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The NSO plans a European tour
Posted by Erin Cederlind

The National Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Christoph Eschenbach are continuing our tour momentum with a tour to Europe next winter. During the 2013 European Tour we will perform in Spain, Germany and France from January 31 to February 10. This will be our second international tour in eight months! More in the official press release…

(WASHINGTON, D.C.)—The National Symphony Orchestra, led by Music Director Christoph Eschenbach, will make a three-country European tour in late January and early February of 2013. The tour will begin with two concerts, January 31 and February, 1 in Madrid, as well as an additional concert in Murcia, Spain. The tour will continue with concerts in Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Nürnberg, and Frankfurt, Germany; and will conclude with a concert in Paris.

"From the earliest days of my appointment as National Symphony Orchestra Music Director, I have said that I wanted to bring this great orchestra to the attention of the world," stated Music Director Christoph Eschenbach. "To be making our second international tour so quickly after our first, is tribute to the wonderful musicians of the NSO, and to our work together."

NSO Executive Director Rita Shapiro added, "The NSO has flourished during Maestro Eschenbach's first two seasons, and the intensity of tour performances is important for the continued growth of this artistic partnership."

Two soloists, both closely associated with Maestro Eschenbach and counted among his discoveries, will perform with the NSO. Violinist Julia Fischer will be featured in Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 5 in Spain and Germany, and in Paris Tzimon Barto will play Bartók's Piano Concerto No. 2.

NSO Touring: Notes on a Half-Century of Travel

The NSO's touring history includes many significant milestones. The first international tour was in 1959. It was indeed a mammoth undertaking. Twelve weeks, 15,000 miles, and 68 concerts in 19 Latin and South American countries, undertaken as part of President Eisenhower's Program for Cultural Presentations, a project of the U. S. State Department, for the purpose of building goodwill throughout the region.

Other highlights of NSO touring include two trips to China; the more recent tour took place in 2009, at the invitation of the Ministry of Culture in 2009, marking first the 30th anniversary of Sino-U.S. relations. The previous tour to China was in 1999, led by the NSO's fifth music director, Leonard Slatkin, who also led the NSO in U.S. and European tours.

With Mstislav Rostropovich, in addition to tours of Europe, Asia, and South America, the NSO made two visits to Russia, and in the course of the 1993 tour, gave the first orchestral concert ever performed in Red Square.

This month Christoph Eschenbach and the NSO travel to five countries in the Americas, including a concert in honor of the 50th anniversary of independence of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

About the NSO

Now nearing the close of its 81st season, the second led by Music Director Christoph Eschenbach, the National Symphony Orchestra regularly participates in events of national and international importance, including performances for state occasions, presidential inaugurations, and official holiday celebrations. Through its tours of four continents and performances for heads of state, the National Symphony also fills an important international role.

Officially founded in 1931, throughout its history the Orchestra has been committed to both artistic excellence and music education. In 1986 the National Symphony became the artistic affiliate of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the nation's center for the performing arts, where it has presented a concert season annually since the Center opened in 1971. The Orchestra itself numbers 100 musicians, presenting a 52-week season of approximately 175 concerts each year. These include classical subscription series, pops concerts, and one of the country's most extensive educational programs.

The National Symphony Orchestra has a strong commitment to the development of America's artistic resources. Through the John and June Hechinger Commissioning Fund for New Orchestral Works, the Orchestra has commissioned more than 60 works, including cycles of fanfares and encores, which, taken as a whole, are representative of the diverse influences in American composition today. The National Symphony has also long been distinguished for its nurturing of young American conductors.

Throughout its history, the National Symphony Orchestra has served the nation through tours, broadcasts, and other special projects.

About Christoph Eschenbach

Christoph Eschenbach, Music Director of both the National Symphony Orchestra and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, is in great demand by the finest orchestras and opera houses the world over. 2012-2013 marks his third season with both organizations.

Recent highlights have included a series of Schubert lieder recitals with baritone Matthias Goerne, with performances in Paris, Washington, and Los Angeles, among other major music centers; a tour with the Vienna Philharmonic encompassing Australia and Asia, and an intense group of programs in the Kennedy Center's The Music of Budapest, Prague, and Vienna that saw him performing two full recitals at the piano and conducting 12 performances in three weeks.

He continues relationships with the Ravinia and Tanglewood Festivals, the orchestras of Boston and Philadelphia, the London Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, and Orchestre de Paris, among others.

