Stéphane Denève and Mikko Nissinen explore Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes

TUE, FEB 17, 2015 (1:19:45)

Thomas Forrest Kelly welcomes conductor Stéphane Denève and the Boston Ballet’s Mikko Nissinen to explore Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes as a crucible of modern music. Kelly finds the connections between the program which conductor Stéphane Denève has in place for his guest appearance with the Boston Symphony Orchestra the same week, and the Russian Ballet created at toured by Sergei Diaghilev. Kelly details the creative collaboration between Diaghilev and Nijinsky, the dancers, and Satravinsky the composer. Kelly tells the audience an amazing number of ballets were created by Diaghilev and, when put together with the music, stage design and exotic choreography, it ignited a new passion in 19th century audiences eager for more of the exotic and modern.

+ BIO: Mikko Nissinen

Mikko Nissinen became Artistic Director of Boston Ballet and Boston Ballet School in 2001. Born in Helsinki, Finland, Nissinen began his dance training at age ten with The Finnish National Ballet School, and launched his professional dance career at age 15 with The Finnish National Ballet. In 1978, he won First Prize at The National Ballet Competition in Kuopio, Finland. He continued his studies at The Kirov Ballet School for one year. Nissinen went on to dance with Dutch National Ballet, Basel Ballet and San Francisco Ballet, where he held the position of principal dancer for ten years. During Nissinen’s performance career his vast repertoire ranged from classical to contemporary works. As a guest artist, he danced with many different companies and partners and at numerous international galas.

+ BIO: Stéphane Denève

Stéphane Denève is a French conductor of considerable international experience and reputation. After graduating from the Paris Conservatoire, he served as a conducting assistant to Georg Solti, Georges Prêtre, and Seiji Ozawa. He made his debut in the United States conducting Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites at the Santa Fe Opera in 1999. Subsequently, he conducted many of the world’s leading ensembles, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony, the Munich Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra Sinfonica dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and many others.

+ BIO: Thomas Forrest Kelly

Tom Kelly received his B.A. from Chapel Hill; spent two years on a Fulbright in France studying musicology, chant, and organ. He holds a Ph.D. from Harvard (1973) with a dissertation on office tropes. He has taught at Wellesley, Smith, Amherst, and at Oberlin, where he directed the Historical Performance Program and served as acting Dean of the Conservatory. He was named a Harvard College Professor in 2000 and the Morton B. Knafel Professor of Music in 2001. Professor Kelly’s main fields of interest are chant and performance practice. He won the Otto Kinkeldey Award of the American Musicological Society for The Beneventan Chant (Cambridge University Press, 1989). Other books include First Nights: Five Musical Premieres, (Yale University Press, 2000) and First Nights at the Opera (Yale, 2004). He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an Honorary Citizen of the city of Benevento, and a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres of the French Republic.

Boston Symphony Orchestra