The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra with Philippe Quint on violin and Carolyn Kuan, conductor will be performing “A Tribute to Charlie Chaplin” on February 7, 2020, at 8PM and Sunday, February 9 at 3PM at the Meyerhoff in Baltimore, Maryland and February 8, 2020, at 8PM at the Strathmore Music Center in North Bethesda, Maryland. For tickets and information on these performances go to this website.
Charlie Chaplin knew how to combine the visual aspects of film with music. The Silent Movie Era needed to stir emotions or make moviegoers laugh without hearing the actor’s voices. This meant using the actors’ faces and body language to convey moods with the accompaniment of live and, at the very end of their history, recorded music that was played during the film. “Combining clips from classic Chaplin films with live music, “Charlie Chaplin’s Smile” is violinist Philippe Quint’s tribute to Charlie Chaplin on his 130th birthday, tracing Chaplin’s relationship with 20th-century master composers and his own film scores.” John Corigliano’s “Red Violin Chaconne,” Barber’s heartbreaking “Adagio for Strings” (“Platoon”) and John Williams’ poignant “Three Pieces” from “Schindler’s List” are also listed as part of the program. Of course, it will include music from the song Chaplin wrote himself, “Smile” which he wrote for “Modern Times.” The lyrics, and title, were added later by John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons.
I had the opportunity to interview Philippe Quint and find out more about his music.
Bio: Multi-Grammy Award nominee violinist Philippe Quint has established himself as one of the leading violinists of his generation. “Truly phenomenal” is how BBC Music Magazine recently described him. Mr. Quint’s commanding technique and musical curiosity has led him to reimagine traditional works, rediscover neglected repertoire and continue his journey presenting new works of the most outstanding composers of today. Constantly in demand, he regularly appears at venues ranging from the Gewandhaus in Leipzig to Carnegie Hall in New York, appearing in recent seasons at the most prestigious festivals including Verbier, Colmar, Hollywood Bowl and Dresden Festspiele.
Mr. Quint has been named Artist-in-Association for the 2018/1019 season by Utah Symphony where his duties will include two weeks of performances with the orchestra and a recording for Hyperion label. Other highlights of his forthcoming season will include a special release of new arrangements of works by Charlie Chaplin for Warner Classics Label, his debut with Bilbao Orkestra Sinfonika, his Moscow debut with the National Philharmonic of Russia conducted by Maestro Vladimir Spivakov. Mr. Quint will take the Chaplin Project on tour for recitals in Los Angeles, New York, Washington, Boston, Pittsburgh, Berlin, London, Utrecht and Bilbao.
In addition to his award-winning discography, the celebrated American violinist of Russian heritage has won worldwide acclaim playing with the world’s leading orchestras and conductors. Quint’s appearances in recent seasons have taken him to the London Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony, Weimar Staatskapelle, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, China National Symphony, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Berlin Komische Oper Orchestra and Leipzig’s MDR Radio Symphony Orchestra. He has performed under the batons of such renowned conductors as late Kurt Masur, Edo De Waart, Andrew Litton, Tugan Sokhiev, Ludovic Morlot, James Gaffigan, Carl St. Clair, Michael Stern, Vladimir Spivakov, Cristian Macelaru, Kristian Jarvi, Krzysztof Urbanski, Jorge Mester, Jahja Ling, Carlos Miguel Prieto, Tugan Sokhiev, Tito Munoz, Steven Sloane and Bramwell Tovey.
In the 2016/17 season at the invitation of Maestro Vladimir Spivakov, Philippe opened the 28th edition of the Colmar Festival dedicated to Jascha Heifetz with Tugan Sokhiev conducting Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse in a performance of Korngold Violin Concerto.
Philippe Quint was presented the “Ambassador of Arts” award by Brownstone and Gateway Organizations at the United Nations in March of 2014. Mr. Quint appeared alongside Lou Diamond Phillips, Darren Criss and Lea Salonga, in the Kennedy Center’s “After the Storm” Benefit Concert for Philippines in 2014. Later that summer he also debuted at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as a part of a special “Joshua Bell & Friends” concert. In the summer of 2015, he hosted the second annual benefit “Philippe Quint & Friends” at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall presented by Russian American Foundation.
Philippe Quint is the first classical artist to star in the lead role of a major independent film “Downtown Express” co-starring Nellie McKay from producer Michael Hausmann (“Gangs of New York,” “Brokeback Mountain” and “Amadeus”) and multi-Emmy winning director David Grubin. This 2012 film premiered in New York and Los Angeles as well as at a number of national and international film festivals including Woodstock, New York, Houston (opening night), Mons (Belgium), Cuba, Vermont and Florida.
