Performance Sunday, May 20, 2012 | 3 PM

The MET Orchestra

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Please note that David Robertson has graciously agreed to replace James Levine for this performance. Maestro Levine has cancelled this and all conducting engagements through the 2012–2013 season.

Last season at Carnegie Hall, Christian Tetzlaff joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra as soloist for all three works on a dazzling program The New York Times called “triumphant” and “masterful.” The luminary violinist takes center stage with David Robertson and The MET Orchestra on a concert that includes music by Mozart, and violin concertos by Schoenberg and Mendelssohn.


  • The MET Orchestra
    David Robertson, Conductor
  • Christian Tetzlaff, Violin


  • MOZART Adagio in E Major, K. 261
  • MENDELSSOHN Violin Concerto
  • SCHOENBERG Violin Concerto, Op. 36

  • Encore:
  • MOZART Rondo for Violin and Orchestra in C Major, K. 373



    The MET Orchestra

    The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra is regarded as one of the world's finest orchestras. From the time of the company's inception in 1883, the ensemble has worked with leading conductors in both opera and concert performances and has developed into an orchestra of enormous technical polish and style.

    The MET Orchestra (as the ensemble is referred to when appearing in concert outside the opera house) maintains a demanding schedule of performances and rehearsals during its 33-week New York season, when the company performs seven times a week in repertory that normally encompasses approximately 27 operas.

    Arturo Toscanini conducted almost 500 performances at the Met, and Gustav Mahler, during the few years he was in New York, conducted 54 Met performances. More recently, many of the world's great conductors have led the orchestra: Walter, Beecham, Reiner, Mitropoulos, Kempe, Szell, Böhm, Solti, Maazel, Bernstein, Mehta, Abbado, Karajan, Dohnányi, Haitink, Tennstedt, Ozawa, Gergiev, Barenboim, and Muti. Carlos Kleiber's only US opera performances were with the MET Orchestra.

    In addition to its opera schedule, the orchestra has a distinguished history of concert performances. Toscanini made his American debut as a symphonic conductor with the Met Orchestra in 1913, and the impressive list of instrumental soloists who appeared with the orchestra includes Leopold Godowsky, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Arthur Rubinstein, Pablo Casals, Josef Hofmann, Ferruccio Busoni, Jascha Heifetz, Moritz Rosenthal, and Fritz Kreisler. Since the orchestra resumed symphonic concerts in 1991, instrumental soloists have included Itzhak Perlman, Maxim Vengerov, Alfred Brendel, and Evgeny Kissin, and the group has performed five world premieres: Babbitt's Piano Concerto No. 2 (1998), Bolcom's Symphony No. 7 (2002), Shen's Legend (2002), and Wuorinen's Theologoumenon (2007) and Time Regained (2009).

    The orchestra's high standing led to its first commercial recordings in nearly 20 years: Wagner's complete Ring cycle, conducted by James Levine. Recorded by Deutsche Grammophon over a period of three years, Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, and Götterdämmerung were winners of an unprecedented three consecutive Grammy Awards in 1989, 1990, and 1991 for Best Opera Recording. Other recordings under Maestro Levine include L'elisir d'amore, Idomeneo, Le nozze di Figaro, Der fliegende Holländer, Parsifal, Erwartung, Manon Lescaut, and seven Verdi operas. Maestro Levine has also led the orchestra for recordings of Wagner overtures, Verdi ballet music, an all-Berg disc with Renée Fleming, and aria albums with Bryn Terfel, Kathleen Battle, and Ms. Fleming. The orchestra's first symphonic recordings are pairings of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition with Stravinsky's Le Sacre du printemps; Beethoven's "Eroica" with Schubert's "Unfinished" symphonies; and Richard Strauss's Don Quixote and Tod und Verklärung.

    In spring 1991 the orchestra, under the leadership of Maestro Levine, began concert touring. They have since traveled across the US and to Europe (including their debut at the Salzburg Festival in 2002), as well as annually to Carnegie Hall.

