Orchestra in HD: "Gala from Berlin"

Sir Simon Rattle conducts the Berliner Philharmoniker featuring Lang Lang
3 p.m., Sunday, December 16, 2012
Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts

Image: Lang LangFairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts presents the debut of Orchestra in HD, a new series of High Definition broadcasts that provide audiences better-than-front-row visibility of important live classical music events. The debut HD broadcast, "Gala from Berlin," with Sir Simon Rattle conducting the Berliner Philharmoniker and featuring piano superstar Lang Lang, takes place at 3 p.m. on Sunday, December 16, 2012, at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. The performance was recorded in HD at the Philharmoniker's home concert hall, the Philharmonie, in Berlin, Germany, on December 31, 2009. Tickets are $15 adults, $5 children/students.

The world-renowned orchestra, the Berliner Philharmoniker, under its musical director Sir Simon Rattle, and Lang Lang, the Berliner Philarmoniker's 2009-2010 artist-in-residence, perform in a gala concert featuring works by two Russian composers. Sergei Rachmaninov's "Second Piano Concerto," one of his most enduring popular pieces, demands a virtuoso pianist and a huge supple orchestral sound. Both it gets from the world famous Berliner Philharmoniker and the gifted soloist Lang Lang. "The Nutcracker" by Piotr Ilych Tchaikovsky, perhaps the most popular of all ballets, completes the program, along with "Etude No. 1, Op. 25" by Frédéric Chopin.

Lang Lang began playing piano at the age of 3, and by the age of 5, he had won the Shenyang Competition and had given his first public recital. Entering Beijing's Central Music Conservatory at age 9, he won first prize at the Tchaikovsky International Young Musicians Competition and played the complete 24 Chopin Études at the Beijing Concert Hall at age 13. Lang Lang's break into stardom came at age 17, when he was called upon for a dramatic last-minute substitution at the "Gala of the Century," playing a Tchaikovsky concerto with the Chicago Symphony. Following this gigantic debut, he performed successful concerts around the world. Heralded as the "hottest artist on the classical music planet" by the New York Times and the "world's ambassador of the keyboard" by the New Yorker, Lang Lang has played sold out recitals and concerts in every major city in the world and is the first Chinese pianist to be engaged by the Berlin Philharmonic. Over four billion people viewed his performance in Beijing's opening ceremony for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad in 2008, where he was seen as a symbol of the youth and the future of China. In July 2012, he relayed the London Olympic torch in London, prior to the opening of the XXX Olympiad. This status has inspired over 40 million Chinese children to learn to play classical piano - a phenomenon coined by The Today Show as "the Lang Lang effect." Most recently, he performed for President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jin-tao at the White House State Dinner and recently performed on the Queen's Diamond Jubilee concert for Elizabeth II.

The world of the Berliner Philharmoniker consists of 128 musicians, all masters of their craft who, in the service of a common purpose, combine their individual virtuosity to form the orchestra's sound. Begun in 1882, the orchestra first performed as the Berliner Philharmonisches Orchester in a renovated roller-skating rink. It has since become recognized as one of the premier ensembles in the world. Sir Simon Rattle was born in Liverpool and studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He was named Chief Conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker and Artistic Director of Philharmonie Berlin in 2002. He was knighted by the Queen of England in 1994. His other distinctions include the Shakespeare Prize by the Toepfer-Foundation Hamburg, the Albert Medal of the Royal Society of Arts, the Schiller Spezial Prize from the city of Mannheim, and the Comenius Prize for his commitment to the education-project.

Tickets are available through the Quick Center Box Office: (203) 254-4010, or toll-free 1-877-ARTS-396 (1-877-278-7396). Tickets can also be purchased online at www.quickcenter.com.

The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts is located on the campus of Fairfield University at 1073 North Benson Road in Fairfield, Connecticut. Entrance to the Quick Center is through the Barlow Road gate at 200 Barlow Road. Free, secure parking is available. Access for people with disabilities is available throughout the Quick Center for audience members and performers. Hearing amplification devices are available upon request at the Box Office. Fairfield University is located off exit 22 of Interstate-95. For further information and directions, call (203) 254-4010 or 1-877-278-7396, or visit www.quickcenter.com


Image: New to the Quick Center this season, Orchestra in HD features the Berliner Philharmoniker, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle and featuring piano superstar Lang Lang (pictured) in an encore HD broadcast from the Philharmoniker's home concert hall in Berlin at 3 p.m., Sunday, December 16, 2012. (Photo © Detlef Schneider)

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Media Contact: Mike Horyczun, (203) 254-4000 ext. 2647, mhoryczun@fairfield.edu

Posted on December 6, 2012

Vol. 44, No. 142