Seattle Symphony Music Director Ludovic Morlot, faculty artist-in-residence David Alexander Rahbee, and graduate conducting student Mario Alejandro Torres share conducting duties in this program of music by Rossini, Stravinsky, Beethoven, and Enesco at the Seattle Symphony's home, Benaroya Hall. With UW faculty artists Saeunn Thorsteinsdottir, cello, and Cristina Valdes, piano, and special guest Michael Jinsoo Lim, violin.
Note: School of Music Notecards and Performance Passes are valid for admission.
- Rossini: William Tell overture (Commemorating 150 years since Rossini's death; Mario Torres, conductor)
- Stravinsky: Symphony in 3 movements
- Beethoven: Triple Concerto with Michael Jinsoo Lim, violin; Saeunn Thorsteinsdottir, cello; and Cristina Valdes, piano
- Enesco: Romanian Rhapsody no. 1 (Ludovic Morlot, conducting)
Director Bios: David Alexander Rahbee
David Alexander Rahbee is currently Senior Artist in Residence at the University of Washington School of Music in Seattle, where he is director of orchestral activities and teaches conducting. He is recipient of the American-Austrian Foundation's 2003 Herbert von Karajan Fellowship for Young Conductors, the 2005 International Richard-Wagner-Verband Stipend, and the Acanthes Centre in Paris in 2007.
Dr. Rahbee has appeared in concert with orchestras such as the RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Kammerphilharmonie Berlin-Brandenburg, Orchestre de la Francophonie, Orchesterakademie der Bochumer Symphoniker, the Dresden Hochschule orchestra, Grand Harmonie, the Boston New Music Initiative, Orquesta Sinfónica de Loja (Ecuador), Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Savaria Symphony Orchestra (Hungary), Seattle Modern Orchestra, Cool Opera of Norway (members of the Stavanger Symphony), Schönbrunner Schloss Orchester (Vienna), the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra, the Kennett Symphony, and the Divertimento Ensemble of Milan. He collaborated twice with the Seattle Symphony in 2015, as off-stage conductor for Ives’ Fourth Symphony (recorded live), and as guest conductor for their Native Lands project. He has collaborated with several prominent soloists such as violinists Sarah Chang, David Chan (concertmaster of MET opera orchestra), and Joseph Lin (Juilliard String Quartet). He has been been a guest rehearsal conductor for numerous young orchestras, such as the New England Conservatory Symphony Orchestra, The Symphony Orchestras of the Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music at Chapman University, and the Vienna University of Technology orchestra, the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras (BYSO), and Rhode Island Philharmonic Youth Orchestras (RIPYO). He has also served of faculty of the Pierre Monteux School as Conducting Associate, and has been resident conductor of the Atlantic Music Festival in Maine.
Dr. Rahbee was an assistant at the Vienna State opera from 2002-2010. As part of his fellowship and residency at the 2003 Salzburg Festival, Dr. Rahbee was assistant conductor of the International Attergau Institute Orchestra, where he worked with members of the Vienna Philharmonic. He has been selected to actively participate in masterclasses with prominent conductors such as Kurt Masur, Sir Colin Davis, Jorma Panula, Zdeněk Mácal, Peter Eötvös, Zoltán Peskó, and Helmut Rilling, and counts Nikolaus Harnoncourt to be among his most influential mentors. From 1997-2001, David Rahbee was conductor of the Fidelio Chamber Orchestra in Cambridge, Massachusetts, selecting its talented young members from Harvard University, the New England Conservatory, and Boston University. From 1997 to 2000, he served as assistant conductor of the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra (formerly known as the Hingham Symphony) in Massachusetts.
Dr. Rahbeeʼs principal conducting teachers were Charles Bruck and Michael Jinbo at the Pierre Monteux School. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in violin and composition from Indiana University, a Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory in orchestral conducting, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Montreal in orchestral conducting. He has also participated in post-graduate conducting classes at the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Vienna. His arrangements for brass are published by Warwick Music, England, and his articles on the music of Gustav Mahler have appeared in journals of the International Gustav Mahler Gesellschaft, among others. Dr. Rahbee’s was a semi-finalist in the American Prize for Conducting, in the category of Orchestral Programming at the university level for the 2013-14 school year.
