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Sept. 20: Orpheus Chamber Orchestra Performs with Pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii in Gentle Giants at Carnegie Hall

August 8, 2018 | By Katy Salomon
Account Director, Morahan Arts and Media

Katy Salomon | Morahan Arts and Media | 863.660.2214


Featuring Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 Arranged for Chamber Orchestra by Shuying Li, Arvo Pärt’s Fratres, and Tchaikovsky’s String Quartet No. 1 in D Major Arranged for Chamber Orchestra by Christopher Theofanidis

New York, NY (August 8, 2018) — In its 46th year of innovative concerts, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra kicks off its 2018-19 Carnegie Hall series on Thursday, September 20, 2018 at 8:00 p.m. in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage with Gentle Giants, featuring 2009 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition-winning Japanese pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii. Tchaikovsky, Chopin and Pärt— three of music’s gentlest giants — turned inward to discover their groundbreaking, heart-wrenching voices. Now Orpheus expands the reach of their pivotal masterpieces through lucid re-orchestrations. Tsujii, who has been blind since birth, joins Orpheus for Chinese-American composer Shuying Li’s new chamber orchestra arrangement of Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 21. The program also includes Arvo Pärt’s Fratres and Tchaikovsky’s String Quartet No. 1 in D Major, Op. 11 reimagined and arranged for chamber orchestra by Christopher Theofanidis. Both arrangements were commissioned by Orpheus.

The program receives its world premiere on Friday, September 14, 2018 at the Williams Center for the Arts at Lafayette College in Easton, PA and will also be performed on Sunday, September 16, 2018 at The Performing Arts Center at Purchase College in Purchase, NY; and Friday, September 21, 2018 at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in Troy, NY.

Beginning at 5:15pm before the September 20 Carnegie Hall concert, Orpheus celebrates the new season with Opening Night: Celebrating 30 Years in Japan with Nobuyuki Tsujii. This special evening will be distinguished by the presence of the Ambassador and Consul General of Japan in New York, Reiichiro Takahashi, and celebrates three decades of cross-cultural partnership with Japan, where Orpheus has shared the joy of music with audiences across 30 cities since 1988. Opening Night begins with cocktails and a formal dinner and an intermission reception and post-concert toast with the artists will punctuate the evening. Tickets start at $250. For more information on the opening night reception, visit or contact Ji Hae Oh at or 212.896.1713.

Program Information
Thursday, September 20, 2018 at 8:00 p.m.
Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Nobuyuki Tsujii, piano

Gentle Giants
PÄRT: Fratres
CHOPIN: Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor, Op. 21 (arr. Shuying Li. Commissioned by Orpheus)
TCHAIKOVSKY: Chamber Symphony No. 1 in D Major (after String Quartet Op. 11b, arr. Christopher Theofanidis. Commissioned by Orpheus)

Ticket Information
Single tickets for the September 20th performance, priced from $12.50 to $117, are available for purchase starting August 14 at 11am ET at the Carnegie Hall box office at 57th and 7th, can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800, or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website at

About Nobuyuki Tsujii
Described by The Observer as the ?“definition of virtuosity,” Japanese pianist Nobuyuki (Nobu) Tsujii, who has been blind from birth, won the joint Gold Medal at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2009 and has gone on to earn an international reputation for the passion and excitement he brings to his performances.

In concert, Nobu has appeared with leading orchestras worldwide including The Mariinsky Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, NHK Symphony, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony, Tokyo Symphony and Japan Philharmonic, Seattle and Baltimore Symphony Orchestras, Münchner Philharmoniker, Filarmonica della Scala, and Sinfonieorchester Basel under the baton of conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Vladimir Spivakov, Juanjo Mena, and Thierry Fischer. As a recitalist, Nobu has performed at major cities across North America and frequently appears at prestigious venues in Europe. Other performance highlights to date include his BBC Proms debut, a 16-concert tour of the US and Japan with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, a tour of Germany with Dresdner Philharmonie and Michael Sanderling, and his debut at Vienna’s Musikverein with Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich and Yutaka Sado.

An exclusive recording artist for Avex Classics International, Nobu’s albums include Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1 with Yukata Sado and the BBC Philharmonic, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and recital discs of Chopin, Mozart, Debussy and Liszt. A live DVD recording of Nobu’s 2011 Carnegie Hall recital was named DVD of the Month by Gramophone, as was his latest DVD release, ?Touching the Sound — The Improbable Journey of Nobuyuki Tsujii. Nobu’s international tours are supported by All Nippon Airways (ANA).

About Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra creates extraordinary musical experiences that enrich lives and empower individuals through collaboration, innovation, education, and a passion for artistic excellence. Orpheus strives to be the world’s premier chamber orchestra by performing music at the highest level without a conductor, challenging artistic boundaries, inspiring the public to think and work with new perspectives, and building a broad and active audience in New York City and around the world.

Orpheus was founded in 1972 by a group of like-minded young musicians determined to combine the intimacy and warmth of a chamber ensemble with the richness of an orchestra. Orpheus performs without a conductor, rotating musical leadership roles for each work with a focus on presenting diverse repertoire through collaboration and open dialogue. The ensemble has commissioned and premiered 48 original works. Orpheus recordings include the Grammy Award-winning Shadow Dances: Stravinsky Miniatures for Deutsche Grammophon, and over 70 other recordings for DG, Sony Classical, EMI Classics, BMG/RCA Red Seal, Decca, and others, including its own label, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra Records.

Orpheus presents an annual concert series in New York City featuring performances at Carnegie Hall and the 92nd Street Y, as well as an intimate Twilight chamber series in the elegant instrument showroom at Tarisio Fine Instruments and Bows in midtown Manhattan. The orchestra also tours extensively to major national and international venues. The 2018-19 season features five new-to-Orpheus artists and Now Hear This!, a new initiative dedicated to reimagining musical gems of the past with new orchestration by top-notch composers. Beloved Japanese pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii opens the Carnegie Hall series with Chopin’s Second Piano Concerto. In November, Orpheus welcomes vibrant mandolin and accordion duo Avi Avital and Ksenija Sidorova, who will treat audiences to a reinvention of their time-honored instruments in a novel rearrangement of Bach. Spanish pianist Javier Perianes joins Orpheus for Mozart’s last Piano Concerto No. 27. Orpheus’ American Notes initiative welcomes Golden Globe®-, GRAMMY®- and Emmy®-nominated composer Benjamin Wallfisch and New York favorite James Matheson for two new works commissioned by Orpheus. British cellist Steven Isserlis opens Orpheus’ new 92Y series to explore the thrilling emotions of C.P.E. Bach's Concerto in A Major. The season ends with a flourish: Richard Strauss’ rendering of a fabled trickster, played in a lively arrangement for chamber ensemble. Iranian harpsichord virtuoso Mahan Esfahani juggles tradition and disruption in a chamber symphony reworking of Mozart’s Quintet for Piano and Winds by Jean Françaix.

About Orpheus Chamber Orchestra Engagement Initiatives
Orpheus has trademarked its signature mode of operation, the Orpheus Process®, an original method that places democracy at the center of artistic execution. It has been the focus of studies at Harvard University and of leadership seminars at IBM, Morgan Stanley, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital, among others. Orpheus aims to bring this unique approach to students of all ages through its worldwide education and engagement programs: Access Orpheus-NYC, Orpheus Music Academy, Orpheus Leadership Institute, and Orpheus Reflections.

Access Orpheus-NYC shares the orchestra’s collaborative music-making process with K-12 public school students from all five boroughs in New York City. While New York is among the cultural capitals of the world, many schoolchildren are underserved in arts participation. Access Orpheus-NYC helps to bridge this gap with in-class visits, invitations to working rehearsals, instrument petting zoos, public masterclasses, and underwritten tickets for performances at Carnegie Hall.

Orpheus Music Academy encompasses Orpheus’ programs for intermediate and advanced music students. Orpheus musicians share their artistry, expertise, and collaborative approach to music-making through masterclasses with Orpheus musicians and guest artists, side-by-side workshops, and residencies on tour.

Orpheus Leadership Institute brings the Orpheus Process® to the private and nonprofit sectors and educational institutions to empower the leaders of tomorrow through collaborative management training. Teams of all kinds participate in customizable programs to gain insight from Orpheus’ democratic process and develop essential skills in communication, collective ownership, and creative problem solving.

Orpheus Reflections brings the transformative power of music to people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia and their caregivers. Trained by CaringKind, New York City’s leading expert on dementia, Orpheus musicians lead intimate performances and conversation with audiences impacted by these challenging diseases. For more information about Orpheus, please visit or call 212.896.1700.

*Photo of Nobuyuki Tsujii by Stephen Eastwood

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