Press enter after choosing selection

UMS Concert Program, February 20, 2020 - Budapest Festival Orchestra

Rights Held By
University Musical Society
OCR Text

Budapest Festival Orchestra

Iván Fischer

Conductor and Music Director Renaud Capuçon / Violin

Thursday Evening, February 20, 2020 at 7:30 Hill Auditorium
Ann Arbor

74th Performance of the 141st Annual Season 141st Annual Choral Union Series

This evening’s performance is supported by the UMS Ambassadors. Media partnership provided by WGTE 91.3 FM.

Special thanks to Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra, visiting university carillonist, for coordinating this evening’s pre-concert music on the Charles Baird Carillon.

Special thanks to Tom Thompson of Tom Thompson Flowers, Ann Arbor, for his generous contribution of lobby floral art for this evening’s performance.

In consideration of the artists and the audience, please refrain from the use of electronic devices during the performance.

The photography, sound recording, or videotaping of this performance is prohibited.


Music of Antonín Dvořák

Legend No. 10 in b-flat minor, Op. 59, B. 122

Four Choruses, Op. 29, B. 59 (excerpt)

No. 1: “Místo klekáni”
Mixed Choir of Orchestra Musicians

Slavonic Dance No. 7 in c minor, Op. 46, B. 83

Violin Concerto in a minor, Op. 53, B. 96

Allegro ma non troppo
Adagio ma non troppo
Finale: Allegro giocoso ma non troppo

Mr. Capuçon


Symphony No. 8 in G Major, Op. 88, B. 163

Allegro con brio
Allegretto grazioso — Molto vivace Allegro ma non troppo


Antonín Dvořák is all too often thought of merely as a representative of Czech musical nationalism, although he is clearly much more than that. There is no doubt that he is one of the greatest composers of his entire era, and stands next to Brahms and Tchaikovsky among the most important symphonists in the second half of the 19th century.

Between his earliest successes in his early 30s and his death at the age of 62, Dvořák had only three decades of creative life allotted to him. During those yearshe created an oeuvre that is astounding both in terms of quantity and quality: more than a hundred published works in all genres — symphonies, concertos, operas, large-scale choral works, and a particularly rich harvest of chamber music. From Prague — a city of rich cultural traditions but nevertheless far from an international center at the time — he conquered with his music not only the Austrian Empire of which his homeland was then a part, but the rest of Europe, England, and the US as well, where he spent three years as the director of the newly founded National Conservatory of Music in New York.

Next to two celebrated major works, the Budapest Festival Orchestra will present three shorter compositions by this great master — compositions thatshowcase his boundless melodic imagination and the extraordinary refinement of his technique. This “simple Czech musician,” as Dvořák liked to call himself,was one of the giants of his time.


LEGEND NO. 10 IN B-FLAT MINOR, OP. 59, B. 122 (1881)

Antonín Dvořák

Born September 8, 1841 in Nelahozeves, Bohemia Died May 1, 1904 in Prague

UMS premiere: This piece has never been performed on a UMS concert.

Snapshots of History...In 1881:

  • ·  The American Red Cross is established by Clara Barton

  • ·  The Thumb Fire in the state of Michigan destroys over a million acres and

    kills 282 people

  • ·  US President James Garfield is sworn in in March but is shot in July; Vice

    President Chester Arthur is sworn in as President in September following President Garfield’s death

Similarly to the better-known Slavonic Dances, Dvořák’s ten Legends were originally written for piano duet and later orchestrated. They are short character pieces, tender, lyrical,

and nostalgic, contrasted in tempo but always preserving that special sense of intimacy that so impressed the work’s dedicatee, the famous Viennese music critic Eduard Hanslick (who, incidentally, was born in Prague). As Hanslick wrote about the Legends: “The music flows up...from crystal-clear waters, refreshing and invigorating.”

The last of the Legends has a
little bit of the dumka in it — the melancholy folk-song type found in so many of Dvořák’s works. Its two alternating sections — in turn minor and major — are made particularly enchanting by the gently rocking syncopations in the accompaniment, as well as a haunting horn solo in the orchestral version.


FOUR CHORUSES, OP. 29, B. 59 (EXCERPT) (1876)

UMS premiere: This piece has never been performed on a UMS concert.

