For several decades, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and pianist André Watts have been standard-bearers for artistic excellence. Now, these icons of classical music will unite onstage for a special engagement at Purdue that features Mozart's piano concerto No. 9 and Beethoven's Symphony No. 1.
Orpheus demonstrated its conductorless ability to render the complex scores with taut precision and feverish excitement.”
— The New York Times
For several decades, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and pianist André Watts have been standard-bearers for artistic excellence. Now, these indelible icons of classical music will unite onstage for a centuries- spanning program evocative of their respective trailblazing spirits.
Founded in 1972, the Grammy®-winning Orpheus is the world’s foremost chamber orchestra—with more than 70 albums, 40 commissioned works, and a musically democratic process that has also inspired business leaders. Just 10 years earlier and handpicked by Leonard Bernstein, Watts debuted at age 16 with the New York Philharmonic on a CBS broadcast—a mixture of technical mastery, artistic nuance, and televisual reach with which Watts became a globally beloved superstar.
The Grammy®-winning Watts remains a regular guest at Ravinia, the Hollywood Bowl, Saratoga, and Tanglewood, received the National Medal of Arts in 2011, holds an endowed chair at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and, as the Los Angeles Times recently raved, “continues to play like a teenage phenom.”
The program, From Piano to Pen, shows what happens when fearless improvisers—from Viennese symphonists to jazz polymaths—wrestle with orchestral scores. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 changed then-contemporary definitions of the symphonic form. Charles Rosen called Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 9 (“Jeunehomme”) “perhaps the first unequivocal masterpiece of the classical style.” Continuing its legacy of innovative commissioned works, Orpheus and Watts will debut Asunder—an orchestral work from jazz visionary Vijay Iyer, who performed at Purdue with his trio in 2013.
SYMPHONY NO. 1
PIANO CONCERTO NO. 9
3PM / STEW 206
Nick Palmer, Music Director and Conductor of the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra, will discuss the program.