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Swiss conductor Charles Dutoit leads the OSR in works by Debussy, Ravel,
Stravinsky, and Rachmaninoff featuring Russian pianist Nikolaï Lugansky

Performances to take place at the Soka Center, Mondavi Center,
Greene Music Center, and The Granada Theatre in California, Cornell University in Ithaca,
NJPAC in Newark, and The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC

NEW YORK, NY (January 15, 2015)—From February 12 to 21, 2015, the Geneva-based Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (OSR), one of Switzerland’s leading orchestras, tours to California, New York, New Jersey, and Washington, DC to perform its signature interpretations of early 20th-century French and Russian repertoire. Conductor Charles Dutoit, born in Lausanne in the Suisse romande, the French-speaking part of Switzerland, leads the OSR in Debussy’s “Ibéria”, Ravel’s La valse and Daphnis et Chloé Suite No. 2 in separate programs, and Stravinsky’s The Song of the Nightingale. Russian pianist Nikolaï Lugansky joins the OSR in performances of Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. With these programs, Mr. Dutoit pays tribute to the flagship repertoire and spirit of his mentor Ernest Ansermet, the founder and longstanding music director of the OSR.

Performances take place on Thursday, February 12 at 8 p.m. at Soka University’s Soka Performing Arts Center in Alisa Viejo, CA, Friday, February 13 at 8 p.m. at UC Davis’s Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, Saturday, February 14 at 7:30 p.m. at Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center, Monday, February 16 at 7 p.m. at The Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara, CA, Thursday, February 19 at 8:30 p.m. at Cornell University’s Bailey Hall, Friday, February 20 at 8 p.m. at New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC)’s Prudential Hall in Newark, and Saturday, February 21 at 3 p.m. at The Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall in Washington, DC.

Mr. Dutoit first appeared with the OSR as a guest conductor in 1959 and has regularly collaborated with them for more than five decades, both in concert and on recordings. Their latest project is performing the Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn Violin Concertos with Arabella Steinbacher on a recording to be released by Pentatone this year. In his early years, Mr. Dutoit graduated from the Conservatoire de musique de Genève, where he won first prize in conducting, and studied under French conductor Charles Munch of the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood.

Mr. Lugansky made his debut with OSR in 2003, and his most recent OSR appearance was on tour with then-Music Director Marek Janowski in January and February 2012, which included concerts in Linz, Vienna, Wiesbaden, and Cologne, as well as the first OSR performances in St. Petersburg and Moscow, Mr. Lugansky’s hometown.

Mr. Dutoit and Mr. Lugansky are frequent collaborators, especially as interpreters of Rachmaninoff’s works. In 2012, Mr. Lugansky made his Boston Symphony, New York Philharmonic, and Chicago Symphony debuts with Mr. Dutoit, giving performances of the composer’s Third Piano Concerto that were called “streamlined and powerful” with “pellucid tone and fleet virtuosity” by the Boston Globe. Mr. Lugansky has also performed under Mr. Dutoit’s baton with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra, among others.

About the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (OSR)

Founded in 1918 by Ernest Ansermet, who was permanent conductor until 1967, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (OSR) is an active contributor to the discovery and support of leading contemporary composers, having performed the world premieres of works by Alban Berg, Benjamin Britten, Claude Debussy, Pascal Dusapin, Peter Eötvös, Heinz Holliger, Arthur Honegger, Witold Lutosławski, James MacMillan, Frank Martin, Darius Milhaud, Igor Stravinsky, and others. It also supports Swiss artists by regularly commissioning works from composers such as William Blank, Jean-Luc Darbellay, Richard Dubugnon, and Michael Jarrell. The OSR has held longstanding relationships with Switzerland’s national radio and television company Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS), which has broadcast OSR concerts since the 1930s and over 20 world premieres since 2000, and with Decca Records, which has produced over 100 OSR recordings since their collaboration began in the 1940s. With 112 musicians, the OSR ensures subscription concerts in Geneva and Lausanne in Switzerland, symphony concerts for the City of Geneva, an annual concert for the UN, and opera performances at the Grand Théâtre de Genève. Neeme Järvi has served as OSR Artistic and Music Director with the young Japanese conductor Kazuki Yamada as Principal Guest Conductor since September 1, 2012.

In addition to concerts with Mr. Järvi and Mr. Yamada, the OSR’s 2014-15 season at Geneva’s Victoria Hall features guest conductors that include Gianandrea Noseda, Osmo Vänskä, and Edo de Waart, and soloists that include clarinetist Martin Fröst, violinist Leonidas Kavakos, and pianist Nelson Freire.

The OSR last toured the US in October 2003, performing in New York, Annapolis, and Storrs, CT. In its review, The New York Times said the OSR gave “a performance that showed [the ensemble] to be in superb shape. The repertory was clearly chosen to make that impression: the two works on the first half, Frank’s Chasseur maudit and the Saint-Saëns Second Piano Concerto, come from an age of ornate, even decadent showiness that today seems invitingly vibrant.”

The OSR’s international tours have led to them perform in the most prestigious venues in Europe (Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Budapest, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Istanbul, London, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Rome, Salzburg, and Vienna), Asia (Beijing, Seoul, and Tokyo), and in North and South America (Boston, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, New York, San Francisco, São Paulo, and Washington, DC).

About Charles Dutoit

Captivating audiences throughout the world, Charles Dutoit is one of today’s most sought-after conductors, having performed with major orchestras on stages across five continents. Presently Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the London Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, he recently celebrated his 30-year artistic collaboration with the Philadelphia Orchestra, who in turn, bestowed upon him the title of Conductor Laureate. He collaborates every season with the orchestras of Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco, and is a regular guest on the stages in Beijing, Berlin, Hong Kong, London, Moscow, Munich, Paris, Shanghai, and Sydney, amongst others. His more than 200 recordings for Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, Erato, and Philips have garnered multiple awards and distinctions including two Grammys. When still in his early 20s, Mr. Dutoit was invited by Herbert von Karajan to conduct the Vienna State Opera. He has since conducted at Covent Garden, Deutsche Oper in Berlin, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Rome Opera, and Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. In 1991, he was made Honorary Citizen of the City of Philadelphia; in 1995, Grand Officier de l’Ordre national du Québec; in 1996, Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government; and in 1998, he was invested as Honorary Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2007, he received the Gold Medal of the city of Lausanne, his birthplace in Switzerland, and in 2014, he was given the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Classical Music Awards.

About Nikolaï Lugansky

Born and based in Moscow, Nikolaï Lugansky is a pianist of extraordinary depth and versatility, capable of “crystalline beauty” (The Financial Times) in Mozart and Chopin, and breathtaking virtuosity in Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev. An award-winning recording artist, Mr. Lugansky records exclusively for the Naïve-Ambroisie label. His recordings, which include a recital CD featuring Rachmaninoff’s Piano Sonatas and an album of concertos by Grieg and Prokofiev with Kent Nagano and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, have won awards such as the Diapason d’Or, ECHO Klassik Award, Gramophone Editor’s Choice, and BBC Music Magazine Award. He regularly performs and tours with major orchestras in Europe, Russia, and the United States, and appears at the world’s most distinguished festivals, including the BBC Proms, La Roque d’Anthéron, and the Verbier, Rheingau, and Edinburgh International festivals. He is Artistic Director of the Tambov Rachmaninoff Festival and also supports and regularly performs at the Rachmaninoff Estate and Museum of Ivanovka. He performed the composer’s Piano Concerto No.3 at the closing concert of the inaugural Ivanovka Rachmaninoff Festival in June 2014 with the Russian National Orchestra and Mikhail Pletnev. Mr. Lugansky studied at Moscow’s Central Music School and the Moscow Conservatoire where his teachers included Tatiana Kestner, Tatiana Nikolayeva, and Sergei Dorensky. He was awarded the honor of People’s Artist of Russia in April 2013.

February 2015 US tour

Charles Dutoit, conductor
Nikolaï Lugansky, piano

Program A
DEBUSSY              Images pour orchestre No. 2, “Ibéria” (20′)
RACHMANINOFF  Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini for piano and orchestra, Op. 43 (22′)
STRAVINSKY        The Song of the Nightingale (19′)
RAVEL                   Daphnis et Chloé Suite No. 2 (18′)

Program B
DEBUSSY              Images pour orchestre No. 2, “Ibéria” (20′)
RACHMANINOFF  Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini for piano and orchestra, Op. 43 (22′)
STRAVINSKY        The Song of the Nightingale (19′)
RAVEL                   La valse (12′)

Thursday, February 12 at 8 p.m.
Soka University: Soka Performing Arts Center
Alisa Viejo, CA
Program A

Friday, February 13 at 8 p.m.
UC Davis: Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts
Davis, CA
Program A

Saturday, February 14 at 7:30 p.m.
Sonoma State University: Green Music Center, Weill Hall
Sonoma, CA
Program A

Monday, February 16 at 7 p.m.
The Granada Theatre
Santa Barbara, CA
Program A

Thursday, February 19 at 8:30 p.m.
Cornell Concert Series
Cornell University: Bailey Hall
Ithaca, NY
Program B

Friday, February 20 at 8 p.m.
New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC): Prudential Hall
Newark, NJ
Program B

Saturday, February 21 at 3 p.m.
Washington Performing Arts
The Kennedy Center: Concert Hall
Washington, DC
Program B

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