An active chamber musician, Philippe has appeared at the Mostly Mozart, Verbier, Luzern, Caramoor, Colmar, Ravinia, Aspen, Rome, Moritzburg, La Jolla, Lincoln Center and Chautauqua festivals and in recital and chamber performances at Kravis Center, UC Davis Presents, National Gallery in Washington most recently, at San Francisco Performances with composer/pianist Lera Auerbach.
Mr. Quint’s live performances and interviews have been broadcast on television by CBS, CNN, ABC, BBC World News, NBC, Reuters, Bloomberg TV, as well as by radio stations nationwide including NPR, WNYC and WQXR. His recordings have received multiple “Editor’s Choice” selections in Gramophone, The Strad, Strings and the Daily Telegraph. His remarkable degree of lyricism, poetry and impeccable virtuosity has gripped the eyes and ears of audiences in Asia, Australia, Latin America, Africa, Europe and the U.S. with what The Times (London) describes as his “bravura technique and unflagging energy.”
Philippe Quint’s formidable award-winning discography includes a large variety of rediscovered treasures along with popular works from standard repertoire. His AvantiClassics label recordings include “Mendelssohn & Bruch Violin Concertos” paired with Beethoven’s “Romances” with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería led by Carlos Miguel Prieto; original arrangements of Bach’s works by composer/pianist Matt Herskowitz titled “Bach XXI;” “Opera Breve” with pianist Lily Maisky; “Glazunov & Khachaturian Violin Concertos” with Bochumer Sinfoniker and Steven Sloane; and Tchaikovsky “Violin Concerto” with the Sofia Philharmonic led by conductor Martin Panteleev, paired with Anton Arensky’s “String Quartet No. 2, Op. 35.”
Other critically acclaimed albums are on Naxos label and include the world premiere recording of John Corigliano’s “Red Violin Caprices,” Korngold’s “Violin Concerto” ( Prieto/Mineria), William Schuman’s “Violin Concerto,” Ned Rorem’s “Violin Concerto,” Miklos Rozsa’s “Complete Works for Violin and Piano” with pianist William Wolfram, Bernstein’sSerenade (Alsop/Bournemouth) and a unique compilation of works by Paganini arranged by Fritz Kreisler, which BBC Music Magazine called “truly phenomenal.”
Born in Leningrad, Soviet Union (now St. Petersburg, Russia), Philippe Quint studied at the Moscow’s Special Music School for the Gifted with the famed Russian violinist Andrei Korsakov and made his orchestral debut at the age of nine. After moving to the United States, he earned both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from The Juilliard School. His distinguished pedagogues and mentors included Dorothy Delay, Cho-Liang Lin, Masao Kawasaki, Isaac Stern, Itzhak Perlman, Arnold Steinhardt and Felix Galimir.
The Chicago Tribune proclaimed, “Here is a fiddle virtuoso whose many awards are fully justified by the brilliance of his playing.” Among his many honors, Mr. Quint was the winner of the Juilliard Competition and Career Grant Recipient of Salon de Virtuosi, Bagby and Clarisse Kampel Foundations.
- How old were you when you started playing the violin and why the violin and not another instrument?
I was 4 years old. My family had a dream of starting a family trio, mother played piano, uncle played cello, naturally, I had to become a violinist!
- What other musicians or musical mentors most influenced your career?
Many! And not just musicians, I feel that in the past few years I have found inspiration in books of different genres, exhibits of various art forms and fields from sports to photography. As for mentors – I’d have to say my teacher Dorothy DeLay and Isaac Stern with whom I had aa fascinating lesson once.
- Even though you are a world-famous violinist, how many hours a day do you usually practice?
As long as I need to. I don’t look at time- I finish when the work is done.
- You have played all over the world. What are your favorite venues and explain why?
Carnegie Hall has tremendous legacy and it’s always a joy to perform there. Gewandhaus in Leipzig is an incredibly special place and the Helzberg Hall in Kansas City are also favorite venues.
- What composers to you prefer to perform and why?
I am in love with most of the works I perform, otherwise, I don’t think I would be able to perform at all. Some of my favorites are: Beethoven, Brahms, Stravinsky, Schumann, Schubert, Corigliano, Bernstein and Prokofiev. The driving force in wanting to perform a certain work is usually an immediacy of affinity for it which is difficult to put in words.
BSO’s “Tribute to Charlie Chaplin” will be a unique night for Chaplin lovers and lovers of classical and neo-classical music. The addition of Philippe Quint to their fine orchestra is a concert that should not be missed.
For information about this and future performances of the Baltimore Symphony go to this link.