Antonin DVOŘÁK In nature’s realm, concert overture, op. 91
Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH Cello Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major, op. 107
Pyotr TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 5 in E minor, op. 64
Listen to the concert programme here:
Truls Mørk’s compelling performances, combining fierce intensity, integrity and grace, have established him as one of the pre-eminent cellists of our time.
He is a celebrated artist who performs with the most distinguished orchestras including the Orchestre de Paris, Berliner Philharmoniker, Wiener Philharmoniker, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Münchner Philharmoniker, Philharmonia and London Philharmonic orchestras and Gewandhausorchester Leipzig. In North America he has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia and Cleveland orchestras, Boston Symphony Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic. Conductor collaborations include Mariss Jansons, David Zinman, Manfred Honeck, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Gustavo Dudamel, Sir Simon Rattle, Kent Nagano, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Christoph Eschenbach, amongst others.
During the 2019/20 season engagements include the Boston and Cleveland Orchestras, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic and the London Symphony Orchestra with performances at the Barbican Hall, London and at the Alte Oper, Frankfurt. Truls Mørk will give the Japanese premiere of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s cello concerto with the Philharmonia, conducted by the composer, following highly successful performances last season at the Royal Festival Hall, Lincoln Center and the Festival d’Aix en Provence. In collaboration with Klaus Makela, he will also perform the Salonen cello concerto with the Philharmonique de Radio France and the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra.
This season Truls Mørk will be Artist in Residence with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra which will feature the world premiere of Victoria Borisova-Ollas’ cello concerto conducted by Cristian Măcelaru. Further performances of the concerto are programmed with the Bergen Philharmonic under Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic conducted by Vasily Petrenko and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra under Kent Nagano. A great champion of contemporary music, Truls Mørk has given in excess of 30 premieres. These include Rautavaara’s Towards the Horizon with the BBC Symphony Orchestra/John Storgårds, Pavel Haas’ Cello Concerto with Wiener Philharmoniker/Jonathan Nott, Krzysztof Penderecki’s Concerto for Three Cellos with the NHK Symphony Orchestra/Charles Dutoit and Hafliði Hallgrímsson’s Cello Concerto, co-commissioned by the Oslo Philharmonic, Iceland Symphony and Scottish Chamber orchestras.
Truls Mørk continues to give regular recitals at major venues and festivals throughout the world. He has recently developed a collaboration with Behzod Abduraimov with highly successful tours in both the US and Europe. In 2020 they will perform Beethoven, Franck and Prokofiev at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris and at Kings Place, London, and in autumn 2019 they will record together.
With an impressive recording output, Truls Mørk has recorded many of the great cello concertos for labels such as Virgin Classics, EMI, Deutsche Grammophon, Ondine, Arte Nova and Chandos many of which have won international awards including Gramophone, Grammy, Midem and ECHO Klassik awards. These include Dvořák’s Concerto (Mariss Jansons/Oslo Philharmonic), Britten’s Cello Symphony and Elgar’s Concerto (Sir Simon Rattle/CBSO), Miaskovsky Concerto and Prokofiev’s Sinfonia Concertante (Paavo Järvi/CBSO), Dutilleux (Myung-Whun Chung/Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France), CPE Bach (Bernard Labadie/Les Violons du Roy), Haydn’s Concertos (Iona Brown/Norwegian Chamber Orchestra), Rautavaara’s Towards the Horizon (John Storgårds/Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra) as well as the complete Bach Cello Suites and Britten Cello Suites. His most recent recordings include Shostakovich’s Concertos with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra/Vasily Petrenko, works for cello and orchestra by Massenet with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande/Neeme Järvi and the Saint-Saëns Concertos together with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra/Neeme Järvi.
Initially taught by his father, Truls Mørk continued his studies with Frans Helmerson, Heinrich Schiff and Natalia Schakowskaya. In his early career he won a number of competitions such as the Moscow Tchaikovsky Competition (1982), Cassado Cello Competition in Florence (1983), the Unesco Prize at the European Radio-Union competition in Bratislava (1983) and the Naumberg Competition in New York (1986).
The Philharmonia is a world-class symphony orchestra for the 21st century. Based in London at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, and with a thriving national and international touring schedule, the Philharmonia creates thrilling performances for a global audience. Through its network of residencies, the Orchestra has a national footprint, serving communities across England both on stage and through its extensive outreach and engagement programme.
Founded in 1945, in part as a recording orchestra for the nascent home audio market, today the Philharmonia uses the latest digital technology to reach new audiences for symphonic music. The Orchestra is led by Finnish conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen, its Principal Conductor & Artistic Advisor since 2008. Fellow Finn Santtu-Matias Rouvali takes over from Salonen as Principal Conductor in the 2021/22 season.
