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JAN 14, 2021 | 7:30 PM | Van Wezel PAH
Moscow State Symphony Orchestra with Pavel Kogan, Music Director, and Blake Pouliot, violin
The MSSO was founded in 1943 by the Kremlin and is one of Russia’s oldest symphony orchestras. The orchestra became renowned around the globe under the leadership of Pavel Kogan, son of the legendary violinist Leonid Kogan. In 1989, he was engaged as music director and chief conductor and immediately enriched the orchestra with European and American classical repertoire. The orchestra’s wide-ranging programs combine great orchestral, operatic, and choral classics with equally significant music of the 21st century, including many forgotten or neglected works.
Joining the orchestra is violinist Blake Pouliot, “one of those talents who only comes along once in a lifetime.” (Toronto Star). Pouliot has joined the upper echelons of brilliant soloists, establishing himself as a consummate 21st-century artist with the rigor and passion to shine for a lifetime.
Pavel Kogan – Shostakovich Symphony N°10, 2. Allegro
Blake Pouliot with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra
The Moscow Symphony Orchestra is one of the leading orchestras in the capital today. Since its inception in 1989, the orchestra became an active participant in the musical life of Moscow. The MSO performs an annual series of concerts in the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory with soloists such as Yuri Bashmet, Victor Tretiakov, Vadim Repin, Alexander Knyazev and Alexander Rudin and many others. Among the guest conductors are famous Russian and foreign conductors Arnold Katz, Sergey Stadler and Igor Golovchin. Former Music Directors were Antonio De Almeida and Vladimir Ziva.
A regular guest at international festivals the Moscow Symphony Orchestra has successfully toured in United States, South America, China, Japan, South Korea and most of the European countries.
The orchestra is recognized for its outstanding recordings. Recordings of “The Snow of Kilimanjaro” and “Five Fingers” entered the 2001 top ten recordings of the year in The Economist magazine. The recording of the symphonies by Italian composer Malipiero was named “Disk of the Month” by US magazine “CD Review,” and became the winner of the “Diapason d’Or” prize.
The Moscow Symphony Orchestra has a long tradition of participating in charity projects, such as concerts for the Ronald McDonald Children’s Foundation for disabled children, charity concerts for the Russian Medical Doctors` Association, and a special concert commemorating the Memorial Day of the Genocide of the Armenian People.
The professionalism and outstanding repertoire of the MSO has established the orchestra in Moscow’s musical sphere and built a devoted and appreciative audience.
Violinist Blake Pouliot has joined the upper echelons of brilliant soloists, establishing himself as a consummate 21st century artist with the rigor and passion to shine for a lifetime. At only 25-years-old, the tenacious violinist has been praised by the Toronto Star as, “one of those special talents that comes along once in a lifetime.”
Highlights of the 2019-20 season include Pouliot’s debuts with the Atlanta, Asheville, Sarasota and Madison symphonies and a collaborative experience as the featured soloist for the first ever tour of the European Union Youth Orchestra and National Youth Orchestra of Canada.
The tremendously successful 2018-19 season included his debuts with the Detroit, Dallas, Milwaukee, San Francisco, and Seattle symphonies, dazzling audiences by “[surging] onstage in rock star pants…[presenting] Brahms as a composer of great passion. It was compellingly – indeed, irresistibly – done.” (The Dallas Morning News) In September, Pouliot’s debut album featuring the works of Ravel and Debussy was released (Analekta Records), earning a five-star rating from BBC Music Magazine and a 2019 Juno Award nomination for Best Classical Album. Adding to his accolades, Pouliot won both the Career Development Award from the Women’s Club of Toronto and the Virginia Parker Prize from the Canada Arts Council.
Pouliot has twice been featured on CBC’s “30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians under 30”. He’s also hosted CBC’s This is my Music, was featured on Rob Kapilow’s What Makes it Great? series, and was NPR’s Performance Today Artist-in-Residence during the 2017-18 season in Minnesota.
