• Monday, Nov 15, 2010

    Seiji Ozawa Leads Saito Kinen Orchestra at Carnegie Hall to Open JapanNYC Festival, Dec. 14, 15, 18




    Pianist Mitsuko Uchida Performs Music by Beethoven in Program
    To Include Brahms’s Symphony No. 1 and US Premiere of Carnegie Hall
    Co-Commission by Composer Atsuhiko Gondai on December 14

    Takemitsu’s November Steps for Biwa, Shakuhachi, and Orchestra
    Featured on December 15 with Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique

    Ozawa Leads Performance of Britten’s War Requiem on December 18;
    Ozawa Returns to JapanNYC with Seiji Ozawa Ongaku-juku in April 2011


    JapanNYC , a two-part citywide festival that celebrates the incredible diversity of Japanese arts and culture, launches at Carnegie Hall on December 14, 15, and 18 with three concerts featuring the eminent Maestro Seiji Ozawa conducting the Saito Kinen Orchestra. Maestro Ozawa’s three programs with the Saito Kinen Orchestra, which he co-founded in 1984 in honor of his late mentor Hideo Saito, range from works by composers for which he is known (Brahms, Berlioz, Britten) to Japanese orchestral works both old (Takemitsu’s November Steps) and new (US premiere of a Carnegie Hall commission by Atsuhiko Gondai). Special guest soloists during these three programs include pianist Mitsuko Uchida, biwa player Yukio Tanaka, shakuhachi player Kifu Mitsuhashi, soprano Christine Goerke, tenor Anthony Dean Griffey, and baritone Matthias Goerne.

    JapanNYC, with more than 65 events at Carnegie Hall and New York City partner venues beginning in December 2010 and continuing in March-April 2011, explores the Japan of today, where artists embrace their country’s unique aesthetic sensibilities while continually revitalizing its cultural landscape. Led by Seiji Ozawa as the festival’s artistic director, JapanNYC explores a country that values its long-standing cultural heritage while also embracing and transforming Western art forms in a spirit that very much looks ahead.

    For a complete JapanNYC festival press kit, click here. Visit carnegiehall.org/japannyc for the most up-to-date information on festival events, interviews with artists, videos, slideshows, and other content providing insight into Japan’s arts scene and JapanNYC festival offerings.

    The Saito Kinen Orchestra was founded in 1984 by Maestro Ozawa and fellow conductor Kazuyoshi Akiyama to honor the 10th anniversary of the death of their mentor, the influential musician and educator Hideo Saito. At the time of its founding, the orchestra comprised over 100 of Saito’s former students, and it gathered just once every year to pay tribute to him. Saito was a major figure in Japan, largely responsible for bringing Western classical music to the country. Rather than pursue a career in the West, Saito—a cellist and conductor who studied in Germany in the 1920s and ’30s—returned home before World War II, determined to create a classical music tradition in Japan. Today, he is best remembered for founding the Toho Gakuen School of Music, one of the country’s leading music institutions. Eighteen years after Saito’s death, the Saito Kinen (“Saito Memorial”) Orchestra became the cornerstone of Seiji Ozawa’s artistic dream to found Japan’s first international music festival, the Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto, held every August – September since its inception in 1992. The Saito Kinen Orchestra launches JapanNYC at Carnegie Hall with three concerts in December 2010—only its third appearance at Carnegie Hall and in New York since its 1991 debut, when it opened Carnegie Hall’s 101st season.

    Maestro Ozawa and Saito Kinen Orchestra’s first program on Tuesday, December 14 at 8:00 p.m. includes Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with Ms. Uchida and Brahms’s Symphony No. 1 in C Minor. It also features the US premiere of Atsuhiko Gondai’s Decathexis, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall, which received its world premiere at the Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto this past September. Gondai, who was born in 1965 in Tokyo and studied composition in Japan and Germany before a residency in Paris, lives and works in Kanazawa, Japan, and in Paris.

