Mozart

Shostakovich

Saturday, January 22, 2022, 8pm | Michigan Theater

Behind the Music

Performed five days before 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 Ludwig van Beethoven’s explosive Overture to Fidelio. 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

BEETHOVEN Overture to Fidelio, Op. 72c in E-minor

MOZART Concerto No. 10 for Two Pianos, K. 365/316a

SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 5

Oriol Sans, conductor

Arthur Greene, piano

Christopher Harding, piano

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Oriol Sans, conductor and music director candidate

BIOGRAPHY

Hailed as “refreshing and expressive in his handling of the orchestra” (El Informador, Jalisco)Catalan conductor Oriol Sans has inspired musicians and audiences across North America and Europe. Mr. Sans has conducted concerts with outstanding orchestras and ensembles including the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Ann Arbor 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 Sheboygan Symphony, the International Contemporary Ensemble and the Four Corners Ensemble. He has lead performances with a long list of renowned soloists that includes Yoonshin Song, Wey Yu, Tony Arnold, Amy Porter, Aaron Berofsky, Jourdan Urbach, Álvaro Bitrán, Íride González, Alan Pingarrón, Jason Vieaux, Alexander Gavrylyuk, Anderson & Roe Piano Duo, Alon Goldstein and Wu Han.

Mr. Sans is Assistant Professor and Director of Orchestral Activities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His responsibilities include directing the Symphony Orchestra, conducting the opera productions, and teaching graduate conducting students. Under his musical direction, the University production of Così fan tutte received 2nd prize from the National Opera Association. Before joining the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he was Associate Director of Orchestras at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor where he directed both the University Philharmonia Orchestra and the Contemporary Directions Ensemble (CDE). With CDE, Mr. Sans fostered projects with celebrated composers such as John Luther Adams, Ted Hearne, Julia Wolfe, David T. Little, Tyshawn Sorey and Augusta Read-Thomas.

As Music Director of the Detroit Symphony Youth Orchestra, a position he has held since 2016, Mr. Sans has initiated collaborations with other musical institutions in the community, like the Young Artists Program at the Michigan Opera Theater. His reputation for working with young musicians has led to several invitations to serve as conducting faculty at leading educational institutions including the Interlochen Summer Academy and Sewanee Summer Music Festival. He is also a frequent conducting clinician and guest conductor for other youth ensembles across North America.

As an opera conductor, his eclectic repertoire includes performances of Verdi’s Falstaff, Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro and Così fan tutte, Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Britten’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Jake Heggie’s Two Remain. In 2018 he conducted a production of Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors at the Michigan Opera Theatre, and more recently he collaborated with the Opera Theatre Saint Louis in a workshop of Awakenings, a new opera by composer Tobias Picker that will be premiered in 2022. In the Fall of 2021 he conducted a production of Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi with the Tulsa Opera.

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 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 an active international 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., the IBK and Recital Halls of the Seoul Art Center, 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, Italy, Romania, Russia, 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 Machetti, Randall Craig Fleisher, John DeMain, Ron Spiegelman, Daniel Alcott, and Darryl One, among others.

Mr. Harding’s 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, Suite Bergamasque, the Arabesques and shorter works) and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Viennese Sonatinas) for the Schirmer Performance Editions published by Hal Leonard.

Professor Harding has presented master classes and lecture recitals in universities across the United States and Asia, as well as in Israel and Canada. He is a Permanent Guest Professor at the Sichuan Conservatory in Chengdu, China, where he holds the privilege of presenting yearly masterclasses; he has additionally served as a Fulbright Senior Specialist at the both the Sichuan Conservatory (2008) and Seoul National University (2011). While teaching at SNU, he simultaneously held a Special Chair in Piano at Ewha Womans’ University. He has taught masterclasses and performed lecture recitals at all the major universities and schools of music in South Korea.

In addition to serving as Chair of Piano and teaching undergraduate and graduate piano performance and chamber music at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, Mr. Harding also serves on the faculty of the Indiana University Summer Piano Academy and is a frequent guest artist and teacher at the Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival in Tampa, Florida. He is a founding faculty member of the White Nights International Piano Festival in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Harding was born of American parents in Munich, Germany and raised in Northern Virginia. His collegiate studies were with Menahem Pressler and Nelita True. Prior to college, he worked for 10 years with Milton Kidd at the American University Department of Performing Arts Preparatory Division, where he was trained in the traditions of Tobias Matthay. He has taken 25 first prizes in national and international competitions and in 1999 was awarded the special “Mozart Prize” at the Cleveland International Piano Competition, given for the best performance of a composition by Mozart.

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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