Ensemble: NEC Philharmonia

Conductor: Hugh Wolff

“Three decades after shocking the minimalist establishment with his allusions to European Romanticism, and on the cusp of his 70th birthday, Adams has never been more relevant on both sides of the Atlantic.”
—Financial Times

John Adams, the composer of Nixon in China, turned 70 in February, and this milestone has occasioned celebrations of his music all over the world. Boston is represented with tonight's concert-opener, Tromba Lontana, a paradoxically gentle fanfare. Adams has made regular appearances on Hugh Wolff's programs with the NEC Philharmonia, and we invite you to listen to past performances on our InstantEncore channel and/or watch on YouTube.

Another signature composer in Hugh Wolff's repertoire, Igor Stravinsky, is also represented on tonight's concert. With Petrouchka, Wolff completes his tour of the three major Stravinsky works associated with ballet. In 2013, Wolff concluded the NEC Philharmonia's season in Jordan Hall with a standing-room-only performance of Le Sacre du printemps (Rite of Spring). Last spring, Wolff brought the Philharmonia to Boston's Symphony Hall with a program that paired L'Oiseau de feu (Firebird) with John Adams's first violin concerto.

While Rite of Spring and Firebird tell stories of mythic proportions, Petrouchka's story occurs at a human level - though told through the "lives" of puppets who represent broad archetypes. Petrouchka, the Russian equivalent of Punch, loves the Ballerina, but she prefers the mighty Moor. This can't end well, and the swirling fantasy of a carnival puppet show becomes a death spiral.

In a neat piece of symmetry, Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic premiered Adams's latest violin concerto, Scheherazade.2, in a pairing with Petrouchka last year. Gilbert will be reprising this program in 2018 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. But tonight's concert at NEC means you don't have to wait a year for the combination of Adams and Stravinsky!


Stravinsky: Pétrouchka
The Shrove-tide Fair
Russian Dance
Pétrouchka's Room
The Moor's Room
Waltz (Ballerina and Moor)
The Shrove-tide Fair, near evening
Dance of the Wet-Nurses
Dance of the Peasant and the Bear
Dance of the Gypsy Girls
Dance of the Coachmen and Grooms
The Masqueraders
The Fight: The Moor and Pétrouchka
Pétrouchka's Death
The Police and the Charlatan
Apparition of Pétrouchka's Double
The Crowds
The Charlatan's Booth

Janacek: Sinfonietta
Andante con moto

Date: April 26, 2017 - 7:30PM

Price: Free

Location: NEC's Jordan Hall

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NEC's FREE concerts do not require a ticket, unless stated in concert listing. Unreserved seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors open 30 minutes prior to the concert's start time.