Diving into his obsession with Beethoven’s music, Jonathan Biss is in the fourth year of his Beethoven/5 commissioning project: the five Beethoven piano concertos each presented with a contemporary composer’s response. After welcoming the NY Premiere of Timo Andres’ entry in 2016, we are proud to be again a co-commissioner for the latest installment, Caroline Shaw’s Watermark, a response to Beethoven’s 3rd Piano Concerto.
Cristian Măcelaru, conductor
Jonathan Biss, piano
Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37
— Intermission —
Caroline Shaw Watermark (NY Premiere, co-commissioned by Caramoor)
Mozart Symphony No. 38 in D Major, K. 504, “Prague”
3:00pm Pre-concert conversation with Cristian Măcelaru and Caroline Shaw.
Complimentary Garden Listening tickets for Members at the Family level and above
New! Summer Series
Orchestra of St. Luke’s
Orchestra of St. Luke’s (OSL) grew from a group of virtuoso musicians performing chamber music concerts at Greenwich Village’s Church of St. Luke in the Fields in 1974. Now in its 44th season, the Orchestra performs diverse musical genres at New York’s major concert venues, and has collaborated with artists ranging from Renée Fleming and Joshua Bell to Bono and Metallica. In 2018 internationally celebrated expert in 18th-century music Bernard Labadie became OSL’s Principal Conductor, continuing the Orchestra’s long tradition of working with proponents of historical performance practice.
In 2019 OSL launches two major initiatives: the inaugural Bach Festival in New York City and the opening of the DeGaetano Composition Institute. The three-week Bach Festival at Carnegie Hall, Manhattan School of Music’s Neidorff-Karpati hall, and at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music will feature 15 performances, including orchestral concerts conducted by Bernard Labadie, keyboard recitals, and Paul Taylor Dance Company performing its complete set of works choreographed to Bach scores.
OSL’s signature programming includes a subscription series presented by Carnegie Hall, now in its 32nd season; an annual summer residency at Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts; and a chamber music series featuring appearances at The Morgan Library & Museum, Brooklyn Museum, and Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center. The Orchestra has participated in 118 recordings, four of which have won Grammy Awards, has commissioned more than 50 new works, and has given more than 175 world, U.S., and New York City premieres.
Nearly half of OSL’s performances are presented free of charge through its Education & Community program, which reaches over 11,000 New York City public school students each year with school-time concerts. Youth Orchestra of St. Luke’s (YOSL) provides free instrumental coaching, while the Chamber Music Mentorship Program provides professional development opportunities and workshops for pre-professional musicians.
OSL built and operates The DiMenna Center for Classical Music in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City’s only rehearsal, recording, education, and performance space expressly dedicated to classical music. The DiMenna Center serves more than 500 ensembles and more than 30,000 musicians each year.
Cristian Măcelaru, conductor
Newly appointed Chief Conductor Designate of the WDR Sinfonieorchester, Cristian Măcelaru is one of the fast-rising stars of the conducting world. He takes on this new position at WDR, one of Europe’s leading orchestras, effective with the 2019/20 season. Măcelaru is Music Director and Conductor of the internationally renowned Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. In August 2018, he leads his second season in premiere-filled programs of new works by an esteemed group of composers. Among the 2018 season’s highlights were 3 world premieres, a record-breaking 16 composers-in-residence, a stunning roster of international guest artists, and two special tributes to commemorate William Bolcom’s and John Corigliano’s respective 80th birthdays.
Cristian Măcelaru attracted international attention for the first time in 2012, when he stepped into the breach with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, deputizing for Pierre Boulez. In the same year, he received the “Solti Emerging Conductor Award” for young conductors, followed in 2014 by the “Solti Conducting Award.” Since then, he has performed regularly at the podium of the best American orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, and National Symphony Orchestra. A particularly close collaboration connects him with the Philadelphia Orchestra: Since his subscription debut in 2013, he has been on the podium of this orchestra over 100 times and served there for three seasons as Conductor-in-Residence. Prior to that, he was their Associate Conductor for two seasons and previously Assistant Conductor for one season from September 2011. He continues a close relationship with the orchestra in leading them on annual subscription programs and other special concerts.
In Europe, Măcelaru has been in great demand as a guest conductor with many well-known orchestras and festivals, among others the Bayerischen Rundfunk Symphonieorchester, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Dresden Staatskapelle, Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, and Danish National Symphony Orchestra.
The 2018/19 season sees Măcelaru make debuts with the Orchestre National de France, Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony, San Francisco Symphony and São Paulo Symphony Orchestra (OSESP). He returns to the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bayerischen Rundfunk Symphonieorchester, City of Birmingham Symphony, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Dresden Philharmonie, Hallé Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, and Detroit Symphony. In January 2019, he brings the National Symphony Orchestra of Romania on their first-ever tour to the States in commemoration of Romania’s centennial, culminating a 7-city tour at New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center in performances with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. On the opera front, he leads a Kasper Holten production of Don Giovanni at the Houston Grand Opera.
Cristian Măcelaru was born in Timișoara, Romania and comes from a musical family. As the youngest of ten children, he received instrumental lessons at an early age — like all his siblings — in his case on the violin. His studies took him from Romania to the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, University of Miami in Florida, and Rice University in Houston, where he studied conducting with Larry Rachleff. He then deepened his knowledge in Tanglewood Music Center and Aspen Music Festival in masterclasses with David Zinman, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Oliver Knussen, and Stefan Asbury.
