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  • Carnegie Hall Presents
  • ZH Zankel Hall
  • SA/PS Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
  • REW Resnick Education Wing
  • WRH Weill Recital Hall

Mitsuko Uchida

Thursday, March 30, 2017 8 PM Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
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A delicate Mozart sonata, romantic fire and divine repose from Schumann, and a new Jörg Widmann work commissioned by Carnegie Hall spotlight Mitsuko Uchida’s tremendous versatility. Mozart’s C-Major Sonata features the gentle “In an 18th-Century Drawing Room” theme and remains one of the composer's most beloved sonatas. An eon from Mozart’s mannered work is Schumann’s tumultuous music; Clara Wieck once said to her future husband, “Sometimes your music actually frightens me.” She might have been speaking of Schumann's Kreisleriana, his wildly inventive set of character pieces inspired by a character from ETA Hoffmann’s works. A passionate love letter to Clara, Schumann pours his devotion into every phrase of the Fantasy in C Major.


Mitsuko Uchida, Piano


MOZART Piano Sonata in C Major, K. 545
SCHUMANN Kreisleriana
JÖRG WIDMANN Sonatina facile (NY Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
SCHUMANN Fantasy in C Major

MOZART Andante cantabile from Piano Sonata in C Major, K. 330

Event Duration

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

Lead support for the 125 Commissions Project is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Public support for the 125 Commissions Project is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Additional funding is provided by members of Carnegie Hall's Composer Club.

At a Glance

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART  Piano Sonata in C Major, K. 545

Mozart described this deceptively simple work as “a little piano sonata for beginners.” Eschewing the virtuosity that characterizes his piano concertos, he adopted a transparently textured style that makes comparatively modest demands on the performer but yields rich pleasures for the listener.

ROBERT SCHUMANN  Kreisleriana, Op. 16

German Romantic writer E. T. A. Hoffmann, who created the memorable character of the half crazed Kapellmeister Johannes Kreisler, was Schumann’s soulmate and literary counterpart. Kreisleriana pays homage to its namesake in the form of eight fantasy-like pieces that also reflect the contrasting personalities of the composer’s fictional alter egos: the impulsive Florestan and the dreamy Eusebius.

JÖRG WIDMANN  Sonatina facile

The 43-year-old German composer, clarinetist, and conductor Jörg Widmann has written in a wide variety of genres, from operas to string quartets and from symphonic pieces to instrumental solos. Like many of his works, the Sonatina facile reflects his creative engagement with music of the past—in this case, Mozart’s popular Piano Sonata in C Major.

ROBERT SCHUMANN  Fantasy in C Major, Op. 17

Like most of Schumann’s solo piano works of the 1830s, the C-Major Fantasy was a musical valentine to his future bride, Clara Wieck. The composer toyed with the idea of expanding it into a musical memorial to Beethoven, but eventually reverted to his original conception. Clara professed to hear “an entire orchestra” in the Fantasy’s march-like second movement.


Mitsuko Uchida

Legendary pianist Mitsuko Uchida brings a deep insight into the music she plays through her own quest for truth and beauty. Renowned for her interpretations of Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, and Beethoven, she has also illuminated the music of Berg, Schoenberg, Webern,  ...

Legendary pianist Mitsuko Uchida brings a deep insight into the music she plays through her own quest for truth and beauty. Renowned for her interpretations of Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, and Beethoven, she has also illuminated the music of Berg, Schoenberg, Webern, and Boulez.

In 2016, Ms. Uchida was appointed an artistic partner to the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and began a series of concerts directing Mozart concertos from the keyboard in tours of major European venues, as well as in Japan. Other recent highlights include an acclaimed performance of Schoenberg's piano concerto with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski, and play-directing The Cleveland Orchestra in performances at Cleveland's Severance Hall and Carnegie Hall. Recital tours in 2016 included performances at Carnegie Hall, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, Vienna's Konzerthaus, and London's Royal Festival Hall.

In 2017, Ms. Uchida embarks on a Schubert sonata series-featuring 12 of Schubert's major works-which she will tour throughout Europe and North America. She also returns to the Salzburg and Edinburgh festivals, and appears with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Riccardo Muti, and the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Sir Antonio Pappano.

Ms. Uchida's relationship with the finest orchestras and concert halls has resulted in numerous residencies. She has been artist-in-residence at The Cleveland Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, Vienna's Konzerthaus, Salzburg Mozartwoche, and Lucerne Festival, as well as a Carnegie Hall Perspectives artist during the 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 seasons.

Ms. Uchida records exclusively for Decca, and her extensive discography includes the complete Mozart and Schubert piano sonatas. Her recording of the Schoenberg Piano Concerto with Pierre Boulez and The Cleveland Orchestra won four awards, including the Gramophone Award for Best Concerto. She recently finished recording Mozart's piano concertos with The Cleveland Orchestra, the last installment of which was released this past fall.

Highly committed to aiding the development of young musicians, Ms. Uchida is a trustee of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust and director of the Marlboro Music Festival. Ms. Uchida was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2009.

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