In the second concert of their inaugural season, the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra returns to Symphony Hall with a magnificent program of Schumann and Mahler. This concert features wonderful collaborations with piano soloist George Li, the Harvard University Choirs conducted by Ed Jones, and soloists Barbara Quintiliani and Robynne Redmon.
BPYO will perform this same program in a 6-city tour of the Netherlands in June, culminating in a performance at the celebrated Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
17-year-old pianist George Li possesses brilliant virtuosity and interpretive depth far beyond his years. Highlights of his busy 2012-13 season include appearances as soloist with the Edmonton and Stamford symphonies, the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, the Boise Philharmonic, the Pasadena Symphony and Pops, and the Norrkoping Orchestra in Sweden, as well as recital performances at the Morgan Library & Museum, the Buffalo Chamber Music Society, and the Mansion at Strathmore. George Li won the Young Concert Artists auditions and the Cooper Competition, and was invited to perform at the White House for President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2011. He is a senior at Walnut Hill School in Natick.
The heaven-storming Mahler Second Symphony lays the hero of the First Symphony to rest. In the shattering Funeral March his death is mourned and his achievements reviewed. In the second and third movements a critical eye scans both the beauty and the absurdity of this world. And in the final two movements the transition is effected from earthly striving and insufficiency to heavenly fulfillment. There is no work in the repertory, none whatsoever, that so completely unites performers and audience in a transformative musical affirmation.