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There will be no late seating for this performance. Please allow enough time to arrive at the hall so that you are seated on time
Alan Gilbert, Lisa Batiashvili, Prokofiev, and Il Prigioniero
This concert is now past.
Location: Avery Fisher Hall  (Directions)
Price Range: $29.00 - $99.00
Thu, Jun, 6, 2013
7:30 PM
Sat, Jun, 8, 2013
8:00 PM
Tue, Jun, 11, 2013
7:30 PM
Lisa Batiashvili


  (Click the red play button to listen)
Violin Concerto No. 1
Violin Concerto No. 1 in D Major, Op. 19 (1917)

The year 1917 was a year of political upheavals that saw Russia turned on its head — the czar was toppled and the Bolsheviks (Lenin, Trotsky, et al.) transformed Russia into a socialist state. Sergei Prokofiev wanted none of that. Instead he retreated to the Caucasus to compose. And so, while Russia was in turmoil, he created such masterpieces as his Classical Symphony and the First Violin Concerto. Its premiere was scheduled for November 1917 in Petrograd, but with the unsettled political climate, the premiere did not take place until six years later. Meanwhile, worrying about what might happen to the arts and artists, the composer left Russia the next year to go on a "short" concertizing tour; but, with the exception of a stint in 1927 in the newly-constituted Soviet Union, he did not return to his homeland for 15 years. He traveled to Siberia, Japan, and the United States, and finally settled in Paris. Several violinists turned down the opportunity to perform the work, but eventually Marcel Darrieux, leader of the Paris Opera Orchestra, took up the soloist role under Serge Koussevitsky in 1923. The concerto had a mixed reception. On the one hand, Paris being a hot bed of the avant garde at the time, the progressives considered it too tame; and on the other, the conservative faction found the structure altogether too far-out. Fortunately, when performed the following year at the International Society for Contemporary Music it was an unqualified success. Unlike a traditional concerto, in which the movements are typically arranged fast-slow-fast, Prokofiev's concerto inverts that arrangement: the outer movements are of moderate tempo — for example, the composer described the ravishing opening as "pensive" — while the central Scherzo is a non-stop motoric display of jaw-dropping fireworks, including left-hand pizzicato passages and dizzying glissandi. The Moderato finale ends this 20th century classic ethereally, quietly, dreamily.
Il Prigoniero (The Prisoner) (1950)

The subjects of freedom and oppression were something that Luigi Dallapiccola knew about first hand, and his opera Il Prigoniero drew on those personal experiences. His family lived in Istria (today's Croatia), an ethnically Italian region that was under the oppressive yoke of the Austrian Empire during the composer's childhood. Because his father was thought to have nationalist leanings he was considered politically dangerous, leading to the family being interned in Austria. It was there that Dallapiccola was first exposed to the music of Wagner, inspiring him to become a composer. Other musical influences included Italian Renaissance composers, French impressionists, and contemporaries like Schoenberg and Berg. Subsequent political winds swept in Mussolini, and once again, humanitarian conflicts weighed on Dallapiccola. His response was a triptych of works on the subject, because, as he wrote: "In a totalitarian regime the individual is powerless. Only by means of music would I be able to express my anger." The second work of the triptych is Il Prigoniero, an opera that brought him international fame. Set in Renaissance Spain during the Inquisition, the Prisoner without a name is given false hope that he can escape, only to be recaptured and executed, and realizing that "the ultimate torture [is] hope." This anguished work is crowded with emotional ups and downs, reflected in an intense score that overlays 12-tone music with elements of lyricism. The cast of characters includes the Prisoner, his Mother, the Jailer, and the Grand Inquisitor. Listen especially for the second Intermezzo, where Dallapiccola directs that the "sonority ... must be formidable; every spectator must feel literally swept away and drowned in the immensity of the sound." The universal meaning of Il Prigoniero will, sadly, be lost on no one who hears this powerfully affecting opera, which The New York Times called "an intensely dramatic, musically arresting and grimly moving work."


Alan Gilbert

New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert began his tenure in September 2009. The first native New Yorker to hold the post, he has sought to make the Orchestra a point of pride for the city and country. As New York magazine wrote, “The Philharmonic and its music director Alan Gilbert have turned themselves into a force of permanent revolution.”

