Press Release: Celebrity Series of Boston Presents Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia

Sir Antonio Pappano, Music Director & Conductor
Martha Argerich, piano soloist

Sunday, October 22, 2017, 5pm — Symphony Hall

The tour marks the first time the Orchestra has performed in the U.S. since 1969. Performance follows Warner Records’ release of the Orchestra’s Saint-Saëns recording with Ms. Argerich

For Immediate Release
Contact: Stephanie Janes PR, (617) 419-0445,
Martha Argerich high-res photo
 Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia – Rome video preview
Celebrity Series Press Room

(Boston) Celebrity Series of Boston will present the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia – Rome on Sunday, October 22, 2017, at 5pm at Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA. This performance is generously sponsored in part by Zachary Haroutunian and by The Garbis & Arminé Barsoumian Charitable Foundation in loving memory of Garbis Barsoumian. Media partner is 99.5 WCRB.

Tickets start at $57, and are available online at, by calling CelebrityCharge at (617) 482-6661 Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m., or at Symphony Hall’s Hall Box Office, 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA.

Mr. Pappano leads the Orchestra in Respighi’s Fountains of Rome and Pines of Rome, Verdi’s Sinfonia from Aida, and Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto, featuring Martha Argerich, who recently collaborated with the Orchestra on a Saint-Saëns recording scheduled for release by Warner Classics on September 22 (digital) and October 13 (physical). Argerich and Pappano, who is active as a collaborative pianist, appear as duo partners in Saint-Saëns’s The Carnival of the Animals on the Orchestra’s latest recording for Warner Classics, which also includes the composer’s Third Symphony (“Organ”), conducted by Mr. Pappano and featuring organist Daniele Rossi.

This performance marks the Celebrity Series debut for the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Sir Antonio Pappano. Martha Argerich made her Celebrity Series debut in 1982 and was seen most recently in 1989.

Tracing its origins to the founding of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in 1585, the Orchestra is recognized for its history of collaboration with major composers and conductors, including former Accademia professor Ottorino Respighi, whose music headlines the concert. Fountains of Rome and Pines of Rome, the first two works in Respighi’s “Roman Trilogy,” were given their world premieres by the Orchestra in 1917 and 1924 respectively. The composer had been a professor of composition at the Accademia from 1913 to the end of his life in 1936.

The Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia – Rome was the first orchestra in Italy to devote itself exclusively to the symphonic repertoire, giving premieres of major masterpieces of the 1900, such as Respighi’s Fountains of Rome and Pines of Rome. Re-founded in 1908, the Orchestra has been conducted by some of the major musical figures of the 20th century: from Mahler, Debussy, Saint-Saëns, Strauss, Stravinsky, Sibelius, Hindemith, Toscanini, Furtwängler, De Sabata, Karajan and Abbado to the most impressive performers of our day including Gergiev, Thielemann, Dudamel, Temirkanov while Bernardino Molinari, Franco Ferrara, Fernando Previtali, Igor Markevitch, Thomas Schippers, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Daniele Gatti, and Myung-Whun Chung have been its Music Directors. Leonard Bernstein was Honorary President from 1983 to 1990.

The Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia is one of the oldest musical institutions in the world. Officially founded in 1585 by Pope Sixtus V and presided over by composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, it has evolved over the centuries from an organization of largely “local” musicians to a modern academy and symphonic concert organization of international repute. Uniting an academic body of 100 of the most illustrious exponents of culture and music with a symphonic orchestra and chorus that are among the most internationally renowned, the Accademia carries out professional musical training and conserves an extremely rich historical patrimony, thus reflecting its own multi-century history.

One of today’s most sought-after conductors, acclaimed for his charismatic leadership and inspirational performances in both symphonic and operatic repertoire, Sir Antonio Pappano has been Music Director of the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia since October 2005 and Music Director of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, since September 2002. He also regularly appears as guest conductor with many of the world’s most prestigious orchestras, including the Berlin, Munich, New York and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Boston, Chicago and London Symphonies, the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, and the Orchestre de Paris.

Born in London to Italian parents, Mr. Pappano moved with his family to the United States at the age of 13. Nurtured as a pianist, repetiteur, and assistant conductor at many of the most important opera houses of Europe and North America, he was appointed Music Director of Oslo’s Den Norske Opera in 1990, served as Music Director of the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels from 1992-2002, and was Principal Guest Conductor of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra from 1997-99.

Mr. Pappano has made several recordings with the Santa Cecilia Orchestra for Warner Classics, including an upcoming release on which he conducts Saint-Saëns’s Symphony No. 3 and performs in a piano duo with Martha Argerich in The Carnival of the Animals. Additional recordings for Warner include Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with Beatrice Rana, and Verdi’s Aida, which earned an ECHO Klassik Award in the category of “Conductor of the Year.” In 2012 he was named a Cavaliere di Gran Croce of the Republic of Italy and a Knight of the British Empire for his services to music, and in 2015 he became the 100th recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Gold Medal, the organization’s highest honor.

Martha Argerich is widely regarded as one of the greatest pianists of the second half of the 20th century. Born in Buenos Aires, she took piano lessons with Vicenzo Scaramuzza beginning at the age of five. In 1955 she went to Europe with her family, and received tuition from Friedrich Gulda in Vienna; her teachers also included Nikita Magaloff and Stefan Askenase. Following her first prizes in the piano competitions in Bolzano and Geneva in 1957, she embarked on an intensive program of concerts. Her victory in the Chopin Competition in Warsaw in 1965 was a decisive step on her path to worldwide recognition.

