Matthew Bourne

Matthew Bourne

Friday, September 29, 2017

George Li plays Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto No.23 in A major – Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Alexey Utkin – XV International Tchaikovsky Competition, 2015, Piano / Round 2, Second stage














The International Tchaikovsky Competition, first held more than 50 years ago, is not only a valuable asset of Russian musical culture but is also one of the major events in the international music community. The International Tchaikovsky Competition is held once every four years.

The first, in 1958, included two disciplines – piano and violin. Beginning with the second competition, in 1962, a cello category was added, and the vocal division was introduced during the third competition in 1966. In 1990, a fifth discipline was announced for the IX International Tchaikovsky Competition – a contest for violin makers which was held before the main competition.

The XV International Tchaikovsky Competition was held in Moscow and St Petersburg from June 15 to July 3, 2015, and was dedicated to the 175th anniversary of the great Russian composer.

In the competition participated more than 600 artists from 45 countries.

On the jury for piano was the distinguished pianists Dmitri Bashkirov, Boris Berezovsky, Michel Béroff, Peter Donohoe, Sergei Dorensky, Barry Douglas, Denis Matsuev, Vladimir Ovchinnikov, Alexander Toradze, Vladimir Feltsman, Klaus Hellwig, and the founder and director of the Verbier International Festival and Academy, Martin Engström.

The pianists competing at the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition must perform, during the second round of the Competition, one of the seven piano concertos written by Mozart and selected by the Competition.



Mozart completed the Piano Concerto No.23 in A major on March 2, 1786, and most likely played the first performance a few days later in Vienna. For the coronation, in 1781, of Austrian Emperor Joseph II and attendant celebrations, Prince-Archbishop Hieronymous Colloredo of Salzburg moved his entire court to Vienna. He summoned his most famous musical employee, the younger Mozart, who'd been savoring the success of Idomeneo in Munich, an opera specially commissioned by the Elector of Bavaria. The reluctant Wolfgang Amadé, by then thoroughly detesting his pfennig-pinching employer, arrived in the Hapsburg capital on March 16. By June 8, he had managed to get dismissed from Colloredo's service (with a boot in the backside), leaving him free to conquer Vienna, which he did with the new Emperor's erratic help. For the next four years, he reigned as Vienna's favorite composer of instrumental music. While he rode the crest, his music was both anticipated and appreciated. In response to public demand between 1782 and 1786, he wrote 14 glorious piano concertos – Nos. 11 through 24 – most of them for his own use. No.23 was intended for the Lenten series of 1786, along with Nos. 22 and 24, the last ones before Figaro. While the dates of these concerts have been lost, we know that the A major was an immediate success, and has remained popular ever since, as much for wistfulness as for melodies verging on sublimity. In the company of a flute, two bassoons, two horns, and strings, a pair of clarinets lend the music a moody character.

The Allegro first movement, with double exposition, goes by the rules of structure for the most part, although there is an incursion of drama in the development section (Cuthbert Girdlestone wrote that "Mozart's daimon... suddenly surges up from the depth") plus a through-written cadenza, rare in his mature concertos.

Rather than an Andante, the slow movement is the only Adagio in all of Mozart's concertos, with melancholy taking center stage that heretofore had hovered in the wings. Startlingly and somberly the key is F sharp minor (A major's harmonic alter-ego), not really leavened by a sweet subject in A major for flute and clarinet that forms the middle part of an ABA structure, despite elements of sonata form.

After two introverted movements, the second one confined to a sickroom, the rondo-finale rallies ebulliently – an Allegro assai among the most buoyant in Mozart's concerto canon, with key-changes and even high comedy that find the patient recovered and happy, as are all of us are who have been worried till now about his health.

Source: Roger Dettmer (allmusic.com)










Ο 15ος Διεθνής Διαγωνισμός Τσαϊκόφσκι, ο οποίος ήταν αφιερωμένος στην 175η επέτειο από τη γέννηση του μεγάλου Ρώσου συνθέτη, πραγματοποιήθηκε στη Μόσχα και στην Αγία Πετρούπολη από τις 15 Ιουνίου έως τις 3 Ιουλίου 2015.

Στο πλαίσιο του δεύτερου γύρου – στο δεύτερο από τα δύο στάδια – του διαγωνισμού στην κατηγορία του πιάνου, ο κινεζικής καταγωγής Αμερικανός πιανίστας George Li (γενν. 1995), ο οποίος μοιράστηκε τη δεύτερη θέση με τον Ρώσο Lukas Geniušas, ερμήνευσε το Κοντσέρτο για πιάνο αρ. 23 σε Λα μείζονα, K.488, του Βόλφγκανγκ Αμαντέους Μότσαρτ. Την Ορχήστρα Δωματίου της Μόσχας διηύθυνε ο διεθνούς φήμης Ρώσος ομποΐστας και αρχιμουσικός Alexey Utkin.

Η συναυλία έλαβε χώρα στη Μεγάλη Αίθουσα του Ωδείου της Μόσχας, στις 24 Ιουνίου 2015.

Ο Διεθνής Διαγωνισμός Τσαϊκόφσκι, ο οποίος πραγματοποιείται κάθε τέσσερα χρόνια, είναι ίσως ο σημαντικότερος διαγωνισμός στο χώρο της κλασικής μουσικής. Ο διαγωνισμός διοργανώθηκε για πρώτη φορά το 1958, περιλαμβάνοντας μόνο δύο κατηγορίες: του βιολιού και του πιάνου. Το 1962, στη δεύτερη διοργάνωση, προστέθηκε η κατηγορία του βιολοντσέλου, ενώ στην τρίτη διοργάνωση του διαγωνισμού, το 1966, προστέθηκε ακόμη η κατηγορία της φωνής.

Στον 15ο Διαγωνισμό, το 2015, συμμετείχαν περισσότεροι από εξακόσιοι καλλιτέχνες από 45 χώρες, οι οποίοι διαγωνίστηκαν και στις τέσσερεις κατηγορίες: πιάνο, βιολί, βιολοντσέλο και φωνή.

Την κριτική επιτροπή για την κατηγορία του πιάνου αποτελούσαν οι διακεκριμένοι πιανίστες Dmitri Bashkirov, Boris Berezovsky, Michel Béroff, Peter Donohoe, Sergei Dorensky, Barry Douglas, Denis Matsuev, Vladimir Ovchinnikov, Alexander Toradze, Vladimir Feltsman, Klaus Hellwig, καθώς επίσης και ο Martin Engström, ιδρυτής και διευθυντής του Διεθνούς Φεστιβάλ και της Ακαδημίας του Βερμπιέρ.

[At present, this video is unavailable]

XV International Tchaikovsky Competition, 2015, Piano / Round 2, Second stage

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)


♪ Piano Concerto No.23 in A major, K.488 (1784-1786)

i. Allegro
ii. Adagio
iii. Allegro assai

George Li, piano – Second Prize*

Moscow Chamber Orchestra

Conductor: Alexey Utkin

Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, June 24, 2015

(HD 720p)


* Second place was shared by George Li and Lukas Geniušas
















George Li was born on August 24, 1995, in Boston, Massachusetts, to parents from the People's Republic of China. He began piano lessons at the age of 4 with Dorothy Shi, and later studied with Yin Chengzong, before transferring to his current teachers, Wha Kyung Byun and Russell Sherman.

Praised by the Washington Post for combining "staggering technical prowess, a sense of command and depth of expression", pianist George Li possesses brilliant virtuosity and effortless grace far beyond his years. He captured the Silver Medal at the 2015 International Tchaikovsky Competition and was the recipient of the 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant.

Recent and upcoming concerto highlights include performances with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony, Hamburg Philharmonic with Manfred Honeck, a tour of Asia with the London Symphony Orchestra and Giandrea Noseda, St Petersburg Philharmonic with Yuri Temirkanov, Philharmonia Orchestra with Long Yu, Oslo Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lyon, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Mälmo Symphony, Verbier Festival Orchestra, DSO Berlin, Seattle Symphony, Utah Symphony, Sydney Symphony and Frankfurt Radio Symphony. He frequently appears with Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra, including performances at the Paris Philharmonie, Luxemburg Philharmonie, New York's Brooklyn Academy of Music, Graffenegg Festival and in various places throughout Russia.

Recital highlights include Carnegie Hall, Davies Hall in San Francisco, the Mariinsky Theatre, Munich's Gasteig, the Louvre, Seoul Arts Center, Tokyo's Asahi Hall and Musashino Hall, NCPA Beijing, Ravinia Festival, Lanaudiere Festival, Edinburgh Festival and Montreaux Festival.

An active chamber musician, George has performed chamber music with James Ehnes, Noah Bendix-Balgley, Benjamin Beilman, Kian Soltani, Pablo Ferrandez and Daniel Lozakovich.

George is an exclusive Warner Classics recording artist, with his debut album releasing in October 2017 which was recorded live from the Mariinsky.

George Li gave his first public performance at Boston's Steinway Hall at the age of ten and in 2011, performed for President Obama at the White House in an evening honoring Chancellor Angela Merkel. Among George's many prizes, he was the First Prize winner of the 2010 Young Concert Artists International Auditions and a recipient of the 2012 Gilmore Young Artist Award. George is currently in the Harvard University / New England Conservatory joint program, studying with Wha Kyung Byun.

Source: georgelipianist.com



















































More photos


See also


George Li – All the posts

The winners of the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition, 2015










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