The Philharmonia is a registered charity that relies on funding from a wide range of sources to deliver its programme and is proud to be generously supported by Arts Council England.
The Orchestra’s home is Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall where it has been resident since 1995. Orchestral programming is complemented by series including Philharmonia at the Movies, Music of Today and the Philharmonia Chamber Players. Under Salonen and other key conductors, the Philharmonia has created a series of critically-acclaimed, visionary projects, distinctive for both their artistic scope and supporting live and digital content. Recent series include City of Light: Paris 1900-1950 (2015) and Stravinsky: Myths & Rituals (2016), which won a South Bank Sky Arts Award. In 2019, Salonen presents Weimar Berlin: Bittersweet Metropolis, a celebration of the Weimar Republic era through the prism of its music, drama and film.
The Philharmonia is orchestra-in-residence at venues and festivals across England: Bedford Corn Exchange, De Montfort Hall in Leicester, The Marlowe in Canterbury, Anvil Arts in Basingstoke (where it is Orchestra in Partnership), the Three Choirs Festival in the West of England, and Garsington Opera. At the heart of the Orchestra’s residencies is an outreach and engagement programme that empowers people in every community to engage with, and participate in, orchestral music. Its flagship Orchestra Unwrapped project for schools encompasses concerts, in-school workshops and teacher training, delivered in partnership with Music Hubs; intergenerational creative music-making community project Hear and Now brings together people living with dementia and their carers with young musicians; and urban-classical project Symphonize engages vulnerable teenagers.
Internationally, the Philharmonia is active across Europe, Asia and the USA. Recent projects include a US tour with two performances at Lincoln Center, New York, and performances at CAL Performances in Berkeley, California (March 2019), and a three-week residency at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence built around a critically acclaimed production of Kurt Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. The 2019/20 season sees the Orchestra embark on major tours with Esa-Pekka Salonen. In September 2019, they travel to Europe, including a return to Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie; in January 2020 Salonen leads a tour of Japan and South Korea.
The Philharmonia’s international reputation in part derives from its extraordinary recording legacy, which in the last 10 years has been built on by its pioneering work with digital technology. Two giant audio-visual walk-through installations have introduced hundreds of thousands of people across the world to the symphony orchestra. VR experiences featuring music by Sibelius, Mahler and Beethoven, placing the viewer at the heart of the orchestra, have been presented at Southbank Centre, at Ravinia Festival (Chicago) and at the SXSW Conference and Festival in Austin, Texas. The Orchestra’s 2018/19 London Season opened with a new, audio-led VR installation, VR Sound Stage, which was presented for free in the foyer of Royal Festival Hall, and is now touring internationally.
A new research and development project, in a consortium led by the Royal Shakespeare Company and funded by the British Government’s Audience of the Future programme, is exploring how immersive technologies such as VR, Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) can re-imagine what a live performance can be.
The Philharmonia records and releases music across multiple channels and media. An app for iPad, The Orchestra, has sold tens of thousands of copies. Composers including Brian Tyler, Steven Price, James Newton Howard and Christopher Lennertz choose to record their scores for films, video games and television series with the Orchestra. The Orchestra’s VR 360 Experience is available on PlayStation VR. The Philharmonia is Classic FM’s ‘Orchestra on Tour’ and broadcasts extensively on BBC Radio 3; with Signum Records the Philharmonia releases live recordings of signature concerts; and the Orchestra’s YouTube channel has 80,000 subscribers.
The Philharmonia’s investment in technological innovation has been a catalyst for its award-winning audience development projects, which are united by the concept of taking symphonic music out of the concert hall and presenting it in new contexts. The Orchestra has won four Royal Philharmonic Society awards for its digital projects and audience engagement work. In its most ambitious audience development project to date, the Philharmonia presented The Virtual Orchestra – a six-week festival of digital installations, VR, workshops and community engagement, and fringe performances – in each of its town-based residency locations in 2018 and 2019.
The Philharmonia was founded in 1945 by EMI producer Walter Legge, and has worked with a who’s who of twentieth century music, especially in the recording studio. Herbert von Karajan, Otto Klemperer, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Richard Strauss, Arturo Toscanini and Riccardo Muti are just a few of the great artists to be associated with the Philharmonia.
The members of the Philharmonia took over ownership of the orchestra in 1964 (which was known as the New Philharmonia until 1977) and it has been self-governing ever since. Finnish conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen has been Principal Conductor & Artistic Advisor of the Orchestra since 2008. Santtu-Matias Rouvali is Principal Conductor Designate, succeeding Salonen in 2021. Jakub Hrůša is Principal Guest Conductor; Christoph von Dohnányi is Honorary Conductor for Life and Vladimir Ashkenazy is Conductor Laureate. Composer Unsuk Chin is Artistic Director of the Music of Today series.
As well as its membership of 80 players from all around the world, the Philharmonia’s Emerging Artists programme supports the next generation of composers, conductors and instrumentalists. Composers’ Academy champions three developing composers each year. The Philharmonia works with Salonen and the Colburn School of Music in Los Angeles to deliver performance opportunities and training for the Salonen Fellows, talented young conductors on the conservatory’s Negaunee Conducting Program. The Orchestra’s MMSF Instrumental Fellowship Programme supports instrumentalists seeking an orchestral career and connects them to the wider life of the Orchestra and the expertise within its membership.
One of the few artists to combine a successful career as a pianist and conductor, Russian-born Vladimir Ashkenazy inherited his musical gift from both sides of his family; his father David Ashkenazy was a professional light music pianist and his mother Evstolia (née Plotnova) was daughter of a chorus master in the Russian Orthodox church. Ashkenazy first came to prominence on the world stage in the 1955 Chopin Competition in Warsaw and as first prize-winner of the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels in 1956. Since then he has built an extraordinary career, not only as one of the most outstanding pianists of the 20th century, but as an artist whose creative life encompasses a vast range of activities and continues to offer inspiration to music-lovers across the world.
Conducting has formed the larger part of Ashkenazy’s activities for more than 35 years. He continues his longstanding relationship with the Philharmonia Orchestra, who appointed him Conductor Laureate in 2000. In addition to his performances with the orchestra in London and around the UK each season, Vladimir Ashkenazy joins the Philharmonia Orchestra on countless tours worldwide. In the past, Ashkenazy and the Philharmonia have developed landmark projects such as Voices of Revolution: Russia 1917 at Southbank Centre last season, Prokofiev and Shostakovich Under Stalin (a project which he also took to Cologne, New York, Vienna and Moscow) and Rachmaninoff Revisited (which was also presented in Paris).
In 2019, Vladimir Ashkenazy was named as the very first Conductor Laureate of Sydney Symphony Orchestra. This appointment has been made in recognition of his 50 year association with the Orchestra which began in 1969 and is an honour never before bestowed on any previous Sydney Symphony conductor. One of the most revered figures in classical music, the legendary pianist and veteran conductor accepts this position having entered his ninth decade. The young-at-heart musician who has a most impressive array of awards and recognitions to his name, as well as a vast discography both as a pianist and a conductor, Ashkenazy enjoys a career rich in achievement but remains, despite the prestige, a musician of the greatest dignity and unparalleled spiritual height. He has continued, for more than 60 years, to thrill audiences around the world and to shape profoundly many generations of musicians, maintaining an incredible level of trust and respect from them. A person of great warmth, humility and generosity, he has contributed immensely to the underprivileged and to humanity in general, reaching well beyond his contribution as a musician.
Ashkenazy is also Conductor Laureate of both the Iceland and NHK Symphony orchestras and Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana. Previously he has held posts as Music Director of the EUYO, Chief Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and Music Director of NHK Symphony Orchestra. He maintains strong links with other major orchestras including The Cleveland Orchestra (where he was formerly Principal Guest Conductor) and Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (Chief Conductor and Music Director 1988-96). He regularly makes guest appearances with many other major orchestras around the world.
Ashkenazy maintains his devotion to the piano, these days mostly in the recording studio where he continues to build his extraordinarily comprehensive recording catalogue. This includes the Grammy award-winning album of Shostakovich’s Preludes and Fugues, Rautavaara’s Piano Concerto No.3 (a work which he commissioned), Bach’s Wohltemperierte Klavier, Rachmaninov’s Transcriptions and Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, ‘Ashkenazy: 50 Years on Decca’ – a 50-CD box-set celebrating his long-standing relationship with the label, a milestone collection of Ashkenazy’s vast catalogue of Rachmaninov’s piano music, which also includes all of his recordings as a conductor of the composer’s orchestral music. 2017 saw the release of his latest album, Bach’s French Suites, and two new box sets – Vladimir Ashkenazy’s Complete Concerto recordings and a personal selection of solo and chamber works.
Beyond his performing schedule, Vladimir Ashkenazy has also been involved in many television projects, inspired by his passionate drive to ensure that serious music retains a platform in the mainstream media and is available to as broad an audience as possible. He has collaborated extensively with legendary documentary-maker Christopher Nupen, and has been involved in programmes such as Music After Mao (filmed in Shanghai in 1979), and Ashkenazy in Moscow, which followed his first return to Russia since leaving the USSR in the 1960s, and educational programmes with NHK TV including the 1999 Superteachers, working with inner-city London school children, and in 2003-4 a documentary based around his ‘Prokofiev and Shostakovich Under Stalin’ project.