A prolific recording artist over five decades, Christoph Eschenbach has an impressive discography as both a conductor and a pianist on a number of prominent labels. His first recording with the National Symphony was released in 2011 on the Ondine label, Remembering JFK. His previous recordings include works ranging from J.S. Bach to music of our time, and have been recognized with BBC Magazine's Disc of the Month, Gramophone's Editors' Choice, German Record Critics' Award, and 2009 MIDEM Classical Award in Contemporary Music. A particular highlight of his discography is his series of Schubert lieder recorded with the distinguished baritone Matthias Goerne, currently in process of being released. Also of note is his recording and filming of the full cycle of Mahler symphonies, available on his web site for free streaming.

He continues to mentor gifted young performers, and works regularly with the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra. In the U.S. he works with various university students, and offers rehearsal opportunities to the students of the NSO's Youth Fellowship Program, side-by-side with the Orchestra, as well.

About Julia Fischer

German violinist Julia Fischer is recognized worldwide for possessing a talent of uncommon ability and as an exceptionally gifted artist, reflected in the numerous awards and reviews she has received for both her live performances and recordings, including being named "Artist of the Year" at The Gramophone Awards in 2007 and "Instrumentalist of the Year" at the 2009 MIDEM Classical Awards.

Julia Fischer started the 2011-12 season at the Lucerne Festival with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski and on a subsequent tour to London, Luxembourg and Frankfurt performed the world premiere of Matthias Pintscher's violin concerto Mar'eh, dedicated to her by the composer. Other season highlights have included European tours with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, playing and directing a program of Mozart, Puccini and Verdi, as well as performing with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra under Yuri Temirkanov. Guest appearances have included Ms. Fischer with the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg and Emmanuel Krivine, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo and Juanjo Mena, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich with David Zinman, as well as with the Staatskapelle Dresden and the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra - both under the baton of Juraj Valcuha. Recital tours with pianist Milana Chernyavska took her to Italy and Spain as well as to six cities in the US. The season is rounded out with recital and chamber music performances at the Menuhin Festival in Gstaad and Copenhagen's Tivoli Concert Hall in summer 2012.

About Tzimon Barto

Tzimon Barto had his international breakthrough in the mid-1980s when he appeared at Vienna's Musikverein and the Salzburg Festival at the invitation of Herbert von Karajan, and has since performed with nearly every internationally renowned orchestra. During his 25-year career he has often collaborated with conductor Christoph Eschenbach.

His recordings are numerous; after releases of works by Rameau and Ravel for the Ondine label, his most recent release is of selected Haydn sonatas, as well as a recording devoted to the works of Schumann, with Mr. Barto as soloist with the NDR Sinfonieorchester, and in piano duos with Christoph Eschenbach.

In 2006, his home town of Eustis, Florida, founded an international composition competition for solo piano called the "Barto Prize."

Mr. Barto speaks five languages fluently; reads ancient Greek, Latin and Hebrew; and is studying Mandarin Chinese. In addition to his career as a pianist, he is also a writer. His first book, a lady of Greek origin, was published in 2001, and recently re-published by Jan Oidium Press. A stage version was performed in Frankfurt and Vienna, and has been issued as a DVD by Oidium. Oidium Press also published a novel, Harold Flanders, in 2010.

2013 European Tour Itinerary

Christoph Eschenbach, Music Director

Thursday, January 31

Madrid, Spain

Auditorio Nacional de Musica

Julia Fischer, violin


Friday, February 1

Madrid, Spain

Auditorio Nacional de Musica


Saturday, February 2

Murcia, Spain

Auditorio y Centro de Congresos Victor Villegas

Julia Fischer, violin


Monday, February 4

Düsseldorf, Germany


Julia Fischer, violin


Wednesday, February 6

Hamburg, Germany


Julia Fischer, violin


Thursday, February 7

Nürnberg, Germany

Meistersingerhalle, Großer Saal

Julia Fischer, violin


Saturday, February 9

Frankfurt, Germany

Alte Oper, Großer Saal

Julia Fischer, violin


Sunday, February 10

Paris, France

Salle Pleyel

Tzimon Barto, Piano

Tzimon Barto, Piano



Bartók        Concerto for Orchestra

Bartók          Piano Concerto No. 2

Beethoven    Egmont – Overture

Beethoven    Grosse Fuge*

Brahms        Symphony No. 2

Mozart         Violin Concerto No. 5

Strauss        Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche

*Grosse Fuge will be performed in the Weingartner edition for string orchestra

Stay tuned here for more information!


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