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Guest conductors Andrey Boreyko, Simone Young, and James Gaffigan lead the SF Symphony in April, 2019  

March 22, 2019

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / MARCH 22, 2019

(High resolution images of Andrey Boreyko, Emanuel Ax, James Gaffigan, Hélène Grimaud, Louis Lortie, and Simone Young are available for download from the San Francisco Symphony’s Online Photo Library.) 

GUEST CONDUCTORS ANDREY BOREYKO, SIMONE YOUNG, AND JAMES GAFFIGAN LEAD THE SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY IN APRIL, 2019

On April 11–12 & 14, Andrey Boreyko leads the SFS in the Orchestra’s first performances of Zemlinsky’s Die Seejungfrau and Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2 featuring Emanuel Ax

April 18–20 concerts are led by Simone Young in her SFS conducting debut and feature Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, Ravel's Pavane pour une infante défunte and his Piano Concerto in G major, with pianist Louis Lortie

Concerts on April 25–27 are conducted by James Gaffigan and include Mozart’s Symphony No. 31, Wagner’s Good Friday Spell from Parsifal, Barber’s Symphony No. 1, and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 with pianist Hélène Grimaud

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—Guest conductors Andrey Boreyko, Simone Young, and James Gaffigan lead the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) in three unique programs this April at Davies Symphony Hall. On April 11–12 & 14, Andrey Boreyko conducts the Orchestra in Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2, featuring world-class pianist Emanuel Ax, as well as the first SFS performances of Zemlinsky’s Die Seejungfrau (The Mermaid), a lush symphonic poem based on Hans Christian Andersen’s tragic tale The Little Mermaid. Zemlinsky himself conducted the premiere of Die Seejungfrau at Vienna’s Musikverein on January 25, 1905, to great critical acclaim and nearly unanimous praise. After early performances in Vienna, Berlin, and Prague, Zemlinsky withdrew his score and it was thought lost until a copy was re-discovered in 1980. It has since become one of the composer’s most frequently performed works.  

On April 18–20, Australian conductor Simone Young makes her San Francisco Symphony debut with a program featuring Rimsky-Korsakov’s colorful Scheherazade—a wondrous symphonic portrait of the fairy tale collection The Arabian Nights and two works by Ravel—his melancholy and mysterious Pavane pour une infante défunte (Pavane for a Dead Princess), dedicated to the Princesse Edmond de Polignac, and the jazz-infused Piano Concerto in G major performed by acclaimed pianist Louis Lortie. Simone Young is currently Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne and maintains a busy conducting schedule, which takes her to major opera houses and symphony orchestras around the world. Well-known as a Wagner and Strauss specialist, she was the first woman to record Wagner’s complete Ring cycle and was also the first female to conduct the Vienna State Opera and Vienna Philharmonic. Young holds honorary doctorates from the Universities of Sydney and Melbourne, is a “Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres” in France, a Member of the Order of Australia, and a Professor at the Academy of Music and Theatre in Hamburg.

April 25–27 concerts are led by James Gaffigan and include Mozart’s Symphony No. 31, Paris, Wagner’s Good Friday Spell from his final opera Parsifal, and Barber’s Symphony No. 1. Currently the Chief Conductor of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Gaffigan has a long history with the SFS, having served as the Associate Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony from 2006 to 2009—a position specially created for him by Michael Tilson Thomas. Completing the program is Beethoven’s intimate Piano Concerto No. 4 performed by pianist Hélène Grimaud. Grimaud’s 1999 recording of Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto with Kurt Masur and the New York Philharmonic was described as “a most impressive disc…beautifully judged and unselfconscious in its poetic expressiveness” in a review by BBC Music Magazine.

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