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INDIVIDUAL TICKETS ON SALE SEPTEMBER 3

Sunday, March 2 at 3:00PM

The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts

Garrick Ohlsson, Piano

Gerard Schwarz, conductor 

Back by popular demand, American pianist Garrick Ohlsson is known worldwide as a musician of magisterial interpretive and technical prowess.  Join us for what promises to be a masterful performance of Rachmaninoff’s most celebrated, intensely impassioned Second Piano Concerto composed during the turn of the century.  “Melody is the music and the foundation of all music,” said Rachmaninoff. During one of his tours in the United States, he noted what still holds true today, “These Americans cannot get enough of it.”   

Howard Hanson’s Second Symphony “Romantic,”his most famous work, was composed on commission from Serge Koussevitzky for the 50th anniversary of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1930. Born in Nebraska of Scandinavian heritage andas an adult lived in Rochester, NY while serving as the first director of the Eastman School of Music, Hanson drew inspiration from the music of Jean Sibelius as well as from his American surroundings.  Hanson noted, “The [Second] Symphony for me represents my escape from the rather bitter type of modern musical realism.  I do not believe that music is primarily a matter of the intellect, but rather a manifestation of the emotions. I have, therefore, aimed in this Symphony to create a work that was young in spirit, lyrical and romantic in temperament, and simple and direct in expression.”  In keeping with his tradition to elevate the work of great American composers, Maestro Schwarz performed and recorded this work for Naxos with the Seattle Symphony to great acclaim.  

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, the most recent being “Oceans Apart” by Justin Dello Joio commissioned for him by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and now available on Bridge Recordings. Also just released on Reference Recordings is the complete Beethoven concerti with Sir Donald Runnicles and the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra.

 

A frequent guest with the orchestras in New Zealand and Australia, Mr. Ohlsson returned for a nine-city recital tour across Australia in June 2023 and will open the Nashville Symphony’s season in September, followed during the season by appearances with orchestras in Atlanta, Sarasota, Rhode Island, Singapore, Prague, Warsaw, Lyon and Oxford (UK). With recital programs including works from Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin to Brahms and Scriabin he can be heard in New York, Seattle, Baltimore, Prague, Katowice, Krakow and Wrocław.

 

An avid chamber musician, Mr. Ohlsson has collaborated with the Cleveland, Emerson, Tokyo and Takacs string quartets. His recording with latter of the Amy Beach and Elgar quintets released by Hyperion in June 2020 received great press attention. Passionate about singing and singers, Mr.Ohlsson has appeared in recital with such legendary artists as Magda Olivero, Jessye Norman, and Ewa Podleś.

 

Mr. Ohlsson can be heard on the Arabesque, RCA Victor Red Seal, Angel, BMG, Delos, Hänssler, Nonesuch, Telarc, Hyperion 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 followed in 2010 by all the Brahms piano variations, “Goyescas” by Enrique Granados, and music of Charles Tomlinson Griffes. Most recently on that label are Scriabin’s Complete Poèmes, Smetana Czech Dances, and ètudes by Debussy, Bartok and Prokofiev. The latest CDs in his ongoing association with Bridge Records aret he Complete Scriabin Sonatas, “Close Connections,” a recital of 20th-Century pieces, and two CDs of works by Liszt. In recognition of the Chopin bicentenary in 2010, Mr. Ohlsson was featured in a documentary “The Art of Chopin” co-produced by Polish, French, British and Chinese television stations. Most recently, both Brahms concerti and Tchaikovsky’s second piano concerto were released on live performance recordings with the Melbourne and Sydney Symphonies on their own recording labels, and Mr. Ohlsson was featured on Dvorak’s piano concerto in the Czech Philharmonic’s recordings of the composer’s complete symphonies & concertos, released July of 2014 on the Decca label.

 

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 is the 2014 recipient of the Jean Gimbel LanePrize in Piano Performance from the Northwestern University Bienen School of Music, and in August 2018 the Polish Deputy Culture Minister awarded him with the Gloria Artis Gold Medal for cultural merit. He is a Steinway Artist and makes his home in San Francisco.

CONCERT PROGRAM

Paul Creston (1906-1985)

Invocation and Dance, Op.58   

Howard Hanson

Symphony No. 2, Op. 30, W45 “Romantic”

Intermission

Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)

Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18 

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