Robin Ticciati OBE has been Music Director of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin since 2017 and Music Director of Glyndebourne Festival Opera since 2014. He was Principal Conductor of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra from 2009-18.
He is a regular guest conductor with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the Budapest Festival Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Guest-conducting highlights in recent years also include the Wiener Philharmoniker, Czech Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and Staatskapelle Dresden.
Since becoming Music Director at Glyndebourne, he has conducted new productions of La damnation de Faust, Pelléas et Mélisande, Rosenkavalier, Entführung and La clemenza di Tito. Highlights as a guest opera conductor include Peter Grimes at La Scala, Le nozze di Figaro at the Salzburg Festival, and Eugene Onegin at both the Royal Opera House and The Metropolitan Opera.
Born in London, Robin Ticciati is a violinist, pianist and percussionist by training. He was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain when, aged fifteen, he turned to conducting under the guidance of Sir Colin Davis and Sir Simon Rattle. He was recently appointed ‘Sir Colin Davis Fellow of Conducting’ by the Royal Academy of Music. Robin was awarded an OBE for services to music in the Queen’s Birthday Honours (2019).
For biography and publicity photos, please download the Publicity Pack.
18 May 19La damnation de Faust Glyndebourne Festival Opera
“Ticciati, an exemplary Berliozian, conducts with great beauty and a keen sense of dramatic pace. The London Philharmonic play with refined sensuousness of detail, while the Glyndebourne Chorus, augmented for the occasion, sound terrific throughout.”
02 Feb 19London Philharmonic Orchestra Royal Festival Hall
“The Bruckner symphony was a transcendent experience. Ticciati, perhaps the most spiritual as well as naturally gifted of the younger conductors, drew playing of endlessly fascinating precision, ensured a marvellous blend at a marvellously adjusted pace, and, though he couldn’t be faulted for the sense of architectural cogency imparted, was at the same time supremely able to let the music breathe: an organism. It is, I think, Bruckner’s most perfect symphony, and this performance had me feeling it is his greatest.”
“In Glyndebourne’s excellent acoustic, Debussy’s music sounds richly suggestive, unfolded with a touch of Wagnerian grandeur by conductor Robin Ticciati and the eloquent London Philharmonic Orchestra.”
“Ticciati has returned to fine-tune his way through the Strauss labyrinth – more luminous than ever in the purple passages, more incisive in the rapidity of what turns out to be black comedy in Act Three, with incredible clarity from lower strings bringing out yet more details in a fathomless score.”
“[…] Ticciati conducts a London Philharmonic Orchestra on top form, delivering elegant playing that is remarkable for its wealth of detail. Just listen to the beauty of the strings at the end of the first act and imagine the Rosenkavalier of your dreams.”
21 Apr 18Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester BerlinPierre-Laurent Aimard Berliner Philharmonie
“Viel zu schnell vorbei ist auch die siebte Sinfonie von Jean Sibelius. Endlos könnte man dieser Musik lauschen, so wie Robin Ticciati sie mit schnellen Tempi und drängendem Puls zum Leben erweckt, ihr ein fast schon magisches Leuchten verleiht, wie in weißen skandinavischen Nächten.”
23 Mar 18Brahms: The SymphoniesScottish Chamber Orchestra CD Reviews
“But perhaps one of the most striking aspects of these performances is the sheer variety of colours and timbres Robin Ticciati manages to extract from the outstanding strings of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra”
“Throughout each work, Ticciati projects strongly defined phrase characterisation, coupled with a great sense of forward momentum”
“What stands out is the sheer range of sound and colour Ticciati has at his disposal […] the playing is unfailingly vivid. Ticciati leaves the SCO this summer after nine years as principal conductor. This release captures the strength of their connection and preserves it at its peak.”
“Ticciati’s is lean and quite dazzlingly transparent. Listening with score in hand, I marvelled at the conductor’s meticulous observance of Brahms’s markings. Nearly every instruction regarding dynamics, phrasing and articulation is accounted for.”
“In place of autumnal Brahms tinted with deep reds and russet browns we have Brahms in the springtime, lit by light, fresh beams of sunshine. By this point in their relationship, Ticciati and the SCO know each other so well that they have every slightest detail at their fingertips, illuminating phrase after phrase with new meaning— a living, breathing, younger man’s Brahms, ready to win new hearts.”
