MEET THE CONDUCTOR: Kensho Watanabe, Bach Brandenburg, November 14, 2020

KW headshot 3 (c)Andrew Bogard

Kensho Watanabe, conductor

Bach Brandenburg

November 14, 2020 at 5PM & 8PM

Background: An accomplished violinist, Mr. Watanabe received his Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music and has served as a substitute violinist in The Philadelphia Orchestra from 2012-2016. He is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with distinguished conducting pedagogue Otto-Werner Mueller. Additionally, he holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Yale College, where he studied molecular, cellular and developmental biology.

Highlights:

  • Was recently recognized as a recipient of a Career Assistance Award by the Solti Foundation US.
  • Held the position of Assistant Conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra from 2016-2019, and during this time, made his criticially acclaimed subscription debut with the orchestra and pianist Daniil Trifoniv, taking over from his mentor Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
  • Has led numerous operas with the Curtis Opera Theatre, most recently Puccini’s La Rondine in 2017 and La bohème in 2015.
  • Highlights of the 2020-21 season include debuts with the Luxembourg Philharmonic, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Szczen Philharmonic, and the Belgian National Orchestra. He will also join Yannick Nézet-Séguin as assistant conductor for the MET’s production of Dead Man Walking.

Critical Praise:

  • “Watanabe’s strongest suit is the elegant lyricism with which he infuses long musical lines.” – Bachtrack
  • “Led with a combination of authority, charisma, and technical aplomb rarely found in a young conductor.” – Scene and Heard International

KW headshot 1 (c)Andrew Bogard

 


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THE STORY BEHIND: Vivaldi’s Concerto for Violin and Cello

On October 17, violinist and conductor Pinchas Zukerman and cellist Amanda Forsyth will join the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra for their 75th Anniversary Virtual Gala celebration.

THE STORY BEHIND: Vivaldi’s Concerto for Violin and Cello

Title: Concerto for Violin and Cello in B-flat Major

Composer: Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)

Last time performed by the Rhode Island Philharmonic: This is an RI Philharmonic Orchestra premiere

Orchestration: This piece is scored for strings

The Story: 

File:Vivaldi.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Listeners who know Antonio Vivaldi chiefly through The Four Seasons might have the impression that most of his 400-odd concertos consist of illustrative music based on nature, poetry, or other extra-musical ideas. In reality, Vivaldi gave programmatic titles to only a small number of his works, but many of his untitled concertos are as vibrant and engaging as those in The Four Seasons.

In addition to his plethora of violin solo concertos, Vivaldi composed many concertos for a pair (or more) of soloists. Today, one of his most successful “double” concertos is that in B-flat for violin and cello soloists and strings.

In the Allegro first movement, the complete string ensemble anchors, as it were, the music by stating a theme and then returning to it (or some variant of it) after each passage that spotlights the two soloists (a ritornello form). Passages for the featured duo vary widely: Some are dialogues between them; others combine the instruments in various interesting ways. In every case, the full ensemble follows the soloists.

The Andante central movement resembles an operatic duet: The soloists each play lovely, lyrical passages, usually alternating, violin then cello. At times, they combine in a charming duet. Throughout, only the low ensemble strings play a steady-beat accompaniment. The final, long duet is a masterful, stunning culmination to this enchanting movement.

In the fast triple beats of a peasant dance, the concerto’s Allegro molto spins out a dazzling finale. Now the featured duet combines with the orchestra more often than previously, yet Vivaldi reserves a few dazzling virtuoso spots for the soloists. A big, tutti combination brings the concerto to a brilliant conclusion.

Program Notes by Dr. Michael Fink © 2020 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

 

 

THE STORY BEHIND: Fauré’s “Elegy”

On October 17, violinist and conductor Pinchas Zukerman and cellist Amanda Forsyth will join the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra for their 75th Anniversary Virtual Gala celebration.

