Baltimore Symphony Performs Works by John Corigliano, Beethoven's "Eroica," April 17-19
2007 Taki Concordia Fellow Mei-Ann Chen makes BSO debut with Corigliano's To Music
Baltimore, Md. (March 17, 2008)-Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will perform Beethoven's Symphony No. 3, "Eroica," and works by contemporary composer John Corigliano, April 17-19 at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Corigliano's works will include his Piano Concerto, featuring pianist William Wolfram, and To Music, conducted by Mei-Ann Chen. Ms. Chen, who makes her BSO debut with these concerts, is the 2007 winner of the Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship (TCCF), founded by Maestra Alsop in 2002 to promote the careers of young female conductors. This concert program is a continuation of the BSO's "Year of the Composer," which features works by 11 contemporary composers paired with all nine Beethoven symphonies.
Prior to these concerts, John Corigliano will participate in Composers in Conversation, hosted by Marin Alsop, on Wednesday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m. at Theatre Project. As part of the BSO's partnership with XM Satellite Radio, this concert will be broadcast nationally on XM Classics 110 on Friday, May 2 at 9:00 p.m. with an encore performance on Sunday, May 4 at 3:00 p.m. See below for complete program information.
Considered one of the leading composers of our day, John Corigliano is the winner of numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Music (Symphony No. 2, 2001), an Academy Award (Best Film Score, The Red Violin, 1998) and the prestigious Grawemeyer Award (Symphony No. 1, 1991). In June 2006, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra collaborated with then-Music Director Designate Marin and legendary violinist Joshua Bell to record Corigliano's Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, "The Red Violin," which was released on the Sony label in September 2007.
Written in 1968, Corigliano's Piano Concerto is the composer's first in a large body of concerti. The work gives a modern treatment to the traditional concerto, mixing unique orchestral colors, harmony, rhythm and meter. Like many of Corigliano's works, the Piano Concerto is, in the composer's words, "extremely virtuosic and theatrical." Acclaimed American pianist William Wolfram joins the BSO for this program.
Beethoven's Symphony No. 3, "Eroica," reflects the spirit of hope and prosperity that had overtaken Europe at the start of the 19th century. The work describes a heroic struggle and encompasses a range of emotions, from the mournful dirge in the second movement to the triumphant final notes. Critics and admirers alike have often pondered as to the identity of the Eroica protagonist: some speculate that the hero is Beethoven himself, struggling against degenerative hearing loss while redefining the symphonic form. Others believe the hero is Napoleon Bonaparte, to whom Beethoven originally dedicated Symphony No. 3, subtitling the work "to the memory of a great man." However, upon learning that Napoleon had anointed himself emperor of France, Beethoven was so enraged that he tore the dedication page from his manuscript, and today the work is simply known as "Eroica."
Mei-Ann Chen, the 2007 Taki Concordia Conducting Fellow makes her Baltimore Symphony debut with Corigliano's To Music, a tribute to Franz Schubert's An die Musik. In the composer's words, To Music "is a short, lyrical and introspective piece, involving the orchestra and some off-stage players. The onstage orchestra plays a long, chorale-like passage, answered by short fanfare elements. Later, the off-stage players take up these fanfare elements, and the ensemble builds to a peak before resolving into a gentle setting of Schubert's masterly song, An die Musik (hence the title of the work), from which all the earlier fanfare elements were taken."
Marin Alsop, conductor
Hailed for her dynamic musicianship, artistic vision and commitment to accessibility in classical music, Marin Alsop made history with her appointment as the 12th music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. With her inaugural concert in September 2007, she became the first woman to head a major American orchestra, mirroring her ongoing success in the United Kingdom as principal conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony since 2002. Since becoming the BSO's Music Director, she has garnered national and international attention for her innovative programming and artistry. The New York Times recently said, "[Marin] Alsop has reinvigorated the orchestra, institutionally and artistically."
In summer 2005, Marin Alsop was named a 2005 MacArthur Fellow, the first conductor ever to receive this most prestigious American award. The first artist to win Gramophone's "Artist of the Year" award and the Royal Philharmonic Society's Conductor's Award in the same season (2003), Maestra Alsop recently won the Classical Brit Award for Best Female Artist of 2005. In July 2007, she was honored with a European Women of Achievement Award, presented to individuals whose vision, courage and determination have made a major impact on increasing the influence of women in European affairs.
Ms. Alsop is a regular guest conductor with the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, and Los Angeles Philharmonic, as well as with many distinguished orchestras worldwide including the London Philharmonic and the London Symphony. After a highly successful 12-year tenure as music director of the Colorado Symphony, Ms. Alsop continues her association as conductor laureate; she also continues as music director of the highly acclaimed Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in California.
