Jaap van Zweden to Lead New York Philharmonic in Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23, 10/29-31
Jaap van Zweden will return to the New York Philharmonic to conduct Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23, with Artist-in-Association Inon Barnatan as soloist; Britten's Sinfonia da Requiem; and Beethoven's Symphony No. 5. The performances take place Thursday, October 29, 2015, at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, October 30 at 2:00 p.m.; and Saturday, October 31 at 8:00 p.m.
Two of the works on the program are tied to the Philharmonic's history: Beethoven's Fifth Symphony appeared on the Philharmonic's first-ever concert, on December 7, 1842, and the Orchestra gave the World Premiere of Britten's Sinfonia da Requiem in 1941. Jaap van Zweden has said of the latter: "It's Britten's most important symphonic work. It moves me as a very personal statement by a composer deeply opposed to war."
The 2015-16 season marks pianist Inon Barnatan's second as the New York Philharmonic's inaugural Artist-in-Association, a position that highlights an emerging artist over the course of several consecutive seasons through concerto and chamber music appearances, building a relationship between the artist, the Philharmonic, and its audiences. This program will follow his performances of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1, led by Music Director Alan Gilbert, as part of the Philharmonic's residency partnership with the University Musical Society at the University of Michigan (October 9, 2015), and he will return for Saint-Sae?ns's Carnival of the Animals with pianist Makoto Ozone, led by Alan Gilbert, on the annual New Year's Eve concert, telecast nationally on Live From Lincoln Center (December 31, 2015). The position also includes chamber collaborations, which this season will be Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time alongside Alan Gilbert on violin, Principal Cello Carter Brey, and Principal Clarinet Anthony McGill at The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Temple of Dendur as part of the Philharmonic's Messiaen Week (March 13, 2016).
The Saturday Matinee Concert on October 31 at 2:00 p.m. opens with Mozart's Wind Serenade in C minor, with Philharmonic Principal Oboe Liang Wang and oboist Robert Botti; Principal Clarinet Anthony McGill and clarinetist Pascual Marti?nez Forteza; Principal Bassoon Judith LeClair and bassoonist Roger Nye; and Principal Horn Philip Myers and hornist R. Allen Spanjer. The rest of the program features Britten's Sinfonia da Requiem and Beethoven's Symphony No. 5, conducted by Jaap van Zweden.
- Pre-Concert Insights
Author, pianist, and professor Arbie Orenstein will introduce the program. Pre-Concert Insights are $7, and discounts are available for three (3) or more talks and for students. They take place one hour before these performances in the Helen Hull Room, unless otherwise noted. Attendance is limited to 90 people. Information: nyphil.org/preconcert or (212) 875- 5656.
Amsterdam-born Jaap van Zweden has been music director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra since 2008 and music director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra since 2012. He remains honorary chief conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor emeritus of the Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra. Mr. van Zweden was named Musical America's Conductor of the Year in 2012 in recognition of his critically acclaimed work with the Dallas Symphony, as well as his appearances as guest conductor with other U.S. orchestras. Highlights of his 2015-16 season include return visits to the Orchestre de Paris and the Rotterdam and London Philharmonic Orchestras, and debuts with the Israel and Czech Philharmonic Orchestras and the Orchestra della Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. This fall Mr. van Zweden returns to the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic to lead a concert performance of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde; in the spring he tours the U.K. and Europe with the Dallas Symphony and makes his Vienna Staatsoper debut leading Wagner's Lohengrin. Jaap van Zweden has appeared as guest conductor with ensembles including the Chicago and Cologne's WDR symphony orchestras; The Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw orchestras; Munich, Oslo, and Rotterdam philharmonic orchestras; and Orchestre National de France. Among his numerous recordings are Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring and Petrushka, Britten's War Requiem, and complete cycles of the Beethoven and Brahms symphonies. He recently completed a cycle of Bruckner symphonies with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic. For the Dallas Symphony's record label (DSO Live) he has released recordings of Tchaikovsky's Fourth and Fifth Symphonies, Beethoven's Fifth and Seventh Symphonies, Mahler's Sixth Symphony, and the World Premiere recording of Steven Stucky's concert drama August 4, 1964, which garnered a Grammy nomination for its composer. In 1997 Jaap van Zweden and his wife, Aaltje, established the Papageno Foundation to support families of children with autism through a number of programs in which professional music therapists and musicians, receiving additional training from Papageno, and use music as a major tool in their work with autistic children. Mr. van Zweden was appointed as the youngest concertmaster ever of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra at age 19, and began his conducting career 20 years later, in 1995. He made his New York Philharmonic debut in April 2012, leading Mahler's Symphony No. 1 and Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3 with Yuja Wang; he most recently appeared with the Philharmonic in November 2014 in two programs, leading works by Mozart, Shostakovich, J. Wagenaar, Korngold, and Beethoven.
