London Symphony Orchestra

Date:2019-09-23      Source:National Centre for the Performing Arts

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Venue: Concert Hall

Dates: October 03, 2019

Programme

Brahms
Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major, Op. 83
Pianist: Emanuel Ax

——Intermission——
 
Rachmaninoff
Symphony No. 2 in E Minor, Op. 27

Conductor

Sir Simon Rattle

Sir Simon Rattle was born in Liverpool and studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

From 1980 to 1998, Sir Simon was Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and was appointed Music Director in 1990. He moved to Berlin in 2002 and held the positions of Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker until he stepped down in 2018. Sir Simon became Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra in September 2017 and spent the 2017-18 season at the helm of both ensembles.

Sir Simon has made over 70 recordings for EMI record label (now Warner Classics) and has received numerous prestigious international awards for his recordings on various labels. Releases on EMI include Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms (which received the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance), Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique, Ravel’s L'enfant et les sortileges, Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 and Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. From 2014, Sir Simon continued to build his recording portfolio with the Berliner Philharmoniker’s new in-house label, Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings, which led to recordings of the Beethoven, Schumann and Sibelius symphony cycles. Sir Simon’s most recent recordings include Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, Turnage’s Remembering, and Ravel, Dutilleux and Delage on Blue-Ray & DVD with the London Symphony Orchestra’s record label, LSO Live.

Music education is of supreme importance to Sir Simon, and his partnership with the Berliner Philiharmoniker broke new ground with the education programme Zukunft@Bphil, earning him the Comenius Prize, the Schiller Special Prize from the city of Mannheim, the Golden Camera and the Urania Medal. He and the Berliner Philharmoniker were also appointed International UNICEF Ambassadors in 2004 - the first time this honour has been conferred on an artistic ensemble. Sir Simon has also been awarded several prestigious personal honours, which include a knighthood in 1994, becoming a member of the Order of Merit from Her Majesty the Queen in 2014 and most recently, was bestowed the Order of Merit in Berlin in 2018. In 2019, Sir Simon will be given the Freedom of the City of London.

From 2013, Sir Simon took up residency at Baden-Baden Osterfestspiele, performing Die Zauberflöte and a series of concerts with the Berliner Philharmoniker in his first season. Since then, the partnership led to performances of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, Peter Sellars’s ritualization of Bach’s St. John Passion, Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, Berlioz’s La damnation de Faust, Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde and most recently, Parsifal in 2018. For Salzburg Osterfestspiele, Rattle has conducted staged productions of Fidelio, Così Fan Tutte, Peter Grimes, Pelléas et Mélisande, Salome and Carmen, a concert performance of Idomeneo and many contrasting concert programmes. He has also conducted Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen with the Berliner Philharmoniker for Festival d'Aix-en-Provence and Salzburg Osterfestspiele and most recently at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and Wiener Staatsoper. Other recent opera productions for Sir Simon include Pelléas et Mélisande and Dialogues des Carmélites for the Royal Opera House; L'Étoile, Aus einem Totenhaus, Káťa Kabanová and La damnation de Faust for the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, and Andrew Norman’s A Trip to the Moon at the Barbican Centre, London.

Sir Simon has longstanding relationships with the leading orchestras in London, Europe and the USA; initially working closely with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Boston Symphony Orchestra, and more recently with The Philadelphia Orchestra. He regularly conducts the Wiener Philharmoniker, with whom he has recorded the complete Beethoven symphonies and piano concertos with Alfred Brendel and is also a Principal Artist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Founding Patron of Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.

During the 2018-19 season, Sir Simon embarked upon tours to Japan, South Korea and Europe with the London Symphony Orchestra. He conducted the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra for the first time in Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde and returned to the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin for Hippolyte et Aricie, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks for Die Walküre and the Deutsche Oper for Puccini’s Manon Lescaut. In March 2019, he conducted Peter Sellars’ revival of the St. John Passion with both the Berliner Philharmoniker and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

Artist

Emanuel Ax Pianist

Born in Lvov, Poland, Emanuel Ax moved to Winnipeg, Canada, with his family when he was a young boy. His studies at the Juilliard School were supported by the sponsorship of the Epstein Scholarship Programme of the Boys Clubs of America, and he subsequently won the Young Concert Artists Award. Additionally, he attended Columbia University, where he majored in French. Emanuel captured public attention in 1974 when he won the first Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Tel Aviv and in 1979 he won the coveted Avery Fisher Prize in New York.

In partnership with colleagues Leonidas Kavakos and Yo-Yo Ma, he begins the current season with concerts in Vienna, Paris and London with the trios of Brahms recently released by SONY Classical. In the U.S., he returns to the orchestras in Cleveland, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Washington, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Nashville and Portland, OR, and to Carnegie Hall for a recital to conclude the season. In Europe he returns to the Rotterdam Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, and the radio orchestras of Hamburg, Hannover and Munich, as well as touring with the Budapest Festival Orchestra to Belgium, France and Italy. Emanuel also appeared in recital throughout Europe, culminating in a special concert with Sir Simon Keenlyside and the Dover Quartet at Wigmore Hall in June 2019.

Always a committed exponent of contemporary composers, with works written for him by John Adams, Christopher Rouse, Krzysztof Penderecki, Bright Sheng, and Melinda Wagner already in his repertoire, most recently he has added HK Gruber's Piano Concerto and Samuel Adams' Impromptus.

