CLEVELAND, September 8, 2009 — The Cleveland Orchestra’s live recording of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23, K. 488, and Piano Concerto No. 24, K. 491, conducted and performed by pianist Mitsuko Uchida will be released by Decca Music Group today, September 8. The recording was made during live performances at the Orchestra’s home, Severance Hall in Cleveland , on December 4 and 6, 2008.
Mitsuko Uchida’s affinity for the music of Mozart is well known. From 2002 to 2007, she served as artist-in-residence with The Cleveland Orchestra and traversed the Mozart piano concerto cycle with the Orchestra, conducting from the keyboard. In commenting on her performances of Mozart’s Concertos Nos. 23 and 24, Cleveland classical music station WCLV said that both concertos “elicit Uchida’s familiar intensity of focus, her fastidious shaping of even the smallest musical gestures, and more than a few examples of impressively delicate technique,” and the Cleveland Plain Dealer remarked on Ms. Uchida’s “selflessly integrating herself into the process of plumbing two of Mozart’s greatest masterpieces.”
A frequent guest of The Cleveland Orchestra, Ms. Uchida made her Severance Hall debut in 1990 and her conducting debut in March 1998. She has also performed with the Orchestra on tours to Europe and Japan . She most recently performed with the Orchestra at Severance Hall in April 2009, as soloist in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25, K. 503, under the direction of Sir Colin Davis. Ms. Uchida’s 2001 recording of the Schoenberg Piano Concerto with Pierre Boulez and The Cleveland Orchestra won four awards, including one from Gramophone for “best concerto recording.”
‘Uchida is, simply, Uchida – an elegant, deeply musical interpreter who strikes an inspired balance of head and heart in everything she plays’ Chicago Tribune
An exclusive Decca artist, Ms. Uchida is closely associated with the music of Mozart, Schubert, and Beethoven, but has also pursued the music of the Second Viennese School – Berg, Webern and Schoenberg – in recitals and events such as her Carnegie Hall Perspectives series titled “Mitsuko Uchida: Vienna Revisited” during the 2004-05 season.
During the 2009-10 season, Mitsuko Uchida will make two sets of appearances at Severance Hall in Cleveland . She will perform with Franz Welser-Möst conducting Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, on October 8, 9, and 10, 2009. She will also be conductor and soloist in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K. 466, and Piano Concerto No. 27 in B-flat major, K. 595, with The Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall on April 15, 17, and 18, 2010.
Mitsuko Uchida was recently made a Dame by the United Kingdom ’s Queen Elizabeth II. The title ‘Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire’ is one of the highest the UK sovereign can bestow, and was announced in a list of honors to mark the Queen’s Official Birthday on June 13th. Dame Mitsuko, who received the award ‘for services to classical music,’ will formally receive the honor from the Queen at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace later this year.