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Box Office: World class line up set to dazzle Wales in Concert Series; arts & entertainment As the new Orchestral Concert Series prepares to open at St David's Hall in Cardiff this week, we look at some of the international orchestras and soloists travelling to Wales during the coming months.

Byline: Edited by Karen Price

Who: Pianist Dmitri Alexeev

Appearing with: St Petersburg Orchestra

When: Thursday

Background: His critically praised recitals on the world's leading concert stages and his concert appearances with the most prestigious orchestras have secured his position as one of "the most remarkable pianists of the day". Alexeev was born in Moscow and began to play the piano at five. A year later his talent took him to the Moscow Central Music School and then to the Moscow Conservatoire, where his professor was the eminent Soviet pianist Dmitri Bashkirov. Alexeev's recent highlights include the world premiere of Penderecki's Piano Concerto at the Beijing Festival with the China Philharmonic and Sextet at the Musikvere in (Vienna) and in Paris, a major concerto and recital tour of Australia, a concert with Gatti and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and a major UK tour with the Russian State Orchestra.

Who: Violinist Janine Jansen

Appearing with: The Philharmonia Orchestra

When: November 22

Background: Born in Utrecht, the 29-year-old is already a household name and has been described as "a young woman who has everything" by the renowned conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy. Jansen studied with Coosje Wijzenbeek, Philipp Hirshhorn, and, most recently, with Boris Belkin. In September 2003 she received the Dutch Music Prize from the Ministry of Culture - the highest distinction an artist can receive in the Netherlands. She received the Edison Classic Public Award in 2004andin 2005, as well as an Echo award for her Vivaldi recording in 2006. Her latest album achieved Gold sales within the first few weeks of its release. Her appeal is far reaching as she is very much a classical musician for the 21st century, termed as the "Queen of Download" for her latest recording of Vivaldi's Four Season's.

Who: Conductor Gustavo Dudamel

Appearing with: The Philharmonia Orchestra

When: February 19, 2009

Background: Dudamel achieved international status with his sensational debut at the 2005 BBC Proms when he took over a concert at short notice. It meant that at the age of 24, he became one of the most hotly-tipped young conductors of his generation. Born in 1981 in Barquisi me to, Venezuela, Dudamel was 10 years old when he took up the violin and was soon studying composition. In 1996, he began his conducting studies with Rodolfo Saglimbeni and during the same year was named Music Director of the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra. In May 2007, Dudamel was awarded the Premio de la Latindad by the 37 Latin American and African member states of the Union Latina organisation for his outstanding contributions to Latin cultural life.

Who: Prague Symphony Orchestra

When: May 7, 2009

Background: This leading Czechmusic ensemble has been enriching the concert life of the Czech capital and representing Czech culture at the highest level abroad for more than 70 years. Today's Prague Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1934bythe conductor and musical organiser Rudolf Pekarek. He defined the new ensemble's fields of activity with the words Film-Opera-Koncert, which as the abbreviation FOK became part of the orchestra's title. By recording music for the majority of Czech films in the '30s and performing regularly in live broadcasts of Czechoslovak Radio, the FOK Orchestra made a name for itself. Many important conductors have appeared as guests. The conductor for this repertoire is Libor Pesek, who caused a sensation at St David's Hall last year with his performance of Janacek's Sinfonietta.

For full details, contact St David's Hall box office on 029 2087 8444.


INTERNATIONAL STARS: Clockwise from main picture: Violinist Janine Jansen, conductor Gustavo Dudamel, pianist Dmitri Alexeev, and the Prague Symphony Orchestra
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Oct 6, 2008
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