Bronfman Heads to Europe for Stops in Edinburgh , Helsinki , and – as Artiste Étoile – Lucerne Festival

Fima Becomes First Classical Musician to Appear as Judge on Hit TV Show Iron Chef America (Aug 9 at 9pm, Food Network)

“A marvel of digital dexterity, warmly romantic sentiment, and jaw-dropping bravura” - Chicago Tribune

The Grammy Award-winning pianist Yefim “Fima” Bronfman continues his juggernaut tour of American and European music festivals at the opening of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s 2009 season at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center on August 5. In Saratoga , Bronfman joins maestro Charles Dutoit for Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Fima’s appearance at Saratoga follows a whirlwind tour of American music festivals, which included performances at the openings of Ravinia and Tanglewood, a recital, and orchestral concerts at the Aspen Festival.

Following his concert with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Fima makes a return to the Tanglewood Music Festival (Aug 14) before moving on to Europe for the Edinburgh and Helsinki Festivals, and to the Lucerne Festival, where he is in residence as this year’s Artiste Étoile. “This is a summer that I have been planning and looking forward to for a long time,” the pianist comments. “I will be visiting top festivals around the world and collaborating with many of my favorite conductors and orchestras. It’s a summer I will remember for many years to come.”

Fima is first classical music celebrity to judge TV’s Iron Chef America
On Sunday, August 9, Fima makes his Food Network debut as the first classical music celebrity to judge the popular cooking competition Iron Chef America on the Food Network. A connoisseur of food and wine, Fima enjoyed the opportunity to witness two great chefs battle for the winning spot using the show’s top-secret ingredient. “I have always been an enormous fan of Iron Chef America as well as many other Food Network shows, so it was a great thrill for me to sit at the judge’s table for an Iron Chef battle,” said Bronfman during another great meal at this summer’s Aspen Music Festival. “Great food and wine has become a hobby of mine as I travel around the world playing concerts. It was a great honor to be invited to experience meals created by an Iron Chef and challenger in Kitchen Stadium.”

Bronfman tours Europe with Salonen Concerto
Bronfman and Esa-Pekka Salonen will continue to perform the conductor/composer’s Piano Concerto throughout the summer. The concerto was written for Bronfman and premiered with the New York Philharmonic in 2007. Since then, Bronfman has performed the work nearly a dozen times throughout North America and Europe , including a recording for Deutsche Grammophon with the composer conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic. This summer, the pair will perform the piece at Scotland ’s Edinburgh Festival and – in the composer’s native country for the first time – at the Helsinki Festival. Maestro Salonen and Bronfman will also give the piece its Swiss premiere as part of the pianist’s Artiste Étoile residency at the Lucerne Festival.

Bronfman is Artiste Étoile at the Lucerne Festival
Bronfman will end the summer with an impressive two-week residency at the Lucerne Festival. During his residency as Artiste Étoile, Bronfman will perform Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with Zubin Mehta and the Vienna Philharmonic, Berg’s Kammerkonzert with Pierre Boulez and the Academy Orchestra, and Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Piano Concerto with the composer conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra. “The orchestral concerts include what I feel to be the perfect pairing of an orchestra, conductor, and repertoire,” explains Bronfman. “Maestro Mehta and I have done countless concerts together, but Brahms with him and Vienna is a dream, and having Maestro Boulez for the Berg is a personal triumph for me. He was conducting the first time I heard the piece, and I was completely overwhelmed by that performance. For the last 20 years, I have wanted to play that piece with Pierre Boulez. Thanks to the Lucerne Festival, that is now possible.”

The other two concerts Bronfman will perform at the festival are a solo recital and a chamber music concert; both will feature music by the young German composer and clarinetist Jörg Widmann. On his solo recital, Bronfman will play the European premiere of Widmann’s Eleven Humoresques, which was commissioned for him by Carnegie Hall and premiered there last May. Widmann will join Bronfman as a performer in the August 22 chamber music recital.

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