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New York String Orchestra

Wednesday, December 28, 2016 8 PM Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Say farewell to the old year with magnificent music. The New York String Orchestra opens the concert with Prokofiev’s witty “Classical” Symphony, a work that looks back to Haydn and Mozart, then brings down the house with a whirling tarantella in Mendelssohn’s exuberant “Italian” Symphony. Between the symphonies, hear pianists Anna Polonsky and Orion Weiss engage in a delightful musical conversation in Mozart’s tuneful Concerto for Two Pianos.


New York String Orchestra
Jaime Laredo, Conductor
Anna Polonsky, Piano
Orion Weiss, Piano


PROKOFIEV Symphony No. 1, "Classical"

MOZART Concerto for Two Pianos in E-flat Major, K. 365

MENDELSSOHN Symphony No. 4, "Italian"

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately 90 minutes, including one 20-minute intermission.

This concert is made possible, in part, by an endowment fund for young artists established by Stella and Robert Jones.

At a Glance

This evening's program features three musical gems by Prokofiev, Mozart, and Mendelssohn that share a youthful spirit of charm and effervescence. The infectious energy of Prokofiev's First Symphony makes it one of his most popular works. The composer himself gave the symphony the title "Classical," as he emulated the style of Haydn in the work. Mozart's Concerto for Two Pianos in E-flat Major is full of wit, good humor, and playful interaction between the soloists. The composer's dazzling ability to superimpose dramatic effect, comic relief, and sheer joy leaves the listener breathless. Mendelssohn's experiences while touring Italy were the inspiration behind his "Italian" Symphony. The lively culture, history, landscape, and people of Italy provided him with ample material for this sunny and energetic work.


Jaime Laredo

For more than six decades, Jaime Laredo has excelled in the multiple roles of soloist, conductor, recitalist, pedagogue, and chamber musician. Since his stunning San ...

For more than six decades, Jaime Laredo has excelled in the multiple roles of soloist, conductor, recitalist, pedagogue, and chamber musician. Since his stunning San Francisco Symphony debut at the age of 11, he has won the admiration and respect of audiences, critics, and fellow musicians with his passionate and polished performances. At the age of 17, he won the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Competition in Belgium, launching his rise to international prominence.

During the 2016-2017 season, Mr. Laredo tours the US and Europe as a conductor, soloist, and member of the award-winning Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, which began its 40th anniversary celebration this fall. Earlier this season, he reprised André Previn's Double Concerto for Violin and Cello with his wife, cellist Sharon Robinson. Performances of the concerto-which was commissioned specifically for the duo-have received rave reviews during the past two seasons. They have also performed the work with the Cincinnati, Kansas City, Austin, Detroit, Pacific, and Toronto symphony orchestras, as well as the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and Swedish Chamber Orchestra. The duo will collaborate next on a double concerto by Chris Brubeck.

Mr. Laredo has recorded close to 100 discs, including a Grammy Award-winning disc of Brahms piano quartets with Emanuel Ax, Isaac Stern, and Yo-Yo Ma. His recordings include the complete Bach sonatas with Glenn Gould (CBS/RCA); recent premiere recordings of double concertos with violinist Jennifer Koh (Two x Four on Cedille Records) and cellist Sharon Robinson (Triple Doubles on Bridge Records); and many award-winning recordings with the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio.

Mr. Laredo's stewardships of the annual New York String Orchestra Seminar at Carnegie Hall (which he has conducted for 23 years) and the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis have become beloved educational pillars of the musical community. This is also the fifth year of Mr. Laredo's tenure at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He concurrently holds director positions with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra and Linton Chamber Music Series in Cincinnati, and is the principal conductor of the Westchester Philharmonic. He was also artistic director of the Chamber Music at 92Y series in New York for 40 years. Born in Bolivia, Mr. Laredo resides in Guilford, Vermont, and Cleveland, Ohio.

New York String Orchestra

One of the country's most acclaimed professional training programs, the New York String Orchestra Seminar and its alumni have had a major impact on the music world in the United States and abroad. The program was created in 1969 by arts manager Frank Salomon for violinist and conductor Alexander "Sasha" Schneider, who chose Jaime Laredo to succeed him as director. In its 47-year history, the seminar has introduced more than 2,200 exceptional young musicians from across the nation to new musical ideas and offered them the challenge of performing two professional-level concerts presented by Carnegie Hall. All students receive full scholarships to participate. For more detailed information on the program and its commitment to offering a full scholarship to each participating student, visit newschool.edu/mannes/nysos. If you would like to know more about what the program means to our students and what the future brings them, send an email to nsc@newschool.edu to receive periodic updates.

Seminar alumnus Yo-Yo Ma (1977) shared, "[The seminar was] one of the defining moments for me as a teenager," as it was for so many of today's musical leaders: soloists such as violinists Cho-Liang Lin, Gil Shaham, Kyoko Takezawa, and Shlomo Mintz; conductors who include Peter Oundjian, Joseph Swensen, Douglas Boyd, and Marin Alsop; concertmasters of more than 40 orchestras (including the Chicago, Boston, Cleveland, and Philadelphia orchestras, and the Los Angeles and Czech philharmonics); members of such ensembles as the Emerson, Guarneri, Kronos, Orion, and Takács string quartets and Brooklyn Rider; and faculty at leading music schools and conservatories. They call the seminar a "life-changing musical experience" that opened new musical worlds for them. Each new generation of New York String Orchestra Seminar alumni continues to make a vital contribution to music and illuminate lives around the country.