It is seldom remembered that Dvořák had his first major success with a choral work, the cantata The Heirs of White Mountain in 1873. In the years following, he composed several

sets of short a cappella pieces for a burgeoning Czech choral movement, which played an important role in the national cultural revival at the time. The cultivation of the Czech language and folklore was the starting point of a process that eventually led to political independence from the Habsburg Empire, which finally came in 1918.

Adolf Heyduk (1835–1923) belonged to a group of writers known as the Májovci (The May Group), who were actively seeking to improve the status of Czech as a literary language. Heyduk was one of Dvořák’s favorite poets: his popular song cycle Gypsy Songs, Op. 55, are also based on Heyduk’s lyrics.

In the poem Místo klekání, written in a rural Czech dialect, a young girl’s song makes the grass greener and a young shepherd’s heart beat faster. Dvořák’s setting re-creates that song in all its purity and simplicity.

Snapshots of History...In 1876:

· Alexander Graham Bell is awarded a US patent for the telephone
· American librarian Melvil Dewey publishes the Dewey Decimal System · Serbia and Montenegro declare war on the Ottoman Empire



Místo klekání

Pasou v rubanisku stáda pastevníci,

na pleci halenu, širák nízko v líci. Salaš na vrcholku toho rubaniska, a dole pod horou ukrývá

se víska.

A v té vísce malé frajerenka mladá,

z lásky v srdélenku zpěvánky si skládá.

Když je šuhajkovi vzůru zahlaholí,

zní to, že se všecko zazelená v poli.

Jemu ten zpěvánek jako zvonek zvoní když na tvrdé lože k modlitbě se

Jemu ten zpěvánek ze sna na salaši mátohy a slzy jako
anděl plaši.

Knězi na modlení za chlapce nenoste,

radš zaň o zpěvánky frajerečku proste.

Text by Adolf Heyduk

Instead of Kneeling

On the hilltop, the shepherds graze their flocks;

Blouse on the shoulder, hat low on head. At the top of the hill, a hut;
And at the bottom, hidden in the valley,

a village.

And in this little village, there is a young maid who,

For love, composes songs from her little heart.

And when the young lad up there hears them,

They ring and resound so that all the fields turn green.

These little songs sound like bells to him, When he prays kneeling at his

hard bed;
And when he dreams in his cabin, The songs are angels chasing ghosts and tears away.

If you are in love, do not ask the priests to pray;

Instead, ask a young maid for songs.

Translation by Michael Beckerman


SLAVONIC DANCE NO. 7 IN C MINOR, OP. 46, B. 83 (1878)


UMS premiere: Metropolitan Opera Orchestra conducted by James Levine; May 1995 in Hill Auditorium.

Snapshots of History...In 1878:

· E. Remington and Sons introduce their No. 2 typewriter, the first with
a shift key, enabling production of lower- as well as upper-case characters

· Cleopatra’s Needle is erected in London · Greece declares war on Turkey

Dvořák’s fame as a composer
rose steadily throughout the
1870s and 1880s, especially after meeting Johannes Brahms, who became a staunch friend and a powerful promoter of the young Czech composer’s music. Brahms introduced Dvořák to his publisher, Fritz Simrock, who soon decided
to add Dvořák to his stable of composers. Having been extremely successful with Brahms’s Hungarian Dances a few years earlier, Simrock turned to Dvořák with a similar request for Slavonic Dances to capture the musical flavor of another nationality to the east — a not very “Far” but certainly somewhat exotic East.

Dvořák’s task, thus, was to write short and popular pieces that could represent his country abroad. He achieved that task with inimitable elegance and ingenuity. Like Brahms, he originally composed his dances for piano duet and later orchestrated them. (Brahms didn’t orchestrate all the dances himself, but Dvořák did.) In contrast with his friend, Dvořák did not use any actual folk melodies in their entirety, though he did draw on

their rhythmic patterns and certain melodic elements.

All the dances follow the so-called A-B-A form, in which two statements of the main section are separated by a contrasting middle section (often in a different key and with a change in orchestration.) The seventh dance in the set, in c minor, is marked “Allegro assai” and is a skočná, a fast dance in 2/4 time. It looks like a fairly simple little piece on the surface, but its melody is played in two-part canon, which adds a surprising twist.



Image removed.

I’d like to disabuse you of the notion that there is such a thing as a “guilty pleasure.”

