The London Symphony Orchestra is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading orchestras. The LSO has an enviable family of artists, including LSO Principal Conductor Valery Gergiev, Michael Tilson Thomas and Daniel Harding as Principal Guest Conductors, and long-standing relationships with some of the leading musicians in the world – Yuja Wang, Leonidas Kavakos, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Mitsuko Uchida and Maria João Pires amongst others.
The LSO is proud to be Resident Orchestra at the Barbican, where it performs around 70 concerts a year. The LSO also enjoys successful residencies in New York, Paris and Tokyo. Regular tour destinations include the Far East, North America and all the major European cities. In late 2014, the Orchestra toured to Australia for the first time in over 30 years and tonight’s performance forms part of an extensive tour of the United States with Michael Tilson Thomas, celebrating his 70th birthday with the Orchestra this year.
The LSO is set apart from other international orchestras by the depth of its commitment to music education, reaching over 60,000 people each year. LSO Discovery enables the Orchestra to offer people of all ages opportunities to get involved in music-making. LSO On Track, a long-standing project involving young musicians from across London, has given a platform to talented teenagers to appear in the London Olympic Stadium, at outdoor concerts in Trafalgar Square, and also on Abbey Road recordings side-by-side with LSO musicians.
The Orchestra is a world-leader in recording music for CD, film and events. LSO Live is the most successful label of its kind and last year celebrated its hundredth release. Recordings are available globally on CD, SACD and online. The LSO has also recorded music for hundreds of films, including Philomena, The Monuments Men, four of the Harry Potter films, Superman and all six Star Wars movies.
The London Symphony Orchestra last performed for La Jolla Music Society in the Celebrity International Orchestra Series on March 17, 2009.
For more information visit lso.co.uk
Michael Tilson Thomas is Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony, Founder and Artistic Director of the New World Symphony and Principal Guest Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra. Born in Los Angeles, he is the third generation of his family to follow an artistic career. His grandparents, Boris and Bessie Thomashefsky, were founding members of the Yiddish Theater in America. His father, Ted Thomas, was a producer in the Mercury Theater Company in New York before moving to Los Angeles where he worked in films and television. His mother, Roberta Thomas, was the head of research for Columbia Pictures.
Mr Tilson Thomas began his formal studies at the University of Southern California where he studied piano with John Crown and conducting and composition with Ingolf Dahl. At age nineteen he was named Music Director of the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra. He worked with Stravinsky, Boulez, Stockhausen and Copland on premieres of their compositions at Los Angeles' Monday Evening Concerts. During this same period he was the pianist and conductor for Gregor Piatigorsky and Jascha Heifetz.
In 1969, after winning the Koussevitzky Prize at Tanglewood, he was appointed Assistant Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. That year he also made his New York debut with the Boston Symphony and gained international recognition after replacing Music Director William Steinberg in mid-concert. He was later appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra where he remained until 1974. He was Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic from 1971 to 1979 and a Principal Guest Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic from 1981 to 1985. His guest conducting includes appearances with the major orchestras of Europe and the United States.
His recorded repertoire of more than 120 discs includes works by composers such as Bach, Beethoven, Mahler, Prokofiev and Stravinsky as well as his pioneering work with the music of Charles Ives, Carl Ruggles, Steve Reich, John Cage, Ingolf Dahl, Morton Feldman, George Gershwin, John McLaughlin and Elvis Costello. He recently finished recording the complete orchestral works of Gustav Mahler with the San Francisco Symphony.
Mr Tilson Thomas's television work includes a series with the London Symphony Orchestra for BBC Television, the television broadcasts of the New York Philharmonic Young People's Concerts from 1971 to 1977 and numerous productions on PBS Great Performances. Mr Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony produced a multi-tiered media project, Keeping Score, which includes a television series, web sites, radio programs and programs in schools.
In February 1988 he inaugurated the New World Symphony, an orchestral academy for graduates of prestigious music programs. In addition to their regular season in Miami Beach, they have toured in Austria, France, Great Britain, South America, Japan, Israel, Holland, Italy and the United States. Prior to their January 2007 appearance at Carnegie Hall, the New World Symphony was profiled in a feature story in The New York Times. New World Symphony graduates have gone on to major positions in orchestras worldwide. In 1991 Mr Tilson Thomas and the orchestra were presented in a series of benefit concerts for UNICEF in the United States, featuring Audrey Hepburn as narrator of From the Diary of Anne Frank, composed by Mr Tilson Thomas and commissioned by UNICEF. This piece has since been translated and performed in many languages worldwide.
In August 1995 he led the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra in the premiere of his composition Showa/Shoah, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. Thomas Hampson premiered his settings of poetry by Walt Whitman, Renee Fleming premiered his settings of the poetry of Emily Dickinson and the San Francisco Symphony premiered his concerto for contrabassoon entitled Urban Legend. As a Carnegie Hall Perspectives Artist from 2003 to 2005, he had an evening devoted to his own compositions which included Island Music for four marimbas and percussion, Notturno for solo flute and strings and a new setting of poems by Rainer Maria Rilke. Other compositions include Street Song for brass instruments and Agnegram, an overture for orchestra.
As Principal Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra from 1988 to 1995, Mr Tilson Thomas led the orchestra on regular tours in Europe, the United States and Japan as well as at the Salzburg Festival. In London he and the orchestra have mounted major festivals focusing on the music of Steve Reich, George Gershwin, Johannes Brahms, Toru Takemitsu, Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov and the School of St. Petersburg, Claude Debussy and Gustav Mahler. As Principal Guest Conductor of the LSO, he continues to lead the orchestra in concerts in London and on tour.
