Otto Tausk, conductor
Dutch conductor Otto Tausk is the Music Director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, now in his third season. He is also the newly announced Chief Conductor of recently formed Phion Orkest van Gelderland & Overijssel. Until spring 2018, Tausk was Music Director of the Opera Theatre and Tonhalle Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen. He appears as a guest with such orchestras as Concertgebouworkest, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, Philharmonie Südwestfalen, Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestre symphonique de Québec, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Mariinsky Orchestra, the orchestras of Perth, Tasmania, Auckland, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and BBC National Orchestra of Wales, with whom he made his BBC Proms debut in August 2018. He is a hugely respected musical personality in his native Holland, working with all its major orchestras and composers.
In the 2020/21 season, Tausk continues guesting relationships with orchestras such as Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Het Gelders Orkest, Norwegian Radio Orchestra and Turku Philharmonic Orchestra. In Vancouver, Tausk will lead an innovative reimagined season in response to COVID-19, showcasing the orchestra with a curated series of digital performances.
In the opera pit, he will conduct Michel van der Aa’s new opera ‘Upload’, with the world premiere at Dutch National Opera, plus further appearances with the other co-commissioning parties including Oper Köln. In St. Gallen, Tausk conducted the world premiere of ‘Annas Maske’, by Swiss composer David Philip Hefti, the Swiss premiere of George Benjamin’s ‘Written on Skin’, Korngold’s ‘Die Tote Stadt’ and other titles including ‘Don Giovanni’, ‘Die Entführung aus dem Serail’, ‘Eugene Onegin’, ‘West Side Story’, ‘Lohengrin’ and ‘Ariadne auf Naxos’.
Tausk has recorded with the Concertgebouworkest (Luc Brewaeys, and an animated version of Prokofiev’s ‘Peter and the Wolf’), Tonhalle Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen (Korngold and Diepenbrock), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (Mendelssohn) and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra (Gavin Bryars) amongst others. For the cpo label in 2011 Hans Pfitzner’s enchanting Orchesterlieder garnered international praise, not least the Classica France’s ‘Choc du mois’. His Prokofiev disc with Rosanne Philippens also received BBC Music Magazine Concerto Disc of the Month (2018).
Born in Utrecht, Otto Tausk initially studied violin and then conducting with Jonas Aleksa. Between 2004 and 2006, Tausk was assistant conductor to Valery Gergiev with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, a period of study that had a profound impact on him. In 2011 Tausk was presented with the ‘De Olifant’ prize by the City of Haarlem. He received this prestigious award for his contribution to the Arts in the Netherlands, in particular his extensive work with Holland Symfonia serving as Music Director 2007 to 2012. In reflecting on their work together in The Netherlands, Valery Gergiev paid particular tribute to Tausk on this occasion.
Adam Sun, piano
Adam Sun, 16, is a student at the VSO School of Music. He started learning piano with Irina Faletski when he was 7 years old, and, throughout the years, has performed at various concerts, festivals, and competitions in British Columbia, such as the Canadian Music Competition. In 2020, Adam was the Runner-Up in the VSO School of Music Future of Excellence Competition, Senior Division. He enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate and work with his teacher, Sergei Saratovsky, performing Grieg's Piano Concerto. Adam enjoys collaborating with other musicians. He has often been inspired by his teachers and fellow students, strongly believing that learning and performing music should be a shared experience.
Jonathan Weng, piano
Jonathan Weng, 12 years old, Taiwanese-Canadian pianist and composer, has been playing piano since the age of 4. Jonathan made his piano debut at New York’s Carnegie Hall at the age of 7 and his orchestral debut with the orchestra of Musicfest Perugia, Italy at the age of 10. Jonathan has won numerous awards in international and local competitions. Therefore, he was invited to attend awards ceremonies and performed at renowned concerts halls. Jonathan appears with the VSO as the Runner-Up of the 2020 VSO School of Music Future of Excellence Competition, Junior Division. Jonathan is also an active composer and his music composition works have been performed by Standing Wave ensemble, symphony orchestra and professional musicians at the Sonic Boom festival held by Vancouver Pro musica,. In addition, one of Jonathan’s music compositions was awarded “Second Degree Diploma“ in International Category at the Golden Key Music Festival in Vienna, Austria. Also, as a winner of Young Composer’s competition, Vancouver 2019, Jonathan’s symphony orchestra work was performed by VAM symphony Orchestra and was premiered at the Orpheum theatre. Aside from music, Jonathan enjoys playing golf, swimming and skiing.
FakeKnot creates inclusive performance works that strive to understand the complexities of identity and culture through costume, sound, technology and the body. Artistic director Ralph Escamillan gathers his breath of experience as a dancer in street, commercial and contemporary dance to create a truly unique choreographic perspective, while also questioning his identity as a queer person of color. More information about FakeKnot and Ralph Escamillan here.