Orpheus Chamber Orchestra to Open 41st Season with Performance at Carnegie Hall, 10/9
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra opens its 41st season at Carnegie Hall with their first of four concerts tracing the evolution of the concerto over four centuries and the composer/performers who created them. Featuring the New York premiere of composer/pianist Brad Mehldau's Variations for Piano and Orchestra on a Melancholy Theme for piano and chamber orchestra, the program also includes Brahms' Liebeslieder Waltzes and Beethoven's Symphony No. 3, Eroica. The performance will take place at Stern Auditorium's Perelman Stage in Carnegie Hall on Wednesday, October 9 at 8 p.m. Tickets are available beginning September 4 at www.carnegiehall.org. Orpheus is honored to have the support of Berjé, Inc. as the Opening Night Sponsor.
The program focuses on composers whose careers began as performers. Beethoven, Brahms, and Mehldau made their names as pianists before revealing their talents for composition. After establishing a reputation as one of America's leading jazz pianists, Mr. Mehldau is now in demand for both his compositions and improvisational performances, and has toured and recorded extensively since the early 1990s as a collaborator, soloist, and as part of the Brad Mehldau Trio, which he formed in 1994. He performs repertoire from original compositions to jazz standards and arrangements of contemporary songs. Variations for Piano and Orchestra on a Melancholy Theme presents a new, fully orchestrated arrangement by Mr. Mehldau that features extensive instrumental dialogue and improvisation in the styles of Mozart, Beethoven, and Rachmaninoff. Orpheus and Mr. Mehldau have performed the concerto in Europe including the cities of Berlin, Düsseldorf, Moscow, Munich, and Vienna. Mr. Mehldau, who draws inspiration from classical works in his jazz compositions and performances, says his Variations for Piano and Orchestra on a Melancholy Theme sounds "as if Brahms woke up one day and had the blues."
Orpheus is recognized for being the first ensemble of its kind to institute democratic leadership, not only by holding open forum rehearsals and rotating concertmasters for each piece but also for its rotating election of artistic leaders. This season Orpheus' change in leadership includes violinist Laura Frautschi and violist Dov Scheindlin, who will join cellist Jonathan Spitz as artistic directors beginning September 1, 2013.
Ms. Frautschi has toured extensively both as a concertmaster with Orpheus and as a soloist and chamber musician. She has given world premiere performances of works by contemporary American composers including Lee Hyla and Augusta Read Thomas, and performs regularly with her trio Intersection.
In addition to performing with Orpheus, Mr. Scheindlin is an associate member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and has performed as a member of the Arditti, Penderecki, and Chester String Quartets. He has also appeared as soloist with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Berlin, the Paris Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Munich Philharmonic.