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

Janine Jansen and Friends

Thursday, December 7, 2017 7:30 PM Zankel Hall
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Janine Jansen by Marco Borggreve
Different cultures and locales are remarkably vivid in these pulsing musical gems. Despite the initial request coming from Benny Goodman, Bartok’s Contrasts owes less to jazz and more to the pungent folk music of Eastern Europe—perhaps the influence of its co-commissioner, Hungarian violinist Joseph Szigeti. Szymanowski’s virtuoso Mythes draw inspiration from Mediterranean cultures and French impressionist music, while Messiaen expresses his deep faith in a work of timeless beauty composed under trying circumstances while a prisoner of war.

Part of: Perspectives: Janine Jansen and Chamber Sessions I


Janine Jansen, Violin
Lucas Debargue, Piano
Martin Fröst, Clarinet
Torleif Thedéen, Cello


BARTÓK Contrasts
MESSIAEN Quartet for the End of Time

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.
Janine Jansen introduces her 2017–2018 Perspectives series

At a Glance

BÉLA BARTÓK  Contrasts for Violin, Clarinet, and Piano

Benny Goodman was at the height of his fame as the “King of Swing” when he and violinist Joseph Szigeti commissioned this brilliantly imaginative piano trio from Hungary’s preeminent composer in 1938. Although Bartók was acquainted with Goodman’s recordings, the score reflects the composer’s deep immersion in Eastern European folk music rather than the influence of American jazz.

KAROL SZYMANOWSKI  Mythes for Violin and Piano, Op. 30

Poland’s foremost composer of the early 20th century, Karol Szymanowski experimented with new harmonies and sonorities in a cluster of works written in 1915. Mythes (Myths), a set of three vividly impressionistic tone poems, was inspired by a visit he made to Sicily before World War I. Although the stimulus behind the composition was more than purely musical, Szymanowski refrained from allowing the literary and visual elements to gain the upper hand.

OLIVIER MESSIAEN  Quatuor pour la fin du temps

French composer Olivier Messiaen drew inspiration from many sources—particularly birdsong, medieval plainchant, and the Indian raga. Each of these influences plays a role in the extraordinary Quatuor pour la fin du temps (Quartet for the End of Time). A landmark of 20th-century music, it was written and first performed in a German prisoner-of-war camp during World War II. “Its musical language is essentially immaterial, spiritual, Catholic,” said the devoutly religious Messiaen. He compared the effect of his music to that of a stained-glass window, with colors melding together under shifting sunlight in the open air.


Janine Jansen, Violin

A violinist with an enviable international reputation, Janine Jansen works with the world’s preeminent orchestras and conductors. This season, in addition to curating her Carnegie Hall Perspectives series, she tours with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under Daniele Gatti, London Symphony Orchestra under Michael Tilson Thomas and Semyon Bychkov, and Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen under Paavo Järvi.

Further highlights of Ms. Jansen’s 2017–2018 season include engagements with the Berliner Philharmoniker (also under Paavo Järvi), Munich Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta, Staatskapelle Dresden under Sir Antonio Pappano, The Philadelphia Orchestra and Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra under Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Czech Philharmonic under Jakub Hrůša, Oslo Philharmonic and Vienna Symphony under David Afkham, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra under Karina Canellakis, and Iceland Symphony Orchestra under Daniel Blendulf. She also travels to Asia and Australasia to perform with the Singapore, Sydney, and New Zealand symphony orchestras.

A devoted chamber musician, Ms. Jansen joins Mischa Maisky, Lily Maisky, Martha Argerich, and Itamar Golan for a major European chamber music tour this season. She also performs recitals throughout Europe with pianists Alexander Gavrylyuk, Elisabeth Leonskaja, and Kathryn Stott. Ms. Jansen is founder of the hugely successful International Chamber Music Festival Utrecht; in June 2016, after 13 years, she stepped down from her position as artistic director and named cellist Harriet Krijgh her successor.

As an exclusive recording artist for Decca Classics, Ms. Jansen has achieved great success on the digital music charts, particularly since the 2003 release of her acclaimed recording of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. Her latest release, conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano, features Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with the London Symphony Orchestra and Brahms’s Violin Concerto with the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.

Ms. Jansen has won numerous prizes, including four Edison Klassiek awards, four ECHO Klassik awards, the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, the NDR Musikpreis for outstanding artistic achievement, and the Concertgebouw Prize. She has also been awarded the VSCD Klassieke Muziekprijs for individual achievement and the Royal Philharmonic Society Instrumentalist Award for performances in the United Kingdom. She studied with Coosje Wijzenbeek, Philippe Hirschhorn, and Boris Belkin.

Ms. Jansen plays the 1707 Stradivarius “Rivaz, Baron Gutmann” violin, kindly on loan from Dextra Musica.

Lucas Debargue, Piano

In addition to placing fourth at the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition (2015), French pianist Lucas Debargue was chosen among many competitors to receive the coveted Moscow Music Critics Prize. Following this breakthrough, he has been invited to perform at the world’s most prestigious concert halls, including Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Concert Hall and the Grand Hall at the Moscow Conservatory; St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre and Philharmonia; Paris’s Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Salle Gaveau, and Philharmonie; London’s Wigmore Hall and Royal Festival Hall; Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw; and many others. He is also first-prize winner of the 2014 International Adilia Alieva Piano Competition in Gaillard, France, and winner of a 2017 ECHO Klassik Award.

