Monday, 2013 February 11th, 7 PM
Latvian National opera
Orchestra dell’ Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Roma (Italy)
Sir Antonio Pappano, conductor
Joshua Bell, violin
Program: Bellini, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov
The Orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia was the first one in Italy to devote itself exclusively to the symphonic repertoire, promoting the premieres of important 20th century masterworks such as Respighi’s Fountains of Rome and Pines of Rome.
The Orchestra’s first home was the Augusteo, the legendary venue built on the ruins of the Emperor Augustus Mausoleum. Founded in 1908, the Orchestra has been conducted by some of the major musical figures of the 20th century: from Mahler, Strauss, Stravinsky, Toscanini, Mengelberg, Furtwängler, De Sabata, Karajan, Solti, Giulini and Carlos Kleiber to the most impressive performers of our day including Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Muti, Valery Gergiev and Christian Thielemann. Leonard Bernstein was the Honorary President from 1983 until 1990, during which time the likes of Lorin Maazel, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Georges Prêtre and Yuri Temirkanov regularly conducted the Orchestra di Santa Cecilia. After a long partnership with Bernardino Molinari, the Orchestra’s Music Directors have been Franco Ferrara, Fernando Previtali, Igor Markevitch, Thomas Schippers, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Daniele Gatti and Myung-Whun Chung.
With Sir Antonio Pappano, Musical Director since 2005, the stature of the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia has enjoyed extraordinary success, building an international reputation for itself. With Pappano at the helm, the Orchestra has appeared at some of the major music festivals including the Proms in London, the White Nights in St. Petersburg, the Lucerne and Salzburg Festival, and has performed in some of the world’s best-known venues, including Musikverein in Vienna, Philharmonie in Berlin, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Royal Albert Hall in London, Salle Pleyel in Paris, La Scala in Milan, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, NCPA Beijing and Semperoper in Dresden.
After a long collaboration with Decca which produced memorable historic recordings, followed by a lengthy hiatus, the Orchestra been recording intensively in recent years. Among its latest recordings, which have gained impressive recognition (the Diapason d’Or Award and a Grammy nomination), several stand-outs are a series of CDs conducted by Maestro Chung devoted to sacred music, especially for the Jubilee Year. In 2007, the Orchestra released two all-Tchaikovsky CDs on the EMI label (Ouvertures & Fantasies and the last three symphonies by the great Russian composer); a CD with cellist Han-Na Chang entitled Romance; and the Roman Trilogy by Ottorino Respighi, all under the direction of Sir Antonio Pappano. The recording of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly the Orchestra and Chorus made under the direction of Sir Antonio Pappano, which was released in March 2009 on the EMI Classics label, has won the prestigious Gramophone Award, considered the Oscar of classical music; while the “live” recording Pappano conducted with the Accademia ensembles of the Verdi Requiem, which was released in October 2009, received three important prizes from the British Press: the BBC Music Magazine Award, the Brit Critics Award and the Gramophone Award.
The last CDs, that have just been released, always under Pappano’s direction with Santa Cecilia Orchestra, is Rachmaninoff’s Symphony no. 2 and Liadov’s The Enchanted Lake and the Symphony No. 6 by Mahler.
Confirming the high-level artistic visibility the Santa Cecilia Orchestra has achieved on the international scene, it appears on the “10 Best Orchestras in the World” list published in “Classic FM” magazine. It is the only Italian orchestra so honored, in the elevated company of the Vienna Philharmonic, the London Symphony, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Chicago Symphony and the Berlin Philharmonic.
Sir Antonio Pappano has been Music Director of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia since 1 October 2005; he had already become Music Director of London’s Covent Garden in September 2002.
Born in London in 1959 to Italian parents, he studied piano, composition and conducting in the United States. Among the more impressive steps in his career must be cited his debuts at the Vienna Staatsoper in 1993, at the Metropolitan in New York in 1997 and at the Bayreuth Festival in 1999.
Sir Antonio has conducted many of the world’s major orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Symphony Orchestra of the Bayerische Rundfunk, the Vienna Philharmonic and the London Symphony. In 1997 he was named Principal Guest Conductor of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
With the Santa Cecilia ensembles, he performs 9 concerts every season at the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome (the splendid structure created by Renzo Piano), in Sala Santa Cecilia which, with its 2,800 seats, is the largest concert hall in Europe.
