SYMPHONY SUPPORTERS COMMISSION NEW WORK TO HONOR THEIR 25TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY
FOR RELEASE Monday, March 23, 2009
Gerard Schwarz to Conduct World Premiere of
Samuel Jones’ Trombone Concerto on April 2, 4 & 5
Also on the Program, Violinist Vadim Repin to Perform Brahms’ Violin Concerto in D major
Seattle, WA – Symphony lovers Charles and Benita Staadecker decided to honor their 25th wedding anniversary in a unique and special way – by commissioning a brand new piece of music from Seattle Symphony Composer in Residence Samuel Jones. This April, Music Director Gerard Schwarz and Seattle Symphony will present the world premiere of this new work, entitled Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra, Vita Accademica, featuring Symphony Principal Trombonist Ko-ichiro Yamamoto as the soloist. The program will also include David Diamond’s Rounds for String Orchestra and Johannes Brahms’ Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77, featuring violinist Vadim Repin. Performances will take place on Thursday, April 2, at 7:30 p.m.; and Saturday, April 4, at 8 p.m. A Musically Speaking performance will take place Sunday, April 5, at 2 p.m. and Diamond’s Rounds for String Orchestra will not be performed. All performances will take place in the S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium at Benaroya Hall.
About the World Premiere Commission
When Charles and Benita Staadecker decided to sponsor the commissioning of a new piece of music in honor of their 25th wedding anniversary, Samuel Jones responded by creating a very personal work based on various aspects of Charles Staadecker’s life, from his college years to his inspiring love for his wife, Benita. For Charles and Benita Staadecker, who were deeply involved throughout the composition process, the commission is a gift to the community. The Staadeckers said, “For us, this is a legacy gift. The returns on this investment will bring joy to audiences for years to come. Samuel Jones composed a passionate and triumphant piece of music that means the world to us. What a great way to salute the Symphony and our city, and to honor our 25th wedding anniversary.”
The Staadeckers were inspired to commission new works after the late Sandra Crowder, who commissioned Jones’ earlier Tuba Concerto, relayed her experience to them at a chance meeting. They began with Becky’s New Car, which premiered at ACT in October 2008 and now, Samuel Jones’ Trombone Concerto. The Staadecker’s believe that “people have a choice, whether to spend their money on safaris, trips to Europe or a new car; or to invest in the arts. The thing a lot of people don’t realize is that anyone who so chooses could do this.” The concerto is dedicated to Charles Staadecker’s alma mater, Cornell University.
Ko-ichiro Yamamoto is currently Principal Trombonist of Seattle Symphony and the Saito Kinen Orchestra in Japan. He is a former trombonist for the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Yamamoto is an active soloist who has given recitals and master classes in Japan and the U.S., including appearances at the 2007 Eastern Trombone Workshop and as a featured soloist and faculty at the 2008 International Trombone Festival. As a freelancer, he has performed with the New York Philharmonic, MET Chamber Orchestra, and in numerous sound and TV recordings in both New York and Tokyo. He has recorded two albums, Proof and Family Tree, both on the Kosei Publishing label.
Yamamoto has been a faculty member at the University of Washington School of Music since 2005. He has won several awards, including fourth place at the International Trombone Association Competition; first prize at the Japan Wind and Percussion Competition; and the diploma prize at the Prague International Music Competition. Born in Tokyo, Yamamoto began studying trombone at age 12 with his father; in 1990, he was accepted to the Franz Liszt Music Academy, where he studied with Gusztav Höna and Sztan Tivador and performed with the Budapest Festival Orchestra. He later studied with New York Philharmonic principal trombonist Joseph Alessi at The Juilliard School. Yamamoto has been a Yamaha artist and clinician since 2008, and is currently performing on the 8820RV Prototype Trombone.
The Daily Telegraph calls Vadim Repin “one of today’s most compelling musicians.” At age 11, Repin won the gold medal at the Wienawski Competition; at 15, he made his Carnegie Hall debut and, two years later, won the prestigious Reine Elisabeth Concours Competition. Today, Repin is a frequent guest at the Tanglewood, Ravinia, Rheingau, Gstaad and Verbier Festivals, and the BBC Proms. Last season, he toured with the Royal Concertgebouw and appeared with major orchestras in Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia. He also celebrated the 60th anniversary of the State of Israel with the Israel Philharmonic and Riccardo Muti. Other orchestral engagements include with the Berlin, Israel, Los Angeles, New York and St. Petersburg philharmonics; Boston, Chicago, London and San Francisco symphonies; NDR Hamburg; Orchestra de Paris; Royal Concergebouw and La Scala; and with conductors, including Ashkenazy, Boulez, Eschenbach, Fedoseyev, Gergiev, Neeme and Paavo Järvi, Levine, Marriner, Masur, Mehta, Muti, Nagano, Rattle, and Temirkanov.
