Events & Tickets
Seventy years after the establishment of the State of Israel, Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) leads a celebratory one-night-only event honoring the Jewish heritage of Mahler and Mendelssohn, contemporary pioneer Avner Dorman, and that of his own family, The Thomashefskys. Regarded by many as the finest concerto written for any instrument, Felix Mendelssohn’s romantic masterpiece is a showstopper in the hands of award-winning Israeli violinist Itamar Zorman. Mahler’s symphonies are one of MTT’s specialties and he led a performance of the First Symphony in Tel Aviv during NWS’s 1995 tour. They revisit the Titan’s first movement in what is MTT’s only symphonic Mahler offering this season—don’t miss it! Named after a popular Israeli dish, Avner Dorman’s ode to Jerusalem reflects a bustling and deeply religious city in a quintet for winds and piano. In a special treat, the evening starts with a circus-like overture from The Thomashefskys, MTT’s homage to his grandparents and Yiddish Theater royalty, Boris and Bessie.
Approx. Duration: 6 minutes
Overture to Khantshe in amerike
Approx. Duration: 16 minutes
The Wailing Wall
Approx. Duration: 27 minutes
Concerto in E minor for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 64
Allegro molto appassionato
Allegretto non troppo—Allegro molto vivace
Approx. Duration: 17 minutes
Symphony No. 1 in D major
I. Langsam. Schleppend. Wie ein Naturlaut. Im Anfang sehr gemächlich
THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING ISRAEL AT 70
Adam and Chanin Carlin
Michael Tilson Thomas is Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy; Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony; and Conductor Laureate of the London Symphony Orchestra. In addition to these posts, he maintains an active presence guest conducting with the major orchestras of Europe and the United States.
Born in Los Angeles, Mr. Tilson Thomas is the third generation of his family to follow an artistic career. His grandparents, Boris and Bessie Thomashefsky, were founding members of the Yiddish Theater in America. His father, Ted Thomas, was a producer in the Mercury Theater Company in New York before moving to Los Angeles where he worked in films and television. His mother, Roberta Thomas, was the head of research for Columbia Pictures.
Mr. Tilson Thomas began his formal studies at the University of Southern California where he studied piano with John Crown and conducting and composition with Ingolf Dahl. At age 19 he was named Music Director of the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra. He worked with Stravinsky, Boulez, Stockhausen and Copland on premieres of their compositions at Los Angeles’ Monday Evening Concerts. During this same period he was the pianist and conductor for Gregor Piatigorsky and Jascha Heifetz.
In 1969, after winning the Koussevitzky Prize at Tanglewood, he was appointed Assistant Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. That year he also made his New York debut with the Boston Symphony and gained international recognition after replacing Music Director William Steinberg in mid-concert. He was later appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra where he remained until 1974. He was Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic from 1971 to 1979 and a Principal Guest Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic from 1981 to 1985. His guest conducting includes appearances with the major orchestras of Europe and the United States.
His recorded repertoire of more than 120 discs includes works by composers such as Bach, Beethoven, Mahler, Prokofiev and Stravinsky as well as his pioneering work with the music of Charles Ives, Carl Ruggles, Steve Reich, John Cage, Ingolf Dahl, Morton Feldman, George Gershwin, John McLaughlin and Elvis Costello. He also recorded the complete orchestral works of Gustav Mahler with the San Francisco Symphony.
Mr. Tilson Thomas’ television work includes a series with the London Symphony Orchestra for BBC Television, the television broadcasts of the New York Philharmonic Young People’s Concerts from 1971 to 1977 and numerous productions on PBS’ Great Performances. Mr. Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony produced a multi-tiered media project, Keeping Score, which includes a television series, web sites, radio programs and programs in schools.
In 1990 Mr. Tilson Thomas and the New World Symphony were presented in a series of benefit concerts for UNICEF in the United States, featuring Audrey Hepburn as narrator of From the Diary of Anne Frank, composed by Mr. Tilson Thomas and commissioned by UNICEF. This piece has since been translated and performed in many languages worldwide. In August 1995 he led the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra in the premiere of his composition Showa/Shoah, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. Thomas Hampson premiered his settings of poetry by Walt Whitman, Renée Fleming premiered his settings of the poetry of Emily Dickinson and the San Francisco Symphony premiered his concerto for contrabassoon entitled Urban Legend. As a Carnegie Hall Perspectives Artist from 2003 to 2005, he had an evening devoted to his own compositions which included Island Music for four marimbas and percussion, Notturno for solo flute and strings and a new setting of poems by Rainer Maria Rilke. Other compositions include Street Song for brass instruments and Agnegram, an overture for orchestra.
