Acclaimed piano virtuoso Maria João Pires will make a rare American appearance to join Maestro Gerard Schwarz and the Palm Beach Symphony in a special season finale at the Kravis Center on Monday, May 15 at 7:30 p.m.
Pires will perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, which brilliantly blends the composer’s unique ability to both lift the heaviest heart and stir its deepest emotions. The program opens with the Florida premiere of the orchestral version of Adolphus Hailstork’s Monuments for solo trombone and string orchestra featuring Palm Beach Symphony Principal Trombone and Latin GRAMMY winner Domingo Pagliuca. The season culminates with the Symphony performing for the first time Franck’s Symphony in D Minor, which was once such a beloved staple of concert seasons that it appeared in programs at Carnegie Hall six times is less than two months in 1927.
“We thought the perfect way to thank our audiences for their tremendous support this season would be to treat them to a few rare gems,” said Maestro Schwarz. “Symphony orchestras don’t often perform Mozart’s piano concertos. Maria João Pires played Mozart with me at the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York and in Europe and is an extraordinary artist. Adolphus Hailstork has written a piece for solo trombone and strings that I think audiences will love, featuring Domingo Pagliuca in our orchestra. He is one of the great trombonists of today that I have been wanting to feature. When I was growing up Franck’s Symphony in D Minor was among the most popular pieces, but it somehow fell out of favor and few people have heard it performed live in years. It will be a wonderful way to close out one of our most ambitious and memorable seasons.”
A three-time GRAMMY nominee, Pires has made recordings for Erato for 15 years and Deutsche Grammophon for 20 years. Since the 1970s, she has devoted herself to reflecting the influence of art in life, community and education, trying to discover new ways of establishing this way of thinking in society. In 1999, Pires created the Belgais Centre for the Study of the Arts in Portugal and, in 2012, she initiated two complementary projects in Belgium: the Partitura Choirs, a project which creates and develops choirs for children from disadvantaged backgrounds, and the Partitura Workshops. All of the Partitura projects have the aim to create an altruistic dynamic between artists of different generations by proposing an alternative in a world too often focused on competitiveness.
Internationally recognized for his moving performances, innovative programming and extensive catalog of recordings, Maestro Schwarz is Music Director of Palm Beach Symphony, the All-Star Orchestra, Eastern Music Festival and Mozart Orchestra of New York as well as Conductor Laureate of the Seattle Symphony and Conductor Emeritus of the Mostly Mozart Festival. Also in South Florida, he serves as the Music Director of the Frost Symphony Orchestra and the Distinguished Professor of Music, Conducting and Orchestral Studies at University of Miami’s Frost School of Music. Schwarz’s extensive catalog of more than 350 recordings on 11 labels has garnered 14 GRAMMY Award nominations and includes the 30-CD box set “The Gerard Schwarz Collection.” In his five decades as a respected classical musician and conductor, Maestro Schwarz has received hundreds of honors and accolades including nine Emmy Awards, eight ASCAP Awards and numerous “Stereo Review” and Ovation Awards. He holds the Ditson Conductor’s Award from Columbia University, was the first American named Conductor of the Year by Musical America and has received numerous honorary doctorates. His memoir, “Behind the Baton,” was released by Amadeus Press in March 2017.
As a trombone soloist, Pagliuca has performed multiple times here and abroad accompanied by symphonic orchestras. These include the Orquesta Sinfónica de Venezuela, Orquesta Sinfónica de Colombia, Central Ohio Symphony, Orquesta Sinfónica de Carabobo (Vzla) performing the trombone concertos by Nino Rota, F. David, Rimsky Korsakov, F. Graffe, and LE. Larsson. In addition, he has toured throughout the United States, Latin America, and Europe with Latin Grammy-winner artists Franco De Vita, Juan Luis Guerra & 4.40, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Rubén Blades, Luis Enrique, Raphael, and Oscar D’Leon. In June 2019, Pagliuca released his first solo album, entitled Eternal Gratitude, which won a Latin Grammy Award in the category of Best Classical Music Album. A Yamaha Artist, Pagliuca joined the world-renown Boston Brass in 2013 with which he conducts master classes and performs to audiences all over the world.
This concert is made possible through the generosity of the Park Foundation and Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Park
Palm Beach Symphony’s highly anticipated Golden Anniversary Season of six Masterworks concerts will begin in November and feature Maestro Schwarz joined by pianists Yefim Bronfman, Vladimir Feltsman, Emanuel Ax and Ignat Solzhenitsyn and violinists Akiko Suwanai and Pinchas Zukerman in programs that include four world premieres composed by Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Aaron Jay Kernis, Bright Sheng and Maestro Gerard Schwarz. Current subscribers may renew now with new subscriptions available on June 26. Tickets to individual concerts will go on sale September 5.
Tickets for this season’s finale featuring Maria João Pires are $25-$95 and may be purchased at PalmBeachSymphony.org, by calling (561) 281-0145, and at the Palm Beach Symphony Box Office weekdays from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at 400 Hibiscus Street, Suite 100, West Palm Beach. The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts is located at 701 Okeechobee Blvd. in West Palm Beach.
Proud sponsors of Palm Beach Symphony include Max and Christine Ansbacher, Mrs. James N. Bay, Alan Benaroya, JoAnne Berkow, David C. and Eunice Bigelow, Leslie Rogers Blum, James R. Borynack and Adolfo Zaralegui/Findlay Galleries, Braman Motorcars, Thomas and Carol Bruce, CIBC Private Wealth, The Colony Hotel, The David Minkin Foundation, The Frederick A. DeLuca Foundation, Echo Fine Properties, Bill and Kem Frick/The Frick Foundation, Inc., Morgan Glazar/Tom James Company, Paul and Sandra Goldner, Peter and Felicia Gottsegen/Gottsegen Family Foundation, Irwin and Janet Gusman, Thomas E. Harvey & Cathleen P. Black Foundation, Doris Hastings Foundation, John Herrick, Addison Hines Charitable Trust, George Hines, HSS Florida, IYC, Charles and Ann Johnson/The C and A Johnson Family Foundation, Barbara and William Karatz Fund/William Karatz and Joan G. Smith, Leonard and Norma Klorfine Foundation, Gary and Linda Lachman/The Lachman Family Foundation, Patricia Lambrecht, Tova Leidesdorf, Lugano Diamonds, The Honorable Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, The McNulty Charitable Foundation, David Moscow, NetJets, Palm Beach Design Masters, Patrick and Milly Park/Park Foundation, Nancy and Ellis J. Parker, III, PNC Private Bank, Lois Pope, Provident Jewelry, Ari Rifkin/The Len-Ari Foundation, Karen and Kenneth Rogers, Ronald Rosenfeld, David Schafer, Seth Sprague Foundation, Robin B. Smith, Kimberly Strauss, Dodie and Manley Thaler and the Thaler/Howell Foundation, Jerome and Carol Trautschold, Sieglinde Wikstrom/The Wikstrom Foundation, and The Ann Eden Woodward Foundation/James and Judy Woods. Programs are also sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.
Palm Beach Symphony is South Florida’s premier orchestra known for its diverse repertoire and commitment to community. Founded in 1974, this 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization adheres to a mission of engaging, educating, and entertaining the greater community of the Palm Beaches through live performances of inspiring orchestral music. The orchestra is celebrated for delivering spirited performances by first-rate musicians and distinguished guest artists. Recognized by The Cultural Council for Palm Beach County with a 2020 Muse Award for Outstanding Community Engagement, Palm Beach Symphony continues to expand its education and community outreach programs with children’s concerts, student coaching sessions and master classes, instrument donations and free public concerts that have reached more than 64,000 students in recent years. For more information, visit www.palmbeachsymphony.org.
Photo Credit: May Zircus