Leila Josefowicz, violin and John Novacek, piano

Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at 7:30 PM
Mike Lazaridis Theatre of Ideas - Perimeter Institute

“Highly imaginative curation; musicality in every note; and a winning ability to communicate” are just a few critical reactions for Canadian-American violinist Leila Josefowicz’s recent recital at Wigmore Hall. Along with her critically acclaimed musical collaborator, pianist John Novacek, she will set Perimeter’s theatre alight.

Programme:

Jean Sibelius (arr. Friedrich Hermann): Waltz Triste Op 44
Sergei Prokofiev: Sonata in f minor
Oliver Knussen : Reflection
Gustav Mahler (arr. Robert Wittinger): Adagietto (from Symphony No. 5)
Bernd Alois Zimmermann: Sonata

(The programme is subject to change.)


Biography:

Leila Josefowicz’s passionate advocacy of contemporary music for the violin is reflected in her diverse programmes and enthusiasm to perform new works. She frequently collaborates with leading composers and works with orchestras and conductors at the highest level around the world. In 2008 she was awarded a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, joining prominent scientists, writers and musicians who have made unique contributions to contemporary life.

Highlights of Josefowicz’s 2017/18 season include concerts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Concertgebouw Orchestra and Iceland, Boston, Lahti and Finnish Radio symphony orchestras, as well as Washington’s National Symphony Orchestra. Alongside pianist John Novacek, with whom Josefowicz has enjoyed a close collaboration since 1985, she performs recitals in Reykjavik, Leeds, Chicago, San Francisco, Santa Barbara and Halifax (Nova Scotia) and has appeared recently at world-renowned venues such as New York’s Zankel Hall and London’s Wigmore Hall, where she returns in autumn 2017.

Violin concertos have been written especially for Leila Josefowicz by composