev, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky" released in America on the Kultur VHS label was shown on the Arts and Entertainment Network over 50 times on American National Television, as well as broadcast on Australian and Latin American television. the video, which includes Prokofiev's "Alexander Nevsky," Beethoven's "Eroica" and Tcahikovsky's Fourth Symphony, has won numerous awards.

Maestro Serebrier's recording of Charles Ives' Fourth Symphony won a Grammy nomination. His recording of the Medelssohn Symphonies with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra won the Music Retailers Asociation Award for the Best Orchestral Recording of the Year in 1991, and the first of his long series of Shostakovich Film Suites for RCA won the Deutsche Schallplatten 1990 Award for Best Orchestral Recording. The British magazine, Music & Musicians wrote:

In over 40 years of listening to records and going to concerts, we have never heard more fully realized, more purely musical, and more completely satisfying performances of the Menelssohn Symphonies than that sterling artist José Serebrier has given us. He is the only conductor who has made complete sense of the "Scottish" and has demonstrated that it is indeed a great work. The main problem is the finale, of which even conductors like Klemperer or Karajan -- among others -- have been unable to give coherent performances. Serebrier reveals a genuinely structural unity in this work which has astonished us. Serebrier's performance is fully alive.

CD Review found Serebrier's recording of Tchaickovsky's "Romeo and Juliet" to be: "The best in the catalogue. It recieves a really fantastic performance. The Montagues cersus Capulets feud projects itself right through the drama in thrilling fashion and the love music penetrates the senses like never before."

When Leopold Stokowski hailed José Serebrier as "The greatest master of orchestral balance," the 22-year old musician was the Associate Conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra in New York. That year, his Carnegie Hall debut was hailed by the American press for the "great intensity, precision, and clarity of his music making." The New York Times said "José Serebrier, who is at least 50 years younger than Stokowski, let the music storm the heavens and sing with great emotional vitality." By the time Serebrier had made his recording debut for RCA (Ives' 4th Symphony) with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, he was winning accolades from music critics and the public the world over. Hi Fi News, the British publication, insisted that: "Serebrier's recording of the Ives' Symphony is one of the greatest accomplishments in the history of the gramophone." In the U.S., High Fidelity/Musical America had this to say: "We had renditions by Stokowski and other conductors, now Serebrier has recorded the work with the London Philharmonic, and his performance is unquestionably the clearest, most precise, and the most decisive on disc. the clarity is quite extraordinary."

After five years as Associate Conductor of Stokowski's American Symphony Orchestra, Serebrier accepted an invitation from George Szell and the Rockefeller Foundation to become "Composer-in-Residence" of the Cleveland Orchestra, a position he held for several seasons. George Szell discovered Serebrier when he won the Ford Foundation American Conductor's Award (together with James Levine). Szell, a member of the jury, invited both conductors to join the Cleveland Orchestra, Levine as an Assistant Conductor, and Serebrier as "Composer-in-Residence." Since then, he has been conducting most major orchestras in American and Europe. Recently, he has made enormously successful debuts with the Orchestras of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, as well as making a triumphant return to the Cleveland Orchestra. The Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote:

Jose Serebrier made a triumphant return to Cleveland . . . it was an exhilarating evening . . . Serebrier shapes an interpretation of controlled excitementm and the players perform magnificently for him. With the Cleveland Orchestra at his fingertips, the exuberant conductor seemed to be having the time of his life. He threw himself into the music unselfconciously. In the slow movement, he abandoned the baton and conducted from the heart. Serebrier's enthusiasm communicated brilliantly and the large orchestra played with enjoyment. The Tchaikovsky Fourth Finale was so hair-raising that the large crowd burst into spontaneous cheers."

José Serebrier's international tours in recent years have included an American Tour with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, to Latin American tours with the Julliard Orchestra, an American tour with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, a tour of the U.S. East Coast with the American Composer's Orchestra, and many tours of Australia and New Zealand.

In 1985, Maestro Serebrier organized "Festival Miami." As its Artistic Director, he commissioned prominent composers such as Elliot Carter (String Quartet No. 4); gave the American premieres of a Liszt opera, a Wagner Overture, and many others. During the festivals, he conducted the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Phiharmonia Orchestra, the American Symphony, and many others. Notably, Serebrier is a recipient of the Alice M. Ditson Conductors Award from Columbia University for his persistent programming of new music.

Born in Uruguay of Russian and Polish parents, José Serebrier has composed more than 100 works. His First Symphony, "Elegy for Strings," and the "Poeme Elgiaco" were all premeired by Leopolod Stokowski, and several of his works have become highly successful ballets for companies such as the Joffrey Ballet. As a composer, he has won many of the most coveted awards, including two Guggenheims (as the youngest in that foundation's history), Rockefeller Foundation grants, commissions from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Harvard Musical Association, the B.M.I. Award, etc.