Beethoven Violin Concerto
Friday, May 20, 2022 | Hill Auditorium
Behind the Music
Your Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra marks our season finale with a performance of Beethoven’s monumental Violin Concerto and Dvořák’s Symphony No. 6, with A2SO concertmaster Aaron Berofsky joining as violin soloist alongside guest conductor Andreas Delfs. First performed by Franz Clement in 1806, Beethoven’s Violin Concerto suffered in obscurity after an early slew of negative reviews. A successful revival of the work by Felix Mendelssohn and 12-year-old violinist prodigy Joseph Joachim nearly 30 years later brought it the stature that it enjoys to this day. The Symphony No. 6 represents one of the first of Dvořák’s mainstream hits, drawing considerable attention for the compelling fusion of Bohemian melodies and rhythmic writing with the pervading Germanic romantic form and tonal language.
BEETHOVEN Violin Concerto
DVOŘÁK Symphony No. 6
Andreas Delfs, guest conductor
Aaron Berofsky, violin
Aaron Berofsky, violin
Violinist Aaron Berofsky has toured extensively throughout the United States and abroad, gaining wide recognition as a soloist and chamber musician. As soloist, he has performed with orchestras in the United States, Germany, Italy, Spain and Canada. He has performed the complete cycle of Mozart violin sonatas at the International Festival Deia in Spain and all of the Beethoven sonatas at New York’s Merkin Concert Hall. His 2011 recording of the complete Beethoven sonatas with Phillip Bush has been met with great acclaim.
France’s Le Figaro calls his playing “Beautiful, the kind of music-making that gives one true pleasure”. He has appeared in such renowned venues as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the 92nd Street Y, the Corcoran Gallery, Het Doelen, L’Octogone, Seoul National University, the Teatro San Jose and the Museo de Bellas Artes. Mr. Berofsky has been featured on NPR’s Performance Today and on the Canadian Broadcasting Company. His acclaimed recordings can be found on the Sony, Naxos, New Albion, ECM, Audio Ideas, Blue Griffin and Chesky labels. Recent recital tours have taken him to Germany, Italy and Korea, and he was featured soloist on the 2009 NAXOS recording of music by Paul Fetler, performed by the Ann Arbor Symphony, including the debut recording of his Concerto No. 2. His recording of the complete chamber music of Franz Xavier Mozart was released in 2013 on Equilibrium.
Mr. Berofsky was the first violinist of the Chester String Quartet for fifteen years. The quartet has been acclaimed as “one of the country’s best young string quartets” by the Boston Globe. Tours have taken them throughout the Americas and Europe and the quartet members have collaborated with such artists as Robert Mann, Arnold Steinhardt, Franco Gulli, members of the Alban Berg quartet, Andres Diaz, Eugene Istomin and Ruth Laredo. Some notable projects over the years have included the complete cycles of the quartets by Beethoven and Dvorak, and numerous recordings by such composers as Mozart, Haydn, Barber, Porter, Piston, Kernis and Tenenbom. The Chester Quartet has served as resident quartet at the University of Michigan and at Indiana University South Bend.
An alumnus of the Juilliard School, Mr. Berofsky was a scholarship student of Dorothy DeLay. Other important teachers have included Robert Mann, Felix Galimir, Glenn Dicterow, Lorand Fenyves and Elaine Richey. Mr. Berofsky is known for his commitment to teaching and is Professor of Violin at the University of Michigan and served as visiting Professor at the Hochschule fur Musik in Detmold, Germany. He taught at the Meadowmount School of Music for many summers and is currently on the violin faculty of the Chautauqua Institution. He has also given masterclasses throughout the world, including a 2013 tour of Korea which included classes at Seoul National University, Ewha Women’s University, Seoul Arts High School and many others. He has also given class at the Cleveland Institute, Oberlin, Eastman, the Peter de Grote festival in the Netherlands, Domaine Forget in Quebec, Interlochen, the Adriatic Chamber Music Festival and the Conservatorio Palma Mallorca.
