New York Philharmonic's 2017-18 Artistic Partnerships Begin in Program Led by Paavo Jarvi

New York Philharmonic's 2017-18 Artistic Partnerships Begin in Program Led by Paavo Jarvi

The New York Philharmonic's Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence Esa-Pekka Salonen and Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence Leif Ove Andsnes will both launch their 2017-18 Philharmonic residencies in a Scandinavian-themed program led by Paavo Järvi.

The Orchestra will perform The New York Premiere of Gambit by the Finnish Esa-Pekka Salonen, Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes will perform Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 4, and the program will conclude with Finnish composer Sibelius's Symphony No. 5.

The concerts take place Thursday, October 12, 2017, at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, October 13 at 11:00 a.m.; Saturday, October 14 at 8:00 p.m.; and Tuesday, October 17 at 7:30 p.m.

In the Saturday Matinee Concert on October 14 at 2:00 p.m., Leif Ove Andsnes collaborates with two key figures from the New York Philharmonic: Concertmaster Frank Huang and Principal Cello Carter Brey. Together they will perform Grieg's Andante con moto, for piano trio, and Shostakovich's Piano Trio in E minor; the program also features Sibelius's Symphony No. 5, conducted by Paavo Järvi.

Esa-Pekka Salonen - the composer-conductor who displays "a kind of complete musicianship rarely encountered today" (The Boston Globe) - is in his third and final season as The Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence. The Guardian writes that his Gambit, receiving its New York Premiere in these performances, "gleams with the confidence of an assured professional. ... Its steady build towards climax has a sense of luxuriating in its own sonority that lights it up from within." The Orchestra will also give The New York Concert Premiere of Mr. Salonen's Helix in January 2018, and Mr. Salonen will conduct a World Premiere-New York Philharmonic Commission by Kravis Emerging Composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir; Beethoven's Symphony No. 3, Eroica; and Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3, with Benjamin Grosvenor as soloist (inaugural recipient of the Ronnie and Lawrence Ackman Classical Piano Prize at the New York Philharmonic) in April 2018. Highlights of Esa-Pekka-Salonen's tenure as Composer-in-Residence include The New York and European Premieres of his Cello Concerto with Yo-Yo Ma as soloist (2017); his curating the CONTACT! concerts "Salonen's Floof and Other Delights" (2016) and "The Messiaen Connection" (2016); and his conducting Messiaen's Turangalîla-symphonie as part of the Philharmonic's Messiaen Week (2016) and Circle Map, a program celebrating Kaija Saariaho presented by Park Avenue Armory (2016).

Leif Ove Andsnes, whose collaborations with the New York Philharmonic began in 1997, has recorded Rachmaninoff's complete piano concertos with Antonio Pappano (who will conduct Mr. Andsnes at the Philharmonic in February 2018), earning accolades including Record Geijutsu's Record Academy Award and a Grammy nomination. In its review of Mr. Andsnes's performance of Rachmaninoff's Fourth Piano Concerto, BBC writes that it marks "Andsnes at his most attentive.... Technical challenges are shaken off like rainwater, subtler sections are given the requisite grace and poise, and everything else in between is a joyous blur." His previous collaborations with Paavo Järvi include a recording of works by Britten, Shostakovich, and Enesco.

Related Event

Insights at the Atrium - "An Evening with Leif Ove Andsnes"
The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence Leif Ove Andsnes, speaker
New York Philharmonic Vice President, Artistic Planning, Isaac Thompson, moderator
Wednesday, October 11, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center (Broadway at 62nd Street)

About the Artists

Estonian conductor Paavo Järvi is opening his third season as chief conductor of the NHK Symphony Orchestra, which presents repertoire ranging from Mozart to Bernstein. Their acclaimed Richard Strauss recording project continues with the second album, featuring Don Quixote, Till Eulenspiegels Merry Pranks, and Der Rosenkavalier Suite. As artistic director of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, he continues the critically acclaimed Brahms symphony cycle and launches its Schubert project touring in Europe. Beginning in the 2019-20 season, Mr. Järvi will be chief conductor and music director of Zurich's Tonhalle Orchestra. He is also conductor laureate of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, music director laureate of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and former music director of the Orchestre de Paris. Mr. Järvi is in much demand as a guest conductor, appearing regularly with the Berlin Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, London's Philharmonia Orchestra, Berlin Staatskapelle, and Dresden Staatskapelle. Recent and upcoming highlights include Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic, Milan's Teatro alla Scala Milan, and NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, in addition to the New York Philharmonic. Paavo Järvi is a dedicated supporter of Estonian composers and artistic adviser to the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. Each season concludes with a week of performances and master classes at Estonia's Pärnu Music Festival, which he founded in 2010. As a festival celebrating the orchestra at its heart, Mr. Järvi created the Estonian Festival Orchestra, which he will take to Europe's major Capital Cities for a tour that coincides with the 100th anniversary of Estonian Independence in January 2018. He was awarded the Order of the White Star by the President of Estonia in 2013 for his outstanding contribution to Estonian culture. With an extensive discography, Paavo Järvi has won a Grammy Award for his recording of Sibelius's Cantatas and was named Artist of the Year by both Gramophone and Diapason magazines. He has also been appointed Commandeur de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture for his contribution to music in France. Born in Tallinn, Estonia, Paavo Järvi studied percussion and conducting at the Tallinn School of Music. He moved to the United States in 1980 and continued his studies at the Curtis Institute of Music and at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute with Leonard Bernstein. Mr. Järvi made his New York Philharmonic debut in March 1999, conducting works by Bartók and Brahms; his most recent appearance, in March 2011, featured works by Britten and Beethoven, as well as The New York Premiere of Erkki-Sven Tüür's Aditus for Symphony Orchestra.

Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes is the 2017-18 Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence at the New York Philharmonic. Acclaimed for his commanding technique and searching interpretations, he performs recitals and concertos in the world's leading concert halls and with its foremost orchestras, and is an active recording artist. An avid chamber musician, he is the founding director of the Rosendal Chamber Music Festival, was co-artistic director of the Risør Festival of Chamber Music for almost two decades, and served as music director of California's 2012 Ojai Music Festival. Mr. Andsnes was inducted into the Gramophone Hall of Fame in 2013, and received honorary doctorates from New York's Juilliard School and Norway's University of Bergen in 2016 and 2017, respectively. Mr. Andsnes now records exclusively for Sony Classical. His earlier discography comprises more than 30 discs for EMI Classics - solo, chamber, and concerto releases, many of them bestsellers - spanning repertoire from J.S. Bach to the present day. He recently completed Beethoven Journey with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, in which he led the orchestra from the keyboard in Beethoven's five concertos in residencies around the world, a multiple-season project recorded for Sony Classics. A frequent collaborator with the New York Philharmonic, as Artist-in-Residence Mr. Andsnes will perform chamber music, a solo recital, Britten's Piano Concerto led by Antonio Pappano, Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 4 led by Paavo Järvi, and Debussy's Fantaisie led by Edward Gardner. These concertos figure prominently in his 2017-18 programming: he plays the Britten with orchestras including Zurich's Tonhalle Orchestra, Vienna Symphony, and Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin; Rachmaninoff with the Bavarian Radio Symphony and Bergen Philharmonic orchestras; and Debussy with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Oslo Philharmonic, and New World Symphony. He embarks on an extensive European recital tour with a program featuring selected pieces by Sibelius, whose rarely performed solo piano oeuvre is also the focus of his upcoming Sony Classical release. Leif Ove Andsnes made his New York Philharmonic debut in February 1997 performing Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3, conducted by Neeme Järvi. He most recently joined the Orchestra, led by Alan Gilbert, for György Kurtág's ... quasi una fantasia ... and Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3 in September 2012.

Insights at the Atrium Speakers
See Leif Ove Andsnes's biography above

Isaac Thompson is Vice President, Artistic Planning, of the New York Philharmonic. He has led a multifaceted career as performer, writer, educator, and arts administrator. Appointed director of Artistic Administration for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and Cincinnati May Festival in February 2015, Mr. Thompson was responsible for creating and implementing a wide variety of artistic initiatives, including season programming, commissioning, special artistic projects, and recording projects in collaboration with music director Louis Langrée. Notable achievements included spearheading the CSO's innovative Pelléas Trilogy with director / designer James Darrah, as well as launching a new artistic model for the Cincinnati May Festival, resulting in the appointment of Juanjo Mena as principal conductor and Gerard McBurney as the first-ever creative partner. Before he joined the CSO, Isaac Thompson served as vice president of Artistic Planning for the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (MSO) for three years, in addition to serving as the MSO's program note annotator for two seasons. While in Milwaukee, he partnered with music director Edo de Waart in producing a much-lauded cycle of Mozart's Da Ponte operas, as well as creating the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra's Composer Institute in collaboration with the American Composers Forum. Prior to joining the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Thompson was a member of the artistic team of Music@Menlo, the San Francisco Bay Area's premier chamber music festival, where he worked directly with artistic directors and Musical America's2012 Musicians of the Year, cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han. There he was involved in season planning, leading pre-concert discussion events, writing program notes, and helping to design the festival's annual Winter Residency program. Mr. Thompson has consulted on artistic projects with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Miró Quartet, ArtistLed, and The International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, and he has given lectures at numerous colleges and universities throughout the United States. As a violinist, Isaac Thompson has performed prolifically, appearing at such festivals as Aspen, Round Top, Great Mountains (South Korea), Opera and Music Theater of Lucca (Italy), Chautauqua, and Northern Lights Chamber Music Festival. He is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and The University of Texas at Austin, where he served as a graduate teaching fellow in music.