Martha Argerich has attached great importance to chamber music ever since, at the age of 17, she accompanied the violinist Joseph Szigeti – two generations older than herself. She has toured Europe, America and Japan with Gidon Kremer and Mischa Maisky and has also recorded much of the repertory for four hands and for two pianos with the pianists Nelson Freire, Stephen Bishop-Kovacevich, Nicolas Economou, and Alexandre Rabinovitch.

She appeared with Claudio Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic at the 1992 New Year’s Eve Concert with Strauss’s Burleske and also at the Salzburg Festival at Easter 1993. May 1998 saw the long-awaited musical “summit meeting” between Martha Argerich, Mischa Maisky, and Gidon Kremer. On the occasion of a memorial concert for the impresario Reinhard Paulsen, the three artists came together in Japan, where they performed piano trios by Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky. In March 2000 Martha Argerich gave her first great solo appearance in almost 20 years at Carnegie Hall.

Martha Argerich has recorded solo works by Bach, Brahms, Chopin, Liszt, and Schumann; concerto recordings of works by Chopin, Liszt, Ravel, and Prokofiev with Claudio Abbado; Beethoven with Giuseppe Sinopoli; and Stravinsky’s Les Noces with Leonard Bernstein. Her recording of Shostakovich’s First and Haydn’s Eleventh Piano Concertos with the Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn conducted by Jörg Färber was crowned with the Tokyo RECORD ACADEMY AWARD in 1995, and that of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with Claudio Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra was awarded the CD COMPACT AWARD in 1997.

She has also dedicated herself to chamber music, and has recorded works by Schumann and Chopin with Mstislav Rostropovich, and cello sonatas by both Bach and Beethoven with Mischa Maisky. She has made numerous successful recordings with Gidon Kremer, such as violin sonatas by Schumann and works by Bartók, Janácek and Messiaen (PRIX CAECILIA 1991), and Mendelssohn’s concerto for violin and piano with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Their recording of Prokofiev sonatas and melodies received the 1992 Tokyo RECORD ACADEMY AWARD, the DIAPASON D’OR 1992 and the EDISON AWARD 1993. One of their most outstanding recording achievements was that of the complete Beethoven violin sonatas (Nos.1-3: RECORD ACADEMY AWARD 1985), which was concluded with the release of the Sonatas op. 47 “Kreutzer” and op. 96 in 1995. Among her more recent releases is the above-mentioned live recording of piano trios by Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky with Mischa Maisky and Gidon Kremer.

In September 1999 the first International “Martha Argerich” Piano Competition took place in Buenos Aires – a competition which does not only carry her name but in which she is president of the jury. In November 1999 the second “Martha Argerich Music Festival” took place in southern Japan, with concerts and masterclasses being given not only by Martha Argerich but also by Mischa Maisky and Nelson Freire among others.

VERDI: Sinfonia from Aida
PROKOFIEV: Piano Concerto No. 3
RESPIGHI: Fountains of Rome
RESPIGHI: Pines of Rome

About Celebrity Series of Boston

Celebrity Series of Boston was founded in 1938 by pianist and impresario Aaron Richmond. Over the course of its 79-year history, Celebrity Series has presented an array of the world’s greatest performing artists, including Sergei Rachmaninoff, Arturo Toscanini, Ignace Paderewski, Artur Rubenstein, Vladimir Horowitz, Glenn Gould, Fritz Kreisler, Jascha Heifetz, Isaac Stern, Andrés Segovia, Kirsten Flagstad, Marian Anderson, Luciano Pavarotti, Béla Bartók, Igor Stravinsky, Martha Graham, Ballet Russe De Monte Carlo, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Mstislav Rostropovich, and the New York City Opera Company.

From orchestras and chamber ensembles, vocal and piano music, to dance companies, jazz, spoken word, and more, Celebrity Series has been bringing great artists to Boston’s major concert halls for nearly eight decades. The Celebrity Series of Boston believes in the power of excellence and innovation in the performing arts to enrich life experiences, transform lives and build better communities. Through its Arts for All! community programs, the Celebrity Series seeks to build a community of Greater Boston where the performing arts are a valued, lifelong, shared experience–on stages, in schools, at home– everywhere.

The Celebrity Series of Boston, Inc. receives generous support from Leslie & Howard Appleby, Amy & Joshua Boger, the Barr Foundation, the Boston Cultural Council, The Boston Foundation, the Stephanie L. Brown Foundation, The Catered Affair, Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation, Deloitte LLP, Donna & Mike Egan, Foley & Lardner LLP, the French-US Exchange in Dance, Gabor Garai & Susan Pravda, David & Harriet Griesinger, Zachary Haroutunian and the Garbis & Arminé Barsoumian Charitable Foundation, Paul L. King, the Liberty Mutual Foundation, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, Eleanor & Frank Pao, The Peabody Foundation, Melinda & James Rabb, the Cynthia and John S. Reed Foundation, the Royal Little Family Foundation, the Stifler Family Foundation, Mrs. Belinda Herrera Termeer, Michael and Susan Thonis, Tufts Health Plan, Nancy Richmond Winsten, Anonymous, and many others.


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