Riccardo Muti To Conduct NY Philharmonic in Works by Mozart, 4/14-4/17
Riccardo Muti will conduct the New York Philharmonic in Mozart's Symphony No. 34; Boccherini's Cello Concerto in D, G.479, performed by Philharmonic Principal Cello Carter Brey; and Schubert's Symphony No. 4, Tragic, Wednesday and Thursday, April 14-15, 2010, at 7:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, April 16-17, at 8:00 p.m.
The program pairs two contemporaries - Mozart (1756-1805, from Salzburg, Austria) and Boccherini (1743-1828, from Lucca, Italy), both great melodists - with the Viennese Schubert (1797-1828), who based his musical textures on the works of Mozart, Haydn, and Rossini, and who became one of the greatest melodists of the next generation. Taken together, these three works paint a vibrant picture of musical life as the Classical era of Mozart and his contemporaries developed into the early Romanticism evinced in Schubert's Fourth Symphony.
• Musical Suppers
The concert on April 16 will be followed by the third of the New York Philharmonic's Musical Suppers - five post-concert repasts featuring menus created by renowned chefs and hosted by food critic Mimi Sheraton. Lidia Bastianich will design the menu for this evening. Remaining Musical Suppers will take place on May 28 (Kurt Gutenbrunner) and June 4 (Daniel Boulud). Tickets are $150 per person in addition to a concert ticket; the suppers will take place at Arpeggio Food & Wine in Avery Fisher Hall. For information, call (212) 875-5656 or visit nyphil.org.
• Pre-Concert Talk
Composer Joelle Wallach will introduce the program one hour before each performance. Tickets are $5 in addition to the concert ticket. Attendance is limited to 90 people. Information: nyphil.org or (212) 875-5656
• New York Philharmonic Podcast
Mark Travis, a producer for the WFMT Radio Network since 1999 and the producer of the 52-week-per-year nationally syndicated radio series, The New York Philharmonic This Week, is the producer of this podcast.These award-winning previews of upcoming programs - through musical selections as well as interviews with guest artists, conductors, and Orchestra musicians - are available at nyphil.org/podcast or from iTunes.
Riccardo Muti was born in Naples, Italy, where he studied piano at the Conservatory of San Pietro a Majella under Vincenzo Vitale, graduating with distinction. He was subsequently awarded a diploma in composition and conducting by the Conservatory "Giuseppe Verdi," Milan. He first came to the attention of critics and the public in 1967, when he was unanimously awarded first place in the Guido Cantelli Conductors Competition in Milan. The following year he was appointed principal conductor of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, a position he maintained until 1980. In 1971 he was invited by Herbert von Karajan to conduct at the Salzburg Festival, the first of many occasions that led, in 2001, to a celebration of 30 years of artistic collaboration. In 2006 Mr. Muti
was appointed artistic director of Salzburg's Pentecost Festival, and in June 2008 he was
named music director designate of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; he will become its music director in September 2010. In the same season he will start as director of the Rome Opera House. His other past posts have included chief conductor of London's Philharmonia (1972-82) and music director of The Philadelphia Orchestra (1980-92).
From 1986 to 2005 Mr. Muti was music director of Milan's Teatro alla Scala, overseeing projects such as the Mozart-Da Ponte Trilogy and the Wagner Ring Cycle, along with classics of the repertoire and lesser-known works. His long tenure culminated on December 7, 2004, in the re-opening of the restored La Scala, with Salieri's Europa riconosciuta, originally commissioned for La Scala's inaugural opening night performance in 1778. In 2004 Mr. Muti founded the "Luigi Cherubini" Youth Orchestra, whose members were chosen from some 600 instrumentalists throughout Italy. On January 27, 2006, Mr. Muti joined the Vienna Philharmonic in celebration of the 250th birthday of Mozart in a worldwide telecast from Salzburg. His most recent tour with the
Vienna Philharmonic was a set of critically acclaimed performances in the U.S. and Mexico in March 2006. Mr. Muti conducted the New York Philharmonic on March 4-5 and 8, 2010, and again on March 10-11 and 13.