THE STORY BEHIND: Fauré’s Elegy

Title: Elegy

Composer: Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924)

Last time performed by the Rhode Island Philharmonic: This is a RI Philharmonic Orchestra premiere

Orchestration: This piece is scored for strings

The Story: 

Fauré: 15 facts about the Great Composer - Classic FM

Gabriel Fauré came from a family of minor aristocrats and educators. Historians consider him the greatest French composer between Berlioz and Debussy and one of the greatest song composers in history. In 1896, he was appointed professor at the Paris Conservatoire, and in 1905, he became its director. However, his fame arrived late, and in concert life, he is still underrated.

In 1880, Fauré completed his First Piano Quartet. In the same year he composed the Élégie for cello and piano. Originally, the composer intended the piece to be the slow movement of a cello sonata. However, the rest of the sonata never materialized, and Fauré made the movement an independent cello-piano piece dubbed Élégie. It was first performed publicly in 1883 and was published the same year. In 1890, Fauré orchestrated the piano part, and in that version, the premiere featured Pablo Casals as soloist.

What to listen for: You will hear the principal theme immediately, played by the cello with a soft orchestral background. The theme has very long lines that emphasize the pathos Fauré wishes to portray. Notice the tempo becoming slightly faster as the clarinet and oboe introduce new musical ideas. For a while, the cello takes the role of accompanist. Then a more intense cello begins to spin out some developing ideas, but just as songlike as the main theme.

Then the music becomes more intense in a heated “contest” between cello and orchestra. The cello wins and takes us back to the main theme, now heard in a high range. In the last minute of the Élégie, the cello recalls some ideas from that theme, drawing the music to a quiet, solemn close.

Program Notes by Dr. Michael Fink © 2020 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

 

 

THE STORY BEHIND: Mozart’s Violin Concerto No.5 (“Turkish”)

On October 17, violinist and conductor Pinchas Zukerman and cellist Amanda Forsyth will join the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra for their 75th Anniversary Virtual Gala celebration.

THE STORY BEHIND: Mozart’s Violin Concerto No.5 (Turkish)

Title: Violin Concerto No.5 in A Major (Turkish)

Composer: Wolfgang A. Mozart (1756-1791)

Last time performed by the Rhode Island Philharmonic: February 27, 1999 with Larry Rachleff conducting and soloist Mark Peskanov

Orchestration: This piece is scored for strings

The Story: 

Mozart's Childhood and Upbringing

During the year 1775, Wolfgang A. Mozart was concertmaster of the Salzburg Prince-Archbishop’s orchestra. This meant that he played the violin, led the orchestra, and no doubt was expected to perform occasionally as a soloist. Reflecting his position, the 19-year-old composer’s greatest accomplishments that year were his five concertos for violin and orchestra (K. 207, 211, 216, 218, and 219). Oddly, he never again wrote a major work for solo violin and orchestra.

The last three concertos came as a group between September and December 1775. Since their keys are G major, D major, and A major, respectively, it is tempting to theorize that Mozart might have also intended a fourth concerto in E major, thus representing the four strings of the violin.

The nickname “Turkish” was elicited by one of the central sections of the concerto’s finale. Mozart’s Austria was situated at the back door of the Ottoman Empire, where music strange to European ears could be heard — often on street corners, played by “Janissary” bands. In this concerto, Mozart places the “Turkish” music in one of the central sections of the third movement.

Probably the best general description/commentary of the D Major Concerto was written by Alfred Einstein (1880-1952), one of the great Mozart authorities, in his book, Mozart: His Character, His Work:

“This concerto is unsurpassed for brilliance, tenderness, and wit. . . . The first and last movements are full of surprises: in the first movement, the half-improvisatory way in which the violin makes its appearance, possibly inspired by a clavier [keyboard] concerto of Philipp Emanuel Bach in D, published in 1772, and the alternation between gratefulness in march tempo, good-natured roughness, and cajolery in the last movement, instead of quotations such as had occurred in the rondos of the two preceding works, a humorous outbreak of sound and fury in “Turkish” style. Mozart borrowed the noisy tutti in A minor of this “Turkish” intermezzo from himself; it had originally occurred in the ballet Le Gelosie del seraglio, which he wrote in 1772 in Milan for his [opera,] Lucio Silla. It is in duple meter, and contrasts as naturally as it combines with the irresistible Tempo di minuetto of the main portion of the movement. This work, written when Mozart was twenty, is the last of his violin concertos that survives in pure and undisputed form.”