As Grand Prize winner of the 2016 Orchestre symphonique de Montréal Manulife Competition, Pouliot toured across South America during the summer of 2017 as soloist with the YOA Orchestra of the Americas performing Astor Piazzolla’s Four Seasons with conductors Carlos Miguel Prieto and Paolo Bortolameolli. He later returned to Montreal where he was featured in recital at the Montreal Symphony’s La Virée Classique. A prolific recitalist and chamber musician, Pouliot has performed in Chicago, Los Angeles, Montreal, and Toronto, and performs at Pepperdine University, the Isabel Bader Center in Kingston, and the Ottawa Chamber Music series in the 2019-20 season.
Since his orchestral debut at age 11, Pouliot has regularly performed with the orchestras of Aspen, Calgary, Edmonton, Pacific, Toronto, Vancouver, and the National Arts Centre. Internationally, Pouliot has performed as soloist with the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra in Bulgaria, and Orchestras of the Americas on their South American tour. He has collaborated with musical luminaries such as conductors Sir Neville Marriner, David Afkham, Pablo Heras Casado, David Danzmyer, Nicolas McGegan, Brett Mitchell, Vasily Petrenko, Alexander Shelley, and Hugh Wolff.
Pouliot studied violin in Canada with Marie Berard and Erika Raum, and completed his training as an associate of The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. He graduated from the Colburn School Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Robert Lipsett, the Jascha Heifetz Distinguished Violin Chair.
Pouliot performs on the 1729 Guarneri del Gesù, on generous loan from the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank as First Laureate of both their 2018 and 2015 Competition.
JAN 24, 2021 | 3 PM | Van Wezel PAH
The Cleveland Orchestra with Franz Welser-Möst, Music Director & Yuja Wang, piano
The Cleveland Orchestra is considered one of the country’s “Big Five” and ranking within the uppermost echelon of orchestras around the world. Music Director Franz Welser-Möst is among today’s most distinguished conductors. The 2021 season marks his 19th year as music director of the Orchestra, with the future of this acclaimed partnership extending into the next decade. The New York Times declared Cleveland under Welser-Möst’s direction to be the “best American orchestra” for its virtuosity, elegance of sound, variety of color, and chamber-like musical cohesion. Under his direction, The Cleveland Orchestra has been praised for its inventive programming, its ongoing support for new musical works, and for its innovative approach to semi-staged and staged opera presentations. The Orchestra has also been hugely successful in building up a new and, notably, a young audience through groundbreaking programs involving families, students, universities, and cross-community partnerships.
Performing with the Orchestra will be the pianistic sensation, Yuja Wang. Critical superlatives and audience ovations have continuously followed Yuja Wang’s dazzling career. The Beijing-born pianist, celebrated for her charismatic artistry and captivating stage presence, was named Musical America’s Artist of the Year in 2017.
Mahler: Symphony No. 5
Yuja Wang – Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 23
The Cleveland Orchestra was founded in 1918. Over the ensuing decades, the ensemble quickly grew from a fine regional organization to being one of the most admired symphony orchestras in the world. Seven music directors have guided and shaped the ensemble’s growth and sound: Nikolai Sokoloff, 1918-33; Artur Rodzinski, 1933-43; Erich Leinsdorf, 1943-46; George Szell, 1946-70; Lorin Maazel, 1972-82; Christoph von Dohnányi, 1984-2002; and Franz Welser-Möst, since 2002.
The opening in 1931 of Severance Hall as the Orchestra’s permanent home brought a special pride to the ensemble and its hometown. With acoustic refinements under Szell’s guidance and a building-wide restoration and expansion in 1998-2000, Severance Hall continues to provide the Orchestra an enviable and intimate acoustic environment in which to perfect the ensemble’s artistry. Touring performances throughout the United States and, beginning in 1957, to Europe and across the globe have confirmed Cleveland’s place among the world’s top orchestras. Year-round performances became a reality in 1968 with the opening of Blossom Music Center.
