Thomas Adès & Leila Josefowicz
Music 3 December 2020 – 8:30pm
British musician Thomas Adès is one of his generation’s most highly-regarded figures, for his talent as a pianist and a composer. He will be showcasing both roles alongside Canadian violinist Leila Josefowicz in a programme based on the repertoire for violin and piano of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Along with works by Ravel and British composer Oliver Knussen, who died recently, Adès will play his Sonata for Piano and Violin, commissioned by the Fondation Louis Vuitton, in a world premiere.
Leila Josefowicz’s passionate advocacy of contemporary music for the violin is reflected in her diverse programmes and enthusiasm for performing new works. In recognition of her outstanding achievement and excellence in music, she won the 2018 Avery Fisher Prize and was awarded a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship in 2008, joining prominent scientists, writers and musicians who have made unique contributions to contemporary life.
Highlights of Josefowicz’s 2019/20 season include opening the London Symphony Orchestra’s season with Sir Simon Rattle and returning to San Francisco Symphony with the incoming Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen to perform his Violin Concerto. Further engagements include concerts with Los Angeles Philharmonic, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Cleveland and Philadelphia orchestras, where she will be working with conductors at the highest level, including Susanna Mälkki, Matthias Pintscher and John Adams.
A favourite of living composers, Josefowicz has premiered many concertos, including those by Colin Matthews, Steven Mackey and Esa-Pekka Salonen, all written specially for her. This season, she will perform the UK premiere of Helen Grime’s Violin Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Dalia Stasevska. Other recent premieres include John Adams’ Scheherazade.2 (Dramatic Symphony for Violin and Orchestra) in 2015 with the New York Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert, and Luca Francesconi’s Duende – The Dark Notes in 2014 with Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Susanna Mälkki. Josefowicz enjoyed a close working relationship with the late Oliver Knussen, performing various concerti, including his violin concerto, together over 30 times.
Alongside pianist John Novacek, with whom she has enjoyed a close collaboration since 1985, Josefowicz has performed recitals at world-renowned venues such as New York’s Zankel Hall, Washington DC’s Kennedy Center and London’s Wigmore Hall, as well as in Reykjavik, Chicago, San Francisco and Santa Barbara. This season, they appear together at Washington DC’s Library of Congress, New York’s Park Avenue Armory and Amherst College. She will also join Thomas Adès in recital to perform the world premiere of his new violin and piano work at Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris and the Japanese premiere at the Tokyo Opera City Cultural Foundation.
Recent highlights include engagements with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Washington’s National Symphony Orchestra, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and Boston and Finnish Radio symphony orchestras. In summer 2017, Josefowicz appeared at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall and London’s Royal Albert Hall at the BBC Proms with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla.
Josefowicz has released several recordings, notably for Deutsche Grammophon, Philips/Universal and Warner Classics and was featured on Touch Press’s acclaimed iPad app, The Orchestra. Her latest recording, released in 2019, features Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s Violin Concerto with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Hannu Lintu. She has previously received nominations for Grammy Awards for her recordings of Scheherazade.2 with the St Louis Symphony conducted by David Robertson, and Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Violin Concerto with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by the composer.
Thomas Adès was born in London in 1971. His compositions include three operas, the most recent of which - The Exterminating Angel - premiered at the 2016 Salzburg Festival, 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).
Thomas Adès was recently appointed Artistic Partner by the Boston Symphony Orchestra through 2019; he will conduct the orchestra in Boston and at 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. Last season he performed Totentanz with the Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and the RTE National Symphony Orchestras; Barry’s new opera Alice under ground in Los Angeles (world premiere) and in London (European premiere); as well as performances of Adès’ most recent opera The Exterminating Angel at the Royal Opera House (a co-production with the Salzburg Festival, The Metropolitan Opera, New York, and The Royal Danish Opera). This season engagements include The Exterminating Angel at The Metropolitan Opera in New York; concerts with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and his debut with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.
His recent piano engagements include solo recitals at Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium), New York and the Wigmore Hall in London, and concerto appearances with the New York Philharmonic. In recital, he has appeared throughout Europe and the United States with Ian Bostridge in a tour of Schubert’s Winterreise.
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; 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); and The Exterminating Angel won the World Premiere of the Year at the International Opera Awards (2017). 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.
- Leoš Janáček
- Sonate for violon and piano
- Thomas Adès
- Märchentänze - World premiere. Commissioned by the Fondation Louis Vuitton
- Igor Stravinsky
- Duo Concertant
- Oliver Knussen
- Reflection (2017)
- Maurice Ravel
- Sonate no. 2 forviolon and piano