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Elim Chan conducts Brahms, Brian Raphael Nabors, and Tchaikovsky featuring pianist Igor Levit

Elim Chan conducts Brahms, Brian Raphael Nabors, and Tchaikovsky featuring pianist Igor Levit

Boston Symphony Orchestra

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Hong Kong-born conductor Elim Chan, chief conductor of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, makes her BSO debut and acclaimed Russian-German pianist Igor Levit makes his BSO subscription series debut in these concerts. Mr. Levit performs Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 2, a work of grand scope and widely varying character and requiring great virtuosity. The young Alabama-born composer Brian Raphael Nabors’s orchestral work Pulse aims to suggest, in several contrasting episodes, the unifying energy of many different facets of life on earth. The nickname of Tchaikovsky’s colorful and dynamic Little Russian Symphony refers not to his homeland, but to a part of the Ukraine then known as “Little Russia”; the nickname comes from the Ukrainian folk melodies used in the piece.

Featured Performers

Elim Chan, conductor
Elim Chan, conductor View biography in full page >

One of the most sought-after of the young conductors and already widely admired for her unique combination of “drama and tenderness, power and delicacy” (Hereford Times), Elim Chan became the first female winner of Donatella Flick Conducting Competition and has now been appointed Chief Conductor of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra from this season. In addition, she also holds the position as Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra since 2018/19.

The 2019/20 season features many highlights, starting off with an appearance at the BBC Proms where Elim Chan conducts the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, followed by her debuts with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Gürzenich-Orchester Köln, Gothenburg Symphony and Netherlands Philharmonic orchestras, Swedish Radio and Toronto Symphony orchestras and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. She returns to the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra for their season opening concerts at Amsterdam Concertgebouw and Dortmund Konzerthaus as well as to the Philharmonia Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Youth Orchestra amongst many others.

Celebrated by the press for her debuts with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin earlier in 2019, other highlights last season included engagements with Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and Sydney Symphony orchestras alongside returns to Los Angeles Philharmonic and Rotterdam Philharmonic orchestras.

Elim Chan became Assistant Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra in 2015/16 and was appointed to the Dudamel Fellowship programme with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2016/17. Previously she led the Orchestre de la Francophonie as part of the NAC Summer Music Institute in 2012 where she worked with Pinchas Zukerman, and participated in the Musical Olympus Festival in St. Petersburg as well as in workshops with the Cabrillo Festival and Baltimore Symphony orchestras (with Marin Alsop, Gerard Schwarz and Gustav Meier). She also took part in masterclasses with Bernard Haitink in Lucerne in spring 2015.

Elim Chan holds degrees from Smith College and the University of Michigan. Whilst there, she served as Music Director of the University of Michigan Campus Symphony Orchestra and the Michigan Pops Orchestra. She also received the Bruno Walter Conducting Scholarship in 2013.

Elim Chan, conductor Igor Levit, piano
Igor Levit, piano View biography in full page >

Winner of Gramophone's "Recording of the Year 2016" award, Igor Levit has established himself as "one of the essential artists of his generation" (The New Yok Times). The press attests to his performing with a "wealth of meaning without artifice" (Washington Post) leaving the listener "speechless with amazement and admiration" (The Telegraph).

The 2017-18 season marks highly-anticipated debuts including performances with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (Jakub Hrusa), the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra (Sakari Oramo), the Vienna and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras (both with Manfred Honeck) and reunites him - amongst others - with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich (Lionel Bringuier). Summer 2017 marks a performance at the Opening Night of the prestigious BBC Proms alongside the BBC Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Ed Gardner, his debut at the Salzburg Festival and a residency at Germany's Rheingau Music Festival before Igor Levit embarks on a tour of Asia with the Bavarian State Orchestra under Kirill Petrenko.

Recital performances will see him return to his hometown to play at the Berlin Philharmonie as well as making debuts in Stockholm and Barcelona. After the immense success of his Beethoven sonata cycle at London's Wigmore Hall in 2016 - 17, he will take the cycle to Munich's Prinzregententheater and continue the cycle started at the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels in the previous season.

Highlights of past seasons included orchestral debuts with the Bavarian State Orchestra (Kirill Petrenko), Berliner Philharmoniker (Riccardo Chailly), Staatskapelle Dresden (Christian Thielemann), Cleveland Orchestra (Franz Welser-Möst) and London Symphony Orchestra (Fabio Luisi). Recital appearances of 2016 - 17 saw "hypnotic" (The New York Times) and "transfixing" (The Boston Globe) debuts at Carnegie Hall, Chicago's Symphony Center, Boston's Celebrity Series, at Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, with Lisbon's Gulbenkian Foundation, at Hamburg's Elbphilharmonie and the Lucerne Piano Festival.

An exclusive recording artist for Sony Classical, Igor Levit's debut disc of the five last Beethoven Sonatas won the BBC Music Magazine Newcomer of the Year 2014 Award, the Royal Philharmonic Society's Young Artist Award 2014 and the ECHO Klassik 2014 for Solo Recording of the Year (19th Century Music/Piano). In October 2015, Sony Classical released Igor Levit's third solo album in cooperation with the Festival Heidelberger Frühling featuring Bach's Goldberg Variations, Beethoven's Diabelli Variations and Rzewski's The People United Will Never Be Defeated!, which has been awarded the "Recording of the Year" and "Instrumental Award" at the 2016 Gramophone Classical Music Awards.

Born in Nizhni Nowgorod in 1987, Igor Levit at age eight moved with his family to Germany. He completed his piano studies at Hannover Academy of Music, Theatre and Media in 2009 with the highest academic and performance scores in the history of the institute. Igor Levit has studied under the tutelage of Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, Matti Raekallio, Bernd Goetze, Lajos Rovatkay and Hans Leygraf. As the youngest participant in 2005 Arthur Rubinstein Competition in Tel Aviv, Igor Levit won the Silver Prize, as well as the Prize for Best Performer of Chamber Music, the Audience Favorite Prize and the Prize for Best Performer of Contemporary Music.

In Berlin, where he makes his home, Igor Levit is playing on a Steinway D Grand Piano kindly given to him by the Trustees of Independent Opera at Sadler's Wells.


Igor Levit, piano
Program Notes Audio
BRAHMS - Piano Concerto No. 2 (47 min)
Brian Raphael NABORS - Pulse
TCHAIKOVSKY - Symphony No. 2, Little Russian
Full Program Notes - Coming Soon