Performance Thursday, May 3, 2012 | 6 PM

Making Music: Jörg Widmann

Zankel Hall
In addition to being one of the world’s top clarinetists, Jörg Widmann is among today’s most exciting composers. His music draws inspiration from 19th-century Romanticism, but is no mere pastiche. It instead invigorates the musical gestures and conventions we take for granted by using them in entirely new ways. On this concert, part of the Making Music series that explores composers’ works and processes, you can hear Widmann’s “volatile, energized, and expressive” (Guardian) music—and his virtuosic clarinet playing.


  • Jörg Widmann, Clarinet
  • Claron McFadden, Soprano
  • András Schiff, Piano
  • Shai Wosner, Piano
  • The Parker Quartet
    ·· Daniel Chong, Violin
    ·· Karen Kim, Violin
    ·· Jessica Bodner, Viola
    ·· Kee-Hyun Kim, Cello
  • Jeremy Geffen, Series Moderator


  • Fieberphantasie
  • Intermezzi
  • Fünf Bruchstücke
  • Versuch über die Fuge


  • Jörg Widmann

    The 2011-2012 season will see Jörg Widmann as soloist with renowned orchestras worldwide, including the National Symphony Orchestra, Camerata Salzburg, and Toronto Symphony Orchestra. His great passion being chamber music, he will collaborate with the Hagen, Arcanto, and Minguet quartets; as well as with Tabea Zimmermann, Antoine Tamestit, and András Schiff. He performs at the Salzburg Festival, Salzburg Mozart Week, Schwetzingen Festival, and Amsterdam's Concertgebouw.

    Mr. Widmann's work as composer is at the core of his musical activities this season. In April 2012, his work Teufel Amor was premiered by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra with Antonio Pappano, followed by last night's premiere of Zirkustänze performed by András Schiff at Carnegie Hall.

    Additionally, Mr. Widmann takes up the post of principal guest conductor with the Irish Chamber Orchestra. Alte Oper Frankfurt's Auftakt  festival will present performances of his works by the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Berliner Philharmoniker, as well as chamber music recitals that feature him as both instrumentalist and composer.

    Mr. Widmann has received numerous awards for his compositions, including the Belmont Prize for contemporary music from the Forberg-Schneider-Stiftung Foundation (1998), Schneider-Schott Music Prize (2002), Paul Hindemith Prize (2002), Encouragement Award from the Ernst von Siemens Foundation for Music (2003), Achievement Award from the Munich Opera Festival (2003), and Arnold Schönberg Prize (2004). In 2006, he received the Composition Prize from the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg, as well as the Claudio Abbado Composition Prize from the Orchestra Academy of the Berliner Philharmoniker. Mr. Widmann has served as composer-in-residence of the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, The Cleveland Orchestra, Cologne Philharmonic, Vienna Konzerthaus, Salzburg Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, West Cork Music Festival, and Lucerne Festival.

    Mr. Widmann's works are published exclusively by Schott Music.

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  • Claron McFadden

    Claron McFadden studied voice at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. Her celebrated operatic performances are numerous and varied, including the title role of Berg's Lulu conducted by Sir Andrew Davis and the Controller in Jonathan Dove's Flight, both at the Glyndebourne Festival; Zerbinetta in Graham Vick's production of Ariadne auf Naxos at the Netherlands Opera; and numerous production tours throughout Europe, including Dido and Aeneas and Les Indes galantes.

    Ms. McFadden sings many of the major oratorio works, but is also in demand for her interpretation of modern and contemporary music, in particular the music of Wolfgang Rihm and Harrison Birtwistle. She performed in the world premiere of Birtwistle's The Woman and the Hare at Southbank Centre's Queen Elizabeth Hall and at the BBC Proms with The Nash Ensemble. Her many recordings include Birtwistle's Nine Settings of Celan, Haydn's Orfeo ed Euridice, Gluck's Paride ed Elena with La Stagione Frankfurt, and as Aspasia in Handel's Alexander Balus with The King's Consort for Hyperion Records.