Mr. Berofsky’s interest in early music led him to perform with the acclaimed chamber orchestra Tafelmusik on period instruments, also making several recordings with them for the Sony label. He co-runs University of Michigan’s Baroque Chamber Orchestra with harpsichordist Joseph Gascho. With a strong dedication to new music as well, he has worked extensively with many leading composers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, performing, commissioning and recording music by John Cage, William Bolcom, Zhou Long, Michael Daugherty, Aaron Jay Kernis, Susan Botti, Morton Subotnick, Paul Fetler and Bright Sheng.
Aaron Berofsky has been concertmaster of the Ann Arbor Symphony since 2003. He has also served as guest concertmaster for many orchestras throughout the US and Europe.
Andreas Delfs, GUEST conductor
Andreas Delfs’ twelve seasons as Music Director Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and subsequent tenure as Conductor Laureate have been described as an extraordinary era during which the ensemble rose to national prominence under his guidance . He has held chief artistic posts with several orchestras both in North America and Europe. He led the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra as Music Director (2001-2004) and artistic consultant (2004 -2006). He served as General Music Director of Hannover, Germany (1995-2000), conducting the symphony orchestra and opera company. Prior to his time in Hannover, Andreas Delfs was Music Director of the Bern Opera, resident conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony (during the tenure of Lorin Maazel) and Music Director, at an early age, of the Orchestre Suisse des Jeunes.
Born in Flensburg, Germany, Andreas Delfs began studying piano and music theory at age 5. He studied with Christoph von Dohnányi and Aldo Ceccato at the Hamburg Conservatory. At 20, Delfs became the youngest-ever Music Director of the Hamburg University Orchestra and Musical Assistant at the Hamburg State Opera. Enrolling at The Juilliard School, Delfs studied with Jorge Mester and Sixten Ehrling and won the Bruno Walter Memorial Scholarship.
Andreas Delfs keeps an active guest conducting schedule. Recent highlights have included appearances with the Tonkünstler-Orchester Vienna, Calgary Philharmonic, Copenhagen Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra Washington and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. He conducted the Britten Sinfonia in a performance of Elijah at London’s Barbican Hall as well as two new operatic productions, namely Turandot at Opera Lyra Ottawa and Carmen at Opera North. This season Andreas Delfs will give his debuts with the Singapore Symphony, the Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie and the Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestras.
Delfs has conducted numerous world premieres and has close links with many of today’s composers. He counts among his profound musical inspirations musicians such as John Corigliano, Philip Glass, Roberto Sierra and Hans Werner Henze. He is the frequent partner to many of the world’s most renowned solo artists, including Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Yo Yo Ma and Renée Fleming.
Andreas Delfs’ recent recording projects include Robert Sierra’s Missa Latina with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra on the Naxos label and Beethoven Piano Concertos with the London Symphony Orchestra and pianist John O’Conor on the Telarc label. Other recording projects have included a collection of sacred songs with Renée Fleming for Decca, a production of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra for Avie, as well as a recording of Mozart’s Requiem, with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. The most recent addition to the catalogue is a series of recordings with the Aarhus Symphony for the DaCapo label. His recording of Paul Ruder’s Handel Variations was nominated for Album of the Year (2018) by the Danish Radio.
Over the years Andreas Delfs has led numerous distinguished ensembles. He has conducted orchestras such as the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Tonhalle Orchestra of Zurich, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Netherlands Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony and the Taipei Symphony Orchestra.
Among Andreas Delfs’ most notable operatic achievements have been his highly praised debut with the New York City Opera conducting performances of Carmen, a new production of Ariadne auf Naxos for Washington National Opera, several productions for Opera North in Leeds and a production of the uncut version of Hans Werner Henze’s monumental König Hirsch for the Württemberg State Theatre in Stuttgart. He led four productions at the Aspen Music Festival and gave the Swiss premiere of György Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre, which received special praise from the composer.