THE STORY BEHIND: Mozart’s Quintet for Piano and Winds

On January 23, conductor David Robertson and pianist Orli Shaham will join the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra for their eighth virtual concert of the 2020/2021 Season.

THE STORY BEHIND: Mozart’s Quintet for Piano and Winds

Title: Quintet in E♭ major for Piano and Winds, K. 452

Composer: Wolfgang A. Mozart (1770-1827)

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

Orchestration: This piece is scored for one each of piano, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon.

The Story: 

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On April 10, 1784, Mozart wrote to his father:

. . . The concert that I gave in the theater was most successful. I composed two grand concertos [K. 450 and 451] and then a quintet [K. 452], which called forth the very greatest applause. I myself consider it to be the best work I have ever composed.

Mozart’s Lenten concert in the Imperial and National Court Theater in Vienna had taken place on April 1. Mozart had completed the quintet only two days before that. The assessment of his own work may have been correct, for the Quintet in E-flat is an indisputable masterpiece. Beethoven felt keenly that way, for in 1796 he composed a piano-wind quintet for precisely the same instrumentation and in the same key. Beethoven rarely competed with Mozart, but the K. 452 quintet was for him an irresistible model.

The warmth of Mozart’s opening Largo, in fact, somewhat anticipates Beethoven’s early style. This section leads to what Alfred Einstein describes as the “pastoral” Allegro moderato. It is a sonata form with only a brief development section. The wind instruments have rare solos, and the movement comes off somewhat like a chamber concerto for piano.

The Larghetto, on the other hand, gives the winds freer rein. In fact, there is a fine balance between the instruments. Even the horn has its own eloquent moments. The majestic placidness of this sonata movement is disturbed only as its development section reaches a climax in a passage that moves from nocturnal mysteriousness to general agitation.

The “royally high-spirited theme” (Einstein) of the rondo finale sets the tone for a grand conclusion. Again, the piano becomes more predominant, but not entirely so. Just before the final coda, Mozart places a “Cadenza in tempo” for all the players that includes a featured moment for each wind instrument. Then, he returns to the truer chamber spirit for a big, concerted finish.

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


You’ve Seen the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra in THEIR home. Now see it in YOURS! Subscribe to the First Half of our Virtual Season for $199 – that’s less than $20 per concert! Enjoy 2 virtual livestreamed concerts between January 23 and February 20, plus access to our archived concerts. Call 401-248-7000 or click HERE to subscribe today!

Single tickets also available for $40, click HERE  to purchase!

THE STORY BEHIND: Mozart’s Serenade No.10 (Gran Partita)

On January 23, conductor David Robertson and pianist Orli Shaham will join the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra for their eighth virtual concert of the 2020/2021 Season.

THE STORY BEHIND: Mozart’s Serenade No.10 (Gran Partita)

Title: Serenade No.10, K.361 (370a), B-flat major (Gran Partita)

Composer: Wolfgang A. Mozart (1770-1827)

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

Orchestration: This piece is scored for 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 3 bassoons, 4 horns and 2 basset horns.

The Story: 

On March 23, 1784, a Vienna newspaper announced an upcoming concert for the benefit of Anton Stadler. This was the clarinetist for whom Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart would later compose his Clarinet Concerto and Clarinet Quintet. The announcement mentioned “a big wind piece of quite an exceptional kind composed by Herr Mozart.” Later, an attendee of that concert reported, “I heard music for wind instruments today by Herr Mozart. . . . It consisted of 13 instruments. . . . Oh, what an effect it made — glorious and grand, excellent and sublime.” That was probably the premiere of four movements from the Serenade in B-flat.

The alternate title, Gran Partita, was added to Mozart’s manuscript in a different hand. However, the uniqueness of this wording reflects the grandness of the music, starting with the instrumentation. Wind music in Mozart’s day (called Harmoniemusik) was usually for six or eight instruments. Expanding the winds to 12 — 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 basset horns (a kind of alto clarinet), 4 horns and 2 bassoons — supported by a contrabass from the string family, made the ensemble something indeed “grand.” Also, its seven movements took it to an extreme length in the serenade genre, thus prompting a different designation, “partita,” which simply meant a suite.

The serenade begins in a grand manner with a Largo introduction, a bit unusual for Mozart. Shortly, however, the comic-opera composer of Cosí fan tutte becomes evident in the spirited Allegro main segment, especially the main theme. The rest of this sonata form playfully juggles passages for groups of soloists with those for the full wind band.

