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Monday, January 13 at 7:30 pm

The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts

Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Piano

Gerard Schwarz, conductor

Pulitzer Prize and three-time GRAMMY winning living American composer Jennifer Higdon’s music is described as,“…traditionally rooted, yet imbued with integrity and freshness.”  Her evocative orchestral work blue cathedral was composed soon after the passing of her brother, AndrewBlue.  Higdon notes, “As I was writing this piece, I found myself imagining a journey through a glass cathedral in the sky….This piece represents the expression of the individual and the group...our inner travels and the places our souls carry us, the lessons we learn, and the growth we experience.”  French pianist extraordinaire Jean-Yves Thibaudet will perform Ravel’s Piano Concerto in GMajor.  Chicago Classical noted, “Few keyboard artists embody Ravel’s blend of supple elegance and unbridled bravura so naturally and effortlessly.” Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony has an overwhelmingly uplifting, enthusiastic spirit that is steeped in wartime patriotism. Prokofiev indicated this work is, “…very important not only for the musical material that went into it, but also because I was returning to the symphonic form after a break of 16 years.  The Fifth Symphony is the culmination of an entire period in my work. I conceived of it as a symphony on the greatness of the human soul.”

Through elegant musicality and an insightful approach to both contemporary and established repertoire, Jean-Yves Thibaudet has earned a reputation as one of the world’s finest pianists. He is especially known for his diverse interests beyond the classical world; in addition to his many forays into jazz and opera — including works which he transcribed himself for the piano — Thibaudet has forged profound friendships around the globe, leading to fruitful collaborations in film, fashion, and visual art. A recording powerhouse, Thibaudet appears on more than 70 albums and six film scores. He is a devoted educator and is the first-ever Artist-in-Residence at the Colburn School, which awards several scholarships in his name.


Thibaudet begins the season with a tour of Europe with Boston Symphony Orchestra, performing two of his signature works: Gershwin’s Concerto in F and Saint-Saëns’s Piano Concerto No.5. He goes on to play the Gershwin concerto in season-opening engagements with Toronto and Baltimore symphony orchestras, as well as concerts with Nashville and Indianapolis symphony orchestras; further performances of the Saint-Saëns concerto include dates with North Carolina Symphony, and Pittsburgh and Chicago symphony orchestras.


Thibaudet joins Gustavo Dudamel and Los Angeles Philharmonic for Khachaturian’s Piano Concerto in November, which will be recorded for future release on Decca. He then performs Ravel’s Concerto in Gwith Houston Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Bern Symphony Orchestra, New World Symphony, and San Diego Symphony. A renowned interpreter of Messiaen’s Turangalîla-Symphonie, Thibaudet performs the piece with Montreal Symphony Orchestra in December. Thibaudet joins Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Orchestrede Paris in Debussy’s Fantaisie; he and Salonen reunite in San Francisco for a synesthetic performance of Scriabin’s Prometheus: The Poem of Fire—a piece he also performs with Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra.


Jennifer Higdon (b. 1962)

blue cathedral

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)

Piano Concerto in G Major

Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano



Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Op. 74, “Pathétique” 

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