Sunday , April 3, 2011 @ 3p.m.
a brief description
“Mournful and yet grand is the destiny of the artist.” Franz Liszt
“Music embodies feeling without forcing it to contend and combine with thought, as it is forced in most arts and especially in the art of words.” Franz Liszt
Franz Liszt has emerged as one of the most awe-inspiring figures in all of music history. Regarded by most as the greatest pianist of all time, Liszt’s genius extended far beyond the piano to expand musical composition and performance well beyond its 19th century limitations. His unique compositions bewildered, inspired, and inflamed the imaginations of his own era, yet quite miraculously, he also laid the seeds for a series of schools that would flourish in the near and distant future. Namely, the Late Romantic, Impressionist, and Atonal schools. For these remarkable contributions, Liszt is unique, and his immense influence is unquestionably monumental.
Numerous reviews highly praised his achievements, as he was the first superstar adored by the masses, and probably no other composer in history received as much media attention in their lifetime. Yet, that sinister sector of brutal critics and vicious gossip columns did soil his reputation. The result was a culmination of improprieties that “temporarily” blurred the vision of history. It’s unfortunate that Liszt had to endure such humiliation, as he would in later life insist to his students not to perform his works in public, since the selfless Liszt didn’t wish to hinder their careers. Yet, it’s comforting to know truth does eventually prevail. For music history has dramatically been altered by the ingenious inventions of this superlative master far more than any such rivals, and possibly more than any other composer in history.
It’s truly gratifying to see how Liszt’s sublime influence cascades over the centuries like a beautiful glissando.
What made Liszt so fascinating was his relentless quest to experiment with sound, and to release the very heart, soul and existence of human kind via musical notation. A pioneer at every stage of his life Liszt had no rivals, only jealous detractors or enlightened followers.
Harry Clark wrote this new work with great affection for his friend and musical mentor, André Watts. We are thrilled that Mr. Watts joined by distinguished actor Michael York will be on hand for the world premiere.
Not to brag, but without a doubt, this event is “THE EVENT” of the art season in Tucson.
About the music
This is an all Liszt program not to be missed.
André Watts burst upon the music world at the age of 16 when Leonard Bernstein chose him to make his debut with the New York Philharmonic in their Young People’s Concerts, broadcast nationwide on CBS-TV. Only two weeks later, Bernstein asked him to substitute at the last minute for the ailing Glenn Gould in performances of Liszt’s E-flat Concerto with the New York Philharmonic, thus launching his career in storybook fashion. More than 45 years later, André Watts remains one of today’s most celebrated and beloved superstars.
A perennial favorite with orchestras throughout the US, Mr. Watts is also a regular guest at the major summer music festivals including Ravinia, the Hollywood Bowl, Saratoga, Tanglewood and the Mann Music Center. Recent and upcoming engagements include appearances with the Philadelphia and Minnesota Orchestras, New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, and the St. Louis, Atlanta, Detroit, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Seattle and National symphonies among others. During the 10/11 season Mr. Watts plays all-Liszt recitals throughout the US while recent international engagements include concerto and recital appearances in Japan, Germany and Spain.
Mr. Watts’ extensive discography includes recordings of works by Gershwin, Chopin, Liszt and Tchaikovsky for CBS Masterworks; recital CD’s of works by Beethoven, Schubert, Liszt and Chopin for Angel/EMI; and recordings featuring the concertos of Liszt, MacDowell, Tchaikovsky and Saint-Saens on the Telarc label. He is also included in the Great Pianists of the 20th Century series for Philips.
A much-honored artist who has played before royalty in Europe and heads of government in nations all over the world, André Watts was selected to receive the Avery Fisher Prize in 1988. At age 26 he was the youngest person ever to receive an Honorary Doctorate from Yale University and he has since received numerous honors from highly respected schools including the University of Pennsylvania, Brandeis University, The Juilliard School of Music and his Alma Mater, the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. In June 2006, he was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl of Fame to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his debut (with the Philadelphia Orchestra).
Previously Artist-in-Residence at the University of Maryland, Mr. Watts was appointed to the newly created Jack I. and Dora B. Hamlin Endowed Chair in Music at Indiana University in May, 2004.
With an impressive body of work over the past 46 years on screen, stage, television, and with audio recording, Michael York retains the enthusiasm for the actor’s life he first experienced growing up in England. Joining the National Youth Theatre, he played Shakespeare in London and Europe, going on to perform extensively at Oxford University and graduating with an MA in English.
He joined Laurence Olivier’s new National Theatre Company in 1965 and a year later made his film debut in Franco Zeffirelli’s The Taming of the Shrew with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. He was also Tybalt in Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet and John the Baptist in his Jesus of Nazareth.
York’s more than 60 other screen credits include memorable roles in such films as Joseph Losey’s Accident, Bob Fosse’s Cabaret with Liza Minnelli, Something for Everyone with Angela Lansbury, the all-star Murder on the Orient Express, The Last Remake of Beau Geste, as d’Artagnan in The Three Musketeers, the title role in Logan’s Run, and opposite Burt Lancaster in The Island of Dr. Moreau.
His television work comprises over 80 credits, including The Forsyte Saga, Great Expectations, Space, The Heat of the Day, A Knight in Camelot, The Night of the Fox, and The Lot (Emmy nomination). Recently in Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, he was also a guest character in The Simpsons and in the 100th episode of Law and Order: Criminal Intent. The Four Seasons has just been shown, as well as A Tale of Two Cities.
Broadway and regional theater credits include Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me, Bent, The Crucible, Ring Round the Moon, the world premiere of Tennessee Williams’ Out Cry, and the title role in Cyrano de Bergerac. He was in the musical of The Little Prince and recently toured the US in Camelot, playing King Arthur.
For a complete biography of Mr. YORK please click here