    David Robertson

    David Robertson made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1996 leading The Makropulos Case, and has returned to lead Carmen, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and this month's performances of Billy Budd. He is currently music director of the St. Louis Symphony and principal guest conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Highlights of his current season include appearances at Carnegie Hall with the St. Louis Symphony and today with the MET Orchestra, the world premiere of Elliott Carter's Two Controversies and a Conversation and the US premiere of a new work by Michael Jarrell with the New York Philharmonic, and appearances with the Sydney and Melbourne symphony orchestras, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and at the Aspen Music Festival. Next fall, he takes the St. Louis Symphony on a European tour with concerts in London, Berlin, Lucerne, and Paris.

    A native of Santa Monica, California, Mr. Robertson is a frequent guest conductor with major orchestras and opera houses around the world that include the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Orchestra of St. Luke's, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Berliner Philharmoniker.

    With more than 45 operas in his repertoire, Maestro Robertson has appeared at many of the world's most prestigious opera houses, including La Scala, Opéra de Lyon, Munich's Bavarian State Opera, Paris's Théâtre du Châtelet, Hamburg State Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and San Francisco Opera.

    More Info


    Christian Tetzlaff

    Christian Tetzlaff has performed and recorded a broad spectrum of the repertoire, ranging from Bach's unaccompanied sonatas and partitas to 19th-century masterworks by Mendelssohn, Beethoven, and Brahms; and from 20th-century concertos by Bartók, Berg, and Shostakovich to world premieres of contemporary works. Also a dedicated chamber musician, he frequently collaborates with distinguished artists who include Leif Ove Andsnes, Lars Vogt, Alexander Lonquich, and Tabea Zimmermann. He is the founder of the Tetzlaff Quartet.

    Born in Hamburg, Germany, Mr. Tetzlaff began playing the violin and piano at age six, but did not begin intensive study of the violin until he made his concert debut playing the Beethoven Violin Concerto at age 14. He has been in demand as a soloist with many of the world's leading orchestras, including those of Chicago, Cleveland, Boston, Philadelphia, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Toronto, among many others in North America, as well as with major European ensembles that include the Berliner Philharmoniker, London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, and Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

    This is Mr. Tetzlaff's fourth appearance with the MET Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. Highlights of his current season include appearances with the San Francisco and St. Louis symphonies, and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; tours to South America with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, throughout Asia with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra to France and Spain; performances with the London Symphony Orchestra in London, Paris, and Brussels; and performances with the Philharmonia in Vienna and Paris.

    More Info


Mendelssohn Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in E Minor, Op. 64 (Allegro molto appassionato)
Yehudi Menuhin, Violin
EMI Classics

At a Glance

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART  Adagio in E Major, K. 261

The untroubled, songlike Adagio in E Major—written in 1776 as a replacement slow movement for the Violin Concerto No. 5—provides the soloist with a vehicle to display his most ravishingly lyrical playing.

FELIX MENDELSSOHN  Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64

Mendelssohn was just 36 years old when his Violin Concerto received its premiere in 1845, but it would sadly turn out to be his last large orchestral work, as he died two years later. With its infectious energy and broad range of emotion married to seamless construction and impeccable musical craftsmanship, it exemplifies Mendelssohn's particular brand of magic.

ARNOLD SCHOENBERG  Violin Concerto, Op. 36

The Violin Concerto was completed in 1936, and was one of the first major works Schoenberg wrote in America, as well as one of his first 12-tone works following a few years spent revisiting tonal methods. It is one of the finest encapsulations of Schoenberg's personal brand of atonal composition—expressive and wide-ranging, informed and inspired by the long Austro-German musical tradition, and infused below the surface with lyricism—and, perhaps for that reason, was the composer's own favorite of his orchestral works.

Program Notes
This performance is part of The MET Orchestra, and Instrumental Sampler - Students.