New York Phiharmonic: Tour of Europe 2008: August 28-September 12, 2008
Concerts at the BBC Proms, London; Rheingau Music Festival, Frankfurt; Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Hamburg; Lucerne Festival; in Essen, Paris, Stuttgart, and Baden-Baden; and at the Beethovenfest, Bonn.
Tour Highlights Include World Premiere of Steven Stucky’s Rhapsodies for Orchestra, Commissioned by the New York Philharmonic and the BBC Proms; and Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet as Soloist for Gershwin’s Concerto in F
Music Director Lorin Maazel and the New York Philharmonic will embark on a 9-city, 14-concert tour of Europe, August 28-September 12, 2008, in celebration of Lorin Maazel’s valedictory season as Music Director. The Philharmonic will perform concerts in London at the BBC Proms, at the Rheingau Music Festival in Frankfurt, in Hamburg as part of the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, and at the Lucerne Festival; in concerts in Essen, Paris, Stuttgart, and Baden-Baden; and at the Beethovenfest in Bonn. These visits mark the Orchestra’s first tour of Europe with Credit Suisse, Global Sponsor of the New York Philharmonic.
The first concert of the tour, in London, features the world premiere of Steven Stucky’s Rhapsodies for Orchestra, a commission by the New York Philharmonic and the BBC Proms.
Lorin Maazel will lead the Orchestra in subsequent performances of this work in concerts in Lucerne and Paris. The tour repertoire will also include works by Bartók, Bruckner, Gershwin, Mendelssohn, Ravel, Stravinsky, and Tchaikovsky.
The New York Philharmonic Tour of Europe 2008 marks a return by the Orchestra to the BBC Proms for the first time in 12 years; the most recent performance in London took place at the Barbican in 2000 with then-Music Director Kurt Masur. The Philharmonic last performed in Frankfurt and Paris in 2007 with Lorin Maazel; in Hamburg in 2000 with Mr. Masur; and in Stuttgart in 1985 with then-Music Director Zubin Mehta. The Orchestra’s most recent performances in Lucerne, Essen, Baden-Baden, and Bonn took place in 2005 with Mr. Maazel during the 75th Anniversary European Tour.
On Thursday, August 28, 2008, the Philharmonic will launch a Virtual Tour, accessible from the Orchestra’s Website at nyphil.org/europe2008, which will provide details on the New York Philharmonic Tour of Europe 2008 including an online photo album that will be updated throughout the tour.
“It is with great pleasure that I look forward to leading the New York Philharmonic on its upcoming European tour, our fourth together,” comments the Orchestra’s Music Director, Lorin Maazel. “As I embark on my seventh and final season as Music Director of an orchestra with which I have shared the stage for so many memorable concerts at home and abroad, we hope to add during this visit to a rich musical legacy that dates back to another seven-year tenure, that of Arturo Toscanini, who first brought the Philharmonic to Europe in 1930. Our programs cover a breadth of repertoire that encapsulates some of the high points of our joint music-making: Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, Bartók’s Miraculous Mandarin Suite, Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8, Tchaikovsky’s Fourth. We are also most enthusiastic about presenting a new Philharmonic commission by Steven Stucky -- his Rhapsodies for Orchestra -- and to have the sterling pianism of Jean-Yves Thibaudet showcased in a work I particularly cherish, Gershwin’s Concerto in F.”
“The New York Philharmonic has toured Europe with Lorin Maazel several times over the past few years: on the two-part 75th Anniversary European Tour in 2005, on the 2006 Tour of Italy, and on the 2007 Tour of Europe,” said New York Philharmonic President and Executive Director Zarin Mehta. “I was privileged to have witnessed magnificent music making on those occasions, events that have honored the Orchestra’s tradition of excellence. As we approach Lorin’s valedictory season as Music Director, I look forward to the bittersweet experience of hearing them perform together at Europe’s finest festivals and greatest cities in Lorin’s final international tour with us.”
“This tour invites us to look both backward and toward the future,” said New York Philharmonic Chairman Paul B. Guenther. “We reflect on Lorin Maazel’s tenure as the Orchestra’s Music Director, a period of true brilliance and artistry. We also look ahead, to our partnership with the Philharmonic’s Global Sponsor, Credit Suisse, another venerable and truly international institution that has proven that it is a leader for the 21st century. We are honored to have the names of the New York Philharmonic, Lorin Maazel, and Credit Suisse linked as we tour Europe, the birthplace of the symphonic tradition.”
