Performance Thursday, November 21, 2013 | 8 PM

Orchestra of St. Luke's

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Jonathan Biss, “a young virtuoso and poetic pianist of the first order” (Chicago Sun-Times), has developed a stellar reputation with Carnegie Hall audiences for his poignant and personal interpretations of both classic keyboard works and contemporary compositions in recital and alongside premier orchestras from around the world. He is joined by one of these esteemed ensembles—the Orchestra of St. Luke’s—for what will surely be an exceptional evening of music making.


  • Orchestra of St. Luke's
    Iván Fischer, Conductor
  • Jonathan Biss, Piano


  • WEINER Serenade, Op. 3
  • SCHUMANN Piano Concerto
  • BARTÓK Hungarian Sketches
  • MOZART Symphony No. 41, "Jupiter"

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two and one-half hours, including one 20-minute intermission.


  • Orchestra of St. Luke's

    Orchestra of St. Luke's (OSL) is one of America's foremost and most versatile orchestras, regularly collaborating with the world's greatest artists and performing approximately 70 concerts each year-including its orchestra series at Carnegie Hall, its chamber music series at The Morgan Library & Museum and the Brooklyn Museum, and its summer residency at the Caramoor Music Festival. OSL has commissioned more than 50 new works; given more than 150 world, US, and New York premieres; and appears on more than 90 recordings, including four Grammy Award-winning albums and seven releases on its own label, St. Luke's Collection. Pablo Heras-Casado, who was named 2014 Conductor of the Year by Musical America, is OSL's principal conductor.

    OSL grew out of a chamber ensemble that gathered in the Church of St. Luke in the Fields in Greenwich Village in 1974. Today, St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble consists of 21 virtuoso artists who make up OSL's artistic core and are dedicated to a diverse repertoire that spans the Baroque to contemporary works.

    OSL owns and operates The DiMenna Center for Classical Music in midtown Manhattan, where it shares a building with the Baryshnikov Arts Center. The DiMenna Center is one of New York City's premier venues for rehearsal, recording, and learning, having quickly gained a reputation for its superb acoustics, state-of-the-art facilities, and affordability. Since opening in 2011, The DiMenna Center has welcomed more than 50,000 visitors, including more than 300 ensembles and artists such as Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Valery Gergiev, and James Levine. OSL also hosts hundreds of neighbors, families, and schoolchildren at its home each year for free community events.

    OSL's Community & Education programs have introduced audiences across New York City to live classical music. OSL brings free chamber concerts to the five boroughs; offers free interactive music programs at its home, The DiMenna Center for Classical Music; provides chamber music coaching for adult amateurs; and reaches 10,000 public school students each year through free school concerts and in-school instruction. In July 2013, OSL and the Police Athletic League (PAL) launched Youth Orchestra of St. Luke's (YOSL), an after-school orchestra and instrumental coaching program that emphasizes musical excellence and social development. Visit for more information.

    Iván Fischer

    Iván Fischer has been music director of the Budapest Festival Orchestra since he founded the celebrated ensemble in 1983, a partnership that has proven to be one of the greatest success stories in the past three decades of classical music. As a guest conductor, Mr. Fischer works with the world's finest symphony orchestras. He has been invited to conduct the Berliner Philharmoniker more than 10 times, and devotes two weeks every year to the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He was principal guest conductor and principal conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC, from 2006 to 2009. He has also appeared with the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland and Philadelphia orchestras, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Mr. Fischer's opera engagements have included the Vienna State Opera, Glyndebourne, and the Opéra National de Lyon, where he was music director from 2000 to 2003. In the summers of 2011 and 2013, he conducted and directed highly acclaimed performances of Don Giovanni and The Marriage of Figaro at New York's Mostly Mozart Festival.

    Mr. Fischer's frequent international touring with the Budapest Festival Orchestra and his more than 50 recordings with the ensemble for Philips and Channel Classics have contributed to his reputation as one of the world's most visionary and successful orchestra leaders. In August 2012, he added a new post to his worldwide schedule, becoming music director of the Konzerthaus Berlin and principal conductor of the Konzerthausorchester Berlin. Mr. Fischer studied piano, violin, and cello, and is an active composer. His works have been performed in the US, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, and most recently Hungary, where a varied group of his compositions comprised two complete concert programs in Budapest. He is a founder of the Hungarian Mahler Society and Patron of the British Kodály Academy. He received the Golden Medal Award from the President of the Republic of Hungary, the Kossuth Prize, the Royal Philharmonic Award, the Crystal Award from the World Economic Forum, and the Dutch De Ovatie prize. He has been named a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French government and is an honorary citizen of Budapest.

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  • Jonathan Biss

    American pianist Jonathan Biss is widely regarded for his artistry, musical intelligence, and deeply felt interpretations. He has won international recognition for his orchestral, recital, and chamber music performances, and for his award-winning recordings. In the 2013-2014 season, Mr. Biss's orchestral engagements include the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and Seattle Symphony, among others. He continues to perform major recital series in the US and in Europe, and gives a solo recital at Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage in January 2014.

    In January 2012, Onyx Classics released the first CD in a nine-year, nine-disc recording cycle of Beethoven's complete sonatas. Mr. Biss wrote about this recording project and his relationship with Beethoven's music more generally in Beethoven's Shadow, an essay published electronically by RosettaBooks as a Kindle Single, available from His next Kindle Single, A Pianist Under the Influence, was released shortly thereafter.

    Jonathan Biss represents the third generation in a family of professional musicians that includes his grandmother, Raya Garbousova, one of the first well-known female cellists (for whom Samuel Barber composed his Cello Concerto), and his parents, violinist Miriam Fried and violist-violinist Paul Biss. Growing up surrounded by music, Mr. Biss began his piano studies at age six, and his first musical collaborations were with his mother and father. He studied at Indiana University with Evelyne Brancart and at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia with Leon Fleisher. In 2010, Mr. Biss was appointed to Curtis's piano faculty, and in September 2013, he and the Curtis Institute of Music partnered with Coursera-the leading provider of "massive online open courses"-to offer a free, online course on Beethoven's piano sonatas. More than 30,000 people enrolled in the course-seven times the total number of students who have attended Curtis since the school opened its doors in October 1924.

    For more information about Jonathan Biss and to read his blog about his life as a musician, go to or visit his fan page on Facebook.

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Bartók's Hungarian Sketches ("Swineherd's Dance")
Budapest Festival Orchestra | Iván Fischer, Conductor

At a Glance

Leó Weiner and Béla Bartók—two Hungarian composers whose lives overlapped substantially—offer different ways of treating folk-music material and approaching their audiences with music derived from their native land. Weiner remained essentially a Romantic composer, while Bartók developed an advanced musical language that grew out of folk traditions. But in the case of both pieces on tonight's program, while folk characteristics are palpable, neither is based on the quotation of traditional music.

The two pieces by composers of Germanic Europe were composed when both men were in their early 30s. Schumann, at 30, was in just his first year as a composer of orchestral music, turning out an early version of what became the Piano Concerto in A Minor, which he enlarged and performed four years later. Mozart, though only 32 at the time he composed the "Jupiter" Symphony, was only three years from the end of his life, and in this extraordinary work he brought to an end the list of his symphonic works.
Program Notes