Today, concert performances, community presentations, touring residencies, broadcasts, and recordings provide access to the Orchestra’s acclaimed artistry to an enthusiastic, generous, and broad constituency at home throughout Northeast Ohio and around the world.
Critical superlatives and audience ovations have continuously followed Yuja Wang’s dazzling career. The Beijing-born pianist, celebrated for her charismatic artistry and captivating stage presence, is set to achieve new heights during the 2019-20 season, which features recitals, concert series, as well as season residencies and extensive tours with some of the world’s most venerated ensembles and conductors. Season highlights include Yuja’s year-long “Artist Spotlight” at the Barbican Centre, where she curates and performs in four distinct events: the first London performance of John Adams’ newest piano concerto (premiered by her in Spring 2019) titled “Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes?” with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Maestro Gustavo Dudamel, which they take to Boston and New York City; recitals featuring cellist Gautier Capuçon and clarinetist Andreas Ottensamer; and she concludes the residency with a solo recital.
In autumn of 2019, she tours China with the Wiener Philharmoniker, presenting concerts in Macao, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Wuhan. The beginning of 2020 sees Yuja and Gautier Capuçon reuniting for a recital tour featuring eleven dates presented in Europe’s premiere venues, including the Philharmonie de Paris and the Wiener Konzerthaus. She then embarks on an extensive solo recital tour, appearing in renowned concert halls throughout North America and Europe, including Carnegie Hall, Davies Symphony Hall, and the Het Concertgebouw.
Additionally, Ms. Wang will be the featured soloist with some of the leading orchestras of North America, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Andris Nelsons; the Toronto Symphony, conducted by Gustavo Gimeno; the San Francisco Symphony, led by Michael Tilson Thomas; and the Philadelphia Orchestra, under the musical direction of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and in Sarasota, Florida with The Cleveland Orchestra.
JAN 28, 2021 | 7:30 PM | Riverview PAC
Bach Collegium Japan
The Bach Collegium Japan is an ensemble of instrumentalists and singers formed in 1990 by Masaaki Suzuki, the internationally renowned and highly reputed Bach performer, organist, harpsichordist, conductor and musicologist. Suzuki founded the group with the aim of introducing Japanese audiences to period instrument performances of great works from the Baroque period. Comprised of both Baroque orchestra and chorus, their activities include an annual concert series of Bach’s cantatas and a number of instrumental programs.
Bach Collegium Japan and Masaaki Suzuki were awarded the 45th Suntory Music Prize in 2014. This was also the year when they performed for the first time as far afield as New Zealand and Mexico. The activities of the ensemble are thus increasingly overstepping national borders to win the ensemble a high degree of international recognition.
Bach Collegium Japan performs Bach’s St. John Passion
Since founding Bach Collegium Japan in 1990, Masaaki Suzuki has established himself as a leading authority on the works of Bach. He has remained their Music Director ever since, taking them regularly to major venues and festivals in Europe and the USA and building up an outstanding reputation for the expressive refinement and truth of his performances.
In addition to working with renowned period ensembles, such as Collegium Vocale Gent and Philharmonia Baroque, he was invited to conduct repertoire as diverse as Britten, Beethoven, Fauré, Mahler, Mendelssohn, Mozart and Stravinsky, with orchestras such as the Baltimore Symphony, Danish National Radio Symphony, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, New York Philharmonic and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra amongst others. This season sees Suzuki debut with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment on a European tour.
