Page 1

From the President...


The Rotterdam Philharmonic was founded in 1918 as an amateur music-making society, and began its evolution into one of the world’s leading orchestras in the 1930s. I first got to know the orchestra, as I’m sure many Americans did, from its recordings, made under De Waart, David Zinman, and Conlon, and especially those of Russian repertoire conducted by Valery Gergiev. The ensemble’s flexibility and style come through on those recordings, and I’m excited to hear what they and Yannick will do together tonight. This concert is part of our rich and varied 2015 winter and spring season, which brings some of the world’s leading orchestras and soloists to Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. I’m excited about all of them, from the virtuosic mandolinist Avi Avital making his OC debut with the Venice Baroque Orchestra, to the London Symphony and Yuja Wang, touring under their Principal Guest Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, in celebration of his 70th birthday. We also welcome several artists to our stage under the Eclectic Orange banner, among them ukulele marvel Jake Shimabukuro, tabla master Zakir Hussain, and peerless storyteller Garrison Keillor. In April, we have the season’s major project at the Concert Hall—two concerts devoted to the music of Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi, with Sir John Eliot Gardiner directing the English Baroque Soloists and the Monteverdi Choir. They’ll perform Monteverdi’s opera L’Orfeo, from 1607, and his Vespers of 1610. There are no more distinguished exponents of this music, and it’s really a once-in-a-lifetime chance to listen back more than 400 years into the past, happening only in Orange County and at Carnegie Hall. Thank you to all of you for being here tonight. Whether you’re a ticket buyer, a Philharmonic Society member, or a donor, each of you has made tonight possible. Together, let’s keep bringing the world’s best to Orange County. Enjoy the concert! All my best,

John Mangum President and Artistic Director


’m very happy to welcome you to the second half of our 2014-15 season and to this evening’s performance by the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. They have been here twice before, in 1977, with Edo de Waart, and in 1987, with James Conlon. It’s a great pleasure to have them back after too long an absence, with their stellar Principal Conductor, Yannick Nézet-Seguin, and insightful French pianist Hélène Grimaud.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2015 @ 8PM Pre-concert lecture by alan Chapman, 7pm segerstrom Center for the arts renée and henry segerstrom Concert hall


Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15

Johannes BrahMs (1833-1897)

Maestoso Adagio Rondo: Allegro non troppo Hélène Grimaud, piano


symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64

Pyotr Ilyich TChaIkOvsky (1840-1893)

Andante – Allegro con anima Andante cantabile, con alcuna licenza Valse: Allegro moderato Finale: Andante maestoso – Allegro vivace

TOuR DIRECTION: Tim Fox and Alison Ahart Williams Columbia Artists Management LLC New York, NY

Exclusive Print Sponsor Although rare, all dates, times, artists, programs and prices are subject to change. Photographing or recording this performance without permission is prohibited. Kindly disable pagers, cellular phones and other audible devices. 2

BraHmS and tCHaikOVSkY Brahms and Tchaikovsky met in Leipzig in 1888, the year Tchaikovsky wrote his Fifth Symphony. While they were cordial, they did not care for each other musically and personally (Tchaikovsky called Brahms a “self-inflated mediocrity”). Both men, though, became famous in their lifetimes and are now considered giants of the Romantic era. The works on tonight’s program were greeted with rocky premieres but have since become staples of the classical repertoire. BraHmS: PianO COnCertO nO. 1 In 1853, the 20-year-old Johannes Brahms visited his musical idol Robert Schumann and his wife Clara at their Düsseldorf home. Both Schumanns were enthralled with what they heard. Clara called Brahms “a gift from God.” Schumann called him “a genius” and declared him the successor to Beethoven. Brahms, who had only composed a handful of piano pieces and songs but no orchestral works, was flattered yet terrified at Schumann’s public pronouncement. Brahms also knew that if he were to carry the mantle of Beethoven, then he had to begin writing for the orchestra. Shortly after this, Brahms wrote a three-movement work for two pianos in the key of D minor. Clara called it “veiled symphony.” Brahms began orches-


