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Yaron Traub

Israeli Yaron Traub to conduct WSO concert January 15-16, 2016

December 16, 2015

Israeli  Yaron Traub to conduct WSO  concert this January 15-16, 2016


Israel born and raised Yaron Traub will be in Winnipeg, January 15-16 conducting the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (WSO) concert, “An Evening of Masters - Mozart, Brahms, Schumann,” at the Centennial Concert Hall. The internationally acclaimed Traub, who has been leading Spain's Valencia Orchestra since 2005, grew up in a Tel-Aviv home that was steeped in music. Traub's father, Chaim, was the concertmaster of Israeli’s Philharmonic Orchestra from 1969-to-1988 under the orchestra's leading conductor Zubin Mehta.


"My father was a member of a Tel-Aviv quartet and actually visited Winnipeg many years ago as a member of that quartet," Traub told the WJR. "As a child I went to rehearsals and concerts. Some of the best known conductors visited our home and there was also chamber music played in our house," he added.


Traub first started to play piano when he was 11, not as a result of his father's influence "but because I had a friend who started to play piano so it stimulated me. My friend stopped playing after a year, but I went on to become a professional piano player."


Traub served in the Israeli Defense Forces as a member of the army's air force band." I went to study  in London in 1988 and about age 24, I started to become interested in  collaborating with other musicians."


He took his father's advice and went to Munich, Germany to train as a conductor where he studied with the legendary Sergiu Celibidache. 


Traub said he decided to change from playing piano  to conducting, "by chance," as he met a music student who was studying conducting. "I started it and I liked it," he said.


Traub spent six years as Associate Conductor in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, apprenticing under its great maestro Daniel Barenbiom, who became a "good friend".


In 1988, Traub won one of the most prestigious European conducting competitions, the “Kondrashin International Competition” in Amsterdam. Since winning this he has conducted numerous renowned symphonic orchestras worldwide, including Israel, the Netherlands, Australia, Sweden, Rotterdam,  Rome, Germany, France, Helsinki, Mexico, Chile, and China. 


When asked to identify the most important trait necessary to be a conductor, Traub responded "The most important characteristic is the ability to communicate, not only verbal communication, but gestures and subconscious communication." 


For the past 10 years Traub has been the Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Valencia Orchestra, (Valencia is the third largest city in Spain). This ensemble look back on a musical tradition of more than 70 years and boasts its own renowned concert hall - the Palau de la Musica. "


Traub is married to a violinist Anja  ("who used to be a member of the Munich Philharmonic") and they have two children, daughter Sivan (21) who is studying violin in Holland, and son, Daniel (15), who plays with a youth orchestra. "I don't play the violin, but I do play the viola," Traub noted, adding that he and his wife "often play chamber music together".


Regarding the WSO concert's "beautiful" program, Traub said: “The first piece we’re starting with is a lovely, relatively short piece by Brahms, a variation on a theme by Haydn. I used to play a lot of Brahms as a pianist." The second piece is "a bassoon concerto by the great Mozart."


The last piece, Traub says, is one of his very favourite pieces. "It is most successful symphony of Schumann, his second symphony. The first movement is strong and dramatic… the second movement is a real virtuoso... the third movement is a beautiful adagio, and it finishes with a brilliant last movement."


The concert will be a unique experience, where concert goers can experience Traub's passion for the music and his ability "to communicate”.


 As he noted, "To be a successful musical director, you need to be able to communicate not only with the orchestra but with the concert public, and the community [in which you live]."

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

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