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SCHUMANN & SIBELIUS

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SCHUMANN & SIBELIUS

Friday, April 1—Sunday, April 3, 2022

Friday, April 1—Sunday, April 3, 2022
Orchestra Hall
2 hours

The strength of the Finnish spirit is alive in a program led by Jukka-Pekka Saraste, including Sibelius's Fifth Symphony, commissioned by the government of Finland for the composer's 50th birthday. Sibelius's Fifth is perhaps best known for its "swan call" motif, influencing musicians from Leonard Bernstein to John Coltrane and songs on the Billboard charts.

Program

ROBERT SCHUMANN
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D minor
JEAN SIBELIUS
Symphony No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 82

Artists

Jukka-Pekka Saraste

conductor

Jukka-Pekka Saraste has established himself as one of the outstanding conductors of his generation, demonstrating remarkable musical depth and integrity. Born in Heinola, Finland, he began his career as a violinist before training as a conductor with Jorma Panula at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. An artist of exceptional versatility and breadth and renowned for his objective approach, he feels a special affinity with the sound and style of late Romantic music. He maintains a particularly strong connection to the works of Beethoven, Bruckner, Mahler, Shostakovich, Stravinsky and Sibelius.

At the end of the 2018/2019 season, Jukka-Pekka Saraste ended his tenure as Chief Conductor of the WDR Symphony Orchestra in Cologne, where he had served since 2010. During this time, the orchestra built up a reputation both at home and abroad, touring Austria, Spain, the Baltic, and Asia. The symphonic cycles of Sibelius, Brahms and Beethoven were exceptionally well received. Previously, from 2006 to 2013, Jukka-Pekka Saraste was Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, where he was subsequently appointed Conductor Laureate, the very first such title bestowed by that orchestra. Earlier positions include the principal conductorships of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, where he is now Conductor Laureate, and Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He also served as Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Advisor of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra. He founded the Finnish Chamber Orchestra, the Artistic Advisor of which he still is, and also initiated the orchestra´s annual Tammisaari Festival, for which he is Artistic Director. Last but not least, he is a founding member of LEAD! The Orchestra Project, which aims to teach effective musical leadership and communication skills to aspiring young musicians within the context of orchestra playing, in workshops, concerts and masterclasses. Recent LEAD! activities include orchestra projects at the Haute Ecole de Musique de Lausanne, Aurora Festival in Stockholm and with the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra.

His guest engagements have led him to the major orchestras worldwide, including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Munich Philharmonic, Dresden Staatskapelle, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris and the leading Scandinavian orchestras, among others. In North America he has conducted the Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, New York Philharmonic, as well as Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. In recent years, he has increasingly ventured into opera and, following concert performances of Stravinsky’s Oedipux Rex, Schönberg’s Erwartung and Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle, had great success at Theater an der Wien in Vienna in early 2019 with a new scenic production of Mendelssohn’s Elijah, directed by Calixto Bieito.

Jukka-Pekka Saraste´s extensive discography includes the complete symphonies of Sibelius and Nielsen with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and a number of well-received recordings with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra of works by Bartók, Dutilleux, Mussorgsky and Prokofiev for Warner Finlandia. His CDs with WDR Symphony Orchestra for Hänssler have likewise earned him much critical praise, and include Schönberg’s Pelleas and Melisande, Stravinsky’s Le Rossignol, Brahms’ complete Symphonies as well as Mahler’s 5th and 9th Symphony and Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8. The complete cycle of Beethoven’s symphonies was released in spring 2019 to high critical acclaim and can be regarded as a legacy of his tenure in Cologne.

Jukka-Pekka Saraste has received the Pro Finlandia Prize, the Sibelius Medal, and the Finnish State Prize for Music. He was awarded honorary doctorates from York University, Toronto and Sibelius Academy, Helsinki. 

Isabelle Faust

violin

Isabelle Faust captivates her listeners both with an interpretation based on a thorough knowledge of the historical context of the works, as well as her attention to current scholarship.

At an early age, Isabelle Faust won the prestigious Leopold Mozart and Paganini competitions and was soon invited to appear with the world's leading orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. 2016 marks her first year as Artistic Partner for the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.

Isabelle Faust performs a wide-ranging repertoire, from J.S Bach all the way through to contemporary composers such as Ligeti, Lachenmann and Widmann. To highlight this versatility, in addition to her mastery of the great symphonic violin concertos, Isabelle Faust also performs works such as Kurtág's "Kafka Fragments" with the soprano Anna Prohaska, or Schubert’s octet on historical instruments. She will premiere several new works for violin and orchestra during the next seasons, including concerti by the composers Ondrej Adamek, Marco Stroppa, Oscar Strasnoy and Beat Furrer.

Over the course of her career, Isabelle Faust has regularly performed or recorded with world-renowned conductors including John Eliot Gardiner, Philippe Herreweghe, Daniel Harding, Bernard Haitink and Andris Nelsons. During recent years Isabelle Faust developed a close relationship with the late Claudio Abbado and performed and recorded under his baton. Their recording of Beethoven's and Berg's violin concertos with the Orchestra Mozart received a "Diapason d'or" (France), "Echo Klassik" (Germany), "Gramophone Award 2012" (UK) as well as a "Record Academy Award" (Japan).

Faust has recorded many discs for harmonia mundi with her recital partner Alexander Melnikov. These include their latest album with the Brahms Sonatas for violin and piano, as well as Schumann’s piano trios. Both, her recording of Mozart’s violin concerti with Il Giardino Armonico and Giovanni Antonini, as well as Bach’s harpsichord sonatas with Kristian Bezuidenhout were released in the 2016/17 season.

Performances

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Saturday, April 2
8:00pm
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Saraste is brilliant at communicating to the public the full complexity of this music, which he does with breathtaking clarity. ”

—Augustin Javel, Bachtrack
Beethoven: Violin Concerto / Faust · Haitink · Berliner Philharmoniker
Artwork for Orchestra Hall
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3711 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI
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