“Ticciati, auswendig dirigierend, trieb der Sinfonie alles Pathetische und Behäbige aus, ließ das Orchester im Majestoso stürmen bis in den Risikobereich hinein, in dem es mulmig klingen kann, Ticciato formte insgesamt aber doch einen eleganten Bogen.”
27 Jan 18Wiener PhilharmonikerMozartwoche Salzburg
“Ticciati lenkte Mozarts große Jupiter-Symphonie, KV 551, in wunderbar fließendenatürliche Bahnen. Das unaufdringliche Dirigat bescherte diesem Meisterwerk eine klanglich ausbalancierte, tänzerische Leichtigkeit, wie sie wohl nur dieses Orchester zustande bringt.”
Florian Oberhummer, Salzburger Nachrichten, 29 Jan 18
“Dabei sind ihm die Wiener und Robin Ticciati, mit dem die Chemie hörbar gut gestimmt scheint, prächtige Partner.”
“[The overture was] superbly played by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Robin Ticciati. And that was a foretaste of fine musical things to come, especially from the period woodwind in the obbligato solos of this noble score.”
12 May 17Scottish Chamber Orchestra, 12 May 17 City Halls, Glasgow
“It has become a commonplace now that principal conductor Robin Ticciati extends the repertoire of the SCO into realms previously the sphere of the symphony orchestra, but this programme was all that from start to finish. And what a finish. The performance of Beethoven’s Seventh that brought the concert and the SCO’s City Hall season to a close was revelatory”
“The conductor’s vision of the piece was compellingly fresh, with bold use of silence in the run up to the main theme, and an original vision of both the dynamics and the rhythms of the work that made it breath anew.”
30 Mar 17Tchaikovsky: Eugene OneginMetropolitan Opera Company New York
The other star of the evening was the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra led by Robin Ticciati. Starting with a hushed and subdued prelude, Mr Ticciati was keen to bring out intricate textures of music rather than being swept up with Tchaikovsky’s emotional melodies … The musicians were adept at following Mr Ticciati’s frequent tempo and dynamic shifts. ★★★★★ Ako Imamura, Bachtrack, 31 March 2017
Almost as important as Netrebko to the success of this Onegin was conductor Robin Ticciati. The brisk tempos and ravishing transparent textures he drew from the Met orchestra emphasized that this is a tragedy about young people: the main characters are all teenagers or in their early 20s. That so many people’s lives could be ruined by one ill-considered letter written by a young girl reminds us just how shockingly fragile happiness can be. James Jorden, New York Observer, 3 April 2017
13 Jan 17Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, 13 January 2017 Philharmonie Berlin
“Once more it has become evident to what flowering orchestral sounds the young composer inspires his musicians. The beginning of Edward Elgar’s overly long, late-romantic Violin Concerto from 1910 also reveals Ticciati’s operatic experience. The orchestral exposition is reminiscent of a dramaturgically sharpened overture which is also relishingly set in scene. Flexibility and colour, naturalness and warmth are the tonal virtues the young Briton has forever awakened in the DSO.
Und einmal mehr is auffällig, zu welch blühendem Orchesterklang der junge Dirigent die Musiker in der Philharmonie inspiriert. Zu Beginn von Edward Elgars überlangem, spätromantischen Violinkonzert von 1910 offenbaren sich nicht zuletzt auch Ticciatis Opernerfahrungen: Die Orchesterexposition erinner an eine ebenso dramaturgisch zugespitzte wie geniesserisch inszenierte Ouvertüre. Flexibilität und Farbigkeit, Natürlichkeit und Wärme sind klanglichen Tugenden, die der junge Brite beim DSO dauerhaft weckt.”
