On Sunday November 7 at 3 p.m., Palm Beach Symphony will open its 48th season at the Kravis Center with musical director Gerard Schwarz on the podium and virtuoso pianist Hélène Grimaud for Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor.
“Hélène is one of the greatest pianists in the world today,” said Maestro Schwarz. “We have played Schumann’s Piano Concerto together on several occasions, and she has a special mastery of the piece. I have known her since her beginnings and I admire her passionate and expressive playing.”
Grimaud gave her first well-received recital in Tokyo in 1987, the same year the famous conductor Daniel Barenboim invited her to perform with the Orchester de Paris marking the launch of a musical career characterized by concerts. with most of the world’s great orchestras and famous conductors. Hélène Grimaud kicked off the 2021-22 season with a performance of Schumann’s Piano Concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. His upcoming projects include performances of Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major with the Houston Symphony and Matthias Pintscher (November) and the Seattle Symphony and Peter Oundjian (December); the Schumann in Zurich with the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich and Paavo Järvi (January 2022) and with the Bamberger Symphoniker and Jakub Hrůša on tour in Bad Kissingen, Düsseldorf, Hanover, Cologne and Dortmund (February); and Mozart’s Piano Concerto K466 with Camerata Salzburg in Luxembourg, Berlin, Munich, Friborg, Paris and Hamburg (February / March). His recordings have received numerous accolades including the Cannes Classical Recording of the Year, Choc du Monde de la musique, Diapason d’or, Grand Prix du CD, Record Academy Prize (Tokyo), Midem Classic Award, Echo Klassik Award and inclusion in iTunes Classic Essentials Series. Inducted by the French government in The National Order of the Legion of Honor for her contribution and impact on the world of classical music, she has also established herself as a writer, wildlife advocate and compassionate human rights activist.
Maestro Schwarz once again welcomes the audience to the concert hall with a specially designed program. Recognized internationally for his moving performances and innovative programming, he is also the Music Director of the All-Star Orchestra, the Eastern Music Festival and the New York Mozart Orchestra. Also in South Florida, he is Professor Emeritus of Music, Conducting, and Orchestral Studies at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami and Music Director of the Frost Symphony Orchestra. His hundreds of honors and accolades include being the first American named Conductor of the Year by Musical America; seven Emmy Awards; 14 GRAMMY nominations from the Recording Academy and his first “IMPACT” prize for all of his achievements; and eight ASCAP awards, including its Concert Music Award. Its extensive catalog of over 350 recordings includes The Gerard Schwarz Collection, a 30-CD box set and a recently released recording of Schubert’s Symphony No. 9 with the New York Chamber Symphony. His memoir, Gerard Schwarz: Behind the Baton, was published by Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group in 2017.
With over 300 world premieres to his credit, Maestro Schwarz has always been committed to commissioning and performing new music. In this concert, the Palm Beach Symphony performs its first work of a living black woman with Umoja by Valerie Coleman, a joyful piece with folkloric influences which takes its name from the word “unity” in Swahili.
“Valerie is an extraordinary composer of our time and is commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera and orchestras across the country,” said Maestro Schwarz. “Umoja was commissioned by the Philadelphia Orchestra who performed it to standing ovations in Philadelphia and Carnegie Hall. We are delighted to bring this piece to our community.”
The concert ends with Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 in E minor, which Maestro Schwarz considers to be one of the greatest symphonies ever written. He said: “Starting the season with Tchaikovsky’s Fifth – his penultimate symphony – is very special for all of us. “
Opening night will feature two community collaborations as Palm Beach Gardens High School Pep Band, under the direction of John Rodriguez, will perform outside the lobby entrance as guests and Zero Empty performers arrive. Spaces will be in the lobby with works of art they created incorporating musical instruments. The instruments are part of the Musical Masterpieces collaboration in which these instruments will be among those auctioned for the benefit of Zero Empty Spaces and the Symphony.
The concert is dedicated to Dale Archer McNulty who served as Chairman of the Palm Beach Symphony Board of Directors from 2008 until his death earlier this year. Lugano Diamonds, Findlay Galleries, HSS Florida, PNC Private Bank, The Colony Hotel, Hilton West Palm Beach, Provident Jewelry, IYC, Palm Beach Design Masters, Braman Motorcars, Dodie and Manley Thaler and the Thaler / Howell Foundation, the Addison Hines Charitable Trust and Gent Row LLC are the proud sponsors of Palm Beach Symphony. The programs are also sponsored in part by the State of Florida, the Department of State, the Division of Arts and Culture, and the Florida Arts and Culture Council.
Tickets are $ 25 to $ 95 and are available online at www.palmbeachsymphony.org; by phone at (561) 281-0145; or by visiting the Palm Beach Symphony Box Office, Monday to Friday 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The Kravis Center is located at 701 Okeechobee Blvd in West Palm Beach.