Esa-Pekka Salonen (b. 1958) - the composer-conductor who is serving as The Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence at the New York Philharmonic, 2015-18 - dedicated his 1998 piece Gambit to his friend and fellow Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg (who served as the Philharmonic's Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence, 2009-11) in honor of his 40th birthday. Mr. Salonen writes: "Gambit is, as the name suggests, a shortish work for a large symphony orchestra of overture character. It is based on a few gestures, or archetypes, which are combined and juxtaposed in different ways during the nine minutes of Gambit. The two main ones are a descending mainly pentatonic scale-like gesture and a basic rhythm (and combinations thereof). ... Some harmonic progressions as well as the persistent minor third figure in the introduction are deliberate, free quotations from Magnus Lindberg's music." The New York Philharmonic has presented 15 of Mr. Salonen's works, including the World Premiere of his Piano Concerto (February 2007), conducted by the composer and performed by Yefim Bronfman, and The New York Premieres of his Karawane (March 2016) and Cello Concerto with Yo-Yo Ma (March 2017), both conducted by Alan Gilbert, who also led the European Premiere of the Cello Concerto in London (April 2017).

Sergei Rachmaninoff (1891-1953) began his Piano Concerto No. 4 in an apartment in New York City - his winter headquarters - where he had withdrawn to compose during his sabbatical from the concert hall. It had been eight years since he had completed a major composition. As was his habit, he began his new work in secret, but the distractions were such that he was unable to complete the work until the following summer, spent in Dresden at a health resort overlooking the Elba. The work was premiered by The Philadelphia Orchestra on March 18, 1927, with Rachmaninoff as the soloist, and was reprised in New York several days later. The audience response was enthusiastic, but critical reactions were cool. Rachmaninoff was so discouraged that he soon stopped playing the work in public, and it was more than a decade before he could attempt the revisions he felt were necessary. The revised version was premiered in 1941. The first Philharmonic performance of the concerto was in April 1954, led by Dimitri Mitropoulos, with Leonid Hambro as soloist, and was most recently performed in November 2015, conducted by Neeme Järvi and featuring Daniil Trifonov as soloist as part of Rachmaninoff: A Philharmonic Festival.

Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) composed and conducted his Symphony No. 5 in 1915 to mark his 50th birthday, which is now a national holiday in Finland. He wrote: "In a deep valley again. But I begin already dimly to see the mountain that I shall certainly ascend. God opens his door for a moment and his orchestra plays the Fifth Symphony." In spite of his struggles with health, alcoholism, finances, and political turmoil - and numerous revisions over the course of four years - he created what is considered to be one of the great late-Romantic symphonies. Sibelius's patron Axel Carpelan dubbed the finale's horn theme "the incomparable swan hymn," inspired by a breathtaking flight of swans. Sibelius noted in his diary: "Today saw 16 swans. ... One of the greatest impressions of my life! God, what beauty! They circled over me for a long spell. Disappeared in the solar haze like a silver ribbon." The Fifth's ending is one of the most affirmative expressions in all of Sibelius's works, and he called it "Triumphal" in his diary. Years later, in 1957, this symphony was being performed in Helsinki at the moment of the composer's death. Josef Stransky led the Philharmonic in The New York Premiere of the Fifth in November 192l; the Orchestra most recently performed it in November 2013, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen.

Single tickets for this performance start at $31. 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.)

Insights at the Atrium events are free and open to the public. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Subscribers, Friends at the Fellow level and above, and Patrons may secure guaranteed admission by emailing Space is limited.


New York Philharmonic

David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center

Thursday, October 12, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
Open Rehearsal - 9:45 a.m.
Friday, October 13, 2017, 11:00 a.m.
Saturday, October 14, 2017, 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, October 17, 2017, 7:30 p.m.

Paavo Järvi, conductor
Leif Ove Andsnes, piano

Esa-Pekka SALONEN Gambit (New York Premiere)
RACHMANINOFF Piano Concerto No. 4
SIBELIUS Symphony No. 5

Saturday Matinee Concert

David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center

Saturday, October 14, 2017, 2:00 p.m.

Paavo Järvi, conductor
Frank Huang, violin
Carter Brey, cello
Leif Ove Andsnes, piano

GRIEG Andante con moto, for piano trio
SHOSTAKOVICH Piano Trio in E minor
SIBELIUS Symphony No. 5


Wednesday, October 11, 2017, 7:30 p.m.

The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence Leif Ove Andsnes, speaker
New York Philharmonic Vice President, Artistic Planning, Isaac Thompson, moderator

From the shores of the North Sea to the stage of David Geffen Hall, Leif Ove Andsnes's career and accolades have spanned the globe. Learn more about the Philharmonic's Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence as he discusses his music education, artistry, and introduces us to the lesser-known works he has selected to perform during his residency.

Pictured: Paavo Järvi conducting the New York Philharmonic. Photo by Chris Lee.

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