Vladimir Stoupel: Conductor

Vladimir Stoupel is an musician with an extraordinarily rich tonal and emotional palette. The Washington Post recently praised his “protean range of expression” and Der Tagesspiegel Berlin described his performance as “enthralling and atmospherically dense.” His extraordinary technical command allows him to explore the outermost limits of expression, mesmerizing audiences with his musical intensity. His recent release of the complete Scriabin Sonatas on the Audite label was deemed „one of the best complete editions of Scriabin’s piano sonatas“ by ARTE, and among other distinctions, received the "Excellentia" Prize from the classical music magazine Pizzicato. Vladimir Stoupel added two further CDs to his extensive discography in 2007 – “The Life of the Machines” and “Elegy for the Jewish Villages” (EDA).

Vladimir Stoupel has been a guest soloist with orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin, the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig, the Symphony Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio, the German Symphony Orchestra and the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin, among others.

Vladimir Stoupel has appeared on many of the world’s notable stages, including Berlin’s Philharmonie and Konzerthaus, Avery Fisher Hall in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, Hamburg’s Grosse Musikhalle, and Dortmund’s Konzerthaus, to name just a few. Festival appearances include the renowned Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Piano en Valois (France), Brandenburgische Sommerkonzerte (Germany), Printemps des Arts in Monte Carlo, the Helsinki Festival, and Festival La Grange de Meslay in Tours (France).

Since making his conducting debut at the age of seventeen in Moscow, Vladimir Stoupel has maintained an active profile as a conductor in addition to his esteemed work as a pianist. His performances have been hailed by critics as “enchanted” (Frankfurter Allgemeine) and “confident” (Tagesspiegel). Orchestras with which he has appeared as guest conductor include the Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt, Mendelssohn Kammerorchester Leipzig, Kammerphilharmonie Potsdam, Reykjavik Chamber Orchestra (Iceland), Orchestre Philharmonique de Marseille, Philharmonie Neubrandenburg, Leipziger Pops Orchestra, Berliner Kammerphilharmonie, Camerata Hamburg, Junge Europa Philharmonie, Berlin Sinfonietta, Orchestre de Chambre d'Enghien-Les-Bains, the Alfred Schnittke Philharmonic in Saratov (Russia) as well as his own Ensemble Courage and Sinfonietta Europea. He has also performed piano concertos conducting from the piano, notably with the Polish Chamber Orchestra "Artur Rubinstein", the Orchestre de chambre de Nîmes in France and the Karelian Chamber Orchestra (Russia).

His critically acclaimed performance of the Fleischmann-Shostakovich Opera "Rothschild's Violin" at Konzerthaus Berlin in 2003 lead to further performances, in conjunction with a staged version of Shostakovich's Song Cycle "From Jewish Folk Poetry" Op. 79, at the same venue in 2006. As part of Mozart Year 2006, Mr. Stoupel conducted productions of Rousseau's "Le devin du village" and Mozart's "Bastien und Bastienne" for "Sommeroper Schloss Britz“ in Berlin and returned to Russia for the first time in 22 years to conduct the Alfred Schnittke Philharmonic Orchestra. He was reengaged in 2007 for several conducting engagements with the Kammerorchester Schloss Britz. In 2009 he conducted Reykjavík Chamber Orchestra at the Reykjavík Arts Festival, a new production with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Marseille, the Shostakovich opera "The Tale of the Pope and of his Workman Balda" at Konzerthaus Berlin and the Mendelssohn Kammerorchester Leipzig.

In 2012/2013 he is conducting several concerts with the Brandenbourg State Orchestra, the German premiere of the opera "Wir Gratulieren!" by M. Weinberg at Konzerthaus Berlin and a new production of the Shostakovich opera "The Tale of the Pope and of his Workman Balda", also at Konzerthaus Berlin.

Vladimir Stoupel began his artistic training at the age of three with his mother, the pianist Rimma Bobritskaia. He studied piano with Evgeny Malinin and conducting with Gennady Rozhdestvensky at the Moscow Conservatory, and was a pupil of the renowned Russian pianist Lazar Berman for five years. A French citizen since 1985, Vladimir Stoupel currently lives in Berlin.

