Gustavo Dudamel & Berliner Philharmoniker
Dates:November 22-23, 2018
From September 13th to November 28th, world-renowned symphony orchestras and in-demand maestros will ehchant the audiences at the “NCPA Pure Classical 2018”, a NCPA series that presents absolute essentials of classical music in the autumn. The star-studded classical music feast invites orchestras Berliner Philharmoniker, the Staatskapelle Dresden, Das Orchester Der Staatsoper Berlin, Orchestra dell´Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, conductors Gustavo Dudamel, Christian Thielemann, Daniel Barenboim, Sir Antonio Pappano, artists Lang Lang, Annie-Sophie Mutter and Emmanuel Pahud, to name just a few.
Symphony No. 5 in C-sharp minor
Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor, K. 491
Pianist: Lang Lang
Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47
Driven by an unwavering belief in the power of music to heal, unite, and inspire, Gustavo Dudamel is one of the most distinguished conductors of our day. From the great concert halls to classrooms, video screens and movie theatres, Dudamel’s remarkable career of musical achievements and championing of access to the arts for young people around the world demonstrates music’s extraordinary capacity to transform lives.
Dudamel’s 2018/19 season will centre around the centennial celebration of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and his tenth year as their Music & Artistic Director. Other highlights of the season include his debut at the Metropolitan Opera conducting Verdi’s Otello; tours with the Berlin Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, and Mahler Chamber Orchestra; and his first extended academic residency at Princeton University.
Under Dudamel’s direction, the LA Phil has become one of the leading orchestras in the world, admired for its unmatched commitment to new music, diversity and inclusion, and the development of groundbreaking digital initiatives. The celebration of the LA Phil’s 100th season showcases the extraordinary versatility and vision of both the orchestra and Dudamel himself, featuring more than 50 commissions from luminaries such as John Adams, Philip Glass, and Steve Reich, as well as leading young composers such as Julia Adolphe, Ashley Fure, Andrew Norman, Tyshawn Sorey, Kamasi Washington, and DU Yun. Dudamel will lead cross-genre collaborations with Herbie Hancock, Moby, and Andrew Bird, Beethoven’s five piano concertos with Lang Lang as soloist, a performance at the Academy Awards, a tour of Asia, and more. The LA Phil will also plan to distribute 10,000 free tickets to underserved audiences around Los Angeles as a centennial gift to the community.
A lifelong advocate for music education and social development through art, Dudamel himself was shaped by his childhood experience with El Sistema, the extraordinary programme of immersive musical training initiated in 1975 by José Antonio Abreu. Entering his 19th year as Music Director of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra, Dudamel also carries on the work of his late mentor with his ongoing commitment to El Sistema in Venezuela, and by supporting numerous Sistema-inspired projects around the world, including Big Noise in Scotland, Vienna’s Superar programme, SerHacer in Boston, and El Sistema Sweden. His 2018 “Americas” tour with the Vienna Philharmonic was highlighted by an Art and Citizenship workshop in Mexico City bringing together 300 young people from across North and South America in an expression of cultural solidarity. He has worked to raise awareness of the importance of music education by appearing at the United Nations and the White House, and delivered an address on the unity of the Arts and Sciences at the 2017 Nobel Prize Concert.
Dudamel also continues to expand the reach of his Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) initiative. Founded in 2007, the programme has provided access to quality music education to tens of thousands of children from underserved communities around Los Angeles. 2019 will see the construction of a new Frank Gehry- designed facility for YOLA in Inglewood, California.
