Classical music has featured prominently in our work since the program's inception. At the same time, we are also committed to supporting productions that feature contemporary forms of musical expression. Against this background we initiate dance performances and sound experiments as well as musical productions and classical concerts.
An important aim of our activities is to nurture the next generation of creative talent around the world. We do this through our own competitions for aspiring artists (e.g. Siemens Opera Contest) and by forging links between new talents and established international cultural institutions (Carnegie Hall New York, Opera Garnier Paris, Bavarian State Opera, Salzburg Festival).
In accord with the orchestraWith a dynamic stage presence and great passion, Delyana Lazarova captivated the public at a concert held in the nave of the former St. Peter's Church in Manchester. From Brahms Symphony No. 1 to Verdi's overture from The Force of Destiny, she created a musical happening which enthralled audience and musicians alike.
Delyana Lazarova wins the international Siemens-Hallé Conductors Competition 2020
"Winning this competition is an unbelievable feeling, I am extremely happy and feel very honored. It is a great privilege to work with Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra," said Delyana as she was presented with the award.
Last year, 287 talented conductors from 55 countries around the globe applied for this prestigious position. In addition to a cash prize of 15,000 GBP, Lazarova will also have the unique opportunity to fulfil a two-year engagement as Assistant to Hallé's principal conductor Sir Mark Elder, which also includes becoming the Music Director of the Hallé Youth Orchestra – a dream come true for any up-and-coming conductor!
Hosting this competition in cooperation with the Hallé Orchestra means we can give new talents a platform to demonstrate their many years of hard work and musical skills on an international stage.Stephan Frucht, Artistic Director of the Siemens Arts Program
It's my job to inspire
Her role as Music Director of the Hallé Youth Orchestra is an important part of Delyana's new appointment. But what are the main differences between working with young musicians and a professional orchestra?
Delyana, who was born in Bulgaria, has this to say about the subject:
"I don't think working with a youth orchestra is much different to working with a professional orchestra. Part of my task as a conductor is to be a source of inspiration, no matter who is in front of me. And I find it really rewarding to work with young people, with young souls and young minds, and inspire them with music. It basically is an inspiration, but on a slightly purer level than with professional musicians."
When asked about her sense of the competition process itself, Delyana replied: "This competition was definitely special. Not least because of the reception I was met with: the Hallé and the Siemens Team were all very welcoming. I immediately felt at home."
The highlight of a long partnership
The collaboration between Siemens and the Hallé has a long tradition. We have already been working for two decades with this renowned orchestra, one of the best symphonic ensembles in Great Britain. The Siemens Hallé International Conductors Competition is the culmination of a series of successful projects initiated during years of cooperation.
The commitment of the Siemens Arts Program has now raised the profile of this alliance to an international standard with considerably more global coverage.
Our association with the Hallé Orchestra is a remarkable one: Not only do they share our dedication to excellence, they also represent an important part of our involvement in the community of Manchester. This competition with its novel digital challenge is a wonderful example of how technology and art can work together and profit from each other to create something original with a cutting edge.Carl Ennis, CEO of Siemens UK
Conducting via avatar
In keeping with Siemens' reputation as a leading technology company, there was also an innovative component in the form of a "digital challenge". Candidates had to successfully complete this task in order to move into the finals. It was designed to test above all their ability to work with new, unknown elements – not least because the focus on digitalization is not only at Siemens, but is a phenomenon which is also crossing over into the world of opera.
And never was there a conductor's competition as digital as this one, even attracting the attention of the Times newspaper in London. David Sanderson, Arts Correspondent, wrote that "the jerky conducting of the Siemens Avatar in front of the Hallé Orchestra could be the future, much as Stravinsky once was."
The event location was also extraordinary, namely the recently renovated Anglican church of Hallé St. Peter's, now fully restored and equipped with the latest Siemens technology. This is where historic charm meets modern infrastructure, the best requisite for an outstanding concert with an excellent audio experience.
At one with the music – the real prize
"Today's performance has given me immense joy," said Delyana after her performance in the final. "Making music with the Hallé Orchestra - that's a very special thing. For me, that final moment when we finished the concert, was such a rewarding experience that I didn’t need anything else. Winning is great but making music at such a high level and feel at one with the musicians in perfect harmony – that's what’s truly special for me."
Going Digital against oblivion - tribute to the murdered composer Viktor Ullmann75 years ago, the composer Viktor Ullmann was murdered in Auschwitz. The Siemens Arts Program wants to keep alive the memory of Viktor Ullmann, representing numerous artists who were expelled and murdered by the National Socialists. We hope that Ullmann's music will be (re)discovered by many people all over the world. Therefore, we have started an audiovisual art project with the pianist Annika Treutler and the media artist Alexander Stublić.
"My aim is to make Ullmann’s music as highly regarded and as well-known as the work of those of his great contemporaries who were not persecuted. The work deserves it! In his music, Ullmann developed a very special language and a tonality all his own,” said Annika Treutler in tribute to the composer.
Viktor Ullmann (1898-1944) is an Austrian composer, conductor and pianist.
Because of the Jewish origin of his parents, Ullmann was deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1942, where he created a large part of his works. There he composed for example "Der Kaiser von Atlantis" and "Die Weise von Liebe und Tod". On October 18, 1944, Ullmann was killed shortly after his arrival in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.
Stephan Frucht (artistic Director of Siemens Arts Program) says about the project: "January 27, 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz Concentration Camp. The millions of innocent victims of the Holocaust remind us that remembrance can never be complete. At the same time, it is an obligation never to silence those voices that were not allowed to express themselves during their lifetime or that could no longer express themselves. This also includes many Jewish artists who were never able to fully develop their creativity because they were denied the freedom to create art. This fate of many great artists from the visual arts, who were branded "ostracized", was also shared by important musicians and composers, including Hans Krása, Pavel Haas, Gideon Klein and Viktor Ullmann, all of whom fell victim to the Nazi regime."
Siemens Arts Program has made a new recording of Viktor Ullmann's Piano Concerto Opus 25 (composed in 1939) together with pianist Annika Treutler. This is the first recording of the work in 3D audio format.
The production was realized under the direction of Stephan Frucht (Artistic Director Siemens Arts Program) with the Deutschlandfunk Kultur and the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin in the large broadcast hall of the RBB in Berlin. Prof. Thorsten Weigelt (Universität der Künste Berlin) and the 3D-Immersive Audio Specialist Stefan Bock (IAN Munich) were in charge of the recording.
The new recording - consisting of an audio CD and Blu-ray - contains not only the Piano Concerto Opus 25 but also Ullmann's Piano Sonatas No. 3 (1940) and No. 7 (1944), which Annika Treutler recorded in the Jesus-Christus-Kirche in Berlin-Dahlem. The album release is on January 31, 2020 on the label "Berlin Classics" (Edel).