The New York Philharmonic

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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

Zukerman, Eschenbach, Bruch, and Bruckner

This concert is now past.
Pinchas Zukerman
Location: Avery Fisher Hall (Directions)
Price Range: $41.00 - $123.00

Concert Duration

2 hours
Wed, Jan, 9, 2013
7:30 PM
Thu, Jan, 10, 2013
7:30 PM
Fri, Jan, 11, 2013
8:00 PM
Sat, Jan, 12, 2013
8:00 PM
The 2014-15 Season

Program (Click the red play button to listen)


Violin Concerto No. 1

MAX BRUCH (1838-1920)
Violin Concerto No. 1 (1866, rev. 1868)

Even as a teen Max Bruch loved the violin: "The violin seemed to me even at that time the queen of instruments, and it was quite natural that early on I had the inclination to write for it." He began work on this concerto when he was just 19, but did not finish it until nine years later. No sooner had he completed the score than he wanted to revise it... "Between 1864 and 1868 I rewrote my concerto at least a half dozen times," he later told his publisher. Not playing the instrument himself, he requested assistance from violin virtuoso Joseph Joachim (1831-1907), who was glad to provide suggestions. Joachim-the musical advisor to Brahms, as well — was rewarded by becoming the dedicatee, soloist, and champion for the newly-reworked concerto. When asked to compare the violin concertos of Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms, and Bruch, Joachim opined that Bruch's was "the richest and most seductive" of the four. Many other renowned violinists, such as Henri Vieuxtemps, Leopold Auer, and Ferdinand David subsequently took it into their repertoire. It opens with a brief, solemn Prelude that proceeds to a more energetic Allegro moderato. The slow movement is a rapturous Adagio, full of sweeping arpeggios for the violin. The finale, with its hints of gypsy melodies, is fiery and brilliant — a real showstopper. Though other of his works are regularly programmed by symphony orchestras — for example, his Scottish Fantasy, composed for the Spanish virtuoso Pablo de Sarasate, and Kol Nidrei — Bruch is best known for this romantic concerto, whose passion and bravado have made it a virtuoso showcase for soloists and an audience favorite for nearly 150 years.

Symphony No. 6

ANTON BRUCKNER (1824-1896)
Symphony No. 6 (ca.1881; completed 1899)

Anton Bruckner came to composing relatively late in life; he was already 31 when he wanted to make the switch from being a teacher and organist. He left his small rural native town to study in Vienna and did well, even receiving a professorship at the Vienna Conservatory some years after graduation in 1861. Though he composed in a variety of genres, he is known mainly for his ten symphonies, numbered from 0 to 9 — noble works that are grand in conception and rich in brass sonorities — a seeming paradox for a man who was deeply religious, humble, self-effacing, naïve, given to social faux pas, and insecure in his abilities. These insecurities often led to multiple versions and editions of his works, suggested by well-meaning associates but making it difficult to know which version he considered "final." Competing attempts to restore Bruckner's symphonies to their "original" forms were made last century, but even these disagree with each other. But the influence of his idol Richard Wagner's larger-than-life works is clearly audible in the rich orchestration and vast forces required by his symphonic works. The premiere of the two middle movements of the Sixth occurred in 1883, but there were no performances of the complete symphony during the composer's lifetime. That had to wait until 1899, three years after Bruckner's death, when the Vienna Philharmonic, conducted by none other than Mahler (who had made severe cuts and re-orchestrated much of the remainder of the Sixth), performed it. Two years later, Bruckner's original uncut version was finally heard, again in Vienna. In the Symphony No. 6, you'll enjoy the typical hallmarks of Bruckner's masterpieces: burnished strings, stentorian brass, powerful fanfares, and the majesty and tenderness of deeply-felt emotions.


Christoph Eschenbach by Eric Brissaud

Christoph Eschenbach is music director of the National Symphony Orchestra as well as of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. He is in demand as a guest conductor with the finest orchestras and opera houses throughout the world. Artistic director of the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival from 1999 to 2002, he has continued a close relationship with that festival, regularly conducting the orchestra at home and on tour as well as playing piano concertos and appearing in recital.