Program Notes by Dr. Michael Fink © 2020 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

 

THE STORY BEHIND: Montgomery’s “Starburst”

On October 17, violinist and conductor Pinchas Zukerman and cellist Amanda Forsyth will join the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra for their 75th Anniversary Virtual Gala celebration.

THE STORY BEHIND: Montgomery’s Starburst

Title: Starburst

Composer: Jessie Montgomery (1981-)

Last time performed by the Rhode Island Philharmonic: May 5, 2019 with Edwin Outwater conducting and soloist Elena Urioste

Orchestration: This piece is scored for strings

The Story: 

Jessie Montgomery

Composer-violinist-educator Jessie Montgomery hails from New York’s Lower East Side, where her father managed a music studio. She was, in her words, “constantly surrounded by all different kinds of music.” Thus, her own compositions have drawn from many diverse influences, such as African-American spirituals, civil rights anthems, improvisational styles, modern jazz, film scoring, etc. From those early years, she developed, chiefly as a violinist, to receive degrees from the Juilliard School and New York University. In her professional performing life, Montgomery has been a member of the Providence String Quartet and the Catalyst Quartet. The latter began as a project of the Detroit-based Sphinx Organization, which creates opportunities for African-American and Latino string players.

As a composer, Montgomery was the resident Composer-Educator for the Albany Symphony during the 2015-16 season. In addition she has been recognized with grants and fellowships from the American Composers Orchestra, the Sphinx Organization, the Joyce Foundation, and the Sorel Organization. Her reputation has been spreading steadily, mainly in North America, beginning in New York City, Providence, and Boston, reaching out to Deer Valley, Utah; Miami Beach, Florida; Birmingham, Alabama; and Toronto, Ontario. Montgomery’s debut record album Strum: Music for Strings (including Starburst) was released on the Azica Records label in late 2015.

Starburst was commissioned by the Sphinx Organization and premiered by its resident Sphinx Virtuosi in 2012. About it, Montgomery writes:

This brief one-movement work for string orchestra is a play on imagery of rapidly changing musical colors. Exploding gestures are juxtaposed with gentle fleeting melodies in an attempt to create a multidimensional soundscape. A common definition of a starburst, “the rapid formation of large numbers of new stars in a galaxy at a rate high enough to alter the structure of the galaxy significantly,” lends itself almost literally to the nature of the performing ensemble that premiered the work, the Sphinx Virtuosi, and I wrote the piece with their dynamic in mind.

Program Notes by Dr. Michael Fink © 2020 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

 

 

THE STORY BEHIND: Handel’s “Entrance of the Queen of Sheba” from “Solomon”

On October 17, violinist and conductor Pinchas Zukerman and cellist Amanda Forsyth will join the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra for their 75th Anniversary Virtual Gala celebration.

THE STORY BEHIND: Handel’s Entrance of the Queen of Sheba from Solomon

Title: Solomon: Entrance of the Queen of Sheba

Composer: George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)

Last time performed by the Rhode Island Philharmonic: This is a RI Philharmonic Orchestra premiere

Orchestration: This piece is scored for strings

The Story: 

About Handel – London Handel Festival

George Frideric Handel settled permanently in England in 1712. He wanted to make his reputation and fortune there as an opera composer. For many years he was successful in that endeavor, becoming the director of the Royal Academy of Music, an enterprise sponsored partially by the King for the production of Italian-style operas, Handel’s specialty. However, public taste always changes, and Handel became the victim of the fickle crowd in 1728, when London went crazy over the first English ballad opera, The Beggar’s Opera. Little by little, the Academy’s loyal subscribers lost interest in stilted Italian opera, in favor of the more earthy and entertaining ballad operas, which were now capturing the city’s theaters.

