—THERICHARD AND BARBARA DEBS COMPOSER’S CHAIR: BRAD MEHLDAU— CELEBRATED PIANIST AND COMPOSERBRAD MEHLDAU CURATES FIVE-EVENT RESIDENCYAS THE FIRST JAZZ MUSICIAN TO HOLD THE DEBS COMPOSER’S CHAIRZankel Hall Programs Include New York Premieres of Mehldau’s Highway Rider,the Newly Expanded Love Songs, and the World Premiere of a New WorkFeatured Performers Include Scott Yoo and The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra,Mezzo-Soprano Anne Sofie von Otter and Jazz Artists Joshua Redman,Chris Potter, Sam Sadigursky, Joris Roelofs, Jeff Ballard,Matt Chamberlain, and Larry Grenadier
Brad Mehldau,one of the foremost jazz pianists of his generation, begins his season-longRichard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair residency at Carnegie Hall thisNovember, and continues with performances from January through March 2011.Mehldau is the first jazz artist to be appointed to the Debs Composer’s Chairsince Carnegie Hall established the position in 1995.Mehldau’s musical personality forms a dichotomy. He is first and foremost animproviser, and greatly cherishes the surprise and wonder that can occur from aspontaneous musical idea that is expressed directly, in real time. But he alsohas a deep fascination for the formal architecture of music, and it informseverything he plays. In his most inspired playing, the actual structure of hismusical thought serves as an expressive device. He brings these elements to thestage of Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall throughout his residency in formatsranging from solo recital to quintet with chamber orchestra. The series ofconcerts features two New York premieres and a world premiere work by thepianist and composer, as well as music by two up-and-coming composers whoMehldau champions. In addition, Mehldau performs varied programs that mixclassical repertoire with pop and jazz standards.Mehldau’s residency features performances by musicians that have been hislong-time colleagues, including saxophonists Joshua Redman, ChrisPotter, Sam Sadigusky and Joris Roelofs; drummers JeffBallard and Matt Chamberlain, and bassist Larry Grenadier; aswell as those that represent newer collaborations including mezzo-soprano AnneSofie von Otter as well as conductor Scott Yoo and The Saint PaulChamber Orchestra.
2010-2011Carnegie Hall Presentations Featuring Music by Brad Mehldau:
November 9: Brad Mehldau’s Highway Rider On Tuesday, November 9 at 8:30 p.m., Brad Mehldau’s acclaimed new work HighwayRider makes its New York premiere on the stage of Zankel Hall. Mehldau isjoined in performance by The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra conducted by ScottYoo, saxophonist Joshua Redman, percussionists Jeff Ballardand Matt Chamberlain, and bassist Larry Grenadier. In a specialpre-concert performance , The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra will performShostakovich’s Chamber Symphony in F Major in Zankel Hall at 7:30 p.m.Although Mehldau is best known as a jazz composer and improviser, he haswritten several long-form compositions and songs, including an orchestral piecefor the Orchestre National d’Île-de-France and two Carnegie Hall commissions. HighwayRider marks Mehldau’s continuing exploration of the format. The work wasreleased as a two-disc record by Nonesuch in March 2010. Mehldau notes, “Iwaited for a while to make a record like Highway Rider because theinteraction between the given order of music written with a high degree ofspecificity for a larger ensemble and the space allotted for the improvisingsoloist presents specific challenges that I finally felt ready to surmount onlynow.”He continues, “In the wordless abstract narrative of music, the motif iscentral to the work in the same way a theme is central to a novel. It is withus throughout the piece and becomes lodged in our memory; the meaning of itchanges as the music unfolds, yet its identity does not change. For HighwayRider, I strived for a marriage between the non-arbitrary and thearbitrary—between this strong motific identity expressed in the writtenmaterial and the more spontaneous expression afforded by the improvisedmaterial.”January 26: Brad Mehldau Solo RecitalOn Wednesday, January 26 at 7:30 p.m. in Zankel Hall, Mehldau performs a solorecital that explores the dichotomy that makes up his musical personality—animproviser with a deep fascination for the formal architecture of classicalmusic. This program features Mehldau’s original works for solo pianointerspersed with the classical works of Bach, Brahms, and Fauré that haveinspired him over the years.February 19: Anne Sofie von Otter and Brad MehldauOn Saturday, February 19 at 7:30 p.m. in Zankel Hall, Mehldau will reunite withacclaimed mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter for the New York premiereof a newly expanded version of his song cycle Love Songs. The expandedversion of this work was commissioned by Carnegie Hall, following theoriginal’s premiere in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage in the spring of 2009that comprised three poems by early 20th-century American poet Sara Teasdale,book-ended by poems from Philip Larkin and e. e. cummings. Of the