Part of: The MET Orchestra
The MET Orchestra
Valery Gergiev, Conductor
Daniil Trifonov, Piano
SCHUMANN Piano Concerto
SCHUBERT Symphony No. 9, "Great"
The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra is regarded as one of the world’s finest orchestras. From the time of the company’s inception in 1883, the ensemble has worked with leading conductors in both opera and concert performances, and has developed into an orchestra of enormous technical polish and style. The MET Orchestra (as the ensemble is referred to when appearing in concert outside the opera house) maintains a demanding schedule of performances and rehearsals during its 33-week New York season, when the company performs as many as seven times a week in repertory that this season encompasses 27 operas.
In addition to its opera schedule, the orchestra has a distinguished history of concert performances. Arturo Toscanini made his American debut as a symphonic conductor with the MET Orchestra in 1913, and the impressive list of instrumental soloists who appeared with the orchestra includes Leopold Godowsky, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Arthur Rubinstein, Pablo Casals, Josef Hofmann, Ferruccio Busoni, Jascha Heifetz, Moriz Rosenthal, and Fritz Kreisler. In recent years, instrumental and vocal soloists have included Itzhak Perlman, Maxim Vengerov, Alfred Brendel, Maurizio Pollini, Evgeny Kissin, Christian Tetzlaff, Anna Netrebko, Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Natalie Dessay, Diana Damrau, Christine Goerke, Joyce DiDonato, Matthew Polenzani, and Peter Mattei, among many others. The group has also performed six world premieres: Milton Babbitt’s Piano Concerto No. 2 (1998), William Bolcom’s Symphony No. 7 (2002), Hsueh-Yung Shen’s Legend (2002), Charles Wuorinen’s Theologoumenon (2007) and Time Regained (2009), and John Harbison’s Closer to My Own Life (2011).
Valery Gergiev is a vivid representative of the St. Petersburg conducting school. He made his debut at the Mariinsky (then Kirov) Theatre in 1978 with Prokofiev’s War and Peace, was appointed the theater’s music director in 1988, and became its artistic and general director in 1996.
With Mr. Gergiev’s arrival, it became a tradition to hold major festivals, and he has led numerous cycles of works by important composers. Through his efforts, the Mariinsky Theatre has revived Wagner’s operas, and the Mariinsky Orchestra has scaled new heights, assimilating not just opera and ballet scores, but also an expansive symphonic repertoire.
Under Mr. Gergiev’s direction, the Mariinsky Theatre has become a major theater and concert complex. In 2006, the Concert Hall was opened, followed in 2013 by the theater’s second stage (Mariinsky II); since 2016, the Mariinsky Theatre has had a branch in Vladivostok called the Primorsky Stage. In 2009, the Mariinsky Label was launched; to date, it has released more than 30 albums that have received critical acclaim worldwide.
Mr. Gergiev was the Met’s principal guest conductor from 1997 to 2008 and has led more than 160 performances with the company since his debut in 1994, including company premieres of Prokofiev’s The Gambler and War and Peace, Tchaikovsky’s Mazeppa and Iolanta, and Shostakovich’s The Nose. He has also conducted the premieres of five additional new productions, as well as two previous MET Orchestra concerts at Carnegie Hall.
Mr. Gergiev regularly collaborates with the world’s great opera houses and has led world-renowned orchestras that include the World Orchestra for Peace (which he has directed since 1997), Berliner Philharmoniker, Orchestre de Paris, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, New York and Los Angeles philharmonics, Chicago and Boston symphony orchestras, The Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, among many others. From 1995 to 2008, Mr. Gergiev was principal conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, and from 2007 to 2015 he was principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra. Since fall 2015, he has led the Munich Philharmonic.
Mr. Gergiev is the founder and director of international festivals that include the Stars of the White Nights (since 1993) and the Moscow Easter Festival (since 2002). Since 2011, he has directed the organizational committee of the International Tchaikovsky Competition.
Mr. Gergiev is the recipient of awards that include the Hero of Labour (2013), Order of Alexander Nevsky (2016), and Russian Federation Ministry of Defence Arts and Culture Award (2017), as well as prestigious state awards from Armenia, Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, France, and Japan.
Winner of Gramophone’s 2016 Artist of the Year Award, Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov has made a spectacular ascent in the world of classical music as a solo artist, composer, champion of the concerto repertoire, and collaborator at the keyboard in chamber music and song. Mr. Trifonov recently added a Grammy Award to his considerable string of honors, winning Best Classical Instrumental Solo of 2018 for Transcendental, a double album of Liszt’s works that marks his third title as an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist.
Mr. Trifonov launched the New York Philharmonic’s 2018–2019 season playing Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major for the opening night gala under the orchestra’s incoming music director, Jaap van Zweden, followed the next evening by Beethoven’s mighty “Emperor” Concerto. He revisits Ravel’s concerto on tour with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle, and during a residency at Vienna’s Musikverein, where he appears with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and gives the Austrian premiere of his own Piano Concerto. Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto is also the vehicle for further collaborations with the London Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and The Cleveland Orchestra, with which Mr. Trifonov embarks on a tour to Asia.
During a season-long residency with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Mr. Trifonov plays Scriabin’s Piano Concerto under Andris Nelsons. Other orchestral highlights include Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. On his recent Deutsche Grammophon release, Destination Rachmaninov: Departure, Mr. Trifonov performs the Russian composer’s piano concertos No. 2 and No. 4 with The Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, with whom he also partnered on 2015’s Rachmaninov: Variations.
In recital this season, Mr. Trifonov plays Beethoven, Schumann, and Prokofiev on Carnegie Hall’s mainstage and in Berlin, where his Berliner Philharmoniker residency features multiple solo and chamber performances. These appearances include accounts of his own Piano Quintet, for which he also gives the Cincinnati premiere with the Ariel Quartet. At 92nd Street Y and in Berlin, Mr. Trifonov plays duo recitals with his frequent partner, baritone Matthias Goerne.