1 / 6
Czech Philharmonic • Keith Lockhart
An American programme with Dvořák? Many Americans see him as the founder of the American composition school. Heading the conservatoire in New York, he laid the foundation from which Gershwin, Ellington, and Copland, born in the early 20th century, emerged. Their works inspired by folk music and jazz will be conducted by American Keith Lockhart.
Suite in A major, Op. 98b (21')
Piano Concerto in F major (35')
— Intermission —
The Tender Land, suite from the opera (19')
Marc-André Hamelin piano
Keith Lockhart conductor
Rudolfinum — Dvořák Hall
Customer Service of Czech Philharmonic
Tel.: +420 227 059 227
Customer Service of Czech Philharmonic
Tel.: +420 227 059 227
Keith Lockhart is Conductor of the Boston Pops, Chief Guest Conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra, and Artistic Director of the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina (USA).
Now in his 25th season, Keith has served as Conductor of the Boston Pops since 1995, a tenure that includes nearly 2000, 45 national tours to more than 150 cities, and four international tours. He and the Pops have made eighty television shows, and participated in such high-profile sporting events as Super Bowl XXXVI, the 2008 NBA finals, the 2013 Boston Red Sox Ring Ceremony, and, most recently, Game 2 of the 2018 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers. The annual July 4 Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular draws a live audience of over half a million with millions more who watch on television or live webcast.
From 2010–2018, Keith was Principal Conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra. Highlights of his tenure include critically acclaimed North American tours, conducting annual performances at The Proms, and celebrating the orchestra’s 60th year in 2012. In June of that same year, Keith conducted the orchestra during Queen Elizabeth II’s gala Diamond Jubilee Concert, which was broadcast around the world.
In October 2007, Keith succeeded David Effron as Artistic Director of the Brevard Music Center Summer Institute and Festival. The Brevard Music Center (BMC) has established itself as one of the nation’s leading summer institutes for gifted young musicians, preparing them to perform great musical works at a high artistic level. His appointment solidifies an already special relationship with BMC, having attended as a teenager for two summers (1974, 1975).
Keith concluded 11 seasons as Music Director of the Utah Symphony in 2009. He led that orchestra through the complete symphonic works of Gustav Mahler and brought them to Europe on tour for the first time in two decades. He stood at the front of that organization’s historic merger with the Utah Opera to create the first-ever joint administrative arts entity, the Utah Symphony and Opera. Since the merger, arts institutions nationally and internationally have looked to Keith as an example of an innovative thinker on and off the podium. Keith conducted three “Salute to the Symphony” television specials broadcast regionally, one of which received an Emmy award, and, in December 2001, he conducted the orchestra and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in a national PBS broadcast of Vaughan Williams’ oratorio Hodie. He led the Utah Symphony during Opening Ceremonies of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games and conducted two programs for the 2002 Olympic Arts Festival. Under Keith’s baton, the Utah Symphony released its first recording in two decades, Symphonic Dances, in April 2006.
Keith Lockhart has conducted nearly every major orchestra in North America, as well as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Vienna Radio Symphony, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the NHK Symphony in Tokyo, Hong Kong Philharmonic, and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. In October 2012, he made his London Philharmonic debut in Royal Albert Hall. In the opera pit, Keith has conducted productions with the Atlanta Opera, Washington Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, and Utah Opera.
Keith served as Music Director of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra for seven years, completing his tenure in 1999. Under his leadership, the orchestra doubled its number of performances, released recordings, and developed a reputation for innovative and accessible programming. Keith also served as Associate Conductor of both the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra from 1990 to 1995.
Born in Poughkeepsie, NY, he began his musical studies on piano at the age of seven, and holds degrees from Furman University and Carnegie Mellon University; Keith also holds honorary doctorates from the Boston Conservatory, Boston University, Northeastern University, Furman University, and Carnegie Mellon University, among others. He was the 2006 recipient of the Bob Hope Patriot Award from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, and was a recipient of the 2017 Commonwealth Award, Massachusetts’ highest cultural honor.
Suite in A major, Op. 98b
Andante con moto
Moderato alla polacca
At the end of February 1894, Dvořák sent a letter across the ocean to Alois Göbl in Sychrov about the great success of his masterpieces (as he himself described them) – the Symphony in E minor, the String Quartet in F major, and the Quintet in E flat major. He also mentioned in passing the completion of a violin sonatina and a suite for piano. The Suite in A major for piano, Op. 98, on which he worked from 19 February to 1 March, is the fifth work that Dvořák composed in America. Unlike the previous works, it was not premiered there (its first performance in concert was given on 6 December 1894 in Rychnov nad Kněžnou by Josef Sallač), and unjustly, it remains a bit overshadowed by the famous compositions of this period. In a letter sent to his publisher Fritz Simrock that April, Dvořák rated the Suite in A major for piano and the Biblical Songs as “the best music I have yet written in this field”, and Simrock soon issued the suite in print. A year later, Dvořák arranged the suite for symphony orchestra, but that version was never heard during the composer’s lifetime. It was finally played on 1 March at the Rudolfinum in Prague by the Czech Philharmonic under the baton of Karel Kovařovic. Simrock then published it in 1911 in Berlin from among the materials in the composer’s estate. The orchestra brings a greater diversity of contrasting moods to the individual movements. With its rich palette of colours, it adds more detail and depth to passages where the piano alone was not enough. With its lighter form and content, the suite contrasts with the monumental compositions Dvořák was writing at around that time. The Suite in A major is not intended as a synthesis of an old style based on a reference to traditions. The form of the suite allows Dvořák to combine several little Romantic gestures into a greater whole without pre-defined limitations on their interrelationships. Dvořák chose a series of five movements with differing themes and character, and each movement uses a different compositional technique for the treatment of its themes. The solemn first movement serves as a prelude setting the mood of the whole cycle, the second movement is analogous to a symphonic scherzo, the third movement is a rondo with a main theme that is reminiscent of the character of a polonaise or of a Czech dance known as the “sousedská”, and the lyrical fourth movement is something like a dreamy nocturne. Through a return of the theme of the first movement in the coda of the finale, Dvořák creates a thematic link that brings the whole suite to its logical conclusion