Marin Alsop is a native of New York City; and she attended Yale University and received her master's degree from The Juilliard School. In 1989, her conducting career was launched when she became a prizewinner at the Leopold Stokowski International Conducting Competition in New York, and in the same year, she was awarded the Koussevitzky Conducting Prize at the Tanglewood Music Center, where she was a pupil of Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa and Gustav Meier.
William Wolfram, piano
American pianist William Wolfram, winner of the silver medal in both the William Kapell and the Naumberg International Piano Competitions, holds the distinction of bronze medalist of the prestigious Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow. A versatile recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician, Mr. Wolfram has garnered the respect of musicians and the acclaim of critics across the country.
Since his debut performance with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Leonard Slatkin, Mr. Wolfram has appeared with the San Francisco Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, the New Jersey Symphony, the National Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, the Dallas Symphony, the Milwaukee Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony and the Buffalo Philharmonic. He has worked with conductors such as Mark Wigglesworth, Andrew Litton, Jeffrey Tate, Andreas Delfs, James Judd, Jerzy Semkow, Stefan Sanderling, JoAnn Falletta and Marin Alsop.
Overseas, Mr. Wolfram has appeared with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Warsaw Philharmonic, the Moscow Philharmonic, the Budapest Philharmonic, the Capetown and Johannesberg Symphonies of South Africa and the National Symphony of Peru.
In the recording studio, Mr. Wolfram has completed a project featuring the piano concertos of Edward Collins with Marin Alsop and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra for the Albany label. He also has begun a long project on the Naxos labels featuring the solo piano music of Franz Liszt of which two CDs have been completed.
Mei-Ann Chen, 2007 Taki Concordia Fellow
Mei-Ann Chen is the 2007 Taki Concordia Conducting Fellow. Founded by Marin Alsop in 2002, the Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship's mission is to create a program which fosters and encourages women who are studying or training to be orchestral conductors. Ms. Chen will work with Marin Alsop and Stefan Sanderling in coaching sessions, rehearsals and concerts throughout the season with the BSO, Colorado Symphony Orchestra and the Florida Orchestra. Ms. Chen is also the Assistant Conductor and American Symphony Orchestra League Conducting Fellow for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
In 2005, Mei-Ann Chen received the ASCAP Award for Creative Programming with the Portland Youth Philharmonic, where she was their Music Director and conductor, leading the Philharmonic on a tour of Taiwan and Korea in August 2007. She was the first prize winner of the 14th International Malko Competition for Conductors in 2005, making her the first woman awardee in the competition's 40-year history. Ms. Chen also served as Assistant Conductor of the Oregon Symphony from 2003-2005.
Ms. Chen studied at the New England Conservatory, simultaneously earning a double master's degree in orchestral conducting and violin. NEC awarded her with two of its most prestigious medals: Chadwick Medal for being the most outstanding undergraduate and Schuller Medal for her extraordinary contribution to musical life in the community.
About the Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship
The mission of the Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship (TCCF) is to create a program which fosters and encourages women who are studying or training to be conductors in orchestras or ensembles. Founded by Marin Alsop in 2002, TCCF is a unique opportunity for young women conductors to immerse themselves in the art and business of performing classical music under the leadership of Marin Alsop, the first female music director of a major American orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. The TCCF Advisory Board is comprised of composers, business leaders and several internationally known conductors, including Bernard Haitink, Michael Tilson Thomas, Leonard Slatkin, JoAnn Falletta and others, who have recently joined Marin in their support of nurturing young talent.
COMPLETE PROGRAM INFORMATION
Composers in Conversation: John Corigliano
Wednesday, April 16, 2008 at 7:30 p.m.-Theatre Project, 45 West Preston St., Baltimore, Md.
Celebrity Series/Casual Series: Beethoven's Eroica
Thursday, April 17, 2008 at 8:00 p.m.-Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (JMSH)
Friday, April 18, 2008 at 8:00 p.m.-JMSH*
Saturday, April 19, 2008 at 11:00 a.m.-JMSH**
*Classics in Conversation is a free pre-concert lecture at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. The program begins at 7:00 p.m. and is free to ticket holders.
**The Saturday, April 19 concert is part of the Casual Series, and includes Corigliano's To Music and Beethoven's Symphony No. 3, "Eroica."
Marin Alsop, conductor
William Wolfram, piano
Mei-Ann Chen, 2007 Taki Concordia Conducting Fellow
John Corigliano: To Music ‡
John Corigliano: Piano Concerto ‡
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3, "Eroica"
‡ Denotes a BSO premiere
This program will be broadcast on XM Satellite Radio (XM Classics 110) on Friday, May 2 at 9:00 p.m., with an encore broadcast on Sunday, May 4 at 3:00 p.m.
Special anniversary pricing at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall is made possible by generous underwriting from the PNC Foundation.
Tickets for this program range from $15-$78 and are available through the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Ticket Office, 410.783.8000, 877.BSO.1444 or BSOmusic.org.