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UnderScore Friday
 Hans Graf conducts Chopin and Rachmaninoff featuring pianist
Garrick Ohlsson 

UnderScore Friday
Hans Graf conducts Chopin and Rachmaninoff featuring pianist Garrick Ohlsson 

Tanglewood

Koussevitzky Music Shed - Lenox, MA View Map

On Friday, August 4, Mr. Ohlsson performs Chopin's First Piano Concerto, written shortly after the composer finished conservatory. Maestro Graf also leads the BSO in Rachmaninoff's melancholic Symphony No. 3, the composer's final work in the genre, written almost 30 years after his second.

Featured Performers

Hans Graf, conductor
Hans Graf, conductor View biography in full page >

Known for his wide range of repertoire and creative programming, the distinguished Austrian conductor Hans Graf is one of today's most highly respected musicians.

Mr. Graf was chosen to be the Music Director of the Houston Symphony in 2000 and began his tenure with the orchestra in September 2001. Prior to his appointment in Houston, he was the music director of the Calgary Philharmonic for eight seasons and held the same post with the Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine for six years. He also led the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra from 1984 to 1994.

Hans Graf is a frequent guest with all of the major North American orchestras. His recent and upcoming guest engagements include appearances with the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, the San Francisco, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Detroit, Dallas, Baltimore, Vancouver, Atlanta and National symphonies and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra among others. Over the past decade he developed a close relationship with the Boston Symphony and has appeared regularly with the orchestra during the subscription season and at the Tanglewood Music Festival. Mr. Graf made his Carnegie Hall debut with the Houston Symphony in January 2006 and returned to Carnegie leading the Orchestra of St. Luke's in March 2007. He and the Houston Symphony were invited to appear at Carnegie Hall once again in January 2010 at which time they presented the New York premiere of The Planets - An HD Odyssey, featuring exclusive high definition images from NASA's exploration of the solar system accompanied by Holst's famous work, The Planets.

Internationally, Hans Graf conducts in the foremost concert halls of Europe, Japan and Australia. Recent and upcoming international appearances include the Vienna Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra as well as the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Deutsches Symphony Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony and Malaysian Philharmonic. In October 2010, Mr. Graf leads the Houston Symphony on a tour of the UK which includes performances in Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leeds, Manchester and two performances at the Barbican in London.

Mr. Graf has participated in such prestigious European festivals as the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Bregenz and Aix en Provence and appeared at the Salzburg Festival for twelve consecutive seasons. In summer 2010, Graf conducts the opening concert of the Aspen Music Festival and returns to Tanglewood and Chicago's Grant Park Festival.

An experienced opera conductor, Mr. Graf first conducted the Vienna State Opera in 1981 and has since led productions in the opera houses of Berlin, Munich, Paris and Rome among others. His extensive opera repertoire includes several world premieres. Recent opera engagements include Parsifal at the Zurich Opera and Boris Godunov at the Opera National du Rhin in Strasbourg.

Born in 1949 near Linz, Hans Graf studied violin and piano as a child. He earned diplomas in piano and conducting from the Musikhochschule in Graz and continued his conducting studies with Franco Ferrara in Siena, Sergiu Celibidache in Bologna and Arvid Jansons in Weimar and Leningrad. Mr. Graf served as the Music Director of the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra in Baghdad during the 1975-76 season and the following year began coaching at the Vienna State Opera. His international career was launched in 1979 when he was awarded first prize at the Karl Böhm Competition.

Hans Graf has recorded for the EMI, Orfeo, CBC, Erato, Capriccio and JVC labels and his discography includes the complete symphonies of Mozart and Schubert, the premiere recording of Zemlinsky's opera Es war einmal and the complete works of Dutilleux for BMG Arte Nova. His recordings with the Houston Symphony include works by Bartok and Stravinsky for Koch International, Zemlinsky's Lyric Symphony and Berg's Three Pieces from the Lyric Suite for Naxos and a DVD of The Planets - An HD Odyssey, available through the Houston Symphony.

Mr. Graf has been awarded the Chevalier de l'ordre de la Legion d'Honneur by the French government for championing French music around the world as well as the Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold for Services to the Republic of Austria.