12 Nov 16London Philharmonic Orchestra European tour 10-20 November 2016
“Das Holz: eine Pracht. Die Streicher: reinstes Tonen. Das Blech: ein Fest. Und Ticciati gebietet mit seinen 33 Jahren souveran uber ein Werk mit all seinen Verwerfungen und dynamischen Extremen, dass selbst erfahrene Kollegen den Hut ziehen.” Armin Kaumanns, Rheinische Post, 14 November 2016
“Wien – Sie ist einer der All-Time-Hits klassischer Wunschkonzerte – Antonín Dvoráks 9. Symphonie Aus der Neuen Welt mit ihren vielfach abgedroschenen Melodien. Dabei kann sie dank ihrer origineller Gedanken noch immer unerhört frisch wirken, wie sich am Sonntag im Musikverein zeigte. Doch eigentlich förderte Dirigent Robin Ticciati gemeinsam mit dem London Philharmonic Orchestra noch wesentlich mehr zutage – nämlich einen großen Anspruch, der sich mit den Symphonien der deutsch-österreichischen Tradition unbedingt messen möchte.
Ticciati ist ein erfreuliches Gegenbeispiel zu seinen Dirigentenkollegen, die den optischen Eindruck ihrer kommunikativen Bemühungen weniger auf das Orchester als auf das Publikum zu münzen scheinen. Seine Zeichen sind sparsam wie effizient, dabei so elastisch, um stets für lebendige Linienführung und ausgeglichene Transparenz zu sorgen.
Der Chefdirigent des Scottish Chamber Orchestra und Musikdirektor der Glyndebourne Festival Opera schien bei Dvorák beide Seiten der Medaille gleichermaßen ernst nehmen zu wollen: sowohl das Füllhorn kompositorischer Einfälle als auch den Ernst, jeder Stimme im Orchestergewebe einen Sinn geben zu wollen. Somit gab es neben dem perfekten Glanz und der Phrasierungskunst plastische Tiefenstrukturen und motivische Verbindungen zu ergründen, über die sonst gerne hinweggehuscht wird.” Daniel Ender, der Standard, 21 November 2016
09 Nov 16London Philharmonic Orchestra, 9 November 2016 Royal Festival Hall, London
“Sweet, fresh and supple, powered by muscular brass and cooled by scissoring strings, the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s performance of Dvorák’s Ninth Symphony under Robin Ticciati was revelatory in its beauty and seriousness.
Ticciati has an incredible gift for tenderness, sharp nuances of colour and articulation and bold alterations of tempos. The LPO played Dvorák as though they were the same size as the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, with silky portamenti, vivid woodwind, precise horns and thrilling trombones.
07 Oct 16MozartMozart's last symphonies, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, 6 October 2016 Usher Hall, Edinburgh
“Always bright-eyed, the playing made us hear the final symphony afresh: not just looking back to Mozart’s beloved Bach and his counterpoint, transfigured through the later composer’s dazzling individuality, but also forward to the primal energy of Beethoven’s Seventh, which Ticciati will be conducting next May. More Mozart’s to come, too, in the shape of four masterly piano concertos; but already Ticciati and the SCO have done enough at the start of this season to show that they remain one of the best musical partnerships in the world.” David Nice, The Arts Desk, 07 October 2016
23 Sep 16BerliozRoméo et Juliette Swedish Radio, Linn Records
“… an orchestrally superb new version of Berlioz’s ‘dramatic symphony’. The sound pictures are precise and subtle in the ‘serene night’, Juliet’s funeral cortege, and the fizzing fireworks of the Queen Mab scherzo.” Nicholas Kenyon, The Guardian, 11 September 2016
15 Jan 16Scottish Chamber Orchestra, 15 January 2016 City Halls, Glasgow
“As a musical dramatist [Robin Ticciati] excelled in his interpretation of Brahms’ Tragic Overture, with which he opened the programme: it’s too dark; it’s too heavy; it doesn’t establish any comfort zone for the listener; and, though we don’t hear it often these days (the very title is not exactly good box office) it’s often too fat. Ticciati and the SCO, in splendid form, stripped it to the bone, made it lean, low-calorie and very Beethovenian in its drama and excitement, and delivered an account of the Overture that seemed whiplash and incisive in its immediacy.
And Ticciati’s forensic account of Brahms’ Third Symphony, played with stunning responsiveness by an SCO in mind-bendingly innovatory mode (chamber music and symphonic drama to the life) demonstrated an altogether-fresh approach to one of classical music’s most familiar and taken-for-granted evergreens.”
