Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Symphony No. 29 in A Major K 201
Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor, Op. 21
Symphony No. 4 A Major (“Italian”), Op. 90
A stunningly virtuosic pianist, Alexander has received international critical acclaim for his electrifying and poetic performances. Born in 1984, Alexander Gavrylyuk began his piano studies at the age of seven and gave his first concerto performance when he was nine years old. He went on to win First prize and Gold Medal at the 1999 Horowitz International Piano Competition and First Prize at the Hamamatsu International Piano Competition in Japan in 2000. In 2005, he took both the coveted Gold Medal as well as the award for Best Performance of a Classical Concerto at the internationally renowned Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Masters Competition.
Following his debut in 2010 with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Gavrylyuk has returned to Amsterdam each year, either in recital in the Master Pianist’s Series, with the RCO or as part of the Zatertaag Matinee at the Concertgebouw. He is now increasingly in demand by orchestras and conductors for his noble and compelling interpretations and has appeared with, among others, the Philharmonic Orchestras of New York, Los Angeles, Israel, Warsaw, Moscow and Rotterdam as well as the Royal Scottish National, NHK Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Hallé, Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, and others. He has collaborated with conductors such as Herbert Blomstedt, Andrey Boreyko, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Valery Gergiev, Neeme Järvi, Vladimir Jurowski, Kirill Karabits, Louis Langrée, Alexander Lazarev, Sebastian Lang-Lessing, Gianandrea Noseda, Vassily Petrenko, Rafael Payare, Alexander Shelley, Yuri Simonov, Herbert Soudant, Markus Stenz and Osmo Vänska.
He regularly visits Japan and Asia, performing with orchestras such as NHK Symphony and Seoul Philharmonic as well as regular recital tours, often playing to sell-out audiences in Suntory Hall and Tokyo Opera City. He returns to Russia on a regular basis and has performed with the Russian National Philharmonic under Vladimir Spivakov and the Svetlanov Russian State Symphony Orchestra, as well as recitals at the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory and at the Kremlin.
At the age of 13, Alexander moved to Sydney where he lived until 2006. He has performed with all the main Australian orchestras including Melbourne and Sydney Symphonies, returning each year for concerts and recitals. In 2009 he made an acclaimed recording of the complete Prokofiev Concerti with Vladimir Ashkenazy and the Sydney Symphony which was recorded live at the Sydney Opera House. In addition to the Prokofiev cycle, he has made several recordings including recital discs of works by Rachmaninov, Schumann, Scriabin, Mussorgsky and Prokofiev.
Highlights of the 2017/18 season include Alexander’s BBC Proms debut with BBC Scottish Symphony under Thomas Dausgaard. He will also make debuts with orchestras including Czech Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Mainz Philharmonic and Orchestre National de Lille.
Alexander is renowned for his solo recital programmes and performs regularly at numerous prestigious venues worldwide. He will also tour Europe, Asia and North America in duo recital with Janine Jansen.
Alexander is Artist in Residence at Chautauqua Institution where he leads the piano program as an artistic advisor. He supports a number of charities including Opportunity Cambodia, which has built a residential educational facility for Cambodian children.
Alexander is a Steinway Artist.
The key element in his childhood was the Maîtrise de Radio France, where he discovered his vocation for orchestral conducting, followed by an impeccable course of studies at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris. With his prizes in hand, Jérémie Rhorer began a life of conducting prestigious orchestras worldwide whilst also composing, and created his orchestra, Le Cercle de l’Harmonie. His conducting, which is also shaped by his training as composer, spans all repertories, from Classical composers and German Romanticism to contemporary music, including new pieces by Thierry Escaich.
Among the notable orchestras Jérémie Rhorer has conducted are the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Orchestre National de France, the Bamberger Symphoniker, and the Yomiuri Orchestra in Japan. He has appeared at the most prestigious international festivals, from Aix-en-Provence to Salzburg and Glyndebourne, Edinburgh, and the BBC Proms, but also in the opera houses of Vienna, Munich, Brussels (La Monnaie), and Madrid (the Teatro Real). He is a regular guest of the Leipzig Gewandhaus and the Philharmonia Orchestra, which he conducted in a 2013 production of Poulenc’s Dialogues des carmélites (directed by Olivier Py) at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées that won the 2014 Grand Prix du Syndicat de la Critique. The DVD recording was awarded numerous prizes, including a BBC Music Magazine Award 2016.
