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Charles Dutoit conducts Walton, Elgar and Holst featuring Yo-Yo
Ma

Charles Dutoit conducts Walton, Elgar and Holst featuring Yo-Yo Ma

Boston Symphony Orchestra

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For this first of two weeks celebrating Charles Dutoit's 80th birthday, the eminent Swiss conductor-who is also continuing a close, multi-season collaboration with the BSO-is joined by Yo-Yo Ma for Edward Elgar's substantial and popular Cello Concerto. The program of works by three 20th-century English composers opens with William Walton's Portsmouth Point Overture, a vibrant and jazzy early work inspired by a print of colorful activity at a seaport. Written between 1914 and 1916, Gustav Holst's astrologically inspired The Planets is by far his most enduringly popular work, a series of orchestrally rich character pieces, from fleet Mercury to mysterious Neptune.

Featured Performers

Charles Dutoit, conductor
Charles Dutoit, conductor View biography in full page >

Captivating audiences throughout the world, Charles Dutoit is one of today's  most sought-after conductors, having performed with all the major orchestras on most stages of the five continents.

Presently Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the London Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, he recently celebrated his 30-year artistic collaboration with the Philadelphia Orchestra, who in turn, bestowed upon him the title of Conductor Laureate. He collaborates every season with the orchestras of Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles and is also a regular guest  on the stages in London, Berlin, Paris, Munich, Moscow, Sydney, Beijing, Hong Kong, and Shanghai, amongst others.

His more than 200 recordings for Decca, Deutsche Grammophone, EMI, Philips and Erato have garnered multiple awards and distinctions including two Grammys.

For 25 years , Charles Dutoit was Artistic Director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, a dynamic musical team recognised the world over.
From 1991 to 2001, he was Music Director of the Orchestre National de France and in 1996, was appointed Principal Conductor and soon thereafter, Music Director of the NHK Symphony Orchestra (Tokyo). He is today Music Director Emeritus of this Orchestra.

He was for 10 years Music Director of the Philadelphia Orchestra's season at the Mann Music Center and for 21 years, at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

Charles Dutoit's interest in the younger generation has always held an important place in his career and he has successively been Music Director of the Sapporo Pacific Music Festival and Miyazaki International Music Festival in Japan as well as the Canton International Summer Music Academy in Guangzhou. In 2009, he became Music Director of the Verbier Festival Orchestra.

When still in his early 20's, Charles Dutoit was invited by Von Karajan to conduct the Vienna State Opera.  He has since conducted at Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Deutsche Oper in Berlin, the Rome Opera and Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.

In 1991, he was made Honorary Citizen of the City of Philadelphia, in 1995, Grand Officier de l'Ordre national du Québec, in 1996, Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the government of France and in 1998, he was invested as Honorary Officer of the Order of Canada.
In 2007, he received the Gold Medal of  the city of Lausanne, his birthplace and in 2014, he was given the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Classical Music Awards.

He holds Honorary Doctorates from the Universities of McGill, Montreal, Laval and the Curtis School of Music.

A globetrotter motivated by his passion for history and archaeology, political science, art and architecture, he has traveled in all 196

Charles Dutoit, conductor Yo-Yo Ma, cello
Yo-Yo Ma, cello View biography in full page >

Yo-Yo Ma’s multi-faceted career is testament to his enduring belief in culture’s power to generate trust and understanding. Whether performing new or familiar works from the cello repertoire, collaborating with communities and institutions to explore culture’s role in society, or engaging unexpected musical forms, Yo-Yo strives to foster connections that stimulate the imagination and reinforce our humanity.

In August 2018, Yo-Yo began a new journey, setting out to perform Johann Sebastian Bach’s six suites for solo cello in one sitting in 36 locations around the world, iconic venues that encompass our cultural heritage, our current creativity, and the challenges of peace and understanding that will shape our future. Each concert is an example of culture’s power to create moments of shared understanding, as well as an invitation to a larger conversation about culture, society, and the themes that connect us all.

The Bach Project continues Yo-Yo’s lifelong commitment to stretching the boundaries of genre and tradition to explore music as a means not only to share and express meaning, but also as his contribution to a conversation about how culture can help us to imagine and build a stronger society and a better future.

It was this belief that inspired Yo-Yo to establish Silkroad, a collective of artists from around the world who create music that engages their many traditions. In addition to presenting performances in venues from Suntory Hall to the Hollywood Bowl, Silkroad collaborates with museums and universities to develop training programs for teachers, musicians, and learners of all ages.

Through his work with Silkroad, as well as throughout his career, Yo-Yo Ma has sought to expand the classical cello repertoire, frequently performing lesser-known music of the 20th century and commissions of new concertos and recital pieces. He has premiered works by a diverse group of composers, among them Osvaldo Golijov, Leon Kirchner, Zhao Lin, Christopher Rouse, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Giovanni Sollima, Bright Sheng, Tan Dun, and John Williams.

In addition to his work as a performing artist, Yo-Yo partners with communities and institutions from Chicago to Guangzhou to develop programs that champion culture’s power to transform lives and forge a more connected world. Among his many roles, he is the artistic director of the annual Youth Music Culture Guangdong festival and a UN Messenger of Peace, and is the first artist ever appointed to the World Economic Forum’s board of trustees.

Yo-Yo’s discography of over 100 albums (including 19 Grammy Award winners) reflects his wide-ranging interests. In addition to his many iconic renditions of the Western classical canon, he has made several recordings that defy categorization, among them “Appalachia Waltz” and “Appalachian Journey” with Mark O’Connor and Edgar Meyer, and two Grammy-winning tributes to the music of Brazil, “Obrigado Brazil” and “Obrigado Brazil–Live in Concert.” Yo-Yo’s recent recordings include: “Songs from the Arc of Life,” with pianist Kathryn Stott; “Sing Me Home,” with the Silkroad Ensemble, which won the 2016 Grammy for Best World Music Album; “Bach Trios,” with Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile; “Brahms: The Piano Trios,” with Emanuel Ax and Leonidas Kavakos; and “Six Evolutions-Bach: Cello Suites.”

Yo-Yo was born in 1955 to Chinese parents living in Paris. He began to study the cello with his father at age four and three years later moved with his family to New York City, where he continued his cello studies with Leonard Rose at the Juilliard School. After his conservatory training, he sought out a liberal arts education, graduating from Harvard University with a degree in anthropology in 1976. He has received numerous awards, including the Avery Fisher Prize (1978), the Glenn Gould Prize (1999), the National Medal of the Arts (2001), the Dan David Prize (2006), the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award (2008), the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2010), Kennedy Center Honors (2011), the Polar Music Prize (2012), and the J. Paul Getty Medal Award (2016). He has performed for eight American presidents, most recently at the invitation of President Obama on the occasion of the 56th Inaugural Ceremony.

Yo-Yo and his wife have two children. He plays three instruments, a 2003 instrument made by Moes & Moes, a 1733 Montagnana cello from Venice, and the 1712 Davidoff Stradivarius.

 

Yo-Yo Ma, cello
Program Notes Audio
WALTON - Portsmouth Point Overture (7 min)
ELGAR - Cello Concerto (32 min)
HOLST - The Planets (51 min)
Audio Concert Preview - Full Program Notes
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