19 Dec 15NDR Hamburg, 19 December 2015 Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Germany
“Schumann strahlt. Seine Musik leuchtet. Und Robin Ticciati lässt seinen Schumann am Pult des NDR Sinfonieorchesters mit einer so glänzenden Animiertheit strahlen, dass sein Debüt beim designierten Residenzorchester der Elbphilharmonie einer Erweckung gleicht. Der gebürtige Londoner mit italienischen Wurzeln lässt schon nach den ersten fein modellierten und im frischen Tempo angegangenen Phrasen des mit ‘lebhaft’ überschriebenen ersten Satzes vergessen, wie schwer Schumanns Sinfonien eigentlich zu knacken sind. Denn allzu viele Dirigenten finden den rechten Schlüssel nicht, der all die Innenräume einer feingliedrig versponnenen Poesie ohne Worte mit der Großform des fünfsätzigen sinfonischen Gebäudes verbinden könnte.
Bei Ticciati sind diese Pole ganz natürlich und harmonisch versöhnt. Da sind auf der einen Seite die Details mit Liebe ausgearbeitet, zumal die Ländleridylle des Scherzo, das oft mit den Wellen des Rheins assoziiert wurde, gewinnt mit ihren hell singenden Holzbläsern herrlich luzide Farbwerte und damit die Imaginationskraft einer Musik, die stets über sich selbst hinausweisen will, die uns hinter der wohl organisierten schwingenden Luft ihre dichterische Bedeutung enthüllen möchte. Auf der anderen Seite aber stärkt Robin Ticciati den organischen Fluss, formt herrlich logische Übergänge, disponiert das große Ganze mit überlegenem Weitblick.”
11 Nov 15London Philharmonic Orchestra, 11 November 2015 Royal Festival Hall, London
“In the surrounding all-French programme, Robin Ticciati proved his own points. In Fauré’s orchestral suite for Pelléas et Mélisande, which predates Debussy’s opera, Ticciati immediately announced his quality by drawing refined and restrained playing from the London Philharmonic. Yet he never allowed the music to lose its inner pulse, with the rippling violin figurations of the second movement beautifully integrated with the pizzicato cellos and the sinuous flute solo.
Ravel’s Valses Nobles et Sentimentales revealed a similar attention to clarity of texture and well-paced rhythmic grace. These waltzes really danced. But it was in Debussy’s La Mer, a symphony in all but name, that Ticciati displayed a sense of structure to go with his manifest ability to manage orchestral sound. The opening movement had a particularly firm sense of evolution as well as an ear for instrumental balance and effect, while the second movement play of waves was ideally impulsive and the final maritime surges were so atmospheric that one could almost feel the spray.”
05 Nov 15Philadelphia Orchestra, 5 November 2015 Verizon Hall, Philadelphia
“Using period-instruments concepts, such as a leaner sound, the 32-year-old British conductor favored very fast tempos and lean textures. Rather, he used these ideas, where applicable, to underscore expressive details that might otherwise go unnoticed.
The piece rolled through like a storm – the driving intensity and probing of the first movement, the selective suspending of string vibrato in the second, the accent on violent rhythms in the scherzo, and a fearsome building of momentum at the end.
In terms of dynamic individualists who lead the orchestra on a regular basis, Ticciati with this Schumann joins an exclusive club.2
“Drei Faktoren wirken in optimaler Weise zusammen: Robin Ticciatis untrügliches Gespür für die Musik, die Reaktion des ‘Scottish Chamber Orchestra’ auf eben diese dirigentische Inspiration und ein Toningenieur, der die Musik in eine wunderbar ausgeglichene Aufnahme gebracht hat. Dies ist ein kleines Wunder musikalischer Ästhetik.” Remy Franck, Pizzicato, 28 August 2015
“Ticciati achieves a fusion of modern and historical performance not quite like any other achieved elsewhere, with vividly sculpted internal lines (especially important in the contrapuntal Symphony No. 70), a good deal of energy, and a great feel for the humour and sparkle of the late Symphony No. 101.” James Manheim, AllMusic
“The three D major symphonies on this generously-filled disc bubble with originality … The big fanfares impress, played on natural horns, but it’s the trickier quiet moments which amaze … All thought-provoking and highly enjoyable – Ticciati’s best disc so far.” Graham Rickson, The Arts Desk, 26 September 2015
08 Aug 15RavelL'enfant et les sortilèges & L'heure espagnole Glyndebourne Festival
“Robin Ticciati drew fine playing from the London Philharmonic Orchestra, defining the habanera Spanish rhythms well in L’heure espagnole, grumpy contrabassoon and silvery flute to the fore in L’Enfant, but also great string delicacy in the score’s softer moments. The final ‘Maman!’ brought a lump to the throat and rightly so, a sure indication that Ravel’s little masterpiece had worked its magic once again. A perfect summer evening entertainment.” ★★★★★ Mark Pullinger, Bachtrack, 8 August 2014
“Glyndebourne’s music director Robin Ticciati draws exquisitely detailed playing from the London Philharmonic, languid in the first opera and wonderfully alert to Ravel’s inventive night music at the end of the evening.” John Allison, The Telegraph, 9 August 2015
01 Aug 15DvořákSymphony No. 9 Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Tudor Records
“A big, bold New World this, with a strong bass-line and a winning approach to the first movement’s second subject, where Ticciati eases the pulse and has the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra’s strings smile gleefully on a warming glissando .. Most important, Ticciati appreciates the scale of the piece, allowing it to build naturally, patiently and powerfully, and with due appreciation of Dvořák’s translucent orchestration.
