To Tokyo this week for a concert by the NHK Symphony, guest conducted by David Zinman and featuring Leif Ove Andsnes. The all-Schumann (with the exception of the Sibelius encore) starts with the overture to Manfred, and then followed by a performance of the Piano concerto with Andsnes and the encore, Sibelius’ Romance Number 9 from his 10 pieces for piano op. 24. The concert concludes with Schumann’s Symphony Number 3 “Rhenish” – all performed live on November 19, 2016 as part of the NHK Subscription Concert series and broadcast over the NHK radio network.
Leif Ove Andsnes has been very busy since his debut in 1987. Considered an authority on the music of Grieg, Andsnes has recently completed recording all five piano concertos of Beethoven and has performed throughout the world with every major symphony orchestra and soloed in most every recital hall. In recent years he’s been heavily involved in the Risør Festival of Chamber Music, which he helped found and has been serving as its artistic director since 2010. He was also Music Director for the Ojai Festival in California in 2012.
David Zinman is practically a household name, beginning his career in 1958 and becoming second Conductor of the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra from 1965 to 1977, before becoming Principle Conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic in 1979 until 1982. Since then, he’s been Music Director and guest conductor for a number of orchestras, including a stint at the Zurich Tonhalle from 1995 to 2014. One of his most popular recordings was the 1992 performance of Henryk Górecki‘s Symphony Number 3 with the London Symphony – not only being a “hit”, but also establishing Górecki as an international composer of note.
If you’re a fan of Robert Schumann (count me in), this will be a three-course meal and certainly constitutes entry into the Anti-Road Rage Wednesday sweepstakes. The NHK Symphony, who don’t get a whole lot of exposure on this side of the Pacific are a world-class little band who have been highly regarded for decades.
Crank it up and relax.