Suzuki’s impressive discography on the BIS label, featuring all Bach’s major choral works as well as complete works for harpsichord, has brought him many critical plaudits – the New York Times has written: “it would take an iron bar not to be moved by his crispness, sobriety and spiritual vigour.” 2014 marked the triumphant conclusion of Bach Collegium Japan’s epic recording of the complete Church Cantatas initiated in 1995 and comprising fifty-five volumes. This major achievement has been recognized with a 2014 ECHO Klassick “Editorial Achievement of the Year” award. In 2010, Suzuki and his ensemble were awarded both a German Record Critics’ Award (Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik) and a Diapason d’Or de l’Année for their recording of Bach motets, which was also honored in 2011 with a BBC Music Magazine Award. The ensemble has now embarked upon extending their repertoire with recent releases of Mozart’s Requiem and Mass in C minor; Suzuki recently released a disc of works by Stravinsky with the Tapiola Sinfonietta.
Recent highlights with Bach Collegium Japan include a visit to North America performing in cities such as Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, as well as a European tour including a weekend residency at the Barbican Centre, London, return visits to the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Paris, and debut appearances at Dublin’s National Concert Hall, the Vienna Konzerthaus and the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg.
Masaaki Suzuki combines his conducting career with his work as organist and harpsichordist. Born in Kobe, he graduated from the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music with a degree in composition and organ performance and went on to study harpsichord and organ at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam under Ton Koopman and Piet Kee. Founder and Professor Emeritus of the early music department at the Tokyo University of the Arts, he was on the choral conducting faculty at the Yale School of Music and Yale Institute of Sacred Music from 2009 until 2013, where he remains affiliated as the principal guest conductor of Yale Schola Cantorum. Regularly collaborating with Juilliard Historical Performance, this season sees them on a tour of New Zealand.
In 2012 Suzuki was awarded with the Leipzig Bach Medal and in 2013 the Royal Academy of Music Bach Prize. In April 2001, he was decorated with ‘Das Verdienstkreuz am Bande des Verdienstordens der Bundesrepublik’ from Germany.
FEB 25, 2021 | 7:30 PM | Van Wezel PAH
Takács Quartet & Joyce Yang, piano
The Takács Quartet exemplifies chamber music of the highest order; it’s the only quartet named to Gramophone’s first-ever Hall of Fame. The Financial Times described a recent concert at the Wigmore Hall: “Even in the most fiendish repertoire these players show no fear, injecting the music with a heady sense of freedom. At the same time, though, there is an uncompromising attention to detail: neither a note nor a bow-hair is out of place.” Based in Boulder at the University of Colorado, Edward Dusinberre, Harumi Rhodes (violins), Richard O’Neill (viola) and András Fejér (cello) perform 80 concerts a year worldwide.
Blessed with “poetic and sensitive pianism” (Washington Post) and a “wondrous sense of color” (San Francisco Classical Voice), Grammy-nominated pianist Joyce Yang captivates audiences with her virtuosity, lyricism, and interpretive sensitivity. She first came to international attention in 2005 when she won the silver medal at the 12th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. The youngest contestant at 19 years old, she took home two additional awards: Best Performance of Chamber Music (with the Takàcs Quartet), and Best Performance of a New Work. She received the 2010 Avery Fisher Career Grant and earned her first Grammy nomination for her recording of Franck, Kurtág, Previn & Schumann with violinist Augustin Hadelich.Edward Dusinberre, Harumi Rhodes (violins), Richard O’Neill (viola) and András Fejér (cello) perform eighty concerts a year worldwide.
Takács Quartet at Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival
Pianist Joyce Yang performs Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
The Takács Quartet, now entering its forty-sixth season, is renowned for the vitality of its interpretations. The Guardian recently commented: “What endures about the Takács Quartet, year after year, is how equally the four players carry the music.” BBC Music Magazine described their recent Dohnányi recording with pianist Marc André Hamelin as “totally compelling, encapsulating a vast array of colours and textures.” Based in Boulder at the University of Colorado, Edward Dusinberre, Harumi Rhodes (violins), Richard O’Neill (viola) and András Fejér (cello) perform eighty concerts a year worldwide.
