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Fabio Luisi Returns to Philadelphia Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony, Tours with Danish National Symphony & Philharmonia Zurich This Winter and Spring

This winter and spring, Grammy and ECHO Klassik Award-winning conductor Fabio Luisi looks forward to several high-profile guest conducting appearances, including return engagements with the Philadelphia Orchestra – to help celebrate “André Watts’s 60-Year Legacy” – and the San Francisco Symphony, as well as a return to conduct two different programs with the London Symphony. He also tours California with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra (DNSO), of which he is the newly appointed Principal Conductor, with concerts featuring beloved soprano Deborah Voigt; and tours Europe with Philharmonia Zurich and special guest Anne-Sophie Mutter. Rounding out the conductor’s busy season are concerts with Japan’s NHK Symphony in Tokyo; returns to Filarmonica della Scala and the Munich Philharmonic; and a concert at Florence’s Opera di Firenze, where Luisi assumes the post of Music Director starting in the spring of 2018.

André Watts made his precocious debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the age of 10 in 1957, and has since played with the orchestra over 100 times. Celebrating the 60th anniversary of that first appearance, Luisi returns to the podium in Philadelphia to conduct Watts in Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto, along with Weber’s Overture to Oberon and Franck’s Symphony in D minor. Later in the spring Luisi reunites with another storied orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, conducting three performances of Strauss’s tone poem Aus Italien along with Schumann’s Piano Concerto, featuring young Russian pianist Igor Levit as soloist. Levit also joins Luisi as he returns to the London Symphony this spring, for the first time since his “powerful and convincing” (The Guardian) 2014 debut. Their concert pairs Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto with Brahms’s Second Symphony, and three days later Luisi leads the LSO in a different program: Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony along with Brahms’s towering German Requiem, joined by the London Symphony Chorus under the direction of Simon Halsey.

Now in his first season as Principal Conductor of the DNSO, Luisi has chosen to focus with the orchestra on Mahler’s symphonic works. He conducted the Ninth Symphony for the DNSO’s season-opening concerts last fall, and in the coming months he returns to Copenhagen for Mahler’s Seventh and First (“Titan”) Symphonies. The latter program also includes Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder, featuring soprano Deborah Voigt, who Luisi conducted as Brünnhilde in Robert LePage’s 2011 Ring Cycle at the Met. Following the Copenhagen concerts they will tour the program to five cities in California, culminating with two dates in San Francisco. Opening those concerts is the Helios Overture by Carl Nielsen, whose music has already garnered raves for both the orchestra and Luisi. Nielsen’s Second (“The Four Temperaments”) Symphony “in Luisi’s hands, was a riot of invention” (London Evening Standard) when the DNSO performed the piece under his direction at the BBC Proms.

Philharmonia Zurich, the resident orchestra of Zurich Opera where Luisi is currently in his fifth season as General Music Director, plays concerts this spring under his direction both in Zurich and on tour throughout Germany and Luxembourg. The performances feature the music of Bruch, Brahms and Takemitsu, with four-time Grammy Award-winning violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter as guest soloist.

The 2016-17 season marks Luisi’s sixth and last as Principal Conductor of the Metropolitan Opera. Typical of the consistently favorable press generated by that tenure was a Huffington Post review of the new Richard Eyre staging of Manon Lescaut last season, specially praising the music “which the magnificent Met Orchestra renders so beautifully under Fabio Luisi’s brilliant baton.” Earlier this season Luisi took the podium at the Met for an all-star Don Giovanni, before conducting a new Pierre Audi production of Rossini’s Guillaume Tell, which returned to the house after an 80-year absence. Starring baritone Gerald Finley as Tell, along with Marina Rebeka and Bryan Hymel, the production again garnered raves for the conductor. The Financial Times noted that he “conducted, as usual, with unflappable savoir-faire”; marveled at how Luisi “keeps it all in exquisite equilibrium”; the New York Times praised the “insight and adroit technique” with which he drew “fleetness, breadth and refinement from the excellent Met orchestra”; and the Wall Street Journal found that his “vivid, idiomatic conducting did the most to weld the long evening together.”

High-resolution photos can be downloaded here.

Fabio Luisi: winter-spring 2017 engagements

Feb 2, 3, 4
Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia Orchestra
“André Watts’s 60-Year Legacy”
Weber: Overture to Oberon
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 (André Watts, piano)
Franck: Symphony in D minor

Feb 16
Copenhagen, Denmark
Danish National Symphony Orchestra
Abrahamsen: Four pieces
Mahler: Symphony No. 7

Feb 17
Copenhagen, Denmark
Danish National Symphony Orchestra
Abrahamsen: Four pieces
Mahler: Symphony No. 7

Feb 20
Milan, Italy
Filarmonica della Scala
Strauss: Don Juan
Liszt: Concerto No. 2
Strauss: Ein Heldenleben, Op. 40

Feb 25
Florence, Italy
Opera di Firenze
Nielsen: Hymnus Amoris, Op. 12
Beethoven: Choral Fantasy in C minor, Op. 80
Strauss: An Alpine Symphony, Op. 64

March 2, 4
Munich, Germany
Munich Philharmonic
Webern: Sechs Stücke für Orchester, Op. 6
Mahler: Symphony No. 9

March 6, 7
Munich, Germany
Munich Philharmonic
Schumann: Symphony No. 1
Brahms: Symphony No. 4

March 16
London, UK
London Symphony Orchestra
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5, “Emperor” (Igor Levit, piano)
Brahms: Symphony No. 2

March 19
London, UK
London Symphony Orchestra
London Symphony Chorus / Simon Halsey
Schubert: Symphony No. 8, “Unfinished”
Brahms: A German Requiem

March 23
Copenhagen, Denmark
Danish National Symphony Orchestra
Soloist: Deborah Voigt, soprano
Nielsen: Helios Overture
Wagner: Wesendonck Lieder
Mahler: Symphony No. 1 in D, “Titan”

March 28-April 3
California, USA
Danish National Symphony Orchestra
March 28: Santa Barbara
March 29: Palm Desert
March 30: San Diego
March 31: Costa Mesa
April 2, 3: San Francisco

April 15, 16
Tokyo, Japan
NHK Symphony Orchestra
Einem: Capriccio, Op. 2 (1943)
Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64 (Nikolaj Znaider, violin)
Mahler: Symphony No. 1 in D, “Titan”

April 21, 22
Tokyo, Japan
NHK Symphony Orchestra
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, Op. 15 (Beatrice Rana, piano)
Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in E minor

April 27, 28, 29
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco Symphony
Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor (Igor Levit, piano)
Strauss: Aus Italien

May 12-23
Philharmonia Zurich tour with Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin
Takemitsu: Nostalghia–In Memory of Andrei Tarkovsky
Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26
Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98
May 12: Stuttgart, Germany
May 14: Zurich, Switzerland
May 16, 17: Linz, Germany
May 18: Dresden, Germany
May 20: Essen, Germany
May 21: Köln, Germany
May 22: Luxembourg, Luxembourg
May 23: Frankfurt, Germany

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© 21C Media Group, January 2017

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