Pulcinella, suite from the ballet
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor KV 466
Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21
Joshua Weilerstein is the Artistic Director of the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne. His clarity of musical expression, unforced manner and deep natural musicianship connects him with orchestras and has led him to conduct extensively in both Europe and America. His enthusiasm for a wide range of repertoire is combined with an ambition to bring new audiences to the concert hall.
Increasingly in demand as a guest conductor, in 2016/2017 Weilerstein makes his debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in family concerts and in the same week, will assist Mariss Jansons. He also makes debuts with the Indianapolis Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, NDR Hannover and London Philharmonic Orchestras. With the National Symphony Orchestra, Weilerstein will conduct a special concert celebrating the birth centennial of John F. Kennedy, with Yo-Yo Ma as soloist. In addition, Weilerstein returns to the Vancouver Symphony, The Florida Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Netherlands Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lyon, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and Oslo Philharmonic. Weilerstein also continues his commitment to working with students and young musicians in concerts with the New England Conservatory and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.
In August 2016 Weilerstein made his operatic debut conducting Don Giovanni at the Verbier Festival, and stepped in on short notice to conduct the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra and soloists Joshua Bell and George Li.
Joshua Weilerstein’s career was launched after winning both the First Prize and the Audience Prize at the 2009 Malko Competition for Young Conductors in Copenhagen. He then completed a three-year appointment as Assistant Conductor of the New York Philharmonic. Since then, he has steadily gained a growing profile in both North America and abroad, including recent guest conducting engagements with the symphony orchestras of Baltimore, Dallas, Detroit, Fort Worth, Milwaukee, San Diego, Calgary, Québec, and Vancouver; the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, and the Aspen Music Festival, among others. In Europe, he has established strong relationships with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Stockholm Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic, and Swedish Chamber Orchestra. He has also conducted the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, SWR Stuttgart, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg.
Joshua Weilerstein believes passionately in programming both traditional and contemporary repertoire. He is committed to presenting, whenever possible, at least one piece by a living composer in each of his programs. He believes fundamentally in the importance and value of music education. Wherever the opportunity arises, he engages directly with his audience either speaking from the stage or in pre/post-concert discussions. He was heavily involved in Young People’s Concerts during his time as the Assistant Conductor with the New York Philharmonic, and served as Concertmaster of Discovery Ensemble, a Boston-based chamber orchestra dedicated to presenting classical music to inner-city schools in Boston. With the Orchestre Chamber de Lausanne, Weilerstein actively supports the educational and Discovery concerts for children and families.
Denis Kozhukhin’s playing is characterised by an extraordinary technical mastery balanced by a sharp intelligence, calm maturity and wisdom. Kozhukhin has that rare and special gift of creating an immediate and compelling emotional connection with his audience.
Since winning First Prize in the 2010 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels at the age of 23, Kozhukhin has quickly established a formidable reputation and has already appeared at many of the world’s most prestigious festivals and concert halls including the Verbier Festival, where he won the Prix d’Honneur in 2003, Progetto Martha Argerich in Lugano, Berliner Philharmonie, Kölner Philharmonie, Rheingau Music Festival, Carnegie Hall, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Munich Herkulessaal, Rotterdam De Doelen, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Auditorio Nacional Madrid, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Milan, Théâtre du Châtelet and Auditorium du Louvre Paris.
In the 2016/2017 season, Kozhukhin performs with orchestras including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (van Zweden), Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Krivine), Philharmonia Orchestra (Temirkanov), Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (Poga), Philadelphia Orchestra (Denève), Mahler Chamber Orchestra (Payare), San Francisco Symphony (Orozco-Estrada), Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra (Weilerstein), Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra (Vasily Petrenko), Toronto Symphony Orchestra (Kristjan Järvi) and Orchestre de la Suisse Romande.
As a recitalist, recent and upcoming highlights include returns to the Concertgebouw’s Master Pianists Series, Vienna Konzerthaus, Cologne Philharmonie, Wigmore Hall, Verbier Festival and London’s International Piano Series, as well as solo and chamber recitals with Jörg Widmann and Emmanuel Pahud at the new Boulez Saal in Berlin during its opening season.
In 2015, Kozhukhin signed an exclusive recording agreement with Pentatone. His debut recording for the label (Grieg Piano Concerto and Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin and Vassily Sinaisky) was Gramophone Editor’s Choice and Disc of the month in Fono Forum and Stereophone.
