Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter joins the New York Philharmonic in the 2010-11 season as The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence. In this role she will perform three concerts with the Orchestra, conducted by Alan Gilbert, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Michael Francis (in his Philharmonic debut); two chamber concerts - with violist Yuri Bashmet and cellist Lynn Harrell in the first - and double bass player Roman Patkoló and Philharmonic musicians in the second; and a recital with her long-time collaborator, pianist Lambert Orkis. Ms. Mutter's programs will reflect a mix of eras, offering established violin repertoire alongside new works.
While Ms. Mutter has established an award-winning career performing historically important pieces for the violin, she is a passionate advocate of new music, and numerous composers have written works for her. Her Philharmonic residency will include Beethoven, Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Brahms, in addition to World Premieres by Wolfgang Rihm and Sebastian Currier, a U.S. Premiere by Krzysztof Penderecki, and a New York Premiere by Sofia Gubaidulina.
Ms. Mutter, who has a 30-year history with the New York Philharmonic, will launch her residency with an all-Beethoven chamber recital on Sunday, November 14, 2010, at 3:00 p.m., with violist Yuri Bashmet and cellist Lynn Harrell. This will be followed by the first orchestral program of her residency, featuring Mozart Violin Concertos Nos. 1, 3 and 5 - which she will perform and conduct - along with Wolfgang Rhim's Lichtes Spiel, a World Premiere commissioned by The Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation, Thursday, November 18, at 7:30 p.m., Friday, November 19, at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, November 20, at 8:00 p.m., and Tuesday, November 23, at 7:30 p.m. Michael Francis will make his New York Philharmonic conducting debut in the Rihm work.
"I've admired Anne-Sophie Mutter for many years," says Alan Gilbert. "The fact that she's going to be with us for so many concerts and that she is performing unusual and provocative repertoire along with other more known pieces is tremendously exciting. What I appreciate most is that she uses her status and her position in the music world to further repertoire and encourage people to take risks. When someone like Anne-Sophie Mutter plays a new piece, the audience is drawn in because they know her and they trust her - she uses her capacity, ability, and reputation to bring the audience along with her."
Said Ms. Mutter: "The opportunity for me to be Artist-in-Residence with the New York Philharmonic is a dream come true, as this magnificent ensemble has always been one of my favorite orchestras. No matter what repertoire we play together, they are able to bring to it the most appropriate and unique stylistic qualities and with a deep passion for music-making."
Ms. Mutter's next concerts, as part of her residency with the New York Philharmonic, will take place March 31-April 2, 2011, featuring works by Prokofiev, Sofia Gubaidulina, and Tchaikovsky, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, paired with a chamber music recital on April 3, 2011, in works by Beethoven, a world premiere by Wolfgang Rihm, a U.S. premiere by Krzysztof Penderecki, and Mendelssohn.
Author Fred Plotkin will introduce the November 14 program one hour before the performance in the Helen Hull Room. Arbie Orenstein, Professor of Music at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, will introduce the concerts on November 18-20 and 23. Pre-Concert Talks are $7.00; discounts available for multiple concerts, students, and groups. Attendance is limited to 90 people. Information: nyphil.org or (212) 875-5656
On the Music: The 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 the podcast about the concerts on November 18-20 and 23. 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.
National Radio Broadcast
Ms. Mutter's orchestral concert, featuring the Mozart violin concertos and the world premiere by Wolfgang Rihm, will be broadcast the week of November 29, 2010,* on The New York Philharmonic This Week, a radio concert series syndicated nationally to more than 300 stations by the WFMT Radio Network. The 52-week series, hosted by actor Alec Baldwin, is generously underwritten by The Kaplen Foundation, the Audrey Love Charitable Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Philharmonic's corporate partner, MetLife Foundation. The broadcast will be available on the Philharmonic's Website, nyphil.org. The program is broadcast locally in the New York metropolitan area on Classical 105.9 FM WQXR on Thursdays at 9:00 p.m.
