Performance Tuesday, November 9, 2010 | 8:30 PM

Brad Mehldau's Highway Rider

Zankel Hall
7:30 PM pre-concert performance with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra
SHOSTAKOVICH (arr. Barshai) Chamber Symphony in F Major, Op. 73a (arrangement of the String Quartet No. 3)

He made his name as a jazz pianist, but Brad Mehldau—the first jazz artist to hold Carnegie Hall’s Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair—also writes music that is stunning and delicate. Highway Rider is his latest work; critics responding to the recording of this 11-piece suite released in January have heralded it as his most mature artistic statement to date. Hear Mehldau, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and guests bring this piece to life in Zankel Hall.


  • Brad Mehldau, Piano
  • Jeff Ballard, Percussion
  • Joshua Redman, Saxophone
  • Larry Grenadier, Bass
  • Matt Chamberlain, Percussion
  • The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra
    Scott Yoo, Conductor


  • BRAD MEHLDAU Highway Rider (NY Premiere)

  • Program is approximately 2 hours, 40 minutes, including one intermission


  • Brad Mehldau

    One of the most lyrical and intimate voices of contemporary jazz piano, Brad Mehldau has forged a unique path, which embodies the essence of jazz exploration, classical romanticism, and pop allure. His forays into melding musical idioms, in both trio (with Larry Grenadier on bass and Jeff Ballard on drums) and solo settings, has seen brilliant re-workings of songs by contemporary songwriters like The Beatles, Cole Porter, Radiohead, Paul Simon, George Gershwin, and Nick Drake, alongside the ever expanding breadth of his own significant catalog of original compositions.

    In addition to his trio and solo projects, Mehldau has worked with a number of great jazz musicians, including a rewarding gig with saxophonist Joshua Redman's band for two years; recordings and concerts with Pat Metheny, Charlie Haden, and Lee Konitz; and recording as a sideman with Michael Brecker, Wayne Shorter, John Scofield, and Charles Lloyd. Mehldau also has played on a number of recordings outside of the jazz idiom, like Willie Nelson's Teatro and singer-songwriter Joe Henry's Scar. His music has appeared in several movies, including Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut and Wim Wender's The Million Dollar Hotel. He also composed an original soundtrack for the French film Ma femme est une actrice.

    Mehldau recently composed two new works commissioned by Carnegie Hall 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 the acclaimed classical soprano Renée Fleming. These songs were recorded with Ms. Fleming and released in 2006 on the Love Sublime record; simultaneously, Nonesuch released an album of Mehldau's jazz compositions for trio entitled House on Hill. A 2008 Carnegie Hall commission for a cycle of seven love songs for Swedish mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter, set to poems of Sara Teasdale, premiered in 2009. In addition to their album Love Songs, a selection of French, American, English, and Swedish songs they have performed together will be released in late 2010.

    Mehldau was appointed curator of an annual four-concert jazz series at London's prestigious Wigmore Hall during its 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 seasons, with Mehldau appearing in at least two of the four annual concerts.
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  • Jeff Ballard

    Jeff Ballard grew up in Santa Cruz, California. He toured with Ray Charles from 1988-1990, at which point he moved to New York. Since then, he has played and recorded with Lou Donaldson, Danilo Perez, Chick Corea, and Joshua Redman. As well as being a member of the Brad Melhdau Trio, he is a co-leader of the collective group FLY (with Mark Turner, Grenadier, and Jeff Ballard) and a member of the Joshua Redman Elastic Band.
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  • Joshua Redman

    Born in Berkeley, California, saxophonist Joshua Redman is the son of legendary jazz musician Dewey Redman. After graduating from Harvard University, Joshua turned down an acceptance to Yale Law School to pursue a career in music. Since then, he has recorded more than a dozen critically acclaimed albums, earned multiple Grammy Award nominations, and garnered top honors from DownBeat, JazzTimes, Rolling Stone, and other publications. Redman has also toured and recorded with some of the world's most distinguished musicians, including Brad Mehldau, Chick Corea, McCoy Tyner, Pat Metheny, Paul Motian, and Brian Blade.
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  • Larry Grenadier

    Larry Grenadier attended Stanford University, where he received a bachelor's degree in English literature. After moving to the East Coast, he played with The Gary Burton Band, touring the US and Europe. He moved to New York City and has since played with Joe Henderson, Betty Carter, Pat Metheny, and the John Scofield Group. For the past year, when not touring and recording with the Brad Mehldau Trio, Grenadier has toured and recorded with the Pat Metheny Trio.
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  • Matt Chamberlain

