Mitsuko Uchida, Piano
Mitsuko Uchida, Piano
SCHUBERT Piano Sonata in B Major, D. 575
SCHUBERT Piano Sonata in A Minor, D. 845
SCHUBERT Piano Sonata in D Major, D. 850
BACH Sarabande from French Suite No. 5 in G Major, BWV 816
Event DurationThe printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.
This performance is sponsored by Nomura.
At a Glance
During his tragically foreshortened lifetime, Franz Schubert was far better known for his vocal music than for his instrumental works. Not until the 1820s did audiences and critics grow to appreciate Schubert’s rich trove of orchestral and chamber masterpieces, ranging from symphonies to solo piano works. Even then, fewer than a quarter of his major works in these genres—including just three of his 21 piano sonatas—saw the light of publication before his death in 1828.
The three works on this evening’s program illustrate the qualities that prompted Schubert’s contemporaries to compare his piano music with Beethoven’s. In the early and comparatively short B-Major–Sonata (which Schubert wrote when he was only 20), the composer is already pushing against the formal and expressive boundaries of the genre. The sonatas in A minor and D major—both written in 1825—are notable for the grandeur of their conception (each work lasts more than 30 minutes), the richness and complexity of their tonal and thematic relationships, and the intricate interweaving of drama and lyricism.
Schubert’s propensity for bending the rules without breaking them elicited mixed reviews in his lifetime. One bemused critic tut-tutted about certain aspects of the A-Minor–Sonata, “over which one can hardly refrain from shaking one’s head a little. But once it has been shaken and one has thus acknowledged the rules … one cannot refrain from accepting it with pleasure as it is.”
A superlative interpreter of repertoire from the Classical and early Romantic eras, as well as composers of the Second Viennese School, Mitsuko Uchida performs with the world’s most respected orchestras, including the Berliner Philharmoniker, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and London’s Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonic Orchestra, and Philharmonia Orchestra. She has worked with esteemed conductors who include Mariss Jansons, Riccardo Muti, Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Vladimir Jurowski, and Andris Nelsons. Since 2016, Ms. Uchida has served as the artistic partner of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, with whom she has embarked on a five-year project. She also appears regularly in recitals in Vienna, Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, London, New York, and Tokyo, and is a regular guest at Salzburg’s Mozartwoche, Salzburg Festival, and Edinburgh International Festival.
Ms. Uchida’s loyal relationship with the finest orchestras and concert halls has resulted in numerous residencies. She has been an artist-in-residence at The Cleveland Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Salzburg’s Mozartwoche, and the Lucerne Festival. She also curated a Perspectives series at Carnegie Hall and a Carte Blanche series at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw.
Ms. Uchida records exclusively for Decca, and her extensive discography includes the complete Mozart and Schubert piano sonatas. She received a Grammy Award in 2011 for her recording of Mozart concertos, directing The Cleveland Orchestra from the piano, and in 2017 for an album of lieder with Dorothea Röschmann. Her recording of Schoenberg’s Piano Concerto with Pierre Boulez and The Cleveland Orchestra won four awards, including the Gramophone Award for Best Concerto.
Highly committed to aiding the development of young musicians, Ms. Uchida is a trustee of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust and director of Marlboro Music Festival. She was awarded the Golden Mozart Medal from Stiftung Mozarteum Salzburg and the Praemium Imperiale from the Japan Art Association in 2015, and received an honorary degree from the University of Cambridge in 2014. Ms. Uchida was also awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Philharmonic Society in 2012 and was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2009.