Handel did not quit Italian-style opera entirely, but he struck out in a new, somewhat related direction: quasi-religious oratorios, mostly on Old Testament stories. (The most famous and enduring of these, Messiah, was actually controversial in its time because of its close connection with Jesus.) During his long years in England, Handel composed 17 oratorios. Usually, these were premiered during the weeks of Lent, when opera houses were closed. Handel composed Solomon in May-June, 1748, and it was premiered at Covent Garden the following March.

The first two “Parts” (acts) of Solomon deal with his building the famous Temple in Jerusalem and an illustration of his abundant wisdom in the story of the two women, both claiming to be the mother of a newborn child.

Part III deals with the famous visit of the Queen of Sheba, who travelled a long distance to make a “state visit” and partake of Solomon’s splendid court and great astuteness. The act is introduced by a sinfonia (a type of overture derived from Baroque Italian opera). Musically, it consists of energetic alternations between the strings and a pair of oboes. The strings cling to recurring variations on a stimulating single idea, alternating with more melodic episodes played by the oboes. Toward the end, oboes and strings join forces to bring the Sinfonia to an energetic conclusion. Perhaps the music is intended to illustrate the splendor of the queen. It is also possible that the contrast between strings and oboes symbolizes this first encounter between the wise king and the beautiful queen.

Program Notes by Dr. Michael Fink © 2020 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

 

 

 

 

RI Philharmonic Orchestra 75th Anniversary Gala Set for October 17th

World-renowned violinist/conductor Pinchas Zukerman and famed cellist Amanda Forsyth to be featured

Pinchas Zukerman and the Winoker Family to receive John Hazen White, Sr. Leadership in the Arts Award

 PROVIDENCE, RI – The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra proudly celebrates 75 years of great music performance and education with what promises to be an unforgettable evening of thrilling music and ceremony on Saturday, October 17. Handel’s Entrance of the Queen of Sheba will open the program followed by Jessie Montgomery’s Starburst. Then virtuoso Pinchas Zukerman will play and conduct Mozart’s brilliant Violin Concerto No. 5 (Turkish). After an award and fundraising program during intermission, the concert continues with famed cellist Amanda Forsyth performing Fauré’s Elegy and Vivaldi’s Double Concerto featuring both Zukerman and Forsyth.

Violinist and Conductor Pinchas Zukerman, who was already slated to conduct two works on the program, will now lead the entire concert. RI Philharmonic Artistic Advisor and conductor Bramwell Tovey has been advised not to travel due to Covid-19 quarantine requirements in Canada that interfere with monitoring and treatments for an ongoing health issue and therefore cannot travel to Rhode Island for the Gala. He missed the Orchestra’s Season Opener on September 26 for the same reason and was replaced by David Robertson, former Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony. Tovey continues to provide advice and leadership remotely, though on a reduced schedule. He anticipates resuming his duties fully in early 2021. He has stepped down from his position as Artistic Director of the Calgary Opera in order to focus on his treatment and his work with Rhode Island.

Says Tovey: “I am deeply disappointed to miss this 75th Anniversary Gala, our most important fundraising event of the year. At the same time, I am gratified and confident in turning over the Orchestra to my good friend Pinchas who, along with Amanda Forsyth and our Orchestra musicians, will provide a truly memorable concert experience. Enjoy this great concert and please, support our fundraising efforts so that this highest-level of music performance, education and community engagement can continue.”

The concert begins at 8pm on Saturday, October 17, at The VETS for a limited in-person audience and is available to Gala ticket holders and all Philharmonic subscribers via livestream. If you are interested in viewing, please call 401.248.7000 to explore subscription options.