That spirit continues in the first minuet’s recurring main section. There, Mozart places comic short pauses (rests) in the first two phrases of each strain. The two Trio sections are more serious. The second, cast in the minor mode, gives solo opportunities to oboes, clarinets and bassoons.

Analyst Erik Smith claims the Adagio third movement to be “the loveliest of all movements written for wind instruments.” Again Mozart’s operatic bent surfaces, this time to give us a terzetto between an oboe, a clarinet and a basset horn. Smooth lyricism, melodic arabesques and passionate leaps characterize these voices, supported by undulating lower instruments.

The second minuet and its first Trio are more serenade-like than the earlier ones, not so engaging and more like background music. The smoothly phrased second Trio has the added interest of being a Ländler, a folk dance that became a forerunner to the waltz. Similarly serenade-like is the fifth movement, an Adagio-Allegretto-Adagio titled Romanze. The Adagio is nobly sentimental fare, a foretaste of the Countess’s music in Figaro. The Allegretto section presents impatient melodies against a scurrying accompaniment.

Like Bach, Mozart occasionally borrowed from himself, reworking old material into something entirely new. This time, Mozart has taken the finale from his 1777 Quartet for Flute and Strings in C, K.Anh. 171 (285b), rescoring it for a full wind band. He uses this theme-and-variations to showcase each pair of woodwind instrument: clarinets, oboes, basset horns and the combination of bassoons and contrabass. The quick final variation joins all in a big tutti.

To cap the Gran Partita, the composer adds a finale on top of a finale. The clipped repeated sections of this rapid Rondo tumble forward impetuously. Mozart authority Alfred Einstein terms the movement “noisy,” writing that “one might call it a Rondo alla turca.” However that may be, the seventh movement functions like a cheerfully brilliant coda to the entire serenade.

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


You’ve Seen the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra in THEIR home. Now see it in YOURS! Subscribe to the First Half of our Virtual Season for $199 – that’s less than $20 per concert! Enjoy 2 virtual livestreamed concerts between January 23 and February 20, plus access to our archived concerts. Call 401-248-7000 or click HERE to subscribe today!

Single tickets also available for $40, click HERE  to purchase!

MEET THE SOLOIST: Orli Shaham, piano, All Mozart, January 23, 2021, 8pm

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Orli Shaham, piano

Performs Mozart’s Quintet for Piano and Winds

January 23, 2021 at 8PM

Background: A consummate musician recognized for her grace, subtelty and brilliance, Orli Shaham has established an impressive international reputation as one of today’s most gifted pianists. Hailed by critics on four continents, Ms. Shaham is admired for her interpretations of both standard and modern repertoire. She has performed with most of the major orchestras in the United States, and with many significant ensembles internationally, including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National de France and Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

Highlights:

  • In 2020, she was named as Regular Guest Host for NPR’s From the Top, the nationally broadcast radio program featuring performances and conversations with talented teenage musicians. 
  • Ms. Shaham is Artistic Director for the interactive children’s concert series, Orli Shaham’s Bach Yard, which she founded in 2010. During the spring and summer of 2020, Orli Shaham’s Bach Yard and Kaufman Music Center collaborated to create a 10-episode video series called Playdates.
  • In October, 2020, as part of her multi-year, multi-disc Mozart project on the Canary Classics label, Orli Shaham released the first of a five-volume set featuring the complete Mozart piano sonatas. Volumes 2 and 3 of this Mozart sonata cycle will be released in 2021.

Critical Praise:

  • “Ms. Shaham offered a daringly forceful interpretation of the [Brahms] F minor Sonata. Where the music so much as hinted that power would be welcome, Ms. Shaham supplied it amply, with sharply articulated phrasing as a bonus…..she was at her best when Brahms turned up the heat, and as big as her sound was in the scherzo and the finale, Ms. Shaham kept it trim and fully focused.” The New York Times
  • “She showed herself to be a first-rate Mozartean, combining a crisp keyboard touch with an uncommonly nuanced approach to tone and phrase. Her solos proved consistently well-crafted and engaging, her accompanying passages a sparkling counterpoint to the orchestral statements.” Chicago Tribune
  • “Pianist Orli Shaham leapt fearlessly and brilliantly into the complex work, finding in the composer’s spiky dissonance the stuff of rare, startling poetry [Messiaen’s Oiseaux exotiques].” The Baltimore Sun

You’ve Seen the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra in THEIR home. Now see it in YOURS! Subscribe to the First Half of our Virtual Season for $199 – that’s less than $20 per concert! Enjoy 2 virtual livestreamed concerts between January 23 and February 20, plus access to our recent archived concerts. Call 401-248-7000 or click HERE to subscribe today!

