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Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto & Bruckner's Fourth

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Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto & Bruckner's Fourth

Friday, April 14—Sunday, April 16, 2023

Friday, April 14—Sunday, April 16, 2023
Orchestra Hall
2 hours

Stephen Hough, whom The Guardian calls “a whole orchestra in himself,” performs Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto. It is a piece full of stunning moments, such as the first movement’s tempestuous chords giving way to ethereal trills in the piano’s high register. Markus Stenz leads the orchestra in Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony, almost overwhelming in its grandeur, with majestic horn calls and mesmerizing themes.


Piano Concerto No. 3
Symphony No. 4


Markus Stenz


Markus Stenz has held a number of high-profile positions with international orchestras and opera houses including Principal Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra (2012-2019), Principal Guest of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (2015-2019), and Conductor-In-Residence of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra (2016-2020). He was General Music Director of the City of Cologne and Gürzenich-Kapellmeister for 11 years (from 2003-2014), Principal Guest Conductor of the Hallé Orchestra (2010-2014), Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (1998-2004), Principal Conductor of London Sinfonietta (1994–1998), and Artistic Director of the Montepulciano Festival (1989–1995). 

Stenz made his opera debut in 1988 at La Fenice in Venice in the first performance of Henze’s revised version of Elegy for Young LoversSince then, he has appeared at many of the world’s major opera houses and international festivals including Teatro alla Scala Milan, La Monnaie in Brussels, English National Opera, San Francisco Opera, Stuttgart Opera, Frankfurt Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, and Edinburgh International Festival. His notable performances in Cologne have included Wagner’s Ring, Lohengrin, Tannhäuser, and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, as well as Janáček’s Jenufa and Katya Kabanova, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and Eötvös’s Love and other Demons. 

Stenz has conducted many world premieres including Henze’s Das verratene Meer for Deutsche Oper Berlin, Venus und Adonis for Bavarian State Opera, and L’Upupa und der Triumph der Sohnesliebe at the Salzburg Festival, Wolfgang Rihm’s Die Eroberung von Mexico and Detlev Glanert’s Caligula for Frankfurt Opera and Solaris at the Bregenz Festival. He recently returned to Bayerische Staatsoper Munich for Schreker’s Die Gezeichneten and, in the 2018/19 season, conducted the long-awaited world première of Kurtag’s Fin de Partie at La Scala, Milan, and Dutch National Opera. 

Guest engagements have led him to major orchestras worldwide, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, NHK, Symphony Orchestra of the Bayerische Rundfunk, Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig, London Philharmonic, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, Vienna Symphony, and the Symphony Orchestras of the Hessische Rundfunk, and NDR. In the United States, these have included the Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Houston, San Diego, St Louis Symphony Orchestras, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, and recently his debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony. 

Highlights of the 2020-2021 season included the CD release of Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony with Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, performances of Kurtág’s Fin de Partie at Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia, and concerts with MDR Sinfonieorchester and Dortmunder Philharmoniker. Despite the pandemic, Stenz has conducted numerous concerts in Asia, including Seoul and Taiwan, and was guest conductor at Teatro La Fenice in Venice.  

In 2021-2022 Stenz conducts Britten‘s Midsummer Night’s Dream at Deutsche Oper Berlin and the French premiere of Kurtág‘s opera Fin de Partie at Opéra National de Paris. Other guest conducting engagements include performances with the Pacific, Colorado, and Jacksonville Symphony Orchestras, as well as Orchestra dell’Academia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Orchestre National de Lyon, Orchestra della Toscana in Florence, and others. 

During his time with the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln, Stenz received a prize for “The Best Concert Programme of the 2003-2004 Season” as well as initiating a number of youth and educational projects such as “Experiment Klassikz,” “3. Akt,” and the concert live-recording project “GO live.” 

Stenz’s extensive discography includes many prize-winning recordings including the Gürzenich Orchestra’s complete cycle of Gustav Mahler's symphonies for Oehms Classics. Their recording of Mahler's Fifth Symphony received a German Record Critics’ Award in November 2009. Their first recording for Hyperion of Strauss’s Don Quixote and Till Eulenspiegel received unanimous critical acclaim and was followed by an equally celebrated recording of Schönberg’s Gurrelieder released in 2015, which received the Choral Award at the 2016 Gramophone Awards. 

