Guest conductors

Ivan Velikanov

Was born in France in 1986 and moved to Russia at the age of 7. His musical interests span over all epochs from the late Medieval to Contemporary. After initial music tuition that started at the age of 5 in Paris, and then continued at the Moscow Academic Music College (2000-2004), he entered the Moscow Conservatory in 2004, where he studied composition with prof. Roman Ledenyov (graduated in 2009), and orchestra conducting with prof. Gennady Rozhdestvensky (graduated in 2012). Also, studied orchestra conducting with prof. Vladimir Altschuler (St. Petersburg) and harpsichord and continuo with prof. Maria Uspenskaya (Moscow). In addition to the formal tuition, participated in master-classes in orchestra conducting with K. Masur (2006), K. Kiesler (2007), Th. Currentzis (2008), sir R. Norrington (2010), G. Gelmetti (2014), G. Lanzetta (2015), M. Jurowski (2016). Award-winner of the 2nd I. Mussin orchestra conductors competition (2011).

Ivans compositions include an oratorio The seven Words of Christ on the Cross, and a stage work Setanta, or the Fearless Hound of Ulster, a choreo-choral drama in four acts, libretto by I. Velikanov based on motifs from the Irish sagas and plays of W.B. Yeats. With this work he won the Bolshoi Theatre contest for creation of a musical stage work for children and teenagers (2008).

Ivans interest in early music dates from his child years when he was performing as descant with the Moscow Madrigal ensemble. Later on, he learns to play cornetto, organ and organetto (early Renaissance portable organ), first by self-tuition, then by taking lessons from the world-class musicians such as W. Dongois (2010, 2011, 2012), J. Tubery (2011, 2013), G. Pérez (2011, 2012, 2013). Then, in 2009 he creates Alta Capella, the first Russian early music ensemble playing on historical wind instruments. With this ensemble he performs, in several concert programmes, an immense instrumental and vocal repertoire ranging from XIII to XVII centuries. In 2011 he creates La Renaissance International festival of music and dance in Moscow. Since then, every year in summer he invites to Moscow the best European interpreters on various period instruments, to give open master-classes followed by public performances with the participants.

In 2012, Ivan was engaged as project assistant of A. Lawrence-King in his stage production of E. de Cavalieris opera Rappresentazione di anima, et di corpo in the N. Satz Childrens Music Theatre, Moscow; the next year, this work received special prize of the Golden Mask National Theatre contest. In 2014-2015 also worked as assistant to Vladimir Jurowski (incl. a concert version of R. Strauss Salomé), with his Alta Capella ensemble, he participated in Vladimir Jurowskis concert programmes juxtaposing Romantic repertoire with thematically related Renaissance and Baroque pieces.

In spring 2014, Ivan was invited as visiting conductor by the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre, where he produced a renovated stage performance of Mozarts Die Zauberflöte. In the summer of the same year he was engaged by the Pavel Slobodkins Centre, Moscow, as a second conductor of the Centres Small Symphony Orchestra. In the 2014-2015 season he gave several concerts with this orchestra, performing a large repertoire ranging from Haydn to Prokofiev, esp. a whole series of famous violin concertos.

In summer 2014, Ivan created the Tarusa Chamber Orchestra, aimed at offering historically informed performances in a Russian provincial city. With 3 to 4 concerts per year, 10 concert programmes have been already presented, including symphonies, concertos, and operatic excerpts by Glück, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Rossini, Schubert, Weber, Schumann, Glinka, Brahms, Wagner, Mahler and others. Some popular pieces, such as Waltz-Fantasia of Glinka, were played for the first time in Russia on historical instruments, and many others arranged for the orchestra by I. Velikanov. Among outstanding musicians performing with the orchestra, V. Uryupin (clarinet), M. Emelyanychev (piano), S. Poltavski (viola), and others. In his turn, Ivan supplies various concert programmes (including Musical portraits for children) with detailed commentaries. The orchestra is a regular participant of Music and Arts Festival of the Sviatoslav Richter Foundation and Winter Tarusa festival, performing also with young musicians within the Summer Art School.

Starting from the same summer 2014, Ivan is engaged as assistant conductor in the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Music Theatre. There, he has created the Russian premiere of A Gentle Spirit (Krotkaya) opera by J. Tavener, and the World premiere of Rashomon. Variations, a ballet by G. Varlamov. He also conducts childrens programmes, with Carnival of the Animals (Saint-Saëns), The Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra (Britten), Peter and the Wolf (Prokofiev), Aladdins Magic Lamp (opera by N. Rota). He teaches historically informed singing of Renaissance and Baroque repertoire to the Theatres vocalists, and regularly performs with them in the Atrium of the Theatre.

In May 2016 Ivan has performed two concerts in Florence, with the Toscana Classica chamber orchestra, in March 2017 visiting conductor at the Mikhailovsky Theatre in St. Petersburg (Mozarts Die Zauberflöte). In winter 2017, Ivan was invited by the Novosibirsk Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre, where he works as assistant and 2nd conductor with Dmitri Jurowski on the stage production of Verdis Un Ballo in Maschera.