Or, more affectionately, attempt to free you from the shame that sticks
to this notion like burs to fleece. Most of us have done this at some point: nervously laughing off our furtive love of maudlin rom-coms, torrid crime novels, or late-night Taco Bell drive- thru. Here’s one for you: Every day, I rehearse or perform what is described as some of the most “sophisticated” string quartet repertoire...but if you scorn the music of Phil Collins in my presence, I’ll call for dueling pistols at 10 paces come dawn.

I submit to you that there is no such thing as a “guilty pleasure.” You like something, or you don’t...and the only reason you feel sheepish about admitting to this pleasure is because somewhere along the way, someone or some publication convinced
you that it is lowbrow, or lacking substance.

The reason I’ve hopped up on this particular soapbox is that amongst
a majority of professional musicians and critics, the music of Dvořák is often referred to by the pejorative, “festival music,” or even more stingingly, “popular.” Take a gander at this excerpt from a 1972 review of a Dvořák compilation album in the New York Times:

It may not be the most stimulating or the most profoundly moving music in the world, but its unfailing sweetness, melodic inventiveness, harmonic originality, and perfection

of scoring cannot fail to find a response in the listener.

How’s that for a high-five with a taser? This narrative — that Dvořák was “simple” or even a borderline “copycat” composer — is the same one that has shadowed John Williams his entire career. It’s a story youth orchestra musicians almost inevitably encounter and then propagate without ever testing its veracity.

Have you ever watched the opening to Star Wars with literally any other piece of music? Or Indiana Jones, or Superman? Dead in the water. And as for Dvořák, naysayers, name me 10 composers that have half his sonic exuberance.

In his exceptional book, Highbrow/ Lowbrow: The Emergence of Cultural Hierarchy in America, Lawrence W. Levine provocatively asserts that, “...the perimeters of our cultural divisions have been permeable

and shifting, rather than fixed and immutable.” Add this one to your reading list (you won’t regret it), but for this moment, the gist is that after the world wars, hierarchies of art began to calcify and “popular” became a bad word. Or as Levine puts it,

...the adjective “popular” has been utilized to describe not only those creations of expressive culture that actually had a large audience...but also, and often primarily, those that had questionable artistic merit.


The most compelling example of
this divide arrives with Shakespeare. That particular moment in history witnesses the theater — one of the only venues in which the well-heeled were voluntarily sharing space with the great unwashed — began to
split apart as the wealthy demanded exclusive cloisters to take in their entertainment. Suddenly, this once unifying force of Shakespeare becomes “high art” for the privileged. My favorite quote about this shift comes by way of Edgar Allen Poe:

Your Shakespeare worshipers, for example — what do they know about Shakespeare? They worship him — rant about him — lecture about him — about him, him, and nothing else...They have arrived at an idea of his greatness from the pertinacity with which men have called him great. As for their own opinion about him — they really have none at all.

It reminds me of my middle school trip to the Art Institute of Chicago, during which a docent extolled the wonders and virtues of Monet’s series of haystacks, which encircled an entire gallery. They just didn’t move me like, say, Ivan Albright’s Picture of Dorian Gray, and I fretted that I just wasn’t erudite enough tocomprehend their magnificence.

I want to take a moment to assure you that I am not apologizing for Dvořák, or assuming that you consider his music as inhabiting a lower

rung than one of the many other orchestral favorites. I find his music positively buoyant and expertly orchestrated. I’m just responding to

a prevailing fiction that somehow it is not “serious” music. Whatever that means.

We reach for certain music like we reach for certain cuisine, television, or literature. At any given moment, we might ache for something to embolden us, or inspire us, or alleviate our current situation. If you’ve just returned home from work after dealing with That Guy again, I’m guessing that Strauss opera is not going to comprise your chill for the evening. If you’ve just welcomed a child or grandchild into the world this week, I’ll roll the dice and risk that Boulez is not in heavy rotation. If Dvořák is “festival music,” in that festivals usually involve temperate weather, a few bottles of wine, and

a brief affair with joy, then all hail “festival music.” It’s unabashedly romantic, it’s frequently ebullient, and it’s masterfully written. Why be cynical about glee and effervescence? Then again, comedies don’t win Oscars.

