Events & Tickets
Denève and Isabel Leonard
New World Center, Michael Tilson Thomas Performance Hall, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Stage
Sunday, January 21, 2024 at 2:00 PM
- Ravel : Alborada del gracioso (Morning Song of the Jester)
- Roussel : The Spider's Feast
- Ravel : Shéhérazade
- Schmitt : Suite from La Tragédie de Salome
Prepare for an enchanting experience as Artistic Director Stéphane Denève delves into musical storytelling through famous composers of his homeland. Grammy Award-winning soprano Isabel Leonard makes her anticipated NWS debut in Maurice Ravel’s evocative spin on the Arabian Nights classic. Florent Schmitt’s fierce and seductive take on the story of Salome would pave the way for Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. Albert Roussel’s tale of garden insects comes alive through new animations by artist Grégoire Pont that will dance across the sails of the New World Center. NWS Conducting Fellow Molly Turner joins for Ravel’s playful “Morning Song of a Jester.”
Reserve your seats today and enjoy unbeatable savings by subscribing to New World Symphony’s Saturday Two series. Starting at just $20 a concert, a Saturday Two subscription features unforgettable performances with Stéphane Denève, Michael Tilson Thomas, pianist Emanuel Ax, jazz pianist Aaron Diehl and 87 of the world’s best young musicians.
This concert can also be added to any Compose Your Own (CYO) subscription series. Pick three or more performances you’d like to attend and receive all the perks and savings of being a New World Symphony subscriber.
Approx. Duration: 8 minutes
Alborada del gracioso (Morning Song of the Jester)
Approx. Duration: 32 minutes
The Spider's Feast, Op. 17
Featuring commissioned animations by artist Grégoire Pont
Approx. Duration: 19 minutes
The Enchanted Flute
The Indifferent One
Approx. Duration: 27 minutes
Suite from La Tragédie de Salome, Op. 50
Stéphane Denève is Artistic Director of the New World Symphony, Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and will also be Principal Guest Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic from 2023. He recently concluded terms as Principal Guest Conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Chief Conductor of the Brussels Philharmonic, and previously served as Chief Conductor of Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra (SWR) and Music Director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
Recognized internationally for the exceptional quality of his performances and programming, Stéphane Denève regularly appears at major concert venues with the world’s greatest orchestras and soloists. He has a special affinity for the music of his native France and is a passionate advocate for music of the 21st century.
Stéphane Denève’s recent and upcoming engagements include appearances with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra (with whom he conducted the 2020 Nobel Prize concert), Orchestre National de France, Czech Philharmonic, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, Vienna Symphony, DSO Berlin, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, and Rotterdam Philharmonic.
In North America, Stéphane Denève made his Carnegie Hall debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, with whom he has appeared several times both in Boston and at Tanglewood, and he regularly conducts the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, New World Symphony and Toronto Symphony. In 2022 Denève was the conductor for John Williams’ official 90th Birthday Gala with NSO Washington; he is also a popular guest at many of the U.S. summer music festivals, including the Hollywood Bowl, Bravo! Vail, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Blossom Music Festival, Festival Napa Valley, Grand Teton Music Festival and Music Academy of the West.
Stéphane Denève frequently performs with many of the world’s leading solo artists, including Leif Ove Andsnes, Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Nicola Benedetti, Yefim Bronfman, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, James Ehnes, Kirill Gerstein, Hélène Grimaud, Augustin Hadelich, Hilary Hahn, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Leonidas Kavakos, Lang Lang, Olivier Latry, Paul Lewis, Nikolai Lugansky, Yo-Yo Ma, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Kelly O’Connor, Víkingur Ólafsson, Stéphanie d’Oustrac, Gil Shaham, Akiko Suwanai, Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and Frank Peter Zimmermann. He also treasures the memory of Nicholas Angelich and Lars Vogt, two exceptional artists with whom he enjoyed a close musical friendship over many years.
In the field of opera, Stéphane Denève led a new production of Pelléas et Mélisande with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Netherlands Opera at the 2019 Holland Festival. Elsewhere, he has led productions at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Opéra National de Paris, Glyndebourne Festival, Teatro alla Scala, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Saito Kinen Festival, Gran Teatro del Liceu, La Monnaie and Deutsche Oper am Rhein.
As a recording artist, Stéphane Denève has won critical acclaim for his recordings of the works of Poulenc, Debussy, Ravel, Roussel, Franck and Connesson. He is a triple winner of the Diapason d’Or of the Year, has been shortlisted for Gramophone’s Artist of the Year Award, and has won the prize for symphonic music at the International Classical Music Awards. His most recent releases include a live recording of Honegger’s Jeanne d’arc au bûcher with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and two discs of the works of Guillaume Connesson with the Brussels Philharmonic (the first of which was awarded the Diapason d’Or de l’année, Caecilia Award, and Classica Magazine’s CHOC of the Year). A box-set of his complete Ravel recordings with Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra was released in 2022 by Hänssler Classic.
A graduate and prize-winner of the Paris Conservatoire, Stéphane Denève worked closely in his early career with Sir Georg Solti, Georges Prêtre and Seiji Ozawa. A gifted communicator and educator, he is committed to inspiring the next generation of musicians and listeners and has worked regularly with young people in programs such as those of the New World Symphony, Tanglewood Music Center, Colburn School, European Union Youth Orchestra and Music Academy of the West.
Three-time Grammy Award winning artist Isabel Leonard has established herself as one of the most in demand performers as a star on the world’s leading stages and screens. The 2022-23 season saw Leonard’s much anticipated role debut as Octavian in Roberto Carson’s production of Der Rosenkavalier, opposite Lise Davidsen, as well as her house debut at Teatro alla Scala as Miranda in Thomas Adès’ The Tempest. Leonard also makes her house debut at Houston Grand Opera to sing Charlotte in Werther, conducted by Robert Spano. Continuing her long-time collaboration with Stéphane Denève, she appears as Marguerite in a concert performance of Berlioz’s La damnation de Faust. In the recital hall, Leonard partners with renowned Spanish guitarist Pablo Sáinz Villegas for performances with Lincoln Center Presents the Metropolitan Opera at Alice Tully Hall, LA Opera at the Colburn School, San Diego Opera at the La Jolla Music Society, at the Harris Theatre in Chicago and the Conservatorìo de Música de Puerto Rico.
Highlights of Leonard’s career include the title roles in Carmen, La Périchole, Cendrillon, Marnie and Der Rosenkavalier, as well as Rosina in The Barber of Seville, Angelina in La Cenerentola, Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro, Dorabella in Così fan tutte, Zerlina and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Sesto in La clemenza di Tito, Charlotte in Werther, Blanche de la Force in Dialogues des Carmélites, Costanza in Griselda, Musetta in La bohème, Sesto in Giulio Cesare and Maria in West Side Story.
Leonard regularly appears on the stages of the world’s leading opera stages including The Metropolitan Opera, Opéra National de Paris, Wiener Staatsoper, Los Angeles Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, San Francisco Opera, Aix-en-Provence Festival, Salzburg Festspiele and Teatro Comunale di Bologna. She regularly enjoys collaboration with esteemed conductors including Seiji Ozawa, Antonio Pappano, Gustavo Dudamel, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Yannick Nézét-Seguin, Franz Welser-Möst, Plácido Domingo, Edward Gardner, James Levine, Edo de Waart, James Conlon, Marin Alsop, Sir Andrew Davis, Michele Mariotti, Harry Bicket, Andris Nelsons and Michael Tilson Thomas. Orchestral highlights include appearances with Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Vienna Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony, among others.
Television and film credits include an appearance in the Rebecca Miller film She Came to Me, starring Anne Hathaway and Marisa Tomei, being featured on the season 43 finale of Sesame Street in Murray Monster’s “People in Your Neighborhood’ segment, scenes from Terrence McNally’s Masterclass directed by Nicole Alexander, and as a regular host of The Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD broadcasts.
Leonard was named recipient of the prestigious Richard Tucker Award and currently has three Grammy Awards for Michael Tilson Thomas’ From the Diary of Anne Frank on SFS Media, Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges on Decca, and The Tempest from The Metropolitan Opera on Deutsche Grammophon. She currently resides in New York and sits on the Board of Trustees at Carnegie Hall and on the Artistic Advisory Board of ArtSmart.
An exceptional artistic talent from the tender age of eight, Grégoire Pont attended the Animation Workshop in Paris, where he studied Norman McLaren’s techniques of animation dynamics. He graduated from the Penninghen school of Graphic Arts (ESAG) in 1992 and shortly after directed his first animated film Le concerto du chat, with abstract shapes dancing to the sounds of the Orchestre de Paris at Salle Pleyel.
A great lover of classical music, Pont has always been passionate about making classical music more popular and accessible to both children and adults by means of animation. He developed a new performance concept called ‘Cinesthetics’ where he draws and animates live to a musical performance. He has made appearances at London Royal Festival Hall, Paris Philharmonie, Frankfurt Alte Oper, Tokyo Suntory Hall and Gothenburg Concert Hall, collaborating with conductors such as Kent Nagano, Kazushi Ono, Alexandre Bloch, Marko Letonja and François-Xavier Roth.
