Author: Sabine Kortals

Irish Chamber Orchestra returns to Boulder

Conductor Gábor Takács-Nagy and cellist István Várdai to present Bach, Bartók and Haydn with Hungarian flair.

On Nov. 6, the “razor-sharp, fully-seasoned” Irish Chamber Orchestra (Chicago Tribune) returns to Boulder by popular demand, conducted by Gábor Takács-Nagy and featuring internationally renowned cellist István Várdai.

“I’m very happy that, after 23 years, I’m returning to Boulder where I lived for six years between 1986 and 1992,” says Hungarian-born violinist and conductor Takács-Nagy, a founding member in 1975 of the Takács Quartet—in-residence at the CU Boulder College of Music—and now Principal Artistic Partner of the Irish Chamber Orchestra since January 2013. (Of the original Takács Quartet, violinist Károly Schranz and cellist András Fejér remain.)

“I can hardly wait to be on stage in Boulder, and to meet with colleagues and friends,” continues Takács-Nagy. “I’m also very proud to perform with the ICO’s world-class musicians and the gifted Hungarian cellist, Várdai.”

Várdai, 30, has received prizes and awards at numerous international music competitions. He won the David Popper International Music Competition in Budapest three times, and was awarded top prizes at the Grand Prix Emanuel Feuerman in Berlin and the International Johannes Brahms Competition in Pörtschach, Austria. “His playing was commendable for its fluidity and virtuosity, distinguished by both a fleet-fingered lightness and a rich timbre,” wrote culture writer Vivien Schweitzer in The New York Times of Várdai’s musicianship.

According to Takács-Nagy, “We’ll be performing a very exciting, energetic and colorful program in Boulder,” including Bach’s Cello Concerto in A Major, Wq. 172, and Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C Major—as well as Haydn’s Symphony No. 49 in F minor (“La passione”) and Bartók’s Divertimento for String Orchestra.

“Hungarians are not only proud of Bartók, but also Haydn,” says Takács-Nagy. “They consider Haydn to be a little bit Hungarian, too! For much of his career, he was musician and composer for the Hungarian noble family, the Esterházys.”

Join us for a pre-concert lecture with Professor Paul Erhard. The lecture begins at 6:45 p.m. in Room 102 at Macky Auditorium; seating is limited, so please arrive early.

Tickets start at $15.

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