These tacitly accepted hierarchies in music, especially genre to genre, are not just silly, they’re dangerous. Remember when hip hop genius Kendrick Lamar won a 2018 Pulitzer for music — an award historically bestowed on classical and jazz artists? The mainstream classical music community lost its mind on social media, and not in a good way. But what exactly can Ludwig van illuminate for me about coming of age as a black man in Compton? This hierarchical thinking prevents us from experiencing all that musical expression has to offer, and ignores the fact that most of us don’t
listen exclusively to what has been embarrassingly titled “art music.”


Our priorities shift, and whenever one comes into focus, that is the most important priority for that moment.

Some reading this may be furrowing eyebrows. Am I claiming that all music is equally great?
Of course not. But the metric for greatness lies squarely with what
you want or need to hear today, not with some sticky, dubious narrative that has barnacled itself across the centuries. Certain types of music are just more perfect for certain states of mind, or flights of fancy, or deep dives into specific elements like melody, harmony, development, precision, feel, swing, wordsmithing, energy, and, and, and.

I’m guessing, since you have a ticket in your hand for an all-Dvořák program, that you are down with Antonín. I mean, that violin concerto, right? That exquisite elision from
the first movement into the second? And Budapest Festival Orchestra with none other than Iván Fischer
at the helm? This is going to be a spectacular show — one that boasts as much profundity as entertainment. And that’s what I love about Dvořák... it’s the best of both worlds.

Now, just promise me you’ll stop apologizing for that Great British Baking Show binge. Or blasting Sussudio on the way home.

Doyle Armbrust is a Chicago-based violist and member of the Spektral Quartet. He is a contributing writer for WQXR’s Q2 Music, Crain’s Chicago Business, Chicago Magazine, Chicago Tribune, and formerly, Time Out Chicago.




UMS premiere: Violinist Nathan Milstein with the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Alexander Hilsberg; May 1952 in Hill Auditorium.

Snapshots of History...In 1879:

  • ·  The University Musical Society is founded in Ann Arbor, Michigan

  • ·  New York City’s Gilmore’s Garden is renamed Madison Square Garden by

    William Henry Vanderbilt, and is opened to the public at 26th Street and

    Madison Avenue

  • ·  Thomas Edison demonstrates incandescent lighting to the public for the

    first time in Menlo Park, New Jersey

Dvořák spent the summer of 1879 with his friend Alois Göbl in the Czech countryside. It was there that he penned the first version of his violin concerto, intending to dedicate it to the famous violinist Joseph Joachim. Joachim had played the premiere
of the Brahms concerto just a few months earlier on January 1, 1879, and had worked closely with Brahms on the solo part. He subjected Dvořák’s concerto to a complete, measure- by-measure examination as well, resulting in the verdict that the work needed a thorough revision. Dvořák made a first set of changes early
in 1880, sent off a copy to Joachim, and then waited almost two years
for an answer. When Joachim finally responded, he made numerous emendations in the solo part. In
the end, he does not seem to have ever played the concerto in public, although he did arrange for a run- through at the Berlin Conservatory. Instead, it was the Czech violinist František Ondříček who gave the work its premiere in Prague on

October 14, 1883.
Dvořák joined the first two

movements together without interruption. (Max Bruch had earlier done something similar in his popular Concerto in g minor, completed in 1865-66.) Robert Keller, advisor to the music publisher Simrock, criticized Dvořák for this irregularity, but the composer insisted on keeping it. And he was right: the quasi moderato transition that leads from the first movement to the second is one of
the most beautiful moments in the concerto.

In the first movement, the solo violin enters after just a few minutes of orchestral introduction, and
is never silent for too long. The grandiose second movement has
an exceptionally long lyrical melody, contrasting with a more dramatic episode that is heard twice, played the first time by the solo violin, and the second time by the orchestra. At the end of the movement, the solo violin engages in a haunting dialogue with a pair of horns.


The finale is a rondo whose melodies were inspired by Czech folk dances. The rhythm of the furiant, with its ambivalence between triple and duple meter, is clearly recognizable in the main theme (at the repeat, it receives an added accompaniment where the cellos and oboes imitate bagpipes). One of the episodes is a wistful dumka melody in d minor that later returns

in a more brilliant instrumentation shortly before the end.


SYMPHONY NO. 8 IN G MAJOR, OP. 88, B. 163 (1889)


UMS premiere: Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra conducted by Thor Johnson; January 1952 in Hill Auditorium.

