The Gibraltar Philharmonic Society is privileged to present the Principal oboist of the Berlin Philharmonic, Albrecht Mayer in a recital with pianist Alexander Schmalcz on Thursday 16th February 2017 at 8:00pm at the Convent Ballroom. The concert the concert is sponsored by Parasol Foundation.
Albrecht Mayer’s first encounter with music was as a child, singing in the Cathedral Choir in his home city of Bamberg, and perhaps it was this early experience that still imbues his oboe playing with a warm singing quality that has audiences and critics alike paying homage to a remarkable player. His music-making constantly invites superlatives: people talk of a “divine spark” and how he has elevated the “miraculous oboe” to become an “instrument of seduction”.
He began his professional career in 1990 as principal oboist of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra. Since 1992 he has occupied the same position with the Berliner Philharmoniker, despite his growing renown as a concert soloist. Among the most sought-after oboists of our time, he has appeared as a soloist with Claudio Abbado, Sir Simon Rattle and Nikolaus Harnoncourt. In 2007 he made his Carnegie Hall debut with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Chamber music is also important to Mayer, and he performs it regularly in concert.
Albrecht Mayer constantly searches for new repertoire for his instrument and is fascinated by the idea of lending the voice of his oboe to pieces written for other instruments or for singers. He is especially attracted to the human voice, as the most “natural” of all instruments. His recording Lieder ohne Worte – Bach transcriptions for oboe and orchestra – immediately entered the German classical charts at number 2, and New Seasons entered the German pop charts, presenting music by Handel in a stunning new light by giving the vocal lines of operas and oratorios to the oboe. In Search of Mozart, recorded with Claudio Abbado and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, made it to the top of the German classical charts.
He was awarded the ETA-Hoffmann Prize by his home town of Bamberg, Germany, in December 2006. He has been honoured with the Echo Prize by the German Phono-Akademie three times, twice as Instrumentalist of the Year. In 2013 he was inducted into the Gramophone “Hall of Fame” and also awarded the Bavarian Culture Prize.
Alexander Schmalcz can be heard regularly in the most important cultural centres of Europe, the Americas and Japan and in international festivals and concert halls such as Wigmore Hall in London, the Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Liederhalle Stuttgart, the Kennedy Center Washington D.C.
Alexander Schmalcz has won numerous prizes, including the Gerald Moore Award in 1996 and the Megan Foster accompanist Prize. In 1995 together with his Piano trio, he won the Nederlands Impressariaat competition.
The programme will feature compositions for oboe and piano by W.A. Mozart, L. van Beethoven, J.N. Hummel, J. Brahms and R. Strauss