Arthur Rubinstein Phlharmonic, 19.03.2013 - (Lodz, Poland) 

….Noam Zur skillfully conducted the symphonic orchestra of Lodz Philharmonic drawing out from the ensemble an exceptional palette of colors…
Full review in Polish Marta Śniady, Dziennik Lodzki

***

 Filarmonica de Stat "Transilvania"  (Cluj February 2013)

This performance by Noam Zur and the Cluj Philharmonic Orchestra marked the first time this Bruckner Mass was ever performed in Cluj.
The audience-pleasing and effective Firebird was conducted by Noam Zur with a lot of determination and performed at a superior artistic level. 
(Full review in Hungarian Szabadsag

***

Original und Verfremdung (Siegen, Germany) 25.11.2012

"... The Southern Westphalia Philharmonic had an outstanding evening, because the musicians allowed guest conductor Noam Zur to rouse them to a first-class performance. Especially the outstanding soli from within the orchestra earned their applause..."

Original und Verfremdung
Noam Zur dirigierteFoto: Knut Lohmann

Siegen.   Die Philharmonie Südwestfalen hatte einen großen Abend, weil sich die Musiker vom Gastdirigenten Noam Zur zu Hochleistungen herausfordern ließen. Das kam beim Publikum an, das besonders die hervorragenden Solisten aus den Reihen des Orchesters mit Beifall bedachte.

Stellen Sie sich vor: Sie sitzen recht gemütlich und hören von einer Bühne Orchestermusik – Klassik, Haydn. Wunderbar. Zurücklehnen und Augen schließen. Der erste Satz vorbei: Herrlich! Der langsame Satz: noch schöner, falls möglich … bis plötzlich Töne aus einer fremden Kultur an Ihr Ohr dringen: Große Trommel, Triangel, Becken. Klänge aus dem Orient – was ist das für ein Überfall?

Aber die Fremden benehmen sich ganz manierlich, passen ihren Janitscharen-Sound sogar der Haydn-Musik an und scheinen wieder zu verschwinden. Plötzlich im Finale geht es wieder los – jetzt mit Trompetenschall: „Attacke marsch!“ oder so was. Kaum vom eigenen Schrecken erholt, wird es still. Die anderen klatschen. Die wussten: Es war die Militär-Sinfonie, in der sich der angeblich so gemütliche Papa Haydn erlaubte, aus der klassischen Ordnung auszubrechen. Vielleicht ahnte er, dass sich die Menschheit daran wohl einmal gewöhnen müsste.

Umrahmt von Bearbeitungen Eingerahmt war dieses vorzüglich gespielte Werk nämlich von zwei Musikstücken, die man als „Bearbeitungen“ charakterisieren muss. Theo Verbey hat Alban Bergs Klaviersonate op. 1 für Orchester arrangiert; dasselbe hat Arnold Schönberg mit dem Klavierquartett op. 25 von Brahms gemacht. Aber die beiden hatten unterschiedliche Absichten.

Verbey wollte die altertümliche Polyphonie in Bergs atonaler Klavier-Komposition deutlich machen, indem er deren Linien auf unterschiedliche Instrumente verteilte, so dass sie sich voneinander abhoben. Schönberg ging es darum, die von Brahms gepflegte Technik der „entwickelnden Variation“ hörbar zu machen – also die aus dem Eingangsthema abgeleiteten Figuren herauszumodellieren, die im Konzert eines Klavierquartetts vom Pianoklang zugedeckt werden. Und außerdem wollte er den Romantiker Brahms, ohne sein Notenbild anzutasten, in seine eigene Gegenwart hieven, indem er alles an Orchesterinstrumenten bemühte, was man zu seiner Zeit nur haben konnte.

Das Berg-Arrangement war spannend für Eingeweihte, wohl eher etwas für analytisch hörende Musikfreunde. Das war bei Brahms-Schönberg eigentlich ähnlich; aber Brahms-Liebhaber (zu denen auch Schönberg gehörte) erkannten ihren großen Romantiker auch im Klangkostüm von 1937 wieder und konnten sich den Steigerungen bis zum großen Finale mehr und mehr öffnen, das dann nicht in Janitscharen-Gerassel mündete, sondern „alla zingarese“: im Rausch der Brahmsschen Zigeunermusik.

Hochleistung unterm Gastdirigenten Die Philharmonie hatte einen großen Abend, weil sich die Musiker vom Gastdirigenten Noam Zur zu Hochleistungen herausfordern ließen. Das kam beim Publikum an, das ausgiebig applaudierte und insbesondere die hervorragenden Solisten aus den Reihen des Orchesters mit Beifall bedachte.

Von Knut Lohmann (read the WAZ here)

 ***

USA debut at the Chautauqua Institution Festival, NY August 21, 2012 -

Chautauquan Daily read review here:

"... [In] the iconic Ravel arrangement of Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” [...] there were startling moments in Zur’s conception of this thrice-familiar music..."

GetClassical.orgread review here
"
... Noam Zur’s effervescent demeanor and his ability to connect with both the orchestra and the audience made for a fantastic season-closing concert at Chautauqua last week..."
 
"... Zur’s demands of both the orchestra and the audience were persuasively articulated at all times; his undeviating directorial approach completely exemplified a conductor’s ability to form connections between the visual and audial occurrences that make up the energy of a live concert..."

 

Kulturwald Festival

Mozart: The Magic FluteKammerphilharmonie Frankfurt
Magical Magic Flute in the barn
Deggendorf/Bernried -September 2nd 2011

“ ‘Noam Zur’ leads the young ‘Kammephilharmonie Frankfurt’ with ardor: a refined, crisp orchestral sound, with plenty of nuances, musicality, and sensibility…”
Raimund Meisenberger - Passauer Neue Presse

Moments of greatest delicacy - Chopin Piano Concerto in f Op. 21- Piano: Daniil Trifonov September 1st, 2011

“The 4th annual ‘Kulturwald’-Festival started with artistic fireworks: The audience of the opening concert was privy to a matchless experience in Festival history, and once again, it was the personal relationships of festival-director Thomas E. Bauer that procured the artists.

…the Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov, barely twenty years old, has won all the important prizes in this year’s International piano competitions – ‘Tchaikovsky’ in Moscow, and ‘Rubinstein’ in Tel-Aviv. He was accompanied by the young musicians of the ‘Kammerphilharmonie Frankfurt’, led by their conductor Noam Zur. They started with the vivacious overture to Mozart’s ‘Magic Flute’, giving a preview of the upcoming opera performances.

What followed with Chopin’s Piano Concerto in f minor op. 21 was simply breathtaking! No hint of trepidation: from the first sounds orchestra and soloist were synchronized and homogenous, as if they had already played dozens of concerts together; all set in motion by the vigorous and brilliantly precise conducting of Noam Zur (himself only thirty years old).

And what a second movement! The magnificent strings spread a red carpet of purest velvet, onto which Daniil Trifonov invoked magical, almost unreal sounds! Moments of greatest delicacy, almost indescribable – Goosebumps pure, before the final movement woke the spirits and tore the enthusiastic audience from their chairs!

Tobias Weber - Passauer Neue Presse

 ***

Elegy for Young Lovers - Hans Werner Henze Aalto-Theater Essen 23.4.2010

In Noam Zur we have come by a conductor who manages to extract the finest out of the score. He exposes each instrument autonomously, and is equally strong in lyric and dramatic passages. The singers, too, persuade without exceptions.

Torsten Enge

http://www.wz-newsline.de/?redid=816697

This (the staging) is as convincing as the entire singer ensemble Noam Zur at the helm of Essen Philharmonic. They turn the ironically erratic, vitally delicate composition into a unique experience.

Joachim Lange
http://www.wienerzeitung.at/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabID=3895&Alias=wzo&cob=489174

Motoric Music

The Essen Philharmonic under Noam Zur illuminates Henze’s cristal-clear, sometimes powerful, sometimes tender, dance-like, motoric music wonderfully. Each one of the singers goes to the extremes of characterizations. A mesmerizing evening about art, morals, allegation and decay.

Cultur, 25.04.2010,Martin Schrahn – Der Westen
http://www.derwesten.de/kultur/Elegie-fuer-junge-Liebende-voller-Wahn-und-Narretei-id2899784.html

The enigmatic surreal multifaceted images of the stage direction fit perfectly to Henze’s vibrant dazzling music, which the Essen Philharmonic under Noam Zur interpret exceptionally colorful and precisely. The unswerving Ensemble interprets singing and acting as one unit – ideal conditions for an exalted opera outing.

FAZ 29.04.2010 - Christian Wildhagen

*** 

Carmen

Aalto-Theater Essen am 30. December 2009

" [...] Conductor Noam Zur begins with a fiery overture, but later finds a poignantly beautiful sound for the softer places. All in all this is an accomplished performance on a high level [...] "

OMM Online Musik Magazin

*** 

Nabucco 

Aalto Theater Essen, Germay April 2009

... Noam Zur, leading the Essener Philharmoniker, builds the tempi wisely. The conductor avoids the trivialities of young Verdi traditions, but without letting go of the reins. Just look at the Recitativo, Aria, and Cabaletta (Abigaille) at the beginning of the second Act: Zur gradually and indiscernibly turns the Tempo-screw ever tighter and faster. He conducts a fluid, breathing “Nabucco”.

WAZ 15.04.2009 - Dirk Aschendorf

*** 

Der lange Marsch in die Gefangenschaft
The long Walk into Slavery

Musically, Noam Zur shaped the evening together with the Essener Philharmoniker to the by now expected high quality, presence, and attentiveness to the stage. An enthusiastic audience gave feverish applause to everybody, almost frenetically to Marco Chingari and Francesca Patanè. And of course the public celebrated “their” orchestra and choir. And all this during a repertoire performance!

Theater pur / June 2009

 

…Noam Zur and the Essener Philharmoniker perform their Verdi with spirit…

Recklinghauser Zeitiung 15/4/2009

 ***

Prince Igor 

Aalto Theater Essen, Germay February 2009

The choir of the Aalto Theater plays the vox popoli as it does in most Russian operas. They were deservedly celebrated – just like the Essener Philharmonic Orchestra under Noam Zur – for the consistent interpretation of the colourful score. Tempo, Action, and a richness of
colours are the keywords!

Placing the Polovetz Dances as a Finale is an elegant idea, […] the director Andrejs Zagars and the conductor Noam Zur have thus presented a musically and dramaturgically coherent “Prince Igor”.
Heartfelt applause for a worthwhile evening at the opera

Dr. Eva Maria Ernst
http://www.operapoint.com/blog/?p=512

3.2.2009

***

I find that Noam Zur directed the Essen orchestra very transparently. He often took us “off-road”, by emphasizing the counterpoint, leading us to unexpected pastures, but at the same time clearly darkening some of the gloomier shadows.

This was quite varied, and I think that it wasn’t unwise to present a compressed version, so that the musical ingredient was more attractive than the coherency of the scenic representation “


Christoph Vratz
WDR3 Mosaik 06.02.2009

 ***

Accompanied by the admirably discreet Essen Philharmonic Orchestra, the singing was delightful, in parts even extraordinary.

FAZ, Jan Brachmann, Feb 10 2009

*** 

Noam Zur sets light to the flame of the Essen Philharmonic in the brilliant mass-scenes with the shining choir […]

Bernd Aulich, Recklinghäuser Zeitung 2.2.2009

 ***

Once again, the choirs of the Aalto-Theatre deliver magnificently. Noam Zur, leading the Essen Philharmonic, provides the stage with a solid and reliable foundation.

