Michael Tilson Thomas conducts Haydn, Liszt and Bartók — With George Li

Orchestre symphonique de Montréal

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Program notes

Michael Tilson Thomas conducts the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal for the first time! He is joined on stage by George Li, Second Prize winner for piano at the 2015 International Tchaikovsky Competition, for a performance of Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 1.

Best known for his advocacy of American contemporary composers, Michael Tilson Thomas (nicknamed “MTT”) returns to the classics with this program that spans three centuries of music, from Haydn to Bartók. MTT and the OSM begin with Haydn, a prolific composer of more than 100 symphonies, and his Symphony No. 181, composed in 1784 while working for his patrons, the Esterházy princes. Next George Li takes the stage for the celebrated Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major by the cosmopolitan Franz Liszt, a work premiered in 1855 under the direction of Berlioz. The evening culminates with Bartók’s scintillating Concerto for Orchestra, premiered at New York’s Carnegie Hall in 1944 after his immigration to the United States. The piece was commissioned by the prominent conductor Serge Koussevitzky, who called it the “best work of the last 25 years”. An exciting concert sure to offer audiences a musical evening of equal parts virtuosity and artistry!

George Li appears courtesy of Warner Classics.
Photo: Michael Tilson Thomas © Art Streibe  Photo: George Li © Simon Fowler 

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