This subscription package includes performances that feature chorus and therefore Conductor’s Circle seating is not available for one or more event. For your convenience we will seat you in Orchestra Tier, Tier 1, or the Orchestra at no additional price for these performances.
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Composer, conductor, teacher, writer, thinker—John Adams is an American musical icon. His work—exciting and beautiful—unflinchingly confronts, defines, and embraces contemporary culture. He wrote Scheherazade.2 for the stellar violinist Leila Josefowicz, inspired by an art exhibit about The Tales of the Arabian Nights and Rimsky-Korsakov's original. Josefowicz's solo violin plays the role of a modern Scheherazade. Adams's musical exploration of the present-day struggle of women in a patriarchal society reverses the roles, putting the woman in a position of strength.
This work of towering musicality and deep spirituality is a fitting summation of J.S. Bach's epochal career; he finished it the year before he died. It's “above and beyond every piece of music that's been created for liturgical purposes,” says Yannick Nézet-Séguin. A setting of the complete Latin Mass, it demands superlatives, at the same time rendering them inadequate.
Beethoven composed “the most positive music ever written,” with every work containing “every emotion known to man,” says Emanuel Ax, who completes our piano concerto cycle. Beethoven made his public debut with his Second Concerto, a dramatic, humorous, ebullient work that announced the young artist's arrival.
Beethoven was just beginning to go deaf when he wrote his Second Symphony and though he was losing his hearing, he was finding his voice. He could have composed a manifestation of despair, but instead gave the world one of his most ebullient and life-affirming works. The Third Symphony was groundbreaking, a turning point in the composer's oeuvre and a watershed in musical history.
Tchaikovsky's Second Piano Concerto may be overshadowed by his more famous First, but it's the piece that earned Lukas Geniušas top honors at the Tchaikovsky Competition. Balanchine, too, recognized its consummate beauty, choosing it as the score for his tribute to classical Russian ballet. The government decided what was art when Shostakovich wrote his vehement and complicated Fifth Symphony under an oppressive Soviet regime (and threat of the Gulag).
Brahms wrote just two piano concertos. He was 25 when he completed his youthful and vigorous First Concerto. Two decades later he composed his tremendous Second; Yannick compares the final, fourth movement to playing in heaven, surrounded by angels. The fiery Yuja Wang, Curtis Institute of Music graduate and Philadelphia favorite, returns to her second home for four performances, bringing her technical virtuosity and thoughtful depth of music-making to these two corresponding and harmonious works. Hear them both, paired with Sibelius's Symphony No. 3, a masterpiece of the Finnish national hero.
Principal Clarinet Ricardo Morales and violinist Amy Oshiro-Morales at Parc, their go-to restaurant after rehearsals and concerts. Photo by Jeff Fusco.