His fifteen-year tenure as Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony has been broadly covered by the international press with feature stories in Time, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Times of London and The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung among many others. With the San Francisco Symphony he has presented eight summer festivals including ones devoted to the music of Mahler, Stravinsky, Wagner and American Mavericks. With the San Francisco Symphony he has made numerous tours of Europe, United States and the Far East.
Mr Tilson Thomas is a Chevalier dans l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France, was Musical America's Musician of the Year and Conductor of the Year, Gramophone Magazine's Artist of the Year and has been profiled on CBS's 60 Minutes and ABC's Nightline. He has won ten Grammy Awards for his recordings. In 2008 he received the Peabody Award for his radio series for SFS Media, The MTT Files. In 2010, President Obama awarded him with the National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists in the United States.
Michael Tilson Thomas last performed for La Jolla Music Society with the San Francisco Symphony in the Celebrity Series on January 21, 2005.
For more information visit www.michaeltilsonthomas.com
Twenty-eight year old pianist Yuja Wang is widely recognized as one of the most important artists of her generation. Regularly lauded for her controlled, prodigious technique, Yuja has been praised for her authority over the most complex technical demands of the repertoire, the depth of her musical insight, as well as her fresh interpretations and charismatic stage presence.
Yuja is an exclusive recording artist for Deutsche Grammophon. Following her debut recording, Sonatas & Etudes, Gramophone magazine named Yuja the Classic FM 2009 Young Artist of the Year. For her second recording, Transformation, Yuja received an Echo Klassik award as “Young Artist of the Year”. Yuja next collaborated with Maestro Claudio Abbado and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra to record her first concerto album featuring Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and his Concerto No. 2 in C minor which was nominated for a Grammy as “Best Classical Instrumental Solo.” This was followed by, Fantasia, a collection of encore pieces by Albéniz, Bach, Chopin, Rachmaninov, Saint-Saëns, Scriabin and others. Yuja next collaborated with Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra on a live recording of Prokofiev's Concerto No. 2 and Rachmaninoff's Concerto No. 3. Most recently, Yuja joined violinist Leonidas Kavakos to record the complete Brahms Violin and Piano sonatas for Decca Records.
In the years since her 2005 debut with the National Arts Center Orchestra led by Pinchas Zukerman, Yuja has already performed with many of the world’s most prestigious orchestras including those of Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, in the U.S., and abroad with the Berlin Staatskapelle, China Philharmonic, Filarmonica della Scala, Israel Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Orquesta Nacional de España, Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra, the NHK Symphony in Tokyo, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestra Mozart and Santa Cecilia, among others. In 2006 Yuja made her New York Philharmonic debut at the Bravo! Vail Music Festival and performed with the orchestra the following season under Lorin Maazel during the Philharmonic’s Japan/Korea visit. In 2008 she toured the United States with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields led by Sir Neville Marriner, and in 2009 Yuja performed as soloist with the You Tube Symphony Orchestra led by Michael Tilson Thomas at Carnegie Hall. That summer Yuja joined Abbado at the Lucerne Music Festival performing and recording Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3, and went on to perform with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and Abbado on tour in China.
Yuja regularly gives recitals in major cities throughout Asia, Europe and North America. She is a dedicated performer of chamber music appearing at summer festivals throughout the world including annual appearances at Switzerland's Verbier Festival. In March 2011 Yuja performed in a three-concert chamber series at the Salle Pleyel in Paris with principal players from the Berlin Philharmonic. She made her Carnegie Hall recital debut at Stern Hall in October 2011.
Many of the world's esteemed conductors have collaborated with Yuja including Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Dudamel, Charles Dutoit, Daniele Gatti, Valery Gergiev, Mikko Franck, Manfred Honeck, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Kurt Masur, Antonio Pappano, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Yuri Temirkanov and Michael Tilson Thomas.
Last season the London Symphony Orchestra invited Yuja to be their featured artist in the LSO Artist Portrait series for 2014 which included performing three concertos, and recitals in London, followed by a tour of China with Daniel Harding conducting. She made her debut with the Hungarian National Philharmonic conducted by Zoltan Kocsis performing Bartok's Piano Concerto No. 2. Yuja's frequent summer collaborations with violinist Leonidas Kavakos extended further as they undertook multiple tours of Europe focusing on the great violin and piano sonatas of Brahms. She returned to the Los Angeles Philharmonic for subscription concerts and on tour in the U.S. with Dudamel conducting. Yuja also returned to the Boston Symphony, Sir Andrew Davis conducting, and the Cleveland Orchestra, Giancarlo Guerrero conducting.
In 2014-15 Yuja returns to the Concertgebouw to perform Shostakovich Concerto No. 1, Mariss Jansons conducting. She is featured as Artist-in-Residence with Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, appearing three times over the course of the season. Yuja continues her collaboration with Leonidas Kavakos, touring North America and Europe. In spring 2015, the London Symphony Orchestra will tour to the US with Yuja as soloist, Tilson Thomas conducting. She makes her concerto debut with the Berlin Philharmonic in spring of 2015.
At a young age Yuja entered the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing to study under Ling Yuan and Zhou Guangren. From 1999 to 2001 she participated in the Morningside Music summer program at Calgary’s Mount Royal College, an artistic and cultural exchange program between Canada and China, and began studying with Hung-Kuan Chen and Tema Blackstone at the Mount Royal College Conservatory. Yuja then moved to the U.S. to study with Gary Graffman at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she graduated in 2008. In 2006 she received the Gilmore Young Artist Award, and in 2010 was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. Yuja is a Steinway Artist.
Yuga Wang last performed for La Jolla Music Society in the Frieman Family Piano Series on October 12, 2013.
For more information visit www.yujawang.com