Boston Philharmonic Opens 40th Season With Glinka, Dvorak, And Brahms, Feat. Cellist Jonah Ellsworth

Boston Philharmonic Opens 40th Season With Glinka, Dvorak, And Brahms, Feat. Cellist Jonah Ellsworth

The Boston Philharmonic opens its 40th anniversary season - a season that also marks the 80th birthday of founder and conductor Benjamin Zander - on Thursday, October 18, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. in Sanders Theatre at Harvard University with works by Glinka, Dvo?ák, and Brahms. Dvo?ák's Cello Concerto will be performed by Cambridge born and locally trained soloist, Jonah Ellsworth. Mr. Ellsworth is familiar to Boston audiences for previous performances with the BPO and also for his work as a member of the acclaimed Boston Trio. He performed the Dvo?ák Cello Concerto under Zander's direction in Europe several years ago, a performance that was praised for its inwardness and emotional richness. The concert also includes Brahms's First Symphony - a specialty of Mr. Zander's - and Glinka's roof-raising Overture to his opera Ruslan and Lyudmila.

The Thursday evening concert at Sanders Theatre is part of the orchestra's Discovery Series. Mr. Zander speaks from the stage prior to each piece, introducing and explaining each of the works that will be performed, often with musical examples played by the orchestra. The Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon concerts are preceded by Mr. Zander's pre-concert Guide to the Music, an hour and fifteen minutes prior to concert start time. These talks offer an in-depth preview of the music on each program, which allows audience members to gain a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the pieces.

Program Information
Discovery Series: Thursday, October 18, 2018 at 7:00pm
Sanders Theatre at Harvard University | 45 Quincy Street | Boston, MA

Sunday, October 21, 2018 at 3:00pm (Guide to the Music Pre-Concert Talk Begins at 1:45pm)
Sanders Theatre at Harvard University | 45 Quincy Street | Boston, MA

Saturday, October 20, 2018 at 8:00pm (Guide to the Music Pre-Concert Talk Begins at 1:45pm)
Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory | 30 Gainsborough Street | Boston, MA

Glinka: Ruslan & Lyudmila Overture
Dvo?ák: Cello Concerto
Jonah Ellsworth, cello
Brahms: Symphony No. 1

Tickets are available by visiting or by calling 617-236-0999.

The Boston Philharmonic, founded by Benjamin Zander in 1979, is comprised of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO), the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (BPYO), and its robust series of Crescendo Education and Community Engagement programs. The mission of the Boston Philharmonic is to share the vibrancy of classical music with new and existing audiences, aspiring to expand the limits of possibility to reinvigorate the classical music experience for audiences and players alike.

As one of Boston's premier orchestras and under the leadership of Maestro Zander, the BPO features student, professional, and amateur musicians who perform inspiring renditions of celebrated masterworks in Boston's most storied concert halls. The BPYO offers year-long orchestral and leadership training at the highest level for talented musicians between the ages of 12 and 21, completely tuition-free. The Crescendo Education and Community Engagement programs provide high quality music education for children who would otherwise not have access, often serving the most disadvantaged, at-risk, and under-resourced children in the city.

For the past 50 years, Benjamin Zander has occupied a unique place as a master teacher, deeply insightful and probing interpreter, and as a profound source of inspiration for audiences, students, professional musicians, corporate leaders, politicians and more. He has persistently engaged most well-informed musical and public intellectuals in a quest for insight and understanding into the western musical canon and the underlying religious social and political issues that inspired its creation.

Zander founded the Boston Philharmonic in 1978 and has appeared as guest conductor with orchestras around the world. His performances have inspired thousands of musicians, renewed their sense of idealism and shed fresh, insightful and sometimes provocative light on the interpretation of the central symphonic repertoire of the 19th and 20th centuries. Critics and the public have been united in their praise of Zander's interpretations of the central repertory.

For 25 years, Zander has enjoyed a unique relationship with the Philharmonia Orchestra, recording a series of Beethoven and Mahler symphonies. High Fidelity named the recording of Mahler's 6th as 'the best classical recording,' of 2002; the 3rd was awarded 'Critic's Choice' by the German Record Critics'; The Mahler 9th, Mahler 2nd and Bruckner 5th recordings were nominated for Grammy Awards.

In 2012, Zander founded the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (BPYO), which draws young musicians from the entire northeastern US to its weekly rehearsals and high-profile performances in Boston. This tuition-free orchestra tours regularly, and has performed in Carnegie Hall, the Concertgebouw, and the Berlin Philharmonic among others. In the summer of 2017 the BPYO will tour South America and, in 2018, Europe.

From 1965-2012, Zander was on the faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music (NEC), where he taught Musical Interpretation, and conducted the Youth Philharmonic and Conservatory orchestras. He was the founding Artistic Director of the NEC's joint program with The Walnut Hill School for the Performing Arts. Zander led the NEC Youth Philharmonic on fifteen international tours and made several documentaries for Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).

Zander enjoys an international career as a leadership speaker, with several keynote speeches at the World Economic Forum in Davos and at TED. The best-selling book, The Art of Possibility, co-authored with leading psychotherapist Rosamund Zander, has been translated into eighteen languages.

Photo Credit: Kate Lemmon Photography

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