Carter Brey was appointed Principal Cello, The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Chair, of the New York Philharmonic in 1996. He made his official subscription debut with the Orchestra in May 1997 performing Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations under the direction of then-Music Director Kurt Masur, and has since performed as soloist each season.
From the time of Mr. Brey's New York and Kennedy Center debuts in 1982, he has been regularly hailed by audiences and critics for his virtuosity, flawless technique, and complete musicianship. He rose to international attention in 1981 as a prize winner in the Rostropovich International Cello Competition. He also won the Gregor Piatigorsky Memorial Prize, Avery Fisher Career Grant, Young Concert Artists' Michaels Award, and other honors, and was the first musician to receive the Arts Council of America's Performing Arts Prize.
Mr. Brey has appeared as soloist with virtually all the major orchestras in the United States, and performed under the batons of prominent conductors including Claudio Abbado, Semyon Bychkov, Sergiu Comissiona, and Christoph von Dohnányi. His chamber music career is equally distinguished: he has made regular appearances with the Tokyo and Emerson String Quartets as well as The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and at festivals such as Spoleto (both in the United States and Italy), and the Santa Fe and La Jolla Chamber Music Festivals. He presents an ongoing series of duo recitals with pianist Christopher O'Riley; together they have recorded The Latin American Album, a disc of compositions from South America and Mexico released on Helicon Records. On another CD he collaborated with violinist Pamela Frank and violist Paul
Neubauer in Aaron Jay Kernis's Still Movement with Hymn (on Decca's Argo label). He
recorded all of Chopin's works for cello and piano with pianist Garrick Ohlssen (on
Carter Brey was educated at the Peabody Institute, where he studied with Laurence
Lesser and Stephen Kates, and at Yale University, where he studied with Aldo Parisot
and was a Wardwell Fellow and a Houpt Scholar. His violoncello is a rare J. B.
Guadagnini made in Milan in 1754.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Symphony No. 34, though modest in length, is a remarkably varied and forward-looking work. Written in 1780, when the 24-year-old composer was in the very last months of his service to the Archbishop of Salzburg, the symphony begins with regal fanfares but soon becomes rich and subtle in expression, almost Romantic in affect. A second movement of tender elegance and a boisterous finale are widely contrasting and yet contribute to a unified whole. The New York Philharmonic first performed this symphony in January 1928, conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham, and most recently, in October 2008, led by David Robertson.
Although Luigi Boccherini is perhaps best known to present-day audiences for the famous tune of a single minuet movement, his output was voluminous and accomplished, characterized by a gift for melody and a warm lyricism. These qualities can be found in the Cello Concerto in D, G.479, written for Boccherini's own use. As one of history's foremost cellist-composers, he was also celebrated for his virtuosic talents as a performer. These will be the Philharmonic's first performances of the concerto.
Franz Schubert's first three symphonies, all written before he was 19, were composed more or less in the classical style of Haydn and Mozart. In many respects, the Symphony No. 4 follows the same form and dimensions, but has an emotional character that is not to be found in the earlier works. Schubert himself gave the work the title "Tragic," although it is not likely that there was an underlying personal reason for dubbing it so. The New York Philharmonic first played the symphony in February 1935 under Werner Janssen's direction, and most recently, in March 2007, led by Sir Colin Davis.
Single tickets for these performances are $31-$122. Tickets for Pre-Concert Talks are $5.
Tickets for Open Rehearsals are $16. Tickets for the Musical Supper are $150, with concert ticket required for purchase. All tickets may be purchased online at www.nyphil.org or by calling (212) 875-5656, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets may also be purchased at the Avery Fisher Hall Box Office or the Alice Tully Hall Box Office at Lincoln Center, Broadway at 65th Street. 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 $12 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.]