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Andrew Manze conducts Bacewicz, Mozart and Mendelssohn featuring pianist Francesco Piemontesi

Andrew Manze conducts Bacewicz, Mozart and Mendelssohn featuring pianist Francesco Piemontesi

Boston Symphony Orchestra

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Each making his BSO debut, English conductor Andrew Manze and Swiss pianist Francesco Piemontesi join the orchestra for a somewhat rarely heard Mozart concerto, the vivacious No. 19 in F, which the BSO hasn't played in Symphony Hall since 1994. Graźyna Bacewicz was one of Poland's most important composers of the mid-20th century, and one of very few women with an international reputation in that era. Her dynamic and soulful Concerto for String Orchestra won the Polish State Prize in 1950. Mendelssohn's Fifth Symphony, Reformation, is based in part on Martin Luther's hymn "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God." The symphony was written to coincide with the 300th anniversary of a major Reformation event, the Augsburg Confession.

Featured Performers

Andrew Manze
Andrew Manze View biography in full page >

Andrew Manze is widely celebrated as one of the most stimulating and inspirational conductors of his generation. His extensive and scholarly knowledge of the repertoire, together with his boundless energy and warmth, mark him out. He has been Chief Conductor of the NDR Radiophilharmonie, Hannover, since September 2014 and his contract has recently been extended until summer 2023. In the 18/19 season he was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

In addition to a busy touring schedule within Germany, in the 19/20 season the NDR Radiophilharmonie return to China, following their highly successful autumn 2016 tour, and make their BBC Proms debut. Manze and the orchestra have embarked on a major series of award-winning recordings for Pentatone, focussed on the works of Mendelssohn and Mozart. The first recording in the Mendelssohn series won the Preis der Deutschen Schallplatten Kritik. Manze has also just finished recording a cycle of the complete Vaughan Williams symphonies with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra for Onyx Classics.

In great demand as a guest conductor across the globe, Manze has long-standing relationships with leading orchestras that include the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Camerata Salzburg, and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. He is also a regular guest at the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York City. Recent and upcoming guest conducting highlights include engagements with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Concertgebouw, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hallé and Chamber Orchestra of Europe.

From 2006 to 2014, Manze was Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra. During this time he made a number of recordings with them including Beethoven Eroica (Harmonia Mundi) and a cycle of Brahms symphonies (CPO). He was also Principal Guest Conductor of the Norwegian Radio Symphony Orchestra from 2008 to 2011, and held the title of Associate Guest Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra for four seasons.

After reading Classics at Cambridge University, Manze studied the violin and rapidly became a leading specialist in the world of historical performance practice. He became Associate Director of the Academy of Ancient Music in 1996, and then Artistic Director of the English Concert from 2003 to 2007. As a violinist, Manze released an astonishing variety of recordings, many of them award-winning.

Manze is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music, Visiting Professor at the Oslo Academy, and has contributed to new editions of sonatas and concerti by Bach and Mozart, published by Bärenreiter, Breitkopf and Härtel. He also teaches, writes about, and edits music, as well as broadcasting regularly on radio and television. In November 2011 Andrew Manze received the prestigious ‘Rolf Schock Prize’ in Stockholm.

Andrew Manze Francesco Piemontesi
Francesco Piemontesi View biography in full page >

Francesco Piemontesi is a pianist of exceptional refinement of expression, which is allied to a consummate technical skill. Widely renowned for his interpretation of Mozart and the early Romantic repertoire, Piemontesi’s pianism and sensibility has a close affinity too with the later 19th century and 20th century repertoire of Brahms, Liszt, Dvořák, Ravel, Debussy, Bartók and beyond. Of one of his great teachers and mentors, Alfred Brendel, Piemontesi says that Brendel taught him “to love the detail of things”.

Francesco Piemontesi appears with major ensembles worldwide: Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, DSO and Berlin Radio Symphony, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Vienna Symphony, Czech Philharmonic, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, St Petersburg Philharmonic, London Symphony Orcherstra, London Philharmonic, Philharmonia, BBC Symphony, The Hallé, Tonhalle-Orchestra Zurich, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre National de France, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Israel Philharmonic, NHK Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Dallas Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic.

He has performed with conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Nicholas Collon, Charles Dutoit, Sir Mark Elder, Iven Fischer, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, Manfred Honeck, Marek Janowski, Neeme Järvi, Ton Koopman, Andrew Manze, Zubin Mehta, Sir Roger Norrington, Gianandrea Noseda, Sakari Oramo and Yuri Temirkanov.

Piemontesi is also a natural and keen chamber musician and plays with a variety of partners – Leif Ove Andsnes, Yuri Bashmet, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Emmanuel Pahud, Heinrich Schiff, Christian Tetzlaff, Tabea Zimmermann and the Emerson Quartet.

In solo recital, he has appeared in many prestigious venues including London’s Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Rotterdam De Doelen, Berlin Philharmonie, Zürich Tonhalle, Vienna Konzerthaus and Musikverein, Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York, and Suntory Hall Tokyo. In January 2016, Piemontesi launched his complete Mozart Odyssey at the Wigmore Hall, performing the sonatas in a series of recitals over the course of three seasons:

“[The D-major Fantasia] was a good introduction to Piemontesi’s balance between musical intelligence, judgement and intuition, which poured into his reading of the K284 Sonata… The detail of decoration and dynamics Piemontesi released in the penultimate section – a full-scale Adagio vocalise of great intensity – made Mozart’s supernatural eloquence soar”
Classical Source

Piemontesi has performed at the Verbier Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, La Roque d’Anthéron, Chopin International Music Festival in Warsaw, Lucerne Festival, Schubertiade, Aix-en-Provence Easter Festival, Rheingau and Schleswig-Holstein festivals and New York Mostly Mozart Festival.

Francesco Piemontesi has released a number of fine recordings, including three recordings for Naïve Classique: the Debussy Préludes, released in autumn 2015, Mozart Piano Works, and Schumann and Dvořák‘s Piano Concerti with BBC Symphony Orchestra and Jiří Bělohlávek. His recording of Mozart Piano Concertos Nos. 25 & 26 with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Andrew Manze were released on Linn Records in August 2017.

Born in Locarno, Francesco Piemontesi studied with Arie Vardi before working with Alfred Brendel, Murray Perahia, Cécile Ousset and Alexis Weissenberg. He rose to international prominence with prizes at several major competitions, including the 2007 Queen Elisabeth Competition, and between 2009-11 he was chosen as a BBC New Generation Artist.

Since 2012, Piemontesi has been the Artistic Director of the Settimane Musicali di Ascona.

Francesco Piemontesi
Program Notes Audio
BACEWICZ - Concerto for String Orchestra
MOZART - Piano Concerto No. 19 in F, K.459
MENDELSSOHN - Symphony No. 5, Reformation
Full Program Notes - -