Concert ceremonies will also honor two recipients of the prestigious John Hazen White, Sr. Leadership in the Arts Award. Virtuoso violinist, conductor, and educator Pinchas Zukerman will be recognized for his tremendous commitment to both artistry and education throughout his storied career including pioneering distance learning in music in ways that are becoming so relevant during our current crisis. The beloved Winoker Family will be honored for their 60-year commitment to advancing the Rhode Island Philharmonic’s mission to enrich and transform our community through exceptional and accessible live symphonic performances and music education programs.

Funds raised from this 75th Anniversary Gala will support the overall mission of the Philharmonic and help equip the Carter Center with the latest online teaching technology so we are able to offer virtual learning programs and provide access to music education to children living in underserved communities throughout the region at the highest level.

***At A Glance***

75th Anniversary Gala Celebration
Saturday, October 17, 2020, 8pm
The VETS, One Avenue of the Arts, Providence, and livestream

Pinchas Zukerman, violin & conductor
Amanda Forsyth, cello

HANDEL: Entrance of the Queen of Sheba
MONTGOMERY: Starburst
MOZART: Violin Concerto No.5 (Turkish)
FAURÉ: Elegy
VIVALDI: Double Concerto

About the Artists

Pinchas Zukerman 

With a celebrated career encompassing five decades, Pinchas Zukerman reigns as one of today’s most sought-after and versatile musicians – violin and viola soloist, conductor, and chamber musician. Renowned as a virtuoso, he’s admired for the expressive lyricism of his playing, singular beauty of tone, and impeccable musicianship, which can be heard throughout his discography of over 110 recordings. A devoted teacher and champion of young musicians, Mr. Zukerman has served as chair of the Pinchas Zukerman Performance Program at the Manhattan School of Music for 25 years. As a mentor, he has inspired generations of young musicians who have achieved prominence in performing, teaching, and in leading roles with music festivals around the globe.

Amanda Forsyth

Canadian Juno Award-winning Amanda Forsyth is considered one of North America’s most dynamic cellists. She has achieved an international reputation as soloist, chamber musician and principal cello of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra from 1999 to 2015. Her intense richness of tone, remarkable technique and exceptional musicality combine to enthrall audiences and critics alike. Ms. Forsyth has performed on international tours with the Royal Philharmonic and Israel Philharmonic orchestras. In the U.S., she has performed with many of the country’s top orchestras including Chicago, Dallas, and the National Symphony Orchestra.  Ms. Forsyth performs on a rare 1699 Italian cello by Carlo Giuseppe Testore.

John Hazen White, Sr. Leadership in the Arts Award

The John Hazen White, Sr. Leadership in the Arts Award is named in honor of John Hazen White, Sr. whose philanthropy to the Rhode Island arts community, most particularly the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School, is legendary. Recipients are selected for furthering access to performances of symphonic and other music, as well as music education in Rhode Island and around the world. The 2019 recipient was legendary music festival promoter and producer George Wein, originator of the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals, as well as the Newport Festivals Foundation, which now manages the festivals and funds music education programs nationally.

About the Recipients

Pinchas Zukerman

Throughout his career Mr. Zukerman has performed at the highest possible level, led institutions that make a positive cultural and educational impact on their communities, pushed musical boundaries and taught many an aspiring artist. A devoted teacher and champion of young musicians, he has served as chair of the Pinchas Zukerman Performance Program at the Manhattan School of Music for over 25 years, and has taught at prominent institutions throughout the United Kingdom, Israel, China and Canada, among others. As a mentor he has inspired generations of young musicians who have achieved prominence in performing, teaching, and leading roles with music festivals around the globe. The results thus far also include more than 110 recordings, successful music directorships in St. Paul and Ottawa, and the Young Artists Program at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, which, along with his program at the Manhattan School, continues to inspire the leading musicians of tomorrow. Mr. Zukerman has received honorary doctorates from Brown University, Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and the University of Calgary, as well as the National Medal of Arts from President Ronald Reagan. He is a recipient of the Isaac Stern Award for Artistic Excellence in Classical Music.

The Winoker Family

The Winoker Family has been involved with our community for decades. From saving old buildings to building new communities, from ensuring education for all to a deep engagement in the arts, their impact on our state and the people in our state is legendary.