Mr. Gilbert and the Philharmonic have forged artistic partnerships, introducing the positions of The Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence and The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence, held in the 2014–15 season by Christopher Rouse and violinist Lisa Batiashvili, respectively, as well as the new position of Artist-in-Association, inaugurated by Inon Barnatan this season; an annual festival, which this season is Dohnányi / Dvořák; CONTACT!, the new-music series; and the NY PHIL BIENNIAL, an exploration of today’s music by a wide range of contemporary and modern composers inaugurated in spring 2014.

In the 2014–15 season Alan Gilbert conducts the U.S. Premiere of Unsuk Chin’s Clarinet Concerto, a Philharmonic co-commission, alongside Mahler’s First Symphony; La Dolce Vita: The Music of Italian Cinema with Joshua Bell, Renée Fleming, and Josh Groban; Verdi’s Requiem; a staging of Honegger’s Joan of Arc at the Stake featuring Oscar winner Marion Cotillard; World Premieres by John Adams, Peter Eötvös, and Christopher Rouse; works by contemporary Nordic composers during CONTACT!; and the Silk Road Ensemble and Yo-Yo Ma’s 15th-anniversary celebration. He concludes The Nielsen Project, the multi-year initiative to perform and record the Danish composer’s symphonies and concertos, the first release of which was named by The New York Times as among the Best Classical Music Recordings of 2012. The Music Director presides over the EUROPE / SPRING 2015 tour with stops including London, featuring Giants Are Small’s theatrical reimagining of Stravinsky’s ballet Petrushka as part of the Orchestra’s second International Associate residency at the Barbican Centre; Cologne, where he leads the World Premiere of Peter Eötvös’s Senza sangue, a Philharmonic co-commission; and returns to Dublin and Paris.

Last season’s highlights included the inaugural NY PHIL BIENNIAL; Mozart’s three final symphonies; the U.S. Premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Frieze coupled with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony; World Premieres; an all-Britten program celebrating the composer’s centennial; the score from 2001: A Space Odyssey as the film was screened; the ASIA / WINTER 2014 tour; and a staged production of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd starring Bryn Terfel and Emma Thompson. High points of Mr. Gilbert’s first four Philharmonic seasons included the critically celebrated productions of Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre (2010) and Janácek’s Cunning Little Vixen (2011) — both cited as the top cultural events of their respective years — as well as Philharmonic 360 (2012), the acclaimed spatial music program featuring Stockhausen’s Gruppen, and A Dancer’s Dream: Two Ballets by Stravinsky (2013, and later presented in movie theaters internationally). Other highlights included World Premieres of works by Magnus Lindberg, John Corigliano, Christopher Rouse, and composers featured on CONTACT!; Mahler’s Second Symphony, Resurrection, on A Concert for New York on September 10; Mr. Gilbert’s Philharmonic debut as violin soloist in J.S. Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins; five concerts at Carnegie Hall; six tours to Europe; and the Asia Horizons tour.

In September 2011 Alan Gilbert became Director of Conducting and Orchestral Studies at The Juilliard School, where he is also the first holder of Juilliard’s William Schuman Chair in Musical Studies. Conductor laureate of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and principal guest conductor of Hamburg’s NDR Symphony Orchestra, he regularly conducts leading orchestras nationally and internationally, such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, Orchestra della Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and Orchestre de Paris. His 2014–15 season engagements include appearances with Leipzig’s Gewandhaus Orchestra, opening its season and on tour; The Philadelphia Orchestra; Munich Philharmonic; Berlin Philharmonic; NDR Symphony Orchestra; and Mozart’s Don Giovanni at The Metropolitan Opera in February 2015.

Alan Gilbert made his acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut in 2008 leading John Adams’s Doctor Atomic; the DVD and Blu-ray of this production received the 2012 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording. Renée Fleming’s recent Decca recording Poèmes, on which he conducted, received a 2013 Grammy Award. Earlier releases garnered Grammy Award nominations and top honors from the Chicago Tribune and Gramophone magazine.

