Vadym Kholodenko, piano; Alena Baeva, violin
Alena Baeva is fast emerging as one of the finest violinists of her generation – having already carved out an impressive career to date working regularly as a soloist with orchestras including the Mariinsky Orchestra, the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, the Grand Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, the Svetlanov Academic Symphony Orchestra, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, German Radio Orchestra, the National Orchestra of Belgium. Alena has worked with conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Krzysztof Penderecki, Sir Neville Marriner, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Paavo Berglund, Kazuki Yamada, Sakari Oramo, and Pablo Heras-Casado. Her chamber music partners have included Marta Argerich, Yuri Bashmet, Steven Isserlis, Nikolai Lugansky, Misha Maisky, Аlexander Knyazev, Vadym Kholodenko (with whom she has established an 8-year long musical partnership), and Itamar Golan.
Recent highlights include the opening violin recital at the Mariinsky Concert Hall in St. Petersburg, performing with Yuri Bashmet and the English Chamber Orchestra in London’s Cadogan Hall, a tour with Orchestre National de Lille under Jean Claude Casadesus, engagements with the Trondheim Soloists, and a performance at Klassik Open Air, with an audience of over 75,000 people. Alena recently performed with the Weimar Staatskapelle (and conductor Stefan Solyom), the Luzern Festival Strings Orchestra, as well as Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No.2 at the Salle Pleyel in Paris (February 2014), and the complete cycle of Shostakovich’s symphonies and instrumental concertos – performed by the Mariinsky Orchestra and Valery Gergiev. Future engagements include performing with the Belgrade and Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestras, Orchestre National de Lille, Brussels Philharmonic, a return to the English Chamber Orchestra, along with recitals and chamber music throughout Europe.
Alena Baeva was born in 1985 to a musical family. At the age of five she began studying the violin in Alma-Ata under Olga Danilova. From 1995 she was a student with Professor Eduard Grach at the Central School of Music of the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatoire and from 2002-2007 at the Moscow Conservatoire itself. Apart from formal studies, her two most important influencers and supporters were Mstislav Rostropovich and Seiji Ozawa. In 2003 she was invited by Rostropovich to study in France and since 2007, Ms. Baeva has participated in Seiji Ozawa’s Academy in Switzerland. She has taken part in various master-classes, including those under Ida Haendel, Maxim Vengerov, Shlomo Mintz, and Boris Garlitsky. In 2004 Alena Baeva won the Grand Prix at the Moscow International Niccolò Paganini Competition, giving her the right to perform on the Stradivarius violin that belonged to Henryk Wieniawski; she also took the Gold Medal and audience prize at the International Violin Competition in Sendai (2007).
Alena’s discography includes recordings of concerti by Bruch and Shostakovich with the Russian National Orchestra (Pentatone Classics), concerti by Szymanowski (DUX), sonatas by Poulenc, Prokofiev and Debussy (SIMC), and Schubert’s Erlkönig with Yuri Bashmet (Sony Classics). The most recent release is a live-recording of the Second Violin Concerto by Shostakovish with Valery Gergiev(Arthaus Music, 2015). She also has a diverse range of recordings made on radio and television in Belgium, Germany, Israel, Poland, Japan, Portugal, Russia and the USA.
Her rapidly expanding repertoire includes over forty violin concerti and numerous sonatas and other works from different eras.
Vadym Kholodenko has emerged as one of the most musically dynamic and technically gifted performers of his generation, heralded for interpretations that are “impeccable, tasteful and vibrant, and also something more: imaginative” (Cleveland Plain Dealer). Winner of the coveted Gold Medal and all special prizes at the 2013 Van Cliburn International Competition, he is forging an international career throughout Europe, Asia and North America to great acclaim.
In the 2015-2016 season, Mr. Kholodenko makes U.S. debuts with the Atlanta, Eugene and Hawaii Symphony Orchestras, as well as a special concert with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra presented by the San Diego Symphony. He will have return engagements with the Rochester Philharmonic and the Norwegian Radio Orchestra. International engagements include debuts with the BBC Scottish, Spanish National, Sydney Symphony and Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestras. Recitals will take him to Austin, Budapest, Porto, Vancouver and many other cities around the world.
In recent seasons, Mr. Kholodenko has appeared with the orchestras of Fort Worth, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Omaha, San Diego, Malmö, Madrid RTVE, and Qatar, working with Leonard Slatkin, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Yuri Bashmet, Carl St. Clair, Vladimir Spivakov and other distinguished conductors. He has toured extensively across the United States and has made solo recital debuts in Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Sarajevo, Singapore and throughout Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom and Japan. Performing frequently in Russia, Kholodenko also held a residency at the Marinsky Concert Hall where he was named Artist of the Month by Valery Gergiev.
A committed chamber musician, Mr. Kholodenko has collaborated with the Enso Quartet, violinists Vadim Repin and Alena Baeva, and former iDuo with pianist Andrey Gugnin. His interest in composition produced the stunning cadenza to Mozart’s Concerto no. 21, which he performed in the last round of the Cliburn, composed on the plane from Moscow to the competition. He often plays his own transcriptions in recitals and concerts.
Mr. Kholodenko’s first recording for Harmonia Mundi was released in November 2013, featuring Stravinsky’s Petrouchka and the complete Liszt Transcendental Etudes, which Audiophile Audition deemed “pure gold.” A disc of Greig Concerto and Saints-Saens Concerto no. 3 with Norwegian Radio Orchestra was recently re4leased, and the complete Prokofiev concerti with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra will follow in 2016 and 2017. M
r. Kholodenko made international debuts at the age of thirteen and in 2005 moved to Moscow to study with Vera Gornostaeva at Moscow State Conservatoire. Under her tutelage, he won top prizes at the 2011 Schubert, 2010 Sendai and 2010 Maria Callas international piano competitions.
Wolfgang Busch is an associate professor in the Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Laboratory. While hidden beneath the surface, plants’ roots are critical for obtaining water and nutrients from the soil. But how roots process environmental information and which genes and molecular mechanisms determine how a plant root decides to grow in a certain direction in the soil, are still open questions. Dr. Busch’s research tries to understand how genetic information interacts with the environment and is translated by molecular, cellular, and physiological networks to shape plant root growth. For this, he uses a systems genetics approach—which combines cutting-edge techniques from genetics, genomics, bioinformatics and other science fields—to understand how root growth in given environments is determined by a plant’s genes. Because of the tremendous importance of roots for land plants including crops, Dr. Busch’s research could help grow more resilient food sources—an increasingly urgent problem in the face of the planet’s shifting climate and more extreme environments, such as drought. Moreover, because his research is rooted in the fundamental question of how the genotype of an organism gives rise to its phenotype and how this relationship is impacted by interactions with the environment, his findings promise to uncover fundamental biological principles with relevance for all complex organisms.