Performance Friday, April 11, 2014 | 8 PM

Munich Philharmonic Orchestra

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Hailed by The New York Times for its “energetic, richly colored and insightful … music making,” the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra returns to Carnegie Hall with Music Director Designate Valery Gergiev. The all-Strauss program includes the mercurial Burleske with legendary pianist Emanuel Ax and Also sprach Zarathustra—now some of the most recognizable music ever written, thanks to Stanley Kubrick’s mind-bending sci-fi film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Please note that Lorin Maazel is unable to conduct this evening’s concert due to illness. Carnegie Hall and the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra are immensely grateful to Valery Gergiev for altering his schedule and flying to and from Europe expressly for this event.


  • Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
    Valery Gergiev, Music Director Designate and Conductor
  • Emanuel Ax, Piano


  • R. STRAUSS Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30
  • R. STRAUSS Burleske
  • R. STRAUSS Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche

  • Encore:
  • BRAHMS Intermezzo in B-flat Minor, Op. 117, No. 2

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission. Please note that there will be no late seating until intermission.


  • Munich Philharmonic Orchestra

    The Munich Philharmonic was founded in 1893. Since then-and under the direction of a series of renowned conductors-it has vastly enriched Munich's musical life. In the orchestra's earliest years, conductors Hans Winderstein and Felix Weingartner guaranteed a high performance level. Gustav Mahler conducted the orchestra in the world premieres of his Fourth and Eighth symphonies, and in November 1911, the world premiere of Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde took place under Bruno Walter's direction. Ferdinand Löwe led the orchestra's first Bruckner concerts and established its Bruckner tradition, which was then gloriously continued by Siegmund von Hausegger and Oswald Kabasta. Eugen Jochum opened the first concert after World War II with Mendelssohn's Overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream.

    In autumn 1945, the orchestra acquired the services of the outstanding conductor Hans Rosbaud, who took up the cudgel for new music. His successor, from 1949 to 1965, was Fritz Rieger, during whose administration the groundwork was laid for the Philharmonic's successful youth work. During the Rudolf Kempe era (1967-1976), the Philharmonic made its first tour to the Soviet Union.

    In 1979, Sergiu Celibidache conducted his first series of concerts with the orchestra and was then appointed music director in June of the same year. His legendary Bruckner concerts made a major contribution to the orchestra's international reputation. From September 1999 until July 2004, the post of chief conductor was held by James Levine, under whose direction the orchestra was recognized by the German Music Publishers' Association for having the best concert program of the 2002-2003 season.

    In January 2004, the Philharmonic named Zubin Mehta the first conductor laureate in its history. In May 2003, Christian Thielemann became music director, and in November 2007, he led the orchestra on a tour to Japan, Korea, and China. These successful performances were followed by a repeat tour to Japan for five concerts in May 2010.

    In September 2010, the orchestra traveled with Mr. Mehta to South America, where it received plaudits from both press and public. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Munich world premiere of Mahler's Symphony

    No. 8, Mr. Thielemann led two performances of the work in October 2010. Lorin Maazel has been music director of the orchestra since the beginning of the 2012-2013 season.

    Valery Gergiev

    A prominent figure in all the world's major concert halls, Valery Gergiev is the artistic and general director of the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg, and since 1988 has taken the Mariinsky ballet, opera, and orchestra ensembles to more than 45 countries, garnishing universal acclaim. Maestro Gergiev's 25 years of leadership have also resulted in the building of the Mariinsky Concert Hall (2006) and the new Mariinsky II theater (2013) alongside the classic Mariinsky Theatre.

    Principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra since 2007, Mr. Gergiev performs with the LSO at the Barbican Centre, BBC Proms, and Edinburgh International Festival, as well as on extensive tours of Europe, North America, and Asia. In July 2013, he led the inaugural international tour of the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America, an orchestra founded by Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute. In fall 2015, he will assume the post of principal conductor of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra. He also is founder and artistic director of the Stars of the White Nights Festival and the New Horizons Festival in St. Petersburg, the Moscow Easter Festival, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Gergiev Festival, the Mikkeli Music Festival, and the Red Sea Classical Music Festival in Israel, as well as principal conductor of the World Orchestra for Peace.

    Mr. Gergiev's record releases with the Mariinsky Orchestra and London Symphony Orchestra continually win awards in Europe, Asia, and America. Recent releases include a Mahler symphony cycle, Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet, Massenet's Don Quichotte, Shchedrin's The Enchanted Wanderer, Wagner's Parsifal and Die Walküre, and Shostakovich's Symphony No. 7.

    Mr. Gergiev has led numerous composer-centered concert cycles in New York, London, and other international cities, including ones focused on Berlioz, Brahms, Dutilleux, Mahler, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, and Wagner. He has introduced audiences around the world to several rarely performed Russian operas.

    Mr. Gergiev's many awards include the Dmitri Shostakovich Award, the Netherlands' Knight of the Order of the Dutch Lion, Japan's Order of the Rising Sun, and the French Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur.

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  • Emanuel Ax

    Born in Poland, Emanuel Ax moved to Canada with his family when he was a young boy. He studied at The Juilliard School and Columbia University, capturing public attention in 1974 when he won the first Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Tel Aviv. In 1975, he won the Michaels Award of Young Concert Artists, followed four years later by the coveted Avery Fisher Prize.

    The 2013-2014 season begins with appearances at the Barbican Centre followed by Lincoln Center with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Bernard Haitink, as well as collaborations with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Mariss Jansons in Amsterdam, Bucharest, China, and Japan during their worldwide centenary celebrations. The second half of the season sees the realization of a project inspired by Brahms, which includes new pieces linked to Brahms from composers Missy Mazzoli, Nico Muhly, and Brett Dean, commissioned jointly between the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cal Performances Berkeley, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Carnegie Hall, with the participation of collaborators Anne Sofie von Otter and Yo-Yo Ma. To conclude the season, Mr. Ax travels to Hong Kong and Australia for a complete cycle of Beethoven concertos with incoming Chief Conductor David Roberston in Sydney and with Sir Andrew Davis in Melbourne.

    In conjunction with his multiple weeks as artist in residence with the New York Philharmonic during the 2012-2013 season, Sony Classical released Mr. Ax's latest recital disc of works from Haydn to Schumann to Copland, reflecting their different uses of the "variation" concept. In the spring, he joined that orchestra on its European tour conducted by Alan Gilbert. He returned to the orchestras in Los Angeles, St. Louis, Atlanta, Detroit, Washington, and Pittsburgh, where he is a beloved regular.

    Mr. Ax received Grammy Awards for the second and third volumes of his cycle of Haydn's piano sonatas. He has also made a series of Grammy-winning recordings with Yo-Yo Ma of the Beethoven and Brahms sonatas for cello and piano.

    Mr. Ax resides in New York City with his wife, pianist Yoko Nozaki. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and holds honorary doctorates of music from Yale and Columbia universities. For more information, visit

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R. Strauss's Also sprach Zarathustra
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra | Lorin Maazel, Conductor
Deutsche Grammophon

At a Glance

This concert presents varying sides of Richard Strauss's orchestral wizardry and musical sensibility. Also sprach Zarathustra projects Strauss at his most ambitious, most colorful, and most enigmatic; Burleske, a witty piano concerto, deals in parody and pastiche, with understated orchestral colors unusual for Strauss; and Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche demonstrates his ability to combine sharply contrasting moods and colors in a seamless whole. Hearing these works together makes it obvious why Strauss is considered one of the founders of the modern orchestra, even though all three date from the 19th century.
Program Notes