Symphony Nova Scotia performs Beethoven with Canadian virtuoso pianist Angela Cheng
Concert also to include Schubert’s magnificent “Unfinished” Symphony
Halifax, NS – Canadian pianist Angela Cheng teams up with Symphony Nova Scotia and guest conductor Andreas Delfs to perform Beethoven’s spectacular Piano Concerto no. 1 on Thursday, November 3 at 7:30 pm at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium in Halifax.
Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto is a masterpiece of epic proportions, with its grand scope, boundless energy, and rich emotional depth. And Angela Cheng is one of Canada’s top virtuoso pianists, with her “powerful sound” and “clean, crisp, and flawless” playing (Vancouver Sun).
“The Piano Concerto no. 1 by Beethoven was not Beethoven’s first piano concerto!” says Cheng.
“He had written two other concerti before this one, but he chose to publish this as his ‘first’. I believe that this work truly represents him, with all its vigor, virtuosity, charm, and deep emotional expressiveness, making this one of the great masterpieces in the genre.”
Cheng has toured around the world, performing in Europe, China, South America, and with virtually every orchestra in Canada. She has made multiple recordings for CBC and is a Gold Medallist of the Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Masters Competition, as well as the first Canadian to win the prestigious Montreal International Piano Competition.
Acclaim for Cheng includes:
- “Canadian Angela Cheng, as the solo pianist, shaped her part with sensitive fingers, playing lyrically and with musical imagination. Rather than treating the concerto as a vehicle for self-projection, Cheng appeared to actually live its music.” (Montreal Gazette)
- “Cheng exudes a regal, confident presence polished through appearances with almost every symphony in Canada and on stages around the world… The true shimmer of the performance came from her phenomenal technical skill and steely concentration at the keyboard. Any lover of classical music should not pass up a chance to see Cheng live.” (Saskatoon Star Phoenix)
- “Her projected tone reached the very back of the hall… her fiery solo cadenza provided a real taste of her bravura… Cheng’s clearly articulated playing, and strong conviction with every note tidily in place led to a standing ovation with two curtain calls.” (Winnipeg Free Press)
The concert will also feature Schubert’s magnificent “Unfinished” Symphony, performed together in an intimate pairing with Schumann’s Overture, Scherzo and Finale.
This will be the orchestra’s first performance with the concert’s guest conductor, Andreas Delfs. Delfs is a German-American conductor who frequently conducts orchestras around the world, and currently serves as Conductor Laureate of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. He has also served as Music Director of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Bern Opera.
“Music history abounds with attempts to complete unfinished works. Mozart’s Requiem, Puccini’s Turandot, Mahler’s Symphony no. 10, to name a few,” says Delfs.
“This is no such attempt. I merely suggest an intimate program pairing that allows you to meet an old beloved friend in a new inspiring landscape – I very much hope you enjoy it.”
The full concert program will include:
- Beethoven: Piano Concerto no. 1
- Schubert: Symphony no. 7 “Unfinished”
- Schumann: Overture, Scherzo and Finale, op. 52
Tickets for this concert are limited! Single tickets begin at $30 (HST included), or you can save up to 35% by purchasing a ticket package. Tickets are available at the Dalhousie Arts Centre Box Office (6101 University Avenue, Halifax), at 902.494.3820, or online at symphonynovascotia.ca.
About Angela Cheng
Consistently praised for her brilliant technique, tonal beauty and superb musicianship, Canadian pianist Angela Cheng is one of her country’s national treasures. In addition to regular guest appearances with virtually every orchestra in Canada, she has performed with the symphonies of Alabama, Annapolis, Colorado, Houston, Indianapolis, Saint Louis, San Diego, Utah, and Israel, among others.
In 2012, Cheng made her highly acclaimed Carnegie Hall debut with the Edmonton Symphony. Later that year, she appeared at the prestigious Salzburg Festival in a recital with Pinchas Zukerman.
In 2009, at the invitation of Pinchas Zukerman, Cheng toured both Europe and China as a member of the Zukerman Chamber Players, and as Zukerman’s collaborative pianist. She joined them again in 2010 for a U.S. tour, which included a concert at the Kennedy Center. Subsequent seasons have seen multiple tours of Europe and South America, including performances at the Musikverein in Vienna, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and the Schleswig-Holstein and Ravinia festivals. As a member of the Zukerman Trio, with Zukerman and cellist Amanda Forsyth, she made her debuts at the Verbier, Edinburgh, Miyazaki, and Enescu/Romania Festivals in 2013. The Zukerman Trio will continue touring in the 2016/17 season with performances in Australia, Asia, Scandinavia, Europe, and the U.S.
