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Tchaikovsky & Paganini

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Tchaikovsky & Paganini

Thursday, May 11—Sunday, May 14, 2023

Thursday, May 11—Sunday, May 14, 2023
Southfield, Monroe, Beverly Hills
2 hours

Jader Bignamini conducts haunting music from Tchaikovsky's ballet about a princess turned into a swan by a sorcerer. Giuseppe Gibboni, winner of the 56th Paganini Competition, plays that composer’s First Violin Concerto, a showcase of technical prowess for the soloist, complete with the orchestra's echoes of a military band. The program opens with the overture to an opera by Bottesini, sometimes called "the Paganini of the Double Bass."


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Overture to Il diavolo della notte
Violin Concerto No. 1
Suite from Swan Lake


Jader Bignamini


Jader Bignamini was introduced as the 18th music director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in January 2020, commencing with the 2020–2021 season. His infectious passion and artistic excellence set the tone for the seasons ahead, creating extraordinary music and establishing a close relationship with the orchestra. A jazz aficionado, he has immersed himself in Detroit’s rich jazz culture and the influences of American music.

In December, Bignamini returned to Detroit to lead a triumphant performance of Jessie Montgomery’s Starburst, Strauss’s Concerto for Oboe and Small Orchestra, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, “Eroica.” He returned again in May 2021 to conduct four programs including performances with violinist Midori and pianist Orli Shaham.

A native of Crema, Italy, Bignamini studied at the Piacenza Music Conservatory and began his career as a musician (clarinet) with Orchestra Sinfonica La Verdi in Milan, later serving as the group’s resident conductor. Captivated by the operatic arias of legends like Mahler and Tchaikovsky, Jader explored their complexity and power, puzzling out the role that each instrument played in creating a larger-than-life sound. When he conducted his first professional concert at the age of 28, it didn’t feel like a departure, but an arrival.

In the years since, Bignamini has conducted some of the world’s most acclaimed orchestras and opera companies in venues across the globe including working with Riccardo Chailly on concerts of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony in 2013 and his concert debut at La Scala in 2015 for the opening season of La Verdi Orchestra. Recent highlights include debuts with the Houston, Dallas, and Minnesota symphonies; Osaka Philharmonic and Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo; with the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna State Opera, and Dutch National Opera (Madama Butterfly); Bayerische Staatsoper (La Traviata); I Puritani in Montpellier for the Festival of Radio France; Traviata in Tokyo directed by Sofia Coppola; return engagements with Oper Frankfurt (La forza del destino) and Santa Fe Opera (La Bohème); Manon Lescaut at the Bolshoi; Traviata, Madama Butterfly, and Turandot at Arena of Verona; Il Trovatoreand Aida at Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera; Madama Butterfly, I Puritani, and Manon Lescaut at Teatro Massimo in Palermo; Simon Boccanegra and La Forza del Destino at the Verdi Festival in Parma; Ciro in Babilonia at Rossini Opera Festival and La Bohème, Madama Butterfly, and Elisir d’amore at La Fenice in Venice.

When Bignamini leads an orchestra in symphonic repertoire, he conducts without a score, preferring to make direct eye contact with the musicians. He conducts from the heart, forging a profound connection with his musicians that shines through both onstage and off. He both embodies and exudes the excellence and enthusiasm that has long distinguished the DSO’s artistry.

Giuseppe Gibboni

With flawless technique and compelling expressiveness, Giuseppe Gibboni won over the jury and audience of the Paganini Violin Competition in Genoa in October 2021. The violinist, born in 2001, was the first Italian in 24 years to win the overall prize, as well as the audience choice prize and special prize for the best interpretations of Niccolò Paganini's Capriccios and Violin Concerto. Subsequently, the now 21-year-old musician has begun an extensive concert career. He made his debut with Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto with the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia under the direction of Lorenzo Viotti. Shortly thereafter, he played with guitarist Carlotta Dalia at the invitation of Italian President Sergio Mattarella at the Quirinal Palace in Rome; the concert was broadcast live on Italian radio.

Gibboni had already attracted attention with a series of competition successes. He became known to a large television audience in 2016 through his success in the Prodigi–La musica è vita competition broadcast by RAI 1 in collaboration with UNICEF. In the same year he won the first prize and a special prize at the Andrea Postacchini Violin Competition, followed by successes at the Leonid Kogan International Competition in Brussels (2017), the George Enescu International Competition in Bucharest (2018), and the Valsesia Musica Competition (2020).

The son of a family of musicians, Gibboni was first taught by his father Daniele Gibboni before attending the Salerno Conservatory “Martucci.” At the age of 14, he was admitted to the Stauffer Academy in Cremona, where he received lessons from Salvatore Accardo. He also successfully graduated with a Diploma of Honor from the Accademia Chigiana in Siena. After a five-year advanced course at the Accademia Perosi in Biella with Pavel Berman, he now studies at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg as a student of Pierre Amoyal.

Gibboni recorded his debut CD at the age of 15 for the Warner Classics label. Since 2017, he has been sponsored by the New York SI-YO Foundation. He plays on an Antonio Stradivari, Cremona 1699, ‘Auer, Benvenuti’ violin. As winner of the Paganini Competition, he also had the opportunity to perform on the "Cannone," Niccolò Paganini's favorite instrument built by Guarneri del Gesù in 1743.

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