FOR RELEASE Thursday, February 03, 2011


Viola Spectacular with Pinchas Zukerman

Seattle, WA – Viola virtuoso Pinchas Zukerman joins Seattle Symphony Music Director Gerard Schwarz for a program that celebrates great works of the viola repertoire. The concert opens with Zukerman both leading the Orchestra and performing as soloist on Telemann’s Viola Concerto in G major. He will then perform Berlioz’s popular Harold in Italy, famous for its extended viola solos, with Maestro Schwarz at the podium. The program also includes Brahms’ Serenade No. 2 in A major, a work performed with a number of violas but no violins, as well Ground O, a world premiere by Robert Beaser that features Seattle Symphony Concertmaster Maria Larionoff. Performances will take place Thursday, February 17, at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, February 18, at 8 p.m. (sold out); and Saturday, February 19, at 8 p.m. in the S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium at Benaroya Hall. Tickets are available from $17 to $105.

Seattle Symphony will present Pre-concert Talks one hour prior to the performances in the S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium at Benaroya Hall. These pre-concert events feature leading voices in the local classical music scene, and are free with ticket purchase. Ernesto Alorda, Seattle Opera Community and Artist Relations Manager, will give a presentation titled “Serenades and Sojourns.”

Robert Beaser’s Ground O is presented as part of the Gund/Simonyi Farewell Commissions, a series of 18 new works by leading American composers which will be premiered throughout the 2010¬–2011 season. Seattle Symphony has commissioned these works in honor of Music Director Gerard Schwarz’s Farewell Season with the generous support of philanthropists Agnes Gund and Charles Simonyi.

Pinchas Zukerman
Pinchas Zukerman has remained a phenomenon in the world of music for four decades. He is equally respected as violinist, violist, conductor, pedagogue and chamber musician. This season, Zukerman's schedule includes more than 100 worldwide performances which take him to multiple destinations in North America, Europe and Asia. Zukerman recently performed a U.S. recital tour with pianist Yefim Bronfman, and his chamber ensemble of eight years, the Zukerman Chamber Players, appeared on the 92nd Street Y's Distinguished Artists series, and in major cities throughout Europe. In his second season as Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London, he leads the ensemble on an extensive tour of China, as well as in Italy, England, Israel and Switzerland. Orchestral appearances include those with the New York and Israel Philharmonic Orchestras, Gulbenkian Orchestra Lisbon, Moscow Virtuosi, Duisburg Philharmonic and the Boston, Pacific and Vancouver symphony orchestras.

Over the last decade, Pinchas Zukerman has become as equally regarded a conductor as he is as an instrumentalist, leading many of the world's top ensembles in a wide variety of the orchestral repertoire's most demanding works. A devoted and innovative educator, Zukerman chairs the Pinchas Zukerman Performance Program at the Manhattan School of Music, where he has pioneered the use of distance-learning technology in the arts.

He has been awarded a Medal of Arts, the Isaac Stern Award for Artistic Excellence and was appointed as the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative's first instrumentalist mentor in the music discipline. Born in Tel Aviv, Zukerman came to America in 1962, where he studied at The Juilliard School with Ivan Galamian.

Program Information
Georg Philipp Telemann’s Viola Concerto in G major
is one of this composer’s most beautiful instrumental works, one that combines Baroque gravity with a more lively modern expressiveness.

Johannes Brahms’ Serenade No. 2 in A major bridges two periods of music history. Composers of the 18th century wrote serenades, often for ensembles of wind instruments, as a form of light music. Completed in 1859, Brahms’ Serenade updates that genre using the rich harmonic palette of the 19th century.

Robert Beaser emerged as one of the most accomplished creative musicians of his generation and has won a passionate international following for his works in a wide variety of genres. He writes of Ground O: “In early October of 2001, I sat in my Manhattan studio, some three miles from the intersection of Church and Dey streets downtown.…As all of us hobbled around trying to make sense of all that happened the month before, I fought the impulse to write a piece of music in response. Not surprisingly, I lost the fight. Ground O was created soon after. I couldn’t bring myself to use the ‘Zero’ in the title, though, so I skewed it to O.”

Part viola concerto, part symphony, part narrative tone poem, Hector Berlioz’s Harold in Italy is, like so many of this composer’s works, unprecedented and unique. Its title references Lord Byron’s epic poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage. Taking his cue from that work, Berlioz conceived his composition as a series of scenes that the solo viola observes or participates in. Their details stem from the composer’s travels through central Italy.

Ticket Information
Tickets can be purchased by calling the Seattle Symphony Ticket Office at (206) 215-4747 or
(866) 833-4747 outside the local calling area, faxing the Symphony at (206) 215-4748, ordering online at, or visiting the Seattle Symphony Ticket Office in Benaroya Hall at Third Avenue and Union Street, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.


Thursday, February 17, 2011, at 7:30pm
Friday, February 18, 2011, at 8pm
(sold out)
Saturday, February 19, 2011, at 8pm

Gerard Schwarz
, conductor
Pinchas Zukerman, leader & viola
Seattle Symphony

GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN Viola Concerto in G major, TWV 51:G9

  Pinchas Zukerman, leader & viola

JOHANNES BRAHMS Serenade No. 2 in A major, Op. 16
  Allegro moderato
  Scherzo: Vivace
  Adagio non troppo
  Quasi menuetto
  Rondo: Allegro


Ground O (World Premiere)
  Maria Larionoff, violin

HECTOR BERLIOZ Harold in Italy, Op. 16
  Harold in the Mountains
  March of the Pilgrims
  Serenade of an Abruzzi Mountaineer to his Beloved
  Orgy of the Brigands
Pinchas Zukerman, viola

Pre-concert Talk one hour prior to Thursday and Saturday performances
Title: “Serenades and Sojourns”
Lecturer: Ernesto Alorda, Seattle Opera Community and Artist Relations Manager

All programs and artists subject to change. Photos of guest artists are available to the media upon request.