Orchestra of St. Luke’s
Orchestra of St. Luke's
Pablo Heras-Casado, Conductor Laureate
Hélène Grimaud, Piano
PROKOFIEV Symphony No. 1, "Classical"
RAVEL Piano Concerto in G Major
STRAVINSKY Suite No. 1 for Small Orchestra
HAYDN Symphony No. 103, "Drumroll"
Event DurationThe printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.
At a Glance
Tonight’s program puts into dialogue four pieces with very different moods and textures, and yet all have allegiances to a shared set of Classical traditions and structures. Haydn’s Symphony No. 103 might seem like an outlier in terms of chronology and style, but it is in fact the key to understanding the program as a whole. In their own ways, the other three composers can be seen responding to the models and structures exemplified in Haydn’s music, if only to transform them into something new.
Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 1, “Classical,” is perhaps most directly in dialogue with its Classical forebear, a self-conscious exercise in historical re-imagination that asks the question of what a composer like Haydn would sound like transplanted to the 20th century. Written late in his life, Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major offers a modern flair that shows off the facets of the instrument and skills of the soloist to their utmost. Stravinsky’s Suite No. 1 for Small Orchestra is a brief but evocative display of the composer’s innovative style—an express tour through various musical worlds.
Coming at the end of such a program, Haydn’s Symphony No. 103, “Drumroll”—the next-to-last such work that he wrote in his long career—might sound even more “Classical” to some ears. But for other listeners, it may sound more modern than it might have otherwise.
Orchestra of St. Luke's
Orchestra of St. Luke’s (OSL) is one of America’s most versatile and distinguished orchestras. Now in its 44th season, the orchestra performs a variety of musical genres at New York’s major concert venues, and has collaborated with artists ranging from Renée Fleming and Joshua Bell to Bono and Metallica. In September 2018, Bernard Labadie—a world-renowned conductor of Baroque and Classical repertoire—joined OSL as principal conductor, continuing the orchestra’s tradition of working with champions of historical performance practice.
In 2019, OSL launches two major initiatives: the inaugural OSL Bach Festival in New York City and the opening of the DeGaetano Composition Institute. The three-week Bach Festival will feature 15 performances, including orchestral concerts conducted by Bernard Labadie, keyboard concerts, and the Paul Taylor Dance Company performing Taylor’s complete dances set to Bach.
OSL’s signature programming includes a subscription series presented by Carnegie Hall; an annual summer residency at Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts; and a chamber music series at The Morgan Library & Museum, Brooklyn Museum, and Merkin Hall at the Kaufman Music Center. The orchestra has participated in 118 recordings, four of which have won Grammy Awards; has commissioned more than 50 new works; and has given more than 175 world, US, and New York City premieres.
OSL’s Education & Community Engagement programs reach more than 11,000 New York City public school students each year. Youth Orchestra of St. Luke’s provides free instrumental coaching, while the Chamber Music Mentorship Program provides professional development opportunities and workshops for pre-professional musicians.
OSL built and operates The DiMenna Center for Classical Music in Hell’s Kitchen. New York City’s only rehearsal, recording, education, and performance space expressly dedicated to classical music, The DiMenna Center serves more than 500 ensembles and 30,000 musicians annually.
Described by The Telegraph as a conductor of “glowing reputation,” Pablo Heras-Casado enjoys an unusually varied and broad-ranging career that encompasses the great symphonic and operatic repertoire, historically informed performances, and contemporary scores. He is principal guest conductor at Teatro Real in Madrid and director of the Granada Festival. He also enjoys a long-term collaboration with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra that features extensive touring and recording projects.
In 2018–2019, Mr. Heras-Casado is the Spotlight Artist of the NTR Matinee series at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, where he conducts the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and Mahler Chamber Orchestra on tour. In addition, he debuts with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, and returns to Orchestra of St. Luke’s as its conductor laureate following his tenure as principal conductor between 2011 and 2017. In January, Mr. Heras-Casado conducted Wagner’s Das Rheingold at Teatro Real, starting his first-ever complete Ring cycle over four consecutive seasons.
Mr. Heras-Casado records primarily for Harmonia Mundi, which was recognized at the Gramophone Awards as 2018’s Label of the Year. An extensive discography includes a developing series of recordings entitled Die Neue Romantik with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and partners such as Isabelle Faust, Jean-Guihen Queyras, and Alexander Melnikov. In 2018, releases included dedicated albums of Debussy with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Bartók with the Munich Philharmonic and pianist Javier Perianes, a DVD release of Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer at Teatro Real, and Monteverdi’s Selva morale e spirituale with the Balthasar Neumann Choir and Ensemble.
Highly committed to the Spanish charity Ayuda en Acción as a global ambassador, Mr. Heras-Casado supports and promotes the charity’s work internationally.
French pianist Hélène Grimaud was born in 1969 in Aix-en-Provence, where she began her piano studies. She was accepted into the Conservatoire de Paris at the age of 13 and in 1987 made her recital debut in Tokyo. That same year, Daniel Barenboim invited her to perform with the Orchestre de Paris, marking the launch of her musical career—one highlighted by concerts with most of the world’s major orchestras and many celebrated conductors. Ms. Grimaud’s recordings have been awarded numerous accolades, among them the Cannes Classical Recording of the Year, Choc du Monde de la Musique, Diapason d’Or, Grand Prix du Disque, MIDEM Classical Award, and ECHO Klassik Award. An exclusive Deutsche Grammophon (DG) artist since 2002, her most recent album, Perspectives, is a two-disc personal selection of highlights from her DG catalog. Ms. Grimaud’s 2019 season features a series of performances of Schumann’s Piano Concerto with Andris Nelsons and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig, Hamburg, Paris, Luxembourg, Munich, and Vienna. In February, she embarked on a tour of Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium, performing repertoire from Memory, her latest album of miniatures by Chopin, Debussy, Satie, and Valentin Silvestrov, which was released in September 2018. Further European dates follow in May and June. In March, Ms. Grimaud returned to the US to perform Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major with the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Lionel Richter. Between her debut in 1995 with the Berliner Philharmoniker under Claudio Abbado and her first performance with the New York Philharmonic under Kurt Masur in 1999, she established the Wolf Conservation Center in New York State. Ms. Grimaud is a member of Musicians for Human Rights, a worldwide network of people working in the music field who promote a culture of social change. She is also the author of three books.