One of the few classical musicians to truly reach mainstream audiences while maintaining the highest musical integrity, Gustavo Dudamel has been featured three times on CBS’ 60 Minutes and was the subject of a PBS special, Dudamel: Conducting a Life. He has been interviewed by Christiane Amanpour on CNN, Conan O’Brian on Conan, Stephen Colbert on The Late Show, and Elmo on Sesame Street. He had a cameo role in Amazon Studio’s award-winning series Mozart in the Jungle and, together with members of YOLA, became the first classical musician to participate in the Super Bowl Halftime Show, appearing alongside pop stars Coldplay, Beyoncé, and Bruno Mars. In 2017, he was the youngest-ever conductor to lead the Vienna Philharmonic’s famous New Year’s Day Concert, watched annually by over 60 million people in 90 countries. At John Williams’ personal request, Dudamel guest-conducted on the soundtrack for Star Wars: The Force Awakens; he also recorded James Newton Howard’s soundtrack to Disney’s holiday blockbuster The Nutcracker, in which he makes an on-screen cameo.
Dudamel’s cinema, TV, radio, and online broadcasts have reached hundreds of millions of people around the world. Dudamel’s Grammy Award-winning discography also includes landmark recordings of John Adams’ Gospel According to the Other Mary (commissioned and performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic); the soundtrack to the motion picture Libertador, for which Dudamel composed the score; a Richard Strauss disc with the Berlin Philharmonic; Mahler Symphonies 5 and 7 with the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra; and Mahler 9 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. A special charity LP release of Mendelssohn’s “Scottish” Symphony with the Vienna Philharmonic raised funds for music education projects in Latin America, and children from Vienna's El Sistema-inspired Superar programme participated in his most recent Deutsche Grammophon release, Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Dudamel has independently produced an all-Wagner recording available exclusively for download and streaming, a set of the complete Beethoven symphonies from Barcelona’s Palau de la Música, and a broadcast of two Stravinsky ballets in cooperation with the Berlin Philharmonic’s Digital Concert Hall.
Gustavo Dudamel is one of the most decorated conductors of his generation. In recognition of his advocacy for the proliferation of the arts in the Americas, he received the 2018 Paez Medal of Art and the Pablo Neruda Order of Artistic and Cultural Merit, the Americas Society Cultural Achievement Award in 2016, and the 2014 Leonard Bernstein Lifetime Achievement Award for the Elevation of Music in Society from the Longy School of Music. He was named Musical America’s 2013 Musician of the Year, one of the highest honours in the classical music industry, and was voted into the Gramophone Hall of Fame. In October of 2011, he was named Gramophone Artist of the Year, and in May of the same year, was inducted into the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in consideration of his “eminent merits in the musical art.” The previous year, he received the Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT. Dudamel was inducted into l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres as a Chevalier in Paris in 2009 and received an honourary doctorate from the Universidad Centroccidental Lisandro Alvarado in his hometown of Barquisimeto. He also received an honourary doctorate from the University of Gothenburg in 2012. In 2008, the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra was awarded Spain’s prestigious annual Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts and, along with his mentor José Antonio Abreu, Dudamel was given the “Q Prize” from Harvard University for extraordinary service to children. He was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2009.
Gustavo Dudamel was born in 1981 in Barquisimeto, Venezuela. He began violin lessons as a child with José Luis Jiménez and Francisco Díaz at the Jacinto Lara Conservatory. He continued his violin studies with Rubén Cova and José Francisco del Castillo at the Latin American Academy of Violin. His conducting studies began in 1993 when he was hired as an Assistant Conductor with the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra. In 1996, he studied with Rodolfo Saglimbeni and was named Music Director of the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra. In 1999, he was appointed Music Director of the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra and began conducting studies with the orchestra’s founder, Dr. Abreu. Dudamel achieved international attention by winning the inaugural Bamberger Symphoniker Gustav
Mahler Competition in 2004. He then went on to become Music Director of the Gothenburg Symphony (2007-2012), where he currently holds the title Honourary Conductor. Inspired by Dudamel’s early musical and mentoring experiences, the Gustavo Dudamel Foundation, a registered charity, was created in 2012 with the goal of promoting access to music as a human right and a catalyst for learning, integration, and social change.
Lang Lang Pianist
Very few artists can claim to have the same profound impact on the world of music as Lang Lang has had. As a pianist, educator and philanthropist, as well as an influential ambassador for the arts, Lang Lang has fully embraced new technology and innovation, leading the way in bringing classical music into the 21st century.
