Canadian Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin Makes Boston Symphony Orchestra Debut

Program includes DVOŘÁK’s Symphony No 6 and RAVEL's Valses nobles et sentimentales

Jean-Yves Thibaudet as Soloist in LISZT’s Piano Concerto No. 2

Wed. Feb. 25, 7:30 p.m.(Open Rehearsal), Thurs. Feb. 26, 8 p.m.,
Fri. Feb. 27, 1:30 p.m., Sat. Feb. 28, 8 p.m.

Acclaimed Canadian conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin (pictured), unanimously chosen by the members of the prestigious Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra as their new Music Director, makes his Boston Symphony Orchestra debut Feb. 25-28 conducting Dvořák’s Symphony No. 6, Ravel’s Valses nobles et sentimentales, and the Liszt Piano Concerto No. 2, with Boston Symphony Orchestra favorite Jean-Yves Thibaudet.

Franz Liszt’s legendary virtuosity helped to make him the great showman-musician of his day. He wrote two piano concertos, both of which he subjected to years of revision and both of which defy convention. The Concerto No. 2 in A is cast in one seamless movement that unfurls from a single thematic idea in a continuous chain in an approach that Liszt called “transformation of themes,” traversing a wide variety of moods from serene to heroic.

We can thank Brahms for helping bring Antonín Dvořák to greater recognition – his vigorous promotion of his younger colleague’s music may have led to the Vienna Philharmonic’s commission of Dvořák’s Sixth Symphony. Although played far less regularly than his hugely popular last symphony, From the New World, the Symphony No. 6 features wonderfully Romantic drama and sweep, and its exuberant scherzo brilliantly reflects Dvořák’s Czech heritage.

From an early age, Ravel had a passion for Viennese waltzes. After discovering Schubert’s 34 Valses sentimentales and 12 Valses nobles for piano, he set out to compose his own set of eight piano waltzes, first performed in 1911 and dedicated to the “delicious and ageless pleasure of a useless occupation.” A year later, he created a shimmering orchestration of the waltzes for use as a ballet score. While the ballet Adelaide proved fleeting, Ravel’s elegant waltzes are an orchestral favorite.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Only 33 years old, Montreal-born conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin has been hailed in the press as “hot stuff,” a musician who takes “volcanic pleasure in his musicians and their playing.” Since 2000, he has been Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal. Just this season, he also became Music Director of the prestigious Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, where he was chosen unanimously by the musicians to succeed Valery Gergiev. In addition, he is Principal Guest Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Nézet-Séguin, who studied piano, conducting, composition, and chamber music at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal, is known for sharing with the musicians under his baton a rigor and passion for music of many different styles. He is a frequent guest with many of the world’s great orchestras, including the Dresden’s Staatskapelle, Orchestre National de France, Stockholm Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony, Sydney Symphony, and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, with whom he is developing a regular relationship. This season, he makes his debut with the Boston Symphony as well as with the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, the Wiener Symphoniker, the Zürich Tonhalle Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Since 2000, Nézet-Séguin also has begun making his mark in the world of opera, debuting this year at the Salzburg Festival with the Mozarteum Orchester’s new production of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, and conducting the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra in nine performances of Janáček’s Makropoulos Case. His debut at the Metropolitan Opera New York is scheduled for early 2010.

Jean-Yves Thibaudet
Known for his artistry, virtuosity and charisma, not to mention his extravagant concert attire by designer Vivienne Westwood, Jean-Yves Thibaudet is a favorite with orchestras and audiences alike. At home in the worlds of both classical music and jazz, he has been hailed by the press as “one of the best pianists in the world.” The Boston Globe says, “There aren't many pianists with the technique of a Horowitz, a feeling for jazz, and the chutzpah to work this up. Jean-Yves Thibaudet is one of them…” The 47-year-old Thibaudet is sought after by today’s foremost orchestras, festivals, conductors, and collaborative musicians. This season alone, he plays recitals in Dublin, Madrid, Vienna, and at the Lucerne Festival Piano. In addition to his performances with the BSO, season appearances include tours with the London Philharmonic and Orpheus Chamber orchestra, and performances with the Munich Philharmonic, Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin, London Symphony, Orchestre de Paris, Dresden Philharmonic, Barcelona Symphony, Orchestre National de Lyon in Europe, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the symphony orchestras of Chicago, San Francisco, Colorado, and Charleston. This spring, he tours with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Royal Concertgebuouw Orchestra and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. He has released over 40 recordings, many earning the industry’s top awards. His wide-ranging discography includes Satie: The Complete Solo Piano Music, and the jazz albums Reflections on Duke: Jean-Yves Thibaudet plays the music of Duke Ellington and Conversations with Bill Evans, his tribute to two of jazz history’s greats. Thibaudet was the soloist on the Oscar and Golden Globe-award winning soundtrack of Universal Pictures’ Atonement and the Oscar-nominated Pride and Prejudice.

Tickets for the regular-season Boston Symphony Orchestra concerts on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, as well as Friday afternoons, are priced from $29 to $105; concerts on Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons are priced from $30 to $115. Open rehearsal tickets are priced at $19 each (general admission). Tickets may be purchased by phone through SymphonyCharge (617-266-1200 or 888-266-1200), in person at the Symphony Hall Box Office (301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston), or online through the BSO’s website (

The Symphony Hall Box Office is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday; when there are concerts, the box office remains open through intermission. American Express, MasterCard, Visa, Diners Club, and Discover, as well as personal checks (in person or by mail) and cash (in person only) are all accepted at the box office. SymphonyCharge is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. There is a $5.50 service fee for each ticket purchased online or by phone. A limited number of rush tickets for Boston Symphony Orchestra subscription concerts on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Friday afternoons are set aside to be sold on the day of a performance. These tickets are sold at $9 each, one to a customer, at the Symphony Hall Box Office on Fridays beginning at 10 a.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning at 5 p.m. Gift certificates are available in any amount and may be used toward the purchase of tickets (subject to availability) to any Boston Symphony Orchestra or Boston Pops performance at Symphony Hall or Tanglewood. Gift certificates may also be used at the Symphony Shop to purchase merchandise.

Patrons with disabilities can access Symphony Hall through the Massachusetts Avenue lobby or the Cohen Wing on Huntington Avenue. An access service center, accessible restrooms, and elevators are available inside the Cohen Wing entrance. For ticket information, call the Disability Services Information Line at 617-638-9431 or TTD/TTY 617-638-9289.

The Boston Symphony Orchestra offers 30-minute Pre-Concert Talks in Symphony Hall before all BSO subscription concerts, beginning at 6:45 p.m. prior to the 8 p.m. evening concerts and at 12:15 p.m. prior to Friday-afternoon concerts. Open Rehearsal Talks begin one hour before the start of all Thursday-morning and Wednesday-evening Open Rehearsals. These informative talks, which include recorded musical examples, enhance the concert going experience by providing valuable insight into the music being performed.

Boston Symphony Orchestra concerts can be heard regularly on the radio. The Friday-afternoon concerts are broadcast on WGBH 89.7 FM, and the Saturday-evening concerts are broadcast on WCRB 99.5 FM. Both stations also stream the concerts live through their websites at and


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