Performance Thursday, October 16, 2014 | 8 PM

London Philharmonic Orchestra

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
The Times (London) said that the sound of Jean-Efflam Bavouzet’s fingers “is distinctive. It is searching, penetrating, imaginatively fired.” Those fingers will be put to the test in Rachmaninoff’s spectacular Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. The composer weaves Paganini’s immortal theme with the traditional Latin Dies Irae into one of the most brilliant sets of variations ever written. Magnus Lindberg’s Chorale reflects on a Bach chorale in a series of highly imaginative variations. Shostakovich’s massive Symphony No. 8, written in 1943 when the Nazis were in retreat, is not a Soviet victory anthem, but a sober meditation streaked with a sense of foreboding.

The contemporary work on this program is part of My Time, My Music.


  • London Philharmonic Orchestra
    Vladimir Jurowski, Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor
  • Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Piano


  • RACHMANINOFF Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
  • SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 8

  • Encore:
  • DEBUSSY "Feux d'artifice" from Préludes, Book II

Event Duration

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


  • London Philharmonic Orchestra 

    Recognized today as one of the finest orchestras on the international stage, the London Philharmonic Orchestra balances a long and distinguished history with a reputation as one of the UK's most forward-looking ensembles. In addition to its concert performances, the orchestra also records film soundtracks, releases CDs on its own record label, and reaches thousands of people every year through activities for families, schools, and community groups.

    The orchestra was founded by Sir Thomas Beecham in 1932 and has since been led by many great conductors, including Sir Adrian Boult, Bernard Haitink, Sir Georg Solti, Klaus Tennstedt, and Kurt Masur. Appointed in 2007, the orchestra's current principal conductor is Vladimir Jurowski. In September 2015, Andrés Orozco-Estrada will take up the position of principal guest conductor.

    The London Philharmonic Orchestra has been performing at Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall since it opened in 1951, and it became the venue's resident orchestra in 1992. It also has flourishing residencies in Brighton and Eastbourne and plays for the Glyndebourne Festival Opera in the summer, where it has been the festival's resident symphony orchestra for more than 50 years. Touring abroad also forms a significant part of the orchestra's schedule. Highlights of the 2014-2015 season include appearances across Europe and tours to the US, Canada, and China.

    The orchestra broadcasts regularly on television and radio. It also works within the film industries in Hollywood and the UK, recording soundtracks for blockbusters including the Oscar-winning score for The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

    In the summer of 2012, the London Philharmonic Orchestra performed as part of Queen Elizabeth II's Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant and was also chosen to record the world's national anthems for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. In 2013, it was the winner of the Royal Philharmonic Society's Ensemble Music Award.

    The orchestra maintains an energetic program of activities for young people, including the BrightSparks school concerts and FUNharmonics family concerts. Its work at the forefront of digital engagement and social media has enabled the orchestra to reach even more people worldwide. In addition to its lively presence on Facebook and Twitter, the orchestra maintains a YouTube channel and puts out regular podcasts, and all of its recordings are available for download on iTunes.

    Vladimir Jurowski 

    One of today's most sought-after conductors, Vladimir Jurowski is acclaimed worldwide for his incisive musicianship and adventurous artistic commitment. Mr. Jurowski was born in Moscow in 1972 and studied at the Hochschule für Musik Carl Maria von Weber Dresden and Berlin's Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler. In 1995, Mr. Jurowski made his international debut at the Wexford Festival Opera in Ireland conducting Rimsky-Korsakov's May Night. In the same year, he debuted at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, with Verdi's Nabucco.

    Mr. Jurowski was appointed principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 2003, becoming the orchestra's principal conductor in September 2007. 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 Russia. He has previously held the positions of first Kapellmeister of the Komische Oper Berlin (1997-2001), principal guest conductor of the Teatro Comunale di Bologna (2000-2003), principal guest conductor of the Russian National Orchestra (2005-2009), and music director of Glyndebourne Festival Opera (2001-2013).

    Mr. Jurowski is a regular guest with many leading orchestras in both Europe and North America, including the Berliner Philharmoniker, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden, and Chamber Orchestra of Europe.

    His opera engagements have included Rigoletto, Jenůfa, The Queen of Spades, Hänsel und Gretel, and Die Frau ohne Schatten at the Metropolitan Opera; Parsifal and Wozzeck at the Welsh National Opera in Cardiff; War and Peace at the Opéra national de Paris; Eugene Onegin at Teatro alla Scala in Milan; Ruslan and Ludmila at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow; Iolanta and Der Teufel von Loudun at the Semperoper in Dresden; and numerous operas at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, including Otello, Macbeth, Falstaff, Tristan und Isolde, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Don Giovanni, The Cunning Little Vixen, Ariadne auf Naxos, and Péter Eötvös's Love and Other Demons.


