Bernstein 100: West Side Story

Fri 27 Apr 2018, 7.30PM
Usher Hall, Edinburgh

Bernstein Chichester Psalms
Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue
Bernstein Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
Barber Symphony No1 (in One Movement)

Cristian Macelaru Conductor
George Li Piano
RSNO Chorus  

Life, liberty, and big, big tunes – American music never does anything by halves! And from the joyous shouts of the Chichester Psalms to the urban rhythms of West Side Story, Leonard Bernstein always put on one heck of a show. Cristian Macelaru conducts, and all-American piano virtuoso George Li stars in Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. Finally, discover Barber’s First Symphony: packed with all the melody, drama and raw emotion you’d expect from the composer of the famous Adagio.

Supported by Dunard Fund

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Featured Artists

Cristian  Macelaru

Cristian Macelaru Conductor

Newly appointed Music Director and Conductor of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Cristian Macelaru has established himself as one of the fast-rising stars of the conducting world. With every concert he displays an exciting and highly regarded presence, thoughtful interpretations and energetic conviction on the podium. Macelaru came to public attention in February 2012 when he conducted the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as a replacement for Pierre Boulez in performances met with critical acclaim. Conductor-in-Residence of the Philadelphia Orchestra, he made his Philadelphia Orchestra subscription debut in April 2013 and continues to conduct them annually on subscription programs and other special concerts. In September 2016, he was announced Music Director of Cabrillo Festival, America’s longest running festival dedicated to new music for orchestra, to succeed Marin Alsop with immediate effect. Macelaru leads his inaugural season as Cabrillo Festival Music Director in August 2017. The 2016/17 season sees Macelaru returning to the Philadelphia Orchestra and National Symphony Orchestra and the symphony orchestras of St. Louis, San Diego, Milwaukee, Colorado, Detroit and Vancouver. Internationally he leads the Bayerischen Rundfunk Symphonieorchester, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, WDR Sinfonieorchester, Weimar Staatskapelle, Halle Orchestra, Royal Flemish Philharmonic, Royal Scottish National Orchestra and New Japan Philharmonic with Anne-Sophie Mutter as soloist. In Summer 2016, Macelaru made debuts at Dresden Staatskapelle, Ravinia Festival with the Chicago Symphony, Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Wolf Trap Festival with the National Symphony Orchestra and at the Aspen Music Festival. Additionally, he returned to the Mann Center and Saratoga Performing Arts Center with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Chautauqua Music Festival with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.

George  Li

George Li Piano

Praised by the Washington Post for combining “staggering technical prowess, a sense of command and depth of expression,” pianist George Li possesses brilliant virtuosity and effortless grace far beyond his years. He captured the Silver Medal at the 2015 International Tchaikovsky Competition and was the recipient of the 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant. Among George’s many prizes, he was the First Prize winner of the 2010 Young Concert Artists International Auditions and the 2012 Gilmore Young Artist Award. Recent and upcoming highlights include multiple performances with the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra and Valery Gergiev, St. Petersburg Philharmonic with Yuri Temirkanov, Hamburg Philharmonic with Manfred Honeck, Seattle Symphony with Emmanuel Krivine, Utah Symphony with Robert Spano, Verbier Festival Orchestra with Emmanuel Krivine and additional performances with Lucerne Festival, DSO Berlin, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Grafenegg Festival, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, Orchestre National de Lyon, Malmo Symphony and the opening night concert of the Los Angeles Philharmonic with Gustavo Dudamel. Recital highlights include the Mariinsky Theatre, Munich’s Gasteig, the Louvre, the Emil Gilels Festival in Freiburg, Seoul Arts Center, Vladivostok Festival, Tokyo’s Asahi Hall and Musashino Hall, NCPA Beijing, Ravinia Festival, Lanaudiere Festival, Schloss Elmau, Edinburgh Festival and Montreaux Festival. George Li gave his first public performance at Boston’s Steinway Hall at the age of ten and in 2011, performed for President Obama at the White House in an evening honoring Chancellor Angela Merkel. George is currently in the Harvard University / New England Conservatory joint program, studying with Wha Kyung Byun.

 RSNO Chorus

RSNO Chorus  

The RSNO Chorus performs in around six different programmes in up to twenty concerts across Scotland with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra each year. The RSNO Chorus has also had great success in recording with the Orchestra. Its recordings, amongst others, of Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky, conducted by Neeme J?rvi, and Holst’s The Planets, conducted by David Lloyd-Jones, have both been subject to high critical acclaim. In addition to its commitment to the Orchestra, the RSNO Chorus performs independently and has been invited to perform with orchestras in many different parts of the world, establishing an international status for the choir. The RSNO Chorus has toured in Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Israel, Germany, Belfast, Australia, Trondheim and most recently, Amsterdam. The RSNO Chorus evolved from a choir formed in 1843 to sing the first full performance of Handel’s Messiah in Scotland. Today, the RSNO Chorus is one of the most successful choruses in the UK. In recent years, the Chorus has performed practically every work in the standard choral repertoire along with contemporary works by renowned composers, including John Adams, Magnus Lindberg, Howard Shore and James MacMillan. The RSNO Chorus is directed by Gregory Batsleer, one of the UK’s most dynamic and in demand choral conductors and chorus masters. Gregory recently received The Arts Foundation Award 2015 for Choral Conducting.