Remy Ballot: au service de Bruckner

Jean Pierre Tribot interviews Remy Ballot about his Bruckner Cycle for the Belgian Crescendo Magazine:


Remy Ballot was awarded the ‘Record of the Year’ Award of the prestigious American Bruckner Society for his live recording of the First Symphony (Vienna Edition) as part of his Bruckner Cycle at the St Florianer Brucknertage for Gramola.

The Jury consists of leading Bruckner Experts who also contribute to the Bruckner Edition published by the Musikwissenschaftliche Verlag in Vienna, so it’s not just any ‘best of’ list.

Previous winners include Jakub Hrusa, Christian Thielemann, Manfred Honeck and Herbert Blomstedt, or also the complete Bruckner Box by Deutsche Grammophon, which has of course multiple conductors. The list of historic recordings features Bernard Haitink, Eugen Jochum and Hans Rosbaud.

Ballot & Bruckner on Pizzicato:

The Pizzicato magazine has covered each single of the Bruckner symphonies Remy Ballot recorded live at the St Florianer Brucknertage for Gramole. You can find each review on a dedicated Pizzicato page to mark the release of the box:

Thielemann, Ballot and Nelsons:

Veteran Vienna critic Wilhelm Sinkovicz dedicates an article in ‘Die Presse’ to the Bruckner Cycles out in time for the Bruckner year, in this instance Christian Thielmann with Vienna Philharmonic on SONY, Remy Ballot live from the Brucknertage St Florian on Gramola and Andris Nelsons with the Gewandhaus Orchestra on DG. A newcomer among the likes of Thieleman and Nelsons, Ballot’s Bruckner is in Sinkovicz’s assessment ‘exciting’ and ‘focussed on the cathedral sound and the legendary organ stops of Bruckner’s instrumentation’

Jonathan Powell: Winterberg World Premiere in Vienna

Having recorded Hans Winterberg‘s first piano concerto with Johannes Kalitze and the Berlin Rundfunksinfonieorchester for Capriccio Recorids, Jonathan Powell continues his invaluable contribution to the re-discovery of Winterberg’s works:

In charge of Boosey & Hawkes’s critical edition of all of Winterberg’s piano works, Jonathan Powell is performing next the world premiere of Winterberg’s 4 piano sonata in a recital dedicated to present Winterberg in the context of Czech and Viennese traditions.


Maureen Buja interviewed Remy Ballot for the current edition of Hong Kong’s Interlude Magazine, to cover the release of Remy Ballot’s Bruckner Cycle, recorded live over ten years at St Florian Abbey:

This is the revolutionary Bruckner and Bruckner the modernist. Reaction against this work was so strong that Bruckner completely removed it from his repertoire. Now that we understand him better, we understand the work better.

‘Although Bruckner is a model of the late-Romantic as formed in Austria and Germany, in these recordings, Ballot makes him an immortal classic. This isn’t the Bruckner you might be familiar with from earlier recordings, but Bruckner with length, where sound and silence each have their place, and where the acoustics of place are used to bring out the inherent beauty of Bruckner’s lines.’

Bruckner: A milestone…breathtaking…

Dr Ingobert Waltenberger’s detailed and enthusiastic review of Remy Ballot’s penultimate addition to his award-winning Brukner cycle from St Florian:

‘What a “devil violinist”, what an orchestral and chamber musician, what a conductor! I’m speaking of Frenchman Rémy Ballot.’…’breathtaking’…’a milestone’:

You can read the full review here in German:

