/ News / European Favorite Gilbert Varga leads the Curtis Symphony Orchestra on January 28 at Verizon Hall

European Favorite Gilbert Varga leads the Curtis Symphony Orchestra on January 28 at Verizon Hall

Program of musical storytelling features Corigliano’s The Mannheim Rocket, music from The Miraculous Mandarin, and Scheherazade

PHILADELPHIA—January 12, 2018—Gilbert Varga, principal conductor of the Taipei Symphony Orchestra, leads the Curtis Symphony Orchestra on Sunday, January 28 at 3 p.m. in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.

“A masterful interpreter” (Baltimore Sun), British conductor Gilbert Varga brings his elegant, electric style to the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, leading a lively and evocative program. Under the baton of Curtis conducting fellow Yue Bao, John Corigliano’s The Mannheim Rocket offers an explosive opening, followed by the blazing colors and shocking storyline of Bartók’s Suite from The Miraculous Mandarin with Mr. Varga on the podium. The concert closes with the lush melodic legends of the Arabian Nights, as told through Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade. Concertmaster Ania Filochowska performs the poignant violin solos that represent the work’s title character.

Single tickets start at $20 and can be purchased through the Kimmel Center Box Office at (215) 893-1999 or KimmelCenter.org. This concert is supported by the Jack Wolgin Curtis Orchestral Concerts Endowment Fund. 

Acclaimed for its “otherworldly ensemble and professional level of sophistication” (New York Times), the Curtis Symphony Orchestra offers a dynamic showcase of tomorrow’s exceptional young talent. Each year the 100 extraordinary musicians of the orchestra work with internationally renowned conductors, including Osmo Vänskä, Vladimir Jurowski, Marin Alsop, Simon Rattle, Robert Spano, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who also mentors the early-career conductors who hold Rita E. Hauser Conducting Fellowships. This professional training has enabled Curtis alumni to assume prominent positions in America’s leading orchestras, as well as esteemed orchestral, opera, and chamber ensembles around the world.

Gilbert Varga, principal conductor of the Taipei Symphony Orchestra, is one of Europe’s most sought-after conductors. He has conducted many of the world’s major orchestras, including the Philadelphia and Minnesota orchestras; Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin; Radio Symphony Berlin; Orchestre de Paris; Orchestre de la Suisse Romande; Budapest Festival Orchestra; Munich, Oslo, and Rotterdam philharmonics; Bavarian Radio, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Saint Louis, Sydney, and Toronto symphonies; and Los Angeles and Saint Paul chamber orchestras.

Born in London, Mr. Varga studied violin with his father, Tibor Varga. He studied conducting under Franco Ferrara, Sergiu Celibidache, and Charles Bruck. He served as chief conductor of the Hofer Symphoniker and the Philharmonia Hungarica, permanent guest conductor of the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, and principal guest conductor of the Malmö Symphony. In 1997 he became music director of the Basque National Orchestra, leading them through ten seasons, including tours across the U.K., Germany, Spain, and South America.

Mr. Varga’s discography includes recordings with the ASV, Koch International, and Claves record labels. His latest recording, of cello concertos by Shostakovich and Martinů with Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Christian Poltéra (Bis), was released in May 2017.

The Curtis Institute of Music educates and trains exceptionally gifted young musicians to engage a local and global community through the highest level of artistry. One of the most selective schools in the United States, Curtis accepts four percent of applicants each year on average. A tuition-free policy ensures that talent and artistic promise are the only considerations for admission. With a small student body of about 175, Curtis provides each young musician with an education of unparalleled quality, distinguished by personalized attention from a celebrated faculty and a “learn by doing” philosophy. Curtis students hone their craft through than 200 orchestra, opera, and solo and chamber music offerings each year in Philadelphia and around the world.




The Jack Wolgin Orchestral Concerts

Sunday, January 28 at 3 p.m.

Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center, Broad and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia

Gilbert Varga, conductor
Yue Bao, conducting fellow

CORIGLIANO                        The Mannheim Rocket
BARTÓK                                 Suite from The Miraculous Mandarin
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV           Scheherazade


Single tickets: $20-75 sold by the Kimmel Center Box Office at KimmelCenter.org, or (215) 893-1999.


The guest conductor for this Curtis Symphony Orchestra performance is made possible by the Gustave and Rita Hauser Chair.


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