Tianwa Yang Debuts with Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Prokofiev’s First Violin Concerto, Nov. 20-21
Conductor Günther Herbig leads BSO in Shostakovich’s 10th Symphony
Baltimore, Md. (October 28, 2010)—Young Chinese violinist Tianwa Yang performs Prokofiev’s First Violin Concerto in her Baltimore Symphony Orchestra debut on Saturday, November 20, 2010 at 8 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore and on Sunday, November 21, 2010 at 3 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Twenty-three-year-old Yang’s appearance continues this season’s focus on youth. World-renowned conductor and BSO audience favorite Günther Herbig returns to lead the BSO in Dmitri Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony and Maurice Ravel’s Ma mère l'oye (Mother Goose) Suite. Please see below for complete concert details.
Violinist Tianwa Yang is a young sensation whose skills are recognized worldwide. “Yang dazzled the crowd with her extraordinarily lush tone, lyrical quality, pyrotechnic skills of the most amazing kind and emotional delivery. It was artistry and bravura blended into a phenomenally flawless performance,“ raved The Virginia Gazette. She will make her BSO debut with Prokofiev’s First Violin Concerto. Written in 1917, a year of political and societal upheaval in Russia, the piece does not reflect this conflict. Rather, Prokofiev wrote in Siberia to escape the problems in St. Petersburg. The piece’s delicacy and lyricism reflects the serenity of the setting in which it was composed.
During Joseph Stalin’s reign over the Soviet Union, Shostakovich was denounced by the State for his “offensive” works and did not write a symphony for eight years. When the cultural thaw began after Stalin’s death in 1953, Shostakovich rapidly wrote his Tenth Symphony. It premiered in Leningrad on December 17, 1953 to mixed reviews. Shostakovich, though criticized by some for his more negative-sounding Symphony, was eventually welcomed back to acclaim and awarded the title "People's Artist of the U.S.S.R." Shostakovich admitted that part of the Symphony, with its mournful and sardonic tone, was about Stalin. Because Shostakovich, after years of waiting, could finally compose as he wished, the Russian music scholar Boris Schwarz called it "a work of inner liberation."
Maurice Ravel adored children, especially his young friends, Mimie and Jean Godebski, the offspring of a Polish couple whose country home and Paris apartment were frequented by Ravel and many of his artistic colleagues. In 1910, he presented Mimie and Jean with a five-part piano work for four hands entitled Ma mère l'oye (Mother Goose) after Charles Perrault's fairy tales. Though intended for Jean and Mimie to play, two other children, ages 6 and 7, premiered “Mother Goose” in Paris on April 20, 1910. Because of its warm reception, Ravel then turned the work into a ballet in 1911. Songs featured in the suite are “The Pavane of Sleeping Beauty,” "Tom Thumb," "Laideronnette, Empress of the Pagodas," "Conversations of Beauty and the Beast" and “The Fairy Garden."
Günther Herbig, conductor
Günther Herbig left behind the challenging political environment of East Germany and moved to the United States in 1984. Soon after his arrival in American, he became music director of the Detroit Symphony and later the music director of the Toronto Symphony. He has also held posts that include principal guest conductor of both the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Berlin Symphony Orchestra. Currently he is artistic advisor of the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan and principal guest conductor of Las Palmas in the Grand Canaries, Spain.
He has toured extensively with the Detroit and Toronto symphony orchestras, including tours to Europe and the Far East. Conducting all of the major orchestras, he has recorded more than 100 works, some of which were with the East German orchestras with whom he was associated prior to moving to the West in 1984. He has made recordings with several of the London orchestras, the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and the Saarbrücken RSO.
Key figures in his musical training include Hermann Abendroth, Hermann Scherchen and Herbert von Karajan. England’s Manchester Evening News called Herbig “one of the greats,” adding “Herbig…brings life and distinction to everything he touches.”
Tianwa Yang, violin
Of Beijing descent, Tianwa Yang started studying the violin at age 4, soon winning six out of the seven violin competitions she entered. At age 10, she was accepted into the Central Conservatory of Music in Bejing. Following her performance at the 1999 Beijing Music Festival, Isaac Stern invited her to study with him in the U.S. In 2000, at age 13, she recorded the 24 Caprices of Paganini, making her the youngest interpreter of this composition worldwide. She made her European debut at age 14 performing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Czech Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra in Prague.
Ms. Yang gave her North American debut in 2008 at the Virginia Arts Festival with the Virginia Symphony. She has since performed with Seattle, Detroit and Nashville symphonies. She toured Germany with Klassische Philharmonie Bonn, performed at the Montpellier and Schwetzingen festivals and appeared in recital at the Berlin Philharmonic Hall and Wigmore Hall, London. Highlights this season include debuts with Buffalo Philharmonic and at the Ravinia Festival; as well as performances with the Royal Liverpool, BBC, Hong Kong and Warsaw philharmonic orchestras, Sinfonia Finlandia, Orchestre National d’ille de France and MDR-Sinfonieorchester.
COMPLETE CONCERT DETAILS
Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto
Saturday, November 20, 2010 at 8 p.m.—Music Center at Strathmore
Sunday, November 21, 2010 at 3 p.m.—Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Günther Herbig, conductor
Tianwa Yang, violin †
Ravel: Ma mère l’oye (Mother Goose) Suite
Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 1
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 10
† Denotes a BSO artist debut
Tickets range from $28 to $88 and are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 877.BSO.1444, 410.783.8000 or BSOmusic.org.