Remy Ballot: 10 Bruckner Symphonies


Anton Bruckner and Sankt Florian, an incomparable and authentic relationship: In the monastery of Sankt Florian, Bruckner’s home and resting place, not a single stone has changed since Bruckner’s time. Conductor in Residence Rémy Ballot and the Altomonte Orchestra of St. Florian, as well as in two cases the Upper Austrian Youth Symphony Orchestra, have been using the annual gathering at the St. Florian Brucknertage festival for more than ten years now to devote themselves intensively to a selected Bruckner symphony and to present it to the audience in one or two celebrated concerts. From the live recordings this 10-part cycle was created and in 2023 completed with the recording of the “Nullified Symphony WAB 100” and is now being released as an exclusive complete edition. In the entire history of Bruckner’s reception, this is the only cycle to have been performed live in its entirety by a single conductor – Rémy Ballot – exclusively in Sankt Florian. The acoustics of the St. Florian Abbey Basilica are problematic due to their reverberation time of up to ten seconds, and are only suitable for a few works, as there is a danger of “harmonic mush” if the tempo is too fast and the harmonic changes too rapid as a result. Far from this trap, on the contrary, music is made in alliance with the acoustics in the present recordings. The architectural and acoustic conditions of the basilica require a consciously specific articulation and dynamic shaping. The Altomonte Orchestra, made up of local musicians reinforced by members of the most important Austrian orchestras, is traditionally deeply familiar with these, as well as is the Upper Austrian Youth Symphony Orchestra, which has been performing Symphonies VI and VIII for this edition.

Ballot & Bruckner: exemplary recording in authentic performance

Wilfried Schäper reviews Remy Ballots latest addition to his Bruckner cylce recorded live at the Brucknertage St Florian for one of Germany’s leading classical stations, Bremen Zwei:

‘Mecca for Bruckner-fans’

‘exemplary interpretations’

‘This Bruckner sounds powerful like a huge church organ, but also extremely differentiated and finely structured in the quiet passages. A completely authentic Bruckner with ideal performers at an ideal recording venue.’

Remy Ballot: Brucknertage 2023 reviews

Florian Norbert Schuck’s detailled and equally enthusiastic reviews from the Brucknertage St Florian 2023, namely all of Remy Ballots concerts and CD releases as conductor and chamber musician:

The latest release in the award winning Bruckner cycle, the First Symphony, recorded in 2022

A rehearsal and concert report on the ‘Annulled’ symphony, in a first performance of David Chapman’s new critical edition

And last but not least also a concert of the Ballot Quintet

The reviews are here in German original, but Google or Chrome can provide reasonable translations:

Anna Duczmal-Mroz: Organ Symphony on BBC R4

Back in April, we did a bit of traveling with Anna Duczmal-Mróz between Warsaw and London:

within a few days, Anna conducted two memorial concerts on the occasion of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising at the Polin Museum, collected the BBC Music Magazine orchestral awards together with Agnieszka Duczmal, and finally conducted the Organ Symphony together with Anna Lapwood and the London Mozart Players at Fairfield Halls.

BBC Radio 4 made a documentary about Anna conducting the St Saens, available for another 30 days:


Coinciding with this year’s Bruckner Tage in St Florian, Viennese Label Gramola releases the next CD in Remy Ballot’s highly acclaimed Bruckner cycle. Bruckner’s Symphony No. 1 was recorded live at the Bruckner Tage St Florian in August 2022, and is the penultimate release in the entire cycle, which will be published as box for the Bruckner year 2024.

Remy Ballot’s Bruckner cycle has received multiple awards over the years, and is the only complete cycle, next to Valery Gergiev’s recordings with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, which was recorded at this original Bruckner venue.

Remy Ballot: Garmisch debut review

An ethusiastic and detailed first review of Remy Ballot’s debut at the Richard Strauss Fest Tage in Garmisch-Partenkirchen from Florian Schuck:

‘One is certainly not wrong to call Ballot one of the most form- and structure-conscious musicians of our day. His conducting is simply functional and leaves “choreographic” elements completely aside. All the more important to him is the constant contact with the individual members of the orchestra. Indeed, he makes of them all instrumental choristers who know the importance of their voices in the context, who listen to each other, and who can act together in the service of the overall effect, so that it is not surprising that under his conducting the melodic arches tend to swing out in long breaths, and that special attention is paid to the presentation of the web of contrapuntal voices’.

‘The art of savouring the individual moments of a musical plot in their uniqueness and at the same time keeping the whole in view, of leading it to its goal, is mastered by Ballot like few others of today’s musicians.’