Among his many honors and awards, Mr. Tilson Thomas is a Chevalier dans l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France, was Musical America’s Musician of the Year and Conductor of the Year, Gramophone Magazine’s Artist of the Year and has been profiled on CBS’s 60 Minutes and ABC’s Nightline. He has won 11 Grammy Awards for his recordings. In 2008 he received the Peabody Award for his radio series for SFS Media, The MTT Files. In 2010 President Obama awarded him the National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists by the United States Government.
Itamar Zorman is one of the most soulful, evocative artists of his generation, distinguished by his emotionally gripping performances and gift for musical storytelling. Since his emergence with the top prize at the 2011 International Tchaikovsky Competition, he has wowed audiences all over the world with breathtaking style, causing one critic to declare him a “young badass who’s not afraid of anything.” His “youthful intensity” and “achingly beautiful” sound shine through in every performance, earning him the title “virtuoso of emotions.”
In the 2018-19 season Mr. Zorman will appear with Michael Tilson Thomas and the New World Symphony, IRIS Orchestra with Michael Stern, and in performances of his own Four Seasons Around the Globe program with the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park Orchestra, among others. Recital and chamber music appearances include Peoples’ Symphony Concerts and Merkin Hall in New York, Bach Festival Society of Winter Park and tours with the Lysander Trio and Israeli Chamber Project.
The 2017-18 season featured performances with the Classical Tahoe and Asheville symphony orchestras to perform Jonathan Leshnoff’s Chamber Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, as well as with the Brevard Festival Orchestra, Southwest Florida Symphony and Gonzaga Symphony Orchestra. International performances included concertos with the Kremerata Baltica, Meiningen Court Orchestra and NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra (Wrocław).
As part of an ongoing exploration of the music of Paul Ben-Haim, Mr. Zorman is recording a CD of the works for violin and orchestra with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Philippe Bach for BIS Records, set for release in Spring 2019. His first solo CD recording, entitled Portrait, features works by Messiaen, Schubert, Chausson, Hindemith and Brahms and was released by Profil - Editions Günther Hänssler.
In recent years, Mr. Zorman has appeared with major orchestras across four continents—USA, Europe, Asia and South America—including the American Symphony, Tokyo Symphony, KBS Symphony, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, RTE National Symphony (Dublin), Het Gelders Orkest, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Israel Philharmonic and St. Petersburg Philharmonic. He has given recitals at Carnegie Hall in the Distinctive Debuts series, the Louvre Recital Series in Paris, Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, the Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Muziekgebouw Frits Philips in Eindhoven, the hr-Sendesaal Frankfurt and the Kolarac Hall in Belgrade; and at festivals including Marlboro, Classical Tahoe, Chamberfest Cleveland, Kronberg Academy, Rheingau and Copenhagen Summer Festival. He has also collaborated with a number of legendary artists such as Richard Goode (including performances at Carnegie Hall and the Library of Congress) and Mitsuko Uchida.
Mr. Zorman is the recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and a Borletti-Buitoni Trust award, and, in addition to receiving top prize at the 2011 International Tchaikovsky Competition, first prize at the 2010 International Violin Competition of Freiburg and at the 2011 Juilliard Berg Concerto Competition.
Described as a “poet of the violin,” Mr. Zorman is also a committed chamber player. He is a founding member of the Israeli Chamber Project and a member of the Lysander Piano Trio, with which he won the 2012 Concert Artists Guild Competition, Grand Prize in the 2011 Coleman Chamber Music Competition, first prize in the 2011 Arriaga Competition and a bronze medal in the 2010 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.
Born in Tel-Aviv in 1985 to a family of musicians, Mr. Zorman began his violin studies at the age of six with Saly Bockel at the Israeli Conservatory of Music. He graduated in 2003 and continued his studies with David Chen and Nava Milo. He received his bachelor of music degree from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance as a student of Hagai Shaham, and his master of music degree from The Juilliard School in 2009, where he studied with Robert Mann and Sylvia Rosenberg. He then went on to receive an artist diplomas from Manhattan School of Music in 2010 and Julliard in 2012 under the tutelage of Sylvia Rosenberg. He is also an alumnus of the Kronberg Academy, where he studied with Christian Tetzlaff and Mauricio Fuks. Mr. Zorman is the recipient of scholarships from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation and has taken part in numerous master classes around the world, working with Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zuckerman, Shlomo Mintz, Ida Haendel and Ivry Gitlis.
Mr. Zorman plays on a 1734 Guarneri del Gesu, from the collection of Yehuda Zisapel. For more information, please visit itamarzorman.com.