Following the death of Nikolaus Harnoncourt, the Concentus Musicus invited him to conduct Beethoven’s Eroica and Pastoral symphonies.
Jérémie Rhorer also ploughs a unique furrow in the interpretation of Mozart’s works, in search of the composer’s dramatic genius. Idomeneo, Così fan tutte, Don Giovanni, La clemenza di Tito, and Die Entführung aus dem Serail are among the works he has performed with major orchestras, notably as part of the Mozart cycle entrusted to him by the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées.
A student of Thierry Escaich, Jérémie Rhorer is a major contemporary composer and winner of the Prix Pierre Cardin. His exacting compositional work is parallel to his activity as a conductor. In 2017, the Philharmonia Orchestra commissioned him to write a piano concerto for the French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet.
Throughout 1829–1831, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy travelled around Europe, visiting Paris, Vienna, England and Italy. This last country, with its joyful atmosphere, entirely captivated the native of Hamburg. With great enthusiasm, he started to work on his new “Italian” Symphony there; he completed it in 1833 in Berlin. The premiere was held on 13 May of the same year in London. Although the audience responded enthusiastically, the composer was dissatisfied with the work; he sought to revise it extensively, and never published it during his lifetime (the symphony was only published four years after his death).
Looking at Symphony No. 4 in A Major “Italian”, Op. 90 as reflecting the composer’s experience, we might see it as four images of Italian life: Roman carnivals (Allegro vivace); a religious procession (Andante con moto); greetings sent home from sunny Italy (Con moto moderato), inspired by Goethe’s poem, Lilis Par, German forests and hunts; and folk dances (Presto) – a Roman saltarello and a wild Neapolitan tarantella. The symphony is also one of the earliest multi-movement works in which the home major key (here A Major) is swapped in the finale for a parallel minor key (here A Minor).
Despite its relatively high number, Symphony No. 29 in A major KV 201/186a,ranks among the early works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791). It dates from 1774, when the eighteen-year-old composer was serving at the Salzburg Archbishop’s court. The fast opening movement is in strict sonata form, with clearly demarcated expositions, development and repetition. The second movement, Andante, is in the sonata form too, composed in the subdominant D major key, 2/4 time and comes across as a loosened festive march with dotted rhythm. The third movement, Menuetto, also has a celebratory tone, with its middle part, the trio, written in the dominant key of E major and captivating with long notes played by the horns. The finale, Allegro con spirito, is not a rondo, as was common at the time, but is again in the sonata form. The last movement is permeated by a nimble theme with tremolo strings. The symphony is rounded off by a brief coda with several modulations.
Frederic Chopin (1810–1849), composer of Polish origin, was also an outstanding piano virtuoso. He spent the second half of his short life in Paris, which is why his composition has found its place in the “French” concert program today. He began to play the piano at the age of six under Czech-born pianist Vojtěch Živný and within a year he tried his hand at his first compositions (Polonaise in G minor and B flat major). Later he studied at the Lyceum and at the Warsaw Conservatory, where at nineteen he timidly fell in love with future singer Constance Gładkowska. This love was an emotional impulse, which gave Chopin the inspiration for composing his first concertante work – Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 2 in F minor.
His first two concertos – in E minor and F minor – were created and published around the same time during the last two years of his residence in his homeland (1829–1830). Their order has not been determined by the date of origin, but that of publication. Concerto in F minor in three movements shows what models Chopin had at that time while he was still a student. The first movement Maestoso bears the stamp of the stile brillante and Chopin’s admiration for piano masters such as Liszt and Humell. Chopin, an artist of fragile nature, was not able to express his youthful love, and used the second movement Larghetto as intimate confession. The rondo form of the final third movement is in accordance with the conventions of the genre and sounds with the rhythm of a Polish dance – mazurka. The world premiere of this concert was held on 17 March 1830 in Warsaw in the great hall of the National Theater and it was Chopin’s first public appearance.
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