David Zinman Conducts NY Philharmonic in Works by Sibelius and Schumann, Now thru 12/15
David Zinman will replace Daniel Harding, who has had to withdraw due to illness, to lead the Orchestra in Sibelius's Symphony No. 3;; Schumann's Piano Concerto, with pianist Jan Lisiecki in his Philharmonic debut;; and Sibelius's Symphony No. 7 tonight, December 13, 2012, at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, December 14 at 11:00 a.m.; and Saturday, December 15 at 8:00 p.m.
Pre-Concert Talks Arbie Orenstein, author and professor of music at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, will introduce the program. Pre-Concert Talks are $7; discounts available for multiple concerts, students, and groups. They take place one hour before each performance in the Helen Hull Room, unless otherwise noted. Attendance is limited to 90 people. Information: nyphil.org or (212) 875-5656.
National and International Radio Broadcast The program will be broadcast the week of January 16, 2013,* on The New York Philharmonic This Week, a radio concert series syndicated weekly to more than 300 stations nationally, and to 122 outlets internationally, by the WFMT Radio Network.
The 52-week series, hosted by actor Alec Baldwin, is generously underwritten by The Kaplen Foundation, the Audrey Love Charitable Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Philharmonic's corporate partner, MetLife Foundation. The broadcast will be available on the Philharmonic's Website, nyphil.org. The program is broadcast locally in the New York metropolitan area on 105.9 FM WQXR on Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. *Check local listings for broadcast and program information.
David Zinman's career has been distinguished by his programming of a broad repertoire, his strong commitment to the performance of contemporary music, and his introduction of historically informed performance practice. He is in his 18th season as music director of Zurich's Tonhalle Orchestra. He has conducted all of the leading North American orchestras, including the Boston and Chicago Symphony Orchestras, The Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, as well as the New York Philharmonic. In Europe he performs with the Berlin Philharmonic, hr- Sinfonieorchester, Munich Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, WDR Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. He also has relationships with Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw, Vienna Symphony, London Philharmonic, and Philharmonia orchestras, as well as Orchestre de Paris, and Orchestre National de France. His most recent opera performance was a production of Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann at Geneva Opera in March 2010, which was revived in December 2011.
Mr. Zinman's extensive discography of more than 100 recordings has earned him numerous international honors, including five Grammy awards, two Grand Prix du Disque, two Edison Prizes, the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, and a Gramophone Award. He was also the 1997 recipient of the Ditson Award from Columbia University in recognition of his commitment to the performance of works by American composers. David Zinman and Zurich's Tonhalle Orchestra recently completed highly acclaimed Schubert, Brahms, and Mahler cycles (with the Mahler Symphony No. 8 disc receiving a 2011 ECHO Award). They have also recorded the Schumann symphonies and Strauss orchestral works, as well as a Beethoven cycle, which sold over one million copies.
David Zinman studied conducting with Pierre Monteux, and made his first major conducting debut with The Philadelphia Orchestra in 1967. Previous positions include music director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and principal conductor of the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra. He was also music director of the Aspen Music Festival and School, and the American Academy of Conducting.
In 2000 the French Ministry of Culture awarded Mr. Zinman the title of Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and in October 2002 he received the City of Zurich Art Prize for his outstanding artistic efforts, making him the first conductor and the first non-Swiss recipient of this award. He last appeared with the New York Philharmonic in March 2012 to preside over The Modern Beethoven: A Philharmonic Festival.
Pianist Jan Lisiecki, age 17, was born in Calgary to Polish parents. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall, Seoul Arts Centre, and Paris's Salle Cortot and has shared the stage with Emanuel Ax, Yo-Yo Ma, and Pinchas Zukerman. Mr. Lisiecki received the 2010 Révélations Radio-Canada Musique and Jeune Soliste des Radios Francophones awards, and he records exclusively for Deutsche Grammophon, who signed him when he was 15.
