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Giancarlo Guerrero conducts Dvořák, Brahms and Stravinsky featuring violinist Gil Shaham and cellist Alisa Weilerstein

Tanglewood

Koussevitzky Music Shed - Lenox, MA View Map

Violinist Gil Shaham and cellist Alisa Weilerstein join forces on Friday, August 11, for a performance of Brahms's Double Concerto for violin, cello, and orchestra, with Costa Rican conductor Giancarlo Guerrero and the BSO. Brahms composed the concerto-his final orchestral work-as an olive branch to his old friend and close musical collaborator Joseph Joachim, with whom he'd had a falling out over Joachim's divorce. Also on the program are Dvořák's Carnival Overture and Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, the score to an intensely dramatic ballet and on its own some of the most dramatic music ever written.

Featured Performers

Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor
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Giancarlo Guerrero is the eight-time GRAMMY® award winning Music Director of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, a post he has held since 2009 and has committed to through the 2024-25 season. He was recently also named Music Director of the Wrocław Philharmonic at the National Forum of Music in Poland starting in the 2017-18 season.

A passionate proponent of new and contemporary music, Guerrero has championed the works of several of America's most respected composers. He has presented eight world premieres with the Nashville Symphony including the 2016 performance and recent GRAMMY®-winning recording of Michael Daugherty's cello concerto Tales of Hemingway. The 2016-17 season also saw the release of new albums with the Nashville Symphony dedicated to the music of Richard Danielpour and Jennifer Higdon. In addition, Guerrero developed and guided the creation of Nashville Symphony's Composer Lab & Workshop initiative, together with composer Aaron Jay Kernis, to further foster and promote new American orchestral music.

In the 2017-18 season, Guerrero's guest conducting engagements include the Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Queensland Symphony, Sydney Symphony, Brussels Philharmonic, Residentie Orchestra in Hague, and Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon, among others.

A natural and instinctive musician, Guerrero is a charismatic presence on the podium. Maestro Guerrero has appeared with many of the prominent North American orchestras, including those of Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Montreal, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. He has developed a strong guest conducting profile in Europe and has worked with great success in recent seasons with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Brussels Philharmonic, Deutsches Radio Philharmonie, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Netherlands Philharmonic, Residentie Orkest, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Guerrero made his debut with Houston Grand Opera in 2015 conducting Puccini's Madama Butterfly. Early in his career, he worked regularly with the Costa Rican Lyric Opera and has conducted new productions of Carmen, La bohème, and Rigoletto. In 2008 he gave the Australian premiere of Osvaldo Golijov's one-act opera Ainadamar at the Adelaide Festival to great acclaim.

Giancarlo Guerrero previously held posts as the Principal Guest Conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra Miami (2011-2016), Music Director of the Eugene Symphony (2002-2009), and Associate Conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra (1999-2004).

Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor Gil Shaham, violin
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Avery Fisher Prize-winner Gil Shaham is one of the foremost violinists of our time, whose combination of flawless technique with inimitable warmth and generosity of spirit has solidified his legacy as an American master. Named Musical America's "Instrumentalist of the Year," he is sought after throughout the world for concerto appearances with leading orchestras and conductors, and regularly gives recitals and ensemble appearances on the great concert stages and at the most prestigious festivals.

The new season sees Shaham return to one of his signature works, reprising his "brilliant, almost ecstatic performance" (Los Angeles Times) of Korngold's Violin Concerto with Zubin Mehta and the Vienna Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall, as well as with the Cleveland Orchestra during its annual Miami residency; John Adams and the Houston Symphony; James Conlon conducting the National Symphony; the symphony orchestras of St. Louis and Austin; and France's Orchestre de Paris. He also takes his long-term exploration of "Violin Concertos of the 1930s" - recognized by Musical Americaas "one of the most imaginative programming concepts in years" - into a fifth season, with performances of Bartók's Second with the Los Angeles and Atlanta symphonies, Prokofiev's Second with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony, Barber's with the Louisiana Philharmonic and Mexico National Symphony, and Berg's with the Berlin Radio Symphony and the Bavarian Radio Symphony in Munich, Paris, and at Carnegie Hall. With the symphony orchestras of Detroit, Singapore, and London's BBC, Shaham gives the world, Asian, and European premieres of a new concerto by Bright Sheng. His other upcoming orchestral collaborations include dates with his longtime friend and musical partner John Williams at the Chicago Symphony. In anticipation of his next recording project, the master violinist also returns to Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin, taking his singular approach to these beloved works to Baltimore, Cleveland, and Italy's Florence and Rome.