    The following evening, on Wednesday, December 15 at 8:00 p.m., Maestro Ozawa and the orchestra perform Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique and Tōru Takemitsu’s November Steps for biwa, shakuhachi, and orchestra featuring Yukio Tanaka and Kifu Mitsuhashi as soloists. November Steps was originally commissioned by the New York Philharmonic on the occasion of its 125th anniversary in 1967, and the premiere was conducted by Ozawa, then an assistant conductor under Leonard Bernstein at the orchestra. November Steps marks Takemitsu’s first foray into combining the unique sound worlds of traditional Japanese instruments and the Western orchestra, something he would continue to explore throughout his career. In December JapanNYC offers a major tribute to the late Takemitsu, considered to be Japan’s greatest composer, with concerts at Carnegie Hall and Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, as well as a 19-movie series at Film Forum of films that the composer scored. For more details, click here.

    For their final performance on Saturday, December 18 at 8:00 p.m., Mr. Ozawa and the Saito Kinen Orchestra perform Britten’s monumental War Requiem, a work of great personal meaning to Maestro Ozawa, which he has conducted many times throughout his career. The performance features soprano Christine Goerke, tenor Anthony Dean Griffey, baritone Matthias Goerne, the SKF Matsumoto Choir, SKF Matsumoto Children's Chorus, and the Ritsuyukai Choir.

    Seiji Ozawa returns to Carnegie Hall and JapanNYC in April 2011, conducting another ensemble he founded, Seiji Ozawa Ongaku-juku (Seiji Ozawa Music Academy Orchestra) in its US debut performances (April 1 and 2). Founded by Maestro Ozawa in 2000, the orchestra is comprised of talented young musicians who are given the opportunity to learn and perform both opera and orchestral music in Japan under the tutelage of world-class professionals.

    About the Artists
    Born in 1935 in Shenyang, China to Japanese parents, Seiji Ozawa graduated with first prizes in both composition and conducting from Tokyo's Toho School of Music. In 1959 he came to the attention of Charles Munch, then the Boston Symphony music director, who invited him to the Tanglewood Music Festival, where he won the Koussevitzky Prize as outstanding student conductor in 1960. While a student of Herbet von Karajan he came to the attention of Leonard Bernstein and was appointed Assistant Conductor of the New York Philharmonic. Music Director of the Vienna State Opera since the 2002–2003 season, Maestro Ozawa is an annual guest conductor of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and prior to his Vienna State Opera appointment he served as Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra for 29 seasons (1973–2002), the longest serving music director in the orchestra's history.

    Mr. Ozawa is also Artistic Director and Founder of the Saito Kinen Festival and Saito Kinen Orchestra (SKO), the pre-eminent music and opera festival of Japan. In 2000 he founded the Ozawa Ongaku-juku in Japan, an academy for aspiring young orchestral musicians where they play with pre-eminent professional players in symphonic concerts and fully staged opera productions with international level casting. Since founding the Saito Kinen Orchestra in 1984, and its subsequent evolution into the Saito Kinen Festival in 1991, Ozawa has devoted himself increasingly to the growth and development of the Saito Kinen Orchestra in Japan. With extensive recording projects, annual worldwide tours, and especially since the inception of the Saito Kinen Festival in the Japan "Alps' city of Matsumoto, he has built a world-class and world-renowned orchestra, dedicated in spirit, name, and accomplishment to the memory of his teacher at Tokyo's Toho School of Music, Hideo Saito, a revered figure in the cultivation of Western music and musical technique in Japan.

    Pianist Mitsuko Uchida is renowned for her interpretations of Mozart, Schubert, and Beethoven, among others, both in the concert hall and on CD. Her recording of the Schoenberg Piano Concerto with Pierre Boulez and The Cleveland Orchestra won four awards, including the Gramophone Award for Best Concerto. Highlights this season include performances with the Dresden Staatskappelle and Sir Colin Davis, the Chicago Symphony and Ricardo Muti, a tour of Japan with The Cleveland Orchestra, a European tour with the Bayerischer Rundfunk Orchestra and Mariss Jansons, the first part of a Beethoven Concerti cycle with the London Symphony Orchestra (spanning two seasons), a European and US solo recital tour, song recitals with Ian Bostridge, and concerts at the Salzburg Festival. Ms. Uchida was a Carnegie Hall Perspectives artist over the course of the 2002–2003 and 2003–2004 seasons. She records exclusively for Decca and has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to the development of young musicians as a trustee of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust. She is also co-director, with Richard Goode, of the Marlboro Music Festival.

