Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
490 Riverside Drive, 11th floor
New York, NY 10027-5788
(212) 896 1700
For immediate release
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra will begin 2023 with a four-city tour, joined by the French violinist Renaud Capuçon this January
The tour comprises dates in Prescott and Scottsdale, Arizona, Carnegie Hall, and SUNY Purchase College
The program, “Change the Frame,” opens with the world premiere of a new work by rising American composer Hanna Benn. View (Un)titled, commissioned by Orpheus, is the composer’s musical response to works by women of color in the MoMA collection
Capuçon is the featured soloist in Prokofiev’s Sonata in F minor for Violin, Strings, and Percussion Op. 80, arranged by Andrei Pushkarev
Building on the concept of music inspired by art, the program continues with Mussorgsky’s vibrant Pictures at an Exhibition, in a special arrangement by Jannina Norpoth (educator, arranger, violinist for PUBLIQuartet)
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra is nothing short of a cultural icon in New York City’s vibrant classical music scene. Famously conductor-less since its inception, Orpheus is built upon a democratic model of operations in which all musicians are equal, all decisions are shared, and all artistic leadership is appointed from within.
This season marks a major milestone in the Orchestra’s history, as it reaches its 50th anniversary in 2022/23
For Orpheus, whose credo was and continues to be based on a uniquely-egalitarian operations model, this achievement is one that is especially meaningful to the musicians, staff, and board, as its original mission in the 1970s to become a truly democratic space for music-making has only strengthened over the decades.
Orpheus & Renaud Capuçon
Yavapai College Performing Arts Center (Prescott, AZ) - January 18, 2023 at 7PM
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts (Scottsdale, AZ) - January 19, 2023 at 7:30PM
Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage (New York, NY) - January 21, 2023 at 7PM
The Performing Arts Center at SUNY Purchase College (Purchase, NY) - January 23, 2023 at 3PM
HANNA BENN: View (Un)titled - world premiere, Orpheus commission
PROKOVIEV (ARR. ANDREI PUSHKAREV): Sonata in F minor for Violin, Strings and Percussion (Op. 80)
Renaud Capuçon, violin
MUSSORGSKY (ARR. JANNINA NORPOTH): Pictures at an Exhibition
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra is a radical experiment in musical democracy, proving for fifty years what happens when exceptional artists gather with total trust in each other and faith in the creative process. Orpheus began in 1972 when cellist Julian Fifer assembled a group of New York freelancers in their early twenties to play orchestral repertoire as if it were chamber music. In that age of co-ops and communes, the idealistic Orpheans snubbed the “corporate” path of symphony orchestras and learned how to play, plan and promote concerts as a true collective, with leadership roles rotating from the very first performance.
It’s one thing for the four players of a string quartet to lean into the group sound and react spontaneously, but with 20 or 30 musicians together, the complexities and payoffs get magnified exponentially. Within its first decade, Orpheus made Carnegie Hall its home and became a global sensation through its tours Europe and Asia. Its catalogue of recordings for Deutsche Grammophon, Nonesuch and other labels grew to include more than 70 albums that still stand as benchmarks of the chamber orchestra repertoire, including Haydn symphonies, Mozart concertos, and twentieth-century gems by Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Ravel and Bartók.
The sound of Orpheus is defined by its relationships, and guest artists have always been crucial partners in the process. Orpheus brings the best out of its collaborators, and those bonds deepen over time, as heard in the long arc of music-making with soloists such as Richard Goode and Branford Marsalis, and in the commitment to welcoming next-generation artists including Nobyuki Tsujii and Tine Thing Helseth. Breaking down the barriers of classical repertoire, partnerships with Brad Mehldau, Wayne Shorter, Ravi Shankar and many others from the sphere of jazz and beyond have redefined what a chamber orchestra can do. Relationships with composers and dozens of commissions have been another crucial way that Orpheus stretches itself, including a role for Jessie Montgomery as the orchestra’s first ever Artistic Partner. Having proven the power of direct communication and open-mindedness within the ensemble, the only relationship Orpheus has never had any use for is one with a conductor.
At home in New York and in the many concert halls it visits in the U.S. and beyond, Orpheus begins its next fifty years with a renewed commitment to enriching and reflecting the surrounding community. It will continue its groundbreaking work with those living with Alzheimer’s Disease through Orpheus Reflections, and the Orpheus Academy as well as the Orpheus Leadership Institute spread the positive lessons of trust and democracy to young musicians and those in positions of power. Each year, Access Orpheus reaches nearly 2000 public school students in all five boroughs of New York City, bringing music into their communities and welcoming them to Carnegie Hall. Always evolving as artists and leaders, the Orpheus musicians carry their legacy forward, counting on their shared artistry and mutual respect to make music and effect change.