A super CD, the symphony a fair match for Sir Colin Davis and the LSO, the Suite making it for me a digital front-runner. More of the same please.”
“This is a ‘New World’ of tiny shudders and tremolos, hidden chamber-music-like swoops and swerves, small cello fluctuations, and hushed expectations. What I enjoy about Ticciati is that once achieving a transparent sound picture, he moulds something within it. And far from eliminating lyricism and fascination, his approach finds it in unexpected places … This exceptional recording manages what everyone attempts but seldom achieves – a genuine new take on a warhorse.”
“Nimmt man dann noch die in allen Stimmgruppen bewunderungswert ausgeprägte Klanglichkeit und Spielkultur der Bamberger hinzu, dann steht als Endresultat eine Interpretation, die dem Ideal ziemlich nahe kommt – ohne dabei die zahlreichen Referenzeinspielungen zu entwerten. Der 32-jährige Ticciati, der den Status des hochbegabten Newcomers bereits hinter sich gelassen hat, könnte, wenn er sich zukünftig auf gleichem Niveau bewegt, in die allererste Riege vorrücken.”
22 Mar 15Scottish Chamber Orchestra, 22 March 2015 Wiener Konzerthaus
“Unbeschreiblich war die Eindringlichkeit und Hingabe, mit der sich das Scottish Chamber Orchestra und sein Chefdirigent des Violinkonzerts Ludwig van Beethovens annahmen. Beschreibbar wären die pulsierenden, flexiblen Tempi, der transparente, durchartikulierte Klang, die sinnigen Phrasen – Ingredienzien, die Ticciati hinreißend zusammenfügte.”
Beethoven: Violin Concerto
“Ungemein packend war Ticciatis Zugriff jedenfalls in solchen Details wie auch im großen Ganzen – bitte unbedingt mehr davon!”
05 Mar 15Scottish Chamber Orchestra, 5 March 2015 Usher Hall, Edinburgh
“Schubert’s glorious hour-long symphony was a revelation. The string sound was more robust, with the violins bouncing their way with alacrity through the first movement. There were lots of opportunities for the horns, with their declamatory statements, and the mellifluous oboes to shine. Together with some wonderful trombone contributions, this characterful performance gave the symphony a whole new lease of life.” The Scotsman, 7 March 2015
25 Jan 15London Symphony Orchestra, 25 January 2015 Barbican Centre
“Under Ticciati, who premiered the work in 2011, the music seemed to hang in the air above the orchestra and really breathe. As an evocation of something coming imperceptibly to life, it was very effective and beautiful.”
18 Dec 14Scottish Chamber Orchestra, 18 December 2014 Queen's Hall, Edinburgh
“The programme as a whole drew brilliantly on the SCO’s clarity, precision and refinement, and on conductor Robin Ticciati’s seemingly instinctive sense for sculpting meaningful lines and textures, yet not playing around with things too much – a lot of the time, simply letting the music speak for itself.” David Kettle, The Telegraph, 19 December 2014
30 Oct 14Cleveland Orchestra, 30 October 2014 Severance Hall, Cleveland
“The most savory aspects of Ticciati’s performance were the fresh musical personalities he discovered. In the shorter inner movements, he offered music that teased and music of rare intimacy. Between the sonorous, intricate work of all the strings, his account of ‘Feierlich’ conjured a sensation close to suspense.”
