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The Clarion Orchestra: All Beethoven on March 2

February 10, 2015 | By Barbara Mouk
Publicity Director
The Clarion Orchestra, in expanded form to thirty-eight players, brings the sound world of Beethoven vividly to life with a performance of two of his most beloved masterpieces on period instruments: the Fourth Piano Concerto and the 'Pastoral' Symphony. The evening will open with pianist Nimrod David Pfeffer joining The Clarion Orchestra and conductor Steven Fox performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major. Pfeffer will play on a replica of an early 19th-century fortepiano by master American builder Rod Regier. This fortepiano, which Regier refers to as a 'Grafendorfer', is modeled on an early-19th century Graf, while also encompassing some characteristics of early19th-century Bösendorfer pianos. The second half of the program has The Clarion Orchestra performing Beethoven's programmatic symphony, 'The Pastoral', in which the composer so eloquently evokes the beauty of nature in scenes filled with lucid imagery and a characteristic dramatic line. While Beethoven is so often thought of as music's triumphant hero, this program shows us his more human side with two of his most lyrical and tender works for the orchestra.

Date: Monday, March 2nd, 8.00pm

Location: Park Avenue Christian Church, Park/85th Program: Ludwig van Beethoven – Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58 Symphony No. 6 ‘Pastoral’ in F Major, Op. 68

Performers: Nimrod David Pfeffer, fortepiano The Clarion Orchestra Steven Fox, conductor Tickets: $35/$50/$75 at clarionsociety.org For further information, please contact Barbara Mouk at 212.580.5700 or bmouk@clarionsociety.org.

Israeli conductor and pianist Nimrod David Pfeffer made his solo debuts at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall and with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in 2008. He has performed as soloist in concert halls throughout Europe, Asia, China and the United States and has been featured on broadcasts in this country as well as in Israel, Austria and Russia. In 2014, he served as assistant conductor at the Glimmerglass Festival and made his conducting debut with The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, having been a fellow at the Opera's Lindemann Program. This season, Pfeffer serves as assistant conductor to James Levine and Riccardo Frizza. As a pianist, he performs with the Met Chamber Ensemble conducted by James Levine in a program featuring Second Viennese School composers. Having performed Mozart’s Concerto No. 27 with The Clarion Orchestra and Steven Fox last May, he returns to Clarion this season with Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto.

Dedicated to promoting dialogue between Arabs and Jews in Israel, Pfeffer presented a concert in honor of peace in 2009 at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall to benefit the Jezreel Valley Music Center, a school where Arabs and Jews study together. He received the Davis Projects for Peace award for this initiative. At age 21, Pfeffer performed as conductor and pianist for King Abdullah II in Jordan, showcasing an orchestra of young Arab-Israelis, which he had trained.

The Clarion Orchestra is one of the oldest period instrument orchestras in the United States, founded in 1957 by conductor and musicologist Newell Jenkins first as an orchestra on modern instruments specializing in Baroque repertoire. In the late 1960s, the orchestra began performing on period instruments. The Orchestra was revived in 2006 under the directorship of Steven Fox and comprises many of the finest period instrument performers - players who are renowned also as chamber music and solo performers. Many of The Clarion Orchestra's members serve on distinguished faculties, such as The Juilliard School, Mannes School of Music, Yale School of Music, Bard College and SUNY Purchase, among others. The orchestra has performed at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Miller Theatre at Columbia University, The Morgan Library, and at Bargemusic, in repertoire that has ranged from the early Baroque to the early Romantic. The ensemble has received critical acclaim, being called ‘stellar’ and ‘polished’ by The New York Times, and ‘legendary’ by The New Yorker. In 2009, the Clarion Orchestra was featured in Brooklyn Academy of Music's critically acclaimed production of Bach's St. Matthew Passion, staged by Jonathan Miller. The Clarion Orchestra is an NEA ArtWorks recipient.

Conductor Steven Fox is artistic director of The Clarion Orchestra and The Clarion Choir, and Founder of Musica Antiqua St. Petersburg, which he established as Russia’s first period-instrument orchestra at the age of 21. In the last two years he has debuted as a conductor with many of the leading period-instrument orchestras in the United States, including the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in San Francisco, Handel and Haydn Society in Boston and Juilliard415 at Lincoln Center. From 2008 to 2013 he was an associate conductor at New York City Opera, and he has served as assistant conductor for the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artists Program and Juilliard Opera. Symphonic conducting engagements include the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and the Quebec Symphony Orchestra. Steven was named an associate of the Royal Academy of Music, London, in 2010, for achievement in the field of Early Music. He is Lecturer in Music at the State University of New York, Purchase College, and a preparatory conductor for the Yale University Schola Cantorum.

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