CSO’s Season Finale Celebrates Cincinnati Celebratory final weekend includes OTR Night with pre-post-concert party in Washington Park Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Robert Spano, Music Hall Friday, May 3, 8 p.m.
Saturday, May 4, 8 p.m. Tickets start at $10 in advance More information and tickets available by calling: (513) 381-3300 www.cincinnatisymphony.org
JENNIFER HIGDON Piano Concerto Symphony No.3 Boundless Series Sponsor: Concert Sponsor:
CINCINNATI— Conductor Robert Spano will join the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra on Friday, May 3 and Saturday, May 4 at Music Hall to lead a celebratory program for Cincinnati’s 225th birthday. The CSO will open the concert with Jennifer Higdon’s All Things Majestic which will be accompanied by an incredible multimedia presentation of beloved images from around Greater Cincinnati projected on the screen behind the Orchestra. The presentation will include historic and current images submitted to CET (Cincinnati’s PBS affiliate station) by Cincinnatians, representing some favorite views of the Queen City, the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood and the Orchestra. Talented pianist Garrick Ohlssohn joins the CSO to perform Barber’s Piano Concerto, just before the Orchestra closes the show with Copland’s Symphony No. 3. This symphony heavily features themes from Copland’s iconic Fanfare for the Common Man, which was originally commissioned by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in 1942 and premiered in Music Hall in March of 1943. Friday, May 3, the CSO hosts OTR Night to complement the concert with pre- and post-concert celebrations right in Music Hall’s own neighborhood. Beginning at 6 p.m. patrons are invited to “The Music Ride,” a slow bike ride through the streets of OTR (beginning and ending at Washington Park) with special musical surprises. A free bike valet will be available. Following the concert program there will be a party in Washington Park complete with a live band and food trucks by Night Owl Market. The CSO extends special thanks to its OTR Night community Margy Waller (Art on the Streets), Felipe Morales-Torres (Underscore), OTR Chamber, The City of Cincinnati, 3CDC, Night Owl Market, Coffee Emporium and the Queen City Project. All OTR Night events are free and open to the public. Visit www.cincinnatisymphony.org/OTRNight for more details.
Friday, May 3 will also include the world premiere of a new choral work by Jennifer Higdon, “Hear My Voice.” Performed by the middle school choir of the School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA), the work is part of the American Composer’s Forum ChoralQuest program. Ms. Higdon’s residency with the CSO presented itself as an opportunity for SCPA to host the program. ChoralQuest is a music series for middle-level choir, written especially for middle-level choirs by world-class composers. The series is designed to breathe new life into the available repertoire for choral students in middle school and junior high, introduce students to the composition process, and give commissioned composers the unique opportunity and challenge of writing new works for young, changing voices. The students worked directly with Ms. Higdon during her March residency week with the CSO, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer returns for the premiere. The world premiere of the work will take place as part of Classical Conversations, which begins at 7 p.m. in the Music Hall auditorium. Classical Conversations starts one hour prior to most CSO performances. These casual, informative discussions are free and open to all ticketholders. CSO Assistant Conductor William White hosts the May 3-4 discussions.
The CSO is grateful to the Boundless Series Sponsor, Macy’s. The Concert Sponsor for these performances is Ohio National Financial Services. The ArtsWave Partner Company for these performances is Jacob G. Schmidlapp Foundation, Fifth Third Bank Trustee. The CSO is grateful to The Corbett Foundation for its extraordinary leadership and generosity. The Orchestra’s performance of All Things Majestic is underwritten by the Geier family in honor of Sudie Geier. Additional support for the performance’s multi-media presentation provided by CSO Spectrum in honor of Sara and Michelle Vance Waddell.
Robert Spano, conductor
Robert Spano is one of the brightest and most imaginative conductors of his generation. As Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, he has enriched and expanded its repertoire and elevated the ensemble to new levels of international prominence and acclaim. As Music Director of the Aspen Music Festival and School, he oversees the programming of more than 300 events and educational programs for 630 students, including Aspen’s American Academy of Conducting.
In his distinguished career, Mr. Spano has conducted the greatest orchestras of North America, including those in Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Montreal, New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco. Abroad, he has led the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala (Milan),
Czech Philharmonic, Berlin Radio Sinfonie Orchestra, BBC Scottish and BBC Symphony Orchestras, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, New Japan Philharmonic and Oslo Philharmonic, among others.
Equally accomplished as an operatic conductor, he has appeared with the opera companies of Chicago, Houston and Cincinnati, as well as at the Santa Fe Opera, Royal Opera at Covent Garden and Welsh National Opera. In 2005 and 2009, he conducted internationally renowned casts in six cycles of Wagner’s monumental Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Seattle Opera, drawing raves from The Seattle Times: “Loud roars of approval greeted each act when conductor Robert Spano entered the orchestra pit, where he continues to work magic.”
In addition to regular performances with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Spano’s 2012-2013 engagements include appearances with the New World Symphony, Toronto Symphony and Cincinnati Symphony and at Carnegie Hall in New York City for three unique concerts that champion 20th– and 21st– century music and convey freshness in programming and collaboration. For the first Carnegie Hall concert in October, countertenor John Holiday and baritone Brett Polegato join Mr. Spano as he leads the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in Isaac Stern Auditorium with a program featuring works by Copland, Bernstein and Walton. The second concert in March brings together Orquesta La Pasión and members of Schola Cantorum de Venezuela with soprano Jessica Rivera and jazz vocalist Luciana Souza as Mr. Spano conducts Osvaldo Golijov’s La Pasión según San Marcos. For his final Carnegie Hall appearance this season (also in March), Mr. Spano leads Ensemble ACJW and pianist Juho Pohjonen in a performance of Messiaen’s Des canyons aux étoiles.
Robert Spano conducts three world premieres in Atlanta this season (his 12th season as Music Director); an ASO commission by Atlanta School of Composers member Michael Gandolfi and works by Marcus Roberts and Atlanta Symphony bassist Michael Kurth. A work by another Atlanta School of Composers member, Christopher Theofanidis, will also be featured this season, reflecting Mr. Spano’s and the Orchestra’s commitment to nurturing and championing music through multi-year partnerships defining a new generation of American composers. Mr. Spano has also programmed 13 Atlanta premieres and continues his winning traversal of the Bach choral masterworks with the monumental B Minor Mass. Appealing to his passion and skill as a pianist, Mr. Spano joins concertmaster David Coucheron and principal cellist Christopher Rex in Beethoven’s “Triple” Concerto led by principal guest conductor Donald Runnicles.
In his first season as Music Director of the Aspen Music Festival and School, Maestro Spano’s dedication to education, community engagement and multi-faceted conducting skills were on full display. “Made in America,” featured Robert Spano conducting Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with a big band and a trio of pianists, leading a production of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, appearing in recitals alongside violinist Robert McDuffie and baritone Nathan Gunn as well as working with the Aspen Chamber Symphony and Aspen Festival Orchestra in multiple concerts highlighted with works by Jennifer Higdon, Samuel Barber, Edgar Meyer, Beethoven, Schoenberg, Rachmaninoff and Bartók, among others. The Festival’s closing concert featured the Aspen Festival Orchestra, Colorado Symphony Orchestra Chorus, Colorado Children’s Chorale and vocal ensemble Kantorei performing Mahler’s Symphony of a Thousand. A passionate educator, Mr. Spano was particularly thrilled to have constant and consistent interaction with the Aspen Music School, its students and the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen (AACA). As part of the Aspen Music Festival and School, the AACA sees Mr. Spano engage with talented, rising conductors. Of his duties at the AACA, the Aspen Times Weekly quoted Mr. Spano saying, “Central. Core. Fundamental…I feel like it’s the heart of my job. And it’s why I’ve been so happy this summer. I’d taught conducting quite a bit in my life, but less and less the last 10 years. To be able to concentrate on it in this way was irresistible.”
With an extensive discography of critically acclaimed recordings for Telarc and Deutsche Grammophon, Robert Spano has garnered six Grammy Awards with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. In February 2011, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra partnered with Naxos to create the ASO Media label in its continuing commitment to document the ASO’s many commissions, premieres and popular programs. The unanimously praised premiere recording featured new works by Atlanta School of Composers members Jennifer Higdon and Michael Gandolfi conducted by Robert Spano: Higdon’s On a Wire and Gandolfi’s QED: Engaging Richard Feynman. The second recording, released in June 2011, was the Atlanta Symphony commission of Christopher Theofanidis’s Symphony paired with Peter Lieberson’s Neruda Songs.September 2010 saw the release of Jennifer Higdon’s The Singing Rooms, Alvin Singleton’s PraiseMaker—both world premiere recordings—and Scriabin’s Poème de l’extase. Mr. Spano is also featured on Deutsche Grammophon’s March 2010 DVD release of Golijov’s La Pasión según San Marcos.
The latest recording on the ASO Media Label, released in October 2011, features pianist Garrick Ohlsson and the ASO conducted by Robert Spano performing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 and Symphonic Dances. Grammy Award-winning albums for the Telarc label include Vaughan Williams’s A Sea Symphony (2002 Best Classical Album and Best Choral Perfomance) and Berlioz’s Requiem (2004 Best Choral Performance), as well as Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar (2006 Best Contemporary Composition and Best Opera Recording) with Deutsche Grammophon. Other recent recordings include John Adams’s On the Transmigration of Souls, Michael Gandolfi’s The Garden of Cosmic Speculation, Osvaldo Golijov’s Oceana Tenebrae, Brahms’s Requiem and a live concert recording of Puccini’s La Bohème, the first American recording of the opera since 1956.
Since Robert Spano’s arrival at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the orchestra has reported increased single ticket and subscription sales, while the number of its donors has risen by more than 40 percent. In addition to standard repertoire, he regularly programs and performs music of the 20th and 21st centuries, as well as world premieres of ASO-commissioned works. He maintains a strong community presence by appearing in recitals and chamber music performances with ASO musicians throughout the city.
Robert Spano served as director of the prestigious Festival of Contemporary Music at the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Tanglewood Music Center in 2003 and 2004, and from 1996 to 2004 was Music Director of the Brooklyn Philharmonic—a period marked by significant artistic growth and critical acclaim. During his eight-year tenure he brought the ensemble to international attention through thematic programming and special projects, including Thomas Adès’s Powder Her Face, John Adams’s Nixon in China and The Death of Klinghoffer, world premieres by Michael Hersch, Bright Sheng, Philip Glass and Christopher Theofanidis, and more than 40 New York premieres.
A strong and passionate advocate for music education and community outreach, he has lectured on “Community” for TEDx and recently completed a three-year residency at Emory University. In its 165-year history, Emory University has honored only seven other individuals with such expansive residencies, including the Dalai Lama, President Jimmy Carter and author Salman Rushdie.
He headed the Conducting Fellowship Program at the Tanglewood Music Center from 1998 to 2002, and is a professor of conducting at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. He was music director of the 2006 Ojai Festival and often conducts the Curtis Symphony Orchestra and Juilliard Orchestra. He has received honorary doctorates from Bowling Green State University, the Curtis Institute of Music, Emory University and, most recently, Oberlin. In May 2009, Mr. Spano was awarded Columbia University’s Ditson Conductor’s Award for the advancement of American music.
An accomplished pianist, Mr. Spano performs chamber music with many of his colleagues from the Atlanta Symphony, Boston Symphony and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Born in 1961 in Conneaut, Ohio, and raised in Elkhart, Indiana, he grew up in a musical family, composing and playing flute, violin and piano. He is a graduate of Oberlin, where he studied conducting with Robert Baustian, and continued his studies at the Curtis Institute of Music with the late Max Rudolf.
In 2004, at the Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music, Mr. Spano performed under water, a work for solo piano he composed based on Debussy’s Engulfed Cathedral. The New York Times praised it as “a cohesive and often lovely solo piano work.” He has been featured on CBS’s “Late Night with David Letterman,” “CBS Sunday Morning,” A&E’s “Breakfast with the Arts” and PBS’s “City Arts.” Robert Spano was named Musical America’s 2008 “Conductor of the Year.” He makes his home in Atlanta.
Garrick Ohlssohn, piano
Since his triumph as winner of the 1970 Chopin International Piano Competition, pianist Garrick Ohlsson has established himself worldwide as a
musician of magisterial interpretive and technical prowess. Although long regarded as one of the world’s leading exponents of the music of Frédéric Chopin, Mr. Ohlsson commands an enormous repertoire, which ranges over the entire piano literature. A student of the late Claudio Arrau, Mr. Ohlsson has come to be noted for his masterly
performances of the works of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, as well as the Romantic repertoire. To date he has at his command more than 80 concertos, ranging from Haydn and Mozart to works of the 21st century, many commissioned for him.
