The Cleveland Orchestra introduces Bernd Richard Deutsch (CRF 2016)’s brand of colorful, virtuosic orchestral writing to its audiences this March with the US premiere of Okeanos.
Austrian composer Bernd Richard Deutsch writes music full of intensity and vivid imagery; it’s been described as playful and zany, but also highly virtuosic and full of inventive sounds from across the orchestra. His deeply affecting music has been championed by orchestras such as Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart, Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, and ensembles like Klangforum Wien and Ensemble Modern. In 2017, London’s Philharmonia Orchestra presented a portrait concert of his music.
Deutsch’s growing momentum in Europe and Asia begins to take root in the US—his sensational chamber orchestra work Mad Dog was given its US premiere by the New World Symphony in 2016, conducted by HK Gruber. This season, Deutsch begins his first year as The Cleveland Orchestra’s 10th Daniel R. Lewis Young Composer Fellow, and is composing a new work to be premiered during the Orchestra’s 2019-2020 season.
On March 14-17, music director (and fellow Austrian) Franz Welser-Möst conducts the US premiere of Okeanos, Deutsch’s concerto for organ and orchestra. The intense dramatic range of the work is magnified through each of the four movements’ association with a different element of nature: The first movement, as suggested by the title, is closely tied to water, while movements two, three, and four are based on air, earth, and fire.