The French conductor Ludovic Morlot has been Music Director of the Seattle Symphony since 2011. Amongst the many highlights of his tenure, the orchestra have won two Grammy Awards and gave an exhilarating performance at Carnegie Hall in 2014, as reported in the The New York Times: ‘The performance Mr. Morlot coaxed from his players was rich with shimmering colours and tremulous energy.’
During the 2016/17 season Ludovic and the Seattle Symphony will continue to invite their audiences to ‘listen boldly’, presenting Ravel’s L'enfant et les sortilèges, completing their cycle of Beethoven Symphonies and Piano Concertos and several world premieres including compositions by Agata Zubel and Gabriel Prokofiev. All of this will be complemented by the Seattle Symphony’s highly innovative series; Sonic Evolution and [untitled]. This season will also see the release of several more recordings on the orchestra’s label, Seattle Symphony Media. A box set of music by Dutilleux was recently released to mark the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth.
This season, Ludovic will return to conduct the Los Angeles Philharmonic and make his debut with the Minnesota Orchestra. He has regular relationships with the New York Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony and has also conducted the symphony orchestras in Cleveland and Philadelphia. Ludovic has a particularly strong connection with the Boston Symphony Orchestra having been Seiji Ozawa Fellowship Conductor in 2001 and subsequently appointed assistant conductor for the orchestra and their Music Director James Levine (2004-07). Since then he has conducted the orchestra in subscription concerts in Boston, at Tanglewood and on a tour to the west coast of America.
In Europe, Ludovic will this season make his debut with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, in the closing concert of the prestigious Wien Modern Festival. He will also make his debut with the Netherlands Radio and Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestras as well as returning to the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. Last season’s engagements included the DSO Berlin and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. He has also conducted the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall in London and on tour in Germany. Other recent notable performances have included the Royal Concertgebouw, Czech Philharmonic, Dresden Staatskapelle, Tonhalle, Budapest Festival, Orchestre National de France, Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestras. Ludovic served as conductor in residence with the Orchestre National de Lyon under David Robertson (2002-04).
Ludovic Morlot was Chief Conductor of La Monnaie for three years (2012-2014). During this time he conducted several new productions including La Clemenza di Tito, Jenufa and Pelléas et Mélisande. Concert performances, both in Brussels and Aix-en-Provence, included repertoire by Beethoven, Stravinsky, Britten, Webern and Bruneau.
Trained as a violinist, Ludovic studied conducting at the Royal Academy of Music in London and then at the Royal College of Music as recipient of the Norman del Mar Conducting Fellowship. Ludovic was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in 2014 in recognition of his significant contribution to music. He is Chair of Orchestral Conducting Studies at the University of Washington School of Music in Seattle.
Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir, cello
“Riveting” (New York Times) cellist, Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir, has appeared as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Toronto and Iceland Symphonies, and her recital and chamber music performances have taken her across the US, Europe and Asia. Following the release of her debut recording of Britten’s Suites for Solo Cello on Centaur Records, she has performed in some of the world’s greatest halls including Carnegie Hall, Suntory Hall and Disney Hall. The press have described her as “charismatic” (New York Times) and praised her performances for their “emotional intensity” (Los Angeles Times).
As a chamber musician, she has collaborated with Itzhak Perlman, Mitsuko Uchida, Richard Goode and members of the Emerson, Guarneri and Cavani Quartets, and has performed at numerous chamber music festivals, including Prussia Cove and Marlboro (with whom she has toured). She is cellist of Frequency and the Manhattan Piano Trio, and founding member and co-Artistic Director of the acclaimed New York-based chamber ensemble Decoda.
Along with masterpieces of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, Thorsteinsdóttir is inspired by music of our time and enjoys collaborating with living composers. In addition to working with Daníel Bjarnason on his award-winning composition “Bow to String”, she has premiered dozens of works, including pieces by Peter Schikele, Paul Schoenfield, Kendall Briggs and Jane Antonia Cornish.
