Saturday Matinee: Enigma Variations

The New York Philharmonic

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Calendar

Saturday Matinee: Enigma Variations

Location

David Geffen Hall

Directions
Price Range

$34-79

Duration

1 hour & 30 minutes with intermission

Date & Times

1

Feb, 2020

Saturday, 2:00 PM

Event Info

Treat yourself to a sublime Saturday afternoon of music. Enigma Variations — Elgar’s crowning achievement — portrays his social circle with irresistible tunes and “inside jokes,” with the heart of the work, the stirring “Nimrod”, often heard in commemoration of departed friends. Plus, chamber music to start the concert and a stimulating post-concert Q & A with our musicians.

Program

Dvořák

String Sextet

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Elgar

Enigma Variations

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Artists

Simone Young

Conductor

Simone Young

Conductor

Simone Young

Conductor

Simone Young’s international career has taken her to almost all of the world’s most important opera houses and symphony orchestras. In addition to serving as principal guest conductor of the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, her busy conducting schedule in the 2019–20 season included her return to the Vienna Staatsoper with a new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Elsewhere, she leads Aribert Reimann’s Lear at Teatro Real Madrid, Beethoven’s Fidelio at the Berlin Staatsoper, and Richard Strauss’s Salome at Oper Zurich. Equally in demand on the concert podium, this season she conducts orchestras in Paris, Madrid, San Francisco, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Tokyo, Monte Carlo, Leipzig, Helsinki, Barcelona, Manchester, Lausanne, and Australia, as well as New York.

Ms. Young has been appointed chief conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, beginning in the 2022–23 season. Her previous posts include principal conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic (1998–2002), artistic director of Opera Australia (2001–03), principal guest conductor of Lisbon’s Gulbenkian Orchestra, and artistic director of Hamburg Staatsoper and chief music director of the Hamburg Philharmonic (2005–15).

Ms. Young’s reputation as a Wagner and Strauss specialist was developed early in her career. Her strong relationship with the Vienna Staatsoper began with her debut in 1993. Outside of Vienna, Ms. Young has appeared as a guest conductor at such world-class opera houses as Opéra national de Paris, The Metropolitan Opera, and Royal Opera, Covent Garden, and she is a regular guest at the major opera houses in Munich, Berlin, Vienna, and Zurich.

Alongside her extensive operatic performances, Ms. Young has also made a name for herself as a symphonic conductor. She has worked with many of the world’s leading orchestras, including the philharmonic orchestras of Berlin, London, Munich, New York, and Vienna. Following completion of her tenure in Hamburg, Ms. Young is appearing once again as a regular guest conductor with the Orchestre de Paris, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Vienna, BBC, NHK, San Francisco, and Chicago symphony orchestras, in addition to several orchestras in North America and in her native Australia.

Ms. Young’s work is preserved on numerous recordings.

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Sheryl Staples

Violin

Sheryl Staples

Violin

Sheryl Staples

Violin

Violinist Sheryl Staples joined the New York Philharmonic as Principal Associate Concertmaster, The Elizabeth G. Beinecke Chair, in September 1998. She made her solo debut with the Philharmonic in 1999 performing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, led by Kurt Masur. She has since been featured in more than 25 performances, playing concertos by Mendelssohn, Mozart, Haydn, Bach, and Vivaldi with conductors including Alan Gilbert, Lorin Maazel, Kent Nagano, Jeffrey Kahane, and Sir Colin Davis. In addition she has performed as soloist with more than 45 orchestras nationwide, including The Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Diego and Richmond Symphony Orchestras, and Louisiana Philharmonic. Most recently, she performed Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3, led by Concertmaster Frank Huang, in May–June 2018.

The New York Times wrote that “she is a perceptive musician, who plays with great rhythmic integrity and a lucid sense of phrase structure. ... she draws a wonderful array of vibrant and luminous colors ... interpretive honesty and unmannered elegance.” The Los Angeles Times said she has a “tantalizing mix of qualities. ... refinement and boldness, polish and fire. ... big, rich, sweeping tone, lacking nothing in warmth and evenness.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer praised her “aristocratic artistry coupled with violinistic mastery ... pinpoint accuracy and daring that took the breath away.”

An active chamber musician, Ms. Staples is a member of the New York Philharmonic String Quartet, established in the 2016–17 season, and frequently performs in the New York area in venues including David Geffen Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, 92nd Street Y, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ms. Staples has performed chamber music for U.S. Ambassadors in London, Paris, Berlin, Beijing, and Hong Kong, and in 2013 she toured Mexico, Brazil, and Chile. Recent summer festival appearances include La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest, Boston Chamber Music Society, and Salt Bay Chamberfest. She has also collaborated and performed at the chamber music festivals of Santa Fe, Mainly Mozart, Seattle, Aspen, Sarasota, Martha’s Vineyard, Strings Music Festival, and Brightstar Music Festival. She appears on three Stereophile compact discs with the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.

