New York String Orchestra
New York String Orchestra
Jaime Laredo, Conductor
Joshua Bell, Violin
Karina Canellakis, Guest Conductor
GEORGE WALKER Lyric for Strings
BRAHMS Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 77
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 6, "Pathétique"
This concert is made possible, in part, by an endowment fund for young artists established by Stella and Robert Jones.
At a Glance
This program features three definitive artistic statements. Abstract yet autobiographical, backward-looking yet forward-thinking, sad yet noble, these works are heartfelt, personal expressions that are intimately connected to the lives of the three composers. Though their cultures and time periods vary, their respective musical languages are astonishingly similar: lush, romantic, and poignantly complex. Walker’s Lyric for Strings is a simple elegy for his grandmother, its sadness tinted with fond memories. Brahms’s monumental Violin Concerto embodies passion and joy in a masterpiece that effortlessly melds formal Classicism and verdant Romanticism. Finally, Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony represents the height of his expressive powers in the creation of a psychological and musical event that reflects its subtitle, “Pathétique.”
New York String Orchestra
This December, the New York String Orchestra Seminar—one of the nation’s first and most influential professional training programs—celebrates 50 years and recognizes the major impact its alumni have had on the music world in the United States and abroad. Renowned for its unique musical philosophy that emphasizes personal expression over a focus on technical mastery and integrates a chamber music approach into orchestral playing, the program was created in 1969 by arts manager Frank Salomon for violinist and conductor Alexander “Sasha” Schneider, who chose Jaime Laredo to succeed him as director.
This year’s 64 New York String Orchestra members (ages 16–23) come from conservatories, colleges, and high schools across the country, as well as a few from abroad. Selected through a highly competitive audition process, the students give up their winter holidays to come to New York City for 10 days of intensive orchestral rehearsals with Mr. Laredo and chamber music sessions with master artists, including current and former members of the Emerson, Juilliard, Orion, and Guarneri string quartets. They join an illustrious group of more than 2,300 program alumni that include some of the nation’s and world’s most acclaimed artists.
Seminar alumnus Yo-Yo Ma (1977) called the seminar “one of the defining moments for me as a teenager,” as it was for soloists such as violinists Cho-Liang Lin, Gil Shaham, Kyoko Takezawa, and Shlomo Mintz; conductors who include Peter Oundjian, Joseph Swensen, Douglas Boyd, Keri-Lynn Wilson, Karina Canellakis, Cristian Măcelaru, and Marin Alsop; concertmasters of more than 40 orchestras (including the orchestras of Chicago, Boston, and Philadelphia, and the Los Angeles, Berlin, and Czech philharmonics); members of such ensembles as the Emerson, Guarneri, Kronos, Dover, Calidore, and Takács string quartets and Brooklyn Rider; and faculty at leading music schools and conservatories. Each new generation of New York String Orchestra Seminar alumni continues to make a vital contribution to music and illuminate lives around the country. To ensure students are selected on the basis of musical ability and not financial means, all participants receive full scholarships. For more information on the program and its commitment to providing a full scholarship to each participating student for the next 50 years, visit newschool.edu/mannes/nysos.
The New York String Orchestra Seminar is a program of The New School’s Mannes School of Music (Richard Kessler, Dean) New School Concerts Department. New School Concerts thanks the conductor, coaches, soloists, audition panelists, and advisors for their invaluable contributions to the project, and the many others whose time, effort, and resources make the seminar possible: the Cleveland Institute of Music, Chicago Symphony Center, Colburn School, Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory, The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, and Wellington Hotel. New School Concerts also thanks Michelle Baker, Bart Feller, Valerie Feuer, Ida Kavafian, Richard Kessler, Diane Lesser, Don Liuzzi, Peter Lloyd, Mary Malin, Raymond Mase, Anthony McGill, Frank Morelli, Kurt Muroki, Sharon Robinson, Susan Sawyer, Michael Seabrook, Stephen Shipps, Linda Strommen, Steven Tenenbom, and Hiroko Yajima for their extra efforts on behalf of the project. The program is additionally grateful to the late Isaac Stern for launching the program at Carnegie Hall, and to the Hall’s current administration and staff for their caring presentation of the annual concerts.
For more than six decades, Jaime Laredo has excelled as solo violinist, conductor, recitalist, pedagogue, and chamber musician. Since his orchestral debut with the San Francisco Symphony at the age of 11, he has won the admiration and respect of audiences, critics, and fellow musicians with his passionate and polished performances. At the age of 17, he won the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Competition in Belgium, launching his rise to international prominence.
