Mitsuko Uchida, Piano
Mitsuko Uchida, Piano
Piano Sonata in A Minor, D. 537
Piano Sonata in C Major, D. 840, "Reliquie"
Piano Sonata in B-flat Major, D. 960
Event DurationThe printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.
At a Glance
In the eyes of his contemporaries, Schubert loomed larger as a composer of vocal music than of instrumental works. Only toward the end of his tragically foreshortened lifetime did audiences and critics grow to appreciate his rich trove of orchestral and chamber masterpieces, ranging from symphonies to piano solos. Even then, less than a quarter of his major works in these genres—including just three of his 21 piano sonatas—saw the light of publication before his death in 1828.
The three works we hear on this evening’s program span the decade of his brief, precocious maturity. The vivacious three-movement Sonata in A Minor is among a cluster of works written in 1817 during a euphoric period of independence when the 20-year-old composer got away from his parents’ home and stayed with a friend in the center of Vienna. Eight years later, Schubert embarked on a more expansive work, the Sonata in C Major, but unaccountably left the last two of its four movements incomplete, hence the publisher’s subtitle “Reliquie” (“Relic”). Schubert’s last three sonatas, D. 958–960, are even more remarkable for the grandeur of their conception. The first movement of the Sonata in B-flat Major is one of the composer’s most spacious musical structures, being almost as long as the other three movements combined.
A superlative interpreter of repertoire from the Classical and early Romantic eras, as well as composers of the Second Viennese School, Mitsuko Uchida performs with the world’s most respected orchestras, including the Berliner Philharmoniker, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, and Philharmonia Orchestra. She has worked with esteemed conductors who include Mariss Jansons, Riccardo Muti, Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Vladimir Jurowski, and Andris Nelsons.
Since 2016, Ms. Uchida has served as an artistic partner of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, with whom she has embarked on a five-year project. She also appears regularly in recitals in Vienna, Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, London, New York, and Tokyo, and is a regular guest at the Salzburg Mozartwoche, Salzburg Festival, and Edinburgh International Festival.
Ms. Uchida records exclusively for Decca, and her extensive discography includes the complete Mozart and Schubert piano sonatas. She received a Grammy Award in 2011 for her recording of Mozart concertos with The Cleveland Orchestra, which she directed from the piano, and in 2017 for an album of lieder with Dorothea Röschmann. Her recording of Schoenberg’s Piano Concerto with Pierre Boulez and The Cleveland Orchestra won four awards, including the Gramophone Award for Best Concerto.
Ms. Uchida is a trustee of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust and director of the Marlboro Music Festival. She was awarded the Golden Mozart Medal from the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation and the Praemium Imperiale from the Japan Art Association in 2015, and received an honorary degree from the University of Cambridge in 2014. Ms. Uchida was also awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Philharmonic Society in 2012 and was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2009.