Hans Graf – Conductor
Kirill Gerstein – Piano
Beethoven – Overture to Creatures of Prometheus (Die Geschöpfe des Prometheus Ouverture), Op. 43
Beethoven – Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 2 in B-Flat Major, Op. 19
Schubert – Symphony No. 9 in C Major, D.944, “Great”
Houston Symphony Conductor Laureate Hans Graf and rising star Kirill Gerstein join the Naples Philharmonic in performances of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and Schubert’s Symphony No. 9. Pianist Kirill Gerstein is “on the fast track to a major career, and deserves to be.” (Boston Globe) With formidable jazz, as well as classical, chops, Gerstein’s versatility, masterful technique and intellectual curiosity have led to his rapid ascension. He will bring his signature interpretive style to bear on Beethoven’s Second Piano Concerto, a piece the composer created to showcase his own skill as a young virtuoso. Beethoven’s Overture to the ballet Creatures of Prometheus will open the program, which concludes with Shubert’s breathtaking Ninth Symphony. Considered by many to be Schubert’s greatest work, the symphony was Schubert’s last and, because Viennese musicians at the time considered it unplayable, was never heard by the composer.
Saturday evening performance is generously underwritten by Physicians Regional Healthcare System.
Known for his creative and wide-ranging programs, the distinguished Austrian conductor Hans Graf is one of today's most highly respected musicians. Graf was chosen to be the Music Director of the Houston Symphony in 2000 and began his tenure with the orchestra in September 2001. Prior to his appointment in Houston, he was the Music Director of the Calgary Philharmonic for eight seasons and held the same post with the Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine for six years.
Graf is a frequent guest with all of the major North American orchestras. His recent and upcoming engagements include appearances with the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony. Graf has recorded for the EMI, Orfeo, CBC, Erato, Capriccio and JVC labels, and his discography includes the complete symphonies of Mozart and Schubert and the complete works of Henri Dutilleux. In recognition of his efforts to champion French composers like Dutilleux around the world, Graf was awarded the Chevalier de l'ordre de la Legion d'Honneur by the French government.
The multifaceted pianist Kirill Gerstein has rapidly ascended into classical music's highest ranks. Reaching beyond the classical genre with his unique background in jazz, coupled with a masterful technique, musical curiosity and an energetic and expressive musical personality, Gerstein has proven to be one of today's most intriguing musicians.
In January 2010 Gerstein was named the recipient of the 2010 Gilmore Artist Award. Only the sixth pianist to have been so honored, the Gilmore Award is made to an exceptional pianist who, regardless of age or nationality, possesses broad and profound musicianship and can sustain a career as a major international concert artist. He has since shared his Gilmore prize by commissioning boundary crossing new works by Brad Mehldau and Chick Corea. Gerstein was also awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant in April 2010, and received first prize at the 2001 Arthur Rubinstein Piano Competition in Tel Aviv.
Gerstein's first recording of recital works by Schumann, Liszt and Oliver Knussen was named one of the ten best recordings of 2010 by the New York Times and was followed by a duo recital disc with Tabea Zimmermann.
For more information about Kirill Gerstein, visit www.kirillgerstein.com.