In the 2018–2019 season, Mr. Laredo tours the US as a conductor, soloist, and member of the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, which recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. With his wife, cellist Sharon Robinson, he premieres Pas de Deux, Chris Brubeck’s double concerto for violin and cello, which was commissioned specifically for the duo.
Mr. Laredo has recorded nearly 100 albums, including a Grammy Award–winning disc of Brahms piano quartets with Emanuel Ax, Isaac Stern, and Yo-Yo Ma. His recordings range from the complete Bach sonatas with Glenn Gould (Sony Classical) to recent premiere recordings of double concertos with violinist Jennifer Koh (Two x Four on Cedille Records) and Ms. Robinson (Triple Doubles on Bridge Records), and award-winning recordings with the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio.
Mr. Laredo’s stewardships of the New York String Orchestra Seminar (which he has conducted for 25 years) and the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis have become beloved educational pillars of the musical community. This year is Mr. Laredo’s seventh at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He is director of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati’s Linton Chamber Music, and serves as principal conductor of the Westchester Philharmonic. He was artistic director of the Chamber Music at 92Y series in New York for 40 years.
Born in Bolivia, Mr. Laredo resides in Guilford, Vermont, and Cleveland, Ohio.
With a career that spans more than 30 years as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, and conductor, Joshua Bell is one of the most celebrated violinists of his era. An exclusive Sony Classical artist, he has recorded more than 40 albums, garnering Grammy, Gramophone, and ECHO Klassik awards. He is also a recipient of the Mercury and Avery Fisher prizes. Named music director of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields in 2011, he is the only person to hold this post since Sir Neville Marriner formed the orchestra in 1958.
This season, Mr. Bell continues his worldwide tour with the Academy, and his North American and European recital tours with pianist Sam Haywood. With pianist Jeremy Denk and cellist Steven Isserlis, he embarks on the trio’s first-ever tour to 10 cities in North America. Spring 2019 sees him performing with the Czech Philharmonic and Christoph Eschenbach, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and Gianandrea Noseda, Camerata Salzburg and Andrew Manze, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Manfred Honeck, as well as the Munich Philharmonic, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Seattle Symphony Orchestra (including The Man with the Violin children’s film concert), and a play-direct program with the Houston Symphony.
Recently released is Mr. Bell’s recording with the Academy of Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy and G-Minor Violin Concerto. His previous release was Joshua Bell: The Classical Collection, a 14-CD set featuring his Sony recording highlights from the past 20 years.
Mr. Bell recently engaged in two technology projects: With Embertone—the virtual-instrument sampling company—the Joshua Bell Virtual Violin was created for producers, artists, engineers, and composers. He also collaborated with Sony for the Joshua Bell VR Experience, which features him performing Brahms’s Hungarian Dance No. 1 in 360-degree virtual reality. This experience is available for free download on Sony PlayStation 4 VR.
A dedicated arts advocate, Mr. Bell is involved with both Education Through Music and Turnaround Arts, a national program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Joshua Bell performs on the 1713 Gibson ex-Huberman Stradivarius violin.
Karina Canellakis is chief conductor designate of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra beginning in the 2019–2020 season. Internationally acclaimed for her emotionally charged performances, technical command, and interpretive depth, Ms. Canellakis’s reputation has risen quickly since winning the Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award in 2016.
Highlights of the 2018–2019 season include debuts with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Dresdner Philharmonie, Oslo Philharmonic, and Stavanger Symphony Orchestra; she makes her Australian debut in a four-city tour conducting the Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, and Tasmanian symphony orchestras. She returns to the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, and the Cincinnati, Dallas, Detroit, and Milwaukee symphony orchestras, as well as Curtis Opera Theatre in performances of Don Giovanni. In Europe, she returns to the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Gürzenich Orchester Köln, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and Orchestre National de Lyon.
Recent seasons featured debuts with the Orchestre de Paris, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Bamberger Symphoniker, Spanish National Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and Houston Symphony. On the operatic stage, Ms. Canellakis has conducted Die Zauberflöte (Zürich Opera), Le nozze di Figaro (Curtis Opera Theatre), Davies’s The Hogboon (Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra), and the world premiere of David Lang’s the loser (Brooklyn Academy of Music).
Already known in the classical music world for her violin playing, Ms. Canellakis was encouraged to pursue conducting by Sir Simon Rattle while playing in the Berliner Philharmoniker as a member of its Orchester-Akademie. In addition to appearing as soloist with North American orchestras, she has played regularly in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and appeared as guest concertmaster of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in Norway.
Ms. Canellakis previously served as assistant conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. She is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and The Juilliard School, and an alumna of the 1996 and 2004 New York String Orchestra seminars.