A Space Odyssey
Jean-Marie Zeitouni, guest conductor
Juho Pohjonen, piano
DAUGHERTY: World Premiere
MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 23
STRAUSS: Also Sprach Zarathustra
Preview Talk with Alan Chapman at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:45 p.m.
Famous as part of the soundtrack to 2001: A Space Odyssey, Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra elicits wonder about our vast universe. Former Composer-in- Residence Michael Daugherty offers a suitable prelude — a new work celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. Mozart’s cheerful Piano Concerto No. 23, with Finnish pianist Juho Pohjonen, is the sublime centerpiece.
Jean-Marie Zeitouni has emerged as one of the brightest young conductors of his generation. His eloquent yet fiery style, in repertoire ranging from Baroque to contemporary music, has resulted in regular engagements with leading symphony orchestras and opera companies around the globe. Currently music director of the Colorado Music Festival & Center for Musical Arts and artistic director of Orchestre de chambre I Musici de Montréal, Zeitouni recently completed tenures as music director of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and principal guest conductor of Les Violons du Roy, an ensemble with which he gave more than 250 concerts throughout North America over the last 13 years.
Zeitouni has also held various other positions with leading Canadian organizations, including music director of the Banff Centre “Opera as Theatre” program, associate conductor and chorus master at Opéra de Montréal and music director of its Young Artist Program (Atelier lyrique), chorus master at Opéra de Québec, choir director of the Québec Symphony Orchestra, and director of the orchestra and opera workshop at Laval University.
As an operatic conductor, he has conducted at Opéra de Montréal, Opéra de Québec, Glimmerglass Opera Festival, and at opera companies in Calgary, Edmonton, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Marseille, Toulouse and Hanoi.
Zeitouni has conducted nearly every major symphony orchestra in his native Canada, including those of Montréal, Québec, Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Halifax, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Victoria, as well as the National Arts Centre, Ensemble Arion and the Club musical de Québec. Outside of Canada, he has conducted symphony orchestras in Detroit, Seattle, Oregon, Carmel, San Antonio, Houston, Louisiana, Costa Mesa, Phoenix, Omaha, Honolulu, Huntsville, Cincinnati, Marseille, Hong Kong, Mexico City and Xalapa (Mexico), as well as Pacific Symphony and Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society.
He also regularly conducts at major international music festivals, including Festival international de Lanaudiére, Festival international du Domaine Forget, Round Top (Texas), Grant Park (Illinois), Elora, Parry Sound and Mostly Mozart (New York).
Zeitouni studied with Maestro Raffi Armenian and graduated from the Montréal Conservatory in conducting, percussion and theory.
"Pohjonen has both impeccable technique and a cleareyed approach to music... Complete confidence, a superb performance."
— The Washington Post
Celebrated as one of Finland's most outstanding pianists, Juho Pohjonen has received widespread acclaim for his profound musicianship and distinctive interpretations of a broad range of repertoire from Bach to Salonen. His interpretations are known for their intensity, thoughtfulness, and fearless musical conviction.
Highlights of Mr. Pohjonen’s 2017-18 season include a remarkable summer festival circuit, with performances at Music@Menlo, the Santa Fe Chamber Music and Ravinia Festivals, Cleveland Orchestra’s Blossom Festival, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center at Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival. Concerto appearances include Greenwich Symphony and Turku and Tampere Philharmonic Orchestras, performing Saint-Saens Concerto No.5, Op. 103, Esa-Pekka Salonen Piano Concerto and Einar Englund’s Piano Concerto No. 1. In recital, he performs at the National Gallery of Art, Frederic Chopin Society, Meany Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Washington, La Jolla Music Society, Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ontario, Mobile Chamber Music Society, and Philip Lorenz Memorial Keyboard Concerts in Fresno. He continues his close association with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center at Alice Tully Hall, and on tour in Chicago, Birmingham, Asheville, NC, Purchase, NY, Athens, GA and Ashland, OR, as well as in Beijing, Seoul, and Taiwan. He appears frequently with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, since his tenure with the CMS Two Residency Program for Outstanding Young Artists from 2009-2012.
Mr. Pohjonen's debut recording Plateaux featured the works of Scandinavian composer Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen; the Dacapo Records album comprises piano concerto Plateaux pour Piano et Orchestre with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, and solo piano suite For Piano. His sensational opening recital at Music@Menlo’s 2010 Festival was recorded for the Music@Menlo Live 2010 series. The album, Maps and Legends, features Mozart's Sonata in A Major, K.331, Grieg's Ballade in the Form of Variations on a Norwegian Folk Song in G Minor, Op. 24, and Handel's Suite in B-flat Major. Recently, Pohjonen and his colleagues Petteri Iivonen and Samuli Peltonen, who together form the Sibelius Piano Trio, released a recording on Yarlung Records in honor of Finland’s centennial, described by Sterophile as “a gorgeous debut.” A new recording slated for release in 2018 features the music of Chopin, Schumann, and Grieg with cellist Inbal Segev.
Mr. Pohjonen's studies began in 1989 when he entered the Junior Academy of the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki. He studied with Meri Louhos and Hui-Ying Liu at the Sibelius Academy where he completed his Master's Degree in 2008. Mr. Pohjonen has also participated in several master classes of world-class pianists such as Sir András Schiff, Leon Fleisher, Jacob Lateiner and Barry Douglas. In 2009, Juho Pohjonen was selected by Sir András Schiff as winner of the Klavier Festival Ruhr Scholarship. In addition, he has won numerous prizes in both Finnish and international competitions, including First Prize at the 2004 Nordic Piano Competition in Nyborg, Denmark, First Prize at the 2000 International Young Artists Concerto Competition in Stockholm, the Prokofiev Prize at the 2003 AXA Dublin International Piano Competition and a prize at the 2002 Helsinki International Maj Lind Piano Competition.