Part of: Great American Orchestras
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Thomas Adès, Conductor
Kirill Gerstein, Piano
LISZT Mephisto Waltz No. 1
THOMAS ADÈS Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (NY Premiere)
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 4
Now in his third of five years as artistic partner of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO), composer-conductor-pianist Thomas Adès was born in London in 1971. His most recent opera, The Exterminating Angel, premiered at the 2016 Salzburg Festival and has also been performed at the Metropolitan Opera and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. His opera The Tempest was commissioned by and first performed at the Royal Opera House in 2004, with a new production at the Metropolitan Opera in 2012. His first opera, Powder Her Face (1995), was written for the Cheltenham Festival and the Almeida Theatre, London. Orchestral commissions include those from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, Carnegie Hall, New World Symphony, Berliner Festspiele, BBC Proms, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Royal Festival Hall (London), and Boston Symphony Orchestra. His catalog also includes numerous celebrated chamber and solo works. As the BSO’s artistic partner, he leads the orchestra in Boston and at Tanglewood, performs chamber music with the orchestra’s members, and directs the Festival of Contemporary Music at Tanglewood. He coaches piano and chamber music annually at the International Musicians Seminar, Prussia Cove. As a conductor, Mr. Adès appears regularly with orchestras on both sides of the Atlantic and in Australia. This season he leads the Orchestre de Paris, Britten Sinfonia, and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. Besides his own works, he has conducted such operas as The Rake’s Progress, and the world and European premieres of Gerald Barry’s Alice’s Adventures Under Ground. Recent piano engagements include solo recitals at Carnegie Hall and London’s Wigmore Hall, and concerto appearances with the New York Philharmonic. This season includes a solo Janáček program, Schubert’s Winterreise with Ian Bostridge, and duo recitals with Kirill Gerstein. Mr. Adès’s honors include the Grawemeyer Award for Asyla (1999), the Ernst von Siemens Prize for Arcadiana, and the British Composer Award for The Four Quarters. His recording of The Tempest (EMI) won a Gramophone Award; the DVD of the Metropolitan Opera’s production was awarded the Diapason d’Or de l’année, Best Opera Grammy Award, and ECHO Klassik Music DVD Recording of the Year. The Exterminating Angel won the World Premiere of the Year at the International Opera Awards. In 2015, he was awarded the prestigious Léonie Sonning Music Prize.
Kirill Gerstein’s natural versatility and curiosity have led him to explore a wide range of repertoire from Bach to Thomas Adès. Following his world and New York City premieres of Adès’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, he gives the concerto’s European premiere with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, again with the composer conducting. Gerstein and Adès also perform the composer’s In Seven Days with the London and Los Angeles philharmonics, and give duo recitals in New York and Boston. In 2018–2019, Mr. Gerstein performs with the London Symphony Orchestra under Sir Mark Elder, in China with the Shanghai and Guangzhou symphony orchestras, with orchestras throughout Europe and the US, and in São Paulo, Brazil. He gives recitals in London, Stuttgart, Lisbon, Singapore, Melbourne, and Copenhagen; performs chamber music concerts with the Hagen Quartet, Veronika Eberle, and Clemens Hagen in Lucerne; and collaborates with actor Bruno Ganz in Germany and Austria. Mr. Gerstein’s recording of Scriabin’s Prometheus: The Poem of Fire with the Oslo Philharmonic and Vasily Petrenko was reissued in fall 2018. His live recording on Myrios Classics of Busoni’s Piano Concerto with Sakari Oramo conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra was released earlier this month. Other releases include Tchaikovsky’s piano concertos nos. 1–3 with Semyon Bychkov and the Czech Philharmonic; Liszt’s Transcendental Études; The Gershwin Moment; Imaginary Pictures, which couples Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition with Schumann’s Carnaval; and a recital disc of works by Schumann, Liszt, and Knussen. Kirill Gerstein was brought up in the former Soviet Union; he moved to Boston at age 14 to become the youngest student to attend the Berklee College of Music. He studied with Solomon Mikowsky in New York, Dmitri Bashkirov in Madrid, and Ferenc Rados in Budapest. His honors include the Gilmore Artist Award, which provided funds for him to commission works from Timo Andres, Chick Corea, Alexander Goehr, Oliver Knussen, and Brad Mehldau. A committed teacher and pedagogue, he taught at the Stuttgart Musik Hochschule from 2007 to 2017, and since fall 2018 he has taught at Kronberg Academy as part of its newly announced Sir András Schiff Performance Programme for Young Pianists.