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Yondani Butt

born in in Macao, China, People's Republic

Yondani Butt

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Yondani C. C. Butt is an orchestral conductor.[1] He was born in Macao of Chinese parentage. He studied music at Indiana University and the University of Michigan. He also has a PhD in chemistry, on which subject he has published numerous research papers, particularly on polyene photochemistry.

As founder of Symphonie Canadiana, he has led the orchestra on major tours throughout North America. Since 1983, he has held the position of Resident Conductor of the Victoria International Festival. Butt has recorded and performed in the US, Canada, Latin America, Asia and Europe. He has led the Philharmonia Orchestra of London, London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic, the American Symphony (with which he performed a Brahms cycle in New York), Hamilton Philharmonic of Canada, Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de Mexico, Singapore Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, Japan Gunma Symphony and Het Gelders Orkest, amongst many others. Works he has recorded included the First Symphony of Mahler, the Glazunov Third, the Saint-Saëns Second, and much more.

He received the MRA Gramophone Award in 1986 and 1995.

Yondani Butt was born in Macau. He holds a Ph.D. in chemistry,[2] on which subject he has published numerous research papers. He studied conducting with Wolfgang Vacano (1906-1985) at Indiana University, majoring in chemistry. He continued to study conducting with Josef Blatt[3] (1906-1999) at the University of Michigan while pursuing his chemistry degree.

Both Vacano and Blatt were born in 1906. Vacano was born in Cologne, moved to Berlin as a child, and studied at the Staatliche Hochshule für Musik.  Blatt was born in Vienna and studied piano with the great Leschetizky at the age of four. He later studied conducting with the legendary Clemens Krauss[4] who was the music director of the Vienna Philharmonic as well as the Vienna Opera. Krauss was greatly influenced by Arthur Nikisch, and was a close friend of Richard Strauss. Through this unique heritage, Yondani Butt has inherited a vast repertoire via both Blatt and Krauss, notably the works of Mahler, Richard Strauss and Wagner.[5] Vacano had taught some students conducting at Indiana and Aspen, but Blatt rarely took on students. Yondani Butt was recommended to Blatt by Walter Robert, himself Blatts fellow-student and a famous piano pedagogue. 

As founder of Symphonie Canadiana, Yondani Butt has led the orchestra on major tours throughout North America. From 1983, he held the position of Resident Conductor of the Victoria International Festival, creating the highly successful Concerti Extravaganza series, for which he conducted more than 23 concertos in six weeks. Frequently in demand as a guest conductor, Yondani Butt has recorded and performed throughout the USA, Canada, Latin America, Asia and Europe.[6]

Hailed by Robert Marsh of the Chicago Sun Times as an outstanding talent, Yondani Butt has received acclamation from critics and audiences for his many CD recordings and concert performances. In 1995, Yondani Butt received an MRA Gramophone Award in the Symphony category for his recording of Glazunovs Sixth Symphony. He had won the same Award in 1986 for his interpretation of Rimsky-Korsakov's Third Symphony.[7] Yondani Butts recording of Glazunov's Third Symphony is recognized by the Glazunov[8] Society as definitive, and earned him the title of Honorary Patron of the Society. His extensive discography includes works by Elgar, Glière,[9] Grieg, Kodály, Lalo, Liszt, Mahler, Raff, Saint-Saëns,[10] Sibelius[11] and Richard Strauss.[12]  His recording of Goldmark's Rustic Wedding Symphony[13][14] featured in the Classical Charts and was a Gramophone Magazine Critics Choice. 

In the early 2000s, Yondani Butt suffered damage to his vocal chords, and retired from conducting. However, in 2009 he returned to the podium, working with the London Symphony Orchestra to record many of the Austro-German classics, including Beethoven,[15][16][17] Brahms, Schumann and Wagner, as well as works by Tchaikovsky, and a disc of French Classics.[18]

Yondani Butt is also a composer. He studied free counterpoint and composition with Bernard Heiden[19] (1910-2000). Heiden was born in Frankfurt am Main and was a student of Paul Hindemiths. In Indiana, Yondani Butt studied piano with Sidney Foster,[20] a protégé of Isabelle Vengerova and David Saperton at the Curtis Institute. In Michigan, he studied ensemble with Eugene Bossart [21] (1917-2011) and piano with Karen Keys, who had been a student of Alfred Cortot. 


  1. (2002) The Penguin guide to compact discs, p. 522-, Penguin Books.
  2. (June 1981) "the Journal of Chemistry". the Journal of Chemistry 85: 209-2097.
  3. Obituary. Retrieved on 3 January 2014.
  4. Groves Dictionary of music and musician. URL accessed on 3 January 2014.
  5. (10 April 2012) "Wagner: Orchestra Highlights". Classical candor.
  6. Kings Lynn festival, Eastern Daily Press, August 1st, 2000, Evening of the World-Class Playing at Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Yondani Butt
  7. San Francisco Chronicle, Rimsky-Korsakov, Symphony no3, A Fairy Tale op.29,July 20, 1986
  8. Nov.99 Gramophone Magazine Glazunov Symphony No4&5 ASV CDDCA1051, Ivan March
  9. Gliere Violin Concerto, Symphony no,2. Butt/Philharmonia Orchestra ASV CDDCA1129, Critics Choice of the year 2002 Robert McColley, Fanfare Magazine, Dec/Nov 2002
  10. Gramophone, Magazine, Saint-Saens, Symphony no2, London Symphony, Yondani Butt, Reviewed by Ivan March,July1990
  11. American Record Guide Review Sibelius, Pelleas et Melisande, Swanwhite, Kuolema, Valse Romantique; Spring Song, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. ASV CDDCA649,9/10/1989.
  12. R.Strauss ,Don Juan, Till Eulenspiegel, Death and Transfiguration, Imp Classics Nov/Dec 1991, American Record Guide, Mckelvey.
  13. Classic CD, 27 July1992 ASV CDDCA791,Goldmark, Rustic Wedding Symphony, Sakuntela overture op.13, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra , David Doughty
  14. Goldmark, Rustic wedding Symphony, Sakuntala Overture, op.13, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Critics of Choice the month gramophone magazine, July 1992, ASV CDDCA791
  15. Classical Candor, Classical Music Reviewed by John J. Puccio, Sep,2011; Beethoven: Symphony no3 Eroica, Fidelio, Consecration of the House, Nimbus Alliance N16144
  16. International Record Review, Nimbus Alliance NI6147, Beethoven Symphony no.4&5, Mortimer H. Frank.
  17. Classical Net, the Internets Premier Classical Music Sources, Nimbus Alliance NI6146, Beethoven, Symphony no.9, Copyright@2011, Gerald French.
  18. French Classics, John Whitmore, Music Web International, 29/10/2012
  19. classical composer database. Retrieved on 3 January 2014.
  20. Sidney Foster, Ovation to Sidney Foster, International Piano Archives at Maryland, IPAM/204A-B
  21. In Memoriam. Retrieved on 3 January 2014.
This page was last modified 20.02.2014 11:05:59

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