Single tickets also available for $40, click HERE  to purchase!

MEET THE CONDUCTOR: David Robertson, All Mozart, January 23, 2021

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David Robertson, conductor

All Mozart

January 23, 2021 at 8PM

Background: David Robertson – conductor, artist, thinker, and American musical visionary – occupies some of the most prominent platforms on the international music scene. A highly sought-after podium figure in the worlds of opera, orchestral music, and new music, Robertson is celebrated worldwide as a champion of contemporary composers, an ingenious and adventurous programmer and a masterful communicator whose passionate advocacy for the art form is widely recognized. A consummate and deeply collaborative musician, Robertson is hailed for his intensely committed music making.

Robertson has served in numerous artistic leadership positions, such as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and a transformative 13-year tenure as Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. With St. Louis, he solidified its status among the nation’s most innovative ensembles, establishing fruitful relationships with a spectrum of artists, and garnering a 2014 Grammy Award for the Nonesuch release of John Adams’ City Noir, in addition to numerous other releases, such as Wynton Marsalis’s Swing Symphony, with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, on Blue Engine Records, and Mozart Piano Concertos, No. 17 in G Major K.453 and No. 24 in C Minor K.491, with Orli Shaham, on Canary Classics. Earlier artistic leadership positions include at the Orchestre National de Lyon; as a protégé of Pierre Boulez, the Ensemble InterContemporain; and as Principal Guest Conductor at the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

David Robertson holds a rich and enduring collaboration with the New York Philharmonic, and in the Americas conducts many noted ensembles, including the Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, National, Houston, Dallas, Montréal and Sao Paulo symphony orchestras. Robertson has served as a Perspectives Artist at Carnegie Hall, where he has also conducted, among others, The Met, Lucerne Festival, and St. Louis Symphony orchestras. He appears regularly with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Bayerischen Rundfunk, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden, and other major European and international orchestras and festivals, ranging from the BBC Proms to Musica Viva in Munich to the New Japan Philharmonic and Beijing’s NCPA Orchestra.

With The Metropolitan Opera, Robertson continues to build upon his deep conducting relationship, which included James Robinson’s 2019-20 season opening premiere production of Porgy and Bess, and the premiere of Phelim McDermott’s celebrated 2018 production of Così fan tutte, set in Coney Island. Since his 1996 Met Opera debut, The Makropulos Case, he has conducted a breathtaking range of projects, including the Met premiere of John Adams’ The Death of Klinghoffer (2014); the 2016 revival of Janáček’s Jenůfa, then its first Met performances in nearly a decade; the premiere production of Nico Muhly’s Two Boys (2013); and many favorites, from Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro to Britten’s Billy Budd. Robertson conducts at the world’s most prestigious opera houses, including La Scala, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Théâtre du Châtelet, and the San Francisco and Santa Fe operas.

Since 2018, David Robertson has served as Director of Conducting Studies, Distinguished Visiting Faculty, of The Juilliard School. In Fall 2019, he joined the newly formed Tianjin Juilliard Advisory Council, an international body created to guide the emerging Chinese campus of the Juilliard School. He conducts the Juilliard Orchestra annually at Carnegie Hall.

Robertson is the recipient of numerous awards, and in 2010 was made a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the Government of France. He is devoted to supporting young musicians and has worked with students at the festivals of Aspen, Tanglewood, Lucerne, at the Paris Conservatoire, Music Academy of the West, and the National Orchestra Institute. In 2014, he led the Coast-to-Coast tour of Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra of the USA.

Born in Santa Monica, California, David Robertson was educated at London’s Royal Academy of Music, where he studied horn and composition before turning to orchestral conducting. He is married to pianist Orli Shaham, and lives in New York.


You’ve Seen the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra in THEIR home. Now see it in YOURS! Subscribe to the First Half of our Virtual Season for $199 – that’s less than $20 per concert! Enjoy 2 virtual livestreamed concerts on January 23 and February 20, plus access to our archived concerts. Call 401-248-7000 or click HERE to subscribe today!

Single tickets also available for $40, click HERE  to purchase!

THE STORY BEHIND: Malcolm Forsyth’s The Swan Sees His Reflection

On January 9, violinist and conductor Pinchas Zukerman, cellist Amanda Forsyth and pianist Bryan Wagorn will join the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra for their seventh virtual concert of the 2020/2021 Season.

