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Mariss Jansons Conducts Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Two Concerts at Carnegie Hall, February 13 and 14

This February, Carnegie Hall presents two concerts by Amsterdam’s acclaimed Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra led by Chief Conductor Mariss Jansons in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage. The programs are part of the Concertgebouw’s 2013 worldwide tour celebrating its 125th anniversary. With 48 concerts in thirty cities on six continents, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra will tour to Africa and Australia for the first time in its history and visit countries that it hasn’t been to in a long time, such as Russia, Argentina, and Brazil. New York City and Washington DC are the only two U.S. cities on the tour.

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra’s world tour will feature compositions that have played an important role in its history, as well as music connected to the year of its foundation, 1888. At Carnegie Hall, on Wednesday, February 13 at 8:00 p.m., the orchestra and Maestro Jansons perform Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 in D Major, written between 1887 and 1888, and are joined by Leonidas Kavakos for Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 2, a work that the orchestra premiered at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam in 1939. The following evening, Thursday, February 14 at 8:00 p.m., features the orchestra and conductor in Richard Strauss’s 1888-89 tone poem Death and Transfiguration and Bruckner’s 1884-85 Symphony No. 7 in E Major (Edition Nowak).

Artist Information
Leonidas Kavakos has established himself as a violinist and artist of rare quality, known at the highest level for his virtuosity, superb musicianship, and the integrity of his playing. International recognition first came while Kavakos was still in his teens, winning the Sibelius Competition in 1985 and, three years later, the Paganini Competition. Kavakos now works with the world’s major orchestras and conductors and has been invited as tour soloist with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and Riccardo Chailly, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra under Chailly, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Mariss Jansons. 2012-2013 season highlights include being the focus of the London Symphony Orchestra’s UBS Soundscapes LSO Artist Portrait and serving as the Berliner Philharmoniker’s Artist in Residence. Kavakos and pianist Emanuel Ax will play the Beethoven sonata cycle in the Musikverein, Vienna, as well as a single Beethoven sonata program in Berlin. He also performs the cycle with pianist Enrico Pace at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. He and Pace have recorded the Beethoven sonatas for Decca Classics, to be released in January 2013, and the cycle was also recorded as part of a television documentary about Kavakos by the Bayerischer Rundfunk, to be broadcast in fall 2013.

When Mariss Jansons was just a boy, his musical family—his father was a conductor and his mother, an opera singer—moved to St. Petersburg where he later studied violin and conducting. He continued his studies with Hans Swarowsky in Vienna and Herbert von Karajan in Salzburg. In 1973, Jansons was appointed Yevgeny Mravinsky’s assistant with the St. Petersburg orchestra, which Jansons’s father had also conducted. From 1979 to 2000, he served as music director of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, bringing it great international acclaim. Jansons has made numerous appearances throughout the world as a guest conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and the London Philharmonic as well as leading orchestras in the U.S. Jansons was appointed music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 1997 (a post he held until 2004) and music director of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in 2003. Making his first guest appearance with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in 1988, he returned nearly every year thereafter and was appointed its chief conductor in 2004. He is the sixth conductor to hold the post since the orchestra was founded in 1888. Mr. Jansons has received numerous distinctions for his achievements, including honorary membership in the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna. He is also the recipient of the Austrian Decoration of Honour for Science and Art, and of Latvia’s highest honor, the Three-Star Order, conferred on him in 2006. In October 2011, the magazine Opernwelt named him “conductor of the year” for his performances of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin with the RCO at Netherlands Opera. In November 2011, he was awarded the Bavarian Maximilian Order for Science and Art.

Founded in 1888, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is one of the very best orchestras in the world. In one of the world’s most beautiful concert halls, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, it performs with the very best conductors and soloists. Its chief conductors, of whom there have been only six in the last 125 years, have played an important role in shaping the orchestra’s unique sound—as have the musicians, of course, who share the aim of achieving more than perfect musical performances. Consequently, every performance is an opportunity to let audiences hear the unhearable, feel the unfeelable, and touch the untouchable. The result is a very special kind of interaction. In addition to some ninety concerts performed at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra gives forty concerts at leading concert halls throughout the world each year. The orchestra participates in residencies in Paris (Salle Pleyel), Brussels (BOZAR), and London (Barbican Centre). RCO societies of friends have been established in the United States, Switzerland, France, Belgium, and the United Kingdom. In 2004, the orchestra launched its own in-house record label, RCO Live.

Program Information
Wednesday, February 13 at 8:00 p.m.
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage

Mariss Jansons, Chief Conductor
Leonidas Kavakos, Violin

BÉLA BARTÓK Violin Concerto No. 2
GUSTAV MAHLER Symphony No. 1 in D Major

Sponsored by KPMG LLP

Thursday, February 14 at 8:00 p.m.
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage

Mariss Jansons, Chief Conductor

RICHARD STRAUSS Death and Transfiguration, Op. 24
ANTON BRUCKNER Symphony No. 7 in E Major (Edition Nowak)

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