You can read the entire review (in German) below, Chrome can provide sufficient translations for non-English speakers:


Viennese musicians and musicologists took the occasion of the composer’s 74th birthday on 9 March 2023 to celebrate the anniversary with a chamber concert and a round of talks on the two preceding days, with Kalevi Aho present on both occasions.

The concert, which took place on 7 March in the ‘Glass Hall’ of the Vienna Musikverein, featured the violinist couple Rémy and Iris Ballot, also known as conductor and concertmaster of the Klangkollektiv Wien, and the pianist Anika Vavić. Two compositions by Kalevi Aho formed the framework of the programme.

It would have been difficult to open the evening more impressively than with Rémy Ballot’s performance of In memoriam Pehr Henrik Nordgren, a solo piece written by Kalevi Aho in 2009 in honour of the great composer’s colleague who had died the year before. Ballot let the music unfold with rhapsodic spontaneity, without forgetting the strict, consistent structure of the work. The melismatic sections and the chorale-like double-stop passages emerged from each other like choruses and responsories, creating the compelling effect of a shamanic mourning ritual. It should also be emphasised how confidently Ballot mastered an extremely quiet passage in the highest register, in which the music is barely audible against the rustling background of the bowing.

Read Florian Schuck’s full review here (in German).


Remy Ballot’s new recordings of Beethoven string quartets with his Klangkollektiv Wien has been chosen as CD of the Week by Vienna’s classical station:

‘Rémy Ballot writes about this CD that “this performance practice offers the possibility to experience greater contrasts and to be able to unfold the musical message in its full meaning”. Especially with Beethoven’s late string quartets, which are often described as unwieldy, this bringing out of contrasts is particularly important. Dynamic differences are brought to extremes by the sound collective here that would not be possible for a usual four-piece instrumentation. The double bass also lends additional volume in the depths. Rémy Ballot’s experience as a violinist and quartet or quintet primarius is of great benefit here, and he knows how to share his own experience of Beethoven’s chamber music with his musicians. Much has fallen victim to the pandemic in the Beethoven Year 2020. So it is all the nicer to receive a belated musical greeting from 2020 here and now!’ (Michael Gmasz, Radio Klassik Stephansdom, 21.01.2023)

Jonathan Powell: Dvořák, Kaprálová, Janáček, Winterberg & Ullmann

Following his highly acclaimed Scriabin cycle this autumn, Jonathan Powell’s second concert at the Jacqueline du Pre Hall this season focusses on twentieth-century Czech piano music, and specifically the work of Hans Winterberg and Viktor Ullmann, both of whom were prominent German-speaking Jewish composers who were interned at the Theresienstadt concentration camp. Although Winterberg was eventually freed and was able to compose in relative obscurity in Germany after the Second World War, recordings are only now starting to be released of his strikingly sonorous music, including Jonathan Powell’s highly-acclaimed Capriccio release of the first piano concerto from 1948.

B4CH in Riga

After a very successful pilot in Tallinn last March, the B4CH project is coming for two concerts on 17th and 18th of December to the Dzintaru Concert Hall in Jurmala.

All Bach multiple piano concertos in one program, likely to be a premiere event in that format with leading Estonian and Latvian pianist: Sten Lassmann, Sten Heinoja, Reinis Zarins and Daumants Liepins are getting together with the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Taki – Alsop Fellow Anna Duczmal-Mroz.

There’s a bilingual English-Latvian broadcast about the project with Anna Duczmal-Mroz and Reinis Zarins on Latvijas Radio Klasika worth listening to:

Remy Ballot – Klangkollektiv Wien Vienna debut:

Florian Schuck writes an equally detailed and enthusiatic review about Remy Ballot’s Vienna debut with the Klangkollektiv Wien, including also the presentation of their new CD with Beethoven string quartets.

‘Highlight of Viennese musical life’

‘one of the most outstanding chamber orchestras of our time’.

‘The way Ballot allows the music to pause here and at the same time creates an enormous tension, which is only released in the final movement, is simply great art…He leaves nothing to chance, each phrase seems examined for its place in the greater whole.  ‘Chamber’ and the ‘orchestral’ music-making arise naturally from the respective situation in the course of the music’.

You can read the full review in German here, Deepl and other online services provide reasonable results in English: