Soaring melodies and driving rhythms are on display in this program conducted by Music Director Finalist Stephen Rogers Radcliffe. Jessie Montgomery’s Hymn for Everyone transforms an original theme through washes of color and timbre. Two Northwest luminaries – violinist Hal Grossman and Seattle Symphony cellist Walter Gray – shine in Frederick Delius’s rhapsodic Double Concerto. The Overture to Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel incorporates several of the opera’s best-loved moments, including the famous “Evening Prayer.” The program culminates with Edvard Grieg’s Symphonic Dances, an exquisite yet neglected work ideally suited for the superb musicians of Philharmonia Northwest.
Jessie Montgomery: Hymn for Everyone
Frederick Delius: Double Concerto for Violin and Cello
Engelbert Humperdinck: Overture to Hansel and Gretel
Edvard Grieg: Symphonic Dances, Op. 64
Violinist Hal Grossman has been hailed by critics for his “tremendous virtuosic technique” and “outstanding artistic sense”. As concerto soloist, he has appeared with American, European and Canadian orchestras including the Rochester Philharmonic, the North Carolina Symphony, Polish Sinfonietta, the Illinois, Lima, Guelph, and Battle Creek symphonies. Grand Award Winner of the Lima Young Artist Competition and Silver Medalist of the International Stulberg Competition, Mr. Grossman also received First Prize Awards at the prestigious International Cleveland Quartet Competition and the National Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. He has performed for their Royal Highnesses, Prince Charles and Princess Diana and his New York Debut at Carnegie Hall received exceptional reviews from the New York Times. Recital appearances have taken him throughout North America and Europe. In the United States he has also been heard on National Public Radio, WQXI-New York, and WFMT-Chicago.
Walter Gray has been a member of the Seattle Symphony for over 40 years. During that time, he has been featured as soloist with the orchestra several times. He has also performed as soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Far East. Last season, Mr. Gray premiered the revised version of Ken Benshoof’s Concerto for Cello and String Orchestra.
He was a founding member of the Kronos Quartet and for over five years presented hundreds of concerts including numerous world premieres. Mr. Gray’s expanded contemporary music adventures have included working with Pearl Jam, Dave Mathews Band, Queensrÿche, Heart, and David Lanz. He has recorded works of John Cage, Paul Schoenfield, Jake Heggie, and Chinary Ung and produced recordings for the London Symphony, Seattle Symphony, New Hampshire Music Festival and numerous solo and chamber musicians.
Mr. Gray has taught at SUNY Geneseo, Mills College, Western Washington University, and the University of North Texas. He is a regular guest at many institutions and last year gave masterclasses at Western Washington University, the University of Louisville, and “Cello Slam” at DePaul University. In the summer he makes regular appearances at the Olympic, Marrowstone, New Hampshire, and Grand Teton Music Festivals.
Since his Lincoln Center conducting debut in 1986, Stephen Rogers Radcliffe has been recognized for his electrifying, musically acute performances; his passionate dedication to the nurturing of young talent and his innovative approach to audience development; and artistic enrichment in the musical institutions with which he has served.
For over a decade Maestro Radcliffe served as Music Director of both the Marrowstone Music Festival and the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras, where his leadership raised the organizations to national prominence as America’s largest youth orchestra training programs. An artist, educator, and scholar, Maestro Radcliffe was the Harry and Mildred Bemis Endowed Fellow in Musicology at Brandeis University; Director of Orchestra and Opera Programs at the University of Massachusetts; and Staff Conductor of the Boston Lyric Opera, Seattle Opera, and Pacific Northwest Ballet.
From 1987 to 1997 Mr. Radcliffe was the Music Director of the New York Chamber Ensemble, which appeared regularly at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, as well as on recordings, radio broadcasts, and international tours. As Principal Guest Conductor of the Hungarian Virtuosi, Maestro Radcliffe performed at the Franz Liszt Academy and Pest Vigado in Budapest, as well as on international tours, radio and television broadcasts and recordings.
Stephen Rogers Radcliffe is equally at home in the repertoire of symphony, ballet, opera, and musical theater. For nearly a decade he conducted the Pacific Northwest Ballet, leading the company in its educational concerts and its NEXT STEP Choreographers Showcase performances. His work with the Seattle Opera includes three world premiere performances as part of the company’s “Our Earth” commissioning project and, in 2017, he returned to the Seattle Opera for performances of Aaron Copland’s The Tender Land. He has conducted the major operatic works of Puccini and Verdi, and has led “Opera in the Park” performances for thousands of music lovers in New York City. His Albany Records CD of operatic works by Gian Carlo Menotti, Douglas Moore, and Paul Hindemith has been acclaimed in Gramophone and the American Record Guide.
The roster of internationally acclaimed artists appearing in concert with Maestro Radcliffe is both distinguished and varied. Recent collaborations include performances with pianists Van Cliburn and Andre Watts; Metropolitan Opera stars Frederica von Stade, Dawn Upshaw, Susan Graham and Veronika Kinces; and pops artists the Moody Blues, Blood Sweat and Tears and P.D.Q Bach. Guest conducting has taken Stephen Rogers Radcliffe to leading orchestras throughout the United States, Canada, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latin America, Africa, and China. He has also been widely heard in annual broadcasts over National Public Radio.
An enthusiastic advocate of the composers of our own time, Stephen Rogers Radcliffe has commissioned and premiered numerous works, including major compositions by the distinguished American masters John Corigliano, John Harbison, George Rochberg, Ned Rorem, Aaron J. Kernis, and Joan Tower. Critically acclaimed recordings of 20th-century scores include The Music of George Rochberg on the New World label, and American Portraits, featuring chamber orchestra works by Copland, Griffes, Piston and Rorem, on Albany Records.
A prize winner of the 1988 Arturo Toscanini International Conductor’s Competition, Stephen Rogers Radcliffe was a student of Leonard Bernstein, Franco Ferrara, and Gustav Meier. He has conducted at the Tanglewood and Aspen Music Festivals as well as at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy.
Philharmonia Northwest’s 2023-24 Season is made possible in part by generous grants from these Season Sponsors: