Raymond Janssen
3 min

Raymond Janssen conducts Previn and Gershwin

3 min

Raymond Janssen conducts Previn and Gershwin

August 25, 2018

Raymond Janssen conducts Previn and Gershwin with the International Symphony Orchestra (INSO) on the Festival Virtuosos in Lviv, on the 2nd of June, 2018.


On the 2nd of June 2018, the annual Festival Virtuosos will take place in Lviv, an authentic city in Western Ukraine that has not been bombed during WWII and therefore has one of the only preserved historical city centers. With its five orchestras, several choirs and an opera house designed by August Sicard von Sicardsburg, who also constructed the opera house in Vienna, Lviv is a perfect scene for international festivals like Virtuosos, Contrasts and the Alfa Jazz Fest, where the Avishai Cohen Trio was filmed in 2017 by Paramax Films for Mezzo Classic and Jazz TV.


Raymond Janssen, who has organized as an independent conductor, international music productions in all known opera houses and concert halls of Europe, will perform the Double Concerto of André Previn for violin and double bass at the Festival Virtuosos together with the International Symphony Orchestra (INSO).

INSO The International Symphony Orchestra is a well-known ‘young’ orchestra in Lviv, with members between 25 and 35 years old. In 2017 Raymond Janssen invited them for the first time for a tour with Carmina Burana in the Netherlands. They performed in De Doelen (Rotterdam), the World Forum Theater (Den Haag) and MartiniPlaza (Groningen); four performances in Concertgebouw Amsterdam were the highlight of this tour.

Apart from being a director, Raymond Janssen is the director of Cadenza European Art Productions. With this organization he creates cultural interactions within Europe. In 2017 for example he made INSO perform Carmina Burana together with the New Romanion Symphony Choir from Timişoara – due to the long-standing political isolation of Romania, which only came to an end when the Soviet regime collapsed, this choir conserved an historical timbre that cannot be found in the rest of Europe.


At the Festival Virtuosos in Lviv, Raymond Janssen will again go for an international mix, by bringing along the Russian Ilya Gringolts to perform the violin part of the Double Concerto of André Previn; the double bass will be in the hands of the Ukrainian Ruslan Lutsyk.

Ilya Gringolts

The Russian violinist and composer Ilya Gringolts studied violin in St. Petersburg and in the renowned Julliard School in New York, and he got classes from Itzhak Perlman. Gringolts, who is playing on the ex-Kiesewetter Stradivarius violin that he is allowed to use from the Stradivari Society Chicago, made several CD recordings with his famous instrument for music labels Onyx and Deutsche Grammophon.

Ruslan Lutsyk

The Ukrainian Ruslan Lutsyk is the leading double bass player in the Tonhalle Orchestra from Zurich and he is a professor at the Bern conservatory. Ruslan taught masterclasses in Switzerland, Poland and the USA. In 2013 he organized the Golden Bass International Double-Bass Competition under the patronage of Valery Gergiev.


The Double Concerto, written for violin, double bass and orchestra is one of the last compositions of the American composer André Previn, and has rarely been performed due to a quarrel about the copyrights. The composition contains jazz elements, because Previn was a jazz lover. With My Fair Lady, feathering Shelly Manne and Leroy Vinnegar, he got in 1956 the first gold record ever for a jazz album. Previn got his inspiration from the people surrounding him and he married five times. His most famous wife was Hollywood actress Mia Farrow, but he composed his Double Concerto for his last wife, the German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter.

Raymond Janssen conducts Previn and Gershwin with INSO Lviv

When the board of the Festival Virtuosos invited Raymond Janssen to come and direct the Double Concerto on the 2nd of June 2018, he proposed – you can’t fill an entire evening with one piece of music – to have an all-American program on June 2nd, 2018. Janssen will open the concert in Lviv with famous parts from the Star Wars suites by John Williams, music from the well-known movies, and then perform the Double Concerto. After the break, he will conduct a symphonic poem by George Gershwin, called An American In Paris, inspired by the movie with the same title. This piece was a great success three years ago at the Festival Virtuosos (2015), when Raymond Janssen performed an entire Gershwin Gala with highlights like Porgy and Bess.

If you can’t attend the Festival Virtuosos in Lviv, you might enjoy afterwards the video of the concert that will be recorded by a professional camera crew.

Music is an experience!