THE STORY BEHIND: Malcolm Forsyth’s The Swan Sees His Reflection

Title: The Swan Sees His Reflection

Composer: Malcolm Forsyth (1936-2011)

The Story: 

Malcolm Forsyth was one of Canada's most loved composers - The Globe and  Mail

Malcolm Forsyth was a composer of truly international/intercultural interests and talents. Born in South Africa, he earned a D.M.A. at the University of Cape Town in 1972 under a multinational faculty. He worked in that city as a trombonist until 1968, when he moved his family to Canada and became a naturalized citizen there. Continuing his performing work successfully in Edmonton, Alberta, Forsyth developed as a composer there, garnering many commissions and performances over the years. In 1968, he joined the Music Department of the University of Alberta and became its artistic director the following year. He has become one of Canada’s foremost composers. Much of his original music combines folk elements from both Africa and North America.

Forsyth’s daughter Amanda became a cello prodigy (age 2) and a successful professional cellist. Her father composed several pieces for her recital repertoire. (See her cello-piano album, Soaring with Agamemnon, which includes The Swan Sees His Reflection, composed in 1987.) The composer wrote this note about the piece:

“Who has not heard The Swan? Almost the anthem of the solo cello, Saint-Saëns’ famous image of it in his Carnival des Animaux is subtly recalled in this little piece for 12 year olds. A melody of long bow strokes employing the low strings leads to the central statement of the Saint-Saëns theme in half notes in the piano, but with the shadowy accompaniment of the cello playing its mirror image in quarter notes beneath. The arpeggiated [broken-chord] piano accompaniment throughout parodies the harmony of Saint-Saëns too.”

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


You’ve Seen the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra in THEIR home. Now see it in YOURS! Subscribe to the First Half of our Virtual Season for $199 – that’s less than $20 per concert! Enjoy 3 virtual livestreamed concerts between January 9 and February 20, plus access to our archived concerts. Call 401-248-7000 or click HERE to subscribe today!

Single tickets also available for $40, click HERE  to purchase!

THE STORY BEHIND: Fritz Kreisler’s Liebesleid

On January 9, violinist and conductor Pinchas Zukerman, cellist Amanda Forsyth and pianist Bryan Wagorn will join the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra for their seventh virtual concert of the 2020/2021 Season.

THE STORY BEHIND: Fritz Kreisler’s Liebesleid

Title: Liebesleid (Love’s Sorrow)

Composer: Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962)

The Story: 

Fritz Kreisler

The world knew Fritz Kreisler first as a virtuoso violinist and then as a composer. He was an incredible child prodigy, entering the Vienna Conservatory at the age of seven. There he won the gold medal in violin and went on to the Paris Conservatoire, where he graduated at the age of 12 with another gold medal. Soon, for unexplained reasons, Kreisler gave up the violin for a time while he pursued further education and military service. In 1896, he chose a musical career, quickly regained his technique (he never needed to practice much) and embarked on a triumphant career that took him through Europe, England and the United States. During and after World War I, Kreisler spent time in France and the United States (his wife’s homeland), finally settling here in 1939 and becoming a citizen in 1943. He continued concertizing and broadcasting until 1950. Kreisler’s bowing technique, tone color, and vibrato style influenced almost every concert violinist of the 20th century.

As a composer, Kreisler wrote many pieces for violin and piano that epitomize the colorful recital fare of his day. Several of these formed a sort of musical travelogue. For example, La Gitana was billed as an “Arabo-Spanish Gypsy Song,” and Caprice vennois, inspired by Venice, became one of Kreisler’s famous encore pieces. Turning to Vienna, the famous Liebesleid is a waltz in the grand tradition, which might rival any by Johann Strauss (the Younger.)

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


You’ve Seen the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra in THEIR home. Now see it in YOURS! Subscribe to the First Half of our Virtual Season for $199 – that’s less than $20 per concert! Enjoy 3 virtual livestreamed concerts between January 9 and February 20, plus access to our archived concerts. Call 401-248-7000 or click HERE to subscribe today!

Single tickets also available for $40, click HERE  to purchase!

THE STORY BEHIND: Franz Schubert’s Piano Quintet in A major (Trout), Fourth Movement

On January 9, violinist and conductor Pinchas Zukerman, cellist Amanda Forsyth and pianist Bryan Wagorn will join the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra for their seventh virtual concert of the 2020/2021 Season.

