BRAHMS PIANO CONCERTO NO. 2 - Classic
Tucson Music Hall
Friday, November 11, 7:30pm
Sunday, November 13, 2pm
Andrew Grams, conductor
William Wolfram, piano
Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2
Lutoslawski: Concerto for Orchestra
Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2
Johannes Brahms’ majestic piano concerto performed by a pianist the critics call “dazzling” and “electrifying.” A Julliard graduate, Wolfram was a silver medalist at both the William Kapell and the Naumburg International Piano Competitions, a bronze medalist at the prestigious Tchaikovsky Piano Competition and a finalist at the Van Cliburn Competition. His concerto debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony under the baton of Leonard Slatkin was the first in a long succession of appearances and career relationships with numerous orchestras including the San Francisco, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Seattle, Baltimore, Nashville and San Diego symphonies, the Buffalo and Rochester Philharmonics, and the National Symphony Orchestra (Washington D.C.). He enjoys ongoing close associations with the Dallas and Milwaukee Symphonies as well as with the musicians of the New York Philharmonic He also teaches a performance class at the acclaimed Manhattan School of Music.
Since making his Tucson Symphony debut in November, 2013 with a program of Beethoven and Philip Glass, Andrew Grams has become a frequent guest conductor, returning in 2015 to conduct The Music of the Moody Blues SuperPops! concert and a program of Elgar, Copland and Rachmaninoff for the opening of the 2015-16 season. In March of 2016 he conducted the hugely successful Carmina Burana. The 2016-17 season marks Grams’ fourth as Music Director of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra.
Long one of Brahms’ most admired works, the Piano Concerto No. 2 has been described as having the spaciousness of a symphony, the drama of an opera, the intimacy of a lullaby and the intertwining raptures of the greatest love songs. It sounds as if the piano is singing a joyful, ecstatic ode to life as it glides above the orchestra at almost every moment. The work is heralded as one of the greatest works of the nineteenth century and remains one of the most frequently performed, received by enthusiastic audiences all over the world. This marks the first TSO performance since Garrick Ohlsson was a guest soloist with the orchestra in 2004. Yefim Bronfman, Emanuel Ax and Claudio Arrau are among the soloists who have performed it with the TSO previously.
Opening the program is the most popular of Franz Liszt’s nineteen Hungarian Rhapsodies, the Rhapsody No. 2, an instantly recognizable favorite from its use in cartoons and circus acts. Lutosławski’s use of Polish folk music has made the Concerto for Orchestra his most popular work.
Complimentary “Concert Comments” with the conductor and guest artist take place one hour before the performance and give you insight into what you’re about to hear.