[ Concerts ]

Peter Oundjian conducts the Yale Philharmonia April 4

Dean Robert Blocker is the piano soloist in Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3; program also includes music by Shostakovich and faculty composer Christopher Theofanidis
March 18, 2014


The Yale School of Music presents the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale with guest conductor Peter Oundjian on Friday, April 4, 2014. Robert Blocker, Dean of the Yale School of Music, will be the piano soloist. The program includes music by Beethoven, Shostakovich, and Christopher Theofanidis.

The concert takes place  at 8 pm in Woolsey Hall (500 College Street, New Haven). The event will also stream live on the School’s website. LIVE STREAM 

The concert will open with Rainbow Body  by Yale faculty composer Christopher Theofanidis. Composed in 2000, the piece unifies the melody of a medieval hymn composed by Hildegard of Bingen with the Tibetan Buddhist idea of the “Rainbow body,” an enlightened being that physically dies and is absorbed back into the universe as light.

Next, Dean Blocker will be the featured piano soloist in Beethoven’s tempestuous Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor. This is the final performance in the 2013–14 Beethoven Concerto Project.

The concert concludes with Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 in D minor. Under the strict political and artistic pressures of the Soviet Union, Shostakovich felt limited in his ability to pursue the complex modernism that attracted him. This symphony, with its resulting clarity, was an enormous success at the work’s premiere in 1937.

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 music.yale.edu.

Peter Oundjian will conduct the Yale Philharmonia again on April 25; click HERE for details on that concert.

About The Performers

The 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.

Toronto-born conductor Peter Oundjian, noted for his probing musicality, collaborative spirit, and engaging personality, has been an instrumental figure in the rebirth of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra since his appointment as Music Director in 2004. In his tenure with the TSO, Mr. Oundjian has also released four recordings on the orchestra’s self-produced record label, tsoLIVE. The award-winning documentary Five Days In September: The Rebirth of An Orchestra, is available on DVD and chronicles Peter Oundjian’s first week as Music Director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. In addition to his post in Toronto, Peter Oundjian has served as Principal Guest Conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (2006–2010) and played a major role at the Caramoor Festival 1997–2007. He has served as a visiting professor at the Yale School of Music since 1981. In May 2009, Mr. Oundjian received an honourary doctorate from the San Francisco Conservatory. Peter Oundjian was educated in England, where he studied the violin with Manoug Parikian. He then attended the Royal College of Music in London, where he was awarded the Gold Medal for Most Distinguished Student and Stoutzker Prize for excellence in violin playing. He completed his violin training at the Juilliard School in New York, where he studied with Ivan Galamian, Itzhak Perlman, and Dorothy DeLay. Peter Oundjian was the first violinist of the renowned Tokyo String Quartet for fourteen years.

Robert Blocker, pianoA native of Charleston, South Carolina, Robert Blocker is highly regarded internationally for his artistry as a pianist, his leadership in arts advocacy, and his contributions to music education. In 1995 he was appointed the Henry and Lucy Moses Dean of Music and Professor of Piano at Yale University. Blocker has performed with the Beijing, Shanghai, Korean, and Daejon Symphony Orchestras, the Prague and Moscow Chamber Orchestras, the Monterrey Philharmonic, and the Houston Symphony. He tours internationally in recital and chamber music, and his most recent recording is a disc of Mozart concerti with the Biava Quartet for Naxos. A member of the American Music Center Board of Directors, Robert Blocker has served on advisory boards for the Avery Fisher Artist Program and the Stoeger Prize at Lincoln Center. He appears regularly on national radio and television as an artist and commentator and is a consultant to educational institutions and government agencies. He is the editor of The Robert Shaw Reader, published by Yale University Press in 2004, now in its third printing.


Peter Oundjian is also now Music Director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra http://www.rsno.org.uk where he is now in his second season.
He took over from Stephane Deneve and has gone down a storm in Scotland

March 31st, 2014 | Iain Scott