Equally happy playing for billions of viewers at the 2008 Olympic Opening Ceremony in Beijing or just for a few hundred children in the public schools, Lang Lang is a master of communication through music. Gifted with unique artistic and communicative skills, Lang Lang unites excellence and accessibility unlike anyone else, and builds bridges between Eastern and Western culture.
Heralded by the New York Times as “the hottest artist on the classical music planet”, Lang Lang works with the most excellent classical musicians of our time. He has formed ongoing collaborations with conductors including Sir Simon Rattle, Gustavo Dudamel, Daniel Barenboim and Christoph Eschenbach and performs with the world’s top orchestras, such as the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics as well as America’s leading orchestras. Lang Lang plays sold-out concerts in the major concert halls of every continent in the world. Recent memorable appearances include concerts at the prestigious Sydney Opera House, as well as a performance in the old town of Havana with Cuban jazz legend Chucho Valdés, fostering musical exchanges with Cuba. Lang Lang is known for thinking “outside the box” and frequently steps into different musical worlds, teaming up with artists from diverse genres. His performances at the Grammy Awards with Metallica, Pharrell Williams or jazz legend Herbie Hancock were hailed by millions of viewers. His video collaboration with dubstep dancer Marquese “Nonstop” Scott continues to inspire a global internet community.
For about a decade, Lang Lang has contributed to musical education and support for children worldwide. In 2008, he founded the “Lang Lang International Music Foundation” aimed at cultivating tomorrow’s top pianists, championing music education at the forefront of technology, and building a young audience through live music experiences. Headquartered in New York City, the Foundation has implemented its programmes in North America, Europe and Asia, and was awarded an ECHO Klassik special prize in 2015. In 2013, Lang Lang was designated by the Secretary General of the United Nations as a “Messenger of Peace” focusing on global education. He also currently serves on the Weill Music Institute Advisory Committee as part of Carnegie Hall’s educational programme and is the youngest member of Carnegie Hall’s Artistic Advisory Board.
Lang Lang’s tireless energy and boundless drive to attract new audiences to classical music have brought him numerous titles and awards: he was presented with the 2010 Crystal Award in Davos and was picked as one of the 250 “Young Global Leaders” by the World Economic Forum. He is also the recipient of many honourary doctorates, notably from the Royal College of Music (presented by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales), the Manhattan School of Music and New York University. In December 2011, he was honoured with the highest prize awarded by the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China. More recently, he has received the highest German civilian honour, the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, in recognition of his distinguished services to music, and in January 2013, he was presented with the Medal of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture.
In 2016, Lang Lang was invited to the Vatican to perform for Pope Francis at the opening ceremony of the first Faith and Sports World Conference. He has also performed for numerous other international dignitaries and heads of state, including four US presidents and monarchs from many nations.
Lang Lang started playing the piano aged three, won the Shenyang Competition and gave his first public recital before the age of five, entered Beijing’s Central Music Conservatory aged nine, and won First Prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians and played the complete Chopin Études at the Beijing Concert Hall at thirteen. He left China for Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute, where he worked with the legendary pianist Gary Graffman. He was 17 when his big break came, substituting for André Watts at the “Gala of the Century”, playing Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Christoph Eschenbach: he became an overnight sensation and the invitations started to pour in.
Lang Lang’s autobiography, Journey of a Thousand Miles, was released to critical acclaim and has been published by Random House in 11 languages. As part of his commitment to the education of children, Lang Lang also released a special version aimed at younger readers, entitled Playing with Flying Keys.
Lang Lang is leading the way in bringing music education into the 21st century through his highly regarded new publishing programme, the Lang Lang Piano Academy, produced in collaboration with Faber Music. Mastering the piano, five progressive books exploring piano technique, launched the programme, to which the latest addition is The Lang Lang Piano Method, an imaginative new tutor for complete beginners that is used in the public schools’ educational programme “Keys of Inspiration”.
