Vladimir Ashkenazy to Conduct European Union Youth Orchestra
Pianist Yefim Bronfman to perform during April 24 Northwestern University concertFebruary 2, 2012 | by Judy Moore
EVANSTON --- On April 24, the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO) will end its spring 2012 tour of the United States with a concert at Northwestern University. Made up of college age musicians from the European Union’s 27 member nations, the EUYO performs throughout the world. At Northwestern, the ensemble will appear with guest pianist Yefim Bronfman, who was awarded the 2010 Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance by the University’s Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music, under the direction of internationally renowned pianist and conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy.
The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 24, at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, on the University’s Evanston campus. The program will include Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy; Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in A Major (with piano soloist Bronfman); and “An Alpine Symphony” by Strauss. A Bienen School of Music choir and faculty soloists will join the orchestra for the Beethoven Choral Fantasy.
Established in 1976 to foster cultural understanding between countries, the orchestra regularly performs around the world and has appeared at the Salzburg Festival, the Edinburgh Festival, the BBC Proms and the Royal Concertgebouw’s Robeco Summer Concert Series. A majority of its members go on to professional careers with Europe’s leading orchestras.
Since its inception, the EUYO has been under the direction of internationally respected conductors, including Claudio Abbado and Bernard Haitink. Its music director and conductor today is Vladimir Ashkenazy, a Grammy Award-winning pianist. Ashkenazy also serves as principal conductor and artistic advisor to the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, as well as conductor laureate of the London Philharmonia Orchestra, Iceland Symphony Orchestra and Tokyo’s NHK Symphony Orchestra. As a pianist, Ashkenazy recently released two discs for the Decca label: a compilation of solo piano works by Russian composers and an album devoted to Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor and Variations on a Theme of Chopin.
Pianist Bronfman appears with the orchestra as part of his residency as 2010 winner of the Bienen School’s $50,000 Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance. The biennial award was established in 2005 to honor pianists who have achieved the highest levels of national and international recognition. Previous winners are Richard Goode (2006) and Stephen Hough (2008). Winner of a 1997 Grammy Award and the Avery Fisher Prize, Bronfman appears regularly with prestigious orchestras and festivals throughout the world. Highlights of his 2011-12 season include performances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall; a residency with the Cleveland Orchestra; a world premiere commissioned by the New York Philharmonic and engagements with the London Philharmonia Orchestra and London Symphony Orchestra.
The EUYO 2012 Spring Tour is supported by the European Union (EU), the 27 EU Member States, the Friends of the British Council and the British Council. The EUYO 2012 Spring Tour official airline partners are Delta, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Air France and Alitalia. Their concert sponsor is ABN AMRO Clearing.
Tickets for the April 24 concert are $26 for the general public and $12 for students with valid IDs. Northwestern University faculty and staff with a valid WildCARD receive a 15 percent discount off the general public ticket price. To order tickets, call the Pick-Staiger Ticket Office at (847) 467-4000 or visit www.pickstaiger.org. For more information, call the Pick-Staiger Concert Office at (847) 491-5441 or visit www.pickstaiger.org.