Review: Philip Glass Celebrates His Birthday with a World Premiere at Carnegie Hall
The counterpoint Davies found in the piece wasn’t strikingly apparent on first hearing, but the richness and originality of Glass’s orchestral textures certainly were, and for the most part they were eloquent and often quite gorgeous: the opening of the second movement—a slow, soft, breathless affair, for two harps and muted tuba, that faintly evoked Copland and even Grieg—was a case in point, as were the brass chorales that kept swinging in throughout the movement. (Again, this was magnificently played, with special credit due to tubist Jernej Oberzan.)
Jernej Oberžan is an exceptional young talent and Igor managed to spark in him a passion for helicons. After high school, Jernej went to Hannover to HMTM (Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover), which has the world’s largest tuba class, taught by Professor Jens Bjorn-Larsen, one of the most sought after teachers and soloists in the world. “Jernej is one of my students with a very strong mental stamina, which allowed him to do a lot of successful, quality work and to progress very quickly. After high school he went to the much respected Professor Larsen in Hannover, of his own initiative; he played for him and convinced him to accept him into this very conservative musical environment. The professor took him under his wing and it is a small miracle that Jernej can study helicon over there,” say Igor Krivokapič of Jernej’s path. Jernej adds: “I met Professor Jens at a brass instrument seminar in Hamellburg, Germany, and I wanted to attend his classes. To study at the Hannover School of Music you have to pass entrance exams in your main instrument, theory, solfeggio, and piano. Even after all this, there is no guarantee you will get a place in the class, since the number of students accepted by each professor varies from year to year. But that did not keep me from trying, and succeeding. On average, there are 12 of us in a class.” In his career, Jernej has won several awards and recognitions, amongst which the first prize at the TEMSIG (competition of young Slovene musicians) in 2011 and 2014, the Svirel golden plaque at the international competition in Štanjel in 2007, and in 2007, the first prize at the international competition in Novi Sad. Among his more important concerts are a Solo with the Slovene Police Orchestra in 2015, a Recital (solo concert) in 2014 at the Russian centre of science and culture in
Ljubljana in the scope of Musical Youth of Ljubljana association, in 2013, a Recital in Granja de Rocamora, Spain, and a Solo with the student orchestra in Liepaja, Latvia, in 2011 his first concert with the Protho Nucleus in Kino Šiška concert hall, a Recital at the Club of the cultural centre Cankarjev dom in the scope of Musical Youth of Ljubljana Association, and in 2008 a Recital in Cincinnati, USA, at the ITEC (International Tuba Euphonium Conference), where he played at the helicon presentation with Igor Krivokapič as the youngest musician at the conference. When asked about his plans for future, he says that “this year will be very full and interesting. I have three big competitions in 2016 and the final recital for my master’s degree, as well as several concerts at home and abroad. At the start of the year, a new solo track will, with the Police Orchestra, come out, and I am also preparing a series of concerts for autumn 2016.” Good luck!
Text: Urška Košir
Photo: Urška Košir, archive Buffet group, personal archive of Jernej Oberžan