Performance Tuesday, October 25, 2011 | 8 PM

The Philadelphia Orchestra

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Today, we think of Beethoven as a solitary genius striving for perfection as his hearing fails. But as a young man, he was also a fiery virtuoso whose skills astounded aristocrats in the salons of Vienna, the musical capital of Europe in the late 18th century. Join us as one of today’s dynamic pianists performs the concerto that the youthful Beethoven used to broaden his fame among the Viennese public. Also on the program is a symphony from Shostakovich that reflects the cultural thaw after Stalin’s death in 1953.


  • The Philadelphia Orchestra
    Charles Dutoit, Chief Conductor
  • Lang Lang, Piano


  • FAURÉ Pavane in F-sharp Minor
  • BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major
  • SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 10

  • Encore:
  • LISZT Étude No. 3 in G-sharp Minor, "La Campanella" from Grandes études de Paganini


  • The Philadelphia Orchestra

    The Philadelphia Orchestra is among the world's leading orchestras. Renowned for its artistic excellence since its founding in 1900, the orchestra has inspired audiences through thousands of live performances, recordings, and broadcasts in Philadelphia and around the world.

    With only seven music directors throughout more than a century of unswerving orchestral distinction, the artistic heritage of The Philadelphia Orchestra is attributed to extraordinary musicianship under the leadership and innovation of Fritz Scheel (1900-1907), Carl Pohlig (1907-1912), Leopold Stokowski (1912-1941), Eugene Ormandy (1936-1980), Riccardo Muti (1980-1992), Wolfgang Sawallisch (1993-2003), and Christoph Eschenbach (2003-2008). After 30 years of a celebrated association with The Philadelphia Orchestra, Charles Dutoit continues the tradition as chief conductor.

    Since Mr. Dutoit's debut with the orchestra in July 1980, he has led hundreds of concerts in Philadelphia, at Carnegie Hall, and on tour, as artistic director of the orchestra's summer concerts at the Mann Center, artistic director and principal conductor of the orchestra's summer residency at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and now as chief conductor. With the 2012-2013 season, the orchestra honors Mr. Dutoit by bestowing upon him the title conductor laureate.

    Yannick Nézet-Séguin assumed the title of music director designate in June 2010, immediately joining the orchestra's leadership team. He takes up the baton as The Philadelphia Orchestra's next music director in 2012.

    The Philadelphia Orchestra annually touches the lives of countless music lovers worldwide, through concerts, presentations, and recordings. Each year, the orchestra presents a subscription season at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, education and community partnership programs, and annual appearances at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center; it also regularly tours throughout the world. Its summer schedule includes performances at the Mann Center, free Neighborhood Concerts throughout Greater Philadelphia, and residencies at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival and the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. Visit for more information.

    Charles Dutoit

    In the 2010-2011 season, The Philadelphia Orchestra celebrated its 30-year artistic collaboration with Charles Dutoit, who has held the title of chief conductor since 2008. With the 2012-2013 season, the orchestra will honor Mr. Dutoit by bestowing upon him the title of conductor laureate. Also artistic director and principal conductor of the Royal Philharmonic, he regularly collaborates with the world's pre-eminent orchestras and soloists. He has recorded extensively for Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, Philips, CBS, and Erato, and his more than 200 recordings have garnered over 40 awards and distinctions.

    From 1977 to 2002, Mr. Dutoit was artistic director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Between 1990 and 2010, he was artistic director and principal conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra's summer festival at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and from 1991 to 2001 he was music director of the Orchestre National de France. In 1996, he was appointed music director of Tokyo's NHK Symphony Orchestra; today he is music director emeritus. Mr. Dutoit has been artistic director of both the Sapporo Pacific Music Festival and the Miyazaki International Music Festival, as well as the Canton International Summer Music Academy in Guangzhou, which he founded in 2005. In 2009, he became music director of the Verbier Festival Orchestra. While still in his early 20s, Mr. Dutoit was invited by Herbert von Karajan to conduct the Vienna State Opera and has since conducted at Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, and the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.

