Stephen Hough performs Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2
Pablo Heras-Casado returns to the San Francisco Symphony to lead the Orchestra in performances of Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5 and the West Coast premiere of Magnus Lindberg’s EXPO February 14-17 at Davies Symphony Hall. Stephen Hough performs Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Orchestra in these concerts.
Spanish conductor Pablo Heras-Casado varied conducting career, encompassing the great symphonic and operatic repertoire, historically-informed performance and cutting-edge contemporary scores, has been garnering international attention. In January he conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the world premiere of Peter Eötvös’ Concerto for Violin and Chamber Orchestra, performed by Midori, as well as an operatic setting of Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer-winning play Angels in America, also by Eötvös and he was recently named one of the “100 Most Powerful New Yorkers” by Gotham Magazine. Heras- Casado made his SFS debut in October 2010 in performances of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 12 and last performed with the San Francisco Symphony and flamenco singer Marina Heredia in January 2012. In 2011 he assumed the post of Principal Conductor of the Orchestra of St. Luke’s in New York. In the 2012/13 season he will give return performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, and the Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra. He gives debut performances with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Münchner Philharmoniker, the Spanish National Orchestra and Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. Opera performances include Rigoletto at Deutsche Oper Berlin, Les Vêpres siciliennes at Oper Frankfurt, and Il postino at Teatro Real, Madrid, featuring Plácido Domingo. In past seasons he debuted with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Staatskapelle Berlin, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Boston Symphony Orchestra and The Cleveland Orchestra. In 2010 he performed for the first time at New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival, while 2012 marked his debut at the Salzburger Festspiele. In 2013/14, Harmonia Mundi will release Heras-Casado’s recording of Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 2, Lobgesang, with Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, in addition to a disc featuring Freiburger Barockorchester in Schubert’s Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4.
Pianist Stephen Hough made his SFS debut in 1990 and last performed with the Orchestra under the baton of David Robertson in 2009. In 2001 he became the first classical performing artist to win a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. He was awarded the 2008 Northwestern University’s Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano and went on to win the Royal Philharmonic Society Instrumentalist Award in 2010. His recent engagements include performances with the Czech, London, Los Angeles, and New York Philharmonics, the Chicago, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Toronto symphonies, the Cleveland, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Budapest Festival and Russian National Orchestras; and a performance televised worldwide with the Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle. He has had over 20 performances at the BBC Proms and is the Artist-in-Residence with the BBC Symphony. The British classical label Hyperion Records will release two new albums by Hough this season. The first features works for solo piano by Fauré, Ravel, Debussy, Poulenc as well as Mr. Hough’s own arrangement of works by Massenet and Delibes. Part of an ongoing exploration of Central European piano concertos, Hough’s second album features Brahms’ Piano Concertos, Nos. 1 and 2 recorded with Mark Wigglesworth and the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra. In fall 2012 London’s Broadbent Gallery presented an exhibition of his abstract paintings. He has written for London’s The Guardian, The Times, and was invited by the Telegraph Media Group in 2008 to write a cultural blog which can be found at http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/culture/author/stephenhough/ . He has written extensively about theology, resulting in The Bible as Prayer, published by Continuum and Paulist Press in 2007. Hough is a visiting professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London and holds the International Chair of Piano Studies at his alma mater, the Royal Northern College in Manchester.
Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg was Composer-in-Residence with the New York Philharmonic from 2009 – 2012. At the start of Alan Gilbert’s tenure as Music Director and he wrote EXPO for Gilbert’s launch as Music Director. During that period Lindberg also wrote Al Largo for orchestra and Souvenir for ensemble. Yefim Bronfman, Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic premiered Lindberg’s Piano Concerto No.2 in 2012 and performed it at Davies Symphony Hall as part of the San Francisco Symphony’s American Orchestras Series that year. In 2008 the San Francisco Symphony performed Lindberg’s Seht die Sonne, a 2007 co-commission by the San Francisco Symphony and the Berlin Philharmonic. Lindberg’s music has been recorded on the Deutsche Grammophon, Sony, Ondine and Finlandia labels. In 2003 Lindberg was awarded the prestigious Wihuri Sibelius Prize.