Eric Varvel, Chief Executive Officer for Europe, Middle East and Africa for Credit Suisse, said, “Credit Suisse is thrilled to be the global sponsor of the New York Philharmonic and we look forward to their visit to Europe. We are proud of our association with the orchestra and the characteristics of excellence and innovation that it represents.”
Lorin Maazel, who has led more than 150 orchestras in more than 5,000 opera and concert performances, became Music Director of the New York Philharmonic in September 2002. His appointment came 60 years after his debut with the Orchestra at Lewisohn Stadium, then the Orchestra’s summer venue. As Music Director he has conducted seven World Premiere-New York Philharmonic Commissions, including the Pulitzer Prize- and Grammy Award-winning On the Transmigration of Souls by John Adams; Stephen Hartke’s Symphony No. 3; and Melinda Wagner’s Trombone Concerto. He has led cycles of works by Brahms, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky, and conducted the Orchestra’s inaugural performances in the DG Concerts series -- a groundbreaking initiative to offer downloadable New York Philharmonic concerts exclusively on iTunes.
Mr. Maazel has taken the Orchestra on numerous international tours, including the historic visit to Pyongyang, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in February 2008 -- the first performance there by an American orchestra, and an event watched around the world. Other recent tours have included Asia 2008 -- to Taipei, Kaohsiung, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Beijing; the May 2007 Tour of Europe; the November 2006 visit to Japan and Korea; the Philharmonic Tour of Italy in June 2006, sponsored by Generali; the two-part 75th Anniversary European Tour to thirteen cities in five countries in autumn 2005; and residencies in Cagliari, Sardinia, and the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival in Colorado.
In addition to the New York Philharmonic, Mr. Maazel is music director of the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia, Spain. A frequent conductor on the world’s operatic stages, he returned to The Metropolitan Opera in January 2008 for the first time in 45 years to conduct Wagner’s Die Walküre.
Prior to his tenure as New York Philharmonic Music Director, Mr. Maazel led more than 100 performances of the Orchestra as a guest conductor. He served as music director of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (1993-2002), and has held positions as music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (1988-96); general manager and chief conductor of the Vienna Staatsoper (1982-84); music director of The Cleveland Orchestra (1972-82); and artistic director and chief conductor of the Deutsche Oper Berlin (1965-71). He is an Honorary Member of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and an Honorary Member of the Vienna Philharmonic.
A second-generation American, born in Paris, Mr. Maazel was raised and educated in the United States. He took his first violin lesson at age five, and conducting lesson at seven. Between ages 9 and 15 he conducted most of the major American orchestras. In 1953 he made his European conducting debut in Catania, Italy.
Mr. Maazel is also an accomplished composer. His opera, 1984, received its world premiere on May 3, 2005, at London’s Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. It was revived in the 2007-08 season at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, and the DVD has been released by Decca.
Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet performs with orchestras worldwide, in addition to giving solo recitals. An exclusive recording artist for Decca with more than 30 releases, he was the soloist on the 2005 Oscar-nominated sound track of Universal Pictures’ Pride and Prejudice. Among his recent award-winning recordings are Satie: The Complete Solo Piano Music, and Night Songs with soprano Renée Fleming. Mr. Thibaudet’s diverse repertoire includes Gershwin, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Schumann, Liszt, Chopin, Grieg, Messiaen, Debussy, and Ravel. His enthusiasm for jazz has resulted in recordings including Reflections on Duke: Jean-Yves Thibaudet plays the music of Duke Ellington and Conversations with Bill Evans. His recordings over the years have garnered a Grammy nomination and numerous prizes.
Mr. Thibaudet appeared in Bruce Beresford’s 2001 feature film Bride of the Wind, and played on that film’s sound track. He also performed two Schubert impromptus on the sound track of the 1997 feature film, Portrait of a Lady. Born in Lyon, France, of French and German heritage, Mr. Thibaudet began his piano studies at age five and made his first public appearance at seven. At 12 he entered the Paris Conservatoire, where he studied with Aldo Ciccolini and Lucette Descaves, a friend and collaborator of Ravel. At age 15 he won the premier Prix du Conservatoire, and three years later won the Young Concert Artists Auditions in New York. In 2001 the Republic of France awarded him the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Mr. Thibaudet last appeared with the New York Philharmonic in July 2006 at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, performing Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major, led by Marin Alsop.
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