Sheryl Staples is a native of Los Angeles, where she developed her love for ensemble work at an early age. She began studying the violin at age five, and her major mentors were Robert Lipsett and Heiichiro Ohyama. Before finishing studies at the University of Southern California’s (USC) Thornton School of Music, Ms. Staples was appointed concertmaster of the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra and other professional ensembles in Los Angeles. She then became concertmaster of the Pacific Symphony in 1994 while enjoying a varied career consisting of solo appearances, chamber music, teaching (at USC’s Thornton School of Music and the Colburn School of Performing Arts), and Hollywood studio recording work for numerous major motion pictures.

At the age of 26 Ms. Staples joined The Cleveland Orchestra as associate concertmaster, a position she held for three years. In addition, she taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Encore School for Strings, and Kent/Blossom Music Festival, and she was a member of the Cleveland Orchestra Piano Trio. Currently she is on the violin faculty at the Manhattan School of Music and Juilliard Pre-College Division. She also serves on the faculty of The Juilliard School working with students aspiring toward orchestral careers.

Ms. Staples resides in New Jersey with her husband, percussionist Barry Centanni, and children, Michael and Laura. Mr. Centanni and Ms. Staples premiered William Kraft’s Concerto a Tre for piano, violin, and percussion, written for them, at Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society’s summer festival and recorded it for release on the Albany Records label in 2008. They also premiered David Sampson’s Black River Concerto for solo violin, percussion, and orchestra in April 2011 with the Montclair State University Symphony.

Ms. Staples performs on the “Kartman” Guarneri del Gesu, ca. 1728, previously on loan from private collector Peter Mandell and now in the collection of the New York Philharmonic.

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Michelle Kim

Violin

Michelle Kim

Violin

Michelle Kim

Violin

Violinist Michelle Kim has been Assistant Concertmaster, The William Petschek Family Chair, of the New York Philharmonic since 2001. She has performed as a soloist with orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, New Jersey Philharmonic, Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, and Pacific Symphony. An active chamber musician, Ms. Kim has collaborated with violinists Cho Liang Lin, Christian Tetzlaff, and Pinchas Zukerman; cellists Mstislav Rostropovich, Lynn Harrell, and Gary Hoffman; and pianists Lang Lang and Yefim Bronfman. She has performed at various festivals including the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, La Jolla Chamber Music Festival, Strings in the Mountain, and Bravo! Vail. Ms. Kim has also served as the first violinist of the Rossetti String Quartet, and was a Sterne Virtuoso Artist at Skidmore College in 2007–08.

A student of Robert Lipsett and a former Presidential Scholar, Ms. Kim attended the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music as a Starling Foundation scholarship recipient, and considers Heiichiro Ohyama and Henry Gronnier as her mentors. She has been a member of the faculty at the USC Thornton School of Music, the Colburn School, and the University of California Santa Barbara, and currently teaches at the Mannes College of Music.

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Rebecca Young

Viola

Rebecca Young

Viola

Rebecca Young

Viola

Rebecca Young joined the New York Philharmonic in 1986 as its youngest member. In 1991 she won the position of Associate Principal Viola. Two months later she was named principal viola of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. After spending the 1992–93 season in Boston and two summers at Tanglewood, she ultimately decided to return to her family in New York, resuming her Associate Principal position with the Philharmonic in September 1994. She can currently be seen leading the viola section of the All-Star Orchestra, a popular televised educational series about classical music.

An avid chamber musician, Ms. Young has performed with many renowned groups, including the Boston Chamber Music Society, Boston Symphony Chamber Players, New York Philharmonic Ensembles, and The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. She can be heard in a recording of Schubert’s Trout Quintet with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, pianist Emanuel Ax, violinist Pamela Frank, and bass player Edgar Meyer on the Sony Classical label.

In the spring of 1999 Ms. Young joined Philharmonic Principal Viola Cynthia Phelps in the World Premiere of Sofia Gubaidulina’s Two Paths: Music for Two Solo Violas and Symphony Orchestra with the Philharmonic. The work was commissioned for them by Tomoko Masur, wife of Philharmonic Music Director Emeritus Kurt Masur and herself a former violist. The two performed it at Avery Fisher Hall, in Washington, D.C., and again during the Orchestra’s subsequent tour of the Canary Islands, Spain, and Portugal, as well as the Europe 2000 Tour, and again in April 2011 in New York. In 2014 she gave the World Premiere of Oscar Bettison’s Threaded Madrigals for solo viola. Ms. Young is a graduate of The Juilliard School.

Ms. Young was first introduced to music at the age of two when her parents took her to the New York Philharmonic’s Young People’s Concerts led by Leonard Bernstein. Today, she is the host of the Philharmonic’s popular Very Young Peoples Concerts, intimate chamber music concerts where she has tap-danced, played drums, ridden a scooter around the stage, and even sung Gilbert & Sullivan. Her philosophy is less to educate than, as she puts it, “to make the audiences have so much fun they want to come back!”