Mr. Gilbert studied at Harvard University, The Curtis Institute of Music, and Juilliard and was assistant conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra (1995–97). In May 2010 he received an Honorary Doctor of Music degree from Curtis, and in December 2011 he received Columbia University’s Ditson Conductor’s Award for his “exceptional commitment to the performance of works by American composers and to contemporary music.” In 2014 he was elected to The American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Visit Alan Gilbert's Official Website

Lisa Batiashvili by Anja Frers DG

As the 2014–15 Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence at the New York Philharmonic, Lisa Batiashvili will make three orchestral appearances — featuring concertos by Brahms, Barber, and Bach as well as a U.S. Premiere–New York Philharmonic Co-Commission written for her by Thierry Escaich — and a recital, presented in collaboration with Lincoln Center’s Great Performers series, with pianist Paul Lewis. This season the Georgian violinist also serves as artist-in-residence for Hamburg’s NDR Symphony Orchestra, where she and her husband, François Leleux, give the World Premiere of Escaich’s Concerto for Violin and Oboe, led by Alan Gilbert, before giving the work’s U.S. Premiere with the New York Philharmonic. Other 2014–15 season engagements include Filarmonica della Scala and Berlin Staatskapelle, both led by Daniel Barenboim; Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, led by Antonio Pappano; The Philadelphia Orchestra’s European tour, led by Yannick Nézet-Séguin; Rotterdam Philharmonic’s Gergiev Festival; and concerts with Mr. Leleux at the Salzburg Festival and in Amsterdam’s televised annual Prinsengracht concert. Ms. Batiashvili frequently works with the Berlin Philharmonic, Dresden Staatskapelle, Berlin Staatskapelle, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and other major orchestras worldwide. Her chamber music appearances this season include recitals with Mr. Lewis in Boston, Philadelphia, and Toronto, as well as New York, and Schubert’s Trout Quintet alongside Mr. Lewis and Lawrence Power at Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw and London’s Wigmore Hall.

Lisa Batiasvhili records exclusively for Deutsche Grammophon, and her most recent release is dedicated to works by J.S. and C.P.E. Bach, featuring François Leleux, Emmanuel Pahud, and Bavarian Radio Chamber Orchestra. Past recordings include Brahms’s Violin Concerto with Dresden Staatskapelle, led by Christian Thielemann (also available on DVD) and Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No.1 with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, led by Esa-Pekka Salonen. A student of Ana Chumachenko and Mark Lubotski, Lisa Batiashvili gained international recognition at age 16 as the youngest-ever competitor in the Sibelius Competition. She lives in Munich and plays a Joseph Guarneri “del Gesu” violin from 1739, generously loaned by a private collector in Germany. 

Patricia Racette by Devon Cass

Soprano Patricia Racette has appeared in all the great opera houses of the world, including The Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Royal Opera House, Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, Paris Opéra, and the Bavarian Staatsoper. She has appeared in the title roles of Janáček’s Jenůfa and Káťa Kabanová, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and Tosca, and Verdi’s Luisa Miller, as well as all three lead soprano roles in Puccini’s Il Trittico, Madame Lidoine in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites, Nedda in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, Leonora in Verdi’s Il Trovatore, Marguerite in Gounod’s Faust, and Ellen Orford in Britten’s Peter Grimes. Her performances in Madama Butterfly and Peter Grimes at The Met were seen in movie theaters across the world; the former was one of the most successful broadcasts in the history of The Met: Live in HD series and was subsequently released on DVD. A supporter of new works, Ms. Racette recently created the role of Leslie Crosbie in Paul Moravec’s The Letter at Santa Fe Opera. Other world premieres have included Roberta Alden in Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy at The Met, the title role in Tobias Picker’s Emmeline at Santa Fe Opera, and Love Simpson in Carlisle Floyd’s Cold Sassy Tree at Houston Grand Opera. With the January 2013 release of Diva on Detour, her first cabaret album, Ms. Racette officially added the cabaret genre to her performance platform. Her show has been heard live in New York at 54 Below, the Michael Schimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the Century Club, and Neue Galerie, as well as at Washington D.C.’s Birchmere Theater, San Francisco’s Venetian Room, Dallas’s Winspear Theater, and several venues in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Born and raised in New Hampshire, Patricia Racette studied jazz and music education at North Texas State University. In 1998 she was the winner of the prestigious Richard Tucker Award. These performances mark her New York Philharmonic debut. 

Gerald Finley by Sim Canetty Clarke

Canadian baritone Gerald Finley began singing in Ottawa, Ontario, before completing his musical studies in the U.K. at the Royal Conservatory of Music; King’s College, Cambridge; and the National Opera Studio. He has created the lead role in major premieres, including John Adams’s Doctor Atomic, Mark-Anthony Turnage’s The Silver Tassie, Tobias Picker’s Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Kaija Saariaho L’Amour de loin. Recent highlights include his debut as Hans Sachs in Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at the 2011 Glyndebourne Festival; Iago in Verdi’s Otello with Sir Colin Davis and the London Symphony Orchestra; and Rossini’s Guillaume Tell with Antonio Pappano.

