National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America
Michael Tilson Thomas, Conductor
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Piano
TED HEARNE New Work (World Premiere, commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
GERSHWIN Piano Concerto in F Major
SIBELIUS Symphony No. 2
COPLAND "Hoe-Down" from Rodeo
MEREDITH MONK "Panda Chant II" from The Games: a science fiction opera
Lead Donors: Hope and Robert F. Smith; Marina Kellen French and the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation; Beatrice Santo Domingo; and Nicola and Beatrice Bulgari.
NYO-USA Sponsors: Fubon Financial; MBK Partners; and United Airlines®, Official Airline of Carnegie Hall.
Major funding has been provided by The Carl Jacobs Foundation; Jean Eric Salata and Baring Private Equity Asia; JMCMRJ Sorrell Foundation; Poongsan Corporation; PwC; and WEmusic Inc.
Additional funding has been provided by the Arison Arts Foundation; the Jack Benny Family Foundation; CHIMEI Culture Foundation; and Jolyon Stern and Nelle Nugent.
Founder Patrons: Blavatnik Family Foundation; Nicola and Beatrice Bulgari; The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; Marina Kellen French and the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation; The Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Family Foundation; Ronald O. Perelman; Robertson Foundation; Beatrice Santo Domingo; Hope and Robert F. Smith; Sarah Billinghurst Solomon and Howard Solomon; and Joan and Sanford I. Weill and the Weill Family Foundation.
Support for the 125 Commissions Project is provided by members of Carnegie Hall’s Composer Club.
At a Glance
This evening’s program opens with Brass Tacks, a new Carnegie Hall–commissioned work by American composer Ted Hearne, followed by two beloved 20th-century works that represent advances in symphonic form and in the careers of their respective composers. Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F Major was composed in three traditional movements, unlike the more improvisatory Rhapsody in Blue. Though much like the Rhapsody, the Piano Concerto integrates American jazz, ragtime, and Tin Pan Alley motifs into classical forms. Sometimes brassy and exuberant, sometimes bluesy and sentimental, the concerto provides a virtuoso showpiece for the pianist while exploring the full range of Gershwin’s sensibility. Sibelius’s Second Symphony advanced far beyond the 19th-century rhetoric of his First Symphony while retaining the hymn-like grandeur of popular nationalistic works like Finlandia. The first three movements are full of mysterious, elusive fragments that build organically toward the noble, simple lines of the finale.
National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America
Each summer, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute brings together the finest young musicians from across the country (ages 16–19) to form the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA). Following a comprehensive audition process and a three-week training residency at Purchase College, State University of New York (SUNY), with faculty made up of principal players from top professional US orchestras, these remarkable teenagers embark on a tour to some of the great music capitals of the world, serving as America’s dynamic music ambassadors.
Launched in the summer of 2013 to great acclaim, the first-ever NYO-USA presented concerts with conductor Valery Gergiev and violinist Joshua Bell to enthusiastic audiences at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC; in Moscow and St. Petersburg; and in a live televised performance at the BBC Proms in London. The 2014 orchestra—led by American conductor David Robertson with violinist Gil Shaham as soloist—made its debut at Carnegie Hall in New York City, followed by a coast-to-coast US tour. In 2015, NYO-USA traveled to China, performing at seven of the country’s greatest concert halls with conductor Charles Dutoit and pianist YUNDI, including stops in Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, Xi’an, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong. In 2016, the orchestra performed at Carnegie Hall with conductor Christoph Eschenbach and pianist Emanuel Ax before embarking on a European tour with Mr. Gergiev and pianist Denis Matsuev. Under the direction of Marin Alsop, the orchestra traveled to Latin America for the first time last summer, performing in Guadalajara, Mexico; Quito, Ecuador; and Bogotá, Colombia.
This summer, NYO-USA returns to Asia with conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, performing in Taipei, Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul, and Daejeon. In the summer of 2019, NYO-USA will return to Europe with conductor Sir Antonio Pappano and mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato.
To learn more, visit carnegiehall.org/NYOUSA.
Michael Tilson Thomas
Conductor, composer, and educator Michael Tilson Thomas made his Carnegie Hall debut nearly 50 years ago, leading the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1969, and will celebrate more than 100 performances at the Hall during his 2018–2019 Perspectives series. He is music director of the San Francisco Symphony; co-founder and artistic director of the New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy; and conductor laureate of the London Symphony Orchestra.
In addition to conducting the world’s leading orchestras, Mr. Tilson Thomas is also noted for his work as a composer and producer of multimedia projects that are dedicated to music education and reimagining the concert experience. His compositions have been performed around the world, many premiering at Carnegie Hall during his first Perspectives series (2003–2005). He was also artistic director of Carnegie Hall’s 2011–2012 American Mavericks series, in which he conducted the San Francisco Symphony in music by groundbreaking American composers. Mr. Tilson Thomas has won 11 Grammy Awards for his recordings, is the recipient of the National Medal of Arts, and is a Chevalier of France’s Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
For more than three decades, Jean-Yves Thibaudet has performed worldwide, recorded more than 50 albums, and built a reputation as one of today’s finest pianists. He plays solo, chamber, and orchestral repertoire by composers who range from Beethoven to Liszt, Grieg, Saint-Saëns, Khachaturian, and Gershwin, as well as contemporary composers Qigang Chen and James MacMillan. From the start of his career, Mr. Thibaudet has delighted in music beyond the standard repertoire, including jazz and opera, which he transcribes himself to play on the piano. His profound professional friendships span the globe and have led to spontaneous and fruitful collaborations in film, fashion, and visual art.
The 2017–2018 season took Mr. Thibaudet to 14 countries and included concerts in Asia with the Singapore, NHK, and Guangzhou symphony orchestras, as well as the Malaysian, Hong Kong, and China philharmonic orchestras. Mr. Thibaudet’s albums have received the German Record Critics’ Award, Diapason d’Or, Choc du Monde de la Musique, and Edison Award, as well as two Grammy nominations and a Gramophone Award. In 2012, Mr. Thibaudet was awarded the title of Officier by the French Ministry of Culture.