Top Five Power Marriages
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Now that Kate and Will are a certified married couple, we look at some fruitful unions within classical music royalty with the Top 5 @ 105 power marriages.
1. She has an international conducting career and he holds the reins to a globally renowned opera house: Kerri-Lynn Wilson and Peter Gelb together have a huge musical footprint. Wilson, a Canadian-born Juilliard-trained flutist and conductor, has led both the Vienna State and Mariinsky operas, the Montreal and Houston symphonies, and the LA Philharmonic. In his tenure at the Met, Gelb has exported the opera house’s productions to the world through its HD broadcasts. The two married in Villa Simius, Italy in 2003. One wonders whether they’ll eventually collaborate.
2. A scandal ensued when news that Sir Simon Rattle was having an affair with Magdalena Kozena, an up-and-coming Czech soprano 19 years his junior. The pair is still too traumatized to discuss their private lives. However, they frequently combine efforts in concert and opera. The two won high marks for a riveting production of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande at the Metropolitan Opera this past winter.
3. Cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han, married in 1985, work together constantly. The pair founded the Bay Area summer festival Music@Menlo, the recording company ArtistLed, and the Chamber Society of Lincoln Center, where they serve as co-artistic directors and lead a full touring schedule. Even their daughter, a young pianist herself, will sometimes get in the act by turning pages for her mother.
Watch Wu Han, David Finckel, and their daughter Lilian at the Aspen Music Festival in 2008 below.
4. Composers Julia Wolfe and Michael Gordon married in 1984. Three years later they founded the new music organization Bang on a Can with their fellow Yale composition classmate David Lang. The three have been composing, producing marathons, and fostering the work of young composers ever since. On the eve of Wolfe’s Composer Portrait at the Miller Theater, she told The New York Times, “I love being married to another composer. We’re always playing each other music and giving each other feedback. In that sense, it’s a real friendship, a friendship about music.”
5. If there is an opera equivalent of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, it would have to be the photogenic couple Russian Anna Netrebko and her fiancé Uruguayan baritone Erwin Schrott. (Netrebko told the Guardian they had married, but recently confessed to The New York Times that they hadn’t found time to officially tie the knot. She does call Schrott her husband and the two have a son, Tiago.) Though they rarely work together, Netrebko sang Donna Anna to Schrott’s Don Giovanni at Covent Garden in 2007 and they recently sang a performance of L’elisir d’amore together at the Mariinsky.