The Minister of Culture of the Government of Gran Canaria and President of the Foundation Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria (OFGC), Carlos Ruiz, announced on 24 May 2018 that Maestro Karel Mark Chichon’s contract as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the OFGC has been renewed for a period of three and a half years, until 2023.
The renewal of the contract, first announced in May 2017, follows the striking success of Karel’s first season leading the orchestra as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director, displaying a continued energy and chemistry with the orchestra in addition to introducing a comprehensive range of repertoire and world class guest conductors and soloists to the Auditorio Alfredo Klaus, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
Carlos Ruis stated that “with this contract renewal, the stability of the OFGC is guaranteed. The constant presence of Maestro Chichon, characterised by his great musical capacity as well as his fine management skills, will guarantee a strong artistic line for the orchestra, and in doing so, fulfils one of the government’s priorities for this ensemble.”
The announcement of Karel’s contract renewal was preceded by the presentation of the 2018/19 season subscription concerts (which took place on 23 May). Under Karel’s leadership, a total of 19 subscription concerts will be presented throughout the course of next season, welcoming a stellar selection of renowned guest conductors and soloists including Sergej Krylov, Roberto Abbado, Elina Garanca, Albrecht Mayer, Domingo Hindoyan and Gordan Nikolitch. Moreover, Karel continues to instil a fresh outlook on the orchestra’s musical footprint by programming 24 works which have not yet been performed by this orchestra. More information about the programming of the OFGC’s 2018/19 subscription concerts can be found here.
In addition to Karel’s commitments with the OFGC, recent and upcoming highlights include Bayerische Staatsoper (Carmen and Madama Butterfly), Opéra de Paris (La traviata) and Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. His previous positions include Chief Conductor & Artistic Director of the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra (2009-2012) and Chief Conductor of the Graz Symphony Orchestra (2006-2009). Karel is also a regular Deutsche Grammophon recording artist, having recently recorded two CDs for the renowned record label, and has conducted orchestras and opera houses such as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Wiener Symphoniker, NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, Metropolitan Opera New York, Wiener Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Teatro Real Madrid and Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona.