Performance Thursday, February 7, 2013 | 8 PM

Orchestra of St. Luke's

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Hear Pablo Heras-Casado as he leads the Orchestra of St. Luke’s for the first time since his appointment as its principal conductor. Together, they perform music by Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, and Schumann.


  • Orchestra of St. Luke's
    Pablo Heras-Casado, Principal Conductor
  • Christian Zacharias, Piano


  • BEETHOVEN Egmont Overture
  • CHOPIN Piano Concerto No. 2
  • DEBUSSY Five Preludes (orch. Hans Zender) (US Premiere)
  • SCHUMANN Symphony No. 4 (1841 version)


  • Orchestra of St. Luke's

    Now in its 38th season, Orchestra of St. Luke's (OSL) is one of America's foremost and most versatile ensembles. Dedicated to engaging audiences throughout New York City and beyond, OSL performs approximately 70 orchestral, chamber, and educational concerts each year-including an annual orchestra series at Carnegie Hall, an annual chamber music series at The Morgan Library & Museum and the Brooklyn Museum, and summer concerts as orchestra-in-residence at the Caramoor International Music Festival. OSL's principal conductor is Pablo Heras-Casado.

    OSL collaborates regularly with the world's great artists, such as Renée Fleming, Yo-Yo Ma, Jessye Norman, Anna Netrebko, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Mark Morris Dance Group, Peter Gabriel, Sting, Elton John, and many more. In March 2011, OSL opened The DiMenna Center for Classical Music-its first permanent home, and New York City's first rehearsal and recording facility dedicated to classical music. Committed to community building, OSL produces free concerts in each of the five boroughs as part of its Subway Series, free concerts and events devoted to the artistic process as part of its OSL@DMC series at The DiMenna Center, and has engaged more than one million children in its Arts Education programs.

    OSL's discography of more than 70 recordings includes five releases on its own label, St. Luke's Collection, and four Grammy Award-winning recordings. OSL has commissioned more than 50 new works and performed more than 150 world, US, and New York premieres.

    Later this season, OSL's 2012-2013 Carnegie Hall series features Iván Fischer conducting the orchestra in Bach's St. Matthew Passion on March 28, with the New York City-based chorus Musica Sacra and soprano Dominique Labelle, mezzo-soprano Barbara Kozelj, tenor John Tessier, and bass-baritone Hanno Müller-Brachmann. OSL closes its orchestra series with conductor Nicholas McGegan and cellist Steven Isserlis performing a program of Haydn and Mozart on June 1.

    Pablo Heras-Casado

    Pablo Heras-Casado enjoys a multifaceted conducting career of unusual breadth and variety, from early music to cutting-edge contemporary scores, intimate chamber programs, and grand opera. In December 2011, Mr. Heras-Casado was announced as principal conductor of Orchestra of St. Luke's, beginning a four-year term that includes regular concerts at Carnegie Hall and the Caramoor International Music Festival, as well as special projects. He is OSL's fourth titled conductor, following Sir Roger Norrington (1990-1994), Charles Mackerras (1998-2001), and Donald Runnicles (2001-2007).

    Mr. Heras-Casado enjoyed many significant guest-conducting debuts last season, including the Berliner Philharmoniker, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago and Boston symphony orchestras, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Mariinsky Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Staatskapelle Berlin, and Salzburger Festspiele with Klangforum Wien. He also participated in new music projects with l'Ensemble intercontemporain.

    In the 2012-2013 season, Mr. Heras-Casado returns to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony. In Europe, he gives debut performances with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. Opera performances include Peter Eötvös's Angels in America with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Rigoletto with Deutsche Oper Berlin, Les vêpres siciliennes with Oper Frankfurt, and Il postino with Teatro Real, starring Plácido Domingo.

    In December 2011, Mr. Heras-Casado was awarded the Medalla de Honor of the Rodriguez Acosta Foundation, and in February 2012 he was awarded with the Golden Medal of the City of Granada, his hometown.

    Last season, Mr. Heras-Casado announced a significant relationship with Harmonia Mundi; his recording of Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 2, "Lobgesang," with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra will be released in 2013. Another disc, recorded in Granada with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, features Schubert's symphonies nos. 3 and 4 and will be released in the same season.

    A champion of contemporary music, Mr. Heras-Casado has worked with Ensemble ACJW at Carnegie Hall, Klangforum Wien, and Collegium Novum Zürich. His performance of repertoire that included Stockhausen's Gruppen resulted in his winning the 2007 Lucerne Festival Conductors' Competition. The award was voted unanimously by a jury that included Pierre Boulez and Peter Eötvös.


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    Christian Zacharias

    The qualities that make Christian Zacharias one of the world's most celebrated pianists have also enabled him to make his mark as a conductor, festival director, musical thinker, writer, and broadcaster: integrity married to individualism, deep musical insight matched by a sure poetic instinct, a brilliance in communication, and a charismatic and commanding platform manner.

    Mr. Zacharias's career has been marked by many awards and prizes, including the 2007 Midem Classical Artist of the Year Award in Cannes. After having been awarded for his services to the culture in Romania in 2009, Mr. Zacharias recently received the highly honorable title of Officier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French government. On the occasion of his 60th birthday in 2010, the Alte Oper Frankfurt arranged an "Artist's Portrait" of Christian Zacharias, presenting him as pianist, conductor, chamber musician, and Lied accompanist in five concerts and three films. In December 2011, Mr. Zacharias appeared in recital at Carnegie Hall-the first German pianist to do so in more than 30 years. Recitals appearances during the 2012-2013 season include Rome, Paris, and London.

    During the 2012-2013 season, Mr. Zacharias appears with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, Deutsche Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Orquesta Nacional de España, and the Orchestre National de France as conductor and pianist. He also continues his close artistic cooperation with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, and The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. In addition, he was appointed artistic director of the International Radio Orchestra's Festival RadiRo in Bucharest, which was launched for the first time in September 2012.

    Since 2011, Mr. Zacharias has been a professor of orchestral performance at the Academy of Music and Drama at the University of Gothenburg.

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Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 2 (Allegro vivace)
Lausanne Chamber Orchestra | Christian Zacharias, Conductor and Piano

At a Glance

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN  Overture to Goethe's Egmont, Op. 84

Goethe's 1788 historical tragedy Egmont dealt with the most illustrious victim of Spanish tyranny in the Netherlands, treacherously seized by the Duke of Alba and executed in Brussels on June 4, 1568. The play was but a middling success. To the extent that it remains alive, Beethoven's score, composed for an 1810 Viennese production, is largely responsible, projecting Egmont to the audience as a far more heroic figure than Goethe made him.

FRÉDÉRIC CHOPIN  Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor, Op. 21

The 19-year-old Chopin began his Piano Concerto No. 2 (his first work in the genre) in 1829 while on his first visit to Vienna. He appeared as soloist in the premiere the following year. This work is more closely influenced by the ornamental concertos of Hummel and others than the symphonic works of Beethoven.

CLAUDE DEBUSSY  Five Préludes (orch. Hans Zender)

Debussy revolutionized the way composers wrote for the piano and then further revolutionized the orchestral treatment of works derived from piano compositions. Hans Zender's orchestral versions of Debussy's five piano preludes aim to capture the Debussyan colors in these evocative works.

ROBERT SCHUMANN  Symphony No. 4 in D Minor, Op. 120

Though now identified as Symphony No. 4, Schumann's D-Minor Symphony was actually his second, renumbered when the composer reworked it quite extensively 10 years later. Brahms regarded the original so highly that he published it in 1891 over the objections of Schumann's widow Clara, who could not bring herself to believe that her husband's final thoughts were not always superior. Thanks to Brahms's intervention, we have two versions that allow for stimulating comparison of Schumann's work at two different stages of his life.

Program Notes


Heras-Casado on his consistent approach to working with ensembles.

Pablo Heras-Casado, along with Katy Clark and Daire FitzGerald from Orchestra of St. Luke's on the maestro's arrival at the orchestra.

Maestro Heras-Casado discusses his approach to rehearsals.

Join Pablo Heras-Casado as he describes his connection with New York City.

This performance is part of Orchestra of St. Luke's, and Singers and Symphonies.