Performance Friday, May 18, 2012 | 8 PM

The Philadelphia Orchestra

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Maria João Pires has graciously agreed to replace Maurizio Pollini, who unfortunately must cancel his appearance due to illness.

Maria João Pires, “one of the most celebrated and loved pianists on the planet” (The Telegraph, London), comes to Carnegie Hall to perform Chopin’s Second Piano Concerto with The Philadelphia Orchestra. Under the direction of Charles Dutoit, the revered ensemble also performs two works written for the theater: the rousing overture to Ruslan and Ludmilla by Russian master Mikhail Glinka and Ravel’s sumptuous ballet score Daphnis et Chloé.


  • The Philadelphia Orchestra
    Charles Dutoit, Chief Conductor
  • Maria João Pires, Piano
  • The Philadelphia Singers Chorale
    David Hayes, Director


  • GLINKA Overture to Ruslan and Lyudmila
  • CHOPIN Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor, Op. 21
  • RAVEL Daphnis et Chloé (complete)


  • The Philadelphia Orchestra

    Renowned for its distinctive sound, desired for its keen ability to capture the hearts and imaginations of audiences, and admired for an unrivaled legacy of "firsts" in music making, The Philadelphia Orchestra remains one of the preeminent orchestras in the world.

    The Philadelphia Orchestra has cultivated an extraordinary history of artistic leaders in its 112 seasons, including music directors Fritz Scheel, Carl Pohlig, Leopold Stokowski, Eugene Ormandy, Riccardo Muti, Wolfgang Sawallisch, and Christoph Eschenbach, as well as the orchestra's current chief conductor, Charles Dutoit. In the 2012-2013 season, Yannick Nézet-Séguin becomes the eighth music director of The Philadelphia Orchestra. Named music director designate in 2010, Mr. Nézet-Séguin brings a vision that extends beyond symphonic music and into the vivid world of opera and choral music.

    Philadelphia is home, and the orchestra nurtures an important relationship with patrons who support the main season at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. The orchestra also performs for Philadelphia audiences at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, Penn's Landing, and other regional venues. The Philadelphia Orchestra Association continues to own the Academy of Music-a National Historic Landmark-as it has since 1957.

    The ensemble maintains an important tradition of presenting educational programs for local audiences as well. Today the orchestra executes myriad education and community partnership programs, notably its Neighborhood Concert Series, Sound All Around and Family Concerts, eZseatU, and more.

    Through concerts, tours, residencies, presentations, and recordings, The Philadelphia Orchestra touches the lives of countless music lovers around the world. The orchestra annually performs at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center while also enjoying a three-week residency at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in New York and a strong partnership with the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival. Please visit for more information.

    Charles Dutoit

    In the 2010-2011 season, The Philadelphia Orchestra celebrated its 30-year artistic collaboration with Charles Dutoit, who has held the title of chief conductor since 2008. With the 2012-2013 season, the orchestra will honor Mr. Dutoit by bestowing upon him the title of conductor laureate. Also artistic director and principal conductor of the Royal Philharmonic, he regularly collaborates with the world's pre-eminent orchestras and soloists. He has recorded extensively for Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, Philips, CBS, and Erato, and his more than 200 recordings have garnered over 40 awards and distinctions.

    From 1977 to 2002, Mr. Dutoit was artistic director of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. Between 1990 and 2010, he was artistic director and principal conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra's summer festival at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and from 1991 to 2001 he was music director of the Orchestre National de France. In 1996, he was appointed music director of Tokyo's NHK Symphony Orchestra; today he is music director emeritus. Mr. Dutoit has been artistic director of both the Sapporo Pacific Music Festival and the Miyazaki International Music Festival, as well as the Canton International Summer Music Academy in Guangzhou, which he founded in 2005. In 2009, he became music director of the Verbier Festival Orchestra. While still in his early 20s, Mr. Dutoit was invited by Herbert von Karajan to conduct the Vienna State Opera and has since conducted at Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, and the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.

    In 1991, Mr. Dutoit was made an Honorary Citizen of the City of Philadelphia. In 1995, he was named Grand Officier de l'Ordre National du Québec, and in 1996 Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the government of France. In 1998, he was invested as an Honorary Officer of the Order of Canada, the country's highest award of merit, and this past May was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music.

    Mr. Dutoit was born in Lausanne, Switzerland, and his musical training included violin, viola, piano, percussion, music history, and composition in Geneva, Siena, Venice, and Boston. A globetrotter motivated by his passion for history and archaeology, political science, art, and architecture, Mr. Dutoit has traveled all the nations of the world.