*Check local listings for broadcast and program information.
Since her international debut at the Lucerne Festival in 1976, Anne-Sophie Mutter has appeared in all the major concert halls of Europe, North and South America, and Asia. She has had new works composed for her by Sebastian Currier, Henri Dutilleux, Sofia Gubaidulina, Witold
Lutos?awski, Norbert Moret, Krzysztof Penderecki, André Previn, and Wolfgang Rihm. She also devotes her time to numerous charity projects and supports the development of young, exceptionally talented musicians.
The 2010-11 season marks the 35th anniversary of Anne-Sophie Mutter's Lucerne Festival debut at the age of 13. In addition to her year-long residency with the New York Philharmonic, Ms. Mutter joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for its inaugural Symphony Ball with Beethoven's Violin Concerto, and performs Dutilleux's Sur le même accord and Gubaidulina's In tempus praesens with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and Kent Nagano. A North American tour with Messrs. Bashmet and Harrell performing the Beethoven trios in San Francisco, Vancouver, Costa Mesa, and Mexico City is followed by a solo recital of Brahms's violin sonatas with her long-time recital partner, pianist Lambert Orkis at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
Internationally, Ms. Mutter appears with the Kirov Orchestra and Valery Gergiev, London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Colin Davis, and London Philharmonic and Kurt Masur. She tours Germany with Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic, and is slated for an extensive recital tour throughout Asia. In October 2010 her recording of the complete Brahms violin sonatas with her long-time recital partner Lambert Orkis, will be released in the United States on the Deutsche Grammophon label, adding to her discography of more than 60 recordings. Anne-Sophie Mutter made her New York Philharmonic debut in January 1980, performing Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor, led by Zubin Mehta. On her most recent appearance, in February 2009, she played the same concerto, conducted by Kurt Masur.
In 2010 Ms. Mutter was awarded the Doctor Honoris Causa from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim. In 2009 she was granted the European St. Ulrich's Prize and the Cristobal Gabaroon Award, and in the previous year she received the International Ernst von Siemens Music Prize as well as the Leipzig Mendelssohn Prize. She is a bearer of the Grand Order of Merit of the German Federal Republic, French Order of the Legion of Honor, Bavarian Order of Merit, and Great Austrian Order of Merit.
Violist Yuri Bashmet appears throughout the world in the dual role of conductor and soloist.
As an internationally renowned violist, he has performed with all the major orchestras over the last 25 years, including the Berlin, Vienna, and Los Angeles philharmonics, Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw, the Boston, Chicago, and Montreal symphony orchestras. In the United
Kingdom he has performed with all the major London orchestras and made several appearances at the BBC Proms. He also travels frequently to Japan, the U.S., and Australia. Recent visits to the Far East included appearances as both soloist and conductor with the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra.
Mr. Bashmet has a particular collaboration with Anne-Sophie Mutter: he has appeared with her in her complete Mozart Violin Concerto project, joining her for the Sinfonia concertante in E flat major, K.364, with ensembles such as the London and Vienna Philharmonic orchestras and Camerata Salzburg, and they have performed together throughout Europe. Other collaborators have included violinists Igor Oistrakh, Isaac Stern, and Gidon Kremer. Mr. Bashmet is also artistic director of the December Evenings festival in Moscow, principal conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of New Russia, and the founder/director of Moscow Soloists.
Among Yuri Bashmet's many CDs is a recording for Deutsche Grammophon of Sofia Gubaidulina's Concerto and Giya Kancheli's Styx, which won a Diapason d'Or award and a Grammy nomination. Other notable DG discs are Mozart's Sinfonia concertante with Anne-Sophie Mutter and Brahms's Piano Quartet No 1 with pianist Martha Argerich, violinist Gidon Kremer, and cellist Mischa Maisky. For Onyx, Mr. Bashmet and Moscow Soloists have embarked on a critically acclaimed series of recordings; chamber symphonies by Shostakovich, Sviridoc, and Vainberg; music by Stravinsky and Prokofiev (which received a Grammy Award); a disc of music by composers from the Far East; and a recital disc of Encores with pianist Mikhail Muntian.
