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MIKHAIL AGREST - CONDUCTOR

"Agrest conducted a concert that progressed from intriguing to alluring to utterly gripping … More of Mikhail Agrest please." - Michael Tumulty, The Herald

 

Biography

Scion of the great Russian conducting tradition, Mikhail Agrest has honed his craft at the Mariinsky Theatre for over a decade, acquiring a considerable body of operatic and symphonic repertoire and gaining crucial insights into orchestra development and artistic leadership.  Simultaneously, he forged meaningful artistic relationships with a number of the world’s premiere ensembles.  

The 2016-2017 season will see further projects with Semperoper Dresden, conducting Weinberger’s Švanda dudák and Verdi's La Traviata. In addition, Mr. Agrest will make his anticipated Canadian debut with Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and further European engagements include conducting the Bremer Philharmoniker and Sudwestdeutsche Philharmonie Konstanz, Germany. The triumph of Agrest's La bohème at Finnish National Opera, with whom he has collaborated for numerous seasons, led to an invitation to conduct a new production of Eugene Onegin in 2017. On top of this, an immediate re-engagement invitation to return to Seattle Symphony following his debut with the orchestra last year will feature during the 2016-2017 season.

Mr. Agrest’s appearance at the Metropolitan Opera in 2003 conducting the Mariinsky Theatre in Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezhsparked keen interest within the global opera community.  He went on to lead a production of Tosca at the Swedish National Opera, Don Giovanni at Opera Australia, as well as the award-winning new production of Jenufa at the English National Opera, directed by David Alden.

The following passage from The Herald of Scotland offers a good summary of his reviews by the UK critics: “Agrest conducted a concert that progressed from intriguing to alluring to utterly gripping… the sheer musical tension was riveting. More of Mikhail Agrest, please.” His collaboration with the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden so far consisted of three well-received productions: Le Sacre du PrintempsLes Noces, and Romeo and Juliette.  His work with the BBC Symphony dates back to 2007 and includes a Gubaidulina Festival at the Barbican as well as a recording of Rodion Shchedrin’s Concerto Parlando.  

Following the success of a Shostakovich, Prokofiev and R. Strauss program with Staatskapelle Dresden in 2013, Mr. Agrest was invited to conduct La Traviata at Semperoper and to lead a new production of Shostakovich’sMoscow-Cheryomushki, directed by Christiane Mielitz.  “Nobody left the performance without having a tune stuck in their head,” reported Neue Musikzeitung.  Maestro Agrest has been collaborating with Dresdner Philharmonie since 2008, and enjoys repeat invitations from London Philharmonic Orchestra and Seattle Symphony, where his debut was praised by The Seattle times: “[The] program’s real surprise, however, was Agrest’s conducting – a performance of such inspired passion that the players were practically jolted out of their chairs. He conducted like a man possessed, as if lives depended on the outcome, and the energy and commitment of his music-making were positively operatic.”

Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Mr. Agrest immigrated to the United States with his family as a teenager and received a degree in violin performance from the Indiana University at Bloomington.  He then followed his true passion back to St. Petersburg to study conducting from the legendary Ilya Musin, whose other alumni include Valery Gergiev, Yuri Temirkanov, and Semyon Bychkov. 

News

Mikhail Agrest returns to the Royal Festival Hall, to lead the London Philharmonic Orchestra

Tchaikovsky Symphony no 4, London Philharmonic Orchestra. Jan 2018

“The highlight of Agrest’s interpretation was the focus on texture; one felt the variety of sound within the string section, layered over the woodwind and under the brass. The clarity of definition allowed the structure of the symphony to come to the fore, an impressive achievement.” Dominic Lowe,  (Bachtrack)

Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony bristled with excitement, heart-on-sleeve fervour, and Agrest’s flexible tempos brought added definition to thematic outlines. Brass was incisive, strings tender and woodwinds sparkled, notably Timothy Orpen’s melting clarinet during the first movement.... In the third movement the LPO played like a well-oiled machine, superbly responsive to Agrest, and the Finale gathered intensity in response to his knees-bending galvanizing to bring this Symphony to a compelling close. David Truslove, Classicalsource 


"Sex, demons and cannibalism in Glasgow"

Scottish Opera triumphs at the Glasgow City Halls with Prokofiev's Fiery Angel under the baton of Mikhail Agrest.Dec 3, 2017

Mikhail Agrest’s sonorous Scottish Opera Orchestra, alert, vivid and fizzing with energy, despite a few ragged edges. David Kettle, Telegraph the whole vast company was under the authoritative command of conductor Mikhail Agrest. He’s back for a one-off concert of Russian music with the orchestra at Ayr Town Hall in the spring, which looks like an unmissable coda. Keith Bruce, The Sunday Herald


Agrest continues his longstanding relationship with the Finnish National Opera to lead a new production of Eugene Onegin

Eugene Onegin, Finnish National Opera, new production March 2017

“Mikhail Agrest’s direction of the orchestra was pure poetry and emotion. Affection, hope, intellect, and beauty – every element was cherished like a petal of a flower. He led the orchestra through the musical narrative, like a good shepherd.”  Маtti Surama. Demokraatti, Finland


Mikhail Agrest makes his debut in Canada, conducing a program of Dvorak Bruch and Tchaikovsky with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

Tchaikovsky Orchestral Suite no 3, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Dec 2016

"Always meaningful and always generating a coaxing romantic line and intensity... I was also impressed with how patient [Mr. Agrest] was in establishing soft atmospheric textures with suspension and feeling, a trouble spot for many young conductors." Vancouver Classical Music, Canada


Mikhail returns to Bremer Phil for the third time, with a program of Schumann, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky


October 29th, the last performance of the "La Traviata" at Semperoper, Dresden, with Venera Gimadieva  as Violetta Valery

CONTACT

GENERAL MANAGEMENT:

Anastasia Boudanoque
email: ab@artsprimavera
web: www.artsprimavera.com
phone: +1 646 709 6910

 

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