This was not just a fantasy — French conductor St_phane Denve lived it last week at the Festival del Sole, marrying his fianc_e, Asa Masters, in a July 19 ceremony and reception at the Bouchaine Vineyards, hosted by owners Gerret Copeland and his wife, Tatiana (a grand-niece of Sergei Rachmaninoff).
"I was stunned when the Copelands offered to host our wedding during last year's festival," said Denve in a statement. "I couldn't believe their generosity. We accepted their offer and started making plans."
The 36-year-old maestro led the Russian National Orchestra in the 2007 Festival's opening night concert, featuring Frederica von Stade and James Galway, on July 13. And, postponing the honeymoon briefly, he returned to the podium the evening after the ceremony to conduct the RNO in suites about two legendary loving couples, Pelleas and Melisande (by Faur_) and Romeo and Juliet (by Prokofiev) — with the best man joining them for Grieg's Piano Concerto. (Thibaudet and Denve are longtime friends.) They all dedicated the performance to the bride.
Denve has been winning high praise in Glasgow, where he has been chief conductor of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra since 2005. His guest-conducting appearances in Europe and the U.S. have drawn considerable notice as well: he has performed with ensembles from the Orchestre de Paris and St. Petersburg Philharmonic to the St. Louis, Washington National, Montreal and Toronto Symphonies to the New Japan Philharmonic and Sydney and Melbourne Symphonies to Covent Garden, the Op_ra national de Paris and the Netherlands Opera (among others).