Thorsteinsdóttir has garnered top prizes in international competitions, including the Naumburg Competition in New York and the Antonio Janigro Competition in Zagreb, Croatia. She received a Bachelor of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music, a Master of Music from The Juilliard School and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from SUNY Stony Brook. Her principal teachers include Richard Aaron, Tanya L. Carey, Colin Carr and Joel Krosnick. Thorsteinsdóttir currently serves on the faculty of the University of Washington in Seattle, where she teaches cello and chamber music
Thorsteinsdóttir was a fellow of Ensemble ACJW—The Academy, a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education—performing chamber music at Carnegie Hall and bringing classical music to New York City Public Schools.
Born in Reykjavik, Iceland, Thorsteinsdóttir moved to the states as a child—however, she still has family in Iceland and enjoys returning, both for concerts and family visits.
Cristina Valdés, piano
Considered one of today’s foremost interpreters of contemporary music, Cristina Valdés is known for presenting innovative concerts with repertoire ranging from Bach to Xenakis. She has performed across four continents and in venues such as Lincoln Center, Le Poisson Rouge, Miller Theatre, Jordan Hall, and the Kennedy Center. Ms. Valdés has appeared both as a soloist and chamber musician at festivals worldwide including New Music in Miami, the Foro Internacional de Musica Nueva in Mexico City, Brisbane Arts Festival, the Festival of Contemporary Music in El Salvador, Havana Contemporary Music Festival, and the Singapore Arts Festival.
An avid chamber musician and collaborator, Ms. Valdés has toured extensively with the Bang On a Can “All Stars”, and has performed with the Seattle Chamber Players, the Mabou Mines Theater Company, the Parsons Dance Company, and Antares. She has also been a featured performer on both the Seattle Symphony’s Chamber Series and [UNTITLED] concerts.
Cristina has appeared as concerto soloist with the Johns Hopkins Symphony Orchestra, the Binghamton Philharmonic, the Seattle Philharmonic, Philharmonia Northwest, the Eastman BroadBand, and the Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra. Most recently, she performed the piano solo part of the Ives 4th Symphony with the Seattle Symphony.
Cristina Valdés joined the faculty of the UW School of Music in Fall 2014 as an artist in residence in the keyboard program.
Michael Jinsoo Lim, violin
Violinist Michael Jinsoo Lim has been praised by Gramophone for playing with “delicious abandon” and described as “bewitching” by the Seattle Times. He is concertmaster and solo violinist of the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra (“surely the best ballet band in America”—New York Times) and is in-demand as a chamber musician and performer of new music. Hailed by the Los Angeles Times as a “conspicuously accomplished champion of contemporary music” for his work as co-founder of the renowned Corigliano Quartet, Lim is also artistic director and violinist of the Seattle-based ensemble Frequency.
Recent performance highlights include the world premiere of Andrew Waggoner’s violin concerto (written for Lim), live performances on Danish Public Radio and appearances as soloist for the Stravinsky violin concerto at New York’s City Center, as part of Pacific Northwest Ballet’s 2016 NYC tour. Lim’s 2016-17 season will include performances of concertos by Prokofiev and Stravinsky with PNB.
As a member of the Corigliano Quartet, Lim has won numerous awards, including the Grand Prize at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition and the ASCAP/CMA Award for Adventurous Programming, and has performed in the nation’s leading music centers, including Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, and the Kennedy Center. The quartet’s Naxos label CD was honored as one ofThe New Yorker’s Ten Best Classical Recordings of the Year.
As a theater artist, Lim appeared in director Nick Schwartz-Hall’s Tempo of Recollection, a show about composer Erwin Schulhoff, and served as music consultant for Seattle Repertory Theatre’s production of Opus, directed by Braden Abraham. Lim has performed onstage with Pacific Northwest Ballet in George Balanchine’s Duo Concertante and Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain. Lim has also worked as a record producer on three critically acclaimed albums by violist Melia Watras and co-producer on a fourth.
Lim attended Indiana University, where he was a pupil of the legendary Josef Gingold. He later studied chamber music at the Juilliard School and taught there as an assistant to the Juilliard String Quartet. He currently serves on the faculty of Cornish College of the Arts. Lim has recorded for Naxos, DreamWorks, Albany, Bridge, CRI, Bayer Records, RIAX and New Focus, and has been heard on NPR programs such as Performance Today and All Things Considered.