In June 2020 the Takács Quartet was featured in the BBC television series “Being Beethoven.” The ensemble also released a CD for Hyperion of piano quintets by Amy Beach and Elgar, a fitting way to celebrate Geri Walther’s fifteen years as the Takács’ violist before her retirement from the group. The members of the quartet welcome Richard O’Neill as their new violist in June and are looking forward to many exciting projects during their first season together. The group will make two recordings for Hyperion, one featuring the last quartets of Haydn, the other pairing two masterpieces from the first decade of the twentieth century: Bartók’s Quartet no. 1 and Alban Berg’s Opus 3. The group continues their role as Associate Artists at London’s Wigmore Hall, performing two concerts there in November and two in May, the latter including Schubert’s Quintet D956 with cellist Adrian Brendel. Other European venues include Vienna, Luxembourg, the Bath Mozartfest, Newcastle, Manchester and Madrid. In August 2021, the quartet will embark on a month long tour of Australia and South Korea. The Takács performs extensively throughout North America. Highlights of the 2020-2021 season include performances at New York’s White Light Festival, concerts with pianist Jeremy Denk at Stanford, Princeton, Ann Arbor, Boston and Lincoln Center, and performances in Washington DC, Los Angeles, Berkeley, Philadelphia, Montreal, Vancouver, Cleveland, Portland and Seattle.
In 2014 the Takács became the first string quartet to be awarded the Wigmore Hall Medal. The Medal, inaugurated in 2007, recognizes major international artists who have a strong association with the Hall. Recipients so far include Andras Schiff, Thomas Quasthoff, Menahem Pressler and Dame Felicity Lott. In 2012, Gramophone announced that the Takács was the only string quartet to be inducted into its first Hall of Fame, along with such legendary artists as Jascha Heifetz, Leonard Bernstein and Dame Janet Baker. The ensemble also won the 2011 Award for Chamber Music and Song presented by the Royal Philharmonic Society in London.
The Takács Quartet performed Philip Roth’s Everyman program with Meryl Streep at Princeton in 2014, and again with her at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto in 2015. The program was conceived in close collaboration with Philip Roth. The Quartet is known for such innovative programming. They first performed Everyman at Carnegie Hall in 2007 with Philip Seymour Hoffman. They have toured 14 cities with the poet Robert Pinsky, collaborate regularly with the Hungarian Folk group Muzsikas, and in 2010 they collaborated with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival and David Lawrence Morse on a drama project that explored the composition of Beethoven’s last quartets. Aspects of the quartet’s interests and history are explored in Edward Dusinberre’s book, Beethoven for a Later Age: The Journey of a String Quartet, which takes the reader inside the life of a string quartet, melding music history and memoir as it explores the circumstances surrounding the composition of Beethoven’s quartets.
The Takács records for Hyperion Records, and their releases for that label include string quartets by Haydn, Schubert, Janáček, Smetana, Debussy and Britten, as well as piano quintets by César Franck and Shostakovich (with Marc-André Hamelin), and viola quintets by Brahms (with Lawrence Power). For their CDs on the Decca/London label, the Quartet has won three Gramophone Awards, a Grammy Award, three Japanese Record Academy Awards, Disc of the Year at the inaugural BBC Music Magazine Awards, and Ensemble Album of the Year at the Classical Brits. Full details of all recordings can be found in the Recordings section of the Quartet’s website.
The members of the Takács Quartet are Christoffersen Faculty Fellows at the University of Colorado Boulder. The Quartet has helped to develop a string program with a special emphasis on chamber music, where students work in a nurturing environment designed to help them develop their artistry. Through the university, two of the quartet’s members benefit from the generous loan of instruments from the Drake Instrument Foundation. The members of the Takács are on the faculty at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, where they run an intensive summer string quartet seminar, and Visiting Fellows at the Guildhall School of Music.