Massive in proportions and demanding for the soloist and orchestra, the first movement lasts about twenty minutes, almost twice the length of the other two movements combined. A looming influence in the first movement is one of Brahms’ other musical idols, Beethoven, and in particular the Ninth Symphony. Both works share the same key and their first movements share the same stormy atmosphere. The beginning, though, also has a connection with Schumann. According to violinist Joseph Joachim, for whom Brahms wrote his Violin Concerto, the opening is a depiction of Schumann’s suicide attempt four years earlier. Once the soloist enters, the music turns more reflective, although the agitated opening reappears at various points. The movement races towards its D minor end without providing an uplifting resolution. While composing the work, Brahms told Clara that he wanted to portray her tenderly in music. This tenderness of the second movement provides a complete contrast to the first movement. The few brief loud parts for the orchestra interrupt but do not destroy the reflective quality throughout the movement. Early in his career, Brahms admitted having trouble with writing last movements. He did not solve it in this concerto but instead looked to Beethoven for inspiration. Brahms found it in the finale of Beethoven’s only minor key piano

concerto, the Third Concerto in C minor, which Brahms used as the blueprint of the finale of his own concerto. In Beethoven’s concerto, the pianist begins in minor with a solo part lasting eight measures followed by a quiet entrance of the orchestra; Brahms’ finale starts exactly the same way. And so on throughout the movement. After a brief cadenza towards the end, the concerto, again like Beethoven’s, turns to major and closes triumphantly. tCHaikOVSkY: SYmPHOnY nO. 5 A few months after his 1888 meeting with Brahms, Tchaikovsky conducted the premiere of his Fifth Symphony in St. Petersburg. While the audience loved the new symphony, the critics hated it. Critics aside, the early performances were a success. Tchaikovsky, though, battling his own continual self-doubt, declared the work a failure. He called the symphony “repellant” and wrote, “It was clear to me that the applause and ovations referred not this but to other works of mine, and that the Symphony itself will never please the public. All this causes a deep dissatisfaction with myself.” Obviously, over time, public opinion has proved Tchaikovsky wrong, and this symphony has become one of his most popular pieces.

abOut thE prOgraM

, . h d , e e

trating this two-piano piece and called it a symphony. Still not satisfied with this, Brahms kept some of the original piano writing and wrote for the orchestra as partner. This would give him the chance to try out writing for the orchestra without being held to the higher standard of calling the work a “symphony.” Completed in 1858, the Piano Concerto No. 1 became his first orchestral work. Brahms was the soloist for the premiere with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. It was a disaster. The audience responded to Brahms’ work with an eruption of hisses and catcalls. Eventually, the concerto did, of course, earn a place in the standard repertoire.

The symphony opens with a quiet melody in the clarinet and strings that is carried through the whole piece in different guises. While the Fourth Symphony is frequently associated with “Fate,” the Fifth Symphony, too, has that connection. Tchaikovsky says that this symphony deals with “complete resignation before Fate or before the inscrutable predestination of Providence.” A rocking 6/8 dance-like melody (rhythmically similar to the opening movement of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony) enters in the movement’s main fast section, which Tchaikovsky puts in various moods and dynamics throughout without major alterations to the original melody, a standard compositional technique of Tchaikovsky. The second movement begins with one of the most famous French horn solos in all of classical


abOut thE prOgraM

music. While the movement retains a calm atmosphere, it is shattered by a loud reappearance of the “Fate” theme midway through before settling down again. Tchaikovsky breaks from symphonic tradition by not having a scherzo as the third movement. Instead he composes a waltz, a dance form that does not often appear in symphonies. Similar to the second movement, this movement also has an idyllic feel to it. Again, the “Fate” theme reappears but this time quietly towards the end as a reminder of its previous importance and foreshadowing the last movement. The conflict with the “Fate” theme must resolve and it happens in the final movement. Its significance in the finale is immediately apparent as it appears in the opening measures. In a surprising harmonic turn, the music moves from E major to E minor for the main fast section. However, after a grand pause, the “Fate” theme returns in major and the “Providence” to which Tchaikovsky alludes comes to full force in the jubilant closing moments. rOtterdam PHilHarmOniC Music Director yannick Nézet-séguin honorary Conductor valery Gergiev Principal Guest Conductor Designate Jiří Bělohlávek

The Rotterdam Philharmonic ranks among Europe’s foremost orchestras, being internationally known for the intense energy of its performances, its acclaimed recordings and its innovative audience approach. With performances from the local venues to concert halls worldwide, the orchestra reaches an annual audience of 150,000 to 200,000. Since 2010, the Rotterdam Philharmonic has been a resident orchestra of the Paris Théâtre des Champs-Elysées; this season’s schedule also includes a tour to the u.S. (west and east coasts) in February 2015. Music Directors The Rotterdam Philharmonic was founded in 1918. From 1930, under chief conductor 4

