The Philadelphia Orchestra
Part of: Perspectives: Janine Jansen
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Music Director and Conductor
Janine Jansen, Violin
MICHEL VAN DER AA Violin Concerto (NY Premiere)
RACHMANINOFF Symphony No. 2
Event DurationThe printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission. Please note that there will be no late seating before intermission.
Pre-Concert TalkPre-concert talk starts at 7:00 PM in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage with Simon Morrison, Professor of Music, Princeton University.
Perspectives: Janine Jansen
At a Glance
Contemporary Dutch composer Michel van der Aa credits soloist Janine Jansen as the inspiration for his Violin Concerto—not only for her expressive personality, but also for her chosen instrument: “If Janine had played the recorder, I would have written a Recorder Concerto.” The three-movement Violin Concerto was unveiled in Amsterdam in November 2014, and tonight’s performance marks its New York premiere.
Sergei Rachmaninoff’s long and fruitful relationship with The Philadelphia Orchestra began in 1909 with his first tour to America, when he conducted his recently finished Symphony No. 2. In addition to the five works he would go on to write for the orchestra, the composer also chose to collaborate in landmark recordings as both piano soloist and conductor. The relatively early Second Symphony still dates from his Russian period, before he left for the West soon after the 1917 Revolution. The work brought him welcome success and confidence after the dispiriting failure of his First Symphony nearly a decade earlier.
Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin is confirmed to lead The Philadelphia Orchestra through the 2025–2026 season—an extraordinary and significant long-term commitment. Additionally, he becomes the third music director of the Metropolitan Opera beginning with the 2018–2019 season; he is currently music director designate. Yannick, who holds the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Chair, is an inspired leader of The Philadelphia Orchestra. The New York Times has called him “phenomenal,” adding that under his baton, “the ensemble, famous for its glowing strings and homogenous richness, has never sounded better.” Highlights of his sixth season include a yearlong celebration of the centenary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth; music from and inspired by the British Isles in a three-week festival; and the continuation of a focus on vocal works, including Puccini’s Tosca and Haydn’s The Seasons.
Yannick has established himself as a musical leader of the highest caliber and one of the most thrilling talents of his generation. He is in his 10th and final season as music director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, and he has been artistic director and principal conductor of Montreal’s Orchestre Métropolitain since 2000. 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 Philadelphia Orchestra returned to recording with three CDs on that label. He continues fruitful recording relationships with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, and Orchestre Métropolitain. In Yannick’s inaugural season, The Philadelphia Orchestra returned to the radio airwaves with weekly Sunday-afternoon broadcasts on WRTI-FM.
A native of Montreal, Yannick studied piano, conducting, composition, and chamber music at Montreal’s Conservatory of Music and continued his studies with renowned conductor Carlo Maria Giulini; he also studied choral conducting with Joseph Flummerfelt at Westminster Choir College. Among Yannick’s honors are an appointment as Companion of the Order of Canada; Musical America’s 2016 Artist of the Year; Canada’s National Arts Centre Award; the Prix Denise-Pelletier; and honorary doctorates from the University of Quebec, Curtis Institute of Music, and Westminster Choir College. To read Yannick’s full bio, please visit philorch.org/conductor.
Violinist Janine Jansen works regularly with the world’s most eminent orchestras and conductors. This season she is a Perspectives artist at Carnegie Hall, performing a variety of concerto and chamber music programs. She tours with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Daniele Gatti, the London Symphony Orchestra with Michael Tilson Thomas and Semyon Bychkov, and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and Paavo Järvi. Other highlights this season include engagements with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Berliner Philharmoniker and Mr. Järvi, the Munich Philharmonic and Zubin Mehta, the Staatskapelle Dresden and Sir Antonio Pappano, the Czech Philharmonic with Jakub Hrůša, the Oslo Philharmonic and the Vienna Symphony with David Afkham, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and Karina Canellakis, and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra with Daniel Blendulf. She also travels to the Far East and Australia, performing with the Singapore, Sydney, and New Zealand symphony orchestras. She made her Philadelphia Orchestra debut in 2007.
A devoted chamber musician, Ms. Jansen joins cellist Mischa Maisky and pianists Martha Argerich, Itamar Golan, and Lily Maisky for a major European tour. She records exclusively for Decca Classics, and since recording Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons in 2003 has been extremely successful in the digital music charts. Her latest release, conducted by Mr. 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. Other highlights of her discography include Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski.
Ms. Jansen has won numerous prizes, including four Edison Klassiek awards and four ECHO Klassik awards. In 2003, she founded the hugely successful International Chamber Music Festival in Utrecht. After 13 years, she stepped down as artistic director in June 2016 and named cellist Harriet Krijgh as her successor. Ms. Jansen plays the 1707 Stradivarius “Rivaz-Baron Gutmann” violin, kindly on loan from Dextra Musica.
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 imagination and innovation on and off the concert stage. 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’s connection to the orchestra’s musicians has been praised by both concertgoers and critics since his inaugural season in 2012. Under his leadership, the orchestra returned to recording, with three celebrated CDs on the prestigious Deutsche Grammophon label, continuing its history of recording success. The orchestra also reaches thousands of listeners on the radio with weekly broadcasts on WRTI-FM and SiriusXM.
The orchestra continues to discover new and inventive ways to nurture its relationship with its loyal patrons at its home in Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, and also with those who enjoy the orchestra’s area performances at the Mann Center, Penn’s Landing, and other cultural, civic, and learning venues. The orchestra maintains a strong commitment to collaborations with cultural and community organizations on a regional and national level, all of which create greater access and engagement with classical music as an art form.
The Philadelphia Orchestra serves as a catalyst for cultural activity across Philadelphia’s many communities, building an offstage presence as strong as its onstage one. With Mr. Nézet-Séguin, a dedicated body of musicians, and one of the nation’s richest arts ecosystems, the orchestra has launched its HEAR initiative, a portfolio of integrated initiatives that promotes Health, champions music Education, eliminates barriers to Accessing the orchestra, and maximizes impact through Research. The orchestra’s award-winning Collaborative Learning programs engage more than 50,000 students, families, and community members through programs such as PlayINs, side-by-sides, PopUP concerts, free Neighborhood Concerts, School Concerts, and residency work in Philadelphia and abroad.
Through concerts, tours, residencies, presentations, and recordings, the orchestra is a global cultural ambassador for Philadelphia and for the US. Having been the first American orchestra to perform in the People’s Republic of China, in 1973 at the request of President Nixon, the ensemble today boasts new five-year partnerships with Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts and the Shanghai Media Group. The orchestra annually performs at Carnegie Hall, while also enjoying summer residencies in Saratoga Springs and Vail. For more information, please visit philorch.org.