HONOLULU (March 3, 2017) — Pianist Zhang Zuo (“Zee Zee”) and Maestro Jun Märkl join the Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra (HSO) for a glorious afternoon of Beethoven and Schumann at the Blaisdell Concert Hall at 4 p.m., Sunday, March 19, 2017.
Zee Zee, who makes her HSO debut in this concert, will dazzle concertgoers in performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major. In this concert, the HSO celebrates the return of Maestro Jun Märkl, who has long been known as a highly respected interpreter of the core Germanic repertoire from both the symphonic and operatic traditions. This concert, titled “Beethoven & Schuman,” also features Schumann’s Symphony No. 3 in E Flat Major, Rhenish, and Beethoven’s Overture to Fidelio. Tickets range from $34 to $92 and are on sale now.
An imaginative and electrifying performer, Zee Zee’s interpretations and communicative abilities have been praised as “taking us to another reality…bright, expressive and moving to the extreme” (Belgischer Rundfunk), while her creative maturity has been hailed as “a powerful, passionate and compelling representation of pure artistry” (Los Angeles Times). Described as “full of enthusiasm and glamour, radiating the vigor of youth” (Chinese Gramophone), she has appeared with the BBC Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, among others.
Beethoven himself gave the premiere of his Concerto No. 1 in Vienna on December 18, 1795 at a concert organized by his teacher, Josef Haydn. Beethoven revised it later in 1800, yet the concerto retains its spirit of heartfelt youthfulness. Beethoven apparently crafted it to create a strong impression on audiences and to boldly establish his reputation as a composer—a strategic move that proved immeasurably fruitful.
Schumann’s Third Symphony was his final work in the genre and reflects a happy period in his personal life and artistic growth. Composed in six weeks, there is an electric, invigorating undercurrent from the very beginning. In fact, the symphony has all the desired elements of a masterpiece: drama, suspense, heroism, and a tinge of sadness. Pulsating with a spirit of innovation, it combines the spirit of Beethoven with Schumann’s inimitable lyrical gift.
In recent seasons, pianist Zhang Zuo (“Zee Zee”) has appeared with the BBC Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Belgian National Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, among others. She has worked with leading conductors including Paavo Jarvi, Marin Alsop and Yan Pascal Totellier and has appeared at some of the top festivals, such as the BBC Proms and Ravinia Festival. Zee Zee has also had success with a series of solo recitals at notable halls around the world, including the Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center, as well as London’s Wigmore Hall. Aside from her solo career, Zee Zee is a passionate chamber musician and has recently recorded her first album for Deutsche Grammophon with colleagues Esther Yoo and Narek Hakhnazaryan.
Zee Zee began her musical training in Germany at the age of five. Upon returning to her native China, she became one of the most sought after young artists in the nation, collaborating with leading Chinese orchestras with whom she retains a close link. Having completed her piano studies with Dan Zhao Yi at the Shenzhen Arts School , Zee Zee was invited to continue her artistic development under the mentorship of Nelita True at the Eastman School of Music and Yoheved Kaplinsky and Robert McDonald at The Juilliard School, where she won the coveted Petschek Piano Award. Zee Zee was awarded first prizes at the Gina Bachauer International Artists Piano Competition and the Krainev International Piano Competition in Ukraine; she was also a prizewinner at the 2013 Queen Elizabeth Competition. She has studied at the Peabody Institute with Leon Fleisher, and continues to receive guidance from Alfred Brendel.
Jun Märkl has long been known as a highly respected interpreter of the core Germanic repertoire from both the symphonic and operatic traditions, and more recently for his refined and idiomatic explorations of the French impressionists. His long-standing relationships at the state operas of Vienna, Berlin, Munich and Semperoper Dresden have in recent years been complemented by his Music Directorships of the Orchestre National de Lyon (2005-2011) and MDR Symphony Orchestra Leipzig (to 2012). He guests with the world’s leading orchestras, including the Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic, Tonhalle Orchester Zürich.
In 2012 Maestro Märkl was honored by the French Ministry of Culture with the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in recognition of his achievements in Lyon, notably his hugely successful nine-disc Debussy cycle with the orchestra on Naxos. He also toured with the orchestra to Japan and major European halls and festivals. With MDR, he toured to Spain and the Baltics, made regular appearances in the Berlin Konzerthaus and Cologne Philharmonie, and conducted Schumann’s rarely-heard opera Genoveva at the Rotterdam Opera Festival.
Active-duty military ($20) and student rush ($13) discounts will be available for this concert beginning, Monday, March 13. Tickets must be purchased at either the Blaisdell Box Office or at the HSO Box Office in-person. Appropriate ID must be presented at the time of purchase. For more information, call the Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra Box Office at (808) 94-MUSIC – (808) 946-8742 from Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra was founded in 2011 and made its debut in 2012. The new HSO carries on the legacy of the Honolulu Symphony, which was founded in 1900 and performed for more than a century. The orchestra employs 84 professional musicians and presents classical masterworks, pops, educational and community programs.
The mission of the Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra is to present the highest-quality performances of great music, bringing national and international distinction to the orchestra and its community; to delight and educate audiences of all ages and backgrounds, and enhance the cultural vitality and quality of life in these Islands; and to operate in a financially sound manner.
For more information or to make a donation, please visit www.HawaiiSymphonyOrchestra.org. Share your Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra experience with the #HiSymphony hashtag on Twitter and Instagram @HawaiiSymphonyOrchestra and on Facebook: facebook.com/HawaiiSymphony.