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Yaron Traub


by Rhonda Spivak, January 30, 2018

Israeli born and raised Yaron Traub, will be in Winnipeg on February 23-24 conducting the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (WSO) concert, "A Night in Spain" with french guitar virtuoso Gaëlle Sola, at the Centennial Concert Hall.

The internationally acclaimed Traub, who served as the Music Director of Spain's Valencia Orchestra from 2005 to 2017, says he is really looking forward to his upcoming visit to Winnipeg. He is especially pleased to be conducting a program that will feature the "national music of Spain." The program will include music composed by Manuel de Falla who was the soul of Spanish music for half a century. The concert will also feature the music of composer Joaquin Rodrigo, whose Concierto de Aranjuez went on to become the most popular guitar piece of our time.

"The program is filled with the music of five of the most accomplished composers of Spain," Traub told the WJR ." The music is very colourful, lively, fast paced and vibrant. Most of the festive pieces to be performed are associated with folklore dances and Spanish siestas."

Traub adds that "The repertoire for the concert is really like the greatest hits of Spain." He explains that the music is meant to be performed by big orchestras. "The orchestration is very rich and this brings out the finest qualities and capacities of the orchestra."

Traub says that most important characteristic necessary for a conductor is "the ability to communicate, not only verbal communication, but gestures and subconscious communication."

Traub grew up in a Tel-Aviv home 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.

"Right now, I spend my time guest conducting around the world," saysTraub, who lives in near Velencia, which is the third largest city in Spain. He visits Israel often, noting he will be returning to Israel for Passover at the end of March to see his father and extended family there.

After he visits Winnipeg Traub will guest conduct in Poland, Northern Spain, Germany and then China.

Traub was in Winnipeg last year for a WSO concert that featured the music of Mozart , Brahms and Schumann. "I really enjoyed my last concert in Winnipeg", he says, noting that he is sure that the audience will enjoy the upbeat Spanish flavour of the upcoming WSO concert.

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

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