Elizabeth Ogonek, Farrenc, Beethoven
Tanglewood (297 West St., Lenox, MA 01240)
Andris Nelsons conducts works by Elizabeth Ogonek, Farrenc and Beethoven with pianist Paul Lewis and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
In three BSO concerts, Andris Nelsons and his frequent collaborator, English pianist Paul Lewis, will perform all five of Beethoven’s piano concertos, and each concert opens with a BSO co-commissioned piece by an American woman.
Elizabeth Ogonek, whose music has been described as “shimmering,” “dramatic” and “painstakingly crafted” by the Chicago Tribune, is an American composer living and working in New York.
From 2015 to 2018, Ogonek was appointed to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as the Mead Composer-in-Residence and commissioned to write three new works: In Silence (after Biber), a chamber violin concerto with violinist Benjamin Beilman, which premiered under the direction of Elim Chan; an orchestral work, All These Lighted Things, conducted by Riccardo Muti; and The Water Cantos, a work for twelve players commissioned in celebration of the 20th anniversary season of MusicNOW and premiered under Esa-Pekka Salonen.
Shealso co-curated MusicNOW, the orchestra’s new music series, which brought together CSO musicians with composers to explore the music of today as well as influential works of the 20th century.
She has also worked closely with the London Symphony Orchestra for whom she has written two orchestral works: as though birds and Sleep & Unremembrance. Both pieces premiered under the direction of François-Xavier Roth at the Barbican Centre.
In early 2020, the LSO gave the European premiere of All These Lighted Things while the Toronto Symphony Orchestra gave the Canadian premiere of as though birds. Other orchestras that have performed her music include the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the American Composers’ Orchestra and the Music Academy of the West’s Academy Festival Orchestra.
Upcoming projects for the 2021-22 season include a new chamber work for the 75th anniversary season of the Chamber Music Conference and Composers’ Forum of the East and a new orchestral work that has been co-commissioned by the BBC Proms and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Paul Lewis is internationally regarded as a leading musician of his generation. His cycles of core piano works by Beethoven and Schubert have received unanimous critical and public acclaim worldwide, and consolidated his reputation as one of the world’s foremost interpreters of the central European classical repertoire.
His awards have included the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Instrumentalist of the Year, two Edison awards, three Gramophone awards, the Diapason D’or de l’Annee, and the South Bank Show Classical Music award. He holds honorary degrees from Liverpool, Edge Hill, and Southampton Universities, and was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2016 Queen’s Birthday Honours.
He appears regularly as soloist with orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony, NHK Symphony, New York Philharmonic, LA Philharmonic, and the Royal Concertgebouw, Cleveland, Tonhalle Zurich, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Philharmonia, and Mahler Chamber Orchestras.
He has performed Beethoven concerto cycles with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, and the Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductors he has worked with include Daniel Harding, Andris Nelsons, Manfred Honeck, and Bernard Haitink.