Snapshots of History...In 1889:

· The Eiffel Tower is inaugurated
· Vincent van Gogh paints The Starry Night at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence · The Wall Street Journal is established

“Gentlemen, in Bohemia the trumpets never call to battle — they always call to the dance!”
— Czech conductor Rafael Kubelík (1914-96) during a rehearsal of the trumpet fanfare opening the last movement of Dvořák’s Eighth Symphony.

Something remarkable happened in the history of music during the 19th century: composers of symphonic music increasingly turned away from happy or cheerful feelings in favor
of dramatic or even tragic ones. Instead of the light and unclouded tone found in many major works by Haydn or Mozart, Romantic composers predominantly used darker colors. Lightness was gradually pushed to

the periphery of classical music and relegated to new popular genres (for instance, operetta), while large- scale symphonic works increasingly emphasized high passion and brooding melancholy.

There were two great exceptions to this general trend: Mendelssohn in the first half of the century, and Dvořák in the second half. Both had the unusual gift of writing radiantly happy music in an era where such an approach was

often taken for either conservatism or naïveté. It was neither: it was merely a sign of a different artistic personality.

If we compare Dvořák’s Eighth Symphony (1889) to some of the great symphonic works written around the same time, the difference will become readily apparent. In the previous year, 1888, Tchaikovsky completed his Fifth (e minor), in which he was grappling with grave questions about fate and human life. The same year, César Franck introduced his Symphony in
d minor, whose complex emotional journey leads from self-doubt to eventual triumph. Johannes Brahms finished his fourth and last symphony (e minor) just a few years earlier (1885) with a magnificent passacaglia that infused that Baroque variation form with genuine Romantic passion. (Brahms’s “sunny” Second Symphony from 1877 is the exception that confirms the rule.)

Dvořák’s cheerfully optimistic Eighth Symphony was premiered
in Prague on February 2, 1890, with the composer conducting. The work opens with an expressive melody in g minor that prepares the entrance of another theme, a playful idea in
G Major first given to the solo flute.


A dynamic sonata exposition soon gets underway. Dvořák “overshoots the mark” as he bypasses the expected secondary key, D Major,
in favor of a more remote but even brighter-sounding B Major. The development section works up quite a storm, but it subsides when the playful main theme returns, now played by the English horn instead of the flute (two octaves lower than before). The recapitulation ends with a short but very energetic coda.

The second movement (“Adagio”) begins with a simple string melody in darker tonal regions (E-flat Major/c minor) that soon reaches a bright

C Major where it remains. The main theme spawns various episodes, in turn lyrical and passionate. After a powerful climax, the movement ends in a tender pianissimo.

The third movement (“Allegretto grazioso”) is neither a minuet nor a scherzo but an “intermezzo” like the third movements of Brahms’s First and Second Symphonies. Its first tune is a sweet and languid waltz; its second, functioning as a “trio,” sounds more like a Bohemian folk dance. After the return of the waltz, Dvořák surprises us by a very fast (“Molto vivace”) coda, in which commentators have recognized a theme from one of Dvořák’s earlier operas. But this coda consists of exactly the same notes as the lilting “trio” melody, only in a faster tempo, with stronger accents, and

in duple instead of triple meter. It is interesting that, in the third movement of his Second Symphony, Brahms had transformed his “trio” theme in exactly the same way.

A resounding trumpet fanfare announces the fourth movement

(“Allegro ma non troppo”), a complex theme-and-variations with a
central episode that sounds at first like contrasting material but is in
fact derived from the main theme. Dvořák’s handling of form is indebted to Beethoven and Brahms, but he filled out the form with melodies of
an unmistakably Czech flavor and a joviality few composers at the time possessed. The variations vary widely in character: some are slower and some are faster in tempo, some are soft (such as the virtuosic one for solo flute), and some are noisy; most are

in the major mode, though the central one, reminiscent of a village band, is in the minor. The ending seems to be a long time coming, with an almostinterminable series of closing figures. When the last chord finally arrives, it still sounds delightfully abrupt due to its unusual metric placement.

Program notes by Peter Laki.



Iván Fischer is the founder and music director of the Budapest Festival Orchestra (BFO). He is an honorary conductor of Berlin’s Konzerthaus and Konzerthausorchester. In recent years
he has also gained a reputation as a composer, with his works being performed in the US, the Netherlands, Belgium, Hungary, Germany, and Austria. He has directed a number of successful opera productions, and, in 2018, founded the Vicenza Opera Festival.

