Legendary pianist Mitsuko Uchida brings a deep insight into the music she plays through her own quest for truth and beauty. Renowned for her interpretations of Mozart, Schubert, Schumann and Beethoven, she has also illuminated the music of Berg, Schoenberg, Webern and Boulez for a new generation of listeners.
In 2016 Mitsuko Uchida embarks on a close partnership with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra directing Mozart concerti from the keyboard in extensive tours of major European venues and Japan. Other highlights of the 2015-16 season include an acclaimed performance of the Schönberg piano concerto with the London Philharmonic and Valdimir Jurowski at the 2015 BBC Proms, play-directing the Cleveland Orchestra in performances at Severance Hall and Carnegie Hall, and two appearances at the 2016 Baden-Baden Festival with the Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle. Recital tour venues in 2016 include the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Théâtre des Champs Elysées in Paris, the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Royal Festival Hall in London and Carnegie Hall in New York. With a strong commitment to (deleted ‘playing’) chamber music, Mitsuko Uchida collaborates closely with the world’s finest musicians. Following concerts with Dorothea Röschmann, the Ebène Quartet and Magdalena Kožená in 2015, Uchida will also appear in chamber music programmes with members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in the United States, and with Jörg Widmann and members of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in a residency at the Alte Oper in Frankfurt.
Mitsuko Uchida’s loyal relationship with the finest orchestras and concert halls has resulted in numerous residencies. She has been Artist-in-Residence at the Cleveland Orchestra and at the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Konzerthaus, Salzburg Mozartwoche and Lucerne Festival. Carnegie Hall dedicated to her a Perspectives series entitled ‘Mitsuko Uchida: Vienna Revisited’ and the Concertgebouw a Carte Blanche series.
Mitsuko Uchida records exclusively for Decca. Her extensive discography includes the complete Mozart and Schubert piano sonatas. Since 2011 Uchida has been recording Mozart’s Piano Concerti with the Cleveland Orchestra live in concert and directing from the piano. The first release won a Grammy Award in 2011. The latest release (August 2014) features piano concerti K456 and K.459, and Uchida will record the next instalment in 2016. Her recording of the Schoenberg Piano Concerto with Pierre Boulez and the Cleveland Orchestra won four awards, including The Gramophone Award for Best Concerto. The next Decca CD to be released shortly, fruit of her collaboration with Dorothea Röschmann, will feature lieder by Schumann and Berg.
Highly committed to aiding the development of young musicians, Mitsuko Uchida is a trustee of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust and Director of the Marlboro Music Festival. In May 2012 she was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Gold Medal. In June 2009 she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire and received an Honorary Degree from the University of Cambridge in 2014.
Clarinetist, composer and conductor Jörg Widmann is one of the most versatile and intriguing artists of his generation. The 2015/16 season will see him appear as soloist with orchestras such as Münchner Philharmoniker, Bamberger Symphoniker, Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg and Taiwan Symphony Orchestra. Early in the season, Antoine Tamestit will perform the world premiere of Widmann’s new Viola Concerto at Paris Philharmonie with Paavo Järvi and the Orchestre de Paris. Daniel Harding will then give the Swedish premiere of the work with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra while the German premiere will be with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks. Meanwhile, Widmann’s Piano Concerto Trauermarsch will see its US premiere with Yefim Bronfman and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.
Widmann will continue his close collaboration with the Bamberger Symphoniker as their “Composer in Residence” for one more year. In addition, he will take up the “Creative Chair” at the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich featuring in different roles including composer, soloist, chamber musician and conductor. This series will see the world premiere of his new Trio for Viola, Clarinet and Piano. Further chamber music performances will include a return to Wigmore Hall London as well as Beethovenfest Bonn, Mozartfest Würzburg, Louvre Paris, Philharmonie Essen, Schubertiade Hohenems and Toppan Hall Tokyo. Amongst his regular chamber music partners are renowned soloists and ensembles such as Sir András Schiff, Daniel Barenboim, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Mitsuko Uchida, and the Hagen and Arcanto quartets.
Continuing his intense activities as conductor, Jörg Widmann will perform this season with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg, the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, Stuttgarter Kammerorchester, Budapest festival Orchestra and the Irish Chamber Orchestra, of which he is Principal Guest Conductor.
As clarinetist, Widmann studied with Gerd Starke in Munich and Charles Neidich at the Juilliard School in New York. He performs regularly with leading world orchestras, such as Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Orchestra National de France, National Symphony Orchestra Washington, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He collaborates with conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Valery Gergiev, Kent Nagano, Sylvain Cambreling, Christoph Eschenbach and Christoph von Dohnányi.
Widmann will give the world premiere of Mark Andre’s new Clarinet Concerto at the Donauerschinger Musiktage. Other clarinet concerti dedicated to and written for him include Wolfgang Rihm’s Musik für Klarinette und Orchester (1999) and Aribert Reimann’s Cantus (2006).
Widmann studied composition with Kay Westermann, Wilfried Hiller and Wolfgang Rihm. His works continue to receive multiple awards such as the prestigious Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Elise L. Stoeger Prize (2009), the Paul Hindemith Prize in 2001, the Arnold Schönberg Prize by the Vienna Arnold Schönberg Centre and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (2004) and both the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg’s composition award and the Berliner Philharmoniker Academy’s Claudio Abbado Composition Award in 2006.
Widmann’s compositions are performed regularly by conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Christian Thielemann, Mariss Jansons, Andris Nelsons and Simon Rattle and premiered by orchestras such as the Wiener and Berliner Philharmoniker, New York Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris and many others.
Widmann’s appointment as Daniel R. Lewis Young Composer Fellow at the Cleveland Orchestra established an extraordinary artistic collaboration with the Orchestra and its Principal Conductor Franz Welser-Möst including the world premiere of Widmann’s flute concerto, Flûte en suite in May 2011 followed by its European premiere in 2012/13 by the Berliner Philharmoniker and Emmanuel Pahud. Cleveland Orchestra featured Flûte en suit as centrepiece in their 2014 European tour, and dedicated an entire evening to Widmann’s works at the Berlin Philharmonie. His opera Babylon was premiered in 2012/13 at Bayerische Staatsoper under the baton of Kent Nagano. In the same season Alte Oper Frankfurt featured Widmann’s works in their composer portrait “Auftakt”.
Widmann was Artist in Residence at leading Orchestras and Festivals such as Lucerne and Heidelberger Frühling and featured in Artist Portraits at Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Frankfurt’s Alte Oper, Cologne’s Philharmonie and New York’s Carnegie Hall, where his music was featured an entire season under the motto “Making Music: Jörg Widmann”.
Widmann is a Fellow at the Wissenschaftskollegs in Berlin and a full member of the Bayerischen Akademie of Schönen Künste, and since 2007, the Freien Akademie der Künste Hamburg and the Deutschen Akademie der Darstellenden Künste.