Shaham kicked off the 2012-13 season with a summer of appearances at Aspen, Tanglewood, Caramoor, the Blossom Music Festival, and the Hollywood Bowl. He went on to play "Violin Concertos of the 1930s" by Barber, Berg, Stravinsky, Britten, Bartók, and Prokofiev with the orchestras of New York, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Baltimore, Kansas City, Montreal, the Orchestre de Paris, and Japan's NHK Symphony. He also returned to repertory favorites with renditions of the Brahms concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, and Cincinnati Symphony; the Beethoven with the symphony orchestras of Boston and St. Louis; and Mozart's Turkish with the Seattle, Pittsburgh, and Toronto symphonies. During recital tours in the U.S., Europe, and Japan, the American master gave the world premiere of a solo suite written for him by William Bolcom, and pioneered recent commissions by Avner Dorman and Julian Milone.

Dorman's work also forms the centerpiece of Nigunim: Hebrew Melodies, a new album that Shaham recorded with his sister, pianist Orli Shaham, and released on his own Canary Classics label in June 2013. According to the Buffalo News, "Shaham's virtuosity on this disc is of such pyrotechnic flamboyance and ferocity and the impassioned beauty so openhearted that it bids fair to be one of the greatest of Shaham's long career and one of the greatest intimate violin recordings anyone is likely to encounter in a while." "The Shahams achieve overwhelming heights of expressiveness," agreed the Strad magazine. "This is a lovingly produced and presented recording of some hauntingly beautiful music from the violinist's own label."

Gil Shaham already has more than two dozen concerto and solo CDs to his name, including bestsellers that have appeared on record charts in the U.S. and abroad. These recordings have earned prestigious awards, including multiple Grammys, a Grand Prix du Disque, Diapason d'Or, and GramophoneEditor's Choice. His recent recordings are produced on the Canary Classics label, which he founded in 2004. They comprise Haydn Violin Concertos and Mendelssohn's Octet with Sejong Soloists; Sarasate: Virtuoso Violin Works with Adele Anthony, Akira Eguchi and Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León; Elgar's Violin Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and David Zinman;The Butterfly Loversand Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto with the Singapore Symphony; Tchaikovsky's Piano Trio in A with Yefim Bronfman and cellist Truls Mork;The Prokofiev Album and Mozart in Paris, both with Orli Shaham; and The Fauré Album with Akira Eguchi and cellist Brinton Smith. Upcoming titles include Bach's complete works for solo violin and several installments of the "Violin Concertos of the 1930s" project.

Gil Shaham was born in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, in 1971. He moved with his parents to Israel, where he began violin studies with Samuel Bernstein of the Rubin Academy of Music at the age of seven, receiving annual scholarships from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. In 1981, while studying with Haim Taub in Jerusalem, he made debuts with the Jerusalem Symphony and the Israel Philharmonic. That same year he began his studies with Dorothy DeLay and Jens Ellermann at Aspen. In 1982, after taking first prize in Israel's Claremont Competition, he became a scholarship student at Juilliard, where he worked with DeLay and Hyo Kang. He also studied at Columbia University.

Shaham was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1990, and in 2008 he received the coveted Avery Fisher Prize. In 2012, he was named "Instrumentalist of the Year" byMusical America, which cited the "special kind of humanism" with which his performances are imbued. Shaham plays the 1699 "Countess Polignac" Stradivarius, and lives in New York City with his wife, violinist Adele Anthony, and their three children.

Gil Shaham, violin
Alisa Weilerstein, cello
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"A young cellist whose emotionally resonant performances of both traditional and contemporary music have earned her international recognition, … Weilerstein is a consummate performer, combining technical precision with impassioned musicianship." So stated the MacArthur Foundation when awarding Alisa Weilerstein a 2011 MacArthur "genius grant" Fellowship, prompting the New York Times to respond: "Any fellowship that recognizes the vibrancy of an idealistic musician like Ms. Weilerstein … deserves a salute from everyone in classical music." In performances marked by intensity, sensitivity, and a wholehearted immersion in each of the works she interprets, the American cellist has long proven herself to be in possession of a distinctive musical voice. An exclusive recording artist for Decca Classics since 2010, she is the first cellist to be signed by the prestigious label in more than 30 years.

To launch the 2014-15 season, Weilerstein joined the Milwaukee Symphony and Edo de Waart for the Elgar concerto, which is also the vehicle for engagements with the Cleveland Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, London's Philharmonia Orchestra, the Stuttgart Symphony, the Netherlands Philharmonic, and Tokyo's NHK Symphony. She plays Dvorák with the New York Philharmonic and Christoph von Dohnányi; Haydn on a German tour with the Australian Chamber Orchestra; and Shostakovich with England's Hallé Orchestra, the Warsaw Philharmonic, and the Orchestra of St. Luke's at Carnegie Hall; and collaborates with the Orchestre de Paris, Zurich's Tonhalle Orchestra, Berlin's Konzerthausorchester, the Montreal Symphony, the Czech Philharmonic, Denmark's Aalborg Symphony, Spain's Orquesta de Valencia, and the Luxembourg Philharmonic. Upcoming recital highlights include appearances in Boston, Aspen, and London's Wigmore Hall, where Weilerstein showcases repertoire from Solo, her 2014 Decca compilation of unaccompanied 20th-century cello music. The album's centerpiece is Kodály's Sonata, a signature work that she also performs on the soundtrack of If I Stay, a 2014 feature film starring Chloë Grace Moretz, in which the cellist makes a cameo appearance as herself.

