The Philadelphia Orchestra
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Music Director and Conductor
Jan Lisiecki, Piano
NICO MUHLY Liar, Suite from Marnie (NY Premiere)
MENDELSSOHN Piano Concerto No. 1
SCHUBERT Symphony No. 9, "Great"
MENDELSSOHN Song Without Words in F-sharp Minor, Op. 30, No. 6, "Venetianisches Gondellied"
Event DurationThe printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.
At a Glance
Earlier this season, the Metropolitan Opera presented the US premiere of American composer Nico Muhly’s sensational opera Marnie, based on Winston Graham’s novel and Alfred Hitchcock’s film. A few weeks before, The Philadelphia Orchestra offered the world premiere of its companion orchestral suite, Liar, which now comes to Carnegie Hall.
Already as a child, Felix Mendelssohn was recognized as someone with extraordinary gifts. At age 22, he unveiled his innovative Piano Concerto No. 1 during a benefit concert in Munich, which he conducted and performed as soloist. All went splendidly, as he reported to his parents: The event was “more brilliant and more fun than I had expected,” and the concerto “met with a long and vivid reception.”
Although Franz Schubert completed seven symphonies, and left others unfinished, he seems to have acknowledged just one as a fully mature work. The “Great” C-Major Symphony was a majestically bold statement from the 28-year-old composer, written in the shadow of Beethoven’s recent Ninth Symphony, and a work that displayed Schubert’s highest aspirations. Although it was not performed in public during his lifetime, the symphony was discovered by Robert Schumann on a visit to Vienna, and he gave it to Mendelssohn, who conducted the belated premiere in 1839.
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 four celebrated albums 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 Philadelphia Orchestra continues to discover new and inventive ways to nurture its relationship with its loyal patrons at its home in the 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 presence onstage. With Yannick, 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 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 five-year partnerships with Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts and the Shanghai Media Group. In 2018, the orchestra traveled to Europe and Israel. The orchestra annually performs at Carnegie Hall, while also enjoying summer residencies in Saratoga Springs and Vail. For more information, please visit philorch.org.
Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin will lead The Philadelphia Orchestra through at least the 2025–2026 season, an extraordinary and significant long-term commitment. Additionally, he became music director of the Metropolitan Opera this season. 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 seventh season include a production of Candide, the culmination of the orchestra’s Bernstein centenary celebration; Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, featuring the athletic and inventive choreography of Philadelphia-based Brian Sanders; and the world premiere of Hannibal Lokumbe’s community commission Healing Tones.
Yannick has established himself as a musical leader of the highest caliber and one of the most thrilling talents of his generation. He has been artistic director and principal conductor of Montreal’s Orchestre Métropolitain since 2000; in the summer of 2017, he became an honorary member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. He was also music director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra (he is now honorary conductor). 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 signed an exclusive recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon in May 2018. Under his leadership, The Philadelphia Orchestra returned to recording with four albums on that label. In Yannick’s inaugural season, The Philadelphia Orchestra returned to the radio airwaves, with weekly broadcasts on WRTI-FM and SiriusXM.
A native of Montreal, Yannick studied piano, conducting, composition, and chamber music at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec 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; and honorary doctorates from the Université du Québec, Curtis Institute of Music, Westminster Choir College, McGill University, and University of Pennsylvania. To read Yannick’s full bio, please visit philorch.org/conductor.
Just 23, Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki has won acclaim for his extraordinary interpretive maturity, distinctive sound, and poetic sensibility. His insightful interpretations, refined technique, and natural affinity for art give him a musical voice that belies his age. In 2017, he received ECHO Klassik and Juno awards for his fourth recording for Deutsche Grammophon (DG), featuring Chopin’s rarely performed works for piano and orchestra with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra and Krzysztof Urban´ski. His new DG album features both Mendelssohn concertos with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and selected solo works.
Mr. Lisiecki first performed with The Philadelphia Orchestra at the Bravo! Vail festival in 2013 and made his subscription debut in 2014; he also appeared with the orchestra on its 2015 tour of Europe. He has worked closely with prominent conductors who include Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Sir Antonio Pappano, Daniel Harding, and the late Claudio Abbado. Recent performance highlights include recital tours of Europe and Asia; subscription debuts with the Boston and Pittsburgh symphony orchestras, the Vienna Symphony, and the Staatskapelle Dresden, among others; and a cycle of Beethoven concertos at the Konzerthaus Berlin with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. He also celebrated great success with his highly acclaimed recital program Night Music, which he continues to perform in the 2018–2019 season. Other highlights of the current season include tours with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in Europe and the Czech Philharmonic in Germany; a collaboration with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra; and concerts in Salzburg with the Mozarteum Orchestra.
In 2013, Mr. Lisiecki became the youngest-ever recipient of Gramophone’s Young Artist award. That same year, he received the Leonard Bernstein Award of the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival. In 2012, he was named UNICEF Ambassador to Canada after being a National Youth Representative since 2008. He signed an exclusive recording agreement with DG at the age of 15. His debut recording on the prestigious label featured Mozart’s piano concertos nos. 20 and 21 with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Christian Zacharias.