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Ken-David Masur conducts Harbison, Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev featuring pianist Garrick Ohlsson

Boston Symphony Orchestra

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BSO Associate Conductor Ken-David Masur is joined by outstanding American pianist Garrick Ohlsson for a work heard relatively rarely despite the popularity of its composer, Sergei Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 1. The early First Concerto exhibits the same spirit of Russian lyricism and virtuosity found in his perennially popular Second and Third concertos. Opening the program is John Harbison's Jazz Age-flavored foxtrot Remembering Gatsby, an orchestral work foreshadowing his acclaimed opera based on F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. This is one of several Harbison works this season celebrating the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston-based composer's 80th birthday year. Closing the program are excerpts from Prokofiev's ballet score Romeo and Juliet, which includes some of the composer's best-known music.

Featured Performers

Ken-David Masur, conductor
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Boston Symphony Orchestra Associate Conductor Ken-David Masur makes his debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia in summer 2018, leading two all-Tchaikovsky programs, then returns to Tanglewood to conduct the Boston Symphony Orchestra in music of Glinka, Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 with Kirill Gerstein, and Stravinsky's Firebird. He travels to Tokyo at summer's end to conduct workshops and a concert celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Mendelssohn Foundation in Japan. In October 2018 he leads a subscription week with the BSO. Guest engagements in the coming season include those with the Louisville Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, and Chicago Civic Orchestra, plus concerts abroad with the National Philharmonic of Russia, Collegium Musicum Basel, Stavanger Symphony, and Mulhouse Symphony Orchestra in France. Recent performance highlights include weeks with the Milwaukee, Colorado, and Portland (ME) symphonies and returns to the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, Chicago Civic Orchestra, Munich Symphony, where he is Principal Guest Conductor, and the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra in Japan. He led l' Orchestre National de France in Paris in a program with Anne-Sophie Mutter, and regularly conducts in Germany, Korea, and Moscow. As a sought-after leader and educator of younger players, Mr. Masur frequently conducts the Chicago Civic Orchestra, Boston University Tanglewood Institute orchestra, and the New England Conservatory, and Tanglewood Music Center Orchestras.

Ken-David Masur and his wife, pianist Melinda Lee Masur, are founders and Artistic Directors of the Chelsea Music Festival, an annual two-week multimedia production of music, art, and cuisine, which in June 2018 presented its 9th season, "Bach 333," in New York City. Its productions are varied and internationally themed, always including premieres of new works by young and established composers. The New York Times frequently features the festival amongst its Best Classical picks of the season.

In 2011 Ken-David Masur was the recipient of the Seiji Ozawa Conducting Fellowship at Tanglewood, where he was invited to return as a Fellow in 2012. He made his Boston Symphony Orchestra debut at Tanglewood in July 2012, sharing a program with his father, conductor Kurt Masur. He became a BSO assistant conductor in fall 2014. Previous appointments include associate conductor of the San Diego Symphony, assistant conductor of the Orchestre National de France, and resident conductor of the San Antonio Symphony. He has had guest engagements with the Dresden, Israel, and Japan Philharmonics; with the Orchestre National de Toulouse, and the Hiroshima, Omaha, and Memphis symphonies. Ken-David Masur has recently made recordings with the English Chamber Orchestra and violinist Fanny Clamagirand, as well as with the Stavanger Symphony. As founding music director of the Bach Society Orchestra and Chorus at Columbia University, he toured Germany and released a critically acclaimed album of symphonies and cantatas by W.F. Bach, C.P.E. Bach and J.S. Bach. Masur received a Grammy nomination from the Latin Recording Academy in the category Best Classical Album of the Year for his work as a producer of the album "Salon Buenos Aires."

Ken-David Masur, conductor Garrick Ohlsson, piano
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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. This season that vast repertoire can be sampled in concerti ranging from Rachmaninoff's popular Third and rarely performed Fourth, to Brahms Nos. 1 and 2, Beethoven, Mozart, Grieg and Copland in cities including Philadelphia, Atlanta, Detroit, Dallas, Miami, Toronto, Vancouver, San Francisco, Liverpool, and Madrid ending with a spring US West Coast tour with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic conducted by Yuri Temirkanov. In recital he can be heard in LA's Walt Disney Concert Hall, New York, New Orleans, Hawaii and Prague. 

A frequent guest with the orchestras in Australia, Mr. Ohlsson has recently visited Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Hobart as well as the New Zealand Symphony in Wellington and Auckland. An avid chamber musician, Mr. Ohlsson has collaborated with the Takacs, Cleveland, Emerson, 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 Podles.

Mr. Ohlsson can be heard on the Arabesque, RCA Victor Red Seal, Angel, BMG, Delos, Hänssler, Nonesuch, Telarc, Hyperion 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 followed in 2010 by all the Brahms piano variations, "Goyescas" by Enrique Granados, and music of Charles Tomlinson Griffes. Most recently on that label are Scriabin's Complete Poèmes, Smetana Czech Dances, and ètudes by Debussy, Bartok and Prokofiev. 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 with Scriabin complete sonatas due for release this season. 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
Program Notes Audio
John HARBISON - Remembering Gatsby (Foxtrot for Orchestra) (7 min)
RACHMANINOFF - Piano Concerto No. 1 (28 min)
PROKOFIEV - Excerpts from Romeo and Juliet (39 min)
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