Performance highlights for Mr. Lisiecki's 2011–12 season included the opening of the Orchestre de Paris under Paavo Järvi at Salle Pleyel and debuts with the BBC Symphony at London's Barbican Center and the Leipzig Radio Symphony at the Leipzig Gewandhaus. He appeared with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra under Peter Oundjia, Montreal's Orchestre Métropolitain under Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and the Orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia under Antonio Pappano. In the 2012–13 season Mr. Lisiecki tours with the Rotterdam Philharmonic and Mr. Nézet-Séguin, makes his Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra debut under Jakub Hrusa at Suntory Hall, and in May 2013 will tour with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart, making stops in cities including Innsbruck, Vienna, and Berlin.
In 2010 the Fryderyk Chopin Institute released Jan Lisiecki's live recordings of Chopin's two piano concertos with Sinfonia Varsovia and Howard Shelley, which received the prestigious Diapason Découverte award in May 2010. Also a dedicated chamber musician, Mr. Lisiecki has collaborated with the New Zealand String Quartet, Quatuor Ébène, and the Penderecki String Quartet. He was featured in the CBC Next! series as one of the most promising young artists in Canada and was the subject of a 2009 CBC National News documentary titled The Reluctant Prodigy. In June 2008 he was appointed a National Youth Representative by UNICEF Canada. Having graduated from high school in Calgary in January 2011, Jan Lisiecki is studying for a bachelor's of music degree at the Glenn Gould School of Music in Toronto on a full scholarship.
Although Jean Sibelius was an established member of the international musical community, and despite the sizeable royalties and an annual stipend from the Finnish government, he was continually mired in debt. The distractions of Helsinki disrupted his creative endeavors, and by early 1904 he determined that he needed a change of scenery. A rustic retreat 60 miles from Helsinki renewed his creativity, and he soon began his Symphony No. 3. The project was set aside to undertake conducting tours in Germany and Britain. While in London, he agreed to lead the London Philharmonic in the symphony's premiere in March 1907. However, it was not completed until the summer of 1907, three years after its conception, so the piece wasn't unveiled until September 1907 in Helsinki, where it was led by the composer. The symphony was first performed by the New York Philharmonic in April 1934, conducted by Hans Lange, and most recently in May 2006, conducted by Sir Colin Davis.
At the age of 33 Robert Schumann had already achieved fame for his songs, but his wife Clara (an eminent pianist) urged him to expand his compositional endeavors and venture into the world of orchestral music. In 1841 he began composing a single-movement piece for piano and orchestra, referring to it as "something between a symphony, a concerto, and a large sonata." The result was titled Phantasie for Piano and Orchestra. However, the work interested neither publishers nor orchestras, and Schumann expanded it into the present three-movement concerto. Clara was the soloist at the first performance in 1845 and became an effective advocate for the work. The concerto was first performed by the New York Philharmonic in March 1859, led by Carl Bergmann with S. B. Mills as soloist. It was most recently performed by the Orchestra in April 2004, led by Riccardo Muti with Radu Lupu at the piano.
The first mention of Jean Sibelius's Symphony No. 7, often considered his greatest, occurs in 1918. However, the realization departed so radically that his initial plan is nearly unrecognizable in the finished score of 1924. Whether Sibelius threw his first plans overboard and started afresh, or whether the final product was the result of a long and painstaking developmental process, we may never know. Not only is the work unusual in its one-movement form, but its highly original thematic interrelationships were such that Sibelius himself was at first uncertain whether to call it a symphony or a symphonic fantasy. The Seventh Symphony was first performed by the Philharmonic in January 1927, conducted by Otto Klemperer. It was most recently performed by the Orchestra in April 2004, led by Sir Colin Davis.
Tickets for these concerts start at $27. Tickets for Open Rehearsals are $18. Pre-Concert Talks are $7; discounts are available for multiple concerts, students, and groups (visit nyphil.org/preconcert for more information). All other tickets may be purchased online at nyphil.org or by calling (212) 875-5656, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets may also be purchased at the Avery Fisher Hall Box Office. The Box Office opens at 10:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and at noon on Sunday. On performance evenings, the Box Office closes one-half hour after performance time; other evenings it closes at 6:00 p.m. A limited number of $13.50 tickets for select concerts may be available through the Internet for students within 10 days of the performance, or in person the day of. Valid identification is required. To determine ticket availability, call the Philharmonic's Customer Relations Department at (212) 875-5656. [Ticket prices subject to change.]
Pictured: David Zinman. Photo Credit: Chris Lee.