Highlights of Mr. Finley’s 2012–13 season include John Adams’s Nixon in China with the BBC Symphony at the BBC Proms; Brahms’s A German Requiem with the Concertgebouw, which he later performs with the Toronto and London Symphony Orchestras; Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro at The Metropolitan Opera; Haydn’s Nelson Mass and Schoenberg’s A Survivor from Warsaw with Andris Nelsons and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; Handel’s Alexander’s Feast with Nikolaus Harnoncourt at Vienna’s Musikverein; Lutosławski’s Les espaces du sommeil with the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen; Mozart’s Don Giovanni at the Bavarian Staatsoper; and Mozart’s Così fan tutte at the Salzburg Festival.

In concert, Mr. Finley works regularly with leading conductors such as Alan Gilbert, Sir Simon Rattle, and Esa Pekka Salonen and with orchestras throughout Europe and the U.S. His appearances include premieres of works by composers such as Mark-Anthony Turnage, Peter Lieberson, and Einojuhani Rautavaara. His extensive recordings with pianist Julius Drake on Hyperion have received numerous awards. Their latest CD, an album of Schumann’s Liederkreis cycles, Op. 24 and 39, was released in October 2012. In 2011 a CD they recorded of music by Benjamin Britten won a Gramophone Award. Mr. Finley first performed with the New York Philharmonic in December 2003, in a performance of Handel’s Messiah conducted by Nicholas McGegan. His most recent appearance was in November 2010, in a performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah led by Alan Gilbert, two years after he starred in The Met’s production of John Adams's Doctor Atomic, conducted by Alan Gilbert.

Tenor Peter Hoare was born in Bradford, U.K., and studied percussion at the Huddersfield School of Music. In 1992, following several years as a freelance percussionist, he began his singing career. His operatic roles have included Bacchus in Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos, Captain in Berg’s Wozzeck, Herod in Strauss’s Salome, and Laca in Janáček’s Jenůfa (at Welsh National Opera); Basilio in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, Monostatos in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, and Larry King in Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Anna Nicole (at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden); Shapkin in Janáček’s From the House of the Dead (at The Metropolitan Opera, Milan’s Teatro Alla Scala, Vienna’s Festwochen, Holland Festival, and Aix en Provence Festival); Sharikov in Raskatov’s A Dog’s Heart (at English National Opera); Tikhon in Janáček’s Kat’á Kabanová (at the Grand Théâtre de Genève and Welsh National Opera); Sellem in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress (at Paris’s Théâtre des Champs Elysées and Welsh National Opera); and Desportes in Zimmermann’s Die Soldaten (at Ruhr Triennale, Tokyo’s New National Theatre, and Lincoln Center).

 Mr. Hoare’s 2012–13 season includes appearances in Martinů’s Julietta at English National Opera, Berg’s Lulu at Welsh National Opera, A Dog’s Heart at Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, and The Magic Flute at Covent Garden. Future plans include a revival of Anna Nicole at Covent Garden, Die Soldaten at Zurich Opera, Wozzeck at The Met, and Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at Covent Garden.

In concert Mr. Hoare has performed Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde (with Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw Orchestra); Berlioz’s Romeo et Juliette (with the Berlin Philharmonic); Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings (with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra); and Berlioz’s The Damnation of Faust and Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (at the Edinburgh Festival). Peter Hoare’s recordings include Delius’s Song of the High Hills, Britten’s Gloriana (Decca), and Leonard Meryll’s Yeomen of the Guard (Telarc). These are Mr. Hoare’s first performances with the New York Philharmonic.

A native of Richmond, Virginia, tenor William Ferguson appeared with the Santa Fe Opera as Caliban in the North American premiere of Thomas Adès’s The Tempest, and in 2005 sang Truffaldino in a new production of Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges with Opera Australia in Sydney — a CD of which was released on the Chandos label. In New York Mr. Ferguson has performed Beppe in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci at The Metropolitan Opera and the title role in Bernstein’s Candide, Nanki-Poo in Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado, the Funeral Director in Bernstein’s A Quiet Place, Hérisson de Porc-Épic in Chabrier’s L’Étoile, and, most recently, The Electrician in Thomas Adès’s Powder Her Face at New York City Opera. Additional credits include Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Opera Festival of New Jersey, Opera Memphis, Opera Omaha, Virginia Opera, Gotham Chamber Opera, and Opera Company of Philadelphia. He holds bachelor and master of music degrees from The Juilliard School.

