Conductor Vladimir Jurowski Makes NY Philharmonic Debut, Now thru 5/24
Vladimir Jurowski will make his New York Philharmonic debut conducting Szymanowski's Violin Concerto No. 1, featuring Janine Jansen as soloist, and selections from Prokofiev's Cinderella, tonight, May 21, 2014, at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, May 22 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, May 23 at 2:00 p.m.; and Saturday, May 24 at 8:00 p.m.
Both works on the program are programmatic, one inspired by a poem and the other by a fairytale, each depicting passionate love. Szymanowski based his First Violin Concerto on a poem that reads, in part: "All the birds pay tribute to me / for today I wed a goddess. / And now we stand by the lake in crimson blossom / in flowing tears of joy, with rapture and fear, / burning in amorous conflagration." Prokofiev said of his ballet Cinderella, which is based on the eponymous fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, "What I wished to express above all in the music of Cinderella was the poetic love of Cinderella and the Prince, the birth and flowering of that love, the obstacles in its path, and finally the dream fulfilled."
Janine Jansen made her New York Philharmonic debut in October 2007 performing Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, and returned in February 2011 with the Britten Violin Concerto, about which The New York Times wrote that she performed "with a tightly centered, irresistibly beautiful tone and a sense of the music's emotional depth that she maintained to the end."
Lawrence Tarlow, New York Philharmonic Principal Librarian, will introduce the program. Pre-Concert Talks are $7; discounts are available for multiple talks, students, and groups. They take place one hour before these performances in the Helen Hull Room, unless otherwise noted. Attendance is limited to 90 people. For information, visit nyphil.org/preconcert or call (212) 875-5656.
The program will be broadcast the week of June 15, 2014, on The New York Philharmonic This Week, a radio concert series syndicated weekly to more than 300 stations nationally, and to 122 outlets internationally, by the WFMT Radio Network.
The broadcast will be available on the Philharmonic's Website, nyphil.org. The program is broadcast locally in
the New York metropolitan area on 105.9 FM WQXR on Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. Information is subject to change. Check local listings for broadcast and program information.
Vladimir Jurowski was born in Moscow, and in 1990 moved with his family to Germany, where he completed his musical studies at the Hochschules für Musik in Dresden and Berlin. In 1995 he launched his career with his successful debut at the Wexford Festival conducting Rimsky-Korsakov's May Night. He has since been a guest at some of the world's leading opera houses such as the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Opéra Bastille de Paris, Welsh National Opera, Dresden Semperoper, Komische Oper Berlin, and The Metropolitan Opera. Mr. Jurowski was appointed the London Philharmonic Orchestra's principal guest conductor in 2003 and became that ensemble's principal conductor in September 2007. He is also principal artist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and artistic director of the Russian State Academic Symphony Orchestra. Previous posts include first Kapellmeister of the Komische Oper Berlin (1997-2001), principal guest conductor of the Teatro Comunale di Bologna (2000-03), principal guest conductor of the Russian National Orchestra (2005-09), and music director of Glyndebourne Festival Opera (2001-13). Mr. Jurowski has conducted leading orchestras in both Europe and North America, including the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic orchestras; Boston and Chicago Symphony Orchestras; and The Philadelphia, Zurich's Tonhalle, Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw, Leipzig Gewandhaus, and Dresden Staatskapelle orchestras. Highlights of his 2013-14 season and beyond include debuts with the New York Philharmonic, Tokyo's NHK Symphony Orchestra, and San Francisco Symphony; tours with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Mahler Chamber Orchestra; and returns to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. His operatic appearances have included Verdi's Rigoletto, Janá?ek's Jenufa, Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades, and Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel at The Metropolitan Opera; Wagner's Parsifal and Berg's Wozzeck at Welsh National Opera; Prokofiev's War and Peace at the Opéra national de Paris; Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin at Milan's Teatro alla Scala; Glinka's Ruslan and Ludmila at the Bolshoi Theatre; Tchaikovsky's Iolanta at the Dresden Semperoper; and operas by Mozart, Verdi, Wagner, Richard Strauss, Britten, and others, including Peter Eötvös's Love and Other Demons, at Glyndebourne Opera. In 2013 he returns to The Met for Strauss's Die Frau ohne Schatten, and future engagements include Schoenberg's Moses und Aron at the Komische Oper Berlin and Prokofiev's The Fiery Angel at Munich's Bavarian Staatsoper.
