Show artwork for THIBAUDET: RAVEL’S PIANO CONCERTO IN G
Classical

THIBAUDET: RAVEL’S PIANO CONCERTO IN G

THIBAUDET: RAVEL’S PIANO CONCERTO IN G

Friday, May 20—Sunday, May 22, 2022

Friday, May 20—Sunday, May 22, 2022
Orchestra Hall
2 hours

Jean-Yves Thibaudet joins Jader Bignamini to perform Ravel's Piano Concerto in G, inspired by the composer's tour of North America, where he first became smitten with the sounds of jazz. DSO Principals Eric Nowlin and Wei Yu take the spotlight in Richard Strauss's Don Quixote, a tone poem portraying the adventures of the "ingenious" man from La Mancha.

This performance is only available as part of a 2021-2022 Classical Series subscription package. Subscribe today at dso.org/classical.

Program

CARLOS SIMON
Fate Now Conquers
MAURICE RAVEL
Concerto in G major for Piano and Orchestra
RICHARD STRAUSS
Don Quixote, Op. 35

Artists

Jader Bignamini

conductor

Jader Bignamini was introduced as the 18th music director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in January 2020, commencing with the 2020-2021 season. He kicked off his tenure as DSO Music Director with the launch of DSO Digital Concerts in September 2020, conducting works by Copland, Puccini, Tchaikovsky, and Saint-Georges. His infectious passion and artistic excellence set the tone for the season ahead, creating extraordinary music and establishing a close relationship with the orchestra. A jazz aficionado, he has immersed himself in Detroit’s rich jazz culture and the influences of American music.

In December, Jader returned to Detroit to lead a triumphant performance of Jessie Montgomery’s Starburst, Strauss’s Concerto for Oboe and Small Orchestra, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, “Eroica”. He will return in May 2021 to conduct four programs including performances with violinist Midori and pianist Orli Shaham.

A native of Crema, Italy, Jader studied at the Piacenza Music Conservatory and began his career as a musician (clarinet) with Orchestra Sinfonica La Verdi in Milan, later serving as the group’s resident conductor. Captivated by the operatic arias of legends like Mahler and Tchaikovsky, Jader explored their complexity and power, puzzling out the role that each instrument played in creating a larger-than-life sound. When he conducted his first professional concert at the age of 28, it didn’t feel like a departure, but an arrival.

In the years since, Jader has conducted some of the world’s most acclaimed orchestras and opera companies in venues across the globe including working with Riccardo Chailly on concerts of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony in 2013 and his concert debut at La Scala in 2015 for the opening season of La Verdi Orchestra. Recent highlights include debuts with the Houston, Dallas, and Minnesota symphonies; Osaka Philharmonic and Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo; with the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna State Opera, and Dutch National Opera (Madama Butterfly); Bayerische Staatsoper (La Traviata); I Puritani in Montpellier for the Festival of Radio France; Traviata in Tokyo directed by Sofia Coppola; return engagements with Oper Frankfurt (La forza del destino) and Santa Fe Opera (La Bohème); Manon Lescaut at the Bolshoi; Traviata, Madama Butterfly, and Turandot at Arena of Verona; Il Trovatoreand Aida at Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera; Madama Butterfly, I Puritani, and Manon Lescaut at Teatro Massimo in Palermo; Simon Boccanegra and La Forza del Destino at the Verdi Festival in Parma; Ciro in Babilonia at Rossini Opera Festival and La Bohème, Madama Butterfly, and Elisir d’amore at La Fenice in Venice.

When Jader leads an orchestra in symphonic repertoire, he conducts without a score, preferring to make direct eye contact with the musicians. He conducts from the heart, forging a profound connection with his musicians that shines through both onstage and off. He both embodies and exudes the excellence and enthusiasm that has long distinguished the DSO’s artistry.

Jean-Yves Thibaudet

piano

For more than three decades, Jean-Yves Thibaudet has performed world-wide, recorded more than 50 albums, and built a reputation as one of today's finest pianists. From the start of his career, he delighted in music beyond the standard repertoire, from jazz to opera, which he transcribed himself to play on the piano. His profound professional friendships crisscross the globe and have led to spontaneous and fruitful collaborations in film, fashion, and visual art.

Thibaudet has a lifelong passion for education and fostering young musical talent. He is the first-ever Artist-in-Residence at the Colburn School in Los Angeles, where he makes his home. In 2017, the school announced the Jean-Yves Thibaudet Scholarships, funded by members of Colburn’s donor community, to provide aid for Music Academy students, whom Thibaudet will select for the merit-based awards, regardless of their instrument choice.