Yuri Bashmet is an enthusiast of The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix, and has hosted his own political discussion show on Russian television. He plays a 1758 Testore viola (a similar model to the one Mozart played). He last performed with the New York Philharmonic on March 30, 2003, in an all-Shostakovich chamber concert with cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, pianist Yefim Bronfman, and violinist Maxim Vengerov.
Cellist Lynn Harrell is a frequent guest of many leading orchestras including those of Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. In Europe he partners with the orchestras of London, Munich, and Berlin, and he has also toured extensively to Australia, New Zealand, and the Far East. In the summer of 1999 he was featured in a three-week "Lynn Harrell Cello Festival" with the Hong Kong Philharmonic. He regularly collaborates with conductors such as James Levine, Sir Neville Marriner, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, André Previn, Sir Simon Rattle, Leonard Slatkin, Yuri Temirkanov, Michael Tilson Thomas, and David Zinman. In recent seasons Mr. Harrell has collaborated with violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and pianist André Previn; in January 2004 the trio appeared with the New York Philharmonic performing the Beethoven Triple Concerto with Kurt Masur on the podium. Mr. Harrell also appears frequently at summer music festivals, including those of Verbier, Aspen, Grand Tetons, and Amelia Island in South Carolina.
On April 7, 1994, Lynn Harrell performed at the Vatican with the Royal Philharmonic in a concert dedicated to the memory of the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. The audience for this historic event, which was the Vatican's first official commemoration of the Holocaust, included Pope John Paul II and the Chief Rabbi of Rome. That year Mr. Harrell also appeared live at the Grammy Awards with Itzhak Perlman and Pinchas Zukerman, performing an excerpt from their Grammy-nominated recording of the complete Beethoven String Trios (Angel/EMI).
Highlights of Mr. Harrell's extensive discography of more than 30 recordings include the complete Bach Cello Suites (London/Decca), the world-premiere recording of Victor Herbert's Cello Concerto No. 1 with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields led by Marriner (London/Decca), the Walton Cello Concerto with Sir Simon Rattle and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (EMI), and the Donald Erb Concerto with Slatkin and the St. Louis Symphony (New World). Together with Perlman and Vladimir Ashkenazy, Mr. Harrell was awarded two Grammy Awards - in 1981 for the Tchaikovsky Piano Trio, and in 1987 for the complete Beethoven Piano Trios (both Angel/EMI). Most recently, Mr. Harrell recorded Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme for Cello and Orchestra, Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 2, and Prokofiev's Sinfonia concertante with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Gerard Schwarz conducting (Classico). Lynn Harrell last appeared with the New York Philharmonic in late September-early October 2006, performing Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 1, led by Lorin Maazel.
Conductor Michael Francis came to prominence in January 2007 when he was asked, on 12 hours' notice, to replace an indisposed Valery Gergiev for the rehearsals and performance of Sofia Gubaidulina's Märchen-Poem and Pro et Contra with the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) during the BBC Gubaidulina festival at the Barbican Centre. One month later he was asked, on two hours' notice, to fill in for composer/conductor John Adams in a performance of his own works with the LSO at the Philharmonie Luxembourg. In October 2008 Mr. Francis was a finalist in the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition, were he conducted the LSO in a Since then, the LSO has continued to invite Mr. Francis to conduct rehearsals as an assistant to Gergiev, as well as to lead education concerts, composers' workshops, brass concerts, and string orchestra concerts, and he regularly conducts the LSO in the recording studio.
