Performance Thursday, December 8, 2011 | 8 PM

London Philharmonic Orchestra

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Together, Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra perform Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony with “a white-knuckle tension and a real sense of a wild and tragic story recounted with enthralling detail, vivid color, and pace” (The Times, London). With Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto, performed by pianist Emanuel Ax, also on the program, this will be an evening of epic proportions.


  • London Philharmonic Orchestra
    Vladimir Jurowski, Principal Conductor
  • Emanuel Ax, Piano


  • BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major, "Emperor"
  • TCHAIKOVSKY Manfred Symphony, Op. 58

  • Encores:
  • SCHUBERT Impromptu in A-flat Major, D. 935, No. 2
  • TCHAIKOVSKY Pas de deux from Act II from The Nutcracker


  • London Philharmonic Orchestra

    The London Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the world's best-known orchestras, balancing a long and distinguished history with a reputation as one of the UK's most forward-looking orchestras. As well as performing classical concerts, the orchestra also records film and computer-game soundtracks, has its own record label, and reaches thousands of Londoners every year through activities for schools and local communities.

    The orchestra was founded by Sir Thomas Beecham in 1932, and since then has been headed by many great conductors, including Sir Adrian Boult, Bernard Haitink, Sir Georg Solti, Klaus Tennstedt, and Kurt Masur. The current principal conductor is Vladimir Jurowski, appointed in 2007, with Yannick Nézet-Séguin as principal guest conductor.

    The London Philharmonic Orchestra has been performing at Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall since it opened in 1951, becoming resident orchestra in 1992. It also has flourishing residencies in Brighton and Eastbourne; each summer it plays for Glyndebourne Festival Opera, where it has been the resident symphony orchestra since 1964.

    The orchestra tours internationally, and its plans for the 2011-2012 season include visits to Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, the US, Spain, China, Russia, Oman, Brazil, and France.

    Having long been embraced by the recording, broadcasting, and film industries, the London Philharmonic Orchestra broadcasts regularly on television and radio. It has also recorded soundtracks for blockbuster motion pictures, including the Oscar-winning score for The Lord of the Rings trilogy.In 2005, it established its own record label.

    The London Philharmonic Orchestra maintains an energetic program of activities for young people and local communities, including concerts for families and schools. Over the last few years, developments in technology and social networks have enabled the orchestra to reach even more people worldwide: All of its recordings are available to download from iTunes and, as well as a YouTube channel, news blog, iPhone app, and regular podcasts, the orchestra has a thriving presence on Facebook and Twitter.

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    Vladimir Jurowski

    Vladimir Jurowski was born in Moscow, but in 1990 moved with his family to Germany, where he completed his musical studies in Dresden and Berlin. In 1995, he made a highly successful debut at the Wexford Opera Festival conducting Rimsky-Korsakov's May Night, launching his international career. Since then, he has been a guest at some of the world's leading opera houses, such as the Opéra nationale de Paris, Welsh National Opera, Semperoper Dresden, Komische Oper Berlin, the Metropolitan Opera, and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

    In January 2001, Mr. Jurowski became music director of Glyndebourne Festival Opera and was appointed principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra in May 2006. He also holds the titles of principal artist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and artistic director of the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of the Russian Federation. From 2005 to 2009, he served as principal guest conductor of the Russian National Orchestra.

    Mr. Jurowski is a regular guest with many of the world's leading orchestras, including the Berlin and Oslo philharmonic orchestras, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, and Staatskapelle Dresden. Highlights of his 2011-2012 season and beyond include his debuts with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo's NHK Symphony Orchestra, and San Francisco Symphony, as well as return visits to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Staatskapelle Dresden, and The Philadelphia Orchestra.

    Mr. Jurowski's operatic appearances have included Jenůfa, The Queen of Spades,andHänsel und Gretel at the Metropolitan Opera, Parsifal and Wozzeck at the Welsh National Opera, War and Peace atthe Opéra national de Paris, Eugene Onegin at Teatro alla Scala, and Iolanta at the Semperoper Dresden, as well as Die Zauberflöte, La Cenerentola, Otello, Macbeth, Falstaff, Tristan und Isolde, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Don Giovanni, The Rake's Progress,and Peter Eötvös's Love andOther Demons at Glyndebourne Festival Opera. Future engagements include new productions of Ariadne auf Naxos and The Cunning Little Vixen at Glyndebourne, Die Frau ohne Schatten at the Metropolitan Opera, Moses und Aron at Komische Oper Berlin, and Ruslan and Lyudmila at the Bolshoi Theatre.

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  • Emanuel Ax

    Emanuel Ax is renowned not only for his poetic temperament and unsurpassed virtuosity, but also for the exceptional breadth of his performing activity. Each season includes appearances with major symphony orchestras worldwide, recitals in the most celebrated concert halls, a variety of chamber music collaborations, the commissioning and performance of new music, and additions to his acclaimed discography on Sony Classical.

    Mr. Ax first captured public attention in 1974 when, at age 25, he won the first Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in Tel Aviv. Five years later, he took the coveted Avery Fisher Prize in New York. He has been an exclusive Sony Classical artist since 1987. His recent releases include Mendelssohn's piano trios with Itzhak Perlman and Yo-Yo Ma, recordings of Chopin's complete works for piano and orchestra with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Sir Charles Mackerras, and Brahms's Piano Concerto No. 2 with Bernard Haitink and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Other notable recordings are his Grammy Award-winning albums of Haydn piano sonatas, and Beethoven and Brahms sonatas for cello and piano with Yo-Yo Ma.

    Highlights of the 2011-2012 season include appearances with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and Orchestre national de France under the batons of Sir Simon Rattle, Mariss Jansons, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Bernard Haitink, and Sir Colin Davis.

    In recent years, Mr. Ax has turned his attention toward the music of 20th-century composers, premiering works by John Adams, Christopher Rouse, Krzysztof Penderecki, Bright Sheng, and Melinda Wagner. He is also devoted to chamber music and has worked regularly with Young Uck Kim, Cho-Liang Lin, Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Peter Serkin, Jaime Laredo, and the late Isaac Stern.

    In recognition of the bicentenaries of Chopin and Schumann in 2010-and in partnership with London's Barbican Centre, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, Carnegie Hall, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the San Francisco Symphony-Mr. Ax commissioned new works from composers Thomas Adès, Peter Lieberson, and Stephen Prutsman for three recital programs.

    Born in Poland, Mr. Ax moved to Canada with his family when he was a young boy. His studies at The Juilliard School were supported by the sponsorship of the Epstein Scholarship Program, and he subsequently won the Young Concert Artists Award. His piano teacher was Mieczylaw Munz. Mr. Ax is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and holds honorary doctorates of music from Yale and Columbia universities.

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Tchaikovsky Manfred Symphony (Allegro con fuoco)
London Philharmonic Orchestra; Vladimir Jurowski, Conductor

At a Glance

This concert presents two epic, ambitious works that represent new territory for their respective composers. Beethoven’s “Emperor” broke new ground for the piano concerto, inaugurating bolder colors, stronger contrasts, and a larger world of emotion than previous works in the genre, so much so that many regard it as a predecessor of the Romantic concerto. Tchaikovsky’s Manfred—much more rarely performed than Beethoven’s “Emperor”—is not only the composer’s largest symphony, but also a new hybrid that combines symphonic form and program music. Despite their overt emotionality, Tchaikovsky’s other symphonies largely adhere to 18th-century sonata form, but Manfred is Romantic in form as well as content.    
Program Notes
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