What's on my desk…
The new season in Belgium is about to get underway with the theme of “Reinventing Utopia,” highlighted by two masterpieces, Mahler’s Second Symphony and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis. In the meantime, I return to Aspen in August with a world premiere and the first program at New England Conservatory appropriately showcases youth: music of Barber, Mendelssohn, Andrew Norman, and Shostakovich – all written before the composers turned 24!
"Mr. Wolff and his young charges closed the concert with a bang-up performance of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 6. The Presto finale, with the young players reveling in the thrill of collective virtuosity, was sheer joy." – The New York Times
"Wolff's Shostakovich 10 was powerful, three-dimensional and devastating, and the Atlanta Symphony blossomed by his approach. Much of the opening movement builds to an unbearable tension. Wolff paced it tautly and meaningfully, with understated authority. When the music finally crossed that emotional threshold and plummeted into some dark netherworld of a broken psyche, Wolff did not, would not, relent... Credit Wolff with delivering the crucial essence of a harrowing masterpiece of the 20th century."
"Conductor Hugh Wolff presided over one of the Utah Symphony’s most high-spirited programs of the season on Friday. From Beethoven’s ever-popular “Leonore” Overture No. 3 to Saint-Saëns’ playful Cello Concerto No. 1 to Charles Ives’ invigorating Symphony No. 2, the concert was a sheer delight."
"Under Wolff's careful guidance, the [Minnesota] orchestra gave this music [Adès] the sort of wham-bam-socko performance it needs. Wolff, the former music director of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, is a gifted conductor who should be seen here more often."
"The evening's strength was the conductor, Hugh Wolff, an urbane host who without undue Sturm und Drang made Mendelssohn's Scottish Symphony, the composer's third, an absolute delight."
Click here to read the full review from the Washington Post