Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra Celebrate Beethoven’s 250th Birthday with Performances of All Five Piano Concertos by Three Award-Winning Soloists

Posted on January 06, 2020
Yefim Bronfman, Daniil Trifonov, and Emanuel Ax to perform all five piano concertos in a concentrated three-week period

 

Performance of Piano Concerto No. 4 marks Orchestra’s return to the Academy of Music for first subscriptions concerts since 2001

 

(Philadelphia, January 6, 2020)—The year 2020 marks the 250th birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven. The Philadelphia Orchestra celebrates this milestone by performing all five of the composer’s piano concertos January 23 through February 8, 2020, with three of the greatest living pianists: Yefim Bronfman, Daniil Trifonov, and Emanuel Ax.

The Philadelphia Orchestra will return to its original home, the historic Academy of Music, for Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 January 23–26 with acclaimed artist Yefim Bronfman. The performances mark the Orchestra’s first subscription concerts at the Academy since 2001. Led by Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the program also features composer Vivian Fung’s Dust Devils and Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 3, which received its world premiere on the Academy stage in 1936.

The Orchestra’s GRAMMY®-winning recording partner, Daniil Trifonov, joins the ensemble for four performances of two piano concertos January 30–February 2. Nézet-Séguin leads the program, featuring Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 on January 30 and 31 and Concerto No. 5 (“Emperor”) on February 1 and 2. Amplifying both programs are two works by formidable women composers: Lili Boulanger and Louise Farrenc.

Award-winning pianist Emanuel Ax has performed with the Orchestra for over 40 years, and he joins the ensemble again to complete Beethoven’s piano concerto cycle with Concertos Nos. 2 and 3. The Second Concerto is featured February 6 and 8, while the Third Concerto is presented February 7. Rising star and Curtis Institute of Music alumna Karina Canellakis makes her Philadelphia Orchestra debut on the podium. Both programs also feature Canadian composer Zosha Di Castri’s Lineage as well as Lutosławski’s Concerto for Orchestra.

 


 

BeethovenNOW: Yefim Bronfman

January 23 at 7:30 PM––Thursday evening––The Academy of Music

January 24 at 2:00 PM—Friday afternoon—The Academy of Music

January 26 at 2:00 PM—Sunday afternoon—The Academy of Music

 

Yannick Nézet-Séguin Conductor

Yefim Bronfman Piano

 

Fung Dust Devils

Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4

Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 3

 

The Orchestra returns to the Academy of Music for its first subscription concerts since moving to Verizon Hall in 2001. It's a fitting venue for Rachmaninoff's nostalgic, romantic Symphony No. 3, premiered by the composer's cherished Philadelphians in 1936 on that very same stage, with Leopold Stokowski conducting. The gentle, lone piano chords that open the Fourth Concerto were a radical construct when Beethoven premiered the wide-ranging and emotional work in 1808. Yefim Bronfman says he's always been drawn to its tenderness.

 


 

BeethovenNOW: Daniil Trifonov

January 30 at 7:30 PM––Thursday evening––Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

January 31 at 2:00 PM––Friday afternoon––Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

February 1 at 8:00 PM––Saturday evening––Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

February 2 at 2:00 PM––Sunday afternoon––Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

 

Yannick Nézet-Séguin Conductor

Daniil Trifonov Piano

 

Boulanger Of a Sad Evening

Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1 (Thursday and Friday)

Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 (Saturday and Sunday)

Farrenc Symphony No. 2

 

Daniil Trifonov, the Orchestra's Grammy-winning recording partner, returns for four performances. Amplifying the programs are two underappreciated works by formidable women composers: Lili Boulanger, the first woman to win, in 1913, the prestigious Prix de Rome composition prize, and Louise Farrenc, whose Symphony No. 2 dialogues with Beethoven, and leaves us asking why her works are not a more integral part of the canon today.

 


 

BeethovenNOW: Emanuel Ax

February 6 at 7:30 PM––Thursday evening––Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

February 7 at 8:00 PM—Friday evening—Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

February 8 at 8:00 PM—Saturday evening—Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

 

Karina Canellakis Conductor

Emanuel Ax Piano

 

Di Castri Lineage

Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 2 (Thursday and Saturday)

Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 3 (Friday)

Lutosławski Concerto for Orchestra

 

Beethoven composed “the most positive music ever written,” with every work containing “every emotion known to man,” says Emanuel Ax, who completes our piano concerto cycle. Beethoven made his public debut with his Second Concerto, a dramatic, humorous, ebullient work that announced the young artist's arrival. The muscular Third embodies Beethoven's “proud Prospero-like assertion of his beloved C-minor powers.” (Gramophone) Rising star and Curtis Institute of Music graduate Karina Canellakis makes her Philadelphia Orchestra debut, also leading Canadian composer Zosha Di Castri's 2015 tribute to her grandmother and Lutosławski's fascinating showpiece for orchestra.

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Due to rapidly evolving developments, and in accordance with the City of Philadelphia’s recommendation that all large gatherings be suspended to limit community transmission of COVID-19, all scheduled Philadelphia Orchestra rehearsals, performances, and events through May 10, 2020, are cancelled. Learn more

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