An award-winning interpretation of Bartók’s technical marvel
Conductor Robert Spano (Conducting ’85) reunites with “force of nature” Yefim Bronfman (Piano ’77) to perform Béla Bartók’s ferocious Second Piano Concerto. Bronfman, a recent addition to the Curtis faculty, won a GRAMMY Award for his recording of the concerto. The program continues with Tchaikovsky’s brooding Fifth Symphony. In this work, resolve and sweeping optimism clash against bouts of steely melancholy.
|BÉLA BARTÓK||Piano Concerto No. 2 in G major, Sz. 95|
|PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY||Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64|
|Additional works TBD|
Robert Spano—conductor, pianist, composer, and teacher—is known worldwide for the intensity of his artistry and distinctive communicative abilities. After twenty seasons as music director, he continues his association with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as music director laureate. He has served as music director of the Aspen Music Festival and School since 2011 and begins an initial three-year term as music director of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra in August 2022, currently acting as music director designate.
For the 2021–22 season, Mr. Spano will continue with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, sharing the role of artistic advisor with principal guest conductor Donald Runnicles. Highlights include an opening night program of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and “Emperor” Concerto with Garrick Ohlsson.
The 2018–19 season featured Mr. Spano’s highly-acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut, leading the U.S. premiere of Nico Muhly’s Marnie, and the conclusion of the ASO’s two-year “LB/LB” celebration commemorating Leonard Bernstein and Ludwig van Beethoven. Recent concert highlights include several world premiere performances including Bruce Dessner’s Voy a Dormir at Carnegie Hall with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s; George Tsontakis’s Violin Concerto No. 3 with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra; Dimitrios Skyllas’s Kyrie eleison with the BBC Symphony Orchestra; Jennifer Higdon’s Tuba Concerto with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; Matthew Ricketts’s Melodia, For Piano and Orchestra at the Aspen Music Festival; and Miserere by ASO bassist Michael Kurth.
Guest engagements have included the Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Minnesota orchestras; New York and Los Angeles philharmonics; and the San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and New World symphonies, among many others. Internationally, Mr. Spano has led the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orquestra Sinfonica Brasileira, Wroclaw Philharmonic, the Saito Kinen Orchestra, and the Melbourne and Sydney symphonies. His opera performances include Covent Garden, Welsh National Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, and Seattle Opera.
With a discography of recordings for Telarc, Deutsche Grammophon, and ASO Media, Mr. Spano has garnered four Grammy™ Awards and eight nominations with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. He is on faculty at Oberlin Conservatory and has received honorary doctorates from Bowling Green State University, the Curtis Institute of Music, Emory University, and Oberlin. Mr. Spano is a recipient of the Georgia Governor's Award for the Arts and Humanities and is one of two classical musicians inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.
Internationally recognized as one of today’s most acclaimed and admired pianists, Yefim Bronfman is an artist regularly sought by the world’s leading orchestras, recital series, and festivals. His performances are consistently lauded by the press and audiences alike.
Although the coronavirus pandemic has curtailed most in-person performances, Mr. Bronfman is engaged in a number of online concerts in Fall 2020, including appearances with the Cleveland and Philadelphia orchestras and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, a solo concert for the Gilmore Foundation, and a recital with the Emerson String Quartet for the 92nd Street Y.
Born in Tashkent in the Soviet Union, Mr. Bronfman immigrated to Israel with his family in 1973, where he studied with pianist Arie Vardi, head of the Rubin Academy of Music at Tel Aviv University. In the United States, he studied at the Juilliard School, Marlboro School of Music, and the Curtis Institute of Music, under Rudolf Firkusny, Leon Fleisher, and Rudolf Serkin. A recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize, one of the highest honors given to American instrumentalists, he received the Jean Gimbel Lane prize in piano performance from Northwestern University in 2010 and an honorary doctorate in 2015 from the Manhattan School of Music.
Mr. Bronfman joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in 2020. He also teaches at the Manhattan School of Music.
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.
Orchestral concerts are supported by the Jack Wolgin Curtis Orchestral Concerts Endowment Fund.
Guest conductor appearances for each Curtis Symphony Orchestra performance are made possible by the Rita E. and Gustave M. Hauser Chair in Conducting Studies.