Equally commanding in solo and chamber performances, Inon Barnatan, an Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient, has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Berlin's Deutsches Symphonie- Orchester, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, and the San Francisco, Jerusalem, and Shanghai symphony orchestras. He has worked with such conductors as Roberto Abbado, James Gaffigan, Matthias Pintscher, David Robertson, Edo de Waart, and Pinchas Zukerman. Passionate about contemporary music, last season Mr. Barnatan premiered new pieces composed for him by Pintscher and Sebastian Currier. In his second season as the New York Philharmonic's Artist-in- Association, in 2015-16 he performs concertos by Mozart and Beethoven, including as part of the Philharmonic's residency partnership with the University Musical Society at the University of Michigan; appears on the annual New Year's Eve concert; and performs Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time alongside Alan Gilbert on violin and Philharmonic principal musicians at The Metropoltian Museum of Art's Temple of Dendur. Other season highlights include his Disney Hall debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, led by Gustavo Dudamel, and a U.S. tour with the San Francisco Symphony, led by Michael Tilson Thomas, featuring appearances at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. Mr. Barnatan's discography includes Avie and Bridge recordings of Schubert's solo piano works, as well as Darknesse Visible, which was included on The New York Times's "Best of 2012" list. His Chopin and Rachmaninoff duo sonatas album, recorded with cellist Alisa Weilerstein, will be released by Decca Classics next season. Born in Tel Aviv in 1979, Inon Barnatan started piano at the age of three and made his orchestral debut at eleven. His studies have connected him to past distinguished pianists and teachers: he studied with Professor Victor Derevianko (a student of Heinrich Neuhaus); continued studies with Maria Curcio (a student of Artur Schnabel) and Christopher Elton at London's Royal Academy of Music; and has since studied with and been mentored by Leon Fleisher. Inon Barnatan made his Philharmonic subscription debut in March 2015 performing Ravel's Piano Concerto in G major, led by Music Director Alan Gilbert.
Benjamin Britten (1913-76) began his first large-scale orchestral work, the austere Sinfonia da Requiem, in 1940 during a time of global and personal turmoil. A pacifist, Britten received a commission that was intended for the 2,600th anniversary celebration of the Japanese dynasty, a nation already waging war against China. Following a retreat from his native Britain for an indefinite stay in the United States (he would eventually return to England in 1942), Britten began work on the score, capturing the spirit of the Catholic requiem mass. His choice of a funereal theme reflects the recent loss of his father; the composer dedicated the work to the memory of both of his parents. The commission was abandoned when Japanese officials discovered the music's theological bent, but it was nevertheless completed and given its World Premiere by the New York Philharmonic, led by John Barbirolli, in 1941. The Orchestra most recently performed it in October 2005, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda.
The Piano Concerto No. 23 was the second of three keyboard concertos that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-91) wrote in the winter of 1785-86, while he was also putting the finishing touches on his opera The Marriage of Figaro. Noted for its understated eloquence, the concerto features a particularly poetic and melancholy second movement Adagio, followed by a buoyant rondo finale. The Piano Concerto No. 23 was first performed by the New York Philharmonic in May 1872, with Richard Hoffman as soloist and Carl Bergmann conducting. The Orchestra's most recent performance was in April 2013, with David Robertson conducting and Pierre-Laurent Aimard as soloist.
With its famous opening motif of three short notes and one long, the Symphony No. 5 by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) is one of the most recognizable and popular compositions in the orchestral repertoire. As the composer Robert Schumann wrote: "Let us be silent about this work! No matter how frequently heard, whether at home or in the concert hall, this symphony invariably wields its power over people of every age like those great phenomena of nature that fill us with fear and admiration at all times, no matter how frequently we may experience them." Beethoven composed the symphony under difficult conditions: the realization of his worsening deafness, familial tensions, romantic disappointment, and dismay at political events in Europe. The work, which took four years to write, was finished in 1808, and was premiered in Vienna the following year with the composer conducting. New York Philharmonic founder Ureli Corelli Hill conducted the Fifth Symphony on the very first Philharmonic concert, December 7, 1842, at the Apollo Rooms. The Orchestra's most recent performance took place in January 2013, led by Christoph von Dohna?nyi.
Single tickets for this performance start at $30. Pre-Concert Insights are $7 (visit nyphil.org/preconcert for more information). Tickets may be purchased online at nyphil.org 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 $16 tickets for select concerts may be available through the Internet for students within 10 days of the performance, 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.)