The Berlin Philharmonic have played more than 10 times under Maestro Fischer’s baton, and he also spends two weeks every year with Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He is a frequent guest of the leading symphony orchestras in the US as well. As music director, he has led the Kent Opera and the Opéra National de Lyon, and was principal conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington,

DC. He is considered one of the most successful orchestra directors in the world. The BFO’s frequent worldwide tours, and a series of critically acclaimed and fast-selling records, have contributed to Maestro Fischer’s reputation. Many of his recordings have been awarded prestigious international prizes.

Maestro Fischer is a founder of the Hungarian Mahler Society and Patron
of the British Kodály Academy, and is an honorary citizen of Budapest. He has received the Golden Medal Award from the President of the Republic of Hungary, and the Crystal Award from the World Economic Forum for his services in promoting international cultural relations. The government of the French Republic made him Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, proclaiming him a Knight of the

Order of Art and Literature. In 2006, he was honored with the Kossuth Prize, Hungary’s most prestigious arts award. In 2011, he received the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award, Hungary’s Prima Primissima Prize, and the Dutch Ovatie Prize. In 2013, he was granted Honorary Membership to the Royal Academy of Music in London.

In 2015, he was presented with the
Abu Dhabi Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement, and in 2016 he won the Association of Music Critics of Argentina’s award for “Best Foreign Conductor.”

Iván Fischer made his dream come true when he founded the Budapest Festival Orchestra (BFO) in 1983 together with Zoltán Kocsis. From the very beginning, the ambition of the ensemble has been to share music of the highest quality and to serve the community in the most diverse ways.

The BFO is rated among the top 10 orchestras in the world. The Orchestra regularly performs at the most important concert venues of the international
music scene, including Carnegie Hall
and the Lincoln Center in New York, the Musikverein in Vienna, and the Royal Albert Hall and Barbican Centre in London. They have repeatedly been invited to perform at international festivals such as the Mostly Mozart Festival, the Salzburg Festival, and the Edinburgh International Festival. The BFO has won two Gramophone Awards. It was nominated
for a Grammy in 2013 for its recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 and won the Diapason d’Or and the Italian Toblacher Komponierhäuschen prize for its recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 in 2014. The BFO received the Association of Music Critics of Argentina’s award for “Best


Foreign Symphony Orchestra” in 2016. The BFO’s innovative concerts, such
as the autism-friendly Cocoa Concerts, Surprise Concerts, and musical marathons, are well-known around the world. The Midnight Music concerts attract young adults, while the Dancing on the Square project integrates disadvantaged children. The Orchestra promotes free Community Weeks and co-produces the Bridging Europe festival with Müpa Budapest.

Iván Fischer conducts and directs
the Budapest Festival Orchestra’s opera productions. These have been invited to the Mostly Mozart Festival, the Edinburgh International Festival, and the Abu Dhabi Festival. The Marriage of Figaro was ranked first on the New York Magazine list of the best events in classical music in 2013. The Vicenza Opera Festival, founded by Iván Fischer, was inaugurated in the autumn of 2018.

French violinist Renaud Capuçon is firmly established internationally as a major soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. He is known and loved for his poise, depth of tone, and virtuosity, and he works with the world’s most prestigious orchestras, artists, venues, and festivals.

Born in Chambéry in 1976, Mr. Capuçon began his studies at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris at the age of 14, winning numerous awards during his five years there. Following this, he moved to Berlin to study with Thomas Brandis and Isaac Stern and was awarded the Prize of the Berlin Academy of Arts. In 1997, he was invited by Claudio Abbado

to become concertmaster of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, which he led for three summers, working with conductors including Pierre Boulez, Seiji Ozawa, Franz

Welser-Möst, and Claudio Abbado. Since then, Mr. Capuçon has

established himself as a soloist at the very highest level. He performs with leading orchestras such as the Berliner Philharmoniker, Boston Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Filarmonica della Scala, London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), New York Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic (VPO), Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National de France, and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.