Christoph Schulte im Walde
www.opernnetz.de / 2.2.2009

 ***

The young Israeli conductor Noam Zur is Essen’s new principal resident conductor, […] he conducts with dramatic feeling and makes all the transitions sound natural.

Stefan Keim
Westfalenpost, 2.2.2009

***

Noam Zur gives a good performance as the new principal resident conductor.

Klaus Stübler
Ruhr Nachrichten, 2.2.2009

 ***

Prince Igor - Borodin 

Borodin’s main actor is the people, and the Aalto opera- and extra-choirs give plenty of colours. The entire range between delicate female chorus and the force of the famous “Polovetz Dances” is shown (Alexander Eberle, Inna Batyuk).
The principal resident conductor Noam Zur suspends the tendency to rush.
Under his energetic leadership, the Essener Philharmoniker demonstrate reliable qualities […]

Anke Demirsoy
Westfälische Rundschau, 2.2.2009

Philharmonic Orchestra Essen - Philharmonie Essen
August 2008

Orchestra returns well rested to a new season Philharmoniker play for handicapped citizens
Markus Bruderreck, WAZ (Essen) 23.08.2008
[…]
Zur, the new principal resident conductor at the Aalto-Theater, presents himself as a concert conductor. He is a serene artist, who celebrates the music and gives it time, who knows exactly what he wants. He elicits great aural beauty from the obviously well rested Philharmoniker.


[…] Zur takes almost the entire programme with moderate tempi, […]
which changes the character of the Slavonic Dances from Dvoráks Opus 46. […] But leisure also has positive aspects. Magic moments materialized in Respighi’s “Pini di Roma”. The attentive audience was bewitched by the nightingale in the “I pini del Gianicolo”. The concluding march, dynamically smartly laid out by Zur, has a much more bombastic effect when constrained.

***

Märkische Allgemeine Zeitung

"... The joy and fun which enraptured the "symphoniker" proved that the rehearsal
period, which probably wasn't easy, was ripe with fruit. Especially since an established
orchestra like the Brandenburger Symphoniker doesn't find it easy to trust a conductor
who is as young as he is self-assured, but also decorated with artistic merits. Both Zur
and the orchestra proved that this endeavour worked perfectly with Richard Wagner's
"Siegfried-Idyll".

Zur impressively guided the orchestra through the difficult but lively passages of Dvorak's
symphony. The applause [...] was loud, hearty, and honest ..."

Aalto Theater Essen, Germany5.12.2007

 

Ynet.co.il announcement in Hebrew (PDF Format)

*** 

Prokofiev Symphony No. 7 Johannesburg Philharmonic

Mrs. Michaela Bocu, Ziar Faclia (full review in Romanian)

... Noam Zur’s conducting of Prokofiev’s Symphony no. 7 in C sharp minor, opus 131 was beautiful, with orchestral lines and the many solo’s projected with ease and distinction. Also the balletic pulse of some of the movements suited this work in which the composer looked back on a life full of emotional extremes. However, the sense of purpose and cogency found here made the performance one of the better interpretations of this colourful and at times majestic work ...

 

"... the wonderful conducting of Noam Zur and the extreme festivity turned this into one of the most splendid evenings we have had here..."
Haaretz March 11th 2007, Noam Ben-Zeev

click here for full review in Hebrew (PDF)

  ***


PremiereFLORENCIA EN EL AMAZONAS  by: Daniel Catán 
Heidelberg Theater 29.4.2006

"... The deputy music director and principal resident conductor Noam Zur has the performance totally under control - even the invisible chorus (chorus master: Tarmo Vaask) was astonishingly well synchronized with stage and orchestra. Zur realized the score, filled with colors and pulsating rhythms, with high aural delicacy: the Philharmonic Orchestra, rich in winds and percussion, played with great motivation and the dynamic balance with the orchestra was superb. A wonderful evening with the most beautiful opera since Puccini. A real discovery, which no opera fan should miss..."

Matthias Roth, RNZ 2.5.2006

 ***

 

Premiére BERENICE
An opera in 5 Acts by Johannes Maria Staud Libretto by Durs Grünbein after E.A.Poe 
Theater Heidelberg, 5.11.2005

"[…] This makes the conductor's accomplishments (Noam Zur) even greater - he doesn't only hold things together, he forms with precision. Nothing happens by chance or on its own accord. The ensemble on stage, the musicians of the Philharmonic Orchestra, and the operational people like the stagehands make the performance to a stirring rouse, which keeps at the tip of Poe's pen, maybe because it the horror never actually shows through as such but is only hinted at […]"

Matthias Roth, Rhein Neckar Zeitung, 7.11.2005


"[…] Yes, and the complex score was led with sovereign authority and matter of course by the new principal resident conductor of the theater - Noam Zur, who is barely 24 years old […]"

Eckhard Britsch, Mannheimer Morgen, 7.11.2005

*** 

With a hint of another world

The changes to from the calm to the enflamed were extremely organic and convincing, for example the triumphal beginning of the "Gloria", the passionate "Miserere", or the very clear and rigid "Cum sancto Spiritu".With classical strictness and structures, with romantic flow of feelings, and full of Mozart's Spirit, this performance called on to God's greatness. A musical wonder was the color of the choir in the "Credo".
The beginning cries in the "Sanctus" were resounded like visions, brought on by Noam Zur in Fortissimo and echoing long into the pianissimo - the very gates of eternity seemed to open. The Bachchor began the "Agnus Dei" with lapidary strength, rich expression, and strictness for details, only to be able to soften immensely for the cries for mercy in the last chords.
The Philharmonic Orchestra of Heidelberg played with the same attention for details and a beautiful sound as well as an eye for great arches as the choir. […]

Rainer Köhl, Rhein Neckar Zeitung 17.10.2005

***

The courage to loose control

Haifa Symphony Orchestra, Conductor: Noam Zur 
Soloist: Jeffrey Howard, Clarinet - Grieg, Krommer, Sibelius, Haifa Auditorium

"The end of the concert put Noam Zur to a challenge: Sibelius's First Symphony, a piece woven of short segments - almost fragments - of musical sentences, changing moods, emotional eruptions as opposed to static silence, and an ongoing 'lack' of stability in tempo and orchestration. Zur combined all these fragments heroically into a single entity: Though at times struggling for continuity, it was nonetheless filled with sense and interest.

…in Edward Grieg's homage to the olden style "Holberg Suite" of 1885, Zur showed great courage in his restraint, and his meticulous fixation on the sweetness of the melodies, and the pianissimo sound of the orchestra…"

Noam Ben Zeev, Haaretz 9.12.2003

***

Youngsters to the podium!  Kassel State Opera Orchestra 13.11.05

Sunday concert  By Werner Fritsch

Kassel. No conductor conducted everything. To know the difference between the times an orchestra needs to be led, and when the musicians can play by themselves is no more than routine in the job of a conductor.
Four talented young conductors had a chance to show their skills, and to gather more experience, in the Sunday-concert (and the previous rehearsals) with the Kassel State orchestra, as part of the project "Maestri of tomorrow".

Undoubtedly, the 21 years-old Israeli Noam Zur was the most mature, artistically. His conducting of Ravel's orchestral suite "Le Tombeau de Couperin" united a highly developed consciousness of sound and colors, clarity, and a secure guidance within the labyrinth of a complex score. A highly interesting young maestro!

May 13th 2003 Hessische/Nieders&aumlchsische Allgemeine

"... The conductor literally bloomed, and under his guidance the musicians brought a past to life, looked at through a prism of the present..."
Thomas Schacher, Neue Züricher Zeitung, September 24th, 2003
"I Sinfonietti 01" conducted by Noam Zur in the Tonhalle Zurich on September 22nd, 2003.
Reviewed in the Neue Züricher Zeitung by Mr. Thomas Schacher (in German).