originalwork, Mehldau noted, “Poems about love can invoke the celebration of love orthe pain of love…and my approach was to frame the five songs here with apainful poem at the beginning and the end of the set, and position the moresunny Teasdale poems in the middle. This seemed right: We love and are lovedwith immediacy, but if that love is unable to bloom, as in Philip Larkin’s 'WeMet at the End of the Party,' or threatened, as in e. e. cummings 'it may notalways be so; and I say' then pain takes its place." The initialcommission of Love Songs led to more performances and a continuedcollaboration between the two musicians culminating in a recording they madefor the French label Naïve in Stockholm. The recording of select French,American, English, and Swedish songs they have performed together will bereleased in late 2010. In addition to this newly expanded work, Mehldau and von Otter will performtraditional lieder and standards by composers including Brahms, Fauré, Ferré,Sibelius, and Strauss as well as songwriters John Lennon and Paul McCartneyamong others.March 5–6: Professional Training Workshop at (Le) Poisson RougeAs part of his residency at Carnegie Hall, Mehldau leads two intensive, privatemaster classes on Saturday, March 5, and Sunday, March 6 at 12:00 p.m. at (Le)Poisson Rouge that explore improvisation and creative collaboration for solopianists and jazz piano trios. The master classes are open to jazz musicstudents only. For more information on how to register as a composer/pianist orpiano trio, interested students may email firstname.lastname@example.org for anapplication. The application deadline is October 15. Students interested inauditing the workshops may email their school name and instrument to email@example.com request tickets. This program is presented by Carnegie Hall’s Weill MusicInstitute in partnership with (Le) Poisson Rouge.March 11: Piano PowerBrad Mehldau concludes his residency with a program entitled Piano Poweron Friday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m., featuring the world premiere of an as yetuntitled new work by him—co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall—for two pianos, sixwinds, and percussion. Also on the program are duo piano works by two youngAmerican composers—Patrick Zimmerli and Timothy Andres. Zimmerli’s ModernMusic consists of pieces that make up the contemporary classical musiccanon—by Reich, Pärt, Glass, Gorecki, Strauss, Ornette Coleman, and others—innew jazz arrangements that incorporate the element of improvisation. Andres’s Shyand Mighty, the recording of which was released earlier this year byNonesuch, comprises 10 interrelated duo piano pieces in its entirety.Selections from these larger works will be performed here. Joining Mehldau forthis final performance are saxophonists Chris Potter, Joshua Redman,Joris Roelofs, and Sam Sadigursky, with additional artists to beannounced.Immediately prior to this performance, each of the composers represented onthis program—Mehldau, Andres, and Zimmerli—will join Carnegie Hall’s Directorof Artistic Planning Jeremy Geffen for a pre-concert talk at 6:30 p.m. inZankel Hall.About Brad MehldauJazz pianist Brad Mehldau has recorded and performed extensively sincethe early 1990s. Mehldau’s most consistent output over the years has takenplace in the trio format. Starting in 1996, his group released a series of fiverecords on Warner Bros. entitled The Art of the Trio. Mehldau also has asolo piano recording entitled Elegiac Cycle, and a record called Placesthat includes both solo piano and trio songs. Elegiac Cycle and Placesmight be called “concept” albums—they are made up exclusively of originalmaterial and have central themes that hover over the compositions. OtherMehldau recordings include Largo—a collaborative effort with theinnovative musician and producer Jon Brion, and Anything Goes—a trioouting with bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jorge Rossy.His first record for Nonesuch, Brad Mehldau Live in Tokyo, was releasedin September 2004. After ten years with Rossy playing in Mehldau’s regulartrio, drummer Jeff Ballard joined the band in 2005. The label released itsfirst album from the Brad Mehldau Trio—Day is Done—in September 2005. Anexciting double live trio recording entitled Brad Mehldau Trio Live wasreleased in March 2008 to critical acclaim. In March 2010 Nonesuch released adouble-disc of original work entitled Highway Rider, the highlyanticipated follow up to Largo. The album is Mehldau’s secondcollaboration with renowned producer Jon Brion and features performances byMehldau’s trio—drummer Jeff Ballard and bassist Larry Grenadier—as well aspercussionist Matt Chamberlain, saxophonist Joshua Redman, and a chamberorchestra led by Dan Coleman.Mehldau has performed around the world at a steady pace since the mid-1990swith his trio and as a solo pianist. His performances convey a wide range ofexpression, often showcasing an intellectual rigor to the continuous process ofabstraction that may take place on a given tune, and a certain density ofinformation. Mehldau favors juxtaposing extremes. He has attracted a sizeablefollowing over the years, one that has grown to expect a singular, intenseexperience in his performance.In addition to his trio and solo projects, Mehldau has worked with a number ofgreat jazz musicians, including a rewarding gig with saxophonist JoshuaRedman’s band for two years, recordings and concerts with Pat Metheny, CharlieHaden, and Lee Konitz, and recording as a sideman with the likes of MichaelBrecker, Wayne Shorter, John Scofield, and Charles Lloyd. For more than adecade, he has collaborated with several musicians and peers whom he respectsgreatly, including the guitarists Peter Bernstein and Kurt Rosenwinkel andtenor saxophonist Mark Turner. Mehldau also has played on a number ofrecordings outside of the jazz idiom, like Willie Nelson’s Teatro andsinger-songwriter Joe Henry’s Scar. His music has appeared in severalmovies, including Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut and Wim Wender’s MillionDollar Hotel. He also composed an original soundtrack for the French film, MaFemme Est Une Actrice. Mehldau composed two works commissioned by CarnegieHall for voice and piano, The Blue Estuaries and The Book of Hours:Love Poems to God, which were performed in the spring of 2005 with theacclaimed classical soprano, Renee Fleming. These songs were recorded withFleming and released in 2006 on the Love Sublime record. Simultaneously,Nonesuch released an album of Mehldau’s jazz compositions for trio entitled Houseon Hill. In March 2007 Mehldau debuted the piano concerto The BradyBunch Variations for piano and orchestra at Theatre du Chatelet in Pariswith Orchestre national d'Ile-de-France.Mehldau was appointed as curator of an annual four-concert jazz series atLondon's prestigious Wigmore Hall during its 2009–2010 and 2010–2011 seasons,with Mehldau appearing in at least two of the four annual concerts.About the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair at Carnegie HallCarnegie Hall’s Composer’s Chair was inaugurated in 1995, inviting composerappointees to collaborate with Carnegie Hall on creative aspects of the Hall’sactivities. In 1999, the position was renamed for trustee and chairman emeritusRichard Debs and his wife, Barbara, in honor of their longstanding commitmentto Carnegie Hall and its artistic goals. Beginning in the 2007–2008 season, theDebs Composer’s Chair was reconfigured as a one-year position. Previous holdersof the Carnegie Hall Composer’s Chair are Ellen Taaffe Zwilich (1995–1999),Pierre Boulez (1999–2003), John Adams (2003–2007), Thomas Adès (2007–2008),Elliott Carter (2008–2009), and Louis Andriessen (2009–2010).Program Information for Carnegie Hall Debs Composer’s Chair Brad MehldauTuesday, November 9 at 8:30 p.m.Zankel HallBRAD MEHLDAU'S HIGHWAY RIDERThe Saint Paul Chamber OrchestraScott Yoo, ConductorBrad Mehldau, PianofeaturingJoshua Redman, SaxophoneJeff Ballard, PercussionMatt Chamberlain, PercussionLarry Grenadier, BassBRAD MEHLDAU Highway Rider (NY Premiere)7:30 p.m. pre-concert performance with The Saint Paul Chamber OrchestraSHOSTAKOVICH (arr. Barshai) Chamber Symphony in F Major, Op. 73a (arrangementof the String Quartet No. 3)Tickets: $48, $56___________________________________Wednesday, January 26 at 7:30 p.m.Zankel HallBRAD MEHLDAU, PianoBrad Mehldau plays his own compositions interspersed with works by Bach,Brahms, and Fauré.Tickets: $46, $54___________________________________Saturday, February 19 at 7:30 p.m.Zankel HallANNE SOFIE VON OTTER, Mezzo-SopranoBRAD MEHLDAU, PianoAn evening of vocal works from lieder to jazz standards, with songs by Brahms,Fauré, Ferré, Lennon and McCartney, Sibelius, Strauss, and others, plus the NewYork premiere of Mehldau’s expanded Love Songs (commissioned by Carnegie Hall).Tickets: $46, $54___________________________________Saturday, March 5 at 12:00 p.m.Sunday, March 6 at 12:00 p.m.(Le) Poisson RougeBRAD MEHLDAU MASTER CLASSProfessional Training Workshops are made possible, in part, by Mr. and Mrs.Nicola Bulgari and The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.The Weill Music Institute's programs are made available to a nationwideaudience, in part, by the US Department of Education and by an endowment grantfrom the Citi Foundation.Presented by the Weill Music Institute in partnership with (Le) Poisson Rouge.Please note that this event is for registered jazz students only and is notopen to the public.___________________________________Friday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m.Zankel HallBRAD MEHLDAU AND FRIENDSBrad Mehldau, PianoChris Potter, Saxophone and WoodwindsJoshua Redman, SaxophoneSam Sadigursky, Saxophone and WoodwindsJoris Roelofs, SaxophoneAdditional artists to be announcedPIANO POWERPATRICK ZIMMERLI Modern MusicTIMOTHY ANDRES Selections from Shy and MightyBRAD MEHLDAU New Work (World Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)Pre-concert talk starts at 6:30 p.m. in Zankel Hall with Brad Mehldau, TimothyAndres and Patrick Zimmerli in conversation with Jeremy Geffen, Director ofArtistic Planning, Carnegie Hall.This concert is made possible, in part, by the A.L. and Jennie L. LuriaFoundation.Tickets: $46, $54Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.
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