This year, the 61 New York String Orchestra members (ages 16-23) are from conservatories, colleges, and high schools across the US and Canada. Selected through highly competitive national auditions, students give up their winter holidays to come to New York City for 10 days of intensive orchestra rehearsals with Mr. Laredo and chamber music sessions with master artists, including members of the Emerson, Juilliard, Orion, and Guarneri string quartets.

The New York String Orchestra Seminar is a program of The New School's Mannes School of Music-New School Concerts Department. New School Concerts thanks the conductor, coaches, soloists, audition panelists, and advisors for their invaluable contributions to the project, and the many others whose time, effort, and resources make the seminar possible. Our thanks to the Cleveland Institute of Music, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Colburn School, Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory, Rice University's Shepherd School of Music, and the Wellington Hotel. We also thank Michelle Baker, Bart Feller, Valerie Feuer, Laura Flax, Ida Kavafian, Dean Richard Kessler, Diane Lesser, Don Liuzzi, Mary Malin, Raymond Mase, Frank Morelli, Kurt Muroki, William Ochoa, Sharon Robinson, Susan Sawyer, Michael Seabrook, Stephen Shipps, Linda Strommen, and Hiroko Yajima for their extra efforts on behalf of the project. Additionally, we are grateful to Carnegie Hall's administration and staff, and the many others whose efforts go into making the New York String Orchestra Seminar a success.

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Anna Polonsky

Anna Polonsky is in demand as both a soloist and a chamber musician. She has appeared with the Moscow Virtuosi, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, The Saint Paul Chamber ...

Anna Polonsky is in demand as both a soloist and a chamber musician. She has appeared with the Moscow Virtuosi, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Memphis Symphony Orchestra, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble, and many others. Ms. Polonsky has collaborated with the Guarneri, Orion, Daedalus, and Shanghai string quartets, and with such individual artists as Mitsuko Uchida, Yo-Yo Ma, David Shifrin, Richard Goode, Emanuel Ax, Arnold Steinhardt, Peter Wiley, and Jaime Laredo. She regularly is invited to perform chamber music at the Marlboro, Chamber Music Northwest, Seattle, Music@Menlo, Cartagena, Bard, and Caramoor festivals, as well as at Bargemusic in New York City.

Ms. Polonsky has given concerts at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Vienna Konzerthaus, and Alice Tully Hall, and has toured extensively throughout the US, Europe, and Asia. A frequent guest of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, she was a member of Chamber Music Society Two from 2002 to 2004. In 2006, she took part in the European Broadcasting Union's project to record and broadcast all of Mozart's keyboard sonatas, and in the spring of 2007, she performed a solo recital at Carnegie Hall as part of the Emerson String Quartet's Perspectives series. She is a recipient of a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship and the Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award.

Ms. Polonsky made her solo piano debut at the age of seven at the Special Central Music School in Moscow, Russia. She immigrated to the United States in 1990 and attended high school at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. She received her bachelor's degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she worked with renowned pianist Peter Serkin; she continued her studies with Jerome Lowenthal, earning her master's degree from The Juilliard School. In addition to performing, she serves on the piano faculty of Vassar College, and the Marlboro and Kneisel Hall chamber music festivals. She is a member of the Polonsky-Weiss Piano Duo with her husband, Orion Weiss. Ms. Polonsky is a Steinway Artist.

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Orion Weiss

One of the most sought-after soloists of his generation, Orion Weiss's deeply felt and exceptionally crafted performances go far beyond technical mastery, winning him ...

One of the most sought-after soloists of his generation, Orion Weiss's deeply felt and exceptionally crafted performances go far beyond technical mastery, winning him worldwide acclaim. Recent appearances include performances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, New World Symphony, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Other projects include collaborations with the Pacifica Quartet, violinist Cho-Liang Lin and the New Orford String Quartet, and a North American tour with the world-famous Salzburg Marionette Theatre in an enhanced piano recital of Debussy's La boîte à joujoux. In 2015, Naxos released Mr. Weiss's recording of Christopher Rouse's Seeing, a major commission that he debuted with the Albany Symphony Orchestra. In 2012, he released a recital album of works by Dvořák, Prokofiev, and Bartók, and spearheaded a recording project of the complete Gershwin works for piano and orchestra with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and JoAnn Falletta.

An enthusiastic chamber musician, Mr. Weiss performs regularly with his wife, pianist Anna Polonsky, violinists James Ehnes and Arnaud Sussmann, and cellist Julie Albers. As a recitalist and chamber musician, Mr. Weiss has appeared across the US at venues and festivals, including Lincoln Center, Ravinia Festival, Sheldon Concert Hall (St. Louis), Seattle Chamber Music Society Festival, La Jolla Music Society's SummerFest, Chamber Music Northwest, Bard Music Festival, Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, The Kennedy Center, and Spivey Hall (Clayton State University). He won The Juilliard School's 2005 William Petschek Piano Recital Award and made his New York recital debut at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall that April.

Mr. Weiss's awards include the Gilmore Young Artist Award, an Avery Fisher Career Grant, The Juilliard School's Gina Bachauer Scholarship, and the Mieczyslaw Munz Scholarship. An Ohio native, Mr. Weiss attended the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with Paul Schenly, Daniel Shapiro, Sergei Babayan, Kathryn Brown, and Edith Reed. In 2004, he graduated from The Juilliard School, where he studied with Emanuel Ax.

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