A great commitment to chamber
music has led him to collaborations with many musicians including his brother, cellist Gautier Capuçon, and have taken him to the Berlin, Lucerne, Verbier, Aix- en-Provence, Roque d’Anthéron, San Sebastián, Stresa, Salzburg, Edinburgh International, and Tanglewood festivals. Mr. Capuçon has also represented France at some of the world’s most prestigious international events: in 2018–19 he performed with Yo-Yo Ma under the Arc de Triomphe for the official commemoration of Armistice Day in the presence of more than 80 heads of state, and played for world leaders at the G7 Summit in Biarritz. He is the artistic director of two festivals, the Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad, since 2016, and the Easter Festival in Aix-en- Provence, which he founded in 2013.

He has built an extensive discography and records exclusively with Erato/Warner Classics. His album Au Cinema, featuring much loved selections from film music, was released to critical acclaim in October 2018.

In 2017, Mr. Capuçon founded a
new ensemble, the Lausanne Soloists, comprised of current and former students of the Haute École de Musique


de Lausanne, where he has held a professorship since 2014. He plays the Guarneri del Gesù “Panette” (1737), which belonged to Isaac Stern. In June 2011 he was appointed Chevalier dans l’Ordre National du Mérite and in March 2016 Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur by the French Government.


This evening’s performance marks the fourth performance by the Budapest Festival Orchestra and the fifth performance by Maestro Iván Fischer under UMS auspices. The Orchestra and Maestro Fischer made their UMS debuts in February 1997 at Hill Auditorium in a program of Brahms and Bartók. They most recently appeared together in February 2017 in Hill Auditorium with pianist Richard Goode and the UMS Choral Union. UMS welcomes violinist Renaud Capuçon as he makes his UMS debut tonight.



Iván Fischer / Conductor and Music Director

First Violins

Tamás Major Violetta Eckhardt Ágnes Bír
Mária Gál-Tamási Radu Hrib
Erika Illési
István Kádár
Péter Kostyál Eszter Lesták Bedő Gyöngyvér Oláh Gábor Sipos
Tímea Iván
Csaba Czenke Emese Gulyás Balázs Bujtor
Rosa Hartley

Second Violins

János Pilz
Györgyi Czirók Tibor Gátay Krisztina Haják Zsófia Lezsák Levente Szabó Zsolt Szefcsik Antónia Bodó Noémi Molnár Anikó Mózes Zsuzsanna Szlávik Gabriella Nagy Emma Gibout Erika Kovács


Ferenc Gábor Csaba Gálfi
László Bolyki Cecília Bodolai Zoltán Fekete Barna Juhász Nikoletta Reinhardt

Nao Yamamoto István Rajncsák Miguel Erlich Miklós Bányai István Polónyi


Antoaneta Emanuilova Lajos Dvorák
Éva Eckhardt
György Kertész Gabriella Liptai Kousay Mahdi

Rita Sovány
Orsolya Mód
Sinead O’halloran Guilherme Monegatto

Double Basses

Zsolt Fejérvári Attila Martos Károly Kaszás Géza Lajhó László Lévai Csaba Sipos Alajos H. Zováthy Naomi Shaham


Gabriella Pivon Anett Jóföldi


Johannes Grosso Eva Neuszerova Marie-Noëlle Perreau


Ákos Ács Rudolf Szitka


Bence Bogányi Dániel Tallián Sándor Patkós


Zoltán Szőke András Szabó Dávid Bereczky Zsombor Nagy


Tamás Pálfalvi Tamás Póti Zsolt Czeglédy


Balázs Szakszon Attila Sztán Csaba Wagner


József Bazsinka


Roland Dénes


László Herboly István Kurcsák Iris Van Den Bos


Orsolya Erdődy / Deputy Managing Director

Bence Pócs / Tour Manager Ivett Wolf / Tour

Coordinator Róbert Zentai / Stage

Sándor Kathi / Technician

Image removed.



Patron Sponsors

UMS Ambassadors


2/26 West-Eastern Divan Ensemble
4/5 Apollo’s Fire and Chorus: J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion 4/23 Chineke! Orchestra

Tickets available at


3/13 UMS 101: Jazz — Tarek Yamani Trio
(Michigan League, Michigan Room, 6:00–7:30 pm)
Paid registration required at (case sensitive).

3/18 Post-Performance Artist Q&A: ANTHEM
Jam Handy, 2900 E. Grand Boulevard, Detroit

Must have a ticket to that evening’s performance to attend.

4/23 UMS 101: Classical Music — Chineke! Orchestra
(Hill Auditorium Mezzanine Lobby, 6:00–7:30 pm)
Paid registration required at (case sensitive).

Educational events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

Download PDF