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Lisa Batiashvili Plays Brahms

Location: Avery Fisher Hall (Directions)
Price Range: $32.00 - $129.00
Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes with intermission
Thu, Oct, 9, 2014
7:30 PM
Fri, Oct, 10, 2014
8:00 PM
Sat, Oct, 11, 2014
8:00 PM
Tue, Oct, 14, 2014
7:30 PM
The 2014-15 Season

Program To Include (Click the red play button to listen)

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Thunderstuck (World Premiere–New York Philharmonic Commission)

CHRISTOPHER ROUSE (b. 1949)
Thunderstuck (World Premiere–New York Philharmonic Commission)

While composing his new work Thunderstuck, the Philharmonic’s Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence Christopher Rouse provided hints as to what the audience might listen for and/or hear. “It’s a rock-inspired piece that pays homage, sometimes very subtly and sometimes more directly, to some of the music that I love from the past in rock ‘n’ roll.” Among his many inspirations he counts numerous 1960s and ’70s bands and their music, “I may not get them all in there, and most of what is in there will probably be twisted around to the point of it not necessarily being recognizable. That’s the kind of fun part for me, to sneak these things in. But, in essence, it’s just a rock ’n’ roll piece.”

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Symphony No. 103, Drumroll

JOSEPH HAYDN (1732–1809)
Symphony No. 103, Drumroll (1795)

A revered master of the symphonic form — he did compose 104 symphonies, after all —Joseph Haydn once again wowed his London audience when his 103rd in the genre was premiered. The timpani roll that gives his next-to-last symphony its nickname sets a rather serious mood at the start before becoming more spirited and, surprisingly, returning to seriousness in the “recap” that closes the movement. That Haydn also was a master of the theme-and-variations form you’ll hear for yourself in the especially genial second movement and its contrasting styles, modes, and moods. Folk and dance elements were never far from Haydn’s mind, and so it is that the third movement includes a bumptious Ländler rhythm. The finale opens with a horn call and features the instrument prominently throughout. After this symphony’s premiere, the feeling of joy that dominates the work moved the London Morning Chronicle to call Haydn’s 103rd Symphony “fertile and enchanting,” praising its “continual strokes of genius, both in air and harmony.”

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Violin Concerto

JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833–1897)
Violin Concerto (1878)

The nearly symphonic proportions and technical demands of Brahms’s romantic Violin Concerto have inspired the admiration and awe of concert audiences for more than 130 years; it is one of the pillars of the concerto repertoire. It requires extraordinary skills from the soloist — though it is never showy for its own sake. The grand first movement starts with a long orchestral exposition and then lets the violinist do bravura stuff for some 40 measures! It also abounds with melodies. The serene second movement features the oboe in a haunting theme with a choir of other winds supporting it. The last movement is exuberant and vigorous and incorporates Gypsy folk rhythms (a nod to the dedicatee, the minent violinist Joseph Joachim, who was Hungarian), with leaps, runs, and double-stops that are daunting for the soloist. Trumpets and drums are featured in a march, and, after winding down, the concerto ends with three emphatic chords.

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Conductor

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 Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen (2011) — both cited as the top cultural events of their respective years — as well as Philharmonic 360 at Park Avenue Armory (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.

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 Philharmonique de Radio France. He has appeared at The Metropolitan, Los Angeles, Zurich, Royal Swedish, and Santa Fe opera companies. In 2014–15 he conducts the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra’s season-opening concerts and on tour in Lucerne, Berlin, and London; Mozart’s Don Giovanni at The Metropolitan Opera; and The Philadelphia, Munich Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, and NDR Symphony orchestras.

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. He 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

Learn more about Alan Gilbert

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Violin

Lisa Batiashvili

Violinist Lisa Batiashvili’s 2013–14 season includes concerts in New York, Tokyo, and Taipei with the New York Philharmonic, led by Music Director Alan Gilbert, and a European tour with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Yannick Nezet-Seguin. She also performs with The Philadelphia Orchestra, also with Mr. Nezet-Seguin; Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra led by David Zinman; Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra with Mariss Jansons; London Philharmonic Orchestra with Vladimir Jurowski; and London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen. She continues her collaboration with pianist Paul Lewis in a series of recitals in Paris, Brussels, and Hamburg, and presents a new Bach ensemble project with oboist Francois Leleux.

During the 2012–13 season Ms. Batiashvili held the position of Capell-Virtuosin with Staatskapelle Dresden, performing a wide range of concerts that included a North American tour with its principal conductor Christian Thielemann. She was also artist-in-residence with the WDR Symphony Orchestra, Cologne, and appeared with Staatskapelle Berlin and Daniel Barenboim before an outdoor audience of 38,000.

Ms. Batiashvili records exclusively for Deutsche Grammophon. Her latest album, which features the Brahms Violin Concerto with the Staatskapelle Dresden and Mr. Thielemann, was released in January 2013. In 2011 she received an ECHO Klassik Award for her DG debut album, Echoes of Time, which features 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, Ms. Batiashvili gained international recognition at age 16 as the youngest-ever competitor in the Sibelius Competition. She has also been awarded the Beethoven Ring Prize, MIDEM Classical Award, Choc de L’année, and the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival’s Leonard Bernstein Award.

Lisa Batiashvili plays a Joseph Guarneri “del Gesu” violin from 1739, generously loaned by a private collector in Germany.

Learn more about Lisa Batiashvili

Special Thanks

Christopher Rouse is The Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence.

Lisa Batiashvili is The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence.

Photo of : Anja Frers/DG

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