Hadelich Plays Paganini
Michael Francis, conductor
Augustin Hadelich, violin
CHRISTOPHER ROUSE: “Prospero’s Rooms”
PAGANINI: Violin Concerto No. 1
RACHMANINOFF: Symphony No. 3
Preview Talk with KUSC's Alan Chapman at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:45 p.m.
What’s interesting about this concert:
- Where piano fans look to Rachmaninoff for keyboard virtuosity, violinists turn to Paganini.
- An outrageously gifted musician and one of the first “rock stars” of classical music, Paganini was also an accomplished composer writing hundreds of pieces including six violin concertos.
- Sparks will fly as violinist Augustin Hadelich takes the stage in the first concerto of this legendary composer, thought to have been in league with the devil.
- Rachmaninoff’s expressive Third Symphony and quintessentially Russian Symphony No. 3 caps the evening.
Music Director, The Florida Orchestra - Chief Conductor, Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz - Music Director, Mainly Mozart, San Diego
Michael Francis has quickly established himself internationally. Known for maintaining a diverse repertoire while paying particular homage to the composers of his native Britain, Francis enjoys great reception throughout North America, Europe and Far East Asia. This season, Francis has been appointed the new Chief Conductor of Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz. He returns with MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra and debuts with St. Louis Symphony Orchestra as well as Phoenix and San Diego symphonies.
After several years as a tenured double-bass player in the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), he came to prominence as a conductor in January 2007, replacing an indisposed Valery Gergiev for concerts with the LSO during the BBC’s Gubaidulina festival at the Barbican Centre. Just one month later, Francis was asked, this time with only two hours’ notice, to replace the composer/conductor John Adams in a performance of his own works with the LSO with the Philharmonie Luxembourg. Soon after in January 2009, he replaced André Previn leading a German tour of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony with Anne-Sophie Mutter.
Francis’ discography includes the Rachmaninov piano concertos with Valentina Lisitsa and the London Symphony Orchestra, Wolfgang Rihm’s Lichtes Spiel with Anne-Sophie Mutter and the New York Philharmonic, and the Ravel & Gershwin piano concertos with Ian Parker.
Now entering his fourth season as Music Director of The Florida Orchestra, he has led a transformative community engagement initiative, which has included statewide residencies, programmatic collaborations with local museums, and a hugely expanded lecture series. He is also Music Director of the Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego, where he has launched an ambitious multi-year exploration of Mozart’s life. He was previously Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra from 2012 to 2016.
Augustin Hadelich has established himself as one of the most sought-after violinists of his generation. Featured on the cover of the May 2014 issue of Strings Magazine, he is also becoming a familiar figure in Europe and Asia, continuing to astonish audiences with his phenomenal technique, poetic sensitivity and gorgeous tone. His consistency throughout the repertoire, from Paganini, to Brahms, to Bartók, to Adès, is seldom encountered in a single artist.
Composed for Hadelich, his recent premiere of David Lang’s 35-minute solo violin work, Mystery Sonatas, at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall in April 2014 was a resounding success. One week earlier, The Washington Post wrote a rave review for Tango Song and Dance, an originally conceived, multi-media recital premiered at Kennedy Center, featuring Hadelich, guitarist Pablo Villegas and pianist Joyce Yang.
Highlights of Hadelich’s 2014-15 season include debuts with the Minnesota Orchestra, Danish National Symphony and the London Philharmonic, as well as re-invitations to perform with the New York Philharmonic and the symphonies of Baltimore, Houston, Indianapolis, Liverpool, Saint Louis and Seattle. His other projects include artist-in-residence with the Netherlands Philharmonic, a tour with the Toronto Symphony (to Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto) and his debut recital at Wigmore Hall in London.