promoting young talent
I Maestri is a unique organisation that helps talented young conductors hone their skills through a programme of workshops, masterclasses and public concerts. Created in London in 2001 by Music Director George Hlawiczka and with the help of their Patrons, the late Sir Neville Marriner and Jorma Panula, I Maestri enables conductors to work with professional musicians drawn from the ranks of the London orchestras, chamber ensembles and music colleges, the orchestra is also open to excellent amateur musicians who have the opportunity to play next to expert colleagues.
Its inspiration was the Helsinki conducting academy under Jorma Panula and the Pierre Monteux Academy, where generations of conductors were nurtured because of having ‘an instrument’ to work with on a regular basis. Since its conception, I Maestri has become an important institution with conductors and soloists from across the world coming to work with the orchestra and in demand for tours and other events.
I Maestri made its first foreign tour in July 2007 when they toured Montenegro. In September 2010 they went to Greece to perform at the Patmos Religious Music Festival as well as performing in Delphi and Loutraki. In May 2011 they toured in Sicily to giving concers in Pozzalo, Ragusa and Comisso with Laura Nocchiero. Their future tours include Ragusa, Sicily for New Year 2012, followed by concerts in Torres Vedras, Portugal, Croatia in June 2012 and an opera residency in August 2012 in Berbiguieres, France. In May 2013 they will return again to Ragusa, Sicily.
In 2008 they took part in the BBC Maestro television program, coaching celebrities to conduct in a television competition, the winner, comedienne Sue Perkins, going on to conduct at the Last Night of the Proms in London.
Each year I Maestri has an extensive season of concerts at St. John's, Smith Square, London. Over the last 10 years they have programmed over 200 works, including some 20 operas. They have perfomed with among others, violinists, Nicola Benedetti, Yuri Zhislin, George Hlawiczka, violists Maxim Rysanov, Miriam Ruetschi, Pianists Luiz de Moura Castro, Evelyn Berezovski, Ratimir Matinovic, Jose Menor, Karin Lechner, Laura Nocchiero, cellists Luis Zorita, Pal Banda, Anup Kumar Biswas and clainetist Joan Enric Lluna.
Norman Lebrecht commented "by some wordless impulse an exceptional conductor can change the chemistry in his orchestra and audience." Young conductors can only strive for this with regular contact with an excellent body of musicians and I Maestri invaluably provides some of the best talent around with this unique opportunity.