    Biwa player Yukio Tanaka was born in Tokyo and studied biwa with Kinshi Tsuruta. Mr. Tanaka has performed Takemitsu’s November Steps under conductors including Hiroyuki Iwaki, Kent Nagano, Christoph Eschenbach, and Kees Bakels. A 1973 graduate of the 18th Japanese Traditional Music Performer Training Program, he has performed at the Louvre in the Paris Autumn Festival, and won first prize at the Biwagaku Concours. In 1993 Tanaka recorded November Steps with the Tokyo City Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Hiroyuki Iwaki on laserdisc for use in teaching music appreciation in Japanese middle schools. A lecturer at Tokyo College of Music, he is also Executive Director of the Nihon Biwagaku Kyokai and Chairman of the Tsuruta School Kakushokai.

    Shakuhachi player Kifu Mitsuhashi was born in 1950 in Tokyo and studied the shakuhachi at the Kinko School with Sofu Sasaki, Fuke Shakuhachi, and Chikugai Okamoto. In 1991 Mr. Mitsuhasi performed as a soloist with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra at the Centennial Celebration Concert of Carnegie Hall. For the 1992 Sony-released CD Chikurin Kitan, he received the 10th Kenzo Nakajima Music Award, the Agency for Cultural Affairs Artistic Work Award, and the Encouragement Prize at the Yokohama Cultural Awards. Mr. Mitsuhashi has performed in Europe with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Kazushi Ono and received accolades for performances at London’s Royal Festival Hall.

    Soprano Christine Goerke has appeared at the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Seattle Opera, New York City Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Paris Opera, Théâtre du Châtelet, and La Scala among others, as well as at the Saito Kinen Festival. She has received acclaim for her portrayals of the title roles in Norma and Iphigenie en Tauride and roles in Lohengrin, Fidelio, Die Fledermaus, Peter Grimes, Falstaff, and Dialogues des Carmelites. Ms. Goerke has also appeared with a number of the leading orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, and Cleveland Orchestra, among others. Her recording of Vaughan Williams’s A Sea Symphony with Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra won the 2003 Grammy Award for Best Classical Recording and Best Choral Performance.

    Four-time Grammy Award-winning American tenor Anthony Dean Griffey has captured critical and popular acclaim on opera, concert, and recital stages around the world. He has performed leading roles at the great international opera houses including the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Glyndebourne, the Opera National de Paris, and the Teatro Comunale di Firenze, to name a few. He is a regular guest of leading orchestras including those in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Montreal, and Toronto, as well as those abroad in London, Paris, Munich, Tokyo, Glasgow, Amsterdam, and Melbourne. He has also performed at numerous festivals including Tanglewood, Ravinia, Mostly Mozart, Saito Kinen, and the Proms. The 2010–2011 season brings operatic appearances in the title role of Peter Grimes with the Houston Grand Opera and as Lennie in Of Mice and Men with Opera Australia.

    Matthias Goerne is highly respected as a lieder singer and is a frequent guest at renowned festivals and prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall and London’s Wigmore Hall. Esteemed pianists such as Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Leif Ove Andsnes, Alfred Brendel, and Christoph Eschenbach are among his musical partners. From 2008 to 2011, Mr. Goerne will perform and record songs by Franz Schubert on eleven CDs for Harmonia Mundi, and venues around the world will present a series of eleven Schubert recitals with him in coming seasons. He has performed at the Salzburg, Lucerne, and Saito Kinen festivals and toured in recital in Europe, Brazil, the US, and Japan. Highlights of recent seasons include performances with the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, and the Orchestre de Paris, among others.

    The Saito Kinen Orchestra was founded in September of 1984 when Seiji Ozawa and Kazuyoshi Akiyama organized a special concert series to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Hideo Saito's death. Mentor to both of these well-known conductors, Professor Saito is best remembered as co-founder of the Toho Gakuen School, one of Japan's leading music institutions. Under the leadership of Ozawa and Akiyama, more than 100 of Professor Saito's former students assembled in Japan for that series of performances. By 1987 the orchestra had made their first tour of Europe with concerts in Vienna, Berlin, London, Paris, and Frankfurt and in 1991 the orchestra made its US and Carnegie Hall debuts when they opened Carnegie Hall’s 101st season. In 1992, the Saito Kinen Orchestra became the cornerstone ensemble of the new Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto, held every August and September. Highlights of recent season include additional tours of Europe and performances led by Alan Gilbert, Robert Mann, and Junichi Hirokami, with esteemed soloists including Renée Fleming.

