The New York Philharmonic

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Dutoit Conducts Glinka, Rachmaninoff, and Elgar

This concert is now past.
Dutoit Conducts Debussy Rachmaninoff and Elgar
Location: Avery Fisher Hall (Directions)
Price Range: $41.00 - $128.00

Concert Duration

1 hour 50 minutes
Thu, Nov, 1, 2012
7:30 PM
Fri, Nov, 2, 2012
11:00 AM
Sat, Nov, 3, 2012
8:00 PM
The 2014-15 Season

Program (Click the red play button to listen)

Overture to Ruslan and Ludmilla

Piano Concerto No. 3


Enigma Variations

EDWARD ELGAR (1857-1934)
Enigma Variations (1899)

It was Joseph Cooper, who, according to the November 3, 1991 London Sunday Telegraph, cracked the code of Sir Edward Elgar's mystery: the "Enigma" theme of his famed Variations. The composer launched the guesswork with words that have kept inquiring minds wondering for more than a century: "The enigma I will not explain — its 'dark saying' must be left unguessed, and I warn you that the apparent connection between the Variations and the Theme is often of the slightest texture; further, through and over the whole set another and larger theme 'goes,' but is not played.... So the principal Theme never appears, even as in some late dramas ... the chief character is never on stage." Guesses have included everything from "Auld Lang Syne" to the slow movement of Mozart's Symphony No. 38 to "Rule Britannia" — but none of them wholly satisfies. Elgar introduces his Theme, and then follows it with 14 Variations, each bearing the initials or disguised names of the "friends pictured within." The musical portraits reflect not only the personality of the subject, but also an unmistakable characteristic or event associated with each of them. By now all the characters have been identified, except perhaps XIII. ***, but even that mystery may have been solved. But the true enigma may never be known. Some of the highlights of this marvelous work include: I. (C.A.E.), passionate music for Elgar's wife Caroline; VIII. (W.N.) includes a suggestion of Winifred Norbury's laugh; IX. (Nimrod) Nimrod is an Old Testament hunter and reference is to August Jaeger, Elgar's dear friend, whose name means "hunter" in German; X. (Dorabella) Dora Penny and her slight stammer; XI. (G.R.S) George Robertson Sinclair and his bulldog Dan's jolly bark; and finally XIV. (E.D.U.) Elgar himself, whom Lady Elgar called by his pet name Edoo. Whether or not we will ever puzzle out the enigma, one thing is certain: this composition is Elgar's crowning achievement.


Charles Dutoit by CAMI

Chief conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra since 2008, Charles Dutoit has been named conductor laureate beginning in the 2012-13 season in recognition of his 30-year artistic collaboration with the orchestra. Also artistic director and principal conductor of the London Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Mr. Dutoit regularly collaborates with the world's leading orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and Israel Philharmonic orchestras. His more than 170 recordings on the Decca, Deutsche Grammophone, EMI, Philips and Erato labels have garnered more than 40 awards and distinctions.

For 25 years (1977–2002) Mr. Dutoit was artistic director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. From 1991 to 2001 he was music director of the Orchestre National de France, with whom he toured extensively on the five continents. In 1996 he was appointed music director of Tokyo's NHK Symphony Orchestra, with which he toured in Europe, the United States, China, and Southeast Asia, and of which he is now music director emeritus. Mr. Dutoit has also been artistic director of both the Sapporo Pacific and the Miyazaki International Music Festivals in Japan as well as the Canton International Summer Music Academy, in Guangzhou, China, which he founded in 2005. He became the music director of the Verbier Festival Orchestra in 2009.

When still in his early 20s, Mr. Dutoit was invited by Herbert von Karajan to conduct the Vienna Staatsoper. He has since conducted at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, The Metropolitan Opera, Deutsche Oper, and Teatro Colón.

Charles Dutoit was born in Lausanne, Switzerland, and received extensive musical training in violin, viola, piano, percussion, history of music, and composition at the Conservatoires and Music Academies of Geneva, Siena, Venice, and Boston. He has been named honorary citizen of the City of Philadelphia, Grand Officier de l'Ordre national du Québec, Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the government of France, and Honorary Officer of the Order of Canada, the country's highest award of merit whose other honorary recipients include John Kenneth Galbraith, James Hillier, Nelson Mandela, The Queen Mother, Vaclav Havel, and Boutros Boutros-Ghali.

Learn more about Charles Dutoit



Nikolai Lugansky by Caroline Doutre Naive

Nikolai Lugansky is a pianist of extraordinary depth and versatility, noted for refinement and sensitivity in works by Mozart, Schumann, and Schubert, and virtuosity in music by Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev. He won the Tchaikovsky International Competition in 1994 and has embarked on a career of the highest level, with regular appearances at eminent concert halls such as Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, Vienna's Musikverein, Zurich's Tonhalle, and Tokyo's Suntory Hall. Working regularly with the top international orchestras — including the Orchestre de Paris, Munich Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Russian National Orchestra — he has collaborated with distinguished and diverse conductors such as Charles Dutoit, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Kent Nagano, Sakari Oramo, Kurt Masur, Vladimir Jurowski, and Emmanuel Krivine.

Mr. Lugansky's upcoming engagements include concerto projects with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra conducted by Andris Nelsons, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Vasily Petrenko, Philharmonia Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, and NHK Symphony Orchestra all with Charles Dutoit. He is also schedule to give recitals at the St. Petersburg Philharmonia, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, Moscow State Conservatory, London's Wigmore Hall, Prague's Rudolfinum, and Vienna's Konzerthaus, and he will participate in chamber music collaborations with violinists Vadim Repin and Leonidas Kavakos.

An acclaimed recording artist, Nikolai Lugansky has recently signed an exclusive agreement with the Naïve-Ambroisie label; the first release, featuring solo works by Liszt, is available. Previously he released an all-Chopin recital on the Onyx label, which The Guardian of London described as "unquestionably thrilling," and in October 2010 Deutsche Grammophon released a disc of chamber music recorded with Mr. Repin, which won the 2011 Edison Klassiek Award and the Chamber Music category award of the 2011 BBC Music Magazine Awards.

Learn more about Nikolai Lugansky

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