    In 1991, Mr. Dutoit was made an Honorary Citizen of the City of Philadelphia. In 1995, he was named Grand Officier de l'Ordre National du Québec, and in 1996 Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the government of France. In 1998, he was invested as an Honorary Officer of the Order of Canada, the country's highest award of merit, and this past May was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music.

    Mr. Dutoit was born in Lausanne, Switzerland, and his musical training included violin, viola, piano, percussion, music history, and composition in Geneva, Siena, Venice, and Boston. A globetrotter motivated by his passion for history and archaeology, political science, art, and architecture, Mr. Dutoit has traveled all the nations of the world.

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  • Lang Lang

    Lang Lang began playing piano at the age of three, and by the age of five he had won the Shenyang Competition and had given his first public recital. Upon entering Beijing's Central Music Conservatory at age nine, he won first prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians. He played Chopin's complete etudes at the Beijing Concert Hall four years later. Lang Lang's break into stardom came at age 17, when he was called upon for a last-minute substitution playing a Tchaikovsky concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

    During the 2011-2012 season, Lang Lang is the creative director of the Ascent Series at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and  performs at the San Francisco Symphony's 100th Anniversary Gala concert and the Last Night of the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in London. In addition, he tours with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Vienna and New York philharmonics.

    Lang Lang's charitable efforts led to the recent launch of the Lang Lang International Music Foundation, as well as Lang Lang Music World, a multi-functioning arts complex located in Shenzhen and Chongqing, China. In 2004, he was appointed International Goodwill Ambassador to UNICEF. He also currently serves as chairman of the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award Project, and is on the Weill Music Institute Advisory Committee and Carnegie Hall's Artistic Advisory Board. In May 2011, Lang Lang received an honorary Doctor of Music degree from the Royal College of Music.

    Lang Lang's recent recording projects include the soundtrack of the Japanese film Nodame Cantabile, Chopin's etudes for Project Chopin (in honor of Chopin's bicentenary), Nuit de Mai with Plácido Domingo, and the opening sequence for the videogame Gran Turismo. An exclusive Sony recording artist, Lang Lang's first album with the label features a live recording of his 2010 recital at Vienna's Musikverein. In 2007, he was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist and was honored by the Recording Academy with the Presidential Merit Award. Lang Lang's biography, Journey of a Thousand Miles, is published by Random House.

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Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 (Rondo)
Orchestre de Paris; Christoph Eschenbach, Conductor; Lang Lang, Piano
Deutsche Grammophon

At a Glance

GABRIEL FAURÉ  Pavane in F-sharp Minor, Op. 50 

Gabriel Fauré dedicated his haunting Pavane to one of his leading patrons, Countess Greffulhe, celebrated for the musical soirees she gave in her Parisian home. She took things further with the Pavane, when she arranged a performance of the work with invisible chorus, dance, and pantomime at a garden party held on an island in the Bois de Boulogne. 


LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN  Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major, Op. 19 

Beethoven composed and continually revised his Piano Concerto No. 2 over the course of many years during his late teens and 20s; he began performing it in public before the concerto that we now know as his First Concerto in C Major. Mozart’s concertos served as the young composer’s model as he attempted to make a name for himself in Vienna, impressing audiences as a composer, pianist, and improviser.


DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH  Symphony No. 10 in E Minor, Op. 93 

Shostakovich’s career in the Soviet Union was a rollercoaster ride of official approval and censure. After attacks on his music in 1936, he suppressed his Fourth Symphony and came back into favor the next year with his Fifth. Following the poor reception of his Ninth Symphony in 1945, as well as another governmental denunciation in 1948, Shostakovich did not write a new symphony until 1953—the magnificent Tenth that concludes tonight’s concert. He composed this personal and powerful piece in the wake of Stalin’s death and in the midst of a romantic infatuation with one of his students.

Program Notes
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