MICHAEL TILSON THOMAS TO BE FEATURED IN IDAGIO’S GLOBAL CONCERT HALL CONDUCTING BERLIOZ’S HAROLD IN ITALY, AS RE-CONCEIVED BY COMPOSER STEVEN MACKEY AND PERFORMED BY VIOLIST TABEA ZIMMERMANN AND THE NEW WORLD SYMPHONY,
FRIDAY, AUGUST 21 AT 2:00 P.M. ET
Originally recorded as part of MTT and the New World Symphony’s Viola Visions festival in 2019, this performance webcast will be preceded by an introduction from the artists, who reconvene afterwards for a live Virtual Green Room Q&A
Following the initial webcast, this virtual event may be viewed
on-demand until Sunday, August 23 at 3:30 p.m. ET
NEW YORK, NEW YORK (August 14, 2020) — Coming soon to IDAGIO’s recently launched Global Concert Hall is Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT), Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the New World Symphony (NWS), conducting the orchestra in an NWS-commissioned elaboration of Berlioz’s Harold in Italy by composer Steven Mackey. Featuring viola soloist Tabea Zimmermann, this performance was filmed in October 2019 as part of the grand finale of MTT and NWS’s Viola Visions festival at the New World Center in Miami Beach. The IDAGIO webcast will include an introduction from MTT, Mr. Mackey, and Ms. Zimmermann, followed by the performance and a live Virtual Green Room audience Q&A with the artists after the concert. This virtual event is scheduled for Friday, August 21 at 2:00 p.m. ET, after which time it will be available for on-demand viewing until Sunday, August 23 at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Tickets priced €9.90 (approximately $12) are available via globalconcerthall.com.
In August 2019, when this commission from Steven Mackey was originally announced, MTT said:
“Since I first performed Harold in Italy with Joseph de Pasquale and the Philadelphia Orchestra some 40 years ago, it has been one of my favorite pieces. Since then, I’ve harbored the wish that the collaboration between Berlioz and Paganini might have really worked, and that the viola part would have been more virtuosic allowing the soloist to become a true protagonist as well as observer of the shifting scenes. Particularly the last movement suggests many opportunities for the viola to assume a larger role. Steven Mackey seems the perfect person to fulfill this dream. His super imaginative instrumental writing as well as the no-holds-barred exuberance of his music reminds me much of the spirit of Berlioz. Steven and I have done many projects over some decades. This time, we have worked together as if we were creating a new Broadway show; he being the composer, me being the director. It is our hope that this newly expanded version will bring new excitement to—and win many new friends for—this wonderful piece.”
As a commission that casts a familiar viola classic in a contemporary light, this reconceived Harold in Italy reflects MTT’s mission with the Viola Visions festival, which was to explore the past, present, and potential future of the instrument from the perspectives of performers, composers, and listeners. Viola Visions brought today’s leading violists together with young artists at the New World Center and online participants around the world for a series of master classes, seminars, and performances in partnership with Medici.TV and The Violin Channel.
IDAGIO, the premier global streaming service for classical music, launched its Global Concert Hall in May 2020. The Global Concert Hall is an online concert venue that brings artists direct revenue and offers listeners a new, interactive classical music experience. Its concerts are streamed live and are available across the globe for at least 24 hours following the initial broadcast. Interactive features, such as introductions from the artists and Virtual Green Room Q&As, are an integral part of the Global Concert Hall experience.
This performance was produced in the New World Symphony’s Knight New Media Center.
About Michael Tilson Thomas
Michael Tilson Thomas is Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the New World Symphony, Music Director Laureate of the San Francisco Symphony, and Conductor Laureate of the London Symphony Orchestra. In addition to conducting the world’s leading orchestras, MTT is also noted for his work as a composer and as a producer of multimedia projects dedicated to music education and reinventing the concert experience. He is an eleven-time Grammy Award winner whose wide-ranging discography includes more than 120 recordings, including most recently a recording of his compositions on SFS Media. His television work includes series for the BBC and PBS, broadcasts of the New York Philharmonic’s Young People’s Concerts, and numerous televised performances. He is an Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France, a member of the American Academies of Arts and Sciences and Arts and Letters, and has been profiled on CBS’s 60 Minutes and ABC’s Nightline. He was awarded the National Medal of Arts, has been inducted into the California Hall of Fame, and was a 2019 recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors. For more information, visit michaeltilsonthomas.com.
About Steven Mackey
Steven Mackey—a Grammy Award winner lauded by Gramophone for his “explosive and ethereal imagination”—is regarded as one of the leading composers of his generation, with compositions ranging from orchestral and chamber music to dance and opera. His orchestral music has been performed by major orchestras around the world, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco and Chicago Symphonies, BBC Philharmonic, and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He is currently Professor of Music and former chair of the Department of Music at Princeton University, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1985. His music is published by Boosey & Hawkes. For more information, visit stevenmackey.com.
About Tabea Zimmermann
Tabea Zimmermann, who describes herself as a “musician, who happens to play the viola,” is one of the most popular and renowned performers of our time. With the award of the international Ernst von Siemens Music Prize 2020, her Residency with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in the 2019–20 season and the Residency with the Berliner Philharmoniker in the 2020–21 season, Tabea Zimmermann has received the greatest recognition for the untiring enthusiasm with which she conveys her understanding of the works and her love of music to her audience, and for her uncompromising commitment to quality. For more information, visit tabeazimmermann.de.
About the New World Symphony
The New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy, prepares graduates of music programs for leadership roles in professional orchestras and ensembles. In the 33 years since its co-founding by Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas and Lin and Ted Arison, NWS has helped launch the careers of more than 1,150 alumni worldwide. A laboratory for the way music is taught, presented and experienced, the New World Symphony consists of 87 young musicians who are granted fellowships lasting up to three years. The fellowship program offers in-depth exposure to traditional and modern repertoire, professional development training and personalized experiences working with leading guest conductors, soloists and visiting faculty. Relationships with these artists are extended through NWS’s extensive distance learning via the internet. NWS Fellows take advantage of the innovative performance facilities and state-of-the art practice and ensemble rooms of the Frank Gehry-designed New World Center, the campus of the New World Symphony. For more information, visit nws.edu.
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Friday, August 21 at 2:00 p.m. ET
(subsequently on-demand until Sunday, August 23 at 3:30 p.m. ET)
Streamed via IDAGIO Global Concert Hall
New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy
Michael Tilson Thomas, Artistic Director and Conductor
Tabea Zimmermann, viola
HECTOR BERLIOZ / STEVEN MACKEY Harold in Italy (1834 / 2019; world premiere)*
I. Harold in the Mountains. Scenes of Melancholy, Happiness and Joy (Adagio – Allegro)
II. March of the Pilgrims Singing the Evening Prayer (Allegretto)
III. Serenade of an Abruzzi Mountain-Dweller to his Mistress (Allegro assai-Allegretto)
IV. Orgy of Brigands. Memories of Scenes Past (Allegro frenetico – Adagio)
*New World Symphony commission (Steven Mackey, 2019)
Tickets priced €9.90 (approximately $12) are available via globalconcerthall.com. The event begins with an introduction by Michael Tilson Thomas, Tabea Zimmerman, and Steven Mackey. The artists reconvene after the performance for a live Virtual Green Room Q&A with viewers.
This performance was filmed on October 19, 2019 at the New World Center in Miami Beach as part of Michael Tilson Thomas and the New World Symphony’s Viola Visions festival.
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