18 Oct 14Scottish Chamber Orchestra, 18 October 2014 Queen's Hall, Edinburgh
“Ticciati, who seemed almost to be sculpting the score, ensured that Haydn’s humanity shone through on every page. Genial high spirits and impassioned outbursts jostled up against each other all the way to the finale.”
01 Sep 14SchumannSymphony no. 1, 2, 3, 4, Linn Records Scottish Chamber Orchestra
“Every bar in these urgent performances with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra seems alive and full of interest … in each symphony there is the sense of careful consideration and total absorption in the music so that not a detail of Schumann’s scoring goes missing. Everything flows with total naturalness, yet tiny contrapuntal phrases that are often hardly noticeable are allowed to make their points here without a trace of mannered emphasis … hearing these symphonies in such superbly played, convincingly Schumannesque performances is irresistible.” Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 17 September 2014
17 May 14StraussDer Rosenkavalier Glyndebourne Festival
“Without hysteria or grandstanding, he [Ticciati] moves through the Straussian thickets with unfailing clarity of purpose and a keen ear for detail, bringing to the music a humanity and charm sometimes absent from the production. Of him the ghost of George Christie would certainly approve.” Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 18 May 2014
21 Feb 14Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Asian Tour, 21 February 2014 Hong Kong Cultural Centre
“[In Mendelssohn’s The Hebrides] Ticciati was riveting in his fresh perspective on its twists and turns … the strings’ steely timbre, aptly suggestive of grey northern waters, gave early notice that less vibrato meant more scope for variety in colour.
Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony continued in the same vein, breathing life into the most unassuming fragments; but it was the overview of the work that was particularly well judged. Ticciati transformed the menace of the opening motif into an exercise in nervous anxiety, phrases throbbing ominously throughout. The variations of the second movement were sustained by a beautifully judged lilt; the colours Ticciati coaxed from the players hardly had time to dry before another one was slapped on. Those unexpected twists in character continued in the third movement, before a stonking finale that still managed to give the occasional nod to the music’s feminine side.”
07 Feb 14Scottish Chamber Orchestra 40th Birthday Concert, 6th / 7th February 2014 City Halls, Glasgow
“With Robin Ticciati at his most succinct, his gestures modest and economic, this was a defining SCO event, an intellectual and musical masterpiece of a concert, outstandingly played by a great orchestra at the top of its game … Ticciati’s freshly thought and blindingly compact Beethoven Five, stripped of excess and indulgence, and strictly following the letter of the score, right down to the precision timing of a quaver rest, was as mind opening as it was breathtaking.”
“In Chopin’s Second Piano Concerto, Ticciati delved into the wistful opening phrase like a series of restless breaths. The sound was searching and translucent, more Mozart than Chopin, and made for some revelatory colours in the orchestral score … A superb account of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony came after the interval: vivid, exhilarating and full of surprises. Ticciati kept tempos crisp, articulation crystal-clear and textures feather-light. Fortes were little explosions of colour, never bombastic, and pianos were thrillingly whispered. A sense of optimism started brewing long before the triumphant finale – the andante was radiant, and every small phrase in the scherzo bloomed exuberantly at its crest.”
05 Dec 13BerliozL’Enfance du Christ Swedish Radio Symphony Choir & Orchestra
“With Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique (CKD 400) in 2012 and the coupling of Les Nuits d’été with La Mort de Cléopâtre (CKD 421) earlier this year, there was clear evidence of Robin Ticciati’s affinity with markedly different facets of Berlioz’s imagination.
The absorbing impact of this performance lies in the fact that such gripping fervour is balanced and blended with the deliberately archaic style that Berlioz deploys elsewhere. Right from the opening bars, with those strange, harmonium-like sonorities that the woodwind produce, you have complete confidence that Ticciati understands the Berlioz hinterland.
As the piece proceeds, he negotiates its pacing, its contours, its shifts of emotional emphasis with an assured, evocative hand, the famous ‘Shepherds’ Farewell’ assuming its lyrically tender place in the overall scheme.