    Recent engagements include performances with Europa Galante, Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Residentie Orchestra, NDR Symphony Orchestra, WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, and Munich Chamber Orchestra, as well as chamber music projects with the Arditti and Minquet quartets. Ms. McFadden has been invited by the Bayerische Staatsoper to perform a leading role in a new opera by Jörg Widmann; she will also perform a leading role in a new opera of Michel van der Aa with the English National Opera.

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  • András Schiff

    András Schiff was born in Budapest and started taking piano lessons at the age of five with Elisabeth Vadász. He continued musical studies at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music with professors Pál Kadosa, György Kurtág, and Ferenc Rados, and in London with George Malcolm. Recitals and special cycles (including the major keyboard works of Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Schumann, and Bartók) form an important part of his activities. Between 2004 and 2009, he performed complete cycles of the Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas in 20 cities throughout the United States and Europe, a project recorded live in the Tonhalle Zürich and released in eight volumes for ECM New Series.

    This season, Mr. Schiff was named a Perspectives artist by Carnegie Hall, where he performs in a series of concerts that focus on Bartók and the legacy the composer left on their native Hungary. Unique to this series are the many colleagues who join Mr. Schiff during the 12 concerts included in his Perspectives-most of whom he has known since childhood. Additional North American performances take place in Philadelphia, Princeton, Vancouver, Toronto, Berkeley, Boulder, Napa, and Washington, DC.

    In 1999, Mr. Schiff created his own chamber orchestra, Cappella Andrea Barca, which consists of international soloists, chamber musicians, and close friends. He also works every year with the Philharmonia Orchestra in London and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. From 1989 until 1998, he was artistic director of Musiktage Mondsee, a chamber music festival near Salzburg, and in 1995, he founded the Ittinger Pfingstkonzerte with Heinz Holliger in Kartause Ittingen, Switzerland. In 1998, Mr. Schiff started a similar series, entitled Homage to Palladio at the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza. From 2004 to 2007, he was artist-in-residence of the Kunstfest Weimar, and in 2007-2008 was pianist-in-residence of the Berliner Philharmoniker.

    Mr. Schiff has established a prolific discography, including recordings for London/Decca (1981-1994), Teldec (1994-1997), and since 1997, ECM New Series. He has received several international recording awards, including two Grammys.

    Mr. Schiff has been awarded numerous prizes, including Zwickau's Robert Schumann Prize, Italy's Premio della critica musicale Franco Abbiati, the Klavier-Festival Ruhr Prize, the Wigmore Medal, and the Royal Academy of Music Bach Prize; in 2006, he was named an Honorary Member of the Beethoven House in Bonn. Also in 2006, Mr. Schiff and the music publisher G. Henle Verlag began collaborating on Mozart and Bach editions. To date, both volumes of Bach's Well-Tempered Klavier were edited in the Henle original text with fingerings by Mr. Schiff.

    Mr. Schiff has been made an honorary professor by the conservatories in Budapest, Detmold, and Munich, and a special supernumerary fellow of Balliol College in Oxford. He is married to violinist Yuuko Shiokawa.

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  • Shai Wosner

    Shai Wosner has gained international recognition for his exceptional artistry, musical integrity, and creative insight. He has performed with many of the world's leading orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Berlin, and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

    Recent and upcoming highlights include his subscription debut with the Chicago Symphony Orches�tra; a performance with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra for which he conducts the ensemble from the keyboard; performances with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; and recitals at the Mostly Mozart Festival, Wigmore Hall, and LSO St. Luke's.

    Mr. Wosner is widely sought after by colleagues for his versatility and spirit of partnership. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with numerous artists, including Pinchas Zukerman, Christian Tetzlaff, Ralph Kirshbaum, and Cho-Liang Lin. Recent and upcoming chamber-music engagements include collaborations with the Tokyo, Miró, and Parker string quartets; clarinetists Jörg Widmann and Martin Fröst; and bass-baritone Dietrich Henschel.

    Mr. Wosner is the recipient of both an Avery Fisher Career Grant and a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award; he is also a former BBC New Generation Artist. In 2010, Onyx released his first solo disc of Brahms and Schoenberg to wide critical acclaim. In 2011, he released his second disc, featuring solo works by Schubert. He lives in New York City.

