1- Is the Cour d’Honneur of the Prince’s Palace a good place for music?
It is a magnificent setting, ideal for musical inspiration. The surroundings are enchanting, the architecture is in perfect balance, elegant, an ideal size for concerts and with good acoustics, which is rare in the open air. The only difference with a concert hall is that the stars take the place of a normal ceiling. To direct a concert in the open air, in the summer, and to take part in a musical evening in the Cour d’Honneur of the Prince’s Palace gives you the feeling of living through a unique event. A magical place to engage with the public.
2- What factors have inspired you in deciding which soloists and conductors to invite during the 50-year history of concerts in the Prince’s Palace?
The list is impressive, and proves how far the summer concerts have come from the first one in 1959, a reputation for excellence and huge prestige in the musical world and top international artists. Among the names are Rafael Kubelik, Carlo Maria Giulini, Zubin Mehta, Arthur Rubinstein, Leonid Kogan, Zino Francescatti and Mstislav Rostropovitch. Unfortunately, I can not list them all. My professor, Leonard Bernstein, was one of the first directors and came here to conduct concerts. I feel myself very honoured to walk in their footsteps and to be able to add my name to that list.
3- By what criteria have you selected the programme for this Jubilee Year concerts and how do you envisage the programme for next season?
This jubilee gives us the chance to hear the major works of the repertoire in the course of six concerts, four in July and two in August, and I think that the public would be well-advised to choose one concert sooner rather than later. One can hear the Fifth and Ninth symphonies of Beethoven, the Third symphony of Brahms, and also Mozart, Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, and Wagner, for example, and also major concertos performed by internationally-renowned soloists: Rachmaninov, Liszt, Dvorak, and Mendelssohn. On 2 August, a wink from Leonard Bernstein, who I mentioned before, but this time as Bernstein the composer, too disregarded in my opinion, with an extract from On the Town.
The idea is to hold a concert of very high quality within a varied and festive programme, in which each person can enjoy a unique moment rich in emotion. We are presenting the best musicians in a repertoire both attractive and original at the same time. These two criteria always remain our golden rule in making up the programme.
© Marco Borgreve