Pont has also received great acclaim for bringing his innovative animation techniques to the operatic repertoire. Together with British director James Bonas he conceived productions at Opéra de Lyon of Ravel’s L’Enfant et les sortilèges and L’heure espagnole, as well as premiering a new production of Orff’s Der Mond. Their innovative approach has led to their work being performed around the world, including at Opéra de Limoges, Opéra de Lille, Opéra de Toulon, Royal Opera House Muscat, San Francisco Symphony and Cincinnati Symphony. Pont created animations for the semi-staging of Bizet’s Carmen for Orchestre National de Lille, as well as bringing Hans Abrahamsen’s Snow Queen to Opéra National du Rhin and Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel to Cologne Opera.
Pont additionally illustrates books for children, most notably Les Excalibrius, and has made numerous animations for TV commercials, educational animated shorts and music video clips. For three seasons, Pont worked with the French conductor François-Xavier Roth and his innovative orchestra Les Siècles on Presto! (France Television). This animated series of musical works was seen by over three million viewers on weekly primetime television. Most recently he has worked on animated effects for the music video Catch Me, from the color series by New Studios, featuring the Boston ballet dancer My’Kal Stromile.
Molly Turner is a Chinese-born conductor and composer. Recently, she has conducted the Orchestre de Paris, Gstaad Festival Orchestra, Theater Orchester Biel Solothurn, Juilliard Orchestra, Dallas Opera Orchestra, Primrose International Viola Competition, Colburn Orchestra and Eastern Festival Orchestra. Highlights of the 2022-23 season included a debut with San Francisco Symphony's SoundBox Series, a Concert Scolaire with Orchestre de Paris, conducting the premiere of her own new orchestra work with the Tacoma Youth Symphony, Colburn Chamber Music Society with David Rejano and Cosi! Men Are Like That with opera company White Snake Projects. She has served as assistant conductor for the Berliner Philharmoniker, Orchestre de Paris, San Francisco Symphony, Utah Symphony, San Diego Symphony, National Polish Radio Symphony, Juilliard Orchestra and Colburn Orchestra. In 2019 she was the youngest conductor invited for residency at the Dallas Opera’s Hart Institute for Women Conductors. She has assisted Esa-Pekka Salonen, David Robertson, Stéphane Denève, Yaniv Dinur, Rafael Payare, Nicholas McGegan and Jeffrey Milarsky.
Ms. Turner is a devoted advocate for contemporary and modern music. She has collaborated with many living composers including Paul Novak, Max Vinetz, Lauren Vandervelden, Corey Chang, Sujin Kang, Webster Gadbois and Sofia Ouyang and has a strong affinity for the music of Stravinsky, Bartók and Lutosławski. She is a member of the Colburn Contemporary Ensemble and has conducted works by Lou Harrison, Timo Andres and Nina Young with them. As part of Juilliard’s ChoreoComp, Ms. Turner premiered four different dance pieces created by current student composers and choreographers and at Rice, she conducted and composed for Hear&Now: New Music.
Pursuing projects outside of the traditional concert hall is a core part of Ms. Turner’s artistic identity. In 2021 she performed an open improvisation set on violin alongside Pablo O’Connell, Kebra-Seyoun Charles and Ryan Jung in an Alice Tully Hall window performance. While she was a Teaching Artist Fellow at Juilliard, she was involved in creating an improvisatory work that used K-8 student “found sound” recordings as source material. From 2017-19 was the artistic director for New Art / New Music at the Moody Center for the Arts. There she worked with composers and visual artists to curate a concert of new works that were site-specific to current exhibitions at the Moody Center. In 2017 she played viola in a multimedia performance art project alongside Angelbet Metoyer creating art live, Saul Williams reciting poetry and other musicians openly improvising. In 2015 she co-wrote a graphic score with Sarah Grace-Graves for sculptor Katie Grinnan’s Astrology Orchestra written for the Turrell Skypsace.
In her own music, Ms. Turner is interested in the balance between strictly dictated elements and more aleatoric notation. Her relationship to the standard repertoire is often integrated in subtle ways beneath the foreground of the music. A violinist and violist herself, she finds string instruments endlessly fascinating. Improvisation is a core part of her writing process and she often starts her work as voice memos or graphic scores. In 2018 her string quartet, The Shapes of Stories, was read by the Arditti Quartet. Her work has been heard in Benaroya Hall, Duncan Recital Hall, the Moody Center for the Arts and has been privately recorded.
She completed her master’s degree in orchestral conducting at The Juilliard School studying with David Robertson and received a bachelor in music composition cum laude from Rice University. She recently was pursuing an artist diploma at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles, where she studied under the guidance of Esa-Pekka Salonen in the Negaunee Conducting Program as a Salonen Fellow. She has studied composition with Kurt Stallmann, Arthur Gottschalk, Karim Al-Zand and Richard Lavenda. She has attended the Gstaad Festival Conducting Academy where she worked with Johannes Schlaefli, Jaap van Zweden and Baldur Brönnimann and the Eastern Music Festival, where she worked with Gerard Schwarz. In her free time, she enjoys biking, playing Ultimate Frisbee and reading.