The Philadelphia Orchestra
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Music Director and Conductor
Beatrice Rana, Piano
STRAVINSKY Funeral Song
PROKOFIEV Piano Concerto No. 3
RACHMANINOFF Symphony No. 1
CHOPIN Etude in A-flat Major, Op. 25, No. 1
Event DurationThe printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.
Pre-Concert TalkPre-concert talk at 7 PM with Dr. Elizabeth Bergman, musicologist and author of Music for the Common Man: Aaron Copland during the Depression and War.
Sponsored by Breguet, Exclusive Timepiece of Carnegie Hall
The Trustees of Carnegie Hall gratefully acknowledge the generosity of Jean-Marie and Elizabeth Eveillard in support of the 2018-2019 season.
Public support for Carnegie Hall Live on WQXR is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.
At a Glance
Hope springs eternal, and ones of discovering long-lost works of art are especially enticing. The reality is typically more sobering, because what turns up—be it a painting, novel, or symphony—is usually more of a curiosity than gold, the news more hype than substance. Sometimes, however, such discoveries can be significant and revelatory. The concert tonight is framed by two brilliant works by Russian composers at the start of celebrated careers that were long thought lost in the wake of the Russian Revolution, but that were later found.
The premiere of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s First Symphony in 1897 was a bitter disappointment for the young composer, who took quite some years to recover. He left Russia in 1917, soon after the October Revolution, never to return. Rachmaninoff thought the symphony was lost, although orchestral parts were discovered after his death and the piece finally got its chance to enter the repertory.
The situation with Igor Stravinsky’s Funeral Song is similar: The 26-year-old began composing it to honor his beloved teacher, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and it premiered at a 1909 concert in his memory. Stravinsky soon left the country to win great success in the West. His early composition was also thought lost, but was discovered in 2015.
Sergei Prokofiev also left Russia after the Revolution. He lived in America and Europe for nearly 20 years, only to return permanently to the Soviet Union in 1936. When he fled in 1918, he left some of his compositions behind, among them the Second Piano Concerto, which he later reconstructed from memory. His Third Piano Concerto, which we will hear tonight, premiered in Chicago in 1921. The work became Prokofiev’s musical calling card to display his gifts as composer and pianist in America and Europe.
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.
Pianist Beatrice Rana made her Philadelphia Orchestra debut at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in August 2015, and her Carnegie Hall recital debut in Zankel Hall this past March. Just 26 years old, she performs at the world’s most esteemed concert halls and festivals, and collaborates with conductors of the highest level, including Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Riccardo Chailly, Sir Antonio Pappano, Fabio Luisi, Yuri Temirkanov, Gianandrea Noseda, Emmanuel Krivine, James Conlon, Jun Märkl, Trevor Pinnock, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, Lahav Shani, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, James Gaffigan, Susanna Mälkki, Leonard Slatkin, and Zubin Mehta.
During the 2018–2019 and 2019–2020 seasons, Ms. Rana makes debuts with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra; the Chicago, Pittsburgh, Danish National, and Bavarian Radio symphony orchestras; the Los Angeles Philharmonic; the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra; Orchestre de Paris; and the hr-Sinfonieorchester. In addition, she tours with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski, and is in residence at the Zurich Opera House for a complete Beethoven concerto cycle with Mr. Luisi and the Philharmonia Zurich. She plays recitals at Geneva’s Victoria Hall, Munich’s Prinzregententheater, London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall and Wigmore Hall, the Philharmonie Essen, Berlin’s Kammermusiksaal, the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, and the Gilmore Keyboard Festival in Michigan.
An exclusive Warner Classics recording artist, Ms. Rana has three albums on the label: Bach’s Goldberg Variations, Prokofiev’s Second Piano Concerto paired with Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto, and Bernstein’s Symphony No. 2, “The Age of Anxiety”—the latter two with Mr. Pappano and the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. She came to public attention after winning first prize at the 2011 Concours musical international de Montréal, and the silver medal and audience award at the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2013. Born in Italy into a family of musicians, she currently lives in Rome, where she continues her studies with her lifetime mentor, Benedetto Lupo.