Born in Nizhni Novgorod, Russia, in 1986 into a family of musicians, Denis Kozhukhin began his piano studies at the age of four with his mother. As a boy, he attended the Balakirev School of Music where he studied under Natalia Fish. From 2000 to 2007, Kozhukhin was a pupil at the Reina Sofía School of Music in Madrid learning with Dimitri Bashkirov and Claudio Martinez-Mehner.
Upon graduating, he received his diploma personally from the Queen of Spain and was named best student in his year and twice best chamber group with his own Cervantes Trio. After his studies in Madrid, Kozhukhin was invited to study at the Piano Academy at Lake Como where he received tuition from amongst others Fou Ts’ong, Stanislav Yudenitch, Peter Frankl, Boris Berman, Charles Rosen and Andreas Staier. He completed his studies with Kirill Gerstein in Stuttgart. Kozhukhin has also been awarded 1st Prize at the Vendome Prize in Lisbon in 2009, and 3rd Prize at the Leeds International Piano Competition in 2006.
Kozhukhin is a committed chamber musician and has worked with amongst others, Leonidas Kavakos, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Janine Jansen, Vadim Repin, Julian Rachlin, the Jerusalem Quartet, the Pavel Haas Quartet, Radovan Vlatković, Jörg Widmann, Emmanuel Pahud and Alisa Weilerstein.
Written in 1919–1920, the story of Igor Stravinsky’s ballet Pulcinella comes from Italian commedia dell’arte:the comical title character is a wily, cheeky rustic, a lazybones, glutton and lover. Unlike works from Stravinsky’s preceding “Russian” period – such as his ballets The Firebird, The Rite of Spring and Les Noces – Pulcinella marks the beginning of the composer’s Neoclassical period, during which he developed various compositional techniques from the past. In this instance it was the impresario of the Ballets Russes,Sergei Diaghilev, who provided inspiration for Stravinsky, in the shape of actual and supposed works by composer Giovanni Battista Pergolesi.
For the Paris premiere, the dancer Léonide Massine took the title role and also created the libretto and choreography; Pablo Picasso designed the sets and costumes. The orchestral Pulcinella Suite (1922) was first performed in December by the Boston Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Pierre Monteux, who had conducted the momentous world premiere of The Rite of Spring in 1913. Stravinsky later revised the music of the Pulcinella Suite, which can be heard in various other arrangements, including the Suite italienne for cello and piano.
Ludwig van Beethoven wrote his first symphony in 1799–1800. By that time he had been living in Vienna for seven years, but he did not find it easy to establish himself among his local musical competitors. In terms of both form and expression, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 in C major Op. 21 is a development of the model provided by Haydn’s and Mozart’s symphonies, and in a way it pays homage to these illustrious predecessors. It was first performed at a concert held at Vienna’s Court Theatre on 2 April 1800.
The first movement opens with an introduction (Adagio molto) commencing, unusually, with the dominant seventh of F major (i.e. a C7 chord) and unclear tonal grounding, followed by an Allegro in sonata form and a second movement, again in sonata form, with a pastoral theme and a fugato. The third movement, traditionally a minuet, is in this instance more redolent of a scherzo. The work concludes with a joyous finale. At the premiere Beethoven performed as the conductor, pianist and improviser, presenting along with the symphony his Septet Op. 20 and Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 1 in C major. As early as 1801 Hoffmeister & Comp published the orchestral parts of the symphony. The work was originally to be dedicated to Maximilian Franz von Österreich, but due to his unexpected death in 1801 Beethoven switched the dedication to his patron, Baron Gottfried van Swieten.
Of the many piano concertos by Mozart, tonight we will hear his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 20 in D minor KV 466, dating from the mid-1780s. Mozart was a master of the piano and composed for the instrument from childhood, writing his first concertante piece for piano with orchestral accompaniment aged 11. Due to its dark, dramatic atmosphere, the D minor Piano Concerto is often cited in connection with Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni or his Requiem.
The concerto is in three movements: the introductory Allegro isin sonata form; the middle section, Romanze in B flat major is a rondo; and the concluding Allegro assai combines both of these forms. The original cadenzas for some of Mozart’s piano concertos (including this one) have not survived, and thus were subsequently created by other composers, including Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Bedřich Smetana, Anton Rubinstein and Ferruccio Busoni. The Piano Concerto in D minor was first performed, to great acclaim, in Vienna at a subscription evening on 11 February 1785, Mozart having completed the work only the day before. The concerto was published in 1796 by Johann André in Offenbach am Main.
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