Pablo Heras-Casado makes L.A. & Saint Paul debuts

After hearing Pablo Heras-Casado conduct Mahler's Fourth Symphony with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in March, critic Alan Rich lamented missing the 31-year-old Spaniard's LAPO debut last December. "He's terrific," Rich wrote on his blog, So I've Heard. "His bio, which has him leading virtually every new-music, experimental-music and youth-oriented organization here and abroad, goes on for days; that document is breathtaking, and so is his work." In his December concerts with the Philharmonic, Heras-Casado, who counts Pierre Boulez and Peter Eötvös as mentors, led a program of Stockhausen and Ligeti. Los Angeles Times music critic Mark Swed praised these concerts, stating: "Heras-Casado did a superb job controlling the dramatic gestures and let the [Ligeti] speak for itself."

Last month Heras-Casado made his Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra debut conducting the world premiere of Chinese-American composer Chen Yi's Prelude and Fugue, along with works by Beethoven, Prokofiev, and Richard Strauss, in Saint Paul and Chicago. Under the "batonless young Spaniard of boundless animation," wrote the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the concert "felt like a multi-century symposium on the vitality and viability of the Western classical tradition." This August, Pablo Heras-Casado makes his debut with the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo, Japan, conducting Stockhausen's Gruppen for three orchestras.

Although his recent schedule might suggest that Heras-Casado is a symphonic specialist, he is equally at home in the opera pit. The Spaniard has a strong association with the Opéra National de Paris, where he made his full debut in autumn 2008 conducting the world premiere of Marc-Olivier Dupin´s ballet Les enfants du paradis. In the coming seasons, Heras-Casado will return to the Opera National de Bordeaux and Madrid's Teatro Real and make his debuts with the English National Opera and the Canadian Opera Company.

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