The 2012/13 season begins early for Mr. Ohlsson, with performances of Busoni’s rarely programmed piano concerto with the European Union Youth Orchestra and Gianandrea Noseda, including an appearance at the Edinburgh International Festival. A return to the U.K. later in the season includes two concerts with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, followed by a month-long tour in Australia, where he will record, in performance, both Brahms concerti. Concerts with the Cleveland Orchestra and Franz Welser-Möst will be reprised during the orchestra’s winter residency in Florida. Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 3, conducted by Sir Mark Elder with the Chicago Symphony, is programmed in the winter, followed by a Kennedy Center appearance with the Iceland Symphony as part of the center’s Nordic Festival, and an east coast tour with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra.
Mr. Ohlsson returns to Carnegie Hall in the spring as soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos. Other U.S. appearances include return visits to the orchestras of Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Houston, and Baltimore.
In acknowledgement of the bicentenary of Franz Liszt’s birth, the 2011/12 season included Liszt recitals in Chicago, Hong Kong, London, and New York, where Mr. Ohlsson also visited Carnegie Hall with the Atlanta Symphony and Lincoln Center with the New York Philharmonic. Tours in Europe and Asia included concerts in France, England, Italy, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan. >n earlier, in recognition of the bicentenary of Chopin’s birth, Mr. Ohlsson presented a series of all– Chopin recitals in Seattle, Berkeley and La Jolla, culminating at Lincoln Center in fall and winter of 2010. In conjunction with that project a documentary, “The Art of Chopin,” based on Chopin’s life and music and featuring Mr. Ohlsson, co-produced by Polish, French, British and Chinese television stations, was released in autumn 2010, followed one year later by a DVD of the two Chopin concerti. In the summer of 2010 he was featured in all-Chopin programs at the Ravinia and Tanglewood festivals, as well as appearances in Taipei, Beijing, Melbourne and Sydney.
An avid chamber musician, Mr. Ohlsson has collaborated with the Cleveland, Emerson, Takács and Tokyo string quartets, among other ensembles. Together with violinist Jorja Fleezanis and cellist Michael Grebanier, he is a founding member of the San Francisco-based FOG Trio. Passionate about singing and
singers, Mr. Ohlsson has appeared in recital with such legendary artists as Magda Olivero, Jessye Norman, and Ewa Podles.
Mr. Ohlsson can be heard on the Arabesque, RCA Victor Red Seal, Angel, BMG, Delos, Hänssler, Nonesuch, Telarc, and Virgin Classics labels. His ten-disc set of the complete Beethoven sonatas, for Bridge Records, has garnered critical acclaim, including a GRAMMY® for Vol. 3. His recording of Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 3, with the Atlanta Symphony and Robert Spano, was released in 2011. In the fall of 2008 the English label Hyperion re-released his 16-disc set of the complete works of Chopin. Hyperion recently released a disc of all the Brahms piano variations and “Goyescas,” by Enrique Granados, to be followed later this year by music of Charles Tomlinson Griffes. Forthcoming CDs in his ongoing association with Bridge Records include “Close Connections,” a recital of 20th-Century pieces, and works of Liszt.
A native of White Plains, N.Y., Garrick Ohlsson began his piano studies at the age of 8, at the Westchester Conservatory of Music; at 13 he entered The Juilliard School, in New York City. His musical development has been influenced in completely different ways by a succession of distinguished teachers, most notably Claudio Arrau, Olga Barabini, Tom Lishman, Sascha Gorodnitzki, Rosina Lhévinne and Irma Wolpe. Although he won First Prizes at the 1966 Busoni Competition in Italy and the 1968 Montréal Piano Competition, it was his 1970 triumph at the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, where he won the Gold Medal (and remains the single American to have done so), that brought him worldwide recognition as one of the finest pianists of his generation.
Since then he has made nearly a dozen tours of Poland, where he retains immense personal popularity. Mr. Ohlsson was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize in 1994 and received the 1998 University Musical Society Distinguished Artist Award in Ann Arbor, MI. He makes his home in San Francisco.
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Tickets start at $10 and are available by phone at (513) 381-3300, on the Internet at www.cincinnatisymphony.org, and in person at:
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