Performance Friday, May 2, 2014 | 8 PM

The Philadelphia Orchestra

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Violinist Lisa Batiashvili, “a vital and magnetic live performer [with] enormous promise and the inquiring mind with which to fulfill it” (The Guardian), joins Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra for a performance of Bartók’s lighthearted and lyrical First Violin Concerto, written while he was under the spell of his unrequited love for violinist Stefi Geyer. Also on the program is Bruckner’s majestic, unfinished Ninth Symphony.


  • The Philadelphia Orchestra
    Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Music Director and Conductor
  • Lisa Batiashvili, Violin


  • BARBER Adagio for Strings
  • BARTÓK Violin Concerto No. 1
  • BRUCKNER Symphony No. 9

Event Duration

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


  • The Philadelphia Orchestra

    The Philadelphia Orchestra is one of the preeminent orchestras in the world, renowned for its distinctive sound, desired for its keen ability to capture the hearts and imaginations of audiences, and admired for a legacy of innovation in music making. The orchestra is inspiring the future and transforming its rich tradition of achievement, sustaining the highest level of artistic quality, but also challenging-and exceeding-that level by creating powerful musical experiences for audiences at home and around the world.

    Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin triumphantly opened his inaugural season as the eighth artistic leader of the orchestra in fall 2012, and has been embraced by the musicians of the orchestra, audiences, and the community itself. Yannick's concerts of diverse repertoire attract sold-out houses, and he has established a regular forum for connecting with concertgoers through Post-Concert Conversations. Under Yannick's leadership, the orchestra returns to recording with a newly released CD on the Deutsche Grammophon label of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring and Leopold Stokowski transcriptions. In Yannick's inaugural season, the orchestra has also returned to the radio airwaves, with weekly Sunday afternoon broadcasts on WRTI-FM.

    Philadelphia is home, and the orchestra nurtures an important relationship not only with patrons who support the main season at the Kimmel Center, but also those who enjoy the orchestra's other area performances at the Mann Center, Penn's Landing, and other venues. The orchestra is also a global ambassador for Philadelphia and for the US. Having been the first American orchestra to perform in China in 1973 at the request of President Nixon, today The Philadelphia Orchestra boasts a new partnership with the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing. The orchestra annually performs at Carnegie Hall, while also enjoying annual residencies in Saratoga Springs, New York, and at the Bravo! Vail festival.

    Musician-led initiatives, including highly successful PlayIns, shine a spotlight on the orchestra's musicians as they spread out from the stage into the community. The orchestra's commitment to its education and community partnership initiatives manifests itself in numerous other ways, including concerts for families and students, and eZseatU, a program that allows full-time college students to attend an unlimited number of orchestra concerts for a $25 annual membership fee. Visit for more information.

    Yannick Nézet-Séguin

    Yannick Nézet-Séguin continues his inspired leadership as the eighth music director of The Philadelphia Orchestra, which began in the fall of 2012. His highly collaborative style, deeply rooted musical curiosity, and boundless enthusiasm, paired with a fresh approach to orchestral programming, have been heralded by critics and audiences alike. He has taken the orchestra to new musical heights. His second season builds on the momentum of the first, with highlights that have included a Philadelphia Commissions Micro-Festival, for which three leading composers were commissioned to write solo works for three of the orchestra's principal players. The season ends with a unique, theatrically staged presentation of Strauss's revolutionary opera Salome, a first-ever co-production with Opera Philadelphia.

    Yannick has established himself as a musical leader of the highest caliber and one of the most exciting talents of his generation. Since 2008, he has been music director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic and principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic; since 2000, he has been artistic director and principal conductor of Montreal's Orchestre Métropolitain. He became the first-ever mentor conductor of the Curtis Institute of Music's conducting fellows program in the fall of 2013. He has made wildly successful appearances with the world's most revered ensembles and has conducted critically acclaimed performances at many of the leading opera houses.