The Takács Quartet was formed in 1975 at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest by Gabor Takács-Nagy, Károly Schranz, Gabor Ormai and András Fejér, while all four were students. It first received international attention in 1977, winning First Prize and the Critics’ Prize at the International String Quartet Competition in Evian, France. The Quartet also won the Gold Medal at the 1978 Portsmouth and Bordeaux Competitions and First Prizes at the Budapest International String Quartet Competition in 1978 and the Bratislava Competition in 1981. The Quartet made its North American debut tour in 1982. In 2001 the members of the the Takács Quartet were awarded the Order of Merit of the Knight’s Cross of the Republic of Hungary, and in March 2011 the Order of Merit Commander’s Cross by the President of the Republic of Hungary.
Blessed with “poetic and sensitive pianism” (Washington Post) and a “wondrous sense of color” (San Francisco Classical Voice), Grammy-nominated pianist Joyce Yang captivates audiences with her virtuosity, lyricism, and interpretive sensitivity.
She first came to international attention in 2005 when she won the silver medal at the 12th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. The youngest contestant at 19 years old, she took home two additional awards: Best Performance of Chamber Music (with the Takàcs Quartet), and Best Performance of a New Work. In 2006 Yang made her celebrated New York Philharmonic debut alongside Lorin Maazel at Avery Fisher Hall along with the orchestra’s tour of Asia, making a triumphant return to her hometown of Seoul, South Korea. Yang’s subsequent appearances with the New York Philharmonic have included opening night of the 2008 Leonard Bernstein Festival – an appearance made at the request of Maazel in his final season as music director. The New York Times pronounced her performance in Bernstein’s The Age of Anxiety a “knockout.”
In the last decade, Yang has blossomed into an “astonishing artist” (Neue Zürcher Zeitung), showcasing her colorful musical personality in solo recitals and collaborations with the world’s top orchestras and chamber musicians through more than 1,000 debuts and re-engagements. She received the 2010 Avery Fisher Career Grant and earned her first Grammy nomination (Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance) for her recording of Franck, Kurtág, Previn & Schumann with violinist Augustin Hadelich (“One can only sit in misty-eyed amazement at their insightful flair and spontaneity.” – The Strad). She has become a staple of the summer festival circuit with frequent appearances on the programs of the Aspen Summer Music Festival, La Jolla SummerFest and the Seattle Chamber Music Society.
Other notable orchestral engagements have included the Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the BBC Philharmonic, as well as the Toronto, Vancouver, Sydney, Melbourne, and New Zealand symphony orchestras. She was also featured in a five-year Rachmaninoff concerto cycle with Edo de Waart and the Milwaukee Symphony, to which she brought “an enormous palette of colors, and tremendous emotional depth” (Milwaukee Sentinel Journal).
In solo recital, Yang’s innovative program has been praised as “extraordinary” and “kaleidoscopic” (Los Angeles Times). She has performed at New York City’s Lincoln Center and Metropolitan Museum, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Chicago’s Symphony Hall and Zurich’s Tonhalle. In 2018, Musica Viva presented Yang in an extensive recital tour throughout Australia.
As an avid chamber musician, Yang has collaborated with the Takács Quartet for Dvořák – part of Lincoln Center’s Great Performers series – and Schubert’s “Trout” Quintet with members of the Emerson String Quartet at the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center. Yang has fostered an enduring partnership with the Alexander String Quartet, which continues in the 2018/2019 season with performances in Davis, Tucson, San Francisco, Dallas, Aliso Viejo, Rockville and Seattle. Following their debut disc of Brahms and Schumann Quintets, their recording of Mozart’s Piano Quartets was released in July 2018 (FoghornClassics). Jerry Dubins of Fanfare Magazine wrote that the renditions were “by far, hands down and feet up, the most amazing performances of Mozart’s two piano quartets that have ever graced these ears.”
MAR 1, 2021 | 7:30 PM | Riverview PAC
Benjamin Beilman, violin, & Yekwon Sunwoo, piano
Violinist Benjamin Beilman is winning global acclaim for his compelling and impassioned performances, his deep rich tone and searing lyricism. The Scotsman has described him as “a remarkable talent, delivering playing of rare insight and generosity, as captivating as it is gloriously entertaining” and the New York Times has praised his “handsome technique, burnished sound, and quiet confidence [which] showed why he has come so far so fast.”