Violinist Janine Jansen works regularly with the world's leading orchestras, including Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Berlin Philharmonic, collaborating with conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Zubin Mehta, Gustavo Dudamel, Mariss Jansons, and Antonio Pappano. This season she appears at the BBC Proms with Orchestre de Paris and Paavo Järvi, and is soloist on the Philharmonia Orchestra's European tour, led by Esa-Pekka Salonen, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra's Japanese tour, with Lorin Maazel. To celebrate the release of her new Bach album, Ms. Jansen and friends embark on two European tours, with concerts in Berlin, Munich, Vienna, London, Amsterdam, and Paris. She also returns to Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras, Royal Stockholm and Oslo Philharmonic Orchestras, and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. A devoted chamber musician, she performs on two duo recital tours with pianist Itamar Golan in Spain and Italy, and is joined by cellist Torleif Thedéen for a number of trio recitals during the 2013-14 season. She established and curates the annual International Chamber Music Festival, Utrecht, Holland. Ms. Jansen records exclusively for Decca (Universal Music); past records include Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 2 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski, Mendelssohn's and Bruch's Violin Concertos with Riccardo Chailly, and Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto with Daniel Harding. Her recent chamber disc, including Schubert's String Quintet and Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht, celebrates the 10th anniversary of her Internationaal Kamermuziek Festival Utrecht. Ms. Jansen's honors include four Edison Klassiek awards, three ECHO Klassik Awards, Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, NDR Musikpreis for outstanding artistic achievement, Concertgebouw Prize, VSCD Klassieke Muziekprijs for individual achievement, and the RPS Instrumentalist Award for performances in the U.K. Janine Jansen plays a "Barrere" by Antonio Stradivari (1727) on extended loan from the Elise Mathilde Foundation. She first appeared with the New York Philharmonic in October 2007, performing Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, conducted by Lorin Maazel, and returned in February 2011 for Britten's Violin Concerto, led by Paavo Järvi.
While much of the world was at war when Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937) composed his Concerto No. 1 for Violin and Orchestra (1916), the sounds therein give no indication of that turbulent time when it was created. The perfumed atmosphere that pervades this sensuous work has its origins in Szymanowski's musical and extra-musical influences. He composed it in what some have dubbed his "exotic" period: he drew inspiration from Scriabin, Debussy, and Ravel, and through his travels to Sicily and North Africa. The Concerto's program is based on Polish philosopher/poet Tadeusz Micinski's poem "May Night," which reads, in part: "All the birds pay tribute to me / for today I wed a goddess. / And now we stand by the lake in crimson blossom / in flowing tears of joy, with rapture and fear, / burning in amorous conflagration." The first time that member of the New York Philharmonic performed this concerto was in May 1944, when they were joined by Bronislaw Huberman as soloist and were conducted by Gregor Fittelberg; Concertmaster Glenn Dicterow was the soloist in the most recent Philharmonic performances, led by Daniel Harding in March 2011.
Of his 1945 fairytale ballet, Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) wrote: "What I wished to express above all in the music of Cinderella was the poetic love of Cinderella and the Prince, the birth and flowering of that love, the obstacles in its path, and finally the dream fulfilled." Cinderella was commissioned by the Bolshoi Theatre, where it was premiered on November 21, 1945. Based on Charles Perrault's (1628-1703) fairytale Cendrillon, Nikolai Volkov created the scenario, and Rostislav Zakharov, the choreography. The music from Prokofiev's ballet Cinderella - which includes the selections that Vladimir Jurowski is conducting in this program - reflects the heroine's excitement as she gets ready for the big event, her show-stopping arrival at the ball, the elegant entrance of the dashing prince, glorious waltzes, and ecstatic love themes. The Philharmonic has presented selections from the ballet twice before: in May 1987, led by Andrew Davis, and in 2006 Summertime Classics concerts, led by Bramwell Tovey.
Tickets for the concerts start at $28. Tickets for Open Rehearsals are $20. All other 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 Avery Fisher 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. To determine ticket availability, call the Philharmonic's Customer Relations Department at (212) 875-5656. [Ticket prices subject to change.]