This year marks a special occasion for musical genius Ludwig van Beethoven. On the 250th anniversary of his birth, Beethoven remains relevant, popular and influential in our modern age. So much so that the Philadelphia Orchestra will be celebrating him by performing all five of the composer’s piano concertos January 23 through February 8. To make this series of performances extra special, the orchestra will be joined on stage with three of the greatest living pianists: Yefim Bronfman, Daniil Trifonov and Emanuel Ax.
The performances will take place at the historic Academy of Music which also happens to be the Philadelphia Orchestra’s original home. For the first set of performances, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 taking place Jan. 23-26, the orchestra will be joined by Yefim Bronfman. The famed American-Israeli pianist will be performing the piece dated from 1805-1806 with the ensemble. The performances mark the Orchestra’s first subscription concerts at the Academy since 2001. According to the release, led by Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the program also features composer Vivian Fung’s “Dust Devils” and Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 3, which received its world premiere on the Academy stage in 1936.
From Jan. 30- Feb. 2, the Orchestra’s Grammy-winning recording partner, Daniil Trifonov, will be joining the ensemble for four performances of two piano concertos. Nézet-Séguin will be leading the program, featuring Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 on January 30 and 31 and Concerto No. 5 (“Emperor”) on February 1 and 2. To add to the festivities, those performances will also be joined by powerhouse composers Lili Boulanger and Louise Farrenc.
Rounding up the impressive concert series is Beethoven’s piano concerto cycle with Concertos Nos. 2 and 3, performed with award-winning pianist Emanuel Ax who has performed with the Orchestra for over 40 years. The Second Concerto will be featured Feb. 6 and 8, while the Third Concerto will be presented Feb. 7.
According to the release, rising star and Curtis Institute of Music alumna Karina Canellakis will also be making her Philadelphia Orchestra debut on the podium, and both programs will also feature Canadian composer Zosha Di Castri’s “Lineage” as well as Lutosławski’s Concerto for Orchestra.
For more information visit philorch.org