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Ivan Fischer to Conduct Orchestra of St. Luke's at Carnegie Hall with Pianist Jonathan Biss, 11/21


For the third straight season, the brilliant and imaginative conductor Iván Fischer will lead Orchestra of St. Luke's (OSL) at Carnegie Hall. Having sold out his past two concerts with OSL, Fischer returns November 21 at 8:00 PM with a program of works by Schumann, Mozart, Bartok, and Weiner.

Jonathan Biss will be soloist in the Piano Concerto in A minor by Schumann, a composer with whom Biss has a deep relationship. During the 2012-2013 season, he performed a series of 30 concerts examining Schumann's works. Biss has described Schumann as being "at the center" of his musical life, and in his 2012 book A Pianist Under the Influence, a tribute to the composer, Biss states: "Most of what I know about myself, I have learned from playing Schumann."

In his only piano concerto, Schumann strayed from the convention at the time, foregoing flashy, virtuosic displays in favor of chamber music textures and lyricism. Jonathan Biss-a fast-rising star with upcoming engagements with the New York Philharmonic and Boston Symphony Orchestra-is well matched with this concerto, having received praise for his straightforward, authentic approach and "lyrical, invigorating musicianship of the sort that only the greatest artists can muster" (San Francisco Chronicle). His collaboration with the boundary-pushing Fischer makes this a not-to-be-missed concert.

With Fischer, the innovative music director of the Budapest Festival Orchestra, "the unexpected is the norm" (The New York Times). He is an imaginative interpreter of Mozart, having staged unconventional performances of Don Giovanni and The Marriage of Figaro at the Mostly Mozart Festival in 2011 and 2013 to great acclaim. Fischer will conduct OSL in Mozart's final symphony, "Jupiter." This grand, ceremonial symphony-considered by many to be the pinnacle of Mozart's output-is especially famous for the immaculate craftsmanship of its concluding coda, in which all five themes from the last movement are woven together in a display of astonishing counterpoint.

Fischer will give a nod to his Hungarian heritage with Bartók's Hungarian Sketches, which incorporate the folk music flavors that came so naturally to Bartók following his years collecting and transcribing traditional tunes of his homeland. Bartók originally composed the sketches for piano and orchestrated them when his publisher requested a piece in a style more accessible than the larger works he was writing by the early 1930s.

The program opens with a Carnegie Hall debut: the Serenade for Small Orchestra by a lesser known Hungarian composer, Leó Weiner. The Serenade was composed during Weiner's first year at the Academy of Music in Budapest (where he would have a long career as a composition teacher) and won three prestigious prizes. Thoroughly Romantic, the Serenade's orchestral colors are reminiscent of Bizet and Wagner, and its dance-like character suggests the influence of Dvoøák.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

8:00 PM

Carnegie Hall

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage

Orchestra of St. Luke's: Fischer & Biss


WEINER Serenade for Small Orchestra, Op. 3

SCHUMANN Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

BARTÓK Hungarian Sketches

MOZART Symphony No. 41 in C Major, K. 551 "Jupiter"

Jonathan Biss, piano
Iván Fischer, conductor

For tickets ($14.50 - $84.00), visit, call 212.247.7800, or visit the Carnegie Hall box office at 57th Street and 7th Avenue.

About Iván Fischer: Iván Fischer has been music director of the Budapest Festival Orchestra since he founded the celebrated ensemble in 1983, a partnership that has proven to be one of the greatest success stories in the past three decades of classical music. Mr. Fischer's frequent international touring with the Budapest Festival Orchestra and his more than 50 recordings with the ensemble for Philips and Channel Classics have contributed to his reputation as one of the world's most visionary and successful orchestra leaders. In August 2012, he added a new post to his worldwide schedule, becoming music director of the Konzerthaus Berlin and principal conductor of the Konzerthausorchester Berlin. Mr. Fischer was principal guest conductor and principal conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. from 2006 to 2009. In the summers of 2011 and 2013, he conducted and directed highly acclaimed performances of Don Giovanni and The Marriage of Figaro at New York's Mostly Mozart Festival. He is a founder of the Hungarian Mahler Society and Patron of the British Kodály Academy, and is a recipient of the Golden Medal Award from the President of the Republic of Hungary, the Kossuth Prize, Royal Philharmonic Award, Crystal Award from the World Economic Forum, and Dutch De Ovatie prize. Mr. Fischer has been named a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French government and is an honorary citizen of Budapest.

About Jonathan Biss: In the 2013-2014 season, Jonathan Biss' orchestral engagements include the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and Seattle Symphony, among others. He continues to play in the major recital series in the U.S. and in Europe, presenting his second Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium recital in January 2014. Mr. Biss wrote about his recording of the complete Beethoven piano sonatas and his relationship with Beethoven's music in Beethoven's Shadow, an essay that was published electronically by RosettaBooks as a Kindle Single. His next Kindle Single, A Pianist Under the Influence, was released shortly thereafter. In 2010, Mr. Biss was appointed to the piano faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music, and in September 2013, he and Curtis partnered with Coursera-the leading provider of "massive online open courses"-to offer a free, online course on Beethoven's piano sonatas. More than 30,000 people enrolled in the course: seven times the total number of students who have attendEd Curtis since the school opened its doors in October 1924. Jonathan Biss represents the third generation in a family of professional musicians that includes his grandmother Raya Garbousova, one of the first well-known female cellists (for whom Samuel Barber composed his Cello Concerto); and his parents, violinist Miriam Fried and violist/violinist Paul Biss.

About Orchestra of St. Luke's: Or­chestra of St. Luke's (OSL) is one of America's foremost and most versatile orchestras, regularly collaborating with the world's greatest artists and performing approximately 70 concerts each year-including its Carnegie Hall Orchestra Series, Chamber Music Series at The Morgan Library & Museum and Brooklyn Museum, and summer residency at Caramoor Music Festival. OSL has commissioned more than 50 new works; given more than 150 world, U.S., and New York City premieres; and appears on more than 90 recordings, including four Grammy Award-winning albums and seven releases on its own label, St. Luke's Collection. Pablo Heras-Casado is OSL's Principal Conductor.

OSL grew out of a chamber ensemble that gathered in the Church of St. Luke in the Fields in Greenwich Village in 1974. Today, St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble consists of 21 virtuoso artists who make up OSL's artistic core and are dedicated to a diverse repertoire spanning Baroque to contemporary.

OSL owns and operates The DiMenna Center for Classical Music in midtown Manhattan, where it shares a building with the Baryshnikov Arts Center. The DiMenna Center is New York City's premier venue for rehearsal, recording, and learning, having quickly gained a reputation for its superb acoustics, state-of-the-art facilities, and affordability. Since opening in 2011, The DiMenna Center has welcomed more than 50,000 visitors, including more than 300 ensembles and artists such as Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Valery Gergiev, and James Levine. OSL also hosts hundreds of neighbors, families, and school children at its home each year for free community events.

Through its wide-reaching and immersive Community & Education programs, OSL has introduced audiences across New York City to live classical music. OSL brings free chamber concerts to the five boroughs; offers free, interactive events at The DiMenna Center; provides chamber music coaching for adult amateurs; and reaches 10,000 public school students each year through free school concerts and in-school instruction. In July 2013, OSL and Police Athletic League (PAL) launched Youth Orchestra of St. Luke's (YOSL), an after-school orchestra and instrumental coaching program emphasizing musical excellence and social development.

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