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Artist Hyperion Records
Rosenzweig, Michael (conductor)
© Evgeni Evgeniev Photography

Michael Rosenzweig (conductor)

Michael Rosenzweig is a South African born composer, conductor, and guitarist. His participation in South African student politics in the 1970s compelled him to leave the country. He pursued his musical education in the United Kingdom and the USA. He has lived in the UK since 1979. He holds the only internal London University masters degree conferred without undergraduate degree or A-levels; subsequently Columbia University awarded him a full scholarship and stipend to read for their doctorate.

His compositions have been internationally praised and widely recognized as of exceptional magnitude, garnering several major and International awards, including the prestigious DAAD Berliner Kunstlerprogramm Award in 1990.

He was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Vidin Philharmonic in 2008.

Michael has established himself over more than forty years as a composer of note, having won many major prizes and awards, the highest being the DAAD Berliner Kunstler Fellowship in 1990, an award given to composers such as Igor Stravinsky, Roger Sessions, Elliott Carter, Krzysztof Penderecki, Luigi Dallapiccola, Luciano Berio, György Ligeti, Alberto Ginastera, and others of this eminence. He has over twenty successfully performed works, nineteen commissions, and four that have won important awards.

Commissioners include the London Sinfonietta, the Arditti Quartet, State Philharmonic of Iasi, Divertimenti String Orchestra and BBC Radio 3. Performers include the RLPO, Arditti Quartet, London Sinfonietta, and the State Philharmonic of Iasi.

In Berlin he was the Assistant Musical Director at the Berliner Konzert-chor and the Musical Director of the Youth choir, whose Philharmonie debut he conducted. He conducted the Blacher Ensemble, the new music ensemble from the Hochschule der Kunste in their international venue debut, as well as other ensembles in major venues and festivals, including his own ensemble, Sinfonietta Berlin.

His awards also include the University of Massachusetts Bay Harbor competition, GLA Young Composer of the Year twice, coming first and second the first time, a Gaudeamus award and the Vaughan Williams Trust Orchestral Competition, a one-time event designed to address the repeated administrative overturnings of SPNM selections of his Symphony in one movement.

In the UK he has conducted the English Chamber Orchestra, the City of London Sinfonia featuring Gervase de Peyer as soloist, London Strings (at St Giles Cripplegate and St James’s Piccadilly) with soloist Yonty Solomon, and Buckingham and District Music Society as their music director.

In Central and Eastern Europe he has conducted the Sofia Philharmonic with Graham du Plessis as soloist, the Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Moravian Philharmonic, the Slovak State Philharmonic, Philharmonia Sudecka in Poland, the State Philharmonic of Iasi, and Vidin State Philharmonic, among others. He has also conducted the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra.

His repertoire is wide, and includes works by Stravinsky, Mahler, Ravel, Shostakovich, Wagner, Brahms, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Schubert, Berlioz, Sibelius, Grieg, Elgar, Mendelssohn, Nielsen, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, Rossini, Saint-Saëns, Smetana, Verdi, Weber, Mozart, Haydn, Khatchaturian, Strauss, and A. Panufnik. He conducted the European première of Gervase de Peyer’s new realization of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto. He has conducted concertos by Lalo, Liszt, Ravel, Saint-Saëns, Beethoven, Mozart, and J.S. Bach. International soloists he has accompanied include Gervase de Peyer, Neil Black, Yonty Solomon, Borislav Yasenov, Borislava Taneva, and Pavel Minev.

Since 2003 he has conducted over 150 concerts with the Vidin Philharmonic, including premières, recordings, and live events for radio and television. He has conducted for events in front of the Bulgarian Prime Minister and other dignitaries. He was elected their Principal Guest Conductor in June 2008.

He also plays jazz, pop, and world music, and for several years played in Dr Imdad Husain’s ensemble performing Pakistani folk music fused with Western idioms playing in several concerts for the Third World Solidarity Organization and in London Festivals. He conducted the orchestra for Dr Husain’s Double Concerto for Violin and Oboe with soloists Dr Husain and oboist Neil Black. He has also been part of accompanying ensemble for visits by international Pakistani singer Rajab Ali. He was a regular playing member at Nigel Kennedy’s parties and has played with him at the South Bank. He is also featured and credited soloist on an Alabama 3 CD (theme tune for The Sopranos).

After a hiatus of more than 30 years Rosenzweig was active regularly as a Jazz musician from 2007 to 2010 and played with many noted players. He has started playing guitar again after a further hiatus of ten years.


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