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Edo de Waart Replaces Christoph von Dohnanyi for New York Philharmonic Concert

Edo de Waart Replaces Christoph von Dohnanyi for New York Philharmonic Concert

Edo de Waart will replace Christoph von Dohnányi in concerts featuring the World Premiere-New York Philharmonic commission of Bent Sørensen's Evening Land; Emanuel Ax as soloist in Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20 (replacing the previously announced Mozart Piano Concerto No. 27); and Brahms's Symphony No. 2.

On the advice of his doctors, Christoph von Dohnányi is regrettably withdrawing from these concerts as he continues strengthening and physical therapy following a fall he suffered earlier this year.

The program takes place Thursday, November 30, 2017, at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, December 1 at 8:00 p.m.; and Saturday, December 2 at 8:00 p.m.

Edo de Waart served as Assistant Conductor of the New York Philharmonic in the 1965-66 season, serving under then Music Director Leonard Bernstein, following his December 1964 Philharmonic debut as a first-prize winner in the Dimitri Mitropoulos International Music Competition. He led the Orchestra in a November 1965 concert in memory of John F. Kennedy, filling in for Bernstein in Ives's Symphony No. 3, The Camp Meeting, and most recently appeared with the Orchestra in January 1986 leading an all-Wagner program.

Danish composer Bent Sørensen studied with Per Nørgård, the second recipient of the Philharmonic's Marie-Josée Kravis Prize for New Music in 2014. Mr. Nørgård shared the proceeds of the award with Mr. Sørensen to compose this Philharmonic commission, which will be the first work by Mr. Sørensen to be performed by the Philharmonic. Evening Land uses the same orchestration as Brahms's Symphony No. 2, which concludes the program.

"Per Nørgård was my teacher for three years, and then he became a friend and good colleague; he helped me see and hear my own music," Bent Sørensen said. About the commission, he said: "I have a picture in my mind when I start writing. I grew up with New York Philharmonic recordings and I've heard the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center, so that was the picture in my mind in this case ... this sound that comes all the way from Bernstein."

Emanuel Ax was appointed the Philharmonic's Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence for the 2012-13 season. In April 2011 he was named an Honorary Member of the Philharmonic-Symphony Society of New York in recognition of his 100th performance with the Orchestra. Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20 is the work with which Mr. Ax made his New York Philharmonic debut 40 years ago, in 1977.


Edo de Waart is music director of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and conductor laureate of the Antwerp Symphony, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, and Milwaukee Symphony orchestras, having concluded his tenure as music director at the latter in the 2016-17 season. He previously served as music director of the San Francisco Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, and Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and chief conductor of the Dutch National Opera. In the 2017-18 season Mr. de Waart makes his annual appearance with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, this time leading works by Bernstein and Brahms; returns to the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra for a tour of Germany; leads the San Diego Symphony, opening the season with Jean-Yves Thibaudet and returning twice later in the season; and conducts the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. His regular guest conducting appearances include the Chicago, NHK, and Montreal symphony orchestras and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. A renowned orchestral trainer, he has a number of projects with young players at The Juilliard School and Colburn School, following his summer visit to the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara. In the realm of opera, Mr. de Waart has conducted at Bayreuth; Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Grand Théâtre de Genève; Opéra Bastille; Santa Fe Opera; and The Metropolitan Opera. As music director in Milwaukee, Antwerp, and Hong Kong, he often conducted semi-staged and operas in concert; he continues this mission with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra at Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw. Edo de Waart's extensive recording catalog encompasses releases for the Philips, Virgin, EMI, Telarc, and RCA labels. Recent recordings include Henderickx's Symphony No.1 and Oboe Concerto, Mahler's Symphony No. 1, and Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius, all with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic. He began his career as an Assistant Conductor to Leonard Bernstein at the New York Philharmonic, then returned to Holland, where he was appointed assistant conductor to Bernard Haitink at Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. In 1973 he was appointed chief conductor and artistic director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. Edo de Waart has received a number of awards for his musical achievements, including being named a Knight in the Order of the Dutch Lion, an Honorary Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia, and an Honorary Fellow of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. Edo de Waart made his New York Philharmonic debut on a December 1964 gala concert that featured the six first-prize winners of the Dimitri Mitropoulos International Music Competition; his most recent appearance was in January 1986, when he led an all-Wagner program.