Stenz studied at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne under Volker Wangenheim and at Tanglewood with Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa. He has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Northern College of Music and the “Silberne Stimmgabel” (Silver Tuning Fork) of the state of North Rhein/Westphalia. 

Stephen Hough

Combining a uniquely insightful career as a pianist with those of composer and writer, Stephen Hough distinguished himself as a true polymath. The first classical pianist to be awarded a MacArthur Fellowship and a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), his mastery of the instrument as well as an individual and inquisitive mind has earned him a multitude of prestigious awards and a longstanding international following.  

Highlights of Hough’s 2021-2022 orchestral engagements include appearances with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, Orchestre National de Fance in Paris, Tonkunster Orchestra in Vienna, BBC Symphony, London Philharmonic, as well as with the Dallas, Atlanta, Utah, and San Antonio symphonies. He is the BBC Philharmonic’s 2021-2022 Artist-in-Residence and in Spring 2022, he returns to Asia to perform with the Singapore and National Taiwan symphonies as well as the China Philharmonic and Guangzhou symphony orchestras. Recent performance highlights include the New York Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, Vienna Symphony, the Philharmonia and Royal Philharmonic in London, and the City of Birmingham and Finnish Radio symphonies, among others. 

Hough is a regular guest at festivals such as Salzburg, Mostly Mozart, Edinburgh, La Roque-d’Atheron, Aldeburgh, and the BBC Proms, where he made his 29th appearance in the fall of 2020. In June 2020, he returned to London’s Wigmore Hall to give the UK’s first live classical music concert in a major venue since the nationwide lockdown earlier that year. Recital highlights in 2021-2022 include a return to London’s Royal Festival Hall (International Piano Series) and performances at Caramoor, the Estonia National Concert Hall, and in Toronto, Cincinnati, New Orleans, and Miami. 

Hough’s extensive discography of over 60 CDs on the Hyperion label has garnered international awards including the Diapason d’Or de l’Année, several Grammy Award-nominations, and eight Gramophone Awards including Record of the Year and the Gold Disc. Recent releases include the complete piano concertos of Beethoven with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Hannu Lintu; Brahms: The Final Piano Pieces; Stephen Hough’s Dream Album, a compilation of his favorite short pieces; and Vida Breve, a solo album featuring his Vida Breve Sonata and works by Chopin, Liszt, Busoni, and Bach/Gounod. Among the highlights of Hough’s 2021/22 season are two recording releases on Hyperion – an all-Schumann album and a double CD of Chopin’s complete nocturnes. Both recordings, to be released in September and October 2021 respectively, were the product of studio sessions in 2020 during the coronavirus lockdown in the UK, and four additional recordings from these sessions will be released at a later date.  

As a composer, Hough has written for orchestra, choir, chamber ensemble and solo piano. Recent commissions include composing the commissioned work for the 2022 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, to be performed by all 30 competitors, and his String Quartet No. 1 Les Six Recontres composed for the Takacs Quartet. The world premiere of the quartet will take place in Wigmore Hall with the North American premiere being performed at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, CA. Hough has also been commissioned by the Musee de Louvre, London’s National Gallery, Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral, the Genesis Foundation, Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, the Walter W. Naumburg Foundation, and the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet among others. 

A noted writer, Hough’s collection of essays Rough Ideas: Reflections on Music and More, published by Faber and Faber in London and Farrar, Straus, and Giroux in New York, won the 2020 Royal Philharmonic Society Awards’ Storytelling category, and was named one of the Financial Times’ Book of the Year 2019. Hough’s first novel, The Final Retreat, was published by Sylph Editions in 2018. He has been published by The New York Times and in London in The Telegraph, The Times, The Guardian, and the Evening Standard. For seven years he wrote more than six hundred articles for his blog in The Telegraph, which became one of the most popular and influential forums for cultural discussion. 

Hough resides in London and is an Honorary Member of the Royal Philharmonic Society, a Visiting Professor at the Royal Academy of Music, holds the International Chair of Piano Studies at the Royal Northern College of Music, and is on the faculty of The Juilliard School in New York. 

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Johannes Brahms: Piano Concerto no. 2 (Stephen Hough pianist)

Wonderful, almost miraculous...There isn’t a colour, weight of attack or nuance of phrasing or rhythm that passes [Hough] by. ”

-The Times

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