As the 2014 Chautauqua Institution season enters the home stretch, the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra begins to wrap up the audition process for eight guest conductors, all of whom are vying for the orchestra’s vacant music director position.
At 8:15 p.m. tonight in the Amphitheater, German maestro Christof Perick will conduct his first of two concerts this week. Perick is the seventh of the eight candidates to appear with the CSO this summer; Daniel Boico will be with the orchestra for its final two concerts on Saturday and Aug. 19.
Perick comes to Chautauqua as a native of Hamburg, Germany. He currently serves as the music director for the Bayerische Staatstheater Nürnberg symphony and the Nürnberger Philharmoniker. From 1999 to 2010, Perick served as music director for the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and has since been named its Conductor Laureate.
Due to his vacationing in Northern Germany prior to coming to Chautauqua, Perick was unavailable to be interviewed for this story.
His heritage shines throughout tonight’s program though, which is no accident. His reputation with native works such as Mozart’s The Magic Flute have been noted from Charlotte to San Diego.
For the Chautauqua audience, Perick has chosen to begin tonight’s concert with Carl Maria von Weber’s “Oberon Overture” followed by Richard Strauss’ Don Juan, Op. 20.
Weber and Strauss are both well-known German composers — the latter most famous for his opera Der Rosenkavalier, another one of Perick’s standard bearers.
The performance will close with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Symphony No. 36, K.425 in C Major (the Linz Symphony). Mozart is of course of Austrian descent, but the German influence is prevalent throughout his work.