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Cong Wu

Viola

Cong Wu

Viola

Cong Wu

Viola

Cong Wu joined the New York Philharmonic as Assistant Principal Viola, The Norma and Lloyd Chazen Chair, in September 2018, while pursuing his doctoral degree at Manhattan School of Music. Winner of the Third Prize and the Chamber Music Prize in the Fourteenth Primrose International Viola Competition, and the Special Prize in the Twelfth Tertis International Viola Competition, he has performed throughout North America and Asia, including solo appearances with the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, Macau Youth Orchestra, and New York Classical Players.

An avid chamber musician, Mr. Wu has collaborated with Christoph Eschenbach, David Finckel, Itzhak Perlman, Philharmonic Principal Viola Cynthia Phelps, Peter Wiley, Pinchas Zukerman, and the American String Quartet. He has performed at various festivals, including Marlboro Music Festival, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Encounters, Music@Menlo, Perlman Music Program, Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival, and Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in Germany.

Cong Wu was recently appointed as a guest faculty member of the National Arts Centre Summer Music Institute in Canada, and performed in the Music@Menlo Winter Residency. He also regularly appears with the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players, East Coast Chamber Orchestra, and New York Classical Players.

Born in Jinan, China, Cong Wu moved to New York in 2010 after graduating from the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Wing Ho. He holds degrees from The Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Heidi Castleman, Hsin-Yun Huang, Patinka Kopec, and Pinchas Zukerman.

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Eileen Moon-Myers

Cello

Eileen Moon-Myers

Cello

Eileen Moon-Myers

Cello

Eileen Moon-Myers joined the cello section of the New York Philharmonic in 1998, and in 2007 was named Associate Principal Cello, The Paul and Diane Guenther Chair. Born and raised in Los Altos, California, she studied piano and cello, eventually continuing her cello studies with Irene Sharp in the Pre-College Division of the San Francisco Conservatory. As a member of the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra (PACO), Ms. Moon-Myers experienced years of immersion in the comprehensive arts community of the Bay Area and toured Europe and the West Coast, often as a featured soloist. She continued her studies at The Juilliard School, where she earned her bachelor of music degree, and then moved to Vienna to study with Valentin Erben of the Alban Berg Quartet. She was a top prize winner in numerous competitions, including YoungArts (Florida) in 1987, Irving Klein (California) in 1988, Geneva International Competition (Switzerland) in 1991, and Tchaikovsky International Competition (Moscow) in 1994. She has performed in prestigious festivals, and is the founder of the Warwick Music Series in Warwick, New York.

Ms. Moon-Myers’s biggest passions are music presentation, cooking, running, and animal advocacy. She co-founded Friends of Warwick Valley Humane Society and aims to open a sanctuary for injured, abandoned and “retired” animals and wildlife.

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Eric Bartlett

Cello

Eric Bartlett

Cello

Eric Bartlett

Cello

Before joining the New York Philharmonic in 1997, cellist Eric Bartlett had already established himself as an artist of formidable talent and artistic integrity. He has appeared frequently as a member soloist with the world famous Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and is featured on several of their Deutsche Grammophon recordings. In addition to Orpheus, his solo appearances include the Cabrillo Festival, the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, the Anchorage Symphony, the Hartford Chamber Orchestra, the Aspen and Juilliard Orchestras, and the New York Philharmonic’s “Horizons ‘84” series. Mr. Bartlett is the recipient of a Solo Recitalist’s Award from the National Endowment for the Arts and a special Performance Award as a finalist of the 1987 New England Conservatory/Piatigorsky Award. Recent solo appearances include the Cabrillo Music Festival, and the Brattleboro Music Center in Vermont.

Recognized as a leading performer of contemporary music, Mr. Bartlett has participated in more than 90 premieres with ensembles such as Speculum Musicae, the New York New Music Ensemble, the Group for Contemporary Music, and the Columbia String Quartet, and he has commissioned new works for the cello from American composers. During the summer of 2000, Mr. Bartlett was invited by Marin Alsop to be a featured soloist in the North American premiere of James McMillan’s Triduum, the middle third of which is a cello concerto. He has served as either Artist-President or Vice-President of Speculum Musicae since 1990. Mr. Bartlett has performed at the Mostly Mozart, Marlboro, Aspen, Adirondack, Grand Teton, and Waterloo music festivals, and has been a regular participant at the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival since 1996. Mr. Bartlett served as the principal cellist of the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra and co-principal of Orpheus from 1984 until 1997.

A native of Marlboro, Vermont, Mr. Bartlett’s early teachers included George Finckel and Blanche Honegger Moyse. From 1973 to 1975 he was a student of Leopold Teraspulsky at the University of Massachusetts. He was awarded full scholarships to both the Curtis Institute of Music and The Juilliard School and received both his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Juilliard, where he was a student of Leonard Rose and Channing Robbins.

Mr. Bartlett recorded the cello music of Larry Bell for North-South Records on a CD entitled River of Ponds (which includes a collaboration with narrator Robert J. Lurtsema) and has also recorded for CRI, Opus One, Bridge, Delos, and Deutsche Grammophon. He has served on the faculty of the University of Massachusetts and is currently an adjunct professor at The Juilliard School and the Manhattan School of Music. He lives in Bergen County, New Jersey, with his wife, Orpheus violist Sarah Clarke, and their son, Cory.

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