Sir Antonio Pappano records extensively for EMI Classics and many of his recordings have received important recognition. In 2005, he was named “Conductor of the Year” by the Royal Philharmonic Society; that same year he also received the “Abbiati” Prize, awarded by Italian Music Critics, for his conducting of the Requiems by Brahms, Britten and Verditogether with the Artistic Ensembles of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.
In his seventh year as Music Director of the Santa Cecilia Orchestra, he has already led the musicians on tours to Spain, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Great Britain, Russia, Japan, Holland and France, attaining great public and critical success everywhere. For the year 2011, important concerts have already been scheduled in Great Britain, Benelux, Germany, at the Salzburg Festival and in the Far East, among other engagements.
Sir Antonio has made several recordings with the Santa Cecilia Orchestra and Chorus for EMI Classics and many of his recordings have received important recognition: two all-Tchaikovsky CDs (Overtures & Fantasies and the last three symphonies by the great Russian composer); one with cellist Han-Na Chang entitled Romance with music by Lalo,Dvorák, Glazunov and Saint-Saëns; and another devoted to music by Respighi. In 2008 Sir Antonio Pappano directed a recording of Puccini’s opera Madama Butterfly and in 2009, a live recording of the Verdi Requiem which,released the same year, received the 2010 BBC Music Magazine Award as best recording (choral section) and the 2010 Classical Brits Critics Award. His most recent recognition, also for the Verdi Requiem, was a 2010 Gramophone Award.
Among his latest recordings are: the Stabat Mater by Rossini for EMI with an all-star cast – Anna Netrebko, Joyce DiDonato, Lawrence Brownlee, Ildebrando D’Arcangelo and the Orchestra and Chorus of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia; the Stabat Mater by Pergolesi (recorded in July 2010 for Deutsche Grammophon with Anna Netrebko and Marianna Pizzolato); Verismo Arias with Jonas Kaufmann (recorded for Decca) and the opera William Tell by Rossini, which inaugurated the 2010-2011 Season at the Accademia and was recorded live by EMI. The last CDs, that have just been released, under Pappano’s direction with Santa Cecilia is Rachmaninoff’s Symphony no. 2 and Liadov’s The Enchanted Lake and the Symphony No. 6 by Mahler.
In May 2010 Sir Antonio presented a widely-acclaimed series, ‘Opera Italia’, for BBC television.
On 16 April 2007 Sir Antonio Pappano was named an Active Accademician of Santa Cecilia and in December 2008 he was honored with the title of Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic. The last decoration is the knighthood for his services to music in the 2012 Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.
Often referred to as the "poet of the violin," JOSHUA BELL is one of the world's most celebrated violinists. He continues to enchant audiences with his breathtaking virtuosity, tone of sheer beauty, and charismatic stage presence. His restless curiosity, passion, universal appeal, and multi-faceted musical interests have earned him the rare title of "classical music superstar." Bell's most recent challenge is his appointment as the new Music Director of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the first person to hold this post since Sir Neville Marriner formed the orchestra in 1958. The ensemble's first 15-concert tour to the U.S. garnered rave reviews, and as one orchestra member blogged in Gramophone "the audience reaction all tour has been nothing short of rock concert enthusiasm." Their first recording under Bell's leadership will be the 4th and 7th symphonies of Beethoven with plans to eventually perform and record all the Beethoven symphonies.
Equally at home as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist and orchestra leader, Bell's 2012 summer appearances include the premiere of a new concerto for violin and double bass by Edgar Meyer to be performed by Bell and Meyer at Tanglewood, Aspen and the Hollywood Bowl. In addition Bell will appear at the Festival del Sole, Ravinia, Verbier, Salzburg, Saratoga and Mostly Mozart festivals. He will kick off the San Francisco Symphony's fall season followed by performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Boston, Seattle, Omaha, Cincinnati and Detroit Symphonies. Fall highlights also include a tour of South Africa, a European tour with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and a European recital tour with Sam Haywood.
In 2013 Bell will appear in a US tour with the Cleveland Orchestra and a European tour with the New York Philharmonic as well as performances with the Tucson, Pittsburgh, San Diego and Nashville Symphony Orchestras.
Joshua Bell currently records exclusively for Sony Classical and since his first LP recording at age 18 on the Decca Label, he has recorded more than 40 CDs. Sony releases include French Impressions with pianist Jeremy Denk, featuring sonatas by Saint-Saens, Ravel and Franck, At Home With Friends, Vivaldi's The Four Seasons with The Academy of St Martin in the Fields, The Tchaikovsky Concerto with the Berlin Philharmonic, as well as "The Red V