This season, Repin will give 25 recitals in cities, including Vienna, Geneva, London, Brussels, Paris, Luxembourg, Milan, New York, Washington, D.C., and Tokyo; tours to Italy, Germany, Japan and the U.S. with the London Symphony Orchestra and Valery Gergiev; and collaborations with Christian Thielemann, Gustavo Dudamel and Jonathan Nott. He has recorded concertos by Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky on Warner Classics and his critically acclaimed debut recording on the Deutsche Grammophon label features the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Vienna Philharmonic and Riccardo Muti, coupled with Beethoven’s “Kreutzer” Sonata with Martha Argerich.
This concert is unusual in that two of the three pieces we hear are concertos — one well established, the other brand new. But the program begins with a work that declines the virtuoso display and special individuality inherent in concerto form in favor of the homogenous timbres of a string orchestra. David Diamond, who had a close relationship with Gerard Schwarz and Seattle Symphony, based his Rounds for String Orchestra on the principle of imitative, or echoic, counterpoint. In its lean textures and other details, this work exemplifies the robust neo-Classical sound of much American music from the 1940s.
Another composer with close ties to Seattle Symphony is Samuel Jones, the orchestra’s current Composer in Residence. Having already written a number of pieces for the Orchestra, Jones also composed concertos for Tuba and for Horn. His new Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra, Vita Accademica, paints a musical picture of commissioner Charles Staadecker and his life as a student at Cornell University.
The second half of the program turns away from American composers to an Old World master. Johannes Brahms’ Violin Concerto is one of the great Romantic concertos for violin and orchestra. Its opening movement conveys the characteristic Brahmsian qualities of strength, grandeur and energy. After a tender slow movement, the finale brings a fiery evocation of Hungarian gypsy music.
Tickets from $17 to $102 can be purchased by calling the Seattle Symphony Ticket Office at (206) 215-4747 or toll-free at (866) 833-4747, faxing the Symphony at (206) 215-4748, ordering online at www.seattlesymphony.org with the Select Your Own Seat option, or visiting the Seattle Symphony Ticket Office in Benaroya Hall at Third Avenue & Union Street, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, 1 to 6 p.m.
Subscriptions are still available for the 2008–2009 season. For group sales information, call (206) 215-4784. Student and senior rush discount tickets, subject to availability, go on sale in person at the Seattle Symphony Ticket Office at 6 p.m. prior to evening performances and two hours prior to afternoon performances.
UBS MASTERWORKS SEASON / MUSICALLY SPEAKING SERIES*
BRAHMS' VIOLIN CONCERTO AND WORLD PREMIERE OF JONES’ TROMBONE CONCERTO
Thursday, April 2, 2009, at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 4, 2009, at 8 p.m.
Sunday, April 5, 2009, at 2 p.m.*
S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium
Gerard Schwarz, conductor
Ko-ichiro Yamamoto, trombone
Vadim Repin, violin
*DAVID DIAMOND Rounds for String Orchestra
Allegro, molto vivace
SAMUEL JONES Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra, Vita Accademica (World Premiere)
Andante vigoroso; Andante con moto
Romanza: Andante amabile
Allegro moderato; Allegro vivace
Ko-ichiro Yamamoto, trombone
JOHANNES BRAHMS Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77
Allegro non troppo
Allegro giocoso, ma non troppo vivace
Vadim Repin, violin
Seattle Symphony Composer in Residence Samuel Jones’ Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra, Vita Accademica, was commissioned by Seattle Symphony with a generous gift from Charles and Benita Staadecker in honor of their 25th wedding anniversary, and as a tribute to Cornell University.
Talk Music speaker one hour prior to performance
Title: "It's Academic: An Introduction to My New Trombone Concerto"
Lecturer: Samuel Jones, Seattle Symphony Composer in Residence
Ask the Artist: Join Gerard Schwarz, Ko-ichiro Yamamoto and Samuel Jones for a post-concert discussion on Saturday, April 4.
*Sunday’s performance includes commentary from the podium. There will be no Talk Music speaker and Diamond’s Rounds for String Orchestra will not be performed.