LSM Newswire

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ondine Announces World Premiere Recording of Hindemith's Klaviermusik mit Orchester

Ondine announces world premiere

recording of major Hindemith Work

Klaviermusik mit Orchester, Op. 29

featuring pianist Leon Fleisher

with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra

led by Christoph Eschenbach

North American release date: April 28, 2009

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Ondine is proud to announce the April 28, 2009 release of the first-ever commercial recording of a long-lost major work by Paul Hindemith, the Klaviermusik mit Orchester, Op. 29 for piano left-hand and orchestra. The New York Times has called it, "a fantastic work that requires tremendous technique and stamina" (December 2, 2006). The disc also features Antonn Dvok's popular Symphony No. 9 ("From the New World").

Hindemith wrote this concerto in 1923 for the left-hand pianist Paul Wittgenstein, who lost his right arm during the First World War. Wittgenstein never performed it, and it was only upon the death of his widow, in 2002, that the piece was discovered in a farmhouse in Pennsylvania; the work received an acclaimed 2004 world premiere in Berlin, with piano legend Leon Fleisher as soloist and the Berlin Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle. Leon Fleisher, who is one of the most prominent specialists of left-hand repertoire, is the soloist on this recording.

Christoph Eschenbach, one of today's leading conductors, directs the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, an orchestra the Philadelphia Inquirer claimed, "that any city would be lucky to have as its professional ensemble."

The Curtis Institute of Music expresses its deep appreciation to the Neubauer Family Foundation, which has made possible and underwritten this recording of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra.


Paul Hindemith (18951963)

14 Klaviermusik mit Orchester, Op. 29 (1923)

for piano (left hand) and orchestra

Leon Fleisher, piano (world premiere recording)

Antonn Dvok (18411904)

58 Symphony No. 9 in E minor,

Op. 95 "From the New World"

Curtis Symphony Orchestra

Christoph Eschenbach

Live recording [64'18]

Full price CD


UPC: 0761195114124

US STREET DATE: April 28, 2009


Leon Fleisher

Renowned pianist, conductor and teacher Leon Fleisher started piano lessons in his native San Francisco at age four, and gave his first recital at eight. A year later he began studying with the great German pianist Artur Schnabel, a fourth-generation Beethoven pupil, and by 16, in 1944, made his debut with the New York Philharmonic. He was the first American to win the prestigious Queen Elisabeth of Belgium competition, in 1952. Fleisher's career was on a smooth upward trajectory for the next dozen years: he concertized all over the world with every major orchestra and conductor, gave recitals, and made numerous touchstone recordings, including the piano concertos of Beethoven, Brahms, Grieg, Schumann, and Rachmaninov, with George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra.

Fleisher was suddenly struck silent when two fingers of his right hand became immobile in 1965. He was forced to "retire" when only 37 years old. This was the defining moment in his career until the late 1990's, when he began treatments that finally helped relieve the neurological affliction known as 'focal dystonia.' Fleisher has been playing infrequently with both hands again, and in 2004 made his first two-hand recording in 40 years called Two Hands. In the years since Leon Fleisher's keyboard career was so suddenly curtailed, he has followed two parallel careers as conductor and teacher while learning to play the extensive but limiting repertoire of compositions for piano left-hand.

Mr. Fleisher's reputation as a conductor was quickly established when he founded the Theatre Chamber Players at the Kennedy Center in 1967 and became Music Director of the Annapolis Symphony in 1970. He has since appeared as guest conductor with the Cleveland Orchestra and the Symphony Orchestras of Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Montreal, and Detroit, among others. He also had a regular association with the New Japan Philharmonic as its Principal Guest Conductor, as well as with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Gustav Mahler Chamber Orchestra.

Teaching has been a crucially important element in Leon Fleisher's life. As a revered pedagogue, he has held the Andrew W. Mellon Chair at the Peabody Conservatory of Music since 1959, and also serves on the faculties of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. From 198697 he was Artistic Director of the Tanglewood Music Center. His teaching activities at the Aspen, Lucerne, Ravinia, and Verbier festivals have brought him in contact with students from all over the world. He has also given master classes at the Salzburg Mozarteum, the Paris Conservatory, the Ravel Academy at Saint-Jean-de-Luz, the Reina Sofia School in Madrid, the Mishkenot in Jerusalem, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Christoph Eschenbach

Held in high esteem by the world's foremost orchestras and opera houses for his commanding presence, versatility, and consummate musicianship, Christoph Eschenbach has also been acclaimed for his creative insight and dynamic energy, as a conductor, collaborator, and ardent champion of young musicians.

