Sir Andrew Davis Conducts NY Philharmonic in U.S. Premiere of Julian Anderson's THE DISCOVERY OF HEAVEN This Weekend
Sir Andrew Davis will return to the New York Philharmonic to conduct the U.S. Premiere of Julian Anderson's The Discovery of Heaven, a New York Philharmonic Co-Commission with the London Philharmonic Orchestra; Franck's Symphonic Variations for Piano and Orchestra, with Marc-Andre Hamelin as soloist in his Philharmonic subscription debut; and selections from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet Suites Nos. 1 and 2. These performances mark the 40th anniversary of Sir Andrew's New York Philharmonic debut.
The musical language of Julian Anderson's The Discovery of Heaven has a variety of influences, including Japanese Gagaku court music, Mongolian overtone chanting, and Nielsen's Symphony No. 5. Mr. Anderson was aware of The Nielsen Project - New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert's initiative to perform and record Nielsen's complete symphonies and concertos - when he began The Discovery of Heaven. Like the first movement of Nielsen's Fifth Symphony, Mr. Anderson says, the third movement of The Discovery of Heaven pits "lyrical melodies against sharp, savage attacks. A violent struggle ensues between them. There's no resolution: there's a last, violent assault, but the work ends peaceably and doesn't resolve emotionally or harmonically - a shrug of the shoulders."
In 2010 Alan Gilbert led the Philharmonic in Julian Anderson's The Comedy of Change during CONTACT!, the Philharmonic's new-music series, in a performance praised by The New York Times: "Mr. Anderson's vivid imagination and technical creativity were evident throughout.... Hearing it performed with such finesse and assurance made you hope that Mr. Gilbert will come to explore more of Mr. Anderson's oeuvre in programs to come."
Marc-Andre Hamelin, who will perform Franck's Symphonic Variations for Piano and Orchestra in these concerts, has previously appeared with the New York Philharmonic during its Summertime Classics series, led by Bramwell Tovey. Of his debut on the series, in 2005, The New York Times described his performances as being "intense, rhapsodic and ferociously brilliant."
On the Saturday Matinee Concert April 26 at 2:00 p.m. Sir Andrew Davis will conduct the same selections from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet suites following a performance of Faure?'s Piano Quartet No. 1 in C minor by Mr. Hamelin and Philharmonic principal players: Concertmaster Glenn Dicterow, Associate Principal Viola Rebecca Young, and Principal Cello Carter Brey. Each of the concerts on this season's Saturday Matinee series includes chamber music by French composers.
- Pre-Concert Talks
Composer Daniel Felsenfeld will introduce the program. Pre-Concert Talks are $7; discounts available for multiple talks, students, and groups. They take place one hour before these performances, except the Saturday Matinee Concert, in the Helen Hull Room, unless otherwise noted. Attendance is limited to 90 people. Information: nyphil.org/preconcert or (212) 875-5656.-
- National and International Radio Broadcast
The program will be broadcast the week of May 11, 2014,* 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 Brothers Fund, 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. Information subject to change. *Check local listings for broadcast and program information.
Sir Andrew Davis is the music director and principal conductor of Lyric Opera of Chicago and chief conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. His career spans 40 years, during which he has been the artistic leader at several of the world's most distinguished opera and symphonic institutions, including the Glyndebourne Festival Opera (1988-2000), BBC Symphony Orchestra (1991-2004), and Toronto Symphony Orchestra (1975-88). Sir Andrew has conducted virtually all the world's major orchestras, opera companies, and festivals. In the 2013-14 season he takes the BBC Symphony Orchestra on tour to the Middle East and Asia, and tours with the Melbourne Symphony to European summer festivals, including the London Proms, in August 2014. Also with the BBC Symphony, he will conduct two Elgar oratorios, The Dream of Gerontius and The Apostles, in concerts celebrating his 70th birthday. He conducts two weeks this season at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra as its conductor laureate, and at Lyric Opera leads productions of Wagner's Parsifal, Dvor?a?k's Rusalka, and Mozart's La clemenza di Tito. He also appears with the Boston, Montreal, and German symphony orchestras; New York, BBC, and Bergen Philharmonic orchestras; Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra; and the Gran Teatre del Liceu. He also embarks on a multi-disc recording project of orchestral works by Charles Ives with the Melbourne Symphony for the Chandos label. Born in 1944 in Hertfordshire, England, Sir Andrew Davis studied at King's College, Cambridge, where he was an organ scholar before taking up conducting. His diverse repertoire ranges from Baroque to contemporary, and his vast conducting credits span the symphonic, operatic, and choral worlds. He has an extensive discography on multiple labels and currently records exclusively for Chandos. In 1992 he was made a Commander of the British Empire for his services to British music, and in 1999 he was designated a Knight Bachelor in the New Year Honours List. He made his New York Philharmonic debut in 1974 leading a program of Tippett, Mozart, Weber, and Hindemith; he most recently conducted performances of Berlioz, Chausson, and Saint-Sae?ns in 2010.