Duncan Ward, conductor
Once a MIAGI fan, you are likely to stay a MIAGI fan forever! Anyone witnessing the sound of this ensemble at its earlier performances in Berlin knows what awaits the audience at this year’s festival opening on August 3: electrifying verve and boundless enthusiasm from the first to the last note! The programme alone is enough to arouse curiosity: because two great charismatic men, Nelson Mandela and Leonard Bernstein, would have turned 100 years old this year, the MIAGI Youth Orchestra celebrates them extensively. Mandela dreamed of a society in which every person could have their place, regardless of background, race and colour – and that is what the new work Rainbow Beats reflects. The English conductor Duncan Ward has written it especially for this occasion, and the former assistant to Simon Rattle also conducts the orchestra. There is no question that he and his musicians, only slightly younger than their conductor – will put the audience at the Konzerthaus Berlin into the quintessential festival mood by performing Bernstein’s Prelude, Fugue and Riffs and Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite!