The Philadelphia Orchestra Comes to The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 2/7
The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County has announced a powerhouse concert by one of the world's greatest orchestras conducted by a Spanish National Treasure, joining one of the most acclaimed American pianists of our time in the majestic Knight Concert Hall. On February 7, 2013, the Center's four-concert John S. and James L. Knight Masterworks Season - Sanford and Beatrice Ziff Classical Music Series, presents THE PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA conducted by RAFAEL FRÜHBECK DE BURGOS in Beethoven's grandest and most moving "EMPEROR" PIANO CONCERTO NO. 5, played by ANDRÉ WATTS. The program opens with the legendary Leopold Stokowski's orchestration of Johann Sebastian Bach's Cantata "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme" ("Sleepers Awake") and closes with Johannes Brahms's majestic Symphony No. 1.
"The Philadelphia Orchestra is an American treasure as well as one of the glories of the classical music world," said Arsht Center President and CEO John Richard. "We are thrilled to bring to South Florida these musicians as they join the powerhouse American pianist André Watts and the beloved Spanish conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos. We also are grateful for the support of Knight Foundation and the Ziffs for allowing us to bring these extraordinary musical forces here to perform in our acoustically superb Knight Concert Hall."
The evening's signature piece - the "EMPEROR" CONCERTO - was written in a war zone, in Vienna under siege in the midst of the Napoleonic wars. Revolutionary in structure and magnificent by any standard, it was also Beethoven's last piano concerto, and the first and only that he did not write for himself as a soloist since by this time he could not hear. Fusing the classical symphony and the concerto into one glorious romantic totality, the "EMPEROR" boasts an authority, confidence and sheer genius that belie Beethoven's encroaching deafness.
Founded in 1900 and acclaimed to this day for its sensual, distinctive sound as well as for its unrivaled legacy , THE PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA is one of the preeminent orchestras in the world. In more than a century of living history, its music directors and leaders have included Leopold Stokowski, Eugene Ormandy, Riccardo Muti, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Christoph Eschenbach, Charles Dutoit and its present music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin. THE PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA also has a tradition of innovation and a rich history of American and world premieres including Mahler's Symphony No. 8 ("Symphony of a Thousand"), Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, and Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances, which the composer dedicated to this orchestra. Sergei Rachmaninoff, who reportedly had the Philadelphia sound when he composed his later works, said that he would "rather perform with The Philadelphia Orchestra than any other in the world."
The authoritative Spanish conductor emeritus of the Spanish National Orchestra of Spain, RAFAEL FRÜHBECK DE BURGOS has enjoyed a long relationship with THE PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA and will lead the orchestra as guest conductor for this Arsht Center engagement. Born in Burgos, Spain in 1933, FRÜHBECK DE BURGOS was named Conductor of the Year by Musical America in 2011 and is the recipient of numerous honors and distinctions including the Gold Medal of the City of Vienna, the Bundesverdienstkreuz of the republic of Austria and Spain's highest music honor, the Jacinto Guerrero Prize, conferred to the conductor by the Queen of Spain. His recorded legacy is considered classic, with an extensive catalogue on the EMI, Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Spanish Columbia and Orfeo labels.
ANDRÉ WATTS burst upon the music scene at the age of 16, when Leonard Bernstein chose him to make his debut with the New York Philharmonic in their Young People's Concerts broadcast nationwide on CBS-TV. Two weeks later, he substituted on short notice for the ailing Glenn Gould in performances of Liszt's E-flat Piano Concerto that launched the youngster's meteoric career overnight. Nearly half a century later, ANDRÉ WATTS remains one of the world's most respected and beloved piano superstars. Of a recent performance of Beethoven's "Emperor" Piano Concerto No. 5 by WATTS, The New York Times reported that "his mix of steely brilliance and expressively molded intimacy remained intact. Even his quietest playing had a kind of swagger to it."
A free pre-concert lecture, sponsored by Steinway Piano Gallery of Miami, will be held in the Arsht Center's Peacock Education Center at 7 p.m. prior to this concert and each concert on the Ziff Classical Music Series.