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    Maria João Pires

    One of the finest musicians of her generation, pianist Maria João Pires continues to transfix audiences with the spotless integrity, eloquence, and vitality of her art. Ms. Pires was born on July 23, 1944, in Lisbon, and gave her first public performance in 1948. In Portugal, she studied with Campos Coelho and Francine Benoit, later continuing her studies in Germany with Rosl Schmid and Karl Engel. Since 1970, she has dedicated herself to reflecting on the influence of art on life, community, and education, and in trying to develop new ways of implementing pedagogic theories within society. During the last 10 years, she has held many workshops with students from all around the world, and she has taken her philosophy and teaching to Japan, Brazil, Portugal, France, and Switzerland. In 2005, she formed an experimental theater, dance, and music group, Art Impressions, and together they have produced two major projects-Transmissions and Schubertiade.

    In 2012, in addition to her chamber music recitals with Brazilian cellist Antonio Meneses, Ms. Pires appears with all the major European orchestras under the batons of Bernard Haitink, Claudio Abbado, and Riccardo Chailly, among others. A frequent visitor to Japan, she returns there in spring 2013 with the London Symphony Orchestra and Mr. Haitink.

    Ms. Pires recorded with Erato for 15 years and subsequently, for the last 24 years, with Deutsche Grammophon. Her large and varied discography covers solo repertoire, chamber music, and concertos. Her latest recording, of two Mozart concertos conducted by Mr. Abbado, will be released in autumn 2012.

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  • The Philadelphia Singers Chorale

    Founded in 1972 and now under the leadership of David Hayes, the Philadelphia Singers is a professional chorus that engages and inspires a broad range of audiences in the Philadelphia region with compelling concert experiences that feature performances of choral masterpieces and contemporary works. The Singers has a special commitment to preserve and strengthen America's rich choral heritage through performances, commissions, and music education.

    For 39 years, the Philadelphia Singers has upheld its mission to enrich the broader community through embodying the highest standards of classical musicianship and providing a platform for its musicians to serve the community in a variety of formats. The Philadelphia Singers performs regularly with leading national and local performing arts organizations, including The Philadelphia Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Curtis Institute of Music, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Kimmel Center Presents, and the Mannes Orchestra.

    In 1991, the Philadelphia Singers founded The Philadelphia Singers Chorale, a symphonic chorus composed of professional singers and talented volunteers. Resident chorus of The Philadelphia Orchestra from 2000 to 2011, the chorale continues its 20-year association with the orchestra this season, appearing in Charles Dutoit's final concerts as chief conductor both in Philadelphia and New York in May 2012; the ensemble also has several projects in preparation for the 2012-2013 season with the orchestra.

    David Hayes was appointed music director of the Philadelphia Singers in 1992. Music director of the Mannes Orchestra of Mannes College The New School for Music, he is also staff conductor of the Curtis Symphony, and from 2000 to 2010 served as a cover conductor for The Philadelphia Orchestra.


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Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor, Op. 21 (Allegro Vivace)
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra | André Previn, Conductor | Maria João Pires, Piano
Deutsche Grammophon

At a Glance

The first half of tonight's concert features two composers who came to represent their respective countries as pioneering and exemplary figures in the Western Classical tradition. Russia's thriving musical culture around 1800 was built on imported talent-composers and performers from Italy, France, and elsewhere. Although Mikhail Glinka spent his formative years studying abroad, he returned to his native Russia, where he emerged as the first great Russian composer. His 1836 opera A Life for the Tsar was followed six years later with the comic Ruslan and Lyudmila, the sparkling overture of which we hear tonight.

What Glinka did for Russian music Frédéric Chopin did around the same time for Polish music, although he was based for most of his maturity in Paris. In what turned out to be a successful bid to jump-start his professional career, the teenage Chopin pursued the path that Mozart, Beethoven, and others had before him: He wrote pieces for piano and orchestra that displayed his gifts as both pianist and composer. His two piano concertos, written in the space of less than a year, came at the very start of his career, while he was still living in his native Warsaw.

France had a long and gloried musical tradition by the time Maurice Ravel came to full artistic maturity in the early 20th century, yet he too was a defining figure, associated most with so-called musical impressionism. In 1909, the legendary Ballets Russes impresario Sergei Diaghilev commissioned Daphnis et Chloé, a ballet based on a third-century Greek pastoral drama. Ravel brought a painterly sensibility to the project: "My intention was to compose a vast musical fresco, less thoughtful of archaism than of fidelity to the Greece of my dreams, which identifies willingly with that imagined and depicted by late-18th-century French artists."
Program Notes
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