Bethesda, MD (February 27, 2017)—Chinese-American pianist Eric Lu joins the National Philharmonic, led by Maestro Piotr Gajewski, to perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major on Saturday, April 1, at 8pm at the Music Center at Strathmore. The concert, showcasing the genius of Mozart, also features the humorous and satirical A Musical Joke and the popular Symphony No. 40 in G minor. Ticket prices are $23-$78 and are free for young people age 7-17. Strathmore is located at 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.nationalphilharmonic.org or call 301-581-5100.
“Lu brings a youthful energy and special musicality,” said Maestro Gajewski. “We are excited to have him perform with the Philharmonic.” Lu, now 19, is rapidly building an international reputation as a young pianist with a distinctive musical voice. A native of the Boston, Massachusetts area, he is the 1st prize winner of the IX Moscow International Chopin Competition for Young Pianists and the 2015 National Chopin Competition in Miami, Florida, where he also received the best concerto prize. In October 2015, at just 17 years old, Eric won the 4th prize at the 17th International Fryderyk Chopin Competition in Warsaw, becoming one of the youngest laureates in the history of the competition. The New York Classical Review has described Lu as a musician of “exceptional musical sensitivity.”
Upcoming performances include recital and concerto appearances at the Warsaw Philharmonic Hall, Boston Jordan Hall, Nohant Chopin Festival, Krakow Music Festival, among others. Highlights of the 2015-16 season included a recital at Carnegie Hall in New York, at the 70th International Chopin Festival in Duszniki-Zydrój, Poland, and at Beijing Concert Hall in China.
Lu started piano studies at the age of 6 with Mrs. Dorothy Shi near Boston, Massachusetts. While at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School, he studied piano with Alexander Korsantia and Mr. A. Ramón Rivera. In 2013, Eric entered the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he currently studies with Profs. Jonathan Biss and Robert McDonald. He is also a pupil of the pianist Dang Thai Son.
The evening kicks off with Mozart’s A Musical Joke, a humorous and satirical piece whose harmonic and rhythmic gaffes parody the work of incompetent composers.
Lu then joins the Philharmonic for Mozart’s sublime Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major. Mozart completed this work on March 2, 1786, and most likely played the first performance a few days later in Vienna. Filled with wistful melodies and a variety of moods, this concerto was an immediate success and has remained popular ever since.
Mozart wrote his famous Symphony No. 40 in G minor during the summer of 1788, when he was suffering financial woes, a decline in popularity and coping with his wife’s illness. The work, tragic in tone, intensely emotional and filled with grief, is sometimes referred to as the “Great” G minor Symphony to distinguish it from the “Little” G minor Symphony No. 25, the only two symphonies Mozart wrote in a minor key. The symphony, arguably the most popular of all of Mozart’s forty-one symphonies, can be heard in a countless number of films, including Five Easy Pieces and The Last Castle.
About Music Director and Conductior Piotr Gajewski and the National Philharmonic
Maestro Gajewski is one of a select group of American conductors equally at home in nearly all musical genres. He is the Music Director & Conductor of the National Philharmonic at the Music Center at Strathmore and a sought after guest conductor (the Principal Guest Conductor of the Silesian Philharmonic (Katowice, Poland). He was a student and disciple of the late Leonard Bernstein, and is described by The Washington Post as an “immensely talented and insightful conductor, whose standards, taste and sensitivity are impeccable.”
The National Philharmonic is known for performances that are “powerful,” “impeccable,” and “thrilling” (The Washington Post). In July 2003, the National Chamber Orchestra and Masterworks Chorus merged to create the National Philharmonic, an ensemble with more than 50 years of combined history, bringing high caliber musical performances to the Washington area. The National Philharmonic took up residence at the state-of-the-art Music Center at Strathmore upon its opening in February 2005. Now, more than 250 performances later, and with far-reaching educational programming, the National Philharmonic is the largest and most active professional orchestra based in Montgomery County.
The Philharmonic boasts a long-standing tradition of reasonably priced tickets and free admission to all young people age 7-17, assuring its place as an accessible and enriching component in Montgomery County and the greater Washington, D.C., area. As the Music Center at Strathmore’s orchestra-in-residence, the National Philharmonic showcases world-renowned guest artists in time-honored symphonic masterpieces conducted by Maestro Gajewski, with additional conducting by Associate Conductor Victoria Gau, and monumental choral masterworks under National Philharmonic Chorale Artistic Director Stan Engebretson.
To purchase tickets for the performances and for a complete schedule, please visit www.nationalphilharmonic.org or call the Strathmore Ticket Office at 301.581-5100. Tickets are $23-$78; young people 7-17 are free through the ALL KIDS, ALL FREE, ALL THE TIME program. ALL KIDS tickets must be purchased in person or by phone. Complimentary parking is available.