For her first album on the Decca label, Weilerstein recorded the Elgar and Elliott Carter cello concertos with Daniel Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin. The disc was named "Recording of the Year 2013" by both Norman Lebrecht and BBC Music magazine, which featured the cellist on the cover of its May 2014 issue. On her second Decca disc, released in early 2014, she plays Dvorák's Cello Concerto with Jirí Belohlávek and the Czech Philharmonic.

Weilerstein's major career milestones include an emotionally devastating account of Elgar's concerto with the Berlin Philharmonic and Daniel Barenboim in Oxford, England, for the orchestra's 2010 European Concert, which was televised live to an audience of millions worldwide, and subsequently released on DVD by EuroArts. She and Barenboim reunited in 2012-13 to play Elliott Carter's concerto on a German tour with the Berlin Staatskapelle. In 2009, she was one of four artists invited by Michelle Obama to participate in a widely celebrated and high profile classical music event at the White House, featuring student workshops hosted by the First Lady and performances before guests including President Obama and the First Family. A month later, Weilerstein toured Venezuela as soloist with the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra under Gustavo Dudamel. She has since made numerous return visits to teach and perform with the orchestra as part of its famed El Sistema music education program. Other highlights of recent seasons include her debuts at the BBC Proms in 2010, and with England's Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, which she joined in 2013 for a 16-city U.S. tour.

Committed to expanding the cello repertoire, Weilerstein is an ardent champion of new music. She gave the New York premiere of Matthias Pintscher's Reflections on Narcissus under the composer's own direction during the New York Philharmonic's inaugural 2014 Biennial, and has worked extensively with Osvaldo Golijov, who rewrote Azul for cello and orchestra (originally premiered by Yo-Yo Ma) for her New York premiere performance at the opening of the 2007 Mostly Mozart Festival. Weilerstein has since played the work with orchestras around the world, besides frequently programming the Argentinean composer's  Omaramor for solo cello. At the 2008 Caramoor festival, she gave the world premiere of Lera Auerbach's 24 Preludes for Violoncello and Piano  with the composer at the keyboard, and the two have subsequently reprised the work at the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, the Kennedy Center, and for San Francisco Performances. Joseph Hallman, a 2014 Grammy Award nominee, has also written multiple works for Weilerstein, including a cello concerto that she premiered with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic in 2008.

Weilerstein has appeared at major music festivals throughout the world, including Aspen, Bad Kissingen, Delft, Edinburgh, Jerusalem Chamber Music, La Jolla SummerFest, Mostly Mozart, Salzburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Tanglewood, and Verbier. In addition to her appearances as a soloist and recitalist, Weilerstein performs regularly as a chamber musician. She has been part of a core group of musicians at the Spoleto Festival USA for the past eight years and also performs with her parents, Donald and Vivian Hornik Weilerstein, as the Weilerstein Trio, the trio-in-residence at Boston's New England Conservatory.

The cellist is the winner of both Lincoln Center's 2008 Martin E. Segal prize for exceptional achievement and the 2006 Leonard Bernstein Award. She received an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2000 and was selected for two prestigious young artists programs in the 2000-01 season: the ECHO (European Concert Hall Organization) "Rising Stars" recital series and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's Chamber Music Society Two.

Born in 1982, Weilerstein discovered her love for the cello at just two and a half, when her grandmother assembled a makeshift set of instruments from cereal boxes to entertain her while she was ill with chicken pox. Although immediately drawn to the Rice Krispies box cello, Weilerstein soon grew frustrated that it didn't produce any sound. After persuading her parents to buy her a real cello at the age of four, she developed a natural affinity for the instrument and gave her first public performance six months later. At 13, in October 1995, she played Tchaikovsky's "Rococo" Variations for her Cleveland Orchestra debut, and in March 1997 she made her first Carnegie Hall appearance with the New York Youth Symphony. A graduate of the Young Artist Program at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Richard Weiss, the cellist also graduated in May 2004 with a degree in History from Columbia University. In November 2008, Weilerstein, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was nine, became a Celebrity Advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Last updated October 2014. Contact Opus 3 Artists for the most up-to-date version.

Alisa Weilerstein, cello
Program Notes Audio
DVOŘÁK - Carnival Overture (10 min)
BRAHMS - Double Concerto for violin, cello, and orchestra
STRAVINSKY - The Rite of Spring (33 min)
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