Thursday, February 17, 2011

Erik Ochsner to Conduct FOTR in St. Louis

Back when the Howard Shore Festival in Lucerne and the FOTR: Live performances in St. Louis were announced, several of you questioned how such a thing would be possible, since the dates seemed to place conductor Ludwig Wicki in two contents at the same time. Today, all has been made clear. Erik Ochsner, who has been the cover conductor at each and every live performance of Shore's LOTR music, will be stepping into the spotlight to lead the St. Louis Symphony on April 1, 2, and 3.

This will be a true treat for all involved. Congrats, Erik!

Original press release below:

NEW YORK, Feb. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- New York-based Erik Ochsner will conduct performances of the Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring: Live to Projection at Powell Symphony Hall, St. Louis, MO. The performances feature Howard Shore's Academy Award®-winning score performed live, synchronized to film.

Erik Ochsner, known for his clear, powerful conducting presence and attention to detail, is one of today's promising and gifted conductors. He is the music director/founder of SONOS Chamber Orchestra, winner of the 2003 American Scandinavian Society's Cultural Advocacy Award. Ochsner led the ensemble in six U.S. premieres, including Karl Jenkins' Requiem, and two world premieres. This season, Ochsner will conduct the U.S. premiere of Fredrik Sixten's Requiem.

Ochsner is the cover conductor for the worldwide tour of the Lord of the Rings films projects. He was the assistant conductor/chorus master for the Shanghai workshop of Tan Dun's The First Emperor (a Metropolitan Opera World Premiere Commission), and the World premiere of Dun's The Map with Yo-Yo Ma and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. A graduate of Dartmouth College, Ochsner studied with Marin Alsop, Charles Bruck, Erich Kunzel, Helmut Rilling, and Robert Spano.

"I grew up listening to recordings of the famous St. Louis Symphony, so this is like a dream come true to work with this truly world class orchestra and chorus," said Ochsner.

The music of The Lord of the Rings is among film music's most complex and comprehensive works. This unique performance sets the score to the film, but allows the music to bear the narrative weight, creating a wholly new and dramatic live concert experience.

Howard Shore's score captures the sweeping emotion, thrilling vistas and grand journeys, and echoes the very construction of Tolkien's Middle-earth. Styles, instruments and performers from around the world provide Tolkien's cultures with a unique musical imprint. In operatic fashion, these musical worlds commingle, sometimes combining forces for a culminated power, other times violently clashing ... and always bending to the will of the One Ring and its own ominous family of themes.

"This amazing music and fantastic drama have moved me since day one: it is always thrilling and moving," Ochsner described. "What an amazing satisfaction at the end of each and every performance!"

Friday/Saturday, April 1-2, 7PM
Sunday, April 3, 2PM
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