Orchestra of St. Luke’s
Orchestra of St. Luke's
Bernard Labadie, Principal Conductor
Beatrice Rana, Piano
MENDELSSOHN The Hebrides Overture
BACH Keyboard Concerto in D Minor, BWV 1052
BACH Keyboard Concerto in F Minor, BWV 1056
MENDELSSOHN Symphony No. 3, "Scottish"
BACH Gigue from Partita No. 1 in B-flat Major, BWV 825
Event DurationThe printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.
In honor of the centenary of his birth, Carnegie Hall’s 2019–2020 season is dedicated to the memory of Isaac Stern in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to Carnegie Hall, arts advocacy, and the field of music.
At a Glance
Tonight’s program illuminates the connections between J. S. Bach and Felix Mendelssohn. Nearly 124 years separated the two composers’ births, and the worlds they inhabited were even further apart. Bach was a devout Lutheran and a church and court musician whose music was mainly written for private consumption by an exclusive audience; Mendelssohn, by contrast, came from a prominent upper–middle-class Jewish family, and was equally comfortable as a composer and performer in private salons and public concert halls. But connections between the composers can be found in the influences they had on one another. In Mendelssohn’s theatrical The Hebrides Overture, the composer’s admiration for Bach is evident in the complex contrapuntal writing that evokes the powerful and tempestuous Scottish landscape; similarly, the chorale-like melody of the third movement and the warlike fugal writing in the final movement of Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3 recall Bach’s vocal and instrumental writing. Mendelssohn repaid his debt to Bach by reviving interest in the Baroque composer’s music, especially his choral and oratorio works, when he conducted the first public performance of the St. Matthew Passion in nearly a century in March 1829. Beginning with Mendelssohn’s great-aunt, harpsichordist Sara Levy, the Mendelssohn family championed Bach’s music through the 18th century and into the 19th. Levy frequently performed Bach’s keyboard concertos—including the Keyboard Concerto No. 1—in recital, and both Mendelssohn and his sister, Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, included the Keyboard Concerto No. 1 in their recital repertoires throughout their careers.
Orchestra of St. Luke's
Orchestra of St. Luke’s (OSL) is a well-regarded orchestra and independent performing arts organization that was founded in 1974 as a group of virtuoso musicians performing chamber music concerts at Greenwich Village’s Church of St. Luke in the Fields. Now in its 45th season, the orchestra performs diverse 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 2018, Bernard Labadie—an internationally celebrated expert in 18th-century music—became OSL’s principal conductor, continuing the orchestra’s long tradition of working with proponents of historical performance practice.
OSL’s 2019–2020 season includes six performances conducted by Bernard Labadie at Carnegie Hall; the Music in Color tour, which highlights the life and music of Eleanor Alberga; a return to Lincoln Center for 20 performances with Paul Taylor American Modern Dance; a season-wide celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday with free school concerts, chamber concerts, and performances as one of six orchestras chosen to participate in Carnegie Hall’s Beethoven Celebration; and the second installments of the OSL Bach Festival and DeGaetano Composition Institute in June.
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 chamber music 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 and 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 each year.
Widely recognized as one of the world’s leading conductors of Baroque, Classical, and early-Romantic repertoire, Bernard Labadie made his debut with Orchestra of St. Luke’s (OSL) as principal conductor designate at the Caramoor Summer Music Festival on July 2, 2017, leading an all-Mozart program. Now, as OSL’s fifth principal conductor, he joins the distinguished roster of Pablo Heras-Casado (2011–2017), Roger Norrington (1990–1994), Charles Mackerras (1998–2001), and Donald Runnicles (2001–2007). Mr. Labadie received an honorary doctor of musical arts degree from the Manhattan School of Music in May 2018.
In addition to his appearances with Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Mr. Labadie makes guest appearances during the 2019–2020 season with the Toronto, Chicago, Dallas, and Finnish Radio symphony orchestras; National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa); Orchestre symphonique de Québec; Los Angeles Philharmonic; Utah Symphony; and Handel and Haydn Society. The French-Canadian Mr. Labadie founded the celebrated chamber orchestra Les Violons du Roy in 1984 and brought it to international renown. He stepped down as music director in 2014, after 30 years, to pursue wider interests. Mr. Labadie is a regular guest conductor with all the major North American orchestras and has appeared locally with the New York Philharmonic and Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, and at the Metropolitan Opera. His notable European engagements include performances with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France, and Royal Scottish National Orchestra, as well as frequent assignments with period-instrument orchestras that include the Academy of Ancient Music, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, The English Concert, and Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin. An eminent opera conductor, Mr. Labadie has served as artistic director of Opéra de Québec and Opéra de Montréal. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut during the 2009–2010 season with Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte.
Mr. Labadie’s extensive discography includes many critically acclaimed recordings on the Dorian, ATMA, and Virgin Classics labels, including Apollo e Dafne, and a collaborative recording of Mozart’s Requiem with Les Violons du Roy and La Chapelle de Québec, both of which received Canada’s Juno Award.
Only 26 years old and named Gramophone’s 2017 Young Artist of the Year, Beatrice Rana has shaken the international classical music world, and attracted admiration and interest from concert presenters, conductors, critics, and audiences in many countries.
The year 2017 remains a milestone in Ms. Rana’s career, with the release of Bach’s Goldberg Variations on Warner Classics and a 30-city tour of the work. Debuting at No. 1 on the UK’s classical charts, the recording was praised by reviewers worldwide and won two major awards, Gramophone’s Young Artist of the Year and Edison Klassiek’s Discovery of the Year Award. In 2018, she was nominated as Female Artist of the Year at the Classic BRIT Awards, where she performed for a nationally televised audience at Royal Albert Hall.
Ms. Rana has performed at many of the world’s most esteemed venues, including Lincoln Center; Vienna’s Konzerthaus and Musikverein; Berlin’s Philharmonie; Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw; Zurich’s Tonhalle; London’s Wigmore Hall, Royal Albert Hall, and Royal Festival Hall; Paris’s Théâtre des Champs-Élysées; Lucerne’s KKL; Cologne’s Philharmonie; Munich’s Philharmonie, Prinzregententheater, and Herkulessaal; Frankfurt’s Alte Oper; Los Angeles’s Walt Disney Concert Hall and Hollywood Bowl; and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Her festival appearances have included the Verbier, La Roque-d’Anthéron, Montpellier Radio-France, George Enescu, and Mostly Mozart festivals; Milan’s Società dei Concerti; Ferrara Musica; Klavier-Festival Ruhr; LAC Lugano; Rencontres Musicales d’Evian; and San Francisco Performances.
Ms. Rana has collaborated with eminent conductors who include Riccardo Chailly, Sir Antonio Pappano, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, 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. Orchestral engagements have included performances with the City of Birmingham, BBC, Detroit, NHK, Dallas, Lucerne, and RAI National symphony orchestras; the London, Seoul, Helsinki, and St. Petersburg philharmonic orchestras; The Philadelphia Orchestra; Los Angeles Philharmonic; Orchestre National de France, Tonkünstler Orchestra; Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia; and Filarmonica della Scala.