Concerto for Two Pianos and Strauss

The New York Philharmonic

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Concerto for Two Pianos and Strauss


David Geffen Hall

Price Range



1 hour & 30 minutes with intermission

No Late Seating
Date & Times


May, 2019

Thursday, 7:30 PM


May, 2019

Friday, 2:00 PM


May, 2019

Saturday, 8:00 PM

Event Info

Richard Strauss’s “selfie” has it all. This heroic personal portrait calls for huge orchestral forces — especially in the brass and percussion — to depict himself; solo violin for lush, sensuous love music, and even quotes from earlier compositions. Virtuoso pianists Katia and Marielle Labèque (“The best piano duo in front of an audience today” — The New York Times) perform Martinů’s deeply personal double concerto.

Program To Include


Concerto for Two Pianos


R. Strauss

Ein Heldenleben


Semyon Bychkov


Semyon Bychkov


Semyon Bychkov by Chris Christodoulou


Newly appointed music director and chief conductor of the Czech Philharmonic, Semyon Bychkov was born in St. Petersburg and studied at the Glinka Choir School and at the Leningrad Conservatory as a pupil of Ilya Musin. He won the Rachmaninoff Conducting Competition at age 20, but was denied the prize of conducting the Leningrad Philharmonic and immigrated to the United States.

Returning as principal guest conductor of the Leningrad Philharmonic in 1989, Mr. Bychkov enjoyed success in the United States and Europe following a series of high-profile cancellations that resulted in invitations to conduct the New York and Berlin Philharmonic orchestras and Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He was named music director of the Orchestre de Paris in 1989, chief conductor of Cologne’s WDR Symphony Orchestra in 1997, and chief conductor of the Dresden Semperoper in 1998.

In the U.S. he can be heard annually with the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, and The Cleveland Orchestra. In Europe he is an annual guest of the Berlin Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, and the London Symphony Orchestra, and tours frequently with Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Vienna and Munich Philharmonic orchestras. He conducts in all the major opera houses including Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, Opéra national de Paris, Dresden Semperoper, Vienna Staatsoper, and Teatro Real Madrid, and is an annual guest at The Royal Opera, Covent Garden. He holds honorary titles at the Royal Academy of Music and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to the core repertoire, Mr. Bychkov has worked closely with contemporary composers including Berio, Dutilleux, and Kagel. In recent seasons he has worked closely with Julian Anderson, Richard Dubignon, Detlev Glanert, Thomas Larcher, and Renée Staar.

Following early concerts with the Czech Philharmonic in 2013, Mr. Bychkov devised The Tchaikovsky Project, a series of concerts, residencies, and studio recordings exploring Tchaikovsky, recording the results for Decca. The project, which included a festival at the New York Philharmonic in 2017, culminates in 2019 with residencies in Prague, Vienna, and Paris and the release of the complete recordings. In 2015 Semyon Bychkov was named Conductor of the Year by the International Opera Awards.

Learn more about Semyon Bychkov

Katia and Marielle Labèque


Katia and Marielle Labèque


Marielle and Katia Labeque


Katia and Marielle Labèque are sibling pianists renowned for their ensemble of synchronicity and energy. Their musical ambitions started at an early age, and they rose to international fame with their contemporary rendition of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue (one of the first gold records in classical music) and have since developed a worldwide performance career.

They are regular guests with prestigious European and American orchestras, collaborating with conductors including Lionel Bringuier, Semyon Bychkov, Colin Davis, Gustavo Dudamel, Charles Dutoit, John Eliot Gardiner, Kristjan Järvi, Paavo Järvi, Zubin Mehta, Seiji Ozawa, Antonio Pappano, Georges Prêtre, Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Leonard Slatkin, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Jaap van Zweden.

The 2017–18 season includes performances with the New York Philharmonic with Jaap van Zweden, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Konzerthaus with Camerata Salzburg, Hamburg’s NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra with Bryce Dessner, a European tour with Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Semyon Bychkov, and Easter Festival Salzburg with Dresden Staatskapelle. The duo will also perform Bryce Dessner’s new concerto with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and San Francisco Symphony, among others.

Katia and Marielle Labèque have worked with numerous composers including Thomas Adès, Louis Andriessen, Luciano Berio, Pierre Boulez, Philip Glass, Osvaldo Golijov, György Ligeti, and Olivier Messiaen. In May 2015 they presented the World Premiere of Philip Glass’s Concerto for Two Pianos — which was written for them — with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, led by Gustavo Dudamel. In addition to the new concerto written for them by Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly is also preparing a new work for them, to be ready in 2019.

For their own label, KML recordings, they released Sisters (2014), with a selection of musical pieces from their personal and professional lives. The DVD of the documentary The Labèque Way, produced by “El Deseo” (Pedro Almodóvar) and filmed by Félix Cábez, was released in fall 2015. Previous releases include an album of works by Gershwin and Bernstein, and their project Minimalist Dream House, which looks at 50 years of minimalist music. The Labeques’ KML Recordings recently joined Deutsche Grammophon; their most recent record is Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and Debussy’s Epigraphes Antiques. Their next album, Moondog Minimalist Dream House, is set for spring 2018.

Learn more about Katia and Marielle Labèque

Special Thanks

The Donna and Marvin Schwartz Virtuoso Piano Performance Series has provided major support for Katia and Marielle Labèque’s appearances during the New York Philharmonic’s 2018–19 season.

Semyon Bychkov’s appearance is made possible through the Charles A. Dana Distinguished Conductors Endowment Fund.


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