Eduard Flipse, it developed into one of the foremost orchestras of the Netherlands. In the 1970s, with Jean Fournet and Edo de Waart, the orchestra gained international recognition. In 1995, Valery Gergiev’s appointment as Music Director heralded a new period of bloom. He was succeeded by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, with whom the orchestra has made numerous successful tours and recordings. In September 2013, Jiří Bělohlávek joined the Rotterdam Philharmonic as its Principal Guest Conductor. Concerts Home of the Rotterdam Philharmonic is De Doelen Concert Hall, but the orchestra can frequently be heard in other locations—from the local venues to the most prestigious halls at home and abroad. Since 2010, the Rotterdam Philharmonic has been a resident orchestra of the Paris Théâtre des Champs-Elysées. With all of its concerts, educational performances and community projects the Rotterdam Philharmonic reaches an annual audience of 150,000 to 200,000. recordings Since the ground-breaking Mahler recordings with Eduard Flipse in the 1950s, the Rotterdam Philharmonic has made a large number of critically lauded recordings. At present, the orchestra has contracts with Deutsche Grammophon and BIS Records; in recent years it also recorded for EMI and Virgin Classics. For the rereleasing of historical recordings, the orchestra formed its own label Rotterdam Philharmonic Vintage Recordings. YanniCk nézet-SéGuin muSiC direCtOr Yannick Nézet-Séguin (Montreal, 1975) has been music director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic since 2008. He received his first piano lessons at the age of five. At the Montreal conservatory, he studied piano, composition, chamber music and orchestral conducting. At

Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s upcoming schedule with the Rotterdam Philharmonic is comprised of a much-anticipated tour of the united States (February 2015), Zürich, Geneva, St. Gallen, Lugano and Vienna (April 2016), and the continuance of the orchestra’s residency in the Paris Théâtre des Champs-Elysées.


the same time, he was trained in choral conducting at the Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. After his graduation, he continued his studies with some of the greatest conductors, Carlo Maria Giulini among them. In 2000, Yannick Nézet-Séguin was appointed artistic leader and principal conductor of the Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal—a position that he still holds. The same year, he conducted his first opera production. In 2005, Yannick Nézet-Séguin made his debut with the Rotterdam Philharmonic where he was appointed as Music Director. He is also Music Director of the Philadelphia Orchestra. As a guest conductor, he has worked with all major orchestras worldwide and has conducted operas in the most prestigious theaters. Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Rotterdam Philharmonic have had numerous successful tours, including concerts in London, Paris, Vienna, New York, Toronto, Tokyo and Beijing. Additionally, they have embarked upon a series of much-lauded recordings, including an internationally-awarded recording of works by Maurice Ravel for EMI Classics and numerous recordings for Deutsche Grammophon. Furthermore, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Rotterdam Philharmonic have combined their

Hélène Grimaud, PianO Grimaud was born in 1969 in Aix-en-Provence, where she began her piano studies at the conservatory with Jacqueline Courtin and subsequently under Pierre Barbizet in Marseille. She was accepted into the Paris Conservatoire at just 13 and won first prize in piano performance a mere three years later. She continued to study with György Sándor and Leon Fleisher until, in 1987, she gave her wellreceived debut recital in Tokyo. The same year the renowned conductor Daniel Barenboim invited her to perform with the Orchestre de Paris.

abOut thE artists

versatility in projects ranging from operas to family shows and from subscription concerts to community projects.

This marked the launch of Grimaud’s musical career: one highlighted by concerts with most of the world’s major orchestras and many celebrated conductors. Her recordings have been critically acclaimed and awarded numerous accolades, among them the Cannes Classical Recording of the Year, Choc du Monde de la musique, Diapason d’or, Grand Prix du disque, Record Academy Prize (Tokyo), Midem Classic Award and the Echo Award. In September 2013, Deutsche Grammophon released her album of the two Brahms piano concertos; the first concerto with Andris Nelsons conducting the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the second with the Vienna Philharmonic. When she took the Brahms on tour to Southeast Asia, The Straits Times of Singapore said: “Her playing was 5

O r C h Es t r a r O s t E r

distinguished by superb timing and consistency of touch, and seamless interplay between piano and orchestra.” Throughout this season, Hélène will perform her new recital program inspired by “water” in the u.S., Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy, uK and France. In December 2014, she made her debut at the Park Avenue Armory performing her recital program as part of a large





Igor Gruppman concertmaster Marieke Blankestijn concertmaster Quirine Scheffers Edward LeCouffe Aesil Kim Itamar Shimon Arno Bons Mireille van der Wart Shelly Greenberg Cor van der Linden Rachel Browne Maria Dingjan Marie-José Schrijner Noëmi Bodden Petra Visser Sophia Torrenga Annelieke Schaefer-van Beest Loortje van den Brink

Anne Huser Maartje van Rheeden Galahad Samson Alison Ewer Kerstin Bonk Lex Prummel Janine Baller Francis Saunders Veronika Lénártová Pierre-Marc Vernaudon

Wim Steinmann Remco de Vries Karel Schoofs Hans Cartigny Anja van der Maten

André Heuvelman Ad van Zon Arto Hoornweg Simon Wierenga Jos Verspagen



Floris Mijnders Joanna Pachucka Daniel Petrovitsch Geneviève LeCouffe Mario Rio Gé van Leeuwen Eelco Beinema Carla Schrijner Pepijn Meeuws

Julien Hervé Jan Jansen

SECOND VIOLIN Charlotte Potgieter Frank de Groot Laurens van Vliet Agnes Tönkö Ebred Reijnen Tomoko Hara Elina Hirvilammi-Staphorsius Jun Yi Dou Bob Bruyn Letizia Sciarone Eefje Habraken Maija Reinikainen Sumire Hara Wim Ruitenbeek

DOUBLE BASS Peter Luit Matthew Midgley Ying Lai Green Harke Wiersma Robert Franenberg Peter Leerdam Jonathan Focquaert Joost Maegerman Arjen Leendertz





TROMBONE Pierre Volders Alexander Verbeek Remko de Jager



Romke-Jan Wijmenga

Hendrik-Jan Renes



Pieter Nuytten Marianne Prommel

Randy Max Danny van de Wal Ronald Ent Martin Baai Koen Plaetinck



HARP Charlotte Spren

Martin van de Merwe Bob Stoel Jos Buurman Wendy Leliveld Richard Speetjens

Juliëtte Hurel Désirée Woudenberg



scale installation created by the artist Douglas Gordon—tears become…streams become… Her orchestral engagements include her return to the Berlin Philharmonic with Valery Gergiev, Orchestre National de Lyon with Leonard Slatkin and the Rotterdam Philharmonic with Yannick Nézet-Séguin.



For 60 years, the Society has presented artists who set the standards for artistic achievement: Sir Georg Solti, Itzhak Perlman, Jacqueline du Pré, Daniel Barenboim, Lorin Maazel and Cecilia Bartoli, to name just a few. In addition, many of the world’s greatest orchestras have performed in Orange County by invitation of the Philharmonic Society. The Society celebrated the diversity of our cultural landscape with Eclectic Orange presentations, transcending the boundaries separating arts disciplines and seeking great art wherever it is found. Past Eclectic Orange events champion contemporary composers through commissions and sponsorship of regional and world premieres. Among the living composers presented were Tan Dun, Philip Glass, Osvaldo Golijov, John Adams, Edgar Meyer, Burhan Öçal and Mikel Rouse. Past presentations include the West Coast premiere of Steve Reich’s “The Cave,” the Southern California premiere of Terry Riley’s “Sun Rings,” the united States exclusive engagement of Théâtre Zingaro, and the West Coast premiere of “Orion” by Philip Glass.

John-David Keller as Beethoven

Donors meet Yo-Yo Ma at a reception

abOut thE phiLharMONiC sOCiEtY

Since its inception in 1954, the Philharmonic Society, a not-for-profit organization, has been a primary catalyst for cultural growth in Orange County. From viewing concerts on gymnasium bleachers to enjoying the world’s finest orchestras in the elegance of Segerstrom Center for the Arts, the culture of Orange County has been nurtured and challenged by the Philharmonic Society. The Society has provided visionary leadership in our community while ensuring that the legacy of our cultural heritage will be preserved for our children and our children’s children.

Hand-in-hand with its commitment to artistic excellence is the Society’s commitment to music education. Sharing the love of music with others and helping the community deepen its appreciation and enjoyment of music is a foundation stone of the Society. Over the years, millions of children have encountered classical music—many for the first time—at Philharmonic Society education programs. The Committees of the Philharmonic are the Society’s principal fund-raising and volunteer force. Together they create, fund and produce an extraordinary array of music education programs for children. The Committees also present a wide variety of fundraising events, including Philharmonic House of Design and the Huntington Harbour Cruise of Lights.®

Gustavo Dudamel conducts the LA Phil

The Philharmonic Society's nationally recognized music education programs for youth reach more than 150,000 Orange County students, from kindergarten through high school, yearly. More than 1,500 presentations are offered by professional musicians and trained docents at no charge to all public and private schools in the county. For more information, visit Music Mobile



abOut thE phiLharMONiC sOCiEtY

s p O N s O r s p Ot L i g h t


Profile for Philharmonic Society of Orange County

Rotterdam Philharmonic Program  

Rotterdam Philharmonic Program  

Profile for psoc