This wonderful couple met at a dance in September of 1953 when Jim was at Harvard Business School and Marilyn was at Boston University. They married on July 3, 1955, as they were about to go into the Army where, for three years, Jim taught at the Army Management School. When they returned to Rhode Island, Jim (or “they” as he puts it) took a position at Brier Manufacturing, a company he had worked for while at college. In 1961, Jim and some colleagues started the BB Greenberg jewelry firm at 222 Richmond Street.

It was Ruth Greenberg who ignited the Winokers’ love of the Rhode Island Philharmonic by inviting Marilyn to a concert. Marilyn fell in love with the Orchestra and became involved with the Friends Group, eventually serving as president. Marilyn recalls, with a chuckle, the early education concerts and her role of trying to keep the school children quiet! She organized the first major gala for the Phil and worked closely with Jim on the first fundraising campaign which is still recognized at the Providence Performing Arts Center where the Philharmonic performed at the time.

Frank Licht asked Jim to join the RI Phil board in the ’60s. During his tenure, he helped to reorganize the board into one that has ensured the fiscal health of the organization ever since. Jim and Marilyn invited many of our dedicated friends to join them for dinner before concerts,  and they count Heidi Kirk Duffy and Marie Langlois among those friends who have become dedicated and committed supporters and board presidents.

Marilyn and Jim have not only served RIPO&MS as board leaders, committee members and connectors, they also brought the Philharmonic and eventually the Music School into their newly renovated space at 222 Richmond Street in the 1970s. They were instrumental in the merger of the two organizations. Both are honorary directors of RIPO&MS to this day and continue their dedication and support.

Susan, David and his wife Kristin (an accomplished cellist), and Steven and his wife Nina have all had close relationships with the organization. They became involved as children and continue their parents’ legacy of introducing new people to the Orchestra and the Music School. Susan has served on the Development Committee, David on the Board, Investment and Finance Committees, and David and Kristin’s two sons, Zach and Alex, have both taken music lessons at the school. Susan and David continue their parents’ legacy at Belvoir Properties and Steven is Vice President of Investor Communications at General Electric.

The Winoker Family has been recognized by many organizations for their generosity and their devotion. We are proud to recognize the family as the recipients of the 2020 John Hazen White, Sr.  Leadership in the Arts Awards.

MEET THE SOLOIST: Amanda Forsyth, cello: 75th Anniversary Gala Celebration, October 17, 2020

FORSYTH 1

The RI Philharmonic Orchestra proudly celebrates 75 years of great music performance and education with what promises to be an unforgettable evening of thrilling music and ceremony. Handel’s Entrance of the Queen of Sheba will open the program. Then virtuoso Pinchas Zukerman will play and conduct Mozart’s brilliant Violin Concerto No.5 (Turkish). The program continues with Jessie Montgomery’s Starburst, famed cellist Amanda Forsyth performing Fauré’s Elegy, and a startling finale performance of Vivaldi’s Double Concerto for Violin and Cello featuring Zukerman and Forsyth.

The concert begins at 8pm on Saturday, October 17 at The VETS for a limited in-person audience and is available to Gala ticket holders and all RI Philharmonic Orchestra subscribers via livestream.

Concert ceremonies will also honor two worthy recipients of the prestigious John Hazen White Sr., Leadership in the Arts Award. Virtuoso violinist, conductor and educator Pinchas Zukerman will be recognized for a tremendous commitment to both artistry and education throughout his storied career, and the beloved Winoker Family will be honored for their 60-year commitment to advancing the Rhode Island Philharmonic’s mission to enrich and transform our community through exceptional and accessible live symphonic performances and music education programs.

The funds raised from this 75th Anniversary Gala will help equip the Carter Center with the latest technology so that we are able to offer the highest quality virtual learning programs and provide access to music education to children living in underserved communities throughout the region.

