STAGE TUBE: Sneak Peek at Herbert Blomstedt Conducting NY Phil in Beethoven's 7th and 8th
Herbert Blomstedt will return to the New York Philharmonic to lead the Orchestra in Beethoven's Symphonies Nos. 7 and 8, Wednesday, February 22, 2017, at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, February 24 at 11:00 a.m.; and Saturday, February 25 at 8:00 p.m.
BroadwayWorld brings you a sneak peek below!
Now celebrating his 90th birthday season, Herbert Blomstedt recorded Beethoven's complete symphonies with the Dresden Staatskapelle between 1975 and 1980. In its review of his performance of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra at the BBC Proms in August 2016, The Guardian wrote that Mr. Blomstedt "may be nearly 90 but remains an invigorating presence on the podium, and he drove his players through an emphatic performance."
The New York Philharmonic gave the U.S. Premieres of both works, which Beethoven completed in 1812: it performed the Seventh Symphony on November 18, 1843, led by the Orchestra's founder, Ureli Corelli Hill, and the Eighth Symphony on November 16, 1844, conducted by George Loder.
Born in the United States to Swedish parents, Herbert Blomstedt began his musical education at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm and at the University of Uppsala. He later studied conducting at The Juilliard School in New York, contemporary music in Darmstadt, and Renaissance and Baroque music in Basel. He worked with Igor Markevitch in Salzburg and Leonard Bernstein at Tanglewood. Mr. Blomstedt made his debut as conductor with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra in 1954. He has served as chief conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic and the Swedish and Danish National Symphony Orchestras. For a ten-year period he was chief conductor of the Dresden Staatskapelle and music director of the San Francisco Symphony. He was subsequently music director of Hamburg's NDR Symphony, and from 1998 to 2005 he was music director of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra; as honorary conductor of the latter, he returns to Leipzig regularly. Five other orchestras have awarded him the title of honorary conductor: the Dresden Staatskapelle and the NHK, Danish National, Swedish Radio, and Bamberg symphony orchestras. Mr. Blomstedt appears as guest conductor with the world's major orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,
Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, and all leading American orchestras. In 2011 he made his Vienna Philharmonic debut, which immediately resulted in a regular collaboration. Herbert Blomstedt's extensive discography includes numerous award-winning recordings. He recorded more than 130 works with the Dresden Staatskapelle, including the complete Beethoven and Schubert symphonies; the complete orchestral works of Carl Nielsen with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra; and The San Francisco Years, a 15-CD box retrospective of his tenure with the San Francisco Symphony on Decca Records. His box set of the complete Bruckner symphonies with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra on Querstand won an International Classical Music Award. Mr. Blomstedt holds several honorary doctorates and is an elected member of the Royal Swedish Music Academy. He was awarded the German Federal Cross of Merit and received the prestigious Danish Léonie Sonning Music Prize for lifetime achievement. Herbert Blomstedt made his New York Philharmonic debut leading works by Chopin and Nielsen in March 1994; most recently he conducted the Orchestra in April 2012 in works by Mozart and Tchaikovsky.
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) created his sparkling Symphony No. 8 in 1812, a time of emotional turmoil over the woman he famously addressed as his "Immortal Beloved" in an unmailed letter. A compact, energetic work, the symphony is filled with humor, unconventional key signatures, occasional loud interjections, and a series of final chords that don't seem to know when to stop. And though some recent scholarship discounts this story's veracity, it is believed that in 1812 Beethoven attended a party with Johann Nepomuk Mälzel, who created ear trumpets for Beethoven and is credited with inventing the metronome. So enchanted was the composer with Mälzel's time-keeping device that he burst into a spontaneous paean to the inventor and his apparatus, and soon the other guests joined in the merry song improvised by Beethoven. The result: the playful metronome-inspired second movement that imitates the tick-tock of a new technology. The New York Philharmonic performed the U.S. Premiere of Beethoven's Symphony No. 8 on November 16, 1844, conducted by George Loder; most recently, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos led the Orchestra in the symphony in December 2013.
Beethoven conducted the first performance of his Symphony No. 7 on December 8, 1813, in Vienna at a charity concert for Austro-Bavarian soldiers wounded five weeks earlier during the Battle of Hanau, fought against Napoleon's retreating French army. The premiere was so successful that a repeat performance of the symphony was scheduled by popular demand four nights later, and the second movement received an encore at both concerts. Beethoven completed the work in the eventful year of 1812, during which the composer - by that time almost completely deaf - met Goethe, penned his mysterious "Immortal Beloved" letter, interfered in his estranged brother's personal affairs, composed the last of his piano sonatas, and finished two symphonies. While Weber stated that the Seventh Symphony suggested that Beethoven was "ripe for the madhouse," Wagner praised its Dionysian spirit and termed it the "apotheosis of the dance," and Beethoven himself regarded his "Grand Symphony in A" as "one of my best works." The New York Philharmonic performed the symphony's U.S. Premiere on November 18, 1843, led by the Orchestra's founder, Ureli Corelli Hill. Alan Gilbert conducted the most recent performances, on the Orchestra's CALIFORNIA 2016 tour.
These performances are sponsored by Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc.
Herbert Blomstedt's appearance is made possible by the Charles A. Dana Distinguished Conductors Endowment Fund.
Programs are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Single tickets for this performance start at $31. Tickets for Open Rehearsals are $20. 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 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 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.)