Hans Graf, conductor Garrick Ohlsson, piano, 2017 Koussevitzky Artist
Garrick Ohlsson, piano, 2017 Koussevitzky Artist View biography in full page >

Since his triumph as winner of the 1970 Chopin International Piano Competition, pianist Garrick Ohlsson has established himself worldwide as a musician of magisterial interpretive and technical prowess. Although long regarded as one of the world's leading exponents of the music of Frédéric Chopin, Mr. Ohlsson commands an enormous repertoire, which ranges over the entire piano literature. A student of the late Claudio Arrau, Mr. Ohlsson has come to be noted for his masterly performances of the works of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, as well as the Romantic repertoire. To date he has at his command more than 80 concertos, ranging from Haydn and Mozart to works of the 21st century, many commissioned for him.

An exponent of Busoni's rarely programmed piano concerto, Mr. Ohlsson will bring it to the National Symphony (Washington) and London's Barbican with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in the fall of 2014. 2015 marks the centenary of the death of Alexander Scriabin whose piano music Mr. Ohlsson will present in a series of recitals in London, San Francisco, Chicago and New York. He will also return to the orchestras of San Francisco, Detroit, Dallas, Houston, Baltimore, Minnesota, BBC Scotland and Prague where he is a frequent guest.

The 2013-14 season included recitals in Montreal, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle and Kansas City, culminating in February in Carnegie Hall with a program including Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin and excerpts from his recording of works of Charles Tomlinson Griffes. In January, he returned to the Boston Symphony to play Lutoslawski's piano concerto, and to the orchestras of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta and Cleveland. Performances outside North America included Stockholm (Sweden), São Paolo (Brazil), and Hong Kong (China), in addition to a Dvořák project with the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Ivan Fischer at Lincoln Center.

An avid chamber musician, Mr. Ohlsson has collaborated with the Cleveland, Emerson, Takács and Tokyo string quartets, among other ensembles. Together with violinist Jorja Fleezanis and cellist Michael Grebanier, he is a founding member of the San Francisco-based FOG Trio. Passionate about singing and singers, Mr. Ohlsson has appeared in recital with such legendary artists as Magda Olivero, Jessye Norman, and Ewa Podleś.

Mr. Ohlsson can be heard on the Arabesque, RCA Victor Red Seal, Angel, BMG, Delos, Hänssler, Nonesuch, Telarc, and Virgin Classics labels. His ten-disc set of the complete Beethoven sonatas, for Bridge Records, has garnered critical acclaim, including a GRAMMY® for Vol. 3. His recording of Rachmaninoff's Concerto No. 3, with the Atlanta Symphony and Robert Spano, was released in 2011. In the fall of 2008 the English label Hyperion re-released his 16-disc set of the complete works of Chopin. Hyperion released a disc in 2010 of all the Brahms piano variations and "Goyescas, by Enrique Granados, and music of Charles Tomlinson Griffes. The latest CDs in his ongoing association with Bridge Records are "Close Connections," a recital of 20th-Century pieces, and two CDs of  works by Liszt. In recognition of the Chopin bicentenary in 2010, Mr. Ohlsson was featured in a documentary "The Art of Chopin" co-produced by Polish, French, British and Chinese television stations. Most recently, both Brahms concerti and Tchaikovsky's second piano concerto were released on "live" performance recordings with the Melbourne and Sydney Symphonies on their own recording labels, and Mr. Ohlsson was featured on Dvorak's piano concerto in the Czech Philharmonic's live recordings of the composer's complete symphonies & concertos, released July of 2014 on the Decca label.

A native of White Plains, N.Y., Garrick Ohlsson began his piano studies at the age of 8, at the Westchester Conservatory of Music; at 13 he entered The Juilliard School, in New York City. His musical development has been influenced in completely different ways by a succession of distinguished teachers, most notably Claudio Arrau, Olga Barabini, Tom Lishman, Sascha Gorodnitzki, Rosina Lhévinne and Irma Wolpe. Although he won First Prizes at the 1966 Busoni Competition in Italy and the 1968 Montréal Piano Competition, it was his 1970 triumph at the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, where he won the Gold Medal (and remains the single American to have done so), that brought him worldwide recognition as one of the finest pianists of his generation. Since then he has made nearly a dozen tours of Poland, where he retains immense personal popularity. Mr. Ohlsson was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize in 1994 and received the 1998 University Musical Society Distinguished Artist Award in Ann Arbor, MI. He is also the 2014 recipient of the Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance from the Northwestern University Bienen School of Music. He makes his home in San Francisco.

Garrick Ohlsson, piano, 2017 Koussevitzky Artist
Program Notes Audio
CHOPIN - Piano Concerto No. 1 (35 min)
RACHMANINOFF - Symphony No. 3 (39 min)
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