The conductor of this weekend's (March 13 & 14, 2009) Columbus Symphony classical series concerts is a brilliant young talent named Jean-Marie Zeitouni.
His professional bio states:
Jean-Marie Zeitouni has emerged as one of Canada’s brightest young conductors whose eloquent yet fiery style in repertoire ranging from Baroque to contemporary music results in regular re-engagements across Canada and the United States.
His association with Les Violons du Roy goes back six years, first as conductor-in-residence and since 2004 as associate conductor. Over the years, he has led the ensemble in over 100 performances in the province of Québec, across Canada and in Mexico. He was also music director of their Young Artist Opera Program at the Banff Centre. His recent CD with the ensemble, titled “Piazzola,” garnered him a JUNO Award for Classical Album Of The Year in the category Solo or Chamber Ensemble in 2007.
Though his notoriety has only begun to reach beyond Canada's border, I have no doubt we will be hearing a lot more about this gifted musician in the future.
In our rehearsals, he gently demanded the utmost attention to details of phrasing, intonation, balance and ensemble. Never dictatorial, he always nudged gently, often playfully, to encourage, rather than demand, the fullest contribution from the orchestra. His tempos, which are often brisk, nonetheless make generous allowances for freedom of expression in solo passages.
His conducting technique conveys his ideas with clarity and elegance, offering precision when needed for attacks and ensemble, and emotion to shape the phrases.
Zeitouni is also a sensitive accompanist, easily lining up with any nouance from this week's violin soloist, Rachel Barton Pine.
I hope those of our audience and Board of Trustees are willing and able to see the remarkable gifts of this fresh new face in the conductor world.