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  • Jean-Efflam Bavouzet   

    Award-winning pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet enjoys a prolific recording and international concert career. He is also artistic director of a new biennial piano festival set in the stunning scenery of the Lofoten Islands in Norway. The inaugural festival took place in July 2014.

    Mr. Bavouzet records exclusively for Chandos Records. His recent release featuring the complete Prokofiev piano concertos with the BBC Philharmonic and conductor Gianandrea Noseda won the concerto category of the 2014 Gramophone Awards. His earlier recordings have earned multiple prizes, including two Gramophone Awards, two BBC Music Magazine Awards, a Diapason d'Or, and a Choc de l'année from Classica magazine. Ongoing recording projects include cycles of piano sonatas by Haydn and Beethoven.

    This past summer, Mr. Bavouzet performed with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra in the Robeco SummerNights at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. He also returned to the Tivoli Symphony Orchestra to perform concertos by Haydn and Beethoven while directing from the keyboard.

    His 2014-2015 season features debuts with the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg under Emmanuel Krivine, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra under Louis Langrée, and the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano under Vladimir Ashkenazy. Mr. Bavouzet also returns to the Orchestre national de France under Juanjo Mena, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Tokyo's NHK Symphony Orchestra, and Australia's Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. His residency with the São Paulo State Symphony concludes with a week of chamber music, recitals, and master classes.

    Recent highlights have included concerts with the Bavarian State Orchestra in Munich under François-Xavier Roth, the Manchester Camerata under Gábor Takács-Nagy, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Beijing Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, and the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, where he performed the complete cycle of Beethoven's piano concertos. Mr. Bavouzet regularly collaborates with conductors such as Vasily Petrenko, Daniele Gatti, Valery Gergiev, Neeme Järvi, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Kirill Karabits, Andris Nelsons, Krzysztof Urbański, Antoni Wit, Yan Pascal Tortelier, and Iván Fischer. 

    An equally active recitalist, Mr. Bavouzet returns to Musée du Louvre in Paris and Wigmore Hall in London this season, and regularly gives recitals in Munich, Budapest, Taiwan, Melbourne, and Brisbane.

    Mr. Bavouzet has worked closely with Pierre Boulez, Maurice Ohana, and Bruno Mantovani, and is also a champion of lesser-known French music, notably that of Gabriel Pierné and Albéric Magnard. He regularly collaborates with the Palazzetto Bru Zane and has devised a chamber music program dedicated to the music of Albéric Magnard.
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Schostakovich's Symphony No. 8 (Allegretto)
London Philharmonic Orchestra | Gennadi Rozhdestvensky, Conductor

At a Glance


Lush harmonies, dynamic rhythms, coruscating orchestral colors—all of these are features of Magnus Lindberg’s work.In Chorale, Lindberg works with melodic phrases and harmonies from one of J. S. Bach’s most famous chorales, “Es ist genug” (“It is enough”), the concluding hymn from his church cantata O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort (O eternity, thou thunderous word).Tellingly, the composer makes use of imagery from nature to describe his treatment of Bach’s famous chorale: “I make an analogy with the rise and fall of the tide. When the tide is in, the sea-bed is invisible; but when the tide goes out, you see the rock formation on the sea-bed.”

SERGEI RACHMANINOFF  Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43

Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43, is based on the celebrated theme of the last of the 24 Caprices for solo violin by Nicolò Paganini, published in 1820. This is a memorable melody with a strong, simple harmonic outline, designed by Paganini himself as a theme for variations. Using this theme, Rachmaninoff creates a series of 23 of his own variations—an unusual application of the title “Rhapsody,” though this is perhaps justified by the freedom with which the theme is treated, especially in the later stages of the piece.

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH  Symphony No. 8 in C Minor, Op. 65

Shostakovich, like Mahler, was freely pragmatic in his approach to formal outline in his symphonies—only six of the 15 are in the “traditional” four movements. The Eighth has a particularly Mahlerian shape, its five movements containing two adjacent march-scherzos, a spacious and wide-ranging finale, and, to start, an epic sonata-form slow movement that makes up almost half of the work.

Program Notes
KPMG 124X46
Sponsored by KPMG LLP
This performance is part of Carnegie Classics, Russian Romance, and Great Piano Concertos.

Part of