Highlights of Mr. Eschenbach's recent seasons have included multiple appearances with the Orchestre de Paris, where he was music director until August 2010; performances of the Verdi Requiem with the National Symphony Orchestra, his first as music director; tours with the London Philharmonic and the Dresden Staatskapelle; and engagements with the Vienna Philharmonic, Filarmonica della Scala, New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Munich Philharmonic, Hamburg's NDR Symphony (where he served as music director from 1998 to 2004), and Rome's Orchestra Sinfonica dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, which he conducted in a special open-air concert in St. Peter's Square in the presence of the Pope. As a pianist, he continues his collaboration with baritone Matthias Goerne, with whom he is recording Schubert's three song cycles for release on the Harmonia Mundi label.

A prolific recording artist for more than five decades, Mr. Eschenbach has recorded as both a conductor and as a pianist on labels including Deutsche Grammophon, Sony/BMG, Decca, Ondine, Warner, and Koch. His Ondine recording of the music of Kaija Saariaho with the Orchestre de Paris and soprano Karita Mattila won the 2009 MIDEM Classical Award in Contemporary Music.

Mentored by George Szell and Herbert von Karajan, Christoph Eschenbach's other past posts include chief conductor and artistic director of Zurich's Tonhalle-Orchestra (from 1982 to 1986, and music director of the Houston Symphony (1988-99), Ravinia Festival (1994-2003), and The Philadelphia Orchestra (2003-08). His many honors include the Légion d'honneur, Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the Officer's Cross with Star and Ribbon of the German Order of Merit, and the Commander's Cross of the German Order of Merit. He also received the Leonard Bernstein Award from the Pacific Music Festival, where he was co-artistic director from 1992 to 1998.

Learn more about Christoph Eschenbach



Pinchas Zukerman by Paul Labelle

Pinchas Zukerman has been a phenomenon in the world of music for over four decades, equally respected as violinist, violist, conductor, pedagogue, and chamber musician. Mr. Zukerman’s 2012–13 season includes more than 100 performances across North America, Europe, and Asia. He is in his 14th season as music director of the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Ottawa. In his fourth season as principal guest conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London, he leads the ensemble in concerts in Switzerland, Russia, and the United Kingdom.

Additional orchestral engagements include the Boston, San Francisco, Cincinnati, Colorado, and Kansas City symphony orchestras, as well as international appearances with Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Mariinsky State Theatre Orchestra, Orchestre de Monte Carlo, Czech Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Orchestra, Moscow Virtuosi, Miyazaki Festival Orchestra, and Teatro San Carlo Orchestra in Naples. He joins pianist Angela Cheng in recitals in Salzburg, Prague, Philadelphia, Palm Beach, Milan, Taiwan, Madrid, Helsinki, and Verbier. His chamber ensemble, the Zukerman ChamberPlayers, appears at the Ravinia and Toronto summer music festivals and in China, Japan, Europe, and South America.

Mr. Zukerman chairs the Pinchas Zukerman Performance Program at the Manhattan School of Music, where he has pioneered distance-learning technology in the arts. In Canada he has established the National Arts Centre Institute for Orchestra Studies and the Summer Music Institute, encompassing the Young Artists, Conductors and Composers Programs.

Born in Tel Aviv in 1948, Pinchas Zukerman came to America in 1962, where he studied at The Juilliard School with Ivan Galamian. He has been awarded the Medal of Arts and the Isaac Stern Award for Artistic Excellence, and was appointed the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative’s first instrumentalist mentor in the music discipline. Mr. Zukerman’s extensive discography contains more than 100 titles and has earned him 21 Grammy nominations and 2 awards.

Learn more about Pinchas Zukerman

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Special Thanks

Christoph Eschenbach's appearance is made possible through the Charles A. Dana Distinguished Conductors Endowment Fund. Pinchas Zukerman's appearance is made possible through the Florence Blau Trust. 


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