“This is as fine a performance of Berlioz’s triptych as I have heard. Its delicacy of colour is matched by its expressive intensity. Under Ticciati’s direction, the excellent Swedish choir and orchestra capture the essence of the work.” The Sunday Times, 27 November 2013
“There have been several lovely recordings, dating back to Colin Davis’s first account, and this new one is beautifully fluid, flexible and transparent. Robin Ticciati and his soloists shape the lines responsively and warmly.” Nicholas Kenyon, The Observer, 8 December 2013
29 Nov 13Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Schumann Cycle II, 29 November 2013 City Halls, Glasgow
“I do not exaggerate when I say that the producer and engineer from Linn Records, who has been busy these past two weeks recording Robin Ticciati’s Schumann symphony cycle with the SCO as the orchestra has been playing the four symphonies in concert, was cock-a-hoop on Friday night. And no wonder. This has been a ground-breaking series, the results of which will be in evidence when the recordings are released in just five months (start saving now).
Above all it was the performance of the allegedly ‘difficult’ Second Symphony on Friday that totally ignited my imagination. The light streamed through this piece, with Ticciati neither overdoing nor underlining its restless, mercurial qualities.
The structure of the concert, with the double interval separating symphony, concerto and symphony again, was of Ticciati’s own devising, was extremely novel and very stimulating; and pairing the music of those two great friends and fundamentally different intellects, Brahms and Schumann, was exhilarating.”
21 Nov 13Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Schumann Cycle I, 21 November 2013 Usher Hall, Edinburgh
“It was the first concert in the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s ambitious Schumann symphony series. And right from the start, you could feel how much this music meant to conductor Robin Ticciati.
He crafted the evening’s two Schumann symphonies, Nos 1 and 4 (2 and 3 are to come next week), with impeccable care, even shaping their resolute final chords with thoughtful expression.
Melodies were beautifully moulded, rhythms brisk yet supple, orchestral balance – within the band’s period-influenced playing – expertly judged, with bright natural trumpets cutting nicely through the SCO’s velvety strings. It was all exquisitely stylish, yet it seldom seemed calculated – and most importantly, Ticciati never lost sight of the music’s wide-eyed spontaneity.”
03 Oct 13Scottish Chamber Orchestra, 3 October 2013 Usher Hall, Edinburgh
“Berlioz’s Beatrice and Benedict might not be the first operatic work to spring to many people’s minds – it’s a concise, light-hearted rethink of Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing with all the serious stuff taken out. But it drew a crowd nonetheless – and, more importantly, it played to the SCO’s strengths under principal conductor Ticciati: lightness, transparency, precision and inner power. And, indeed, to Ticciati’s feel for Berlioz’s distinctively lyrical brand of Romanticism. There was a gentle sparkle to the amiable Overture as it bounced along under Ticciati’s encouraging direction, and he had a remarkable ear for the striking detail of Berlioz’s good-natured score – a gentle scurry from the strings here, a sudden blaze of trumpets there, all put to good dramatic effect.”
19 Aug 13BBC Proms, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, 19 August 2013 Royal Albert Hall, London
“With the opening chords of Eroica the programme came together with Beethoven as the culmination of the tradition that originated with Bach and as the stepping-off point for romanticism. Ticciati’s vision of the symphony aspired to greatness: this was not a pared-down historical performance with driven tempi, but something altogether more majestic. Yet, with grandeur tempered by the timbre of the natural brass and the lithe, clean sound of the SCO strings, the performance never felt weighed down. Ticciati’s assured shaping of the work combined by the warmth of the SCO sound for a most effective, individual performance.” Rowena Smith, The Herald, 21 August 2013
“The Scottish Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Robin Ticciati, tickled the ribs of the score with glee, the strings spare of vibrato, the natural horns and trumpets cackling with delight.”
17 Aug 13Edinburgh International Festival, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, 17 August 2013 Usher Hall, Edinburgh
“What I loved about Ticciati’s take on this [Schoenberg’s 1943 enlargement for string orchestra of his 1899 string sextet work, Verklärte Nacht (‘Transfigured Night’)] were the tiny breaths between question and answer phrases, suggesting a couple really listening to one another in considered dialogue. The dynamic control of this hugely varied work about longing and moonlit resolution was very impressive. ★★★★ Alan Coady, Bachtrack, 19 August 2013
05 Apr 13Scottish Chamber Orchestra, 5 April 2013 Glasgow City Halls
“The SCO’s ensemble-playing was alluring and enthralling. And of course principal conductor Robin Ticciati’s stylish, understated and economic direction, which eschews exaggerated expression, magnetically draws the ear to the music rather than its presentation.
