Carnegie Hall presents the San Francisco Symphony under the direction of Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas in two concerts, on Wednesday, March 20 at 8:00 p.m. and Thursday, March 21 at 8:00 p.m. in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage.
The first program includes Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 with guest soloist Yuja Wang, as well as Brahms's Symphony No. 1 and the New York premiere of Drift and Providence by the Brooklyn-based composer Samuel Carl Adams, featuring live electronic processing by the composer. Following the West Coast premiere of Mr. Adams's new work in September 2012, The New York Times said, "The strongest quality of Drift and Providence, a moody, dark piece of subdued intensity, is that it comes across as the music of a composer with a personal voice and keen imagination." Last week, the San Francisco Symphony and Tilson Thomas's 2012 recording of music by composer John Adams, a longtime San Francisco Symphony collaborator and father of Samuel Carl Adams, earned a Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance.
The March 20 concert will be aired on WQXR 105.9 FM in New York and stations nationwide as part of the Carnegie Hall Live broadcast and digital series, produced by WQXR and Carnegie Hall in collaboration with American Public Media and hosted by WQXR's Jeff Spurgeon and American Public Media's Fred Child. Concerts in the series are available for live streaming on wqxr.org and carnegiehall.org/wqxr. During every live broadcast, WQXR, Carnegie Hall, and digital partner NPR Music will host live web chats, including Twitter commentary by the broadcast team, from backstage and in the control room, connecting national and international fans to the music and to each other.
The orchestra's second Carnegie Hall program, on March 21, is devoted to a performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 9, the composer's final complete symphony. In 2010, Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony concluded their self-producEd Mahler recording project, launched in 2001 and encompassing all of Mahler's symphonies and works for voice, chorus, and orchestra. The orchestra's Mahler cycle on SFS Media has been recognized with seven Grammy Awards, including three Grammy Awards for its recording of Mahler's Symphony No. 8 and the Adagio from Symphony No. 10. Live concert footage of Mahler's Symphony No. 9 was included in SFS Media's PBS television series Keeping Score: Mahler, now available on DVD and Blu-ray.
Born in Beijing in 1987, Yuja Wang began studying piano at age six, with her earliest public performances taking place in China, Australia, and Germany. She studied at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing under Ling Yuan and Zhou Guangren and at Calgary's Mount Royal College Conservatory with Hung Kuan Chen and Tema Blackstone. In 2002, when she was 15, Ms. Wang won the Aspen Music Festival's concerto competition. She then moved to the US to study with Gary Graffman at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she graduated in 2008. In 2006, Yuja received the Gilmore Young Artist Award, and in 2010, she was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. Ms. Wang made her New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall in 2011. Her debut with the San Francisco Symphony was in 2006 at its annual Chinese New Year concert, and she has returned to perform with the orchestra each year since then, developing a close artistic connection with Michael Tilson Thomas. In 2008, she performed as a soloist with the YouTube Symphony Orchestra led by Tilson Thomas at Carnegie Hall. She also performed on tour with the orchestra and Tilson Thomas in Macau, Hong Kong, Taipei, Shanghai, Beijing, and Tokyo in November 2012.
Bay Area native Samuel Carl Adams is a composer of acoustic and electroacoustic music and the son of the frequent San Francisco Symphony collaborator, composer John Adams. Based in Brooklyn, Adams draws on his experiences with jazz, noise, programming, and phonography. He is an active collaborator and performer in San Francisco and New York; his previous commissions include works for Ensemble ACJW (commissioned by Carnegie Hall), Oakland's Paul Dresher Ensemble Electroacoustic Band, and MATA (Music at the Anthology). In spring 2012, Adams was a resident artist at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, and he regularly performs as a bassist with FOUNDRY, a post-classical ensemble based in New York. Adams's Drift and Providence was co-commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony and the New World Symphony. Michael Tilson Thomas conducted its world premiere with the New World Symphony in April 2012 and the West Coast premiere with the San Francisco Symphony in September 2012. Written from the point of view of a West Coast native living elsewhere and as a composer exploring new ways to use tonality, Adams says, "Drift and Providence is looking at my home, the west, from within and from afar; Drift and Providence explores what it means to embark from and arrive at the acoustically familiar."