A passionate concert and recital performer, Mr. Ferguson has appeared with the American, Boston, BBC, City of Birmingham, Houston, Mostly Mozart Festival, New Jersey, and National symphony orchestras; Los Angeles Philharmonic; Musica Sacra New York; Opera Orchestra of New York; Oratorio Society of New York; Orchestra of St. Luke’s; Radio Filharmonisch Orkest (Netherlands); as well as the local symphony orchestras of Bellingham, New Haven, Omaha, Richmond, Santa Barbara, Wheeling, and Winston-Salem. He has performed at 92nd Street Y, Bard Music Festival, Marlboro Music Festival, Young Concert Artists, The Marilyn Horne Foundation, New York Festival of Song, and Five Borough Music Festival, and appears as Brian on the recording and DVD of Not the Messiah, an oratorio based on Monty Python’s Life of Brian recorded live at the Royal Albert Hall. In 2003 William Ferguson was awarded the Alice Tully Vocal Arts Debut Recital Award, granting him a New York recital debut in Alice Tully Hall. This is his debut with the New York Philharmonic.

Baritone Sidney Outlaw was the Grand Prize winner of the Concurso Internacional de Canto Montserrat Caballe in 2010. He recently graduated from the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program and is a former member of the Gerdine Young Artist Program at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. He recently made his first opera recording, as Apollo in Milhaud’s Oresteia of Aeschylus (Naxos). Mr. Outlaw was a featured recitalist at Carnegie Hall in April 2013. Highlights of his 2012–13 season include traveling to Guinea as a U.S. State Department Arts Envoy to perform American music in honor of Black History Month and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and singing the role of Schaunard in Puccini’s La bohème with the Ash Lawn Festival. Next season Mr. Outlaw makes his debuts with North Carolina Opera, as Guglielmo in Mozart’s Cosí fan tutte, and Atlanta Opera, singing Figaro in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. In the 2011–12 season Sidney Outlaw made his English National Opera debut, as Rambo in John Adams’s The Death of Klinghoffer, and appeared as Prince Yamadori in Puccini’s Madame Butterfly at Opera on the James. Other roles include Malcolm in Anthony Davis’s The Life and Times of Malcolm X at New York City Opera, Dandini in Rossini’s La Cenerentola with Florida Grand Opera, Ariodante in Handel’s Xerxes, Demetrius in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the International Vocal Arts Institute, Papageno in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, and an international debut as Guglielmo in Mozart’s Cosí fan tutte in Germany and Israel.

Mr. Outlaw’s concert and recital appearances include Handel’s Messiah at Carnegie Hall, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 at Avery Fisher Hall, and the role of John Stevens in the World Premiere concert of H. Leslie Adam’s opera Blake at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, New York. A Brevard, North Carolina, native, Sidney Outlaw holds a master’s degree in vocal performance from The Juilliard School and is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. This is his debut with the New York Philharmonic.

Among New York’s foremost vocal ensembles, The Collegiate Chorale has added to the richness of the city’s cultural fabric for more than 70 years. Conducted by James Bagwell, The Chorale has established a preeminent reputation for its interpretations of the traditional choral repertoire, vocal works by American composers, and rarely heard operas-in-concert, as well as commissions and premieres of new works. The many guest artists with whom The Chorale has performed in recent years include Stephanie Blythe, Victoria Clark, Nathan Gunn, Thomas Hampson, Angela Meade, Kelli O’Hara, Eric Owens, Rene Papé, Bryn Terfel, and Deborah Voigt. Opera highlights include the New York Premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon and Michael Korie’s The Grapes of Wrath (2010) with an all-star cast including Jane Fonda, Nathan Gunn, and Victoria Clark, and the U.S. Premieres of Dvořák’s Dmitri (1984) and Handel’s Jupiter in Argos (2008). His appearances in musical theater works have included Weill’s Knickerbocker Holiday (2011) with Kelli O’Hara and Victor Garber, conducted by James Bagwell (commercially available on Sh-K-Boom Records), and Weill and Ira Gershwin’s The Firebrand of Florence (2009). The Collegiate Chorale’s most recent appearance with the New York Philharmonic was a pair of sold-out performances of Philip Glass’s Koyaanisqatsi in November 2011.


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Special Thanks

These concerts are sponsored by Yoko Nagae Ceschina. This performance is made possible through the Helen Huntington Hull Fund. Major support is provided by The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation.

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