Guest conductor James Conlon returns to conduct three concerts with the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) April 24-26 at Davies Symphony Hall, with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet and the orchestra’s own Principal Trumpet Mark Inouye in Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 1, along with works by Tchaikovsky and Schulhoff. Conlon, devoted to programming the music of composers whose careers were silenced by the Nazi regime, will conduct the Scherzo from Symphony No. 5 by the Czech-born composer Erwin Schulhoff (1894-1942). These are the first SF Symphony performances of this work. Schulhoff’s music was blacklisted by the Nazi party in the 1930s due to his Jewish descent and radical politics, and he was eventually deported to the Wülzburg Concentration Camp where he died in 1942.
Another rarely performed work on the concert is Shostakovich’s officially titled Concerto in C minor for Piano, Trumpet, and String Orchestra; the SF Symphony has performed it only twice in its history. Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet is a frequent guest of the SFS, and Inouye has been featured several times with the orchestra this season; his recent performances in Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 earned critical acclaim, and he will be a soloist in J.S. Bach’s Cantata No. 51, Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen in the coming SF Symphony’s Bach concerts under the direction of Ton Koopman, May 1-4. Tchaikovsky’s beloved Pathétique Symphony No. 6 concludes the concert.
James Conlon, one of today’s most versatile and respected conductors, has cultivated a vast symphonic, operatic and choral repertoire. Through worldwide touring, an extensive discography and videography, numerous essays and commentaries, frequent television appearances, and guest speaking engagements, Conlon is one of classical music’s most recognized interpreters. Since his 1974 debut with the New York Philharmonic, he has conducted virtually every major American and European symphony orchestra. Colon made his debut with the San Francisco Symphony in 1978, and has since led them in both vocal and instrumental works; his most recent concert at Davies Symphony Hall was Verdi’s Requiem in 2011. He has been Music Director of Los Angeles Opera since 2006; Music Director of the Ravinia Festival, summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, since 2005; and Music Director of America’s oldest choral festival, the Cincinnati May Festival, since 1979, where he has provided the artistic leadership for more May Festivals than any other music director in the festival’s 140-year history. Conlon’s extensive discography and videography can be found on the EMI, Erato, Capriccio, Decca and Sony Classical labels. He has won two Grammy Awards for Best Classical Album and Best Opera Recording for the LA Opera recording of Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, among many other honors.
Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet has performed with the San Francisco Symphony almost every season since his debut in 1994. He plays regularly throughout Europe, North America, Australia and the Far East, collaborating with virtually every major orchestra, and with conductors such as Alsop, Ashkenazy, Blomstedt, Chailly, Dutoit, Gergiev and Levine. Equally at home with chamber music, recitals, and the orchestral repertoire, he has appeared and recorded with artists including Cecilia Bartoli, Brigitte Fassbaender, Renée Fleming, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Angelika Kirchschlager, Yuri Bashmet, Joshua Bell, Truls Mørk and the Rossetti String Quartet. He appears in a variety of settings in the 2013-2014 season, with repertoire that runs from the early 19th century to the present day. Thibaudet began the season with orchestral concerts in China, Australia and Europe, and continues with a seven-city tour of the US. Known for his style and elegance on and off the traditional concert stage, Thibaudet has had an impact on the world of fashion, film and philanthropy.
Mark Inouye is Principal Trumpet of the San Francisco Symphony and holder of the William G. Irwin Charity Foundation Chair. Both a classical and jazz musician, he has held principal trumpet positions with the Houston and Charleston Symphonies and has performed with the New York Philharmonic and the Israel Philharmonic. He made his San Francisco Symphony solo debut performing Copland’s Quiet City in 2010. Inouye has performed the Tartini Violin Concerto, arranged for trumpet, with the Houston Symphony and was a soloist with the Tanglewood Wind Ensemble under the direction of Seiji Ozawa. He toured the United States with Toccatas and Flourishes, the nationally acclaimed organ and trumpet duo, and was a member of the Empire Brass Quintet, which toured the United States, Europe, Asia, and Canada. Inouye is also an active composer and has released his debut jazz album, The Trumpet & The Bull.