Recital for two pianos – Thomas Adès & Kirill Gerstein
monday 12 December 2016, 8.30 p.m.
Recital to coincide with the exhibition Icons of Modern Art. The Shchukin Collection.
Thomas Adès, piano and composition
Kirill Gerstein, piano
En Blanc et Noir
Symphony of Psalms (transcription for two pianos by Dimitri Shostakovitch)
Variations on a Theme of Paganini
Concert paraphrase on Powder Her face for two pianos (European première)
Waltz for Two Pianos
Thomas Adès was born in London in 1971. His compositions include two operas, Powder Her Face (Cheltenham Festival and the Almeida Theatre, London, 1995), and The Tempest (Royal Opera, Covent Garden, 2004). His orchestral works include Asyla (CBSO, 1997), Tevot (Berlin Philharmonic and Carnegie Hall, 2007), Polaris (New World Symphony, Miami 2011), Violin Concerto Concentric Paths (Berliner Festspiele and the BBC Proms, 2005), In Seven Days (Piano concerto with moving image - LA Philharmonic and RFH London 2008), and Totentanz for mezzo-soprano, baritone and orchestra (BBC Proms, 2013).
His chamber works include the string quartets Arcadiana (1993) and The Four Quarters (2011), Piano Quintet (2001), and Lieux retrouvés for cello and piano (2010). Solo piano works include Darknesse Visible (1992), Traced Overhead (1996), and Three Mazurkas (2010). Choral works include The Fayrfax Carol (King's College, Cambridge 1997), America: a Prophecy (New York Philharmonic, 1999) and January Writ (Temple Church, London 2000). In 2016 his new Opera The Exterminating Angel will receive it’s World Premiere at the Salzburg Festival.
Thomas Adès was recently appointed Artistic Partner by the Boston Symphony Orchestra through 2019; he will conduct the orchestra at both Boston and Tanglewood, perform chamber music with the orchestra players, and lead the summer Festival of Contemporary Music. From 1999 to 2008 he was Artistic Director of the Aldeburgh Festival.
As a conductor Thomas appears regularly with, among others, the Los Angeles and New York Philharmonics, Boston Symphony, London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw, Melbourne and Sydney Symphonies, BBC Symphony, and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. In opera, he has conducted The Rake’s Progress at the Royal Opera House, London and the Zürich Opera and the Metropolitan Opera New York conducting The Tempest, he made his debut at the Vienna State Opera 2015 with the Vienna Philharmonic conducting The Tempest. Future plans include Totentanz with the Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Concertgebouworkest, Amsterdam.
His recent piano engagements include solo recitals at Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium), New York and the Barbican in London, and concerto appearances with the New York Philharmonic. Last season he appeared throughout Europe with Ian Bostridge in a tour of Schubert’s Winterreise in Vienna, Luxembourg, London, Hamburg, Paris, Budapest, Bilbao and Warsaw.
His many awards include the Grawemeyer Award for Asyla (1999); Royal Philharmonic Society large-scale composition awards for Asyla, The Tempest and Tevot; and Ernst von Siemens Composers' prize for Arcadiana; British Composer Award for The Four Quarters. His CD recording of The Tempest from the Royal Opera House (EMI) won the Contemporary category of the 2010 Gramophone Awards; and his DVD of the production from the Metropolitan Opera was awarded the Diapason d'Or de l'année (2013), Best Opera recording (2014 Grammy Awards) and Music DVD Recording of the Year (2014 ECHO Klassik Awards). In 2015 he was awarded the prestigious Léonie Sonning Music Prize. He coaches Piano and Chamber Music annually at the International Musicians Seminar, Prussia Cove.
© Brian Voce
Kirill Gerstein’s playing is distinguished by a discerning intelligence, great virtuosity and a clarity of expression. He has been described as “Gloriously free and unfazed by technical difficulties, he made the piano sing… The concerto that we’ve heard so many times before gained new life.” His curiosity and versatility has led him to explore a variety of repertoire and styles, from Bach to Adès.
In the 2016/17 season Gerstein will perform with the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Dresden Philharmonic, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, St Petersburg Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, and Orchestre National de France.
Gerstein records for Myrios Classics Gerstein, his most recent release being Liszt’s Transcendental Etudes. His previous recording, Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1 (urtext 1879 edition) and Prokofiev Piano Concerto No.2 with the DSO Berlin and James Gaffigan, was awarded the ECHO Klassik Prize for Concerto Recording of the Year. “This is the kind of serious, intelligent and virtuosic music-making that keeps classical music alive.” (Observer). It is the first recording of Tchaikovsky’s 1879 version and uses the new, scholarly edition from the Tchaikovsky Museum in Klin, Russia.