Among the orchestras he has conducted are the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw, Orchestre Philharmonie du Luxembourg, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Mariinsky Orchestra, and Stuttgart's Radio Symphony Orchestra (RSO), were he replaced André Previn for four concerts with Anne-Sophie Mutter. In April 2010 he worked with Ms. Mutter, conducting a series of concerts in Japan and Taiwan with the National Taipei Symphony Orchestra and Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. This season he appears with the Norrkoping Symfoniorkester in Sweden, and makes his debut with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Francis will conduct the Orchestre de Pau in March 2011, and in spring will join Ms. Mutter for a European tour, performing Sebastian Currier's Violin Concerto with the RSO Stuttgart. Mr. Francis has been a double bass player in the LSO since 2003. He graduated with a masters degree from the Royal Academy of Music in 2000. This is his New York Philharmonic debut.
Repertoire for November 18-20 and 23
It is well known that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a child prodigy of the harpsichord and piano, but it is less-frequently noted that he was also an accomplished violinist from a young age. When he was in the employ of the Archbishop Colloredo, he was not just conductor but also concertmaster of the Salzburg Court Orchestra, and it was when he held that post that he composed his five violin concertos. It was long believed that Mozart composed all five in close succession in 1775 at the age of 19, but recent research suggests that the Violin Concerto No. 1 actually dates from 1773. This might account for its relatively simple construction. The New York Philharmonic has programmed the Violin Concerto No. 1 only once before, in April 1962, with Leonard Bernstein conducting and Isaac Stern as soloist.
Perhaps the most popular of Mozart's five violin concertos, the Violin Concerto No. 3 offers some of the composer's most appealing melodies. The lively folk tune used in the finale, "The Strassburger," lends the concerto its occasional nickname ("Strassburg"), by which Mozart himself referred to it in a letter to his father, reporting on an evening when "at supper I played my Strassburger Concerto, which went like oil. Everyone praised my beautiful, pure tone." From the elegant invention of its outer movements to the sublime lyricism of the central Adagio, the concerto is a work of exquisite charm. The New York Philharmonic first played it on March 11, 1942, led by John Barbirolli, with Zino Francescatti as soloist. It was last performed in April 2006, with Concertmaster Glenn Dicterow as soloist, conducted by Bramwell Tovey.
The German composer Wolfgang Rihm is not only one of the world's most prominent composers but also one of the most prolific. His output to date comprises several hundred works, encompassing all genres - including works for the stage, orchestra, and chamber ensemble, as well as songs. Anne-Sophie Mutter premiered his Gesungene Zeit (Time Chant) in Zurich in 1992, with the Collegium Musicum under the director of Paul Sacher, and the New York Philharmonic performed the work with Ms. Mutter in January 2000, conducted by Kurt Masur. Of his new work for Ms. Mutter, Lichtes Spiel ("Light Game"), scored for orchestra, Mr. Rhim has said: "I wanted to write a transparent orchestral movement ... something light, but not ‘light-weight.'" The work, which is receiving its world premiere in these performances, was commissioned by the The Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation.
The Violin Concerto No. 5, Turkish, was the last and most compositionally sophisticated of Mozart's five violin concertos. The soloist enters the opening Allegro aperto movement with a few bars of unexpected adagio in a recitative style, a stroke that Sir Donald Francis Tovey called "one of the greatest surprises ever perpetrated in a concerto." The lyrical second movement is followed by a rondo finale, which alternates between markedly contrasting dance styles, passing suddenly from an elegant minuet into the lively, folk-inflected music that lends the work its nickname. The Philharmonic first performed the concerto in February 1904, with Walter Damrosch conducting the New York Symphony (which merged with the New York Philharmonic in 1928 to form today's New York Philharmonic) with Jacques Thibaud as soloist. It was most recently performed in November 2008, with Julia Fischer as soloist, conducted by Lorin Maazel.
Credit Suisse is the Global Sponsor of the New York Philharmonic. Anne-Sophie Mutter is The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence. Michael Francis's appearance is made possible through the Daisy and Paul Soros Endowment Fund. These concerts are made possible, in part, by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Major support provided by the Francis Goelet Fund. Programs of the New York Philharmonic are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.