A prolific recording artist, Mr. Eschenbach has made numerous recordings on various labels as conductor, pianist, or both. His discography includes works of Bach, Bartk, Berg, Berlioz, Brahms, Bruckner, Mahler, Mendelssohn, Messiaen, Mozart, Ravel, Schoenberg, Schumann, Shostakovich, Strauss, and Tchaikovsky. A champion of contemporary music, Mr. Eschenbach has also recorded works by such composers as Adams, Berio, Glass, Louri, Picker, Pintscher, Rouse, and Schnittke.

Before turning to conducting, Mr. Eschenbach had earned a distinguished reputation as a concert pianist. He began winning major competitions at the age of 11, and made his United States debut in 1969 with the Cleveland Orchestra. He learned the art of conducting under, among others, George Szell, who personally took him as his protg, and with whom he worked for over three years. In addition, Herbert von Karajan was his mentor for nearly 25 years, and he credits him as having had a tremendous influence on his development as a conductor.

Mr. Eschenbach made his conducting debut in Hamburg in 1972. In 1981 he was named principal guest conductor of Zurich's Tonhalle Orchestra, and was chief conductor from 1982 to 1986. Additional posts include music director of the Houston Symphony (19881999); chief conductor of the Hamburg NDR Symphony (19982004); music director of the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival (19992002); music director of the Ravinia Festival, summer home of the Chicago Symphony (19942003); music director of The Philadelphia Orchestra (20032008); and music director of the Orchestre de Paris since 2000. In autumn 2010, he will assume the music directorship of the National Symphony Orchestra and the specially created position of music director of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, both in Washington, D.C.

Among Mr. Eschenbach's most recent awards are the Lgion d'Honneur of France and the Officer's Cross with Star and Ribbon of the German Order of Merit. In 1993 he received the Leonard Bernstein Award, presented to him by the Pacific Music Festival, where he served as co-artistic director from 1992 to 1998.

Christoph Eschenbach has had a long and continuing association with the Curtis Institute of Music, working closely with its conducting, composition, and general student body, as well as conducting the Curtis Symphony Orchestra on a regular basis.

The Curtis Institute of Music

"We are delighted to have the opportunity to share the extraordinary artistry of Curtis students with a worldwide audience. Over the past few years, Christoph Eschenbach has led the Curtis Symphony Orchestra in many outstanding performances, and this project captures their unique relationship on record." (Roberto Daz, President of The Curtis Institute of Music).

The Curtis Institute of Music trains exceptionally gifted young musicians for careers as performing artists on the highest professional level. One of the world's leading music schools, Curtis provides full-tuition scholarships to all of its 162 students, ensuring that admissions are based solely on artistic promise. A Curtis education is uniquely tailored to the individual student, with personalized attention from a celebrated faculty and unusually frequent performance opportunities. This distinctive "learn by doing" approach to musical training has produced an impressive number of notable artists, from such legends as Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber to current stars Juan Diego Flrez, Alan Gilbert, Hilary Hahn, Jennifer Higdon, and Lang Lang.

Curtis Symphony Orchestra

The Curtis Symphony Orchestra, composed of more than one hundred players between the ages of fourteen and twenty-five, has been called "an orchestra that any city would be lucky to have as its professional ensemble" (The Philadelphia Inquirer). The orchestra performs a three-concert season in Philadelphia's Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, as well as programs elsewhere in the region and occasionally at Carnegie Hall. World-renowned conductors frequently lead the orchestra in reading sessions and in concert; recent visiting conductors include Charles Dutoit, Alan Gilbert, Simon Rattle, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Miguel Harth-Bedoya. This real-world training has enabled Curtis alumni to assume prominent positions in major orchestras across the United States, Canada, and abroad.

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