1101 North Market Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202
May 1, 2012
MILWAUKEE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA PERFORMS THE BRITISH ISLES
Concerts features works of British composers Vaughan Williams, Bruch and Walton
MILWAUKEE, WIS. – Guest conductor Christopher Warren-Green brings the music of England to the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra with “The British Isles,” on May 25-26, 2012 in Uihlein Hall at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. The program includes Walton’s powerful Crown Imperial, Vaughan Williams’ haunting Symphony No. 5 and Bruch’s folk-influenced Scottish Fantasy, featuring dynamic violinist Jennifer Frautschi.
Walton’s Coronation March, Crown Imperial, was commissioned for the 1937 coronation of George VI. The result was the powerful and very English piece, one that pays stylistic homage to the “Pomp and Circumstance” marches of Elgar. Walton wrote in virtually all instrumental forms, but is particularly celebrated for his symphonies and concertos. These are the MSO’s first performances of the piece.
Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 46 was written during the winter of 1879-80. Written for and dedicated to the Spanish virtuoso Pablo de Sarasate, the work was premiered by Sarasate at a Bach festival in Hamburg during late September of 1880. “Impressed by the writings of Sir Walter Scott, Bruch utilized his own versions of Scottish folk tunes,” writes MSO program annotator Roger Ruggeri. Criticized in its earliest days as neither a concerto nor Scottish, it was embraced in the earlier part of this century by violinist Jascha Heifetz. The last MSO performance was in April 2007 with violinist Rachel Barton Pine and conductor Junichi Hirokami.
Vaughan Williams’ Symphony No. 5 in D major was composed between 1938 and 1943 and introduced by the London Philharmonic under the composer’s direction in June 1943. The Fifth Symphony provided a welcome haven of contemplative serenity for the English during the harrowing years of World War II. The symphony is regarded as absolute music, rather than as descriptive or programmatic music. Vaughan Williams, in the words of Hugh Ottaway, “was aware of the common aspirations of generations of ordinary men with whom he felt a deep, contemplative sympathy.” The last MSO performance was in October 1967, with Harry John Brown conducting.
Music Director of the Charlotte Symphony and London Chamber orchestras, Christopher Warren-Green makes his debuts this season with the Detroit and Milwaukee symphony orchestras and the Zürcher Kammerorchester and will return to the London Philharmonic, Sapporo Symphony and the Royal Philharmonic orchestras. In North America, Warren-Green has worked with the Minnesota Orchestra on several occasions and made an acclaimed debut with The Philadelphia Orchestra in 2007.
Last season, he conducted the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall, made his debut with the Orchestre National de Belgique and performed with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Dublin. He also conducted the London Chamber Orchestra in the closing concert of the Berlin International Music Festival in August 2011. Previous orchestral appointments have included principal conductor of the Camerata Resident Orchestra of the Megaron Athens, taking over from Sir Neville Marriner (2004-2009), chief conductor of the Nordiska Kammar Orkestern (1998-2005) and chief conductor of the Jönköpings Sinfonietta (1998-2001).
Warren-Green has been personally invited to conduct on many occasions for the Royal Family in the last thirty years. In April 2011, Warren-Green conducted the London Chamber Orchestra during the marriage ceremony of HRH Prince William Duke of Cambridge and HRH Duchess of Cambridge at Westminster Abbey, which was televised to millions worldwide. Other recent occasions included Her Majesty the Queen’s 80th birthday celebrations at Kew Palace and HRH Prince of Wales’s 60th birthday concert.
Warren-Green is a regular on television and radio, and in summer 2008, he was featured on the BBC’s high-profile television series Maestro. He has recorded extensively for Sony, Philips, Virgin EMI, Chandos and Deutsche Grammophon and regularly records with London Chamber Orchestra for Signum Classics.
Avery Fisher career grant recipient violinist Jennifer Frautschi has created a sensation in recent seasons with appearances as soloist with Pierre Boulez and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Christoph Eschenbach and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival and at Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival. Selected by Carnegie Hall for its Distinctive Debuts series, she made her New York recital debut in 2004. As part of the European Concert Hall Organization's Rising Stars series, Frautschi also made debuts that year at ten of Europe's most celebrated concert venues, including London's Wigmore Hall, Salzburg Mozarteum, Amsterdam Concertgebouw and La Cité de la Musique in Paris.
Ms. Frautschi’s 2011.12 highlights include the world premiere of James Stephenson’s Violin Concerto, a piece written for her, with the Minnesota Orchestra and Osmo Vänskä; the Barber Concerto with the orchestra of the Teatro di San Carlo Opera House in Naples, James Conlon conducting; and the premiere of Les Bijoux, a violin concerto by Richard Aldag, with the Napa Valley Symphony. As chamber musician, she will perform with the Lincoln Center and Boston chamber music societies and perform on all-gut strings with period instruments at Da Camera of Houston and the Helicon Foundation in New York.
Her growing discography includes three widely-praised CDs for Artek: an orchestral recording of the Prokofiev concerti with Gerard Schwarz and the Seattle Symphony, highly-acclaimed discs of music of Ravel and Stravinsky and twentieth-century works for solo violin. She has also recorded several discs for Naxos, including the Stravinsky Violin Concerto with the Philharmonia Orchestra of London, conducted by the legendary Robert Craft; two Grammy-nominated recordings with the Fred Sherry Quartet of Schoenberg's Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra and the Schoenberg Third String Quartet; and the Stravinsky Duo Concertant with pianist Jeremy Denk, which was released in April 2011.
She performs on a 1722 Antonio Stradivarius violin known as the "ex-Cadiz," on generous loan to her from a private American foundation.
The Saturday Classics Series is presented by the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF).
THE BRITISH ISLES
Christopher Warren-Green, conductor
Jennifer Frautschi, violin
Friday, May 25, 2012 @ 8:00 PM | Uihlein Hall
Saturday, May 26, 2012 @ 8:00 PM | Uihlein Hall
Tickets range from $25 to $102. Call 414.291.7605 or visit mso.org. Tickets can also be purchased by calling the Marcus Center box office at 414.273.7206.
About the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
Ranked among the top orchestras in the country, the MSO is the largest cultural institution in Wisconsin. Since its inception in 1959, the orchestra has received critical acclaim for artistic excellence. The orchestra’s 83 full-time professional musicians perform more than 140 concerts each season. A cornerstone organization in Milwaukee’s arts community, the MSO provides enrichment and education activities for audiences of every age, economic status and background.
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