MARK FITZ-GERALD

Mark Fitz-Gerald, the conductor for the upcoming May performance, has enjoyed much critical acclaim with early performances of New Babylon – in particular at the Japanese premiere of the Gosfilmond print of the work which opened the Tokyo Summer Music Festival in 2000, and also at the Rotterdam Gergiev Festival in 2001. He also conducted the Cinémathèque Suisse print variant of the film at the 1998 large scale open-air screening which was the highlight of the Bologna 1999 Silent Film Festival.

Mark Fitz-Gerald studied at the Royal College of Music, where his professors included Norman Del Mar, winning all the major prizes for both orchestral and operatic conducting. It was during this time that Henze invited him to take part in the first Cantiere Internazionale d'Arte in Montepulciano, Italy, as a result of which he was invited regularly to Switzerland as Guest Conductor of the Basel Sinfonietta. From 1983 to 1987 he was Artistic Director of the RIAS Jugendorchester (West Berlin) where his innovative Filmharmonjc Concerts received much acclaim and were later made available on CD. He returned to continue the series with the Berlin Rundfunkorchester in 1992. Since then, he has performed the very specialized task of accompanying silent films live with orchestra, with much success in many countries and festivals throughout the world. His performances of the Trauberg/Shostakovich classic New Babylon (1929) have received much critical acclaim, in particular at the Japanese premiere of the work (opening concert of the Tokyo Summer Music Festival 2000) and the Rotterdam Gergiev Festival 2001. With the help of Mrs Irina Shostakovich and Krzystof Meyer he has restored the complete score to another Trauberg/Shostakovich film, Odna (1929/3 1), and conducted the world premiere (the first Shostakovich premiere for over 20 years) in Holland and later in Paris, with enormous success. His restoration is now published in the new complete edition of the composer's works, and he conducted the UK premiere at the Barbican centre in 2006. In 1986 he was appointed Music Director of Kentish Opera, with whom he has conducted many successful productions. He has assisted regularly at the Vienna Staatsoper, as well as the Vienna Kammeroper, and in 1992 he made his debut at the Volksoper with The Cunning Little Vixen. In 1994 he conducted the world premiere of an opera by the Mexican composer Victor Razgado at Spoleto (Italy) in conjunction with the Italian producer Luca Ronconi. In 1994 he conducted The Nutcracker for the Vienna Festival Ballet. He has collaborated with Annetta Hoffnung in many major 'Gerard Hoffnung' concerts in London (both at the Royal Festival Hall and in the presence of the late Diana, Princess of Wales at the Barbican) as well as throughout Europe and Japan.

He has worked regularly as Guest Conductor with Het Brabants Orkest (Holland), Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Bayerischer Rundfunk Orchester, Komische Oper Berlin, Luzerner Sinfonieorchester, Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonic, and the Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz. Other guest appearances have included the BBC Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Philharrnonia Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia, National Symphony Orchestra, RTE Concert Orchestra (Dublin), Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester (Leipzig), Radio-Sinfonieorchester (Stuttgart), Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra, SWR Rundfunkorchester (Kaiserslautern), Kassel Stadttheater, Jena Philharmoniker, Limburgs Symphonie Orkest (Holland), New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine, the Fondazione Arturo Toscanini (Parma), Lausanne Opera and the Teatro Verdi Trieste. From 1989 to 1993 he was Associate Conductor of the Orquestra do Porto (Orquestra Classica do Porto, Portugal). He was Assistant Conductor in Strasbourg both at the Philharmonic Orchestra and at the Opéra du Rhin from 1997 to 2002. His CD recording of Odna was released in January 2008 and went immediately into the top 5 of the Naxos new release best-selling charts. Several other world premiere recordings are planned later this year.

"A nugget of pure gold ... the BBC Symphony Orchestra ... under Mark Fitz-Gerald produced a revelation" (The Independent)

"A victorious night for the music ... painstakingly reconstructed by the concert's conductor Mark Fitz-Gerald" (The Times)

"Fitz-Gerald secures playing of exceptional vitality from the Frankfurt orchestra. Vividly recorded ...those wishing to investigate Shostakovich's film music should start here" (Gramophone)

For the UK Opera North premiere screening of the reconstructed print of New Babylon, Fitz-Gerald will be conducting a 15 piece ensemble which reflects more accurately the size of ensemble that would have performed Shostakovich’s first work for film, in the Leningrad and Moscow cinemas of 1929.



New Babylon - In Performance - Restoration - Mark Fitz-Gerald
Press - DVD and Book Set