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Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony & Saxophone Concerto World Premiere

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Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony & Saxophone Concerto World Premiere

Saturday, February 18—Sunday, February 19, 2023

Saturday, February 18—Sunday, February 19, 2023
Orchestra Hall
2 hours

From the riveting street fight between the Montagues and Capulets to the ravishing love theme, Tchaikovsky’s overture is beloved by audiences for its musical depictions of scenes from Shakespeare’s tragedy. British saxophonist Jess Gillam performs the world premiere of a concerto written for her by Anna Clyne, whom The New York Times has called “a composer of uncommon gifts.” The Fifth Symphony by Shostakovich is his most popular; its deep sorrow contrasts with unassailable optimism, though not without a heavy dose of satire.

Program

PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY
Romeo & Juliet Fantasy Overture
ANNA CLYNE
Saxophone Concerto (World Premiere)
DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH
Symphony No. 5

Artists

Han-Na Chang

conductor

Artistic Leader and Chief Conductor of the Trondheim Symfoniorkester & Opera in Norway since 2017, Han-Na Chang’s prestigious and unique international career spans nearly three decades.

She first gained international recognition for her precocious musical gifts at the age of 11, when she won the First Prize and the Contemporary Music Prize at the Fifth Rostropovich International Cello Competition in Paris in 1994, awarded unanimously by the jury led by Mstislav Rostropovich. Her international career took off, taking her to all the major concert halls around the world and the world’s top orchestras as an in-demand recitalist and soloist.

Having developed an intense interest in and deep passion for the symphonic repertoire during her late teens and early twenties, she made her formal conducting debut in 2007, at the age of 24, and has since then focused her artistic output exclusively to conducting.

Han-Na Chang started her tenure as the Artistic Leader and Chief Conductor of the Trondheim Symfoniorkester & Opera in 2017. Prior to this appointment, she served as the orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor during 2013 -17. She served as the Music Director of the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra during the season 2013-14, culminating in their successful and critically acclaimed performance at the 2014 BBC Proms in London.

In 2009, she founded and launched the Absolute Classic Festival at Sungnam Arts Center in South Korea and served as its Artistic Director until 2014. The annual summer festival served two purposes: intense orchestral training giving its musicians a broad and deep exposure to all the major symphonic repertoire, and in turn introducing such masterpieces in exciting performances to the local audiences. Han-Na Chang has also recorded introductions and complete performances of the Beethoven Symphonies for the MBC TV in South Korea over 2007-2008.

As a guest conductor, Han-Na Chang’s upcoming appearances include the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam and Oslo Philharmonic Orchestras, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Singapore, Atlanta, Vancouver, and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestras, amongst others. She has frequently worked with orchestras such as Oslo Philharmonic, Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Bamberger Symphoniker, the Toronto, Hamburg, Singapore, Tokyo, Cincinnati, St Louis, Indianapolis, Seattle, Gothenburg, Malmo and Iceland symphony orchestras, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra del Teatro di San Carlo di Napoli.

As a cellist, Han-Na Chang has performed with all the major orchestras including the Berliner Philharmoniker, New York and Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Münchner Philharmoniker, Philadelphia Orchestra, l'Orchestre de Paris, Filarmonica della Scala, Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Orchestre National de France, The Cleveland Orchestra and the Chicago, Boston and San Francisco Symphony orchestras. Her cello recordings, exclusively for the Warner Music label have been nominated for the Grammys, awarded two ECHO Klassik awards, the Caecilia and Cannes Classical awards, as well as a Gramophone Concerto of the Year accolade among others, and remain world-wide bestsellers.

Han-Na Chang was born in Suwon, South Korea in December 1982. At the age of 6, she received her first cello lesson. Her family moved to New York in 1993 in order to support her continuing studies at the Juilliard School, and she has lived in New York since. At the age of 10, she also started studying with Mischa Maisky who remains her most important teacher to this day, and she counts Mstislav Rostropovich and Giuseppe Sinopoli among the most influential mentors of her formative years. Han-Na Chang read Philosophy at Harvard University.

Jess Gillam

saxophone

Hailing from Ulverston in Cumbria, Jess Gillam is animating the music world with her outstanding talent and infectious personality. She has been forging her own adventurous path since she shot to fame becoming the first saxophonist to reach the finals of BBC Young Musician and the youngest ever soloist to perform at the Last Night of the Proms. Passionate about inspiring and bringing joy to people through music, Jess invites audiences on journeys of musical discovery through her electrifying performances and eclectic programming. 

As well as performing around the world, Jess is a presenter on TV and Radio. She became the youngest ever presenter for BBC Radio 3 with the launch of her own weekly show, This Classical Life. The show is in its third year now and in 2020 won the prestigious ARIA Award for Best Specialist Music Show. In July 2021 Jess presented a special live edition of This Classical Life at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall. She has also been a guest presenter for BBC Radio 2 and co-hosted a miniseries for BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme. Keen to explore the creative output of her home county, Jess presented a series of Cumbrian Chats on BBC Radio Cumbria.  TV presenting includes the BBC Proms and BBC Young Musician. 

Jess is the first ever saxophonist to be signed exclusively to Decca Classics and both of her albums reached No.1 in the UK Classical Music Charts. Her debut album was listed in The Times Top 100 albums of 2019. She has been the recipient of a Classic BRIT Award, has been nominated for The Times Breakthrough Award and was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list 2021 for Services to Music.

A free spirit in style and character, Jess is an advocate for the power of music in society. She is passionate about inspiring and bringing joy to people through music and during lockdown, she formed her ‘Virtual Scratch Orchestra’, inviting musicians of any standard to come together to play music virtually with her. The orchestra played music by David Bowie and The Beatles as well as a Christmas special of Leroy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride. Over 2,000 people from around 30 different countries took part across the two projects, aged 2-94, playing a huge range of instruments. Jess is a patron for Awards for Young Musicians and London Music Fund and enjoys working and performing with young musicians.  

Her infectious enthusiasm and passion for classical and non-classical music lights up every stage and she has performed in prestigious concert halls and with world-class orchestras around the globe including the NDR Hannover, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Symphony Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, and the UK’s leading orchestras. She also enjoys touring with her newly formed Jess Gillam Ensemble bringing together a group of brilliant musicians who share her bold, uplifting, and open-minded approach. Jess has performed live at the BAFTAs to millions of viewers at home.

Jess is currently Artist in Residence at the Wigmore Hall, a European Concert Hall Organisation (ECHO) Rising Star which sees her performing at many of the top concert halls across Europe and she continues to promote her own concert series, bringing international talent to her hometown of Ulverston. 

Jess is a Vandoren UK Artist and became the youngest ever endorsee for Yanagisawa Saxophones aged just 13. 

Tchaikovsky Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture – Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Giancarlo Guerrero

(Anna Clyne) is fearless in filling the concerto with melodies of undisguised beauty. ”

-NPR

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