Mr. Debargue has collaborated with such notable conductors as Valery Gergiev, Mikhail Pletnev, Andrey Boreyko, Vladimir Spivakov, Yutaka Sado, and Tugan Sokhiev. He also regularly appears in chamber settings with Gidon Kremer, Janine Jansen, and Martin Fröst.

Represented by Sony Classical, Mr. Debargue has released three recordings for the label; his most recent recording, released this year, features works by Schubert and Szymanowski. While committed to the core piano repertoire, Mr. Debargue is also keen to present works by lesser-known composers, such as Samuel Maykapar, Nikolai Roslavets, and Miłosz Magin.

Born in 1990, Mr. Debargue began his piano studies at the age of 11, but went on to earn a bachelor of arts at the Université Paris Diderot before beginning professional piano training at the age of 20. In 2011, he was introduced to his current mentor, celebrated Russian pianist Rena Shereshevskaya. He joined her class at the École Normale de Musique de Paris “Alfred Cortot,” where he obtained his Diplôme Supérieur de Concertiste in 2016, and continues his studies as a post-graduate student.

A performer of fierce integrity and dazzling communicative power, he draws inspiration for his playing from literature, painting, cinema, and jazz, and develops unique personal interpretations of his carefully selected repertoire. He also composes his own music, and has seen some of his works premiered in Russia and France.

A documentary directed by Martin Mirabel, following Mr. Debargue after his success at the 2015 International Tchaikovsky Competition, was released this fall by Bel Air Media.

Martin Fröst, Clarinet

Martin Fröst is known for pushing musical boundaries and performing with exceptional virtuosity and musicianship. He has appeared with such ensembles as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra, and Orchestre National de France.

In the 2017–2018 season, Mr. Fröst returns to the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel and Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and makes his debut with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal under Masaaki Suzuki. He also appears with the NDR Radiophilharmonie under Andrew Manze, Antwerp Symphony Orchestra under Edo de Waart, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Thomas Dausgaard, and Residentie Orchestra under Nicholas Collon.

Beginning in the 2019–2020 season, Mr. Fröst will serve as chief conductor of the Swedish Chamber Orchestra. Known for artistic collaborations worldwide, he continues this season as artistic partner with both the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, and begins an artist residency at L’Auditori in Barcelona, appearing with the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra. These appointments follow his success in recent seasons as artist-in-residence at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and London’s Wigmore Hall, and with the Gothenburg Symphony.

Mr. Fröst is a Sony Classical recording artist; his first recording for the label, Roots, received great critical acclaim, as well as a 2016 ECHO Klassik Award. This fall, he was joined by Janine Jansen, Lucas Debargue, and Torleif Thedéen for a recording of Messiaen’s Quatuor pour la fin du temps, also released by Sony Classical. Mr. Fröst’s other frequent collaborators include Sol Gabetta, Yuja Wang, Leif Ove Andsnes, Roland Pöntinen, Maxim Rysanov, and Antoine Tamestit.

In the spring of 2017, Mr. Fröst was announced as a nominee for the Nordic Council Music Prize. In 2014, he was awarded the Léonie Sonning Music Prize, one of the world’s highest musical honors. He was the first clarinetist to receive the award and joined a prestigious list of past recipients, including Igor Stravinsky, Daniel Barenboim, and Sir Simon Rattle. 

Torleif Thedéen, Cello

With an international career that spans more than 30 years, Swedish cellist Torleif Thedéen is one of the most highly regarded musicians in Scandinavia. He gained international recognition in 1985 by winning three of the world’s most prestigious cello competitions.

Since then, he has performed around the world, regularly touring Europe, Australasia, and the US. He has performed with major orchestras, including the Czech Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic, Gothenburg Symphony, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Symphony, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden, BBC Philharmonic, and Hallé Orchestra, as well as the Rotterdam, Helsinki, London, and Royal Stockholm philharmonic orchestras. He has appeared under such conductors as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Paavo Berglund, Neeme Järvi, Franz Welser-Möst, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Leif Segerstam, and Eri Klas.

Mr. Thedéen is an active chamber musician and has performed in prestigious concert venues worldwide, such as London’s Wigmore Hall and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. He often participates in international music festivals, including the Verbier Festival and Prague Spring International Music Festival, as well as the festivals at Schleswig-Holstein, Oslo, Bath, Stavanger, and Kuhmo. Frequent collaborators include Janine Jansen, Julian Rachlin, and Roland Pöntinen, among others.

Since 1986, Mr. Thedéen has recorded numerous albums for the BIS label, featuring standard repertoire as well as contemporary music. His recording of Shostakovich’s cello concertos won the 1995 Cannes Classical Award, and his recording of Bach’s suites for cello was acclaimed upon its release in 2000 and named editor’s choice in
BBC Music Magazine. In 2002, his recording of Dvořák’s Cello Concerto was released.

Mr. Thedéen served as professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen from 1992 to 1996; since 1996, he has held the same position at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm.

Mr. Thedéen plays the 1711 ex–Lynn Harrell cello by David Tecchler.

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