Joining Beilman for the concert is the equally outstanding pianist, Yekwon Sunwoo. The first South Korean to be awarded a Gold Medal at the Van Cliburn Competition, Sunwoo “strives to reach for the truth and pure beauty in music.”
Benjamin Beilma, RAVEL Tzigane
Yekwon Sunwoo, Beethoven Piano Sonata no.30 in E Major, Op.109
Born in 1989, American violinist Benjamin Beilman is winning plaudits across the globe for his compelling and impassioned performances, his deep rich tone and searing lyricism. The Scotsman has described him as “a remarkable talent, delivering playing of rare insight and generosity, as captivating as it is gloriously entertaining” and the New York Times has praised his “handsome technique, burnished sound, and quiet confidence [which] showed why he has come so far so fast”.
During the Beethoven celebrations in 2020, Beilman will perform the Beethoven Concerto with the Budapest Festival Orchestra conducted by Janowski, the Wroclaw Philharmonic and their Music Director Guerrero on tour across Poland, the Orchestra Metropolitain (Montreal) with Han-Na Chang, the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse in Sokhiev’s closing concert as Musical Director, and with the London Chamber Orchestra to play/direct.
In past seasons, Beilman has performed with many major orchestras worldwide including the Rotterdam Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Zurich Tonhalle, Sydney Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Houston Symphony and Philadelphia Orchestra both at home and at Carnegie Hall. In recital and chamber music, Beilman performs regularly at the major halls across the world, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Wigmore Hall, Louvre (Paris), Philharmonie (Berlin), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Bunka Kaikan (Tokyo) and at festivals he has performed at eg Verbier, Aix-en-Provence Easter, Prague Dvorak, Robeco Summer Concerts (Amsterdam), Music@Menlo, Marlboro and Seattle Chamber Music among others. In early 2018 he premiered a new work dedicated to the political activist Angela Davis written by Frederic Rzewski and commissioned by Music Accord which he has performed extensively across the US.
Beilman studied with Almita and Roland Vamos at the Music Institute of Chicago, Ida Kavafian and Pamela Frank at the Curtis Institute of Music, and Christian Tetzlaff at the Kronberg Academy, and has received many prestigious accolades including a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship, an Avery Fisher Career Grant and a London Music Masters Award. He has an exclusive recording contract with Warner Classics and released his first disc ‘Spectrum’ for the label in 2016, featuring works by Stravinsky, Janáček and Schubert. Beilman plays the “Engleman” Stradivarius from 1709 generously on loan from the Nippon Music Foundation.
Gold medallist of the Fifteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Yekwon Sunwoo has been hailed for his “unfailingly consistent excellence” (International Piano) and celebrated as “a pianist who commands a comprehensive technical arsenal that allows him to thunder without breaking a sweat” (Chicago Tribune). A powerful and virtuosic performer, he also, in his own words, “strives to reach for the truth and pure beauty in music.”
The first Korean to win Cliburn Gold, Yekwon’s 19/20 season includes appearances with Fort Worth and Tuscon Symphonies and the Bucheon Philharmonic and debuts with Washington Chamber Orchestra, Royal Danish Orchestra and Danish Radio Orchestra among others as well as a debut appearance at the Vail Festival with Dallas Symphony. Recital highlights include Four Season Arts, San Antonio Arts and the Stadttheater Aschaffenburg. 20/21 will see Yekwon make his debut with Orchestra Chambre de Paris and Tugan Sokhiev and return to KBS Symphony with Jaap Van Zweden.
In previous seasons, he has performed as soloist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under Marin Alsop, Houston Symphony, National Orchestra of Belgium, Sendai Philharmonic and Royal Scottish National Orchestra amongst others. Recital appearances include Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, Elbphilharmonie, Salle Cortot and Kumho Art Hall.
