Mozart & Shostakovich

Saturday, January 22, 2022 | Michigan Theater

Behind the Music

Performed five days after the composer’s birthday, Mozart’s sparkling Concerto No.10 for Two Pianos highlights a scintillating program that launches 2022 in style. Music director candidate Oriol Sans takes the podium to direct a program that also includes Shostakovich’s tour de force Symphony No. 5 and Grażyna Bacewicz’s explosively symphonic Overture, composed during the German occupation of Poland. Presumably composed for the purpose of performing with his sister Maria Anna (“Nannerl”), Mozart’s early Concerto No. 10 features two pianos in colorful dialogue with each other as well as with the orchestra, with soloists Arthur Greene and Christopher Harding standing in for the Mozart siblings on this occasion. Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 caps off the evening as a work that achieved the unthinkable — appealing equally to both the public and government officials in a time of rigorous censorship in Soviet Russia. An unequivocal triumph at its premiere (with some reports stating that the applause lasted over a half-hour), the symphony continues to inspire to this day.

Program

BACEWICZ Overture

MOZART Concerto No. 10 for Two Pianos

SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 5

Oriol Sans, conductor

Arthur Greene, piano

Christopher Harding, piano

Oriol Sans, conductor and music director candidate

BIOGRAPHY

Oriol Sans is assistant professor and director of orchestral activities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he directs the University of Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra, conducts opera productions, and teaches graduate students in conducting. Before his appointment at the University of Wisconsin, he was associate director of orchestras at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

His professional conducting activities include performances with a long list of renowned soloists, collaborations with celebrated composers, and concerts with orchestras and ensembles including the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Santa Fe Symphony, the Michigan Chamber Winds and Strings, the New Mexico Philharmonic, the San Juan Symphony (Colorado), the Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco in Guadalajara (Mexico), the Flint Symphony Orchestra, the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, the International Contemporary Ensemble and the Four Corners Ensemble. Since 2016 Mr. Sans has held the position of music director of the Detroit Symphony Youth Orchestra. His reputation working with young and college musicians has brought him to serve in several occasions on the conducting faculty at the Interlochen Summer Academy, to guest conduct at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival, and to be a conducting clinician and guest conductor for numerous youth ensembles.

A native of Catalonia, Spain, Mr. Sans studied orchestral and choral conducting at the Barcelona Conservatory, receiving the school’s Honors Award in both specialties upon graduation. Following his training in Spain, he studied with Kenneth Kiesler at the University of Michigan where he received his master’s degree in orchestral conducting and his doctorate in musical arts. In addition to his degrees in music, Mr. Sans also holds a bachelor’s degree in humanities from the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona.

Arthur Greene, piano

BIOGRAPHY

Born in New York, Arthur Greene studied at Juilliard with Martin Canin, and received a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a doctorate from Stony Brook. Greene was a Gold Medal winner in the William Kapell and Gina Bachauer International Piano Competitions, and a top laureate at the Busoni International Competition. He performed the complete solo piano works of Johannes Brahms in a series of six programs in Boston and recorded the Complete Etudes of Alexander Scriabin for Supraphon. Greene has performed the 10 Sonata Cycle of Alexander Scriabin in many important international venues, including multi-media presentations with Symbolist artworks. He has made many recordings together with his wife, the violinist Solomia Soroka, for Naxos and Toccata Classics, including the Violin-Piano Sonatas of William Bolcom. Greene recently recorded the Concord Sonata of Charles Ives, available for free high-resolution download on his homepage.

Christopher Harding, piano

BIOGRAPHY

Pianist Christopher Harding maintains a flourishing international performance career, generating acclaim and impressing audiences and critics alike with his substantive interpretations and pianistic mastery. He has given frequent solo, concerto, and chamber music performances in venues as far-flung as the Kennedy Center and Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C.; Suntory Hall in Tokyo; the National Theater Concert Hall in Taipei; the Jack Singer Concert Hall in Calgary; and halls and festival appearances in Newfoundland, Israel, Romania, and China. His concerto performances have included concerts with the National Symphony and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestras, the San Angelo and Santa Barbara Symphonies, and the Tokyo City Philharmonic, working with such conductors as Andrew Sewell, Eric Zhou, Taijiro Iimori, Gisele Ben-Dor, Fabio Marchetti, Randall Craig Fleisher, John DeMain, Ron Spiegelman, Daniel Alcott, and Darryl One, among others. His chamber music and duo collaborations have included internationally renowned artists such as clarinetist Karl Leister, flautist Andras Adorjan, and members of the St. Lawrence and Ying String Quartets, in addition to frequent projects with his distinguished faculty colleagues at the University of Michigan. He has recorded solo and chamber music CDs for the Equilibrium and Brevard Classics labels. He has additionally edited and published critical editions and recordings of works by Claude Debussy (Children’s Corner, Arabesques, and shorter works) and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Viennese Sonatinas) for the Schirmer Performance Editions published by Hal Leonard.

by the numbers

A2SO staff members

Length of Mozart's Concerto for Two Pianos (minutes)

Musicians in Your A2SO

SEE YOU AT THE SYMPHONY!

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