Conductor Louis Langrée on tradition and innovation at orchestras and Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival

Posted on: July 17, 2019

“The eventful musical journeys that now mark the Mostly Mozart Festival weren’t exactly common in the years prior to Music Director Louis Langrée,” writes David Patrick Stearns on Tuesday (7/16) at New York classical station WQXR. “Since his 2003 appointment, the festival has been down a few new rabbit holes.… Some would say its more recent innovations have been at the expense of the festival’s identity … But alongside this season’s Brahms is Mozart’s The Magic Flute, July 17–20, with a computer-graphics-heavy production imported from Berlin. Such far-flung elements are motivated by a broad, Mozart-based philosophical foundation that Langrée happily shared on the eve of his just-announced contract extension through 2023.… Langrée has become one of the more adventurous programmers in the business and, during his Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra tenure that started in 2013 (with contract extensions through 2022), he has a new or new-ish piece on nearly every program…. Langrée: ‘When you commission a piece, you never know what you will get. But I think it’s important to still continue the process of creation. We have to remember in Mozart’s time people only performed contemporary music…. It shouldn’t be an attitude that we have to suffer through contemporary music to get our Rachmaninoff.’ ”

Posted July 17, 2019

In photo: Louis Langrée conducts the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra. Photo by Jennifer Taylor