Miura, born in Japan in 1993, will be featured in Edouard Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole for Violin and Orchestra.
While still a teenager, Miura walked off with the three top awards at the 2009 Hannover International Violin Competition – the First Prize, the Music Critics’ Prize and the Audience Prize.
Since then, he has been performing with orchestras and at festivals in Europe and Japan. He is a student at the Vienna Conservatory.
Marian Tanau, the philharmonic’s executive director, explained in an email how the philharmonic was able to bring the young violinist to Albuquerque.
An agent at IMG Artists with whom Tanau has developed a good relationship suggested Miura “as someone I might want to consider in the future.”
“She sent me his repertoire as well as video links to live performances. I was completely impressed and I shared those videos with the musicians who were elected to the (philharmonic’s) Artistic Task Force. …”
The task force works closely with Tanau in programming the repertoire, guest soloists and guest conductors for each season.
“This soloist (Miura) looked like he had a really good profile for someone so young,” said Kevin Vigneau, a task force member and the philharmonic’s principal oboe.
“Miura is an ideal person for the philharmonic to have as a soloist. He’s an up-and-comer. … We are in a position that we like to take a risk on younger soloists … and I think it’s been paying off for us.”
Tanau said that when he learned that the Lalo work – a concerto despite being titled a symphony – was a piece that Miura offers to perform, he thought it would be a treat for the philharmonic’s audience.
The Lalo, he said in the email, is “a piece of virtuosity that takes one from the sensuality of Spanish folk melodies to tunes that prepare one to witness a bullfight.”
Tanau said Lalo wrote it for Pablo de Sarasate, a virtuoso Spanish violinist credited with improving violin-playing technique and for being able to produce sound effects and colors with the instrument.
The concert’s guest conductor is Hélène Bouchez.
The philharmonic’s Artistic Task Force also discusses the conductors it wants the orchestra to bring in and the music it wants to play, said Valerie Potter a task force member and the principal flute.
“We are trying to build a roster of people as (guest) conductors … since we don’t have a music director,” Potter said.
Bouchez, Vigneau added, guest conducted the philharmonic last year and she was popular with the musicians.
Bouchez, he said, “was extremely well prepared, had excellent baton technique, was respectful of the musicians and presented us with challenging tempos and difficult repertoire but worked with us in a way we could play our best. She has a kind demeanor and I think that came across to the audience.”
Vigneau said that once a person conducts the philharmonic, Tanau seeks the task force’s input and in turn the task force surveys all orchestra musicians.
“So there is a back and forth. Marian definitely knows how the orchestra feels about a conductor,” he said.
The other two works on the Saturday program are Zoltan Kodaly’s “Dances of Galánta” and Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 1.