    Matt Chamberlain is a drummer, producer, and engineer. He has contributed his drumming to the tours and albums of David Bowie, The Wallflowers, Fiona Apple, Tori Amos, Of Montreal, Jon Brion, Kanye West, Regina Spektor, David Torn, Brad Mehldau, Morrissey, Sarah McLachlan, Bill Frisell, Chris Isaak, Macy Gray, Master Musicians of Jajouka, Pearl Jam, Martina McBride, Faith Hill, Garbage, Stevie Nicks, Elton John, Natalie Merchant, Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, Keith Urban, John Mayer, The Finn Brothers, William Shatner, Robbie Williams, Shakira, OK Go, Indigo Girls, Peter Gabriel, Sean Lennon, Brandi Carlile, Dido, and Elvis Costello, among others.
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  • The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra

    The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, now in its 52nd season, is the nation's only full-time professional chamber orchestra and is widely regarded as one of the finest chamber orchestras in the world. The 34 virtuoso musicians present more than 130 concerts and education programs each year, and are renowned for their artistic excellence and remarkable versatility of musical styles.

    The SPCO is also recognized for its innovative approach to artistic leadership. In 2004, the SPCO transferred broad artistic responsibilities from a music director to the SPCO musicians and an intentionally diverse group of Artistic Partners-currently Italian conductor Roberto Abbado, Dutch conductor Edo de Waart, American soprano Dawn Upshaw, German pianist and conductor Christian Zacharias, and Austrian violinist and conductor Thomas Zehetmair. Past Artistic Partners include pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, conductor Douglas Boyd, violinist Joshua Bell, Baroque specialist Nicholas McGegan, and pianist and composer Stephen Prutsman.

    The SPCO makes its concerts accessible to the entire Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area through performances in seven neighborhood venues in addition to its home venue at Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in downtown St. Paul. In addition to increasing the orchestra's accessibility through location, the SPCO has focused on making ticket prices accessible. Tickets for SPCO concerts in all venues are only $10, $25, or $40, and children's tickets are $5.

    The SPCO is regularly heard on public radio's Performance Today, which reaches 1.1 million listeners each week on 242 stations, and SymphonyCast, which reaches 340,000 listeners each week on 124 stations nationwide. The SPCO has released 67 recordings, commissioned 127 new works, performed the world premiere of 49 additional compositions, and earned 15 ASCAP awards for adventurous programming. The orchestra tours nationally and internationally, including performances in premiere venues in Europe, Asia, and South America. Launched in 1994, the SPCO's award-winning CONNECT education program reaches more than 5,500 students annually in 16 Minneapolis and St. Paul public schools.

    Scott Yoo

    After beginning his musical studies at age three, Scott Yoo performed Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at age 12. He received first prize in the 1988 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, was selected at the 1989 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, and received the 1994 Avery Fisher Career Grant. After graduating with honors from Harvard University, Yoo founded the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra, conducting the ensemble in its series at Jordan Hall in Boston, and more than 90 performances on tour.

    Yoo has collaborated with eminent artists such as Sarah Chang, Edgar Meyer, Benita Valente, and Dawn Upshaw. He is currently Music Director and Principal Conductor of the 39-year old Festival Mozaic, which presents more than 30 orchestral, choral, and chamber-music concerts and events each year on California's central coast.

    As a guest conductor, Yoo has led the Colorado, Dallas, Indianapolis, San Francisco, and Utah symphony orchestras. He has conducted the New World Symphony, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and the orchestras of Columbus, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Kansas City, Louisville, Winnipeg, Mexico City, Nashville, and Phoenix. In Europe, he has conducted the City of London Sinfonia, Orchestre de Bretagne, Odense Symfoniorkester, and the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. He made his debut with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra in 2007 and his debut with the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo in 2009.

    A proponent of the music of our time, Yoo has premiered 59 works by 30 composers. With Metamorphosen, Yoo has recorded Mark O'Connor's American Seasons for Sony Classical; John Harbison's chamber orchestra works with soprano Dawn Upshaw for Archetype; and song cycles of Earl Kim with sopranos Benita Valente and Karol Bennett for New World, named a 2001 Critics Choice by The New York Times. His recent recording projects include the complete orchestral works of Earl Kim with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland for Naxos and works of Mozart and Elliott Carter for Bridge Records.

    Yoo studied violin with Roman Totenberg, Albert Markov, Paul Kantor, and Dorothy DeLay, and studied conducting with Michael Gilbert and Michael Tilson Thomas.
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Brad Mehldau Highway Rider
Brad Mehldau, Piano

Brad Mehldau is holder of the 2010-2011 Richard and Barbara Debs Composer's Chair at Carnegie Hall.
This performance is part of Fast Forward.

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