Background: Born in South Africa, Ms. Forsyth moved to Canada as a child and began playing cello at age three. She became a protégé of William Pleeth in London, and later studied with Harvey Shapiro at The Juilliard School. Ms. Forsyth performs on a rare 1699 Italian cello by Carlo Giuseppe Testore.

2019/2020 Season Highlights:

  • Performed her father, Malcolm Forsyth’s Electra Rising with the Calgary Philharmonic.
  • Performed Avner Dorman’s Double Concerto for Violin and Cello, written for Forsyth and violinist Pinchas Zukerman, in Ottowa with the National Arts Centre Orchestra and in Tel Aviv with the Israel Philharmonic.

Critical Praise:

  • “…exquisite expressiveness that seemed to flow effortlessly from her hands and bow, Forsyth was a delight to listen to.” –Ventura County Star
  • “Ms. Forsyth was…setting the toe-tapping finale off with just the right tempo, lightness of touch, rich tone and elegant phrasing.” –Classical Source
  • “Forsyth is a bodacious performer – she doesn’t do ‘tentative’ – and it was glorious.” –Commercial Appeal Memphis

MEET THE SOLOIST: Pinchas Zukerman, violin and conductor: 75th Anniversary Gala Celebration, October 17, 2020

Press_Photo (3) ZUKERMAN

The RI Philharmonic Orchestra proudly celebrates 75 years of great music performance and education with what promises to be an unforgettable evening of thrilling music and ceremony. Handel’s Entrance of the Queen of Sheba will open the program. Then virtuoso Pinchas Zukerman will play and conduct Mozart’s brilliant Violin Concerto No.5 (Turkish). The program continues with Jessie Montgomery’s Starburst, famed cellist Amanda Forsyth performing Fauré’s Elegy, and a startling finale performance of Vivaldi’s Double Concerto for Violin and Cello featuring Zukerman and Forsyth.

The concert begins at 8pm on Saturday, October 17 at The VETS for a limited in-person audience and is available to Gala ticket holders and all RI Philharmonic Orchestra subscribers via livestream.

Concert ceremonies will also honor two worthy recipients of the prestigious John Hazen White Sr., Leadership in the Arts Award. Virtuoso violinist, conductor and educator Pinchas Zukerman will be recognized for a tremendous commitment to both artistry and education throughout his storied career, and the beloved Winoker Family will be honored for their 60-year commitment to advancing the Rhode Island Philharmonic’s mission to enrich and transform our community through exceptional and accessible live symphonic performances and music education programs.

The funds raised from this 75th Anniversary Gala will help equip the Carter Center with the latest technology so that we are able to offer the highest quality virtual learning programs and provide access to music education to children living in underserved communities throughout the region.

Background: With a celebrated career encompassing five decades, Pinchas Zukerman reigns as one of today’s most sought after and versatile musicians – violin and viola soloist, conductor and chamber musician. A devoted teacher and champion of young musicians, he has served as chair of the Pinchas Zukerman Performance Program at the Manhattan School of Music for over 25 years, and has taught at prominent institutions throughout the United Kingdom, Israel, China and Canada, among others.

2019/2020 Season Highlights:

  • Tours with the Vienna Philharmonic and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as guest appearances with the Boston, Dallas and Prague Symphonies, Berlin Staatskapelle, and Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
  • In his fifth season as Artist-in-Residence of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, he toured with the ensemble to China and Korea.
  • In chamber music, he traveled with the Zukerman Trio for performances throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia.

Critical Praise:

  • “Zukerman again seemed the forever-young virtuoso: expressively resourceful, infectiously musical, technically impeccable, effortless. As usual, it was a joy to be in his musical company.” – The Los Angeles Times
  • “There’s no denying Zukerman’s legitimate claim as a triple threat. His violin playing is bright and sinuous, his viola playing is rich and soulful, and he conducts with an abundance of spirit.” – The San Francisco Chronicle
  • “His playing had a freedom and ease that allowed the music to bloom of its own accord. His tone gleamed with a silvery vibrancy.” – The Orange County Register