Thibaudet's recording catalogue has received two Grammy nominations, the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, the Diapason d'Or, the Choc du Monde de la Musique, the Edison Prize, and Gramophone awards. He is the soloist on Wes Anderson’s upcoming film The French Dispatch; his playing can also be heard in Pride and Prejudice, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Wakefield, and the Oscar-winning and critically acclaimed film Atonement. His concert wardrobe is designed by Dame Vivienne Westwood.

In 2010 the Hollywood Bowl honored Thibaudet for his musical achievements by inducting him into its Hall of Fame. Previously a Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Thibaudet was awarded the title Officier by the French Ministry of Culture in 2012. In 2020, he was named Special Representative for the promotion of French Creative and Cultural Industries in Romania.

Eric Nowlin

Principal Viola

Violist Eric Nowlin has performed extensively throughout the United States as well as abroad. Eric's performance of Berlioz’ Harold in Italy with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra was described by Classical Source as "outstanding…his distinctive timbre and sovereign musicianship at one with Slatkin’s perfectly paced account… totally compelling."

Past accomplishments include receiving second prize in the prestigious Walter W. Naumburg Competition, first prize in the Irving Klein International String Competition; first prize in the Hellam Young Artists Competition; grand prize in the Naftzger Young Artists Competition; and winner of the Juilliard Viola Concerto Competition. Performances have included solo engagements with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Springfield Symphony in Missouri, Santa Cruz Symphony, Peninsula Symphony, and the Kumamoto Symphony in Japan, as well as recitals in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto, and Mexico.

Eric is the violist of the Juno and Opus Award winning New Orford String Quartet. Other chamber music activities have included participating in festivals such as the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont and the Steans Institute for Young Artists at Ravinia. He was a regular member of the Jupiter Chamber Players in New York City, and also toured with Musicians from Marlboro and Musicians from Ravinia’s Steans Institute. Eric was previously the Associate Principal viola in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and has served as guest principal viola with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Metropolis Ensemble, and Cleveland’s Citymusic, as well as substitute viola with the New York Philharmonic.

Eric is Assistant Professor of Viola at Michigan State University, and has previously been Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto, as well as Instructor of Viola at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. He spends time during the summer months teaching and performing at numerous music festivals in the United States and Canada.

He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from The Juilliard School, as a scholarship student of Samuel Rhodes. Eric plays on a 1757 J.B. Guadagnini viola on generous loan from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, as well as a viola from 1910 made by Giovanni Pistucci, and a viola made by Sam Zygmuntowicz made in 2019.

Wei Yu

Principal Cello

Wei Yu was appointed Principal Cello, the James C. Gordon Chair, of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra by Music Director Leonard Slatkin in 2014. He made his subscription debut performing Dvorak's Cello Concerto and has appeared as soloist with the DSO every season ever since. Before joining the DSO, Wei was a member of the New York Philharmonic for seven seasons.

Wei was a prizewinner at the Hudson Valley Philharmonic String, Holland American Music Society Cello, Music Teacher National Association (MTNA National Collegiate Strings), Canada’s National Music Festival, Calgary’s Kiwanis Festival and China’s National Cello competitions.

An avid chamber musician, Wei has been invited to the Marlboro, Ravinia, Great Lakes Chamber Music and Mainly Mozart music festivals. Wei has recently collaborated with musicians such as cellist Carter Brey and David Soyer; pianists Richard Goode and Menahem Pressler; violinists Augustin Hadelich, Midori and Pinchas Zukerman; and members of the Guarneri, Emerson and Juilliard Quartets. As a member of the New York Philharmonic Ensembles, he made regular appearances at Merkin Concert Hall.

A successful instructor, Wei serves on faculty of Northwestern University Bienen School Of Music. He has given cello masterclasses at universities and festivals in the United States, Canada, Poland and China. During the summer, Wei teaches at the Morningside Music Bridge International Music Festival in Calgary, Canada; Carnegie Hall's National Youth Orchestra of USA and the Center Stage Strings Summer Institute at the University of Michigan.

Born in Shanghai, China, Wei began studying the cello at age 4 and made his concerto debut at age 11, performing Elgar’s Cello Concerto with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. He received his B.M. from North Park University in Chicago and M.M. from the Juilliard School. His principal teachers include Mei-Juan Liu, John Kadz, Hans Jørgen Jensen, and David Soyer.

During his first season with the DSO, the Detroit Free Press has praised his performances:

"Nearly all of the soloists made strong impressions, but special mention must go to new principal cellist Wei Yu... The grace, poise, liquid legato and purity of tone and pitch that Yu produced in these few moments were stunning in their authority and beauty — a very good sign for the future of the orchestra." - January 17, 2015

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Jean-Yves Thibaudet played the extensive piano part with extraordinary dexterity and riveting forcefulness, as well as with enthusiasm and captivating wit. ”

—Classical Source
SOUND/STAGE: “Rhapsody in Blue” with Jean-Yves Thibaudet
Artwork for Orchestra Hall
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3711 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI
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