The Berliner Philharmoniker, founded in 1882 as a self-governing body, has long been esteemed as one of the world’s greatest orchestras. Sir Simon Rattle has served as its artistic director since September 2002.
The orchestra gave its first concert on October 17th, 1882 under conductor Ludwig von Brenner, who was chosen by the musicians themselves. Five years later, impresario Hermann Wolff, the orchestra’s financial manager from its inception, engaged as its new chief Hans von Bülow, who rapidly brought the Berliner Philharmoniker into the first rank of German ensembles. Under the leadership of Arthur Nikisch (from 1895 to 1922), the orchestra’s repertoire grew substantially, embracing works by Bruckner, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Strauss, Ravel and Debussy. After Nikisch’s death, the 36-year-old Wilhelm Furtwängler became the orchestra’s new principal conductor. His specialities were Classicism and German Romanticism, but he also included in his programmes contemporary compositions by Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Bartók and Prokofiev. Immediately after the war, when Furtwängler was forced to relinquish his position, Leo Borchard was appointed philharmonic conductor. Through a tragic misunderstanding in August 1945, Borchard was shot by an American sentry. His successor was the young Romanian conductor Sergiu Celibidache. Furtwängler was formally allowed to return as principal conductor in 1952 following his denazification. Also dating from the postwar years was the founding in 1949 of the Society of Friends of the Berlin Philharmonie e. V., which was instrumental in the building of the orchestra’s new home and continues to support the Philharmonie and the activities of the Berliner Philharmoniker.
Upon Furtwängler’s death in 1954, Herbert von Karajan became the orchestra’s permanent conductor and artistic director. In the ensuing decades, he worked with the orchestra to develop a unique tonal quality and performing style that made the Berliner Philharmoniker famous all over the world. Claudio Abbado, appointed the orchestra’s new chief conductor in October 1989, devised an approach contrasting traditional programmes with thematic cycles that included contemporary works alongside classical pieces. An increased number of chamber recitals and concert performances of opera lent further distinction and variety to the orchestra’s activities.
With Sir Simon Rattle’s appointment, the orchestra succeeded not only in recruiting one of the most successful conductors of the younger generation but also in introducing a further series of important innovations. The conversion of the orchestra into the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation under public law provided up-to-date structural conditions, allowing a broad range of opportunities for creative development while ensuring the ensemble’s economic viability. The foundation enjoys the generous support of Deutsche Bank, its principal sponsor. One focus of this sponsorship is the Education Programme, initiated when Sir Simon Rattle took the helm, by which means the orchestra is now reaching an ever wider and, especially, younger audience. In recognition of this commitment, the Berliner Philharmoniker and its artistic director Sir Simon Rattle were named UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors, the first time that distinction had ever been bestowed upon an artistic ensemble.
In 2009, the Digital Concert Hall video platform was launched to give the international audience the opportunity to experience the performances of the Berliner Philharmoniker on a regular basis. The orchestra’s concerts are broadcast here live, and are also available as recordings in a video archive a few days later. The Digital Concert Hall is available on televisions, computers, smartphones, tablets and streaming devices. Its partners are Panasonic and Internet Initiative Japan.
In spring 2012, the Berliner Philharmoniker gave its last performance at the Salzburg Easter Festival. In spring 2013 the orchestra started with a new festival tradition: the Easter Festival of the Berliner Philharmoniker in Baden-Baden.
In 2014, the Berliner Philharmoniker founded their own label, “Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings”. The aim is to document outstanding concerts by the orchestra in editions which satisfy the highest technical and editorial demands. Previous releases include a highly acclaimed cycle of the complete symphonies of Ludwig van Beethoven, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.
During an orchestra assembly on June 21st, 2015 Kirill Petrenko was elected by a large majority of the members of the Berliner Philharmoniker as the chief conductor designate, succeeding Sir Simon Rattle. He will take up his position beginning with the 2019/2020 season.