    Yannick and Deutsche Grammophon (DG) enjoy a long-term collaboration. Under his leadership, the orchestra returns to recording with a newly released CD on that label of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring and Leopold Stokowski transcriptions. Yannick continues a fruitful recording relationship with the Rotterdam Philharmonic for DG, BIS, and EMI/Virgin; the London Philharmonic for the LPO label; and the Orchestre Métropolitain for ATMA Classique.

    A native of Montreal, Yannick studied at that city's Conservatory of Music and continued lessons with renowned conductor Carlo Maria Giulini and with Joseph Flummerfelt at Westminster Choir College. Among Yannick's honors are an appointment as Companion of the Order of Canada, a Royal Philharmonic Society Award, Canada's National Arts Centre Award, the Prix Denise-Pelletier, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Quebec in Montreal. Visit to read Yannick's full bio.

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  • Lisa Batiashvili

    Lisa Batiashvili is one of the world's most sought-after violinists. In Europe, she frequently works with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Staatskapelle Dresden, Staatskapelle Berlin, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and the major London orchestras. In the US, she performs every season with the New York Philharmonic and regularly returns to the other top orchestras. She made her Philadelphia Orchestra debut in 2005.

    Highlights of Ms. Batiashvili's 2013-2014 season include an Asian tour with the New York Philharmonic under Alan Gilbert and a European tour with the Rotterdam Philharmonic and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. She performs with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and David Zinman, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Tugan Sokhiev, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Mariss Jansons, and the Philharmonia Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen. She also continues her collaboration with pianist Paul Lewis in a series of recitals in Paris, Brussels, and Hamburg, and presents a new Bach ensemble project with oboist François Leleux. Recently announced as the New York Philharmonic's 2014-2015 artist in residence, Ms. Batiashvili held the position of Capell-Virtuosin with the Staatskapelle Dresden during the 2012-2013 season, performing a wide range of concerts with its principal conductor Christian Thielemann. She was also artist in residence with the WDR Symphony Orchestra in Cologne.

    Ms. Batiashvili records exclusively for Deutsche Grammophon. Recent releases include the Brahms Violin Concerto with the Staatskapelle Dresden and Mr. Thielemann, and a disc of works by Tchaikovsky with the Rotterdam Philharmonic and Mr. Nézet-Séguin. In 2011, she received an ECHO Klassik award for her debut album on the label, Echoes of Time, which includes Shostakovich's First Violin Concerto with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Mr. Salonen. Ms. Batiashvili gained international recognition at age 16 as the youngest-ever competitor in the Sibelius Competition, where she took Second Prize. She plays a Guarneri del Gesù violin from 1739, generously loaned by a private collector in Germany.

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Bruckner's Symphony No. 9 (Scherzo: Bewegt, lebhaft)
Grand Montreal Metropolitan Orchestra | Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Conductor
ATMA Classique

At a Glance

SAMUEL BARBER  Adagio for Strings, Op. 11

Barber's Adagio for Strings originated as the slow movement of a string quartet the 26-year-old composed in 1936. Two years later, he sent his arrangement for string orchestra to Arturo Toscanini, and the great conductor's advocacy launched its fame with the 1938 premiere and a 1942 recording. This ethereal meditation has since emerged as an iconic piece of 20th-century American music.

BÉLA BARTÓK  Violin Concerto No. 1

Bartók was a virtuoso pianist who formed fruitful partnerships with some of the leading violinists of his time, resulting in performances, recordings, and new compositions. He wrote his First Violin Concerto between 1907 and 1908 for Stefi Geyer, with whom he was in love at the time. Bartók decided to divert some of the music to another piece, Two Portraits, and the original concerto was premiered only posthumously a half-century later.

ANTON BRUCKNER  Symphony No. 9 in D Major

A devout Catholic, Bruckner composed an abundant quantity of sacred music, but in the latter half of his career, he concentrated on writing grand symphonies. These imposing orchestral cathedrals of sound unite the sacred and secular in the most sincere and moving ways, nowhere more so than in his unfinished Symphony No. 9—his last work—which he dedicated to "Almighty God."

Program Notes
This performance is part of The Philadelphia Orchestra, and Snowbird Sampler.