A Sony Classical exclusive recording artist since 1987, he recent released recordings including Mendelssohn Trios with Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman, Strauss' Enoch Arden narrated by Patrick Stewart, and discs of two-piano music by Brahms and Rachmaninoff with Yefim Bronfman. In 2015 Deutche Grammophon released a duo recording with Itzhak Perlman of Sonatas by Fauré and Strauss, which the two artists presented on tour during the 2015/2016 season. Emanuel has received GRAMMY Awards for the second and third volumes of his cycle of Haydn's piano sonatas. He has also made a series of Grammy- winning recordings with Yo-Yo Ma of the Beethoven and Brahms sonatas for cello and piano. His other recordings include the concertos of Liszt and Schoenberg, three solo Brahms albums, an album of tangos by Astor Piazzolla, and the premiere recording of John Adams's Century Rolls with the Cleveland Orchestra for Nonesuch. In the 2004/05 season Emanuel also contributed to an International EMMY Award-Winning BBC documentary commemorating the Holocaust that aired on the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

A frequent and committed partner for chamber music, he has worked regularly with such artists as Young Uck Kim, Cho- Liang Lin, Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Peter Serkin, Jaime Laredo, and the late Isaac Stern.

Emanuel lives in New York with his wife, the pianist Yoko Nozaki, and they have two children, Joseph and Sarah. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and holds honourary Doctorates of music from Yale and Columbia Universities.

Presenter

London Symphony Orchestra

The London Symphony Orchestra is bringing the greatest music to the greatest number of people. This is at the heart of everything that it does. This commitment to serve music and the people who love music is borne of a unique ethos developed over more than 100 years. Established in 1904 by a number of London's finest musicians, the LSO is a self-governing musical collective built on artistic ownership and partnership. By taking full control of their activities, the founding members were able to set an agenda that pushed music-making to the fore. The Orchestra is still owned by its Members and has a signature sound emanating from the combined zeal and virtuosity of these 90 brilliant musicians who come from around the world. Music-making remains firmly at the centre of the Orchestra's activities, and this approach is embraced by a dedicated and enthusiastic administration.

The LSO has been the Resident Orchestra at the Barbican in the City of London since the Centre opened in 1982. It gives 70 symphonic concerts there every year, and performs a further 70 concerts worldwide on tour. The LSO also programmes 24 concerts at LSO St Luke's and 950 workshops and 147 concerts through its community and education programme, LSO Discovery, each year. It is a champion of new music and regularly commissions some of the foremost British composers to write significant new works for full orchestra and mixed-ability ensembles.

The LSO has developed a close family of artists who continually demonstrate their commitment to this Orchestra, with Sir Simon Rattle as Music Director, Gianandrea Noseda and François-Xavier Roth as Principal Guest Conductors, Michael Tilson Thomas as Conductor Laureate and André Previn as Conductor Emeritus. We also enjoy long-standing relationships with some of the world's greatest conductors and soloists who relish the boundless professional ambitions that the LSO offers. Conducting the Orchestra has been likened to driving a high-performance sports car that can, in Sir Simon Rattle's words, "turn on the head of a pin". It is a responsive and intelligent Orchestra, with an attitude of total commitment in all that it does. This is guided by a desire to always be the best it can possibly be and to give the highest quality performances no matter what the performance setting. Many LSO Members enjoy flourishing solo and chamber music careers and teach at conservatoires in London and abroad, sharing their extensive knowledge with the musicians of the future. These musical experiences are always brought back into the Orchestra itself, where they inspire and influence the players towards even higher standards of performance.

Many millions have enjoyed the LSO through its reputation as a leading orchestra for film, having performed on (and been specifically chosen for) hundreds of classic scores including Star Wars, Harry Potter and Indiana Jones. LSO Discovery brings the work of the LSO with all parts of society, and every year the Orchestra gives a free outdoor concert in London's Trafalgar Square. Combined, these activities reflect the LSO's co-operative spirit and its on-going commitment to making music as accessible as possible to the greatest number of people.

LSO Discovery was founded in 1990 and remains a pioneering programme for music education in the UK. Since 2003 this has been based at LSO St Luke’s, following extensive restoration to the once abandoned church, which now acts as a home to a wide range of education and outreach projects, and as a venue for concerts designed for the local community, encouraging many to take their first steps towards enjoying classical music. And because much of LSO Discovery's work is captured and disseminated digitally, enthusiasts, pupils and teachers from around the world can benefit from these activities in spite of their physical location. Committed to nurturing the next generation of musical talent, LSO Discovery also provides extensive support and training for emerging young instrumentalists, composers and conductors.

The LSO is an entrepreneurial and successful creative enterprise with a history of innovation that helps to keep it relevant and contemporary. With the formation of its own recording label LSO Live in 1999, the Orchestra brought about a revolution in how live orchestral music was recorded. The label strives to embrace new digital technologies, having successfully made pioneering moves into digital film, Blu-Ray Audio, downloads and streaming. It continues to innovate with platforms such as LSO Play, a web-based video player that allows people to observe the Orchestra from many different angles and experience every gesture and emotion on the musicians' faces. The LSO's entrepreneurial spirit is what makes it a highly successful creative enterprise and an important cultural part of the United Kingdom's commercial community, self-generating 75% of its own income.

The LSO is determined to ensure the future of great music in London and throughout the world, and is part of a cultural hub in the City of London alongside the Barbican Centre, the Museum of London and the Guildhall School. Its Barbican Residency is funded by The Corporation of London and the LSO is a National Portfolio Organisation of the Arts Council England. It also enjoys major artistic residencies throughout the world – in New York, Paris and Tokyo – plus growing relationships elsewhere in Asia, principally China and India, where its expertise in education work is key. The Orchestra relies on all of these strategic partnerships at home and abroad, plus its generous funders, to enable it to continue delivering a dynamic range of work.