Kirill Karabits Leads The San Francisco Symphony, Concertmaster Alexander Barantschik, And Principal Viola Jonathan Vinocour In Performances Of Britten, Sibelius And Honegger


Ukranian conductor Kirill Karabits leads the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) and soloists Concertmaster Alexander Barantschik and Principal Viola Jonathan Vinocour in performances of Benjamin Britten’s Double Concerto June 6-9 at Davies Symphony Hall. The Orchestra also performs Jean Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2 in D major and Arthur Honegger’s Pacific 231.

Barantschik was the violinist for the SFS premiere of Britten’s Double Concerto in 2004 with then-Principal Viola Geraldine Walther and conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier. Concertmaster of the SFS since 2001, he is a frequently featured soloist. He led the Orchestra and was featured along with Catherine Payne and Jonathan Fischer in performances of Vivaldi, Bach and Mozart in January. He is the former concertmaster of the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) and Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and an active soloist and chamber musician in the United States and throughout Europe.

Kirill Karabits first performed with the SFS in 2011. He is in his fourth season as Principal Conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, and this season they tour Germany with percussionist Martin Grubinger. He and the Bournemouth have numerous recordings, including Schchedrin and Khachaturian albums, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 2 and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. In 2012, Karabits conducted the finale of the BBC Young Musician of the Year Award at The Sage Gateshead, broadcast nationwide on BBC Television. This season he conducts the Münich Radio Orchestra, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, The Cleveland Orchestra at the Blossom Festival and makes his Canadian debut with Ottawa’s NAC Orchestra. Next season, Karabits conducts Der fliegende Holländer at the Wagner Geneva Festival and returns to Den Norske Opera.

Jonathan Vinocour has been Principal Viola of the San Francisco Symphony since 2009, and has been a featured soloist numerous times, most prominently in a 2011 SFS premiere of Morton Feldman’s Rothko Chapel with MTT and the Orchestra. He previously served as Principal Viola of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and guest Principal Viola of the Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig and the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa in Japan. While principal of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, he performed as soloist with conductors Nicholas McGegan and Hans Graf. Vinocour is also an active solo and chamber performer. He received first prize in the Holland America Music Society Competition, has been a regular participant at the Marlboro Music Festival and has toured extensively with Musicians from Marlboro. Other festival credits include the Steans Institute at the Ravinia Festival, Open Chamber Music at Prussia Cove, the Aspen Music Festival and the Tanglewood Music Center where he was awarded the Henri Kohn Memorial Prize.

Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2 saw its SFS premiere in 1939 at War Memorial Opera House under Music Director Pierre Monteux, and was last played by the Orchestra in 2011 under Conductor Laureate Herbert Blomstedt. Vladimir Shavitch conducted the SFS premiere of Honegger’s Pacific 231 in 1927 at the Exposition Auditorium (now the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium). Performed several times on education concert programs, this is the first time the Orchestra will perform Pacific 231 in a regular season concert.

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