An avid chamber musician, Yekwon’s collaborators include Benjamin Beilman, Linus Roth, Andrei Ioniță, Sebastian Bohren, Isang Enders, Tobias Feldmann, Gary Hoffman, Anne-Marie McDermott and the Jerusalem and Brentano Quartets. He has also toured Costa Rica, Guatemala and Panama with the Kumho Asiana Cultural Foundation, performed at Chamber Music of Lincoln Center’s Inside Chamber Music Lectures and been invited to the Summit Music, Bowdoin International and Toronto Summer Music Festivals.
In addition to the Cliburn Gold Medal, Yekwon won first prizes at the 2015 International German Piano Award, the 2014 Vendome Prize held at the Verbier Festival, the 2013 Sendai International Music Competition and the 2012 William Kapell International Piano Competiton.
Born in Anyang, South Korea, Yekwon began learning the piano at the age of 8 and made his recital and orchestral debuts in Seoul at 15. His teachers include Seymour Lipkin, Robert McDonald, Richard Goode and Bernd Goetzke.
In 2017, Decca Gold released Cliburn Gold 2017 two weeks after Yekwon was awarded the Gold Medal and includes his award-winning performances of Ravel’s La Valse and Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Sonata.
A self-proclaimed foodie, Yekwon enjoys finding Pho in each city he visits and takes pride in his own homemade Korean soups.
MAR 16, 2021 | 7:30 PM | Van Wezel PAH
Emanuel Ax, piano
Emanuel Ax, a Sarasota favorite and esteemed pianist wraps up the 2020 season. Ever since winning the first Artur Rubinstein Piano Competition in 1974, Ax has established himself as a preeminent recitalist, chamber musician and guest soloist with orchestra, but above all, a consummate musician.
Emanuel Ax – J. Brahms/ Intermezzo in A – opus 118
Born in modern day 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 Program 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. Mr. Ax made his New York debut in the Young Concert Artists Series, and captured public attention in 1974 when he won the first Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Tel Aviv. In 1975 he won the Michaels Award of Young Concert Artists followed four years later by the coveted Avery Fisher Prize.
Highlights of the 2019/20 season include a European summer festivals tour with the Vienna Philharmonic and long-time collaborative partner Bernard Haitink, an Asian tour with the London Symphony and Sir Simon Rattle, US concerts with the Rotterdam Philharmonic and Lahav Shani in addition to three concerts with regular partners Leonidas Kavakos and Yo-Yo Ma at Carnegie Hall in March 2020. Further participation in Carnegie Hall’s celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday will culminate in a solo recital in May preceded by recitals in Madison, Santa Barbara, Orange County, Washington, Las Vegas and Colorado Springs. With orchestra he can be heard in Houston, Baltimore, Atlanta, San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Montreal, Philadelphia, Cincinnati and Indianapolis. In Europe he can be heard with orchestras in London, Frankfurt, Berlin, Rome, Zurich, Rotterdam and Tel Aviv.
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, recent releases include Brahms Trios with Yo-Yo Ma and Leonidas Kavakos, 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 Mr. Perlman of Sonatas by Faure and Strauss, which the two artists presented on tour during the 2015/2016 season. Mr. Ax 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 cellist 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 Mr. Ax also contributed to an International Emmy Award-Winning BBC documentary commemorating the Holocaust that aired on the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. In 2013, Mr. Ax’s recording Variations received the Echo Klassik Award for Solo Recording of the Year (19th century music/Piano).
A frequent and committed partner for chamber music, he has worked regularly with such artists as Young Uck Kim, Cho-Liang Lin, Mr. Ma, Edgar Meyer, Peter Serkin, Jaime Laredo, and the late Isaac Stern.
Mr. Ax is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and holds honorary doctorates of music from Skidmore College, Yale University, and Columbia University.
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