Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra to Feature Cellist Alisa Weilerstein, 9/19

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra to Feature Cellist Alisa Weilerstein, 9/19

MILWAUKEE, WIS. 08/28/2014 - The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Edo de Waart present Alisa Weilerstein Plays Elgar on September 19-20, 2014 at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. The concerts feature Ms. Weilerstein performing Elgar's Cello Concerto in E minor along with Britten's "Four Sea Interludes" from Peter Grimes and Dvorák's Symphony No. 8.

Both concerts include Meet the Music, a free, interactive pre-concert discussion held one hour prior to concert start time, in Uihlein Hall on Friday and in the Anello Atrium on Saturday. Friday's performance also includes a Pre-Concert Fashion Showin the Bradley Pavilion at 10:15 a.m. and offers a post-concert Meet the Artist Luncheon with artists from the performance in the Bradley Pavilion.

Britten's "Four Sea Interludes" from Peter Grimes, Opus 33a was composedand premiered in 1945. Peter Grimes was Britten's first opera and a defining moment in the composer's life and career. Poet Peter Crabbe's work The Borough, a series of twenty-four letters, served as Britten's primary inspiration for the opera, which tells the story of a reclusive fisherman in a village along England's eastern coast. The Sea Interludes are music that connects the seven scenes and the prologue. For the concert set, Britten arranged the Interludes in a different order than how they appear in the opera and slightly modified the endings.

Elgar's Cello Concerto in E minor, Opus 85 was composed 1918-1919 and premiered in 1919 with the London Symphony Orchestra. Elgar began composing shortly after World War I ended, and during that summer, his wife Alice experienced rapidly declining health. "Elgar's Cello Concerto is an introspective yet noble work, perhaps mirroring the complex emotions and feelings Elgar was experiencing in his life around the time of composition," writes Isaac Thompson, MSO program annotator. Elgar lost the motivation to compose after Alice's death in 1920; therefore, the Cello Concerto marks the last substantial orchestral work Elgar completed.

Dvorák's Symphony No. 8 in G major, Opus 88 was composed in 1889 and premiered in 1890. Following the success of hisStabat Mater in London in 1883, Dvorák began work on his D minor Symphony No. 7. However, four years passed before he began to work on his subsequent Eighth Symphony. In writing the Eighth Symphony, Dvorák set out to write a piece that would be "different from other symphonies, with individual thoughts worked out in a new way." True to form, the Eighth Symphony is a divergence from Dvorák's previous works; further solidifying Dvorák own unique musical language.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Edo de Waart enters his sixth season as the sixth music director of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in 2014.15. He also serves as chief conductor of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic and conductor laureate of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. Regular guest conducting appearances include the Chicago Symphony, NHK Symphony, and Royal Stockholm Philharmonic orchestras as well as the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra where, as with the San Francisco Symphony and Hong Kong Philharmonic, he has previously held a post. At the end of the 2013.14 season, he returned to the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

As an opera conductor, de Waart has enjoyed success in a large and varied repertoire in many of the world's greatest opera houses. He has conducted at Bayreuth, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Opera de Bastille, Santa Fe Opera, and The Metropolitan Opera. His most recent appearance at The Met received rave reviews for Der Rosenkavalier, and he will return to the house in future seasons. In addition to semi-staged and concert opera performances with his orchestras in the United States, he regularly conducts opera with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra as part of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw's Zaterdag Matinee series, most recently Richard Strauss's Salome.

Edo de Waart's extensive catalogue encompasses releases for Philips, Virgin, EMI, Telarc, and RCA. His most recent recording is with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic; Mahler's Symphony No. 1 was released in April 2013. Future releases include Wagner'sTristan und Isolde: Nachtgesang und Isoldes Liebestod (arr. Henk de Vlieger) with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Elgar's Dream of Gerontius with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic.

At the age of 23, de Waart won the Dimitri Mitropoulos Conducting Competition in New York which resulted in his appointment as assistant conductor to Leonard Bernstein at the New York Philharmonic. On his return to Holland, he was appointed assistant conductor to Bernard Haitink at the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. In 1967, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra appointed him guest conductor and, six years later, chief conductor and artistic director. Since then, he has also been music director of the San Francisco Symphony and Minnesota Orchestra, chief conductor and artistic director of the Sydney Symphony, and chief conductor of De Nederlandse Opera.

Alisa Weilerstein is "a young cellist whose emotionally resonant performances of both traditional and contemporary music have earned her international recognition...Weilerstein is a consummate performer, combining technical precision with impassioned musicianship," stated the MacArthur Foundation, when awarding her a 2011 MacArthur Fellowship. An exclusive recording artist for Decca Classics, her label debut included the Elgar and Elliott Carter cello concertos with Daniel Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin and was named BBC Music magazine's "Recording of the Year 2013." Weilerstein's second Decca release, featuring Dvorák's Cello Concerto, reveals a "take-no-prisoners emotional investment that is evident in every bar" (The New York Times).

This season, Weilerstein gives the New York premiere of Matthias Pintscher's Reflections on Narcissus under the composer's direction during the New York Philharmonic's inaugural Biennial, and performs Prokofiev with the Chicago Symphony, Tchaikovsky with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Beethoven with the Dallas Symphony, and Dvorák at London's BBC Proms. She serves as artist-in-residence with the Cincinnati Symphony and Caramoor International Music Festival, gives recitals at the Sydney Opera House and London's Wigmore Hall, and makes a cameo in the feature film If I Stay.

Weilerstein's career milestones include giving an "emotionally devastating performance of Elgar's Cello Concerto" (The Guardian) with the Berlin Philharmonic under Barenboim and performing at the White House for the President and Mrs. Obama. An ardent champion of new music, she has worked extensively with Osvaldo Golijov and premiered works by Lera Auerbach and Joseph Hallman. She regularly collaborates with Venezuela's Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra and the El Sistemaeducation program. Weilerstein, whose honors include Lincoln Center's 2008 Martin E. Segal prize and the 2006 Leonard Bernstein Award, is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music and Columbia University. Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, she is a Celebrity Advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

ABOUT THE PERFORMANCE

Alisa Weilerstein Plays Elgar
Edo de Waart, conductor
Alisa Weilerstein, cello

Uihlein Hall, Marcus Center for the Performing Arts
Friday, September 19 | 11:15 a.m.

Meet the Music, Uihlein Hall | 10:15 a.m.
Fashion Show, Bradley Pavilion | 10:15 a.m.
Meet the Artist Luncheon, Bradley Pavilion [ticket required] | 1:15 p.m.

Saturday, September 20 | 8:00 p.m.

Meet the Music, Anello Atrium | 7:00 p.m.

Tickets range from $25-105. For more information, please call 414.291.7605 or visit mso.org. Tickets may also be purchased through the Marcus Center Box Office at 414.273.7206.

ABOUT THE MSO

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, under the dynamic leadership of Music Director Edo de Waart, is among the finest orchestras in the nation and the largest cultural institution in Wisconsin. Now in his sixth season with the MSO, Maestro de Waart has led sold-out concerts, elicited critical acclaim, and conducted a celebrated performance at Carnegie Hall on May 11, 2012. The MSO's full-time professional musicians perform over 135 classics, pops, family, education, and community concerts each season in venues throughout the state. Since its inception in 1959, the MSO has found innovative ways to give music a home in the region, develop music appreciation and talent among area youth, and raise the national reputation of Milwaukee.