ABOUT RENAUD CAPUÇON:
French violinist Renaud Capuçon is firmly established internationally as a major soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. He is known and loved for his poise, depth of tone and virtuosity, and he works with the world’s most prestigious orchestras, artists, venues and festivals.
Born in Chambéry in 1976, Renaud Capuçon began his studies at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris at the age of fourteen, winning numerous awards during his five years there. Following this, Capuçon moved to Berlin to study with Thomas Brandis and Isaac Stern and was awarded the Prize of the Berlin Academy of Arts. In 1997, Claudio Abbado invited him to become concertmaster of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, which he led for three summers, working with conductors including Boulez, Ozawa, Welser-Möst and Claudio Abbado.
Since then, Capuçon has established himself as a soloist at the very highest level. He performs with leading orchestras such as the Berliner Philharmoniker, Boston Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Filarmonica della Scala, London Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National de France, and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. His many conductor relationships include Barenboim, Bychkov, Dénève, Dohnanyi, Dudamel, Dutoit, Eschenbach, Gergiev, Haitink, Harding, Long Yu, Paavo Järvi, Nelsons, Nézet-Seguin, Roth, Shani, Ticciati, van Zweden. Upcoming highlights in the 22/23 season include his debut at Carnegie Hall with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra as part of a tour around the US.
A great commitment to chamber music has led him to collaborations with Argerich, Angelich, Barenboim, Bashmet, Bronfman, Buniatishvili, Grimaud, Hagen, Ma, Pires, Trifonov, Yo-Yo Ma and Yuja Wang, as well as with his brother, cellist Gautier Capuçon, and have taken him, among others, to the Berlin, Lucerne, Verbier, Aix-enProvence, Roque d’Anthéron, San Sebastián, Stresa, Salzburg, Edinburgh International and Tanglewood festivals. Capuçon has also represented France at some of the world’s most prestigious international events: he has performed with YoYo Ma under the Arc de Triomphe for the official commemoration of Armistice Day inthe presence of more than 80 heads of state and played for world leaders at the G7 Summit in Biarritz.
Capuçon is the Artistic Director of two festivals, the Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad, since 2016, and the Easter Festival in Aix-en-Provence, which he founded in 2013. Since 2021, he has also been the Artistic Director of the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne. His first set of recordings with the ensemble, released in September 2021, are entirely devoted to the music of Arvo Pärt; recordings of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and two concerti by Chevalier de Saint-Georges are set to follow for release in September 2022.
Capuçon has built an extensive discography. Recent releases with Erato/Warner Classics include a recording of Elgar’s violin concerto and violin sonata with the LSO conducted by Simon Rattle, an album with Guillaume Bellom featuring an extensive range of shorter works arranged for violin and piano, and recordings of works by SaintSaëns performed with Daniel Harding, Bertrand Chamayou, and Edgar Moreau. His album 'Au Cinema', featuring much loved selections from film music, was released to critical acclaim in October 2018.
In 2017, Capuçon founded a new ensemble, the Lausanne Soloists, comprised of current and former students of the Haute École de Musique de Lausanne, where he has held a professorship since 2014. He plays the Guarneri del Gesù 'Panette' (1737), which belonged to Isaac Stern. In June 2011, he was appointed 'Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Mérite' and in March 2016 'Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur' by the French Government.
ABOUT HANNA BENN:
A composer, vocalist, and genre-spanning collaborator, Hanna Benn has been creating music for over a decade. Her multi-disciplinary approach has incorporated dance, opera, and theater — blurring genre and discovering new sonic landscapes in the process.
Her work as a composer has taken her across the globe, from most recently a new spiritual for GRAMMY Award-winning choir The Fisk Jubilee Singers and a premiere at The Perth International Arts Festival, to Antwerp performing with the B.O.X Baroque Orchestra. Past works have been performed by the Northwest Symphony, Saint Helen's String Quartet, Seattle Chamber Players, Opus 7, North Corner Chamber Orchestra and the Indianapolis Symphony.
As a vocalist, Benn produces, writes and performs solo. Her most recent release,DIVIDE, has received critical acclaim from music publications such as Pitchfork, MTV, Stereogum, and XLR8R. Benn has been recognized for her unique and ethereal vocal work which has been described as “devastatingly moving” (The Stranger) and praised for her “unmistakable sense of sanctuary” (Pitchfork).
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