Born in modern-day Lvov, Poland, Emanuel Ax moved to Winnipeg, Canada, as a young boy. He is a winner of the Young Concert Artist Award, Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition, Michaels Award, and the Avery Fisher Prize. In partnership with David Robertson, he begins the current season with six Mozart concertos over two weeks with the St. Louis Symphony, repeating the project in Sydney in February. Other engagements include The Philadelphia Orchestra's Opening Night Concert; returns to the orchestras of Cleveland, New York, San Francisco, Boston, Houston, Ottawa, Toronto, Indianapolis, and Pittsburgh; a recital at Carnegie Hall; appearances in Stockholm, Vienna, Paris, and London; and a tour with the Budapest Festival Orchestra. He also tours the U.S. with violinist Leonidas Kavakos and cellist Yo-Yo Ma in support of their recent release of Brahms's Piano Trios for Sony Classical (for which Mr. Ax is an exclusive recording artist). A committed exponent of contemporary composers - with works written for him by John Adams, Christopher Rouse, Krzysztof Penderecki, Bright Sheng, and MeLinda Wagner - he recently added to his repertoire Samuel Adams's Impromptus and HK Gruber's Piano Concerto, the latter of which he performed in its World Premiere with the New York Philharmonic, conducted by then Music Director Alan Gilbert, in January 2017. He has collaborated in chamber music with artists including Young Uck Kim, Cho-Liang Lin, Mr. Ma, Edgar Meyer, Peter Serkin, Jaime Laredo, and the late Isaac Stern. Mr. Ax resides in New York City with his wife, pianist Yoko Nozaki, with whom he has two children. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and holds honorary doctorates of music from Yale and Columbia Universities. Emanuel Ax served as the Philharmonic's Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence in the 2012-13 season. In April 2011 he was named an Honorary Member of the Philharmonic-Symphony Society of New York in recognition of his 100th performance with the Orchestra. Emanuel Ax made his New York Philharmonic debut in September 1977, performing Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20 conducted by Andrew Davis; he most recently appeared with the Orchestra in January 2017 performing the World Premiere of HK Gruber's Piano Concerto, led by then Music Director Alan Gilbert.


Bent Sørensen's (b. 1958) New York Philharmonic commission Evening Land (2017) is made possible by the generous support of The Marie-Josée Kravis Prize for New Music, which in 2014 was awarded to Mr. Sørensen's teacher Per Nørgård, who in turn shared the proceeds of the award with Mr. Sørensen. The composer writes that his inspiration was "a picture, a vision: I am six or seven years old. I am standing in my childhood home in a small town on the island of Zealand in Denmark. I am looking out of the window, and there is a very special evening light over the fields. Far away there are trees and a cow. It is as if the world is infinite. ...The vision returned many years later, as I was looking out over New York from a high balcony. The vision from more than 50 years ago - the vision of quiet - was mixed with the new vision of flashes of light and bustling activity. Those two visions led me to the title Evening Land and the music came out of that title." He also composed Evening Land as a healing "greeting" to his father-in-law, oboist Frederick Gislinge, who fell ill and passed away while Mr. Sørensen was writing the piece. This is the first work by Mr. Sørensen to be performed by the New York Philharmonic.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-91) barely finished his Piano Concerto No. 20 before performing the premiere in Vienna in February 1785; the copyists were still at work when his father arrived the day before the concert. It turned out to be his most popular concerto throughout the 19th century, performed regularly and loved by Beethoven, who played it at the behest of Mozart's widow, Constanze, at a memorial concert in March 1795. Mozart's first concerto in a minor key, it is one of his stormier, more romantic works, and foreshadows some of the richly dramatic writing in Don Giovanni and the Requiem. Richard Hoffman was the soloist for the Philharmonic's fist performance of the concerto in March 1861, led by Carl Bergmann; Jeffrey Kahane performed and conducted its most recent presentation, in June 2015.

After agonizing for almost two decades over the composition of his First Symphony, Johannes Brahms (1833-97) started right in on his Symphony No. 2, which he had completed by the autumn of 1877. The work contrasts greatly with its stormy predecessor, looking more toward the sunny side of life. Brahms set to work on this symphony in the lakeside country village of Pörtschach, near the Austrian-Italian border, surroundings he found particularly inspiring. The Symphony No. 2 was premiered in Vienna at the end of 1877 with Hans Richter conducting. The composer himself led a second performance in Leipzig early the next year. The New York Philharmonic first performed Brahms's Symphony No. 2 in 1878, conducted by Adolph Neuendorff at the Academy of Music; the Orchestra most recently performed it during the Annual Free Memorial Day Concert at The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in May 2016, led by then Music Director Alan Gilbert.

Single tickets for this performance start at $35. Tickets for Open Rehearsals are $20. Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling (212) 875-5656, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday; 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 5:00 p.m. Sunday. Tickets may also be purchased at the David Geffen 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 $18 tickets for select concerts may be available for students within 10 days of the performance at, 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.)


New York Philharmonic

David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center

Thursday, November 30, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
Open Rehearsal - 9:45 a.m.
Friday, December 1, 2017, 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 2, 2017, 8:00 p.m.

Edo de Waart, conductor
Emanuel Ax, piano

Bent SØRENSEN Evening Land (World Premiere-New York Philharmonic Commission)
MOZART Piano Concerto No. 20
BRAHMS Symphony No. 2

Photo Credit: Jesse Willems

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