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Guest conductor Krzysztof Penderecki leads the Yale Philharmonia Nov. 1

Penderecki Conducts Penderecki concert, April 30, 2010

NEW HAVEN, CT  | The Yale School of Music presents the  renowned composer and conductor Krzyzstof Penderecki in concert with the Yale Philharmonia on Friday, November 1, 2013. Penderecki, who was a member of the YSM faculty from 1972 to 1978, will lead the orchestra in two of his own compositions.

The program also features a Prokofiev piano concerto with soloist Henry Kramer and guest conductor Toshiyuki Shimada. The concert takes place at 8 pm in Woolsey Hall (500 College Street, New Haven).

The concert begins with Mr. Penderecki conducting his 1959 work Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima. With its raw sound and unconventional techniques, the piece rocketed Penderecki to stardom. When the composer first heard it in performance, he said, “I was struck by the emotional charge of the work… I searched for associations and, in the end, I decided to dedicate it to the Hirsohima victims.”

Penderecki's Symphony No. 2, written 1979–80, will follow. It is sometimes called the "Christmas Symphony" because of the multiple quotations of "Silent Night," though the tone is somber rather than festive. While the early Threnody  is dissonant and visceral, the Symphony No. 2 is lyrical, reflecting Penderecki's shift toward neo-Romanticism.

The second half of the concert will be conducted by Toshiyuki Shimada leading the Philharmonia in Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Henry Kramer, a winner of the Woolsey Competition and a current student at the School of Music, will be the piano soloist. Click HERE to watch a video of Kramer performing music by Prokofiev. VIDEO

Admission to the concert is free, and no tickets are required. For more information, call the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158 or visit


About the Performers

philharmonia_woolsey2The Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale, conducted by Shinik Hahm, is one of America’s foremost music school ensembles. The largest performing group at the Yale School of Music, the Philharmonia offers superb training in orchestral playing and repertoire. Performances include an annual series of concerts in Woolsey Hall, as well as Yale Opera productions in the Schubert Performing Arts Center. In addition to its season of six Woolsey Hall concerts, the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale has performed on numerous occasions in Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York City and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In 2008 the Philharmonia undertook its first tour of Asia, with acclaimed performances in the Seoul Arts Center, the Forbidden City Concert Hall and National Center for the Performing Arts (Beijing), and the Shanghai Grand Theatre.

Penderecki Conducts Penderecki concert, April 30, 2010

Krzysztof Penderecki (b. 1933) has won numerous  awards, beginning with three prizes at the 2nd National Young Composers Competition in 1959. For Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima, written in 1959 and one of his best-known compositions, he received the UNESCO prize. In 1972 Penderecki began his conducting career. Since that year, he has been seen on the podiums of the most important orchestras of the world. From 1972 to 1978, Krzysztof Penderecki was a professor at the Yale School of Music. In 1988 Penderecki received a Grammy Award for his Cello Concerto No. 2, and in 1999 his Violin Concerto No. 2 received two Grammy Awards. He has received the “Best Living Composer” award at the Midem Classic in Cannes, Ordre de Mérite du Grand-Duché de Luxemburg, and an Honorary Order from the President of the Republic of Armenia. He has been awarded the Order of the White Eagle — Poland’s highest decoration — as well as the Three Star Order in Latvia. In 2009, he composed Kaddish to mark the 65th anniversary of the liquidation of the Łódź Ghetto. The new version of his opera The Devils of Loudun was premiered in Copenhagen in February 2013.


Toshiyuki Shimada, a conductor in much demand because of his experience and of vital service to his community where he conducts, is Music Director of both the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes (New York), as well as Music Director of the Yale Symphony Orchestra.  Since 1998, he has also served as Principal Conductor of the Vienna Modern Masters record label in Austria. He is currently Music Director Laureate of Portland Symphony Orchestra, in Portland, Maine, for which he served as Music Director from 1986 to 2006. Prior to his Portland engagement, he was Associate Conductor of the Houston Symphony from 1981 to 1987. This season, he will continue to be active with his three orchestras and teaching duties at Yale University, as well as guest conducting engagements that include the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra in Ankara, Turkey; the Izmir State Orchestra in Izmir, Turkey; the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra in Tennessee; and the Greek-Turkish Youth Orchestra in Izmir.

kramer_henry_webAmerican pianist Henry Kramer has been lauded as “triumphant” and “thrilling” (New York Times). Currently he is studying for his MMA degree at the Yale School of Music, after earning his Artist Diploma there. Mr. Kramer has established a successful orchestral career through performances with the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, Bilkent Symphony Orchestra, Portland Symphony Orchestra, and Orchestre Métropolitain. His performances have been broadcast on NPR, WFMT Chicago, WQXR in New York City, and CBC Radio-Canada. He has also been featured at New York's Lincoln Center and participated in the Steans Institute at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, and the Sarasota Music Festival. He is a founding member of the Newbury Piano Trio, with whom he appeared at the La Jolla Music Society’s Summerfest in 2012.