Juanjo Mena leads the BSO and Pianist Sensation Yuja Wang in Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto, February 10-13
Baltimore, Md. (January 27, 2011) - Young Chinese pianist Yuja Wang joins forces with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO), under the direction of Juanjo Mena, in a performance of Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto on Thursday, February 10 at 8 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore and Friday, February 11 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, February 13, 2010 at 3 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. This program will also feature the BSO's first performance of Bruckner's Sixth symphony since 1988. Please see below for complete concert details.
The monstrous solo part and lush orchestral writing of Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto has made it one of his most popular works. Rachmaninoff composed this work after a bout with depression following his poorly received first symphony. The success of this work revitalized his composing career and brought him international fame as a concerto composer. The difficult virtuoso solo part finds itself in the capable hands of Yuja Wang, whom Gramophone magazine named the 2009 Young Artist of the Year.
Like other major symphonic composers of the late Romantic era, Bruckner composed either small personal works or works of gargantuan proportions. Bruckner belonged to a new generation of composers in the nineteenth century that continually expanded traditions in musical styles, especially with harmony and form. His Sixth Symphony is no different and shows Bruckner's maturity as an orchestral composer through its opulent harmonies, complex polyphony and unprepared modulations. Audience favorite Juanjo Mena, who was recently appointed Chief Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic, will lead the program.
Juanjo Mena, conductor
Recently appointed Chief Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra in Manchester, Juanjo Mena is one of the most distinguished and dynamic conductors of his generation. Relinquishing his post as Music Director of the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra, a position he has held since 1999, Mr. Mena will continue as Chief Guest Conductor at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa. Born in Spain, he has appeared with most of the principal symphony and chamber orchestras of his native country.
In the summer of 2004, Mr. Mena's North American debut with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra resulted in an ongoing relationship: following annual appearances since 2006, he will conduct two subscription weeks in both 2009/10 and 2010/11. Other recent and upcoming debuts include the Atlanta Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Houston Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Oregon Symphony and The Philadelphia Orchestra.
Increasingly in demand worldwide, Juanjo Mena has appeared with the BBC Philharmonic, Bern Symphony, Bucharest Philharmonic, Filarmonica della Scala, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orquesta Filarmónica de Santiago, Orquesta Sinfônica de São Paulo, Oslo Philharmonic, RAI Symphony Orchestra, RSO/Berlin and the Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra, among others. Festival appearances include Grant Park (Chicago), La Folle Journée (Nantes), White Nights Festival (St. Petersburg), and numerous festivals with the Bilbao Symphony.
Yuja Wang, piano
Twenty-three year old Chinese pianist Yuja Wang is recognized for playing that combines the fearless imagination of youth with the discipline and precision of a mature artist. The San Francisco Chronicle wrote, "The arrival of Chinese-born pianist Yuja Wang on the musical scene is an exhilarating and unnerving development. To listen to her in action is to re-examine whatever assumptions you may have had about how well the piano can actually be played." She is a 2010 winner of the Avery Fisher Career Grant.
Ms. Wang has already performed with many of the world's leading orchestras including the Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Houston, New World and San Francisco symphony orchestras in the U.S., and abroad with the Tonhalle Orchestra, China Philharmonic, Filarmonica della Scala, London Philharmonic and the NHK Symphony in Tokyo. In 2006, she made her New York Philharmonic debut at the Bravo! Vail Music Festival and performed with the orchestra the following season during the Philharmonic's Japan and Korea tour. In the spring of 2008, she toured the U.S. with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. She has given recitals in major cities throughout North America and abroad, makes regular appearances at festivals and is a dedicated performer of chamber music.
During the 2010-2011 season, she debuts with the Royal Concertgebouw, Orchestre de Paris, RAI Torino, Orquesta Nacional España and Berlin Staatskapelle. She also makes recital debuts in Madrid and Tokyo. She appears at the Shanghai Expo with Filarmonica della Scala, and performs with the Cincinnati, Oregon, Pacific, Pittsburgh, San Diego, Toronto and Winnipeg symphonies and the National Arts Centre Orchestra. She is an exclusive recording artist for Deutsche Grammophon. Her debut recording, Sonatas & Etudes, was released in spring 2009, and was followed by, Transformation, in spring 2010.
COMPLETE CONCERT DETAILS
BSO Classical Concert: Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto
Thursday, February 10, 2011 at 8 p.m. - The Music Center at Strathmore
Friday, February 11, 2011 at 8 p.m. - Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Sunday, February 13, 2011 at 3 p.m. - Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Juanjo Mena, conductor
Yuja Wang, piano
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2
Bruckner: Symphony No. 6
Tickets range from $28 to $88 and are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 877.BSO.1444, 410.783.8000 or BSOmusic.org.