Yan Pascal Tortelier Leads BSO in Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an…

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Pianist Orion Weiss

There’s something quite distinctively poetic in [Weiss’] tone and his phrasing…

(PRWEB) July 06, 2013

One of the BSO’s most popular guest conductors, Yan Pascal Tortelier, returns to lead the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) in Ravel’s arrangement of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition on Thursday, January 31, 2013 and Friday, February 1, 2013 at 8 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and Saturday, February 2, 2013 at 8 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore. The program also features returning pianist Orion Weiss, who will perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 27. Also on the program is Hindemith’s Concert Music for Strings and Brass. Please see below for complete event details.

It was the passing of Modest Mussorgky’s friend, the artist and architect Victor Hartman, that prompted the composer to arrange an exhibition of his late friend’s artwork. Inspired by these paintings, Mussorgsky composed ten works for solo piano, which programmatically depicted the scenes shown in these works. For example, the low strings and bassoon depict the groaning wheels of an ox-drawn cart in “Bydlo” (“Polish Cart”), or a stately melody of a Russian orthodox hymn indicates a grand processional passing through “The Great Gate of Kiev.” This rich music went largely unheralded until the great Russian conductor Serge Koussevitsky commissioned Maurice Ravel to arrange it for orchestra.

Orion Weiss’ BSO debut in 2011, which was also under Tortelier’s baton, earned praise from The Baltimore Sun: “There’s something quite distinctively poetic in his tone and his phrasing; the evergreen music seemed to reveal lots of fresh growth as he played. The pianist enjoyed smooth rapport with conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier, who drew warm, dynamic playing from the BSO. Cello, flute and horn solos purred beautifully.”

Weiss will perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 27. Written during a time in the composer’s life when he was besieged by debt collectors and his wife was ill, Mozart’s melancholy is felt in this work. Less showy than his other piano concerti, the downward sloping melodies and use of minor keys throughout add to the work’s introspective quality.

As in the case of Pictures at an Exhibition, Serge Koussevitzky is the reason that audiences today can enjoy Hindemith’s bold Concert Music for Strings and Brass. The Russian-born conductor commissioned this work to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Boston Symphony in 1930. Composed for the brass and string sections exclusively, the piece’s upbeat conclusion even has a hint of the blues, a gesture in recognition of the composer’s American commissioning orchestra.

Yan Pascal Tortelier, conductor

In 2011, following his tenure as Principal Conductor of the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra, Yan Pascal Tortelier became its Honorary Guest Conductor. He continues to enjoy a distinguished career as a guest with the world’s most prestigious orchestras. His positions included Associate Conductor of the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Ulster Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Following his outstanding work as Chief Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic between 1992 and 2003, he was given the title of Conductor Emeritus and continues to work regularly with the orchestra. He also holds the position of Principal Guest Conductor at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Yan Pascal Tortelier has collaborated with major orchestras including the London Symphony and London Philharmonic, the Orchestre de Paris, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Czech, St Petersburg and Oslo Philharmonics, the Filarmonica della Scala Milan and, in North America, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Boston, Chicago and Montreal Symphony Orchestras. Further afield he has collaborated with the Melbourne Symphony, the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony and the Hong Kong and Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestras. Highlights of the 2012/13 season include return visits to the Royal Flemish Philharmonic and the San Francisco, Saint Louis, Baltimore, Cincinnati and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras.

Tortelier’s long association with Chandos Records has yielded an extensive catalogue of recordings. His Chandos discography includes award-winning cycles of the orchestral music of Debussy, Ravel (complete with his own orchestration of Ravel’s Piano Trio), Franck, Roussel and Dutilleux and critically acclaimed discs of repertoire ranging from Hindemith and Kodály to Lutosławski and Karłowicz. Recent releases for Chandos include a disc of works by Florent Schmitt with the Sao Paulo Symphony and the Ravel piano concertos coupled with Debussy’s Fantaisie, which won both the Gramophone and BBC Music Magazine awards.

Orion Weiss, piano

Pianist Orion Weiss is one of the most sought-after soloists and collaborators in his generation of young American musicians. His deeply felt and exceptionally crafted performances go far beyond his technical mastery and have won worldwide acclaim.

The 2012-13 season will feature Weiss in repeat engagements with the Baltimore Symphony and New World Symphony, as well as in performances with the Tucson Symphony, Richmond Symphony, Hong Kong Chamber Music Festival, and at the Ravinia Festival. Weiss released a recital album of Dvorak, Prokofiev, and Bartok in spring 2012, and also spearheaded a recording project of the complete Gershwin works for piano and orchestra with his longtime collaborators the Buffalo Philharmonic and JoAnn Falletta. During the season, Weiss performed with numerous orchestras including the Chicago Symphony, Alabama Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Albany Symphony, and Mexico City Philharmonic, and also made his recital debut in Washington, D.C., at the Kennedy Center. Named the Classical Recording Foundation’s Young Artist of the Year in September 2010, in the summer of 2011 Weiss made his debut with the Boston Symphony.


Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 8 p.m.—Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (JMSH)

Friday, February 1, 2013 at 8 p.m.—JMSH

Saturday, February 2, 2013 at 8 p.m.—Music Center at Strathmore

Yan Pascal Tortelier, conductor

Orion Weiss, piano

Hindemith: Concert Music for Strings and Brass

Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 27

Mussorgsky (arr. Ravel): Pictures at an Exhibition

Tickets range from $29 to $82 and are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 410.783.8000 or BSOmusic.org.


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