Document 447181

November 18, 2014
Contact: Katherine E. Johnson
(212) 875-5718; [email protected]
Conducting Works by Rimsky-Korsakov, Rachmaninoff, and Tchaikovsky
DANIIL TRIFONOV To Perform Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 1
December 30, 2014, and January 2–3 and 6, 2015
Juanjo Mena will make his New York Philharmonic debut conducting an all-Russian program
featuring Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio espagnole; Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 1, with
pianist Daniil Trifonov as soloist; and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, Pathétique, Tuesday,
December 30, 2014, at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, January 2, 2015, at 8:00 p.m.; Saturday, January 3 at
8:00 p.m.; and Tuesday, January 6 at 7:30 p.m.
“The First Piano Concerto is full of fresh, original ideas,” Daniil Trifonov said. “It is one of the
most intriguing of Rachmaninoff’s works in terms of its harmonic language, and it has this very
rich, intense, and eloquent dialogue between the soloist and the orchestra.”
Daniil Trifonov made his New York Philharmonic debut in September 2012 performing
Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with Music Director Alan Gilbert conducting. The New York
Times said of the performance: “The orchestra and the soloist clearly had chemistry, sounding
completely in sync even during the trickiest passages. Their vivid dialogues unfolded with both
verve and spontaneity, at brisk tempos that stopped short of breathless.... [Daniil Trifonov]
offered far more than mere virtuosity ... [he] demonstrated an elegant touch and witty grace in
more lighthearted moments and poetic insight in more introspective passages.”
“It was a very exciting experience.” Daniil Trifonov said of his Philharmonic debut. “The sense
of authenticity with which the orchestra and Alan Gilbert performed the score was captivating. I
loved their flexibility, which allowed me to be more spontaneous in changing and bringing out
various colors and characters of this score. I am very happy to be back.”
Related Events
 Philharmonic Free Fridays
The New York Philharmonic is offering 100 free tickets for young people ages 13–26 to the
concert Friday, January 2 as part of Philharmonic Free Fridays. Information is available at Philharmonic Free Fridays offers 100 free tickets to 13–26-year-olds
to each of the 2014–15 season’s 18 Friday evening subscription concerts; it is part of Share
the Music!, a new initiative to support expanded access to the New York Philharmonic.
Juanjo Mena / Daniil Trifonov / 2
 Pre-Concert Insights
Writer, music historian, and former Leonard Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence at the New York
Philharmonic Harvey Sachs will introduce the program. Admission/Tickets to Pre-Concert
Insights are $7; discounts are available for multiple talks, students, and groups. These events
take place one hour before performances, and are held in the Helen Hull Room, unless
otherwise noted. Attendance is limited to 90 people. Information: or
(212) 875-5656.
Chief conductor of the BBC Philharmonic, Juanjo Mena is one of Spain’s most distinguished
conductors. Following his recent concerts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Boston, St.
Louis, Cincinnati, and Toronto symphony orchestras, Mr. Mena’s North American 2014–15 season
includes return visits to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston and Pittsburgh Symphony
Orchestras, and The Philadelphia Orchestra, as well as debuts with The Cleveland Orchestra,
Montreal Symphony Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic. His European highlights this
season include debuts with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Nash Ensemble, as well as
concerts with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Bergen
Philharmonic Orchestra, Spanish National Orchestra, and the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. A
guest of international festivals, Mr. Mena has appeared at the Stars of White Nights Festival in St.
Petersburg (Russia), the Hollywood Bowl, Grant Park (Chicago), Tanglewood, and La Folle
Journée (Nantes). He recently led the BBC Philharmonic on two tours of Europe and Spain,
including performances in Cologne, Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna, and Madrid, and conducts them
every year at London’s BBC Proms. Throughout Europe, he has appeared with the Dresden, Oslo,
Netherlands Radio, and Royal Stockholm philharmonic orchestras, Munich Radio Orchestra,
Orchestre National de France, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Milan’s Orchestra
Filarmonica della Scala, and all the major orchestras in Spain. His operatic work includes
Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman, Bartók’s Duke Bluebeard’s Castle, Schoenberg’s Erwartung, and
Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos, Salome, and Elektra, as well as productions of
Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin in Genoa, Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro in Lausanne, and
Britten’s Billy Budd in Bilbao. His recordings with the BBC Philharmonic include a disc of works
by Manuel de Falla, which was named BBC Music Magazine Recording of the Month; Gabriel
Pierné, a Gramophone Editor’s Choice; and recent releases of music by Montsalvatge, Weber, and
Turina. Mr. Mena has also recorded a collection of Basque symphonic music with the Bilbao
Symphony Orchestra for Naxos, and a critically acclaimed rendering of Messiaen’s Turangalîlasymphonie for Hyperion with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra.
In the 2014–15 season Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov makes debuts with the Dallas, Seattle,
Vienna, and Toronto symphony orchestras, and returns to the New York Philharmonic, The
Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago and National Symphony Orchestras, and London’s Philharmonia
Orchestra. He also tours Japan with the Mariinsky Orchestra and the U.S. with violinist Gidon
Kremer, and gives solo recitals at such venues as London’s Royal Festival Hall, Tokyo’s Opera
City, Paris’s Théatre des Champs Elysées, and — for the third consecutive year — Carnegie
Hall. After taking First Prize at both the Tchaikovsky and Rubinstein competitions in 2011 at the
age of 20, Mr. Trifonov made debuts with the New York Philharmonic, The Cleveland and
Philadelphia Orchestras, Chicago and Boston Symphony Orchestras, and London’s Royal
Philharmonic Orchestra, among others. He has made solo recital debuts at Carnegie Hall,
Juanjo Mena / Daniil Trifonov / 3
London’s Wigmore Hall, Vienna’s Musikverein, Japan’s Suntory Hall, and Paris’s Salle Pleyel,
and appeared as soloist at the Verbier, Edinburgh, and Lucerne festivals and the BBC Proms.