THE STORY BEHIND: Franz Schubert’s Piano Quintet in A major (Trout), Fourth Movement

Title: Piano Quintet, D.667, op.114, A major (Trout), 4th Movement (Theme and Variations)

Composer: Franz Schubert (1797-1828)

The Story: 

Franz Schubert (1797-1828)

In 1817, Franz Schubert composed a song that immediately became one of his most popular: The Trout (Die Forelle) on a poem by Schubert’s friend, Christian Schubart. This song, in spite of a troubled passage describing treacherous craftiness, had a fresh innocence, conveying the feeling of a carefree day by a mountain stream.

Schubert’s fame for this song (and several others) preceded him when he and his close friend, Michael Vogl, visited Vogl’s hometown, Steyr (Upper Austria), in July 1819. In this mining community, several citizens were amateur musicians. The group had an exclusive little music club, and for it Schubert composed a quintet for the unusual combination of piano, violin, viola, cello and contrabass. Schubert adapted his song, The Trout, into an “extra” movement; and inspiration for the entire work came from what Schubert described as the “inconceivably lovely” scenery of the Steyr region.

The Trout Quintet contains five movements, the fourth being the famous theme and variations based on the song. It begins with the theme for strings alone. Schubert continues with three variations sounding the melody against figuration that becomes progressively quicker. The fourth variation, in a minor key, is the movement’s turning point. This highly dramatic episode displays unusual dynamic contrasts and harmonic turns, ending in one of Schubert’s “wrong” keys before a return to the original major key. One more variation, featuring cello, and Schubert is ready for the finishing touch: a lengthy postlude that juxtaposes the chief melody and the ascending “trout” idea from the original song’s piano accompaniment.

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


You’ve Seen the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra in THEIR home. Now see it in YOURS! Subscribe to the First Half of our Virtual Season for $199 – that’s less than $20 per concert! Enjoy 3 virtual livestreamed concerts between January 9 and February 20, plus access to our archived concerts. Call 401-248-7000 or click HERE to subscribe today!

Single tickets also available for $40, click HERE  to purchase!

THE STORY BEHIND: Johann Strauss’ Waltzes (Emperor Waltz, Roses from the South and Treasure Waltz from Gypsy Baron)

On January 9, violinist and conductor Pinchas Zukerman, cellist Amanda Forsyth and pianist Bryan Wagorn will join the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra for their seventh virtual concert of the 2020/2021 Season.

THE STORY BEHIND: Johann Strauss’ Waltzes

Titles: Roses from the South, op.388 (arr. Schoenberg), Gypsy Baron: Treasure Waltz (arr. Webern) and Emperor Waltz, op.437 (arr. Schoenberg)

Composer: Johann Strauss (1825-1899)

The Story: 

The actual origins of the waltz are a bit obscure, but we do know that it evolved from a group of related German dances (or Deutscher) during the late 18th century. The Ländler from northern Austria was chief among these. Franz Schubert (1797-1828) became the first major talent to write both Ländler and waltzes (Erster Waltzer) at a time when dancing was growing to be Vienna’s major pastime.

However, the main impetus to the waltz’s popularity came from lesser Viennese masters. Johann Strauss the elder (1804-1849) and Joseph Lanner (1801-1843) expanded the waltz form and increased its tempo. Waltzes began to be named and, sometimes, descriptive introductions were appended. Strauss the elder created an international craze for the waltz by taking his orchestra on tours that extended from London to St. Petersburg.

Johann Strauss the younger inherited his father’s mantle as the “Waltz King,” although his compositional style was closer to Lanner’s. Between the mid-1840s and early 1870s, Strauss the younger became not only Vienna’s most popular composer but also the most universally popular composer of light music ever. Strauss reached his peak as a waltz composer during the 1860s with a string of “hits” such as Morning Papers; Wine, Women, and Song; Tales from the Vienna Woods; Vienna Blood (Wiener Blut); Roses from the South; and, of course his celebrated On the Beautiful Blue Danube.

In addition to his busy schedule in Vienna, Strauss took his orchestra on regular tours of Europe and beyond. In 1872, they gave several performances in Boston and New York, before returning to the continent. In Berlin that year, Strauss’s series of concerts in the newly opened Königsbau concert hall was significant. The year before, Wilhelm I had been elevated from King of Prussia to German Emperor. Strauss wrote the Emperor Waltz for Wilhelm and premiered it in Berlin as a belated coronation tribute.

