CARNEGIE HALL PRESENTS

Performance Thursday, April 14, 2011 | 8 PM

St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Weilerstein’s “powerhouse sound is just about irresistible” (The Washington Post)—even earning her an invitation to perform at the White House. She’ll win you over on this program with a concerto Shostakovich wrote for Rostropovich, who premiered it in Leningrad in 1959.

Performers

  • Alisa Weilerstein, Cello
  • St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra
    Yuri Temirkanov, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor

Program

  • RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Prelude to Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh
  • SHOSTAKOVICH Cello Concerto No. 1
  • BRAHMS Symphony No. 4

  • Encore:
  • ELGAR Nimrod From Enigma Variations, Op. 36

Bios

  • Alisa Weilerstein

    American cellist Alisa Weilerstein has attracted widespread attention for playing that combines a natural virtuosic command and technical precision with impassioned musicianship. The intensity of her playing has regularly been lauded, as has the spontaneity and sensitivity of her interpretations.

    A major highlight of Ms. Weilerstein's 2010-2011 season is a 15-city US tour with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic led by Yuri Temirkanov and Nikolai Alexeev. Milestones of her 2009-2010 season included performing Elgar's Cello Concerto with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Daniel Barenboim in Oxford, England. The concert was televised live worldwide and released on DVD and followed her Berliner Philharmoniker debut with Mr. Barenboim days earlier. In November 2009, Ms. Weilerstein participated in a White House classical music event and concert, and in December 2009, she toured Venezuela with the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra, led by Gustavo Dudamel.

    In 2008, Alisa Weilerstein was awarded Lincoln Center's Martin E. Segal Award for exceptional achievement, and she was named the winner of the 2006 Leonard Bernstein Award. She received an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2000 and recorded a CD for EMI Classics' in 2000. Ms. Weilerstein, born in 1982, is a graduate of the Young Artist Program at The Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Richard Weiss; she also holds a degree in Russian history from Columbia University. Ms. Weilerstein is an exclusive recording artist for Decca Classics and is also a celebrity advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Visit alisaweilerstein.com for more information.
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  • St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra

    The St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Russia's oldest symphonic ensemble, was founded in 1882. In that year, on the order of Alexander III, the Court Musical Choir was established-the prototype of today's Honored Collective of the Russian Federation. In 2007, the orchestra celebrated its 125th anniversary. The Musical Choir was founded to perform in the royal presence-at receptions and official ceremonies and at the balls, plays, and concerts at the Royal Court. The pinnacle of this type of activity was the participation of the choir in 1896 in the coronation ceremony of Nicholas II. In 1897, the choir became the Court Orchestra, its musicians having been transferred from the military and given the same rights as other actors of royal theaters. In the early 20th century, the orchestra was permitted to perform at commercial concerts for the general public.

    In 1917, the Court Orchestra became the State Orchestra, and following a decree in 1921, it was incorporated into the newly founded Petrograd Philharmonic, the first of its kind in the country. Shortly afterwards, an unprecedented number of great Western conductors began to conduct the orchestra. Their names enjoy unquestioned authority in today's musical world: Otto Klemperer, Bruno Walter, Felix Weingartner, and many more. On the initiative of foreign conductors, the orchestra began to play modern repertoire-Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Berg, Hindemith, Honegger, Poulenc, and others-and continued to premiere the music of contemporary Russian composers.

    The 2010-2011 season opened with concerts in Annecy at the Crescendo Festival, dedicated to the Year of Russia in France, and in December was included in the 11th International Winter Festival "Arts Square" dedicated to the Year of France in Russia. The orchestra also tours France, Asia, and the US.


    Yuri Temirkanov

    Yuri Temirkanov became the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra in 1988. He regularly performs in St. Petersburg with the Philharmonic and, with his great leadership and artistic vision, has toured the Philharmonic throughout the world, firmly establishing it as one of the most important orchestras today. In 2005, Mr. Temirkanov and the orchestra performed for the UN General Assembly in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II. Under Mr. Temirkanov's direction, the Philharmonic became the first Russian orchestra to perform the opening night concert of a Carnegie Hall season in 2005.

    A graduate of the Leningrad Conservatory, Mr. Temirkanov is one of the most sought-after conductors of his generation. In 1976, he became the artistic director and chief conductor of the Kirov (now Mariinsky) Theatre. While there, he created classic productions of Prokofiev's War and Peace, Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin and Queen of Spades, Petrov's Peter I, and Schedrin's Dead Souls. Mr. Temirkanov also initiated symphony concerts by the theatre's orchestra both in Russia and abroad.

    In 1978, Mr. Temirkanov worked for the first time with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and in 1992 became its chief conductor. From 1992 until 1997, he was also principal guest conductor of the Dresdner Philharmoniker. In 1998, he moved from the Royal Philharmonic to Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, where he remains principal guest conductor. For six seasons (2000-2006), Mr. Temirkanov was the chief conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; from 2007-2008, he was the principal guest conductor of The Bolshoi Theatre of Russia. For the 2009 Nobel Prize ceremony, he was invited to conduct the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. Mr. Temirkanov is also the Music Director of the Teatro Regio di Parma (Italy) through 2013.
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Audio

Prokofiev March from The Love for Three Oranges Suite, Op. 33a
St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra / Yuri Temirkanov, Conductor
RCA Victor Red Seal

At a Glance

NIKOLAI RIMSKY-KORSAKOV  Prelude to Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh 
Rimsky-Korsakov’s penultimate opera, Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh, is a pantheistic mix of Christianity, Slavonic rites and myths, and a folk religion that celebrates nature. The Prelude showcases the composer’s celebrated gift for orchestration.

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH  Cello Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major, Op. 107  
Shostakovich completed his Cello Concerto on July 20, 1959. Though he originally intended the work to be in the traditional three movements, there are four—the last three played without pause. The concerto is dedicated to legendary cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, who gave its premiere on October 4, 1959.

JOHANNES BRAHMS  Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 98  
Brahms’s Symphony No. 4, his last work in the genre, deploys a chain of descending thirds to unite the first, third, and fourth movements, with the finale taking the form of a theme plus 30 variations and coda.

Program Notes
The Trustees of Carnegie Hall gratefully acknowledge the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Richard A. Debs in support of the 2010-2011 season.
This performance is part of International Festival of Orchestras II.