September brings the 200th birthday of a composer whose name is familiar, but whose creative legacy deserves far greater recognition. Pianist Lara Downes gives her perspective.
ORPHEUS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA at the 92nd Street Y (May 8, 7:30 p.m.). The harpsichordist de nos jours Mahan Esfahani is the soloist in two relatively recent concertos, by Manuel de Falla and Bohuslav Martinu. Also on the bill are two arrangements for nonet, one of Mozart’s Wind Quintet by Jean Françaix, and another of Strauss’s “Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche” by Brett Dean.
“A Happy Excursion” had a fitting companion in Tchaikovsky’s emotive “Pathétique” Symphony. The [New York] Philharmonic musicians can probably play this overprogrammed piece in their sleep; in the past, it has occasionally felt as if they were doing just that. But under Mr. Yu’s baton, they summoned surprising extremes, leavened occasionally with the brisk lightness of a Tchaikovsky ballet.
Donald Runnicles is the music director in this picturesque town opposite Jackson Hole, which is just south of Grand Teton National Park and an hour’s drive from Yellowstone. With an orchestra whose players are drawn from major symphonies across the country, Mr. Runnicles conducts Mahler’s Symphony No. 3, Bernstein’s “West Side Story” and much else. Visiting soloists include Daniil Trifonov, Leila Josefowicz and Kirill Gerstein.
Michael Landers and Ariel Hsing, table tennis champions in their early 20s, are featured as the Ping-Pong-playing soloists in Andy Akiho’s energetic concerto “Ricochet,” which will have its American premiere on Tuesday as part of the Philharmonic’s Lunar New Year gala. And yes, this is the first time a Ping-Pong table has been onstage at David Geffen Hall.
We asked some of the most talented younger pianists (and one harpsichordist) to share and discuss their favorite Argerich recordings. Their answers — and the music — are below. Yekwon Sunwoo, the 28-year-old South Korean pianist who won this year’s Cliburn Competition, loved Ms. Argerich’s recording of “Gaspard de la Nuit,” but then he found a video of her playing the piece.
Yekwon Sunwoo won the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition on Saturday, besting 29 rivals over two weeks of playing to become the prestigious contest’s first champion from South Korea. The Cliburn, held every four years in Fort Worth, was founded in 1962 by Van Cliburn, the American pianist who stunned the world by winning the Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow in 1958, at the height of the Cold War.
Grand Teton Music Festival - The setting is everything at this event, located near Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, but with Donald Runnicles in charge of the festival’s orchestra, musical quality is assured, too. Mr. Runnicles sprinkles some recent work — by Aaron Jay Kernis, Marc Neikrug and Luciano Berio — among weighty canonical fare, including Mahler’s Ninth and Beethoven’s Seventh. Guest artists include Yefim Bronfman, Garrick Ohlsson, Augustin Hadelich, Vasily Petrenko and James Ehnes.