An avid recitalist, Cheng appears regularly on recital series throughout the United States and Canada and has collaborated with numerous chamber ensembles including the Takács, Colorado, and Vogler quartets.
She has made several recordings for CBC, including discs of Mozart and Shostakovich concertos, as well as a CD of four Spanish concertos with Hans Graf and the Calgary Philharmonic. Most recently, an all-Chopin recital CD was released by Universal Music Canada.
Cheng has been Gold Medalist of the Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Masters Competition, as well as the first Canadian to win the prestigious Montreal International Piano Competition.
About Andreas Delfs
Andreas Delfs has held chief artistic posts with several orchestras both in North America and Europe. Music Director (1996-2009) and Conductor Laureate (2009-2015) of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Delfs was instrumental in the orchestra’s rise to national prominence. He has also led the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra as Music Director (2001-2004) and Artistic Consultant (2004-2006). He served as General Music Director of Hannover, Germany (1995-2000), conducting the symphony orchestra and opera company. Prior to his time in Hannover, he was Music Director of the Bern Opera, resident conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony (during the tenure of Lorin Maazel), and Music Director, at an early age, of the Orchestre Suisse des Jeunes.
Born in Flensburg, Germany, Delfs began studying piano and music theory at age five. He studied with Christoph von Dohnányi and Aldo Ceccato at the Hamburg Conservatory. At 20, he became the youngest ever Music Director of the Hamburg University Orchestra and Musical Assistant at the Hamburg State Opera. Enrolling at The Juilliard School, he studied with Jorge Mester and Sixten Ehrling and won the Bruno Walter Memorial Scholarship.
Today, Delfs keeps an active guest conducting schedule. Recent highlights have included appearances with the Tonkünstler-Orchester Vienna, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra, Copenhagen Philharmonic, NCPA Orchestra China, NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Singapore Symphony, Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie, Calgary Philharmonic, the Phoenix and Alabama Symphonies, and the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington. He conducted the Britten Sinfonia in a performance of Elijah at London’s Barbican Hall, as well as two new operatic productions: Turandot at Opera Lyra Ottawa, and Carmen at Opera North. In 2016 he led a new production of Ariadne auf Naxos at Palm Beach Opera.
Having conducted numerous world premieres, Delfs has close links with many of today’s composers. He counts among his profound musical inspirations musicians such as John Corigliano, Philip Glass, Roberto Sierra, and Hans Werner Henze. He is the frequent partner to many of the world’s most renowned solo artists, including Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Yo Yo Ma, and Renée Fleming.
Delfs’ more recent recording projects include Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D with Susanne Hou and the London Symphony Orchestra, Robert Sierra’s Missa Latina with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and Beethoven Piano Concertos with the London Symphony Orchestra and pianist John O’Conor. Other recording projects have included a collection of sacred songs with Renée Fleming, a production of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, as well as a recording of Mozart’s Requiem with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Over the years Delfs has led numerous distinguished ensembles. He has conducted orchestras such as the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Tonhalle Orchestra of Zurich, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, the Netherlands Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Sydney Symphony and the Taipei Symphony Orchestra.
Among Delfs’ most notable operatic achievements have been his highly praised debut with the New York City Opera conducting performances of Carmen, a production of the uncut version of Hans Werner Henze’s monumental König Hirsch for the Württemberg State Theatre in Stuttgart, and a highly acclaimed production of Ariadne auf Naxos with Washington National Opera. He led four productions at the Aspen Music Festival and gave the Swiss premiere of György Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre, which received special praise from the composer.
About Symphony Nova Scotia
Symphony Nova Scotia is Nova Scotia’s orchestra. Each year more than 50,000 audience members (including 15,000 young music lovers) join us in communities across Nova Scotia for performances of the music they love – from baroque and classical to pop and rock and folk. Under the inspirational leadership of Music Director Bernhard Gueller, Symphony Nova Scotia is one of the most broadcast orchestras in the country, with over 20 commercial releases and multiple East Coast Music Awards. Visit symphonynovascotia.ca to learn more, listen online, or get tickets today!
For more information, please contact:
Director of Communications and Marketing, Symphony Nova Scotia