/ News / Juanjo Mena of the BBC Philharmonic leads the Curtis Symphony Orchestra on October 29 at Verizon Hall

Juanjo Mena of the BBC Philharmonic leads the Curtis Symphony Orchestra on October 29 at Verizon Hall

Program features Short Ride in a Fast Machine, student soloists in Don Quixote, and Symphonie fantastique

PHILADELPHIA—October 12, 2017—Juanjo Mena, chief conductor of the BBC Philharmonic, leads the Curtis Symphony Orchestra in the ensemble’s season debut on Sunday, October 29 at 2:30 p.m. in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.

The Curtis Symphony Orchestra shines under the “world-class conducting” (Washington Post) of Juanjo Mena in a feast of Romantic storytelling. A whirlwind tone poem by John Adams, Short Ride in a Fast Machine, led by conducting fellow Carlos Ágreda, sets the concert in motion. By turns whimsical and noble, Strauss’s take on the Cervantes novel Don Quixote features two soloists from within the orchestra. In a rare honor for Curtis students, Hae Sue Lee, viola, and Oliver Herbert, cello, play the solo musical roles of Sancho Panza and Don Quixote, respectively, in this rambunctious, epic tone poem. The concert finishes with the heady narrative of a lover’s violent dream in the Symphonie fantastique by Berlioz.

Three-concert subscriptions start at $50 and are available from the Curtis Patron Services Office at (215) 893-7902 or Curtis.edu/Tickets. 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.

Spanish conductor Juanjo Mena is chief conductor of the BBC Philharmonic in Manchester, England.  In Europe he has appeared with the Berlin, Dresden, Oslo, and Royal Stockholm philharmonics; the Göteborg and Danish National symphony orchestras; Munich Radio Orchestra; Orchestre National de France; Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse; Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala Milan; and all the major Spanish orchestras. Since his American debut with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in 2004, he has conducted most of the leading orchestras in the United States, including the Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Houston, and Pittsburgh symphony orchestras; New York and Los Angeles philharmonics; and the Cleveland and Philadelphia orchestras.  

Mr. Mena has led the BBC Philharmonic on tours of Europe and Asia, including performances in Cologne, Munich, Vienna, Madrid, Beijing and Seoul, and performs with them every year at the BBC Proms in London. He has made several recordings with the BBC Philharmonic, including a disc of works by Manuel de Falla, named Recording of the Month by BBC Music Magazine, and a Gabriel Pierné release which was a Gramophone Editor’s Choice. He has also recorded a collection of Basque symphonic music with the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra and a critically acclaimed rendering of Messiaen’s Turangalîla Symphony for Hyperion with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra.

Mr. Mena was previously artistic director of the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra, chief guest conductor of the Orchestra del Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, and principal guest conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra.

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.



The Jack Wolgin Orchestral Concerts

Sunday, October 29 at 2:30 p.m.
Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center, Broad and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia

Juanjo Mena, conductor
Carlos Ágreda, conducting fellow
Hae Sue Lee, viola
Oliver Herbert, cello

ADAMS                        Short Ride in a Fast Machine
STRAUSS                     Don Quixote
BERLIOZ                     Symphonie fantastique

3-concert subscription: $50-$175 sold by the Curtis Patron Services Office at Curtis.edu/Tickets, or (215) 893-7902.

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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