Măcelaru was the youngest concertmaster in the history of the Miami Symphony Orchestra and made his Carnegie Hall debut with that orchestra at the age of 19. He also played in the first violin section of the Houston Symphony for two seasons.
He resides in Philadelphia with his wife Cheryl and children Beniamin and Maria.
Jonathan Biss, piano
Jonathan Biss is a world-renowned pianist who shares his deep curiosity with music lovers in the concert hall and beyond. He continues to expand his reputation as a teacher, musical thinker, and one of the great Beethoven interpreters of our time. He was recently named Co-artistic Director alongside Mitsuko Uchida at the Marlboro Music Festival, where he has spent twelve summers. In addition, he has written extensively about his relationships with the composers with whom he shares a stage. A member of the faculty of his alma mater the Curtis Institute of Music since 2010, Biss led the first massive open online course (MOOC) offered by a classical music conservatory, Exploring Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas, which has reached more than 150,000 people in 185 countries.
As 2020, the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, approaches, Biss continues to add lectures to his online course until he covers all of the sonatas in time for the anniversary year. At the same time, he progresses in his nine-year, nine-disc recording cycle of Beethoven’s complete piano sonatas, which will also be completed in 2020. His bestselling eBook, Beethoven’s Shadow, describing the process of recording the sonatas and published by RosettaBooks in 2011, was the first Kindle Single written by a classical musician. These projects represent Biss’ complete approach to music-making and connecting his audience to his own passion for the music.
Biss completes his complete Beethoven piano sonata performance cycles at the Aspen and Ravinia festivals and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra this season. Audiences experienced all the piano sonatas in seven concerts over several years. In 2018–19 he performs with the Philadelphia and Philharmonia orchestras, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Dallas Symphony, among many others. He also continues his collaborations with the Elias, Doric, and Brentano string quartets. In honor of his teacher Leon Fleisher’s 90th birthday, he joins fellow pianists Yefim Bronfman and Katherine Jacobson, as well as Fleisher himself, for celebratory concerts at Carnegie Hall, Perelman Theater in Philadelphia, the Kennedy Center, and Herbst Theatre in San Francisco, performing Schubert, Ravel, Dvorák, Bach, and Kirchner. Biss also tours Finland and Germany with the Japan Philharmonic, Sweden with Musica Vitae, and the Netherlands with Liza Ferschtman, Marc Desmons, and Antoine Lederlin.
This season, as part of his Beethoven/5 project, for which the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra is co-commissioning five composers to write piano concertos, each inspired by one of Beethoven’s, Biss premieres Caroline Shaw’s new concerto alongside Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 at the Seattle Symphony. In the spring of its premiere alone, Shaw’s piece will be performed by Biss and three additional ensembles: the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the North Carolina Symphony, and the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra. He is committed to making sure that the concertos become part of the repertoire, also performing previous commission City Stanzas by Sally Beamish three times over the course of the season. The other concertos which have already premiered are Timo Andres’ The Blind Banister, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Music, and Salvatore Sciarrino’s Il Sogno di Stradella. Brett Dean will write the final concerto.
Previous projects that Biss conceived have included an exploration of composers’ “Late Style” in various concert programs at Carnegie Hall, the Barbican Centre, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and San Francisco Performances. He also gave masterclasses at Carnegie and published the Kindle Single Coda on the topic. Schumann: Under the Influence was a 30-concert exploration of the composer’s role in musical history, for which Biss also recorded Schumann and Dvorák piano quintets with the Elias String Quartet and wrote A Pianist Under the Influence.
Throughout his career Biss has been an advocate for new music. Prior to the Beethoven/5 project, he commissioned Lunaire Variations by David Ludwig, Interlude II by Leon Kirchner, Wonderer by Lewis Spratlan, and Three Pieces for Piano and a concerto by Bernard Rands, which he premiered with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He has also premiered a piano quintet by William Bolcom.
Biss represents the third generation in a family of professional musicians that includes his grandmother Raya Garbousova, one of the first well-known female cellists (for whom Samuel Barber composed his Cello Concerto), and his parents, violinist Miriam Fried and violist/violinist Paul Biss. Growing up surrounded by music, Biss began his piano studies at age six, and his first musical collaborations were with his mother and father. He studied at Indiana University with Evelyne Brancart and at the Curtis Institute of Music with Leon Fleisher.
Biss has been recognized with numerous honors, including the Leonard Bernstein Award presented at the 2005 Schleswig-Holstein Festival, Wolf Trap’s Shouse Debut Artist Award, the Andrew Wolf Memorial Chamber Music Award, Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award, an Avery Fisher Career Grant, the 2003 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award, and the 2002 Gilmore Young Artist Award. His albums for EMI won Diapason d’Or de l’année and Edison awards. He was an artist-in-residence on American Public Media’s Performance Today and was the first American chosen to participate in the BBC’s New Generation Artist program.
Sunday April 14 3:00pm
Saturday June 15 8:30pm
Sunday June 30 4:00pm
Sunday July 7 4:00pm
Saturday July 13 4:00pm
Sunday July 21 4:00pm
Sunday July 28 4:00pm