    Program Information
    Tuesday, December 14, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.
    Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage

    Seiji Ozawa, Director and Conductor
    Mitsuko Uchida, Piano

    ATSUHIKO GONDAI Decathexis (US Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall and Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto)
    LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37
    JOHANNES BRAHMS Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 68

    This performance is sponsored by Nomura Holding America Inc.

    Tickets: $36, $43, $54, $73, $98, $108

    Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.
    Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage

    Seiji Ozawa, Director and Conductor
    Yukio Tanaka, Biwa
    Kifu Mitsuhashi, Shakuhachi

    TŌRU TAKEMITSU November Steps for Biwa, Shakuhachi, and Orchestra
    HECTOR BERLIOZ Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14

    Tickets: $36, $43, $54, $73, $98, $108

    Saturday, December 18, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.
    Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage

    Seiji Ozawa, Director and Conductor
    Christine Goerke, Soprano
    Anthony Dean Griffey, Tenor
    Matthias Goerne, Baritone
    SKF Matsumoto Choir
    SKF Matsumoto Children's Chorus
    Ritsuyukai Choir

    BENJAMIN BRITTEN War Requiem, Op. 66

    Sponsored in part by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited

    Sponsored in part by Toyota

    This concert and the Choral Classics series are made possible, in part, by an endowment fund for choral music established by S. Donald Sussman in memory of Judith Arron and Robert Shaw.

    Tickets: $34, $40, $51, $68, $91, $100

    JapanNYC Lead Sponsors are Epson Corporation; Mizuho Securities USA Inc.; Nomura Holding America Inc. and Nomura America Foundation; Kotaro ONO, The Chairman of The ONO Group; Rohm Music Foundation; Sony Corporation; and Yoko Nagae Ceschina.

    Supporting Sponsors are Deloitte LLP; Mitsubishi International Corporation; Suntory Holdings Limited and Suntory Hall; Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited; Toshiba Corporation; and Toyota.

    With additional funding from Aladdin Capital Holdings LLC; Asian Cultural Council; The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd.; GWFF USA Inc.; ITOCHU International Inc.; J.C.C. Fund of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York; Kawasaki Good Times Foundation; The NY Mets Foundation; Nihon Unisys, Ltd.; Nippon Express Foundation, Inc.; Nippon Life Insurance Company; Hiroko Onoyama and Ken Sugawara; Seiko Instruments Inc.; Subaru of America, Inc.; and Sumitomo Corporation of America Foundation.

    With special thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan; the Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan; Japan Tourism Agency; Japan National Tourism Organization; the Japan Foundation; and the Consulate-General of Japan in New York.

    Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.

    Continental Airlines is the Official Airline of Carnegie Hall.

    Ticket Information
    Tickets for events taking place at Carnegie Hall are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website, carnegiehall.org.

    For tickets to JapanNYC partner events, please contact the specific venue.

    A JapanNYC Festival Passport, priced at $10, saves 15% or more on all events at Carnegie Hall and many partner events during JapanNYC. The Passport is available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, through CarnegieCharge, or at carnegiehall.org. Some restrictions apply.

    For Carnegie Hall Corporation presentations taking place in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, a limited number of seats, priced at $10, will be available day-of-concert beginning at 11:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 12:00 noon on Sunday until one hour before the performance or until supply lasts. The exceptions are Carnegie Hall Family Concerts and gala events. These $10 tickets are available to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis at the Carnegie Hall Box Office only. There is a two-ticket limit per customer.

    In addition, for all Carnegie Hall presentations in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage a limited number of partial view (seats with obstructed or limited sight lines or restricted leg room) will be sold for 50% of the full price. For more information on this and other discount ticket programs, including those for students, Notables members, and Bank of America customers, visit carnegiehall.org/discounts.



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