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  • The Parker Quartet

    The Grammy Award-winning Parker Quartet has rapidly distinguished itself as one of the preeminent ensembles of its generation. The quartet began its professional touring career in 2002 and garnered international acclaim in 2005, winning the Concert Artists Guild Competition, as well as the Grand Prix and Mozart Prize at the Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition. In 2009, Chamber Music America awarded the quartet the prestigious biennial Cleveland Quartet Award.

    This season, The Parker Quartet partnered with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra to launch All Hearts Listen, a concert series that annually features six performances by the quartet in the Twin Cities. The success of All Hearts Listen has led to expansion of the program to feature visiting guest artists and collaborations. Performance highlights of the 2011-2012 season include a European tour; performances at the Mainly Mozart Festival, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and Rockport Chamber Music Festival; and concerts at many leading colleges and universities across the US.

    The Parker Quartet has been profiled in Time Out New York, The Boston Globe, Chamber Music Magazine, and on for its pioneering performances in non-traditional venues. In 2007, the ensemble became the first quartet-in-residence at Barbès, a bar and performance space in Brooklyn. The quartet also served as quartet-in-residence with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra from 2008 through 2010 and was the first artist-in-residence with Minnesota Public Radio during the 2009-2010 season.

    The quartet has garnered critical acclaim for both of its recordings: the 2007 release of Bartók's string quartets nos. 2 and 5 (Zig-Zag Territoires); and the 2009 release of Ligeti's string quartets nos. 1 and 2, and Andante and Allegretto (Naxos). The Ligeti recording won the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance.

    The Parker Quartet's members hold graduate degrees in performance and chamber music from the New England Conservatory of Music, and were part of the New England Conservatory's prestigious Professional String Quartet Training Program. The quartet's mentors include the Cleveland Quartet, Kim Kashkashian, György Kurtág, and Rainer Schmidt. Visit for more information.

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  • Jeremy Geffen

    Jeremy Geffen has served as Director of Artistic Planning at Carnegie Hall since March 2007. In this position, his responsibilities include program planning and development, as well as the creation of a wide range of audience education programs. Prior to his appointment at Carnegie Hall, Jeremy served as vice president of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra (2005-2007), and artistic administrator of the New York Philharmonic (2000-2005). In addition, he worked for the Aspen Music Festival and School as associate artistic administrator from 1998 to 2000. During that time, he also taught courses in music at Colorado Mountain College, hosted a weekly classical music radio show on KAJX, and became the Aspen Institute's youngest-ever moderator, creating and leading the seminar The Marriage of Music and Ideas with Dr. Alberta Arthurs in February and March 2000.

    Jeremy currently serves on the Artistic Committee of the French-American Fund for Contemporary Music, as well as advisory entities for both the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's CMS Two and the Avery Fisher Career Grant. He has also served as an adjudicator for numerous auditions and competitions, including CMS Two auditions and The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

    A native of Cape Town, South Africa, Jeremy was raised in Newport Beach, California. While pursing a bachelor of music degree in viola performance at the University of Southern California, Jeremy developed problems with his right hand that led him away from performance and into artistic programming, which combines his curiosity for and love of the breadth of the classical repertoire, as well as the artists who bring that repertoire to life.

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Jörg Widmann Nachtstück for Clarinet, Cello and Piano
Jörg Widmann, Clarinet; Jan Vogler, Cello; Ewa Kupiec, Piano
Berlin Classics

At a Glance

Jörg Widmann's  music marries 19th-century Romanticism with the avant-garde in a language that is both experimental and theatrical. His works, often daringly virtuosic, are presented tonight in a recital that features the composer on clarinet. The four pieces on the program draw from a wide range of influences, from Schumann and Brahms in the pieces Intermezzi  and Fieberphantasie to the power of the human voice in Versuch über die Fuge, the composer's "attempt at the fugue" for soprano and string quartet.
Program Notes


Jörg Widmann performs his Fantasie.

Perspectives: András Schiff
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Sponsored by Ernst & Young LLP
This performance is part of Making Music, and Perspectives: András Schiff.

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