In addition to his connections to waltz forms, Strauss had an absorbing interest in light musical theater: opera and Viennese-style operetta. The opera Der Fledermaus [The Bat] and the operetta/folk opera Der Zigeunerbaron (The Gypsy Baron) are two examples. The Gypsy Baron, premiered in 1885, deals with a poor Hungarian gipsy, Sandor Barinkay, who finds himself heir to the rank of Baron together with a sumptuous castle. Not only that, legend has it that there is a large treasure hidden somewhere in the castle itself. Although Barinkay is skeptical, he agrees to accompany two friends in a search for the treasure. The three of them sing the rapturous Treasure Waltz, and in so doing, they uncover the treasure itself – a delightful musical moment.

(A Note on the arrangers: Alban Berg (1885-1935) and Anton Webern (1883-1945) were composers and students of Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) in Vienna around the turn of the 20th century. Collectively, they have been dubbed The Second Viennese School (the first being Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven). Their ultra-progressive styles of composition were not readily accepted at the time, so they turned to other sources of income. Arranging popular upper-class music (e.g., waltzes) was one means, along with such lower-class fare as cabaret music. This work put bread on the table, but not much.)

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


You’ve Seen the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra in THEIR home. Now see it in YOURS! Subscribe to the First Half of our Virtual Season for $199 – that’s less than $20 per concert! Enjoy 3 virtual livestreamed concerts between January 9 and February 20, plus access to our archived concerts. Call 401-248-7000 or click HERE to subscribe today!

Single tickets also available for $40, click HERE  to purchase!

MEET THE SOLOIST: Bryan Wagorn, piano, Zukerman Returns, January 9, 2021

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Bryan Wagorn, piano

Zukerman Returns
January 9, 2021 at 8PM

Background: Canadian pianist Bryan Wagorn serves as Assistant Conductor at The Metropolitan Opera and regularly performs throughout North America, Europe, and Asia as soloist, chamber musician and recital accompanist to the world’s leading singers and instrumentalists. In the 2013-2014 season, Mr. Wagorn made his Metropolitan Opera debut as assistant conductor in their new production of Falstaff.  He has appeared on major television and radio stations including Good Morning America, WQXR and CBC Radio, has performed in recital for the George London Foundation, the Marilyn Horne Foundation and Richard Tucker Foundation, and has worked with artists such as Amanda Forsyth, Pinchas Zukerman, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Nadine Sierra, Karita Mattila, Joyce DiDonato, Placido Domingo, Andre-Michel Schub, Carol Wincenc, the New York Woodwind Quintet, and members of The Metropolitan Opera  Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony.

A participant at the Marlboro Music Festival, Mr. Wagorn has also been engaged by the Ravinia and Glyndebourne festivals, served on the faculty of the National Arts Centre Orchestra’s Summer Music Institute, led by Pinchas Zukerman, and Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra. He has been a guest coach at the Royal Academy of Music in London, the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Program and at the Glyndebourne Festival’s Jerwood Young Artist Program. He made his solo recital debut at New York’s Carnegie Hall in 2009, and has performed two extensive tours with Jeunesses Musicales de Canada. Mr. Wagorn is also on the advisory board of the Hildegard Behrens Foundation and the Time In Children’s Arts Initiative. 

Mr. Wagorn holds degrees in piano performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Canada, the University of Ottawa, the Mannes College of Music, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Manhattan School of Music. He is a graduate of The Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, and serves on the faculty of Mannes College of Music.


You’ve Seen the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra in THEIR home. Now see it in YOURS! Subscribe to the First Half of our Virtual Season for $199 – that’s less than $20 per concert! Enjoy 3 virtual livestreamed concerts between January 9 and February 20, plus access to our archived livestreamed concerts. Call 401-248-7000 or click HERE to subscribe today!

Single tickets also available for $40, click HERE  to purchase!

MEET THE SOLOIST: Amanda Forsyth, cello: Zukerman Returns, January 9, 2021

FORSYTH 1

Amanda Forsyth, cello

Zukerman Returns

January 9, 2021 at 8PM

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

You’ve Seen the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra in THEIR home. Now see it in YOURS! Subscribe to the First Half of our Virtual Season for $199 – that’s less than $20 per concert! Enjoy 3 virtual livestreamed concerts between January 9 and February 20, plus access to our archived livestreamed concerts. Call 401-248-7000 or click HERE to subscribe today!

Single tickets also available for $40, click HERE  to purchase!