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Wednesday, December 13 at 7:30pm

The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts

Akiko Suwanai, violin

Gerard Schwarz, conductor

Palm Beach Symphony presents a concert that will transport audiences with works from great composers inspired by their travels and journey into the repertoire’s future with a world premiere. Acclaimed violinist Akiko Suwanai performs Tchaikovsky’s only Violin Concerto, a bravura and lyrical work inspired by that composer’s visit to Switzerland. Palm Beach Symphony accompanies Dvořák on his travel to the United States with Symphony No. 9 “From the New World,” a work filled with diversity that matches the nation itself and one of the greatest ever composed here. Maestro Schwarz will lead the Symphony in a world premiere of his own composition commissioned for the Palm Beach Symphony by Don and Mary Thompson in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Palm Beach Symphony.

Japanese violinist Akiko Suwanai has established herself as one of the most sought-after artists of her generation. Since winning the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1990 she has enjoyed a flourishing career, performing chamber music worldwide and engaging at the highest-level with orchestras and conductors worldwide. In the 2022-23 season, Suwanai tours with the Rotterdam Philharmonic/Shani and performs with the BBC Symphony Orchestra/Bringuier, Sinfonieorchester Basel/Bolton, Duisberg Philharmoniker/Bellincampi, Hong Kong Symphony Orchestra/van Zweden and National Symphony Orchestra/Märkl, to name a few. Also a regular recitalist, performances in the current season include dates with Ilya Rashkovsky in Taiwan, Tomoki Sakata in Japan and Evgeny Bozhanov in Duisburg. The Washington Post reported, “Her big, focused, almost piercing tone took over, carving sonic space, a race car driver weaving in and out of (and even cutting off) traffic.”

A gifted composer and arranger, Gerard Schwarz has expanded his compositional activities in recent years. He completed five new arrangements of holiday music that was recorded by the Palm Beach Symphony for CBS12 in 2022, and his latest version of In Memoriam for Euphonium and Orchestra was premiered at the Eastern Music Festival in 2022 with Demondrae Thurman as soloist. His Trio for Violin, Horn and Piano, released on Good Child Recordings, was called a work of “sophistication and intelligence” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer). Earlier works include In Memoriam and Rudolf and Jeanette (dedicated to the memory of his grandparents who perished in the Holocaust) – both recorded by Naxos; Human Spirit, a composition for choir and orchestra and his duos for violin and cello which were called “redolent of the gentle humanism central to much of the music Schwarz loves to conduct” by The Seattle Times. A Journey, a large scale orchestral tone poem, received its world premiere at the Eastern Music Festival in July 2012. Schwarz’s work for concert band Above and Beyond was premiered by The United States Marine Band in 2013 and is now available on Naxos, recorded by the Marine Band for broadcast on PBS in November 2018. His newest work for that ensemble, a new version of Rudolf and Jeannette was premiered in February 2016. His orchestral work, A Poem, was given its first performance by the Hartford Symphony. In 2018 his Triptych for violin and cello was premiered at Bargemusic and his work for euphonium and band, based on In Memoriam, was premiered in Korea, as was his Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra. Adagio, based on Webern’s Langsamer Satz premiered at the Eastern Music Festival in July 2019.



Sinfonietta (World Premiere)


Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35


Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, Op. 95 "From the New World"

World premiere composition commissioned for the Palm Beach Symphony by Don and Mary Thompson in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Palm Beach Symphony.

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