A Bohemian Paganini – Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, March 2012
Symphony Concert. Judith Ingolfsson Shines as Interpreter
"The Brandenburgische Staatorchester under the baton of conductor and pianist Vladimir Stoupel first presented a hardly known work by Beethoven (there is such a thing!) The Rondo in B-flat Major for piano and orchestra proved itself to be very effective with its mixture of folksong-like melody, stormy forward thrust, and moody-elegant passage work; the virtuoso solo part was brilliantly realized by Vladimir Stoupel.
Born in Bohemia, Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst is unknown to most music lovers, although his contemporaries compared the virtuoso and composer to his role model Paganini.
One of his main works is the Violin Concerto in F-sharp Minor, which is informed not by Paganinian “italianitá,” but rather by German Romanticism, displays a verve that at times is reminiscent of Weber, is calculated for great impact, but never at the expense of the musical substance. A glance at the solo part shows why it hardly appears on concert programs: it is simply fiendishly difficult and on a par with what the devil’s violinist from Genoa demanded from the instrument. For this reason, the achievement of soloist Judith Ingolfsson, who provoked thunderous applause with her radiant sound and stupendous virtuosity, deserves all the more praise.
The “tragic” character of Schubert’s Fourth Symphony has often not been taken very seriously by many critics. As a result, a Viennese-sentimental “quasi-tragic” feeling emerges in many performances. Stoupel avoids this danger by strongly emphasizing the contrasts, and by taking fast and aggressive tempos. In this way, a subliminal drive was perceptible under the rather songlike melody, the inner contradiction between a desire oriented on Beethoven’s conception of development and a lyrical-romantic inspiration that ultimately culminates in the – undoubtedly also for this reason – “Unfinished."


Caustic Fairy-Tale Humor
Review by Tobias Roth
Klassik.com, September 2009

"The music theater events in the Werner Otto Hall of Berlin’s Konzerthaus time and again risk highly interesting experiments; with novelties, rarities, and unusual formats. A small but important work by Shostakovich was offered at one such event this September, namely The Tale of the Priest and his Workman Balda, op. 36. This tale is a thoroughly ironic music that was at all times able to stretch its grin into a sarcastic grimace; the garish, corrupted workaday music characterizes the grotesque figures of the farce. The music, in a version for chamber ensemble, was directed by the conductor and pianist Vladimir Stoupel. The score, conceived for a large orchestra, was thus adapted to the room and able to make an effect there. The nuances of the colors and the vivid narrative tone of the music were shown to best advantage: the music appeared very close to the ear, and thus highlighted the garish effects."

Shadow Play: A Mini-Opera by Shostakovich in the Konzerthaus
Tagesspiegel Berlin, September 2009

"The sparse iconography always allowed space, above all for the music. The singers of the Linden Quintet and the Modern Art Ensemble under the direction of Vladimir Stoupel filled this space judiciously. If Shostakovich’s music perverts folkloristic models in order to criticize social norms, it does not sound ostentatious in Stoupel’s interpretation, but rather like a subtle jibe under the cloak of musical convention."

Morgunblaðið, Iceland
May 2009

Reykjavik Arts Festival

“The Reykjavik Chamber Orchestra played exceptionally well under the confident leadership of Vladimir Stoupel.”

Saratov News, Russia
June 03, 2006

The Alfred Schnittke Philharmonic Concert Hall presented three programs in May. Quite noticeably, a leap in quality happened on the 14th of May, when Maestro Rostropovitch conducted the Philharmonic. We will remember this concert for a very long time. It was feared, however, that the orchestra would not be able to bring about a comparable achievement again. But ten days later, Vladimir Stoupel stood at the desk of the orchestra. And again, the orchestra was playing with interest, verve and much energy. This conductor brought something completely new to this orchestra - something that they had never seen before. Stoupel, who appeared both as conductor and a pianist, showed highest professionalism in both roles. Although his interpretation of the Mozart the piano concerto in c-minor could perhaps be debated, his conducting of the "Italian" Symphony by Mendelssohn was unbelievably convincing.

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