Last season he collaborated with 19 leading orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic
and London, San Francisco, and National symphony orchestras; returned to Carnegie’s main
stage; won the 2013 Franco Abbiati Prize for Best Instrumental Soloist; and premiered his own
first piano concerto in Cleveland. The pianist’s first recording as an exclusive Deutsche
Grammophon artist, Trifonov: The Carnegie Recital, joined a discography that already featured a
Chopin album for Decca and Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Mariinsky Orchestra.
Born in Nizhny Novgorod in 1991, Daniil Trifonov studied at Moscow’s Gnessin School of
Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio espagnol (1887) is a fantasy for orchestra based on
Spanish themes. Inspired by a book of Spanish folk songs by Spanish composer José Inzenga y
Castellanos, Rimsky-Korsakov cast the piece in five continuous movements that prominently
feature the violin; an alborada (a morning serenade) reappears throughout. The work also
incorporates other Spanish traditional and popular musical forms — along with Spanish-inflected
melodies, rhythms, and timbres — including a Gypsy song and the fandango asturiano, a South
American dance popular in the Spanish province of Asturia in the 18th century. As the composer
said in his autobiography, “According to my plans, the Capriccio was to glitter with dazzling
orchestral color, and manifestly, I had not been wrong.” Upon hearing the work, Tchaikovsky
wrote glowingly to his fellow composer: “Your ‘Spanish Capriccio’ is a colossal masterpiece of
instrumentation, and you may regard yourself as the greatest master of the present day.” The
New York Philharmonic first performed the work in January 1904 under Henry Joseph Wood,
and most recently, in July 2008, led by Bramwell Tovey.
Sergei Rachmaninoff completed his Piano Concerto No. 1 in 1891, but revised it in 1917,
pronouncing it “really good now. All the youthful freshness is there, and yet it plays itself so
much more easily.” While he indeed retained his youthfulness, his revisions illustrated all he had
mastered since finishing that first version. Given Rachmaninoff’s career as a keyboard virtuoso
performing his own works, it is natural that he included plenty of fireworks for the soloist: the
first movement’s cadenza is a challenge for even the most athletic of pianists. Arthur Shattuck
performed the first version of the concerto in 1911 with the New York Symphony (which would
merge with the New York Philharmonic in 1928 to form today’s New York Philharmonic) at the
Century Theatre, conducted by Walter Damrosch. Rachmaninoff himself was the soloist in
performances of the revised version on three occasions: twice with the New York Symphony and
Damrosch (1919 and 1922) and once with the Philharmonic, led by John Barbirolli (1938). Joyce
Yang joined Bramwell Tovey and the Orchestra for its most recent performance in July 2014.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky composed his Symphony No. 6, Pathétique, in February and March
of 1893. “I certainly regard it as easily the best — and especially the most ‘sincere’ — of all my
works, and I love it as I have never before loved one of my musical offspring,” the composer
wrote to a friend. To the Grand Duke Constantine he wrote, “Without exaggeration, I have put
my whole soul into this work.” Tchaikovsky conducted the first performance of the symphony
on October 28, 1893; five days later he fell ill, and on the morning of November 6, 1893, he
Juanjo Mena / Daniil Trifonov / 4
died. The work received its U.S. Premiere in November 1894, with Walter Damrosch leading the
New York Symphony (which would merge with the New York Philharmonic in 1928 to form
today’s New York Philharmonic). The Philharmonic performed the symphony most recently in
June 2013, conducted by Alan Gilbert.
Juanjo Mena’s debut with the New York Philharmonic is made possible by the Kurt Masur
Fund for the Philharmonic, an endowment fund created to honor the accomplishments of the
Philharmonic’s Music Director Emeritus, Kurt Masur.
Programs are supported, in part, by public funds from New York City Department of Cultural
Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the
New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the
New York State Legislature.
Tickets for these performances start at $33. Tickets for Open Rehearsals are $20. Pre-Concert
Insights are $7; discounts are available for multiple talks, students, and groups (visit for more information). Tickets may be purchased online at or
by calling (212) 875-5656, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday; 1:00 p.m. to 6:00
p.m. Saturday; and noon to 5:00 p.m. Sunday. Tickets may also be purchased at the Avery
Fisher Hall Box Office. The Box Office opens at 10:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and at
noon on Sunday. On performance evenings, the Box Office closes one-half hour after
performance time; other evenings it closes at 6:00 p.m. A limited number of $16 tickets for select
concerts may be available through the Internet for students within 10 days of the performance, or
in person the day of. Valid identification is required. To determine ticket availability, call the
Philharmonic’s Customer Relations Department at (212) 875-5656. [Ticket prices subject to
For press tickets, call Lanore Carr in the New York Philharmonic Marketing and
Communications Department at (212) 875-5714, or e-mail her at [email protected]
Juanjo Mena / Daniil Trifonov / 5
New York Philharmonic
Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center
Tuesday, December 30, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
Open Rehearsal — 9:45 a.m.
Friday, January 2, 2015, 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 3, 2015, 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, January 6, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
Pre-Concert Insights (one hour before each concert) with writer, music historian, and former
Leonard Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence at the New York Philharmonic Harvey Sachs
Juanjo Mena*, conductor
Daniil Trifonov, piano
Capriccio espagnol
Piano Concerto No. 1
Symphony No. 6, Pathétique
* New York Philharmonic debut
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