August 29, 2013
MILWAUKEE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA PRESENTS SEDUCTIVE RAVEL
MILWAUKEE, WIS. - The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra presents Seductive Ravel on September 27-28, 2013, led by guest conductor Roberto Abbado. The performances open with Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto in D major featuring violinist Augustin Hadelich, followed by Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé with the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus directed by Lee Erickson.
Both concerts include Meet the Music, an interactive pre-concert discussion beginning one hour prior to concert start time in the Anello Atrium. Following Friday’s concert, join guest artists for Friday Talkback, a Q&A session in the Anello Atrium.
Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto in D major was composed and premiered in 1931. The work began as a commission from publisher Willy Strecker and the virtuoso violinist Samuel Dushkin. Because Stravinsky was never entirely comfortable writing for the violin, Dushkin worked with him throughout the compositional process and provided valuable advice in regards to the possibilities and limitations of the violin. The first movement exhibits Stravinsky’s neo-classical style, and two more movements follow.
Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé was composed from 1909-1912. Sergei Diaghilev, who founded Ballet Russes, brought Ravel and his choreographer, Michel Fokine, together in 1909 and commissioned a ballet score. The ballet’s subject is the fourth century Greek romance, “The Pastoral Loves of Daphnis and Chloé,” attributed to the author Longus. Though written with the ballet aesthetic in mind, Ravel referred to his work as a “symphonic score.” In many ways, it is his most ambitious work, prompting Igor Stravinsky to proclaim, “It is not only Ravel’s best work, but one of the most beautiful products of all French music.”
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Roberto Abbado is both a sophisticated and energetic conductor, which combined with superb communicative skills have made him a favorite among musicians and public alike. A popular figure in the United States, Mr. Abbado’s most extensive relationship is currently with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, where he is an artistic partner, a position that has now been extended into an unprecedented third three-year term. He has performed regularly with the Atlanta and St. Louis symphony orchestras and has appeared often with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Houston Symphony, and San Francisco Symphony, as well as with New York City’s Orchestra of St. Luke’s.
Abbado began the 2012.13 season with Mozart’s Don Giovanni at Bari’s historic Teatro Petruzzelli, followed by Ponchielli’s La Gioconda at Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera in a new production by Pierluigi Pizzi. He opened a new production of Macbeth by Bob Wilson at Teatro Comunale in Bologna and then took it on tour to Hong Kong, and then led La Traviata at Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, staged by Ferzan Özpetek. Abbado also conducted a new production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte staged by Davide Livermore at Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari. Abbado’s 2011.12 season included a triumphant performance of Rossini’s La Donna del Lago at La Scala, Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust staged by Terry Gilliam at Teatro Massimo in Palermo, and Donizetti’s Anna Bolena staged by Graham Vick at Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. In 2012, Abbado was awarded again by the National Association of Italian Music Critics with the Franco Abbiati Prize for Mosè in Egitto at the Rossini Opera Festival as “Best performance and production.”
Augustin Hadelich has confirmed his place in the top echelon of young violinists. Last season, following stellar debuts with the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood and his subscription debut with the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center, he made equally acclaimed debuts with the San Francisco, Dallas, New Jersey, St. Louis, Milwaukee, and Toronto symphonies; Buffalo Philharmonic, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic/Manchester, and the SWR Orchestra in Stuttgart. This summer, he appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, the New York Philharmonic at Vail, Britt Festival Orchestra, Chautauqua Festival Orchestra, Seattle Chamber Music Festival, and La Jolla’s SummerFest.
Among Mr. Hadelich’s 2013.14 season highlights include debuts with the Atlanta, Detroit, and Oregon symphonies and The Philadelphia Orchestra, as well as a recital at New York’s Frick Collection celebrating the 75th anniversary of their concert series and a tour of China with the San Diego Symphony. Debuts abroad include the Bournemouth Symphony, Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto/Portugal, and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
Milwaukee Symphony Chorus, directed by Lee Erickson, has become one of the finest symphony choruses in the country. Founded in 1976 by Margaret Hawkins at the request of the MSO’s second music director, Kenneth Schermerhorn, the MSO Chorus’ 150 volunteer members are dedicated to artistic excellence and performances of the highest caliber. Under Lee Erickson’s dynamic leadership, the Chorus performs with the MSO throughout each season and also performs regularly at Ravinia with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In addition, the chorus is featured on many of the MSO’s recordings, including the current MSO Classics digital series. The 2013.14 season includes performances of Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé, Schubert’s Mass No. 6, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Chamber groups from the chorus also perform Handel’s Messiah in December. The 2012.13 season included performances of John Adams’ On the Transmigration of Souls, Rachmaninoff’s The Bells, and Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius, as well as a Pops concert of Gershwin favorites.
Lee Erickson, holder of the Margaret Hawkins Chorus Director Chair, has a passion for choral music which shines through every MSO Chorus performance. Known for his tireless pursuit of excellence, the standards he sets for tone, precision, diction, and artistry of the ensemble have garnered respect among the conductors, soloists, and composers who have worked with the Chorus. Mr. Erickson was appointed associate director of the Chorus in 1978 and assumed the position of director in 1994 (after founder Margaret Hawkins’s death in 1993). He has served on the Choral Panel of the National Endowment for the Arts, is a past dean of the American Guild of Organists, and is music director at St. Anthony’s Church in Milwaukee. In 2008, Mr. Erickson was honored by the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music for his musical contribution to the greater Milwaukee community, and he was named as one of the 2007 Artists of the Year by the City of Milwaukee Arts Board. In 2011, Mr. Erickson received the 2011 Distinguished Citizen - Professional in Arts Award from the Civic Music Association of Milwaukee.
ABOUT THE PERFORMANCE
Robert Abbado, conductor
Augustin Hadelich, violin
Milwaukee Symphony Chorus, Lee Erickson, director
Uihlein Hall, Marcus Center for the Performing Arts
Tickets start at $25. For more information, please call 414.291.7605 or visit mso.org. Tickets may also be purchased through the Marcus Center Box Office at 414.273.7206.
ABOUT THE MSO
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 80 full-time professional musicians perform more than 135 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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