But what mattered on Friday was the fact that Ticciati and the SCO, in these works from composers all in their thirties, revealed in the Weber the seeds of German Romanticism from which so much grew; and in the Schumann, with its playfulness and expressivity, the uniqueness of this composer, so different from his near-contemporaries ; and in Berlioz’s anti-concerto, the blindingly-original conception of this Gallic magician who accepted no-one’s templates or structures and forged his own path, as monumentally influential as it was seminal.
This wasn’t merely a powerful concert: it was a lesson to all of us who love music; I loved every minute of it, from the thrill of the performance to its provocative impact on the mind.”
05 Dec 12Concert: 5 December 2012 London Symphony Orchestra
“Conductor Robin Ticciati, with a generosity and wisdom beyond his 29 years, raised this orchestral masterpiece to the universal level it deserves. Elgar’s “friends pictured within” trod air and revealed every aspect of their often shy, beautiful souls.” The Arts Desk
“Nowhere were Ticciati’s talents more apparent than in the Second Symphony of Sibelius, a well-known score that for all its familiarity can still easily come across as a string of disconnected episodes in the wrong hands… Time and again in the symphony, the conductor, leading from memory, managed to draw together ranges of seemingly disparate elements and fuse them into cohesive, hard-hitting musical arguments.” Cleveland.com, 25 October 2012
01 Jul 12MozartLe nozze di Figaro Glyndebourne Festival Opera
“He drives the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment with a wonderful sense of dramatic lightness, allowing the period instruments to determine the natural pace. But he can be assertive, ensuring that the recitatives move with theatrical energy.” Rupert Christiansen, Sunday Telegraph, June 2012
“There was real sophistication to Ticciati’s interpretation. Using every textural possibility that the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment afforded him, he revelled in the musical detail, emphasising psychological nerviness by bringing out chromatic instabilities.” The Arts Desk, June 2012
“The reveries at the start are aptly shrouded in a brooding atmosphere; the ebb and flow of dynamics, tempo and temperament as the movement progresses are handled in a masterly manner… The clarity, coordination and spectrum of colour in the orchestra are spot-on for Berlioz.” Gramophone, May 2012
“It is an awesome performance. Ticciati doesn’t go for the jugular, nor does he wring the neck of Berlioz’s wonderful masterpiece. He’s a man for detail and, with the SCO in formidable shape, this account of the symphony is detail upon detail, revealing new perspectives at every turn.” The Herald, April 2012
“He has been at the helm of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra since 2009, and this first collaboration on disc captures all the energy, the finesse and the sheer panache with which he invests his live concerts.” Telegraph, April 2012
Gramophone Magazine October 2019 Recording of the Month
” Tetzlaff may at times excitedly rushes his fences, but in collaboration with Robin Ticciati and his alert Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, he transforms aspects of what so many have treated as a sort of Holy Grail (ie loftily reverential) into a beer tankard, the sense of unhinged inebriation gaining most froth in the outer movements’ playful cadenzas, which run wild in the first movement and ratchet up extra excitement for the finale.”
“Who needs another recording of the Beethoven and Sibelius violin concertos? It turns out we all do, and this is it. Violinist Christian Tetzlaff has recorded both these warhorses before, but these performances have the lightness and rightness of touch born of long experience. That levity finds an ideal grounding in the unapologetically modern-instrument sound Robin Ticciati draws from the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, weighty yet supple.”
RAVEL ‘Daphnis et Chloé’ Suite No. 2 RAVEL ‘Valses nobles et sentimentales’, orchestrated. by RAVEL DUPARC ‘Aux étoiles’ DUPARC ‘L’invitation au voyage’ DUPARC ‘Chanson triste’ DUPARC ‘Au pays où se fait la guerre’ DUPARC ‘Phidylé’
Conductor: Robin Ticciati Mezzo: Magdalena Kožena Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin