Orpheus Chamber Orchestra with jazz pianist Brad Mehldau

Opening Night for the 2013-2014 Season ~ A Spirit of Collaboration

Friday, October 4, 2013
Mechanics Hall - 8:00 PM Performance - pre-concert Gala at 6:00 PM

Tickets: Adult $49, Student $15, Youth $5 WOO Card, WGBH, WICN, AAA, MTA member discounts apply $75/person for pre-concert Gala - Order Tickets

"Orpheus, the adventurous conductorless orchestra"  - The New York Times

 

Pre-concert Gala for Opening Night at 6pm - tickets are on sale.  $75/person with cash bar.  Catering provided by Pepper's Fine Catering.  Gala cocktail format with passed appetizers, food stations, and plenty of tables and chairs for patrons to enjoy each other's company.

Hear Orpheus for the first time in Worcester just days before they play Carnegie Hall with the same program! This Grammy-winning orchestra has been earning rave reviews for over 40 years while re-defining the notion of what an orchestra is and can do. Performing without a conductor, Orpheus’s artistic process is one where every musician on stage takes part in giving feedback during rehearsals.

Brad Mehldau, a legendary musician in his own right who recently served as jazz curator for concerts at Wigmore Hall in London and composer in residence at Carnegie Hall, joins Orpheus for the US Premiere of his own piano concerto.  One of the best jazz pianists performing today, Brad Mehldau will be featured in a program that mixes classical symphonies with his own jazz piano concerto. The collaboration with Mehldau confirms Orpheus' commitment to sharing the stage with dynamic musicians of all disciplines. As Artistic Director Ronnie Bauch notes, "Brad Mehldau is one of the great performer/composer/improvers of our time. Orpheus musicians are very excited to collaborate with Brad on his new work which blends spontaneous musical ideas and formal architecture in a way that dynamically expands the porous borders of classical music.

 

 

 

Program

Brahms Liebeslieder Waltzes
Mehldau Variations on a Melancholy Theme (US Premiere)
Beethoven Symphony No. 3 “Eroica”
 

About the Artists

The 2012-2013 season marks Orpheus Chamber Orchestra's 40th year of making internationally acclaimed music while reinventing the way the world thinks about collaboration, outreach, and democratic leadership. With over 70 albums, including the Grammy® Award-winning Shadow Dances: Stravinsky Miniatures, associations with the leading contemporary soloists, and 35 commissioned works as part of their history, Orpheus continues to grow this season, with innovative projects and new musical adventures around the globe. By performing without a conductor and integrating musicians into virtually every facet of the organization, Orpheus empowers its members and infuses performances with unparalleled energy.

In addition to expanding their traditional repertoire, Orpheus has commissioned a staggering four world premieres this season. The season begins with the world premiere of Augusta Read Thomas' Earth Echoes, a piece commissioned by Orpheus and written to commemorate the death of Gustav Mahler. In November, Orpheus tours Russia, Germany, and Austria with jazz pianist Brad Mehldau premiering a newly commissioned work by Mehldau, Variations for Piano and Orchestra on a Melancholy Theme, which American audiences will hear next season. The tour with Mehldau also marks the first time Orpheus will visit Russia.  Finally, Orpheus ends its U.S. season with a large-scale new work by Gabriel Kahane, Orpheus' first ever composer-in-residence, based on the WPA.

Jazz pianist BRAD MEHLDAU has recorded and performed extensively since the early 1990s. Mehldau’s most consistent output over the years has taken place in the trio format. Starting in 1996, his group released a series of five records on Warner Bros. entitled The Art of the Trio (recently re-packaged and re-released as a box set by Nonesuch in late 2011). During that same period, Mehldau also released a solo piano recording entitled Elegiac Cycle, and a record called Places that included both solo piano and trio songs. Elegiac Cycle and Places might be called “concept” albums. They are made up exclusively of original material and have central themes that hover over the compositions. Other Mehldau recordings include Largo, a collaborative effort with the innovative musician and producer Jon Brion, and Anything Goes—a trio outing with bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jorge Rossy.

Mehldau’s musical personality forms a dichotomy. He is first and foremost an improviser, and greatly cherishes the surprise and wonder that can occur from a spontaneous musical idea that is expressed directly, in real time. But he also has a deep fascination for the formal architecture of music, and it informs everything he plays. In his most inspired playing, the actual structure of his musical thought serves as an expressive device. As he plays, he listens to how ideas unwind, and the order in which they reveal themselves. Each tune has a strongly felt narrative arch, whether it expresses itself in a beginning, an end, or something left intentionally open-ended. The two sides of Mehldau’s personality—the improviser and the formalist—play off each other, and the effect is often something like controlled chaos.

Mehldau has performed around the world at a steady pace since the mid-1990s, with his trio and as a solo pianist. His performances convey a wide range of expression. There is often an intellectual rigor to the continuous process of abstraction that may take place on a given tune, and a certain density of information. That could be followed by a stripped down, emotionally direct ballad. Mehldau favors juxtaposing extremes. He has attracted a sizeable following over the years, one that has grown to expect a singular, intense experience in his performance.

Mehldau was appointed as curator of an annual four-concert jazz series at London's prestigious Wigmore Hall during its 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons, with Mehldau appearing in at least two of the four annual concerts. In late January 2010 Carnegie Hall announced the 2010-11 season-long residency by Mehldau as holder of the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair at Carnegie Hall—the first jazz artist to hold this position since it was established in 1995. Previous holders include Louis Andriessen (2009–2010), Elliott Carter (2008–2009), and John Adams (2003–2007).

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