Nearly 70 years ago, the illustrious and influential English conductor Sir Thomas Beecham set out to assemble a group of Britain’s finest musicians. His vision was to create an extraordinary symphonic ensemble that would engage and delight audiences worldwide with first-class performances and a repertoire of great, high-quality music. Hence, the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was born.
Since its first North American tour in 1950, the prestigious London-based orchestra successfully has upheld that very reputation. Priding itself on its exceptional artistic leadership and guidance throughout the years, the ensemble has been headed by such distinguished conductors as Rudolf Kempe, Antal Doráti, André Previn and Daniele Gatti.
Today that baton often is passed to other notable, respected artists who regularly take the podium to lead the premier orchestra’s performances, including principal guest conductor Pinchas Zukerman, associate conductorAlexander Shelley and permanent associate conductor Grzegorz Nowak.
On Sunday, Jan. 17, Tel Aviv-born Pinchas Zukerman brings his tremendous passion and charisma to Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center to lead the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in a program showcasing the masterful music of Mozart,Elgar and Tchaikovsky. Zukerman, who continually has marveled audiences and critics alike for more than four decades with his remarkable musical genius, impressive technique and steadfast approach, is confident it will be an evening the audience won’t soon forget.
“The audience can expect an evening of great music making,” he said, “I have been honored to work with such a world-class orchestra as the Royal Philharmonic, as principal guest conductor, over the past seven seasons.
“With the orchestra, there’s a cross-section of intellects, musicians from Britain, from overseas, that makes for a wonderful musical mix. It’s very nice—I just feel complete, somehow. I can’t say enough about the musicians and how the pulse of the orchestra manifests itself,” he added.
While he’s been the principal guest conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra since 2009, this collaboration hasn’t been his first foray into the world of conducting. For the past 10 years, Zukerman’s led many of the world’s top ensembles in a diverse array of the most demanding orchestral works. For the 2015-2016 season, his schedule includes more than 100 worldwide performances that’ll take him to Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America. In the U.S. alone, his orchestral engagements include the Boston, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco and New World symphonies.
During his engagement at The Smith Center, not only will the sublime, spirited conductor lead the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra through an enchanting and stimulating concert presentation, he’ll captivate audiences with a solo of his own. An accomplished and esteemed instrumentalist, Zukerman will take the spotlight to perform a violin solo.
When asked whether performing or conducting rouses more personal gratification for him, Zukerman responded, “Performing and conducting are different forms of expression for me, but they satisfy in the same way.
“In performing, the person is producing the sound,” he continued, “while the conductor is effectively a conduit through which the sound can be enabled; so one has to learn that part of it, also.”
Tickets to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra range from $39-$119 and can be purchased here, or by calling the box office at 702.749.2000.
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