ABOUT THE PROGRAM
The second concert comes just a few days before my 85th birthday. Instead of taking it easy, I’ve programmed what may be the most varied and demanding BPYO concert ever. Indeed, these works—from four different musical traditions—would present a huge challenge for any orchestra and any conductor.
When I was young, I had the good fortune to be a protégé of Benjamin Britten, the greatest English opera composer since Henry Purcell. Our family spent three summers in Aldeburgh, where—eight years earlier—Britten had completed his most famous opera, Peter Grimes. Throughout the opera, Britten sets to music the sounds of the very sea that I remember so well, excerpts now known as the Four Sea Interludes.
We are thrilled to welcome back the fine Ukrainian pianist Anna Fedorova, who stole our hearts with her performance of the Rachmaninov Second Piano Concerto in Symphony Hall, and again on the BPYO tour of Brazil in 2019. Her YouTube performance of Rachmianinov’s Second has been viewed thirty-nine million times! The Tchaikovsky First Piano Concerto is in Anna’s blood and she has become the perfect advocate of great Russian art, which we honor and do not confuse with current events.
Charles Ives’s Three Places in New England is a powerfully visual work, with historic and natural imagery familiar to many in this region. It is a strangely moving piece when heard in live performances. Although we do not have pre-concert talks before BPYO concerts, I will take the time to explain the piece before we perform it, so that its greatness and message will be apparent to everyone. I didn’t love this piece at first; its profound beauties were revealed during many long conversations with my dear colleague John Heiss, who passed away in August. It is with profound respect that we will dedicate this concert to the memory of our cherished friend and teacher, who came so often to coach the BPYO with his unsurpassed understanding and legendary ear. “When Mr. Heiss walks into the room,” said one of the wind players, “we play better.”
The program concludes with one of the greatest of all musical poems about the natural world, Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé Suite No. 2. Its opening depiction of sunrise may be the most stirring crescendo in all of music. Its dazzling orchestration challenges every member of Ravel’s enormous orchestra, the largest he ever wrote for.
MORE ABOUT THE PROGRAM
- Anna Fedorova has been praised by pianist Menahem Pressler “Anna Fedorova’s beautiful sound and natural freedom in making music with total technical security makes for one of the finest Chopin performances I have heard in a long, long time.”
- Watch and listen to Anna Fedorova perform Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto no.2 op.18
- Anna Fedorova made her Boston performance debut with the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (BPYO) on November 25, 2018, playing Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2.
- From The Arts Fuse Review of her Boston debut: "Playing with crystalline, bell-like tone, Fedorova dispatched the Herculean solo part with energy and grace. Throughout, her playing was beautifully voiced: the melodic line was consistently showcased, yes, but the solo line’s busy layers of filigree and counterpoint were never blurred and always spoke with purpose. Fedorova drew textures of shimmering delicacy from her instrument at the start of the second movement and potently captured the finale’s mix of impetuosity and dreaminess. The music’s dynamic range — from the first movement’s resounding arpeggios to the second-movement cadenza’s pianississimo conclusion — was, likewise, stylishly realized." -Jonathan Blumhofer
- Anna Fedorova also joined the BPYO on the 2019 Tour to Brazil.
- The Arts Fuse Arts Commentary: Some Thoughts on the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra’s 2019 Brazilian Tour by Jonathan Blumhofer.
- Listen to the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra play Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé Suite No. 2.
This is a live concert that will be live-streamed! Be sure to read through our support page for Boston Philharmonic virtual events. Our Live Streams and On Demand events are viewable on computers, smartphones, and tablets. We cannot guarantee that you will be able to view these events on your television at this time.
Information for ticket buyers
- All Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra concerts make use of a stage extension. This makes row E the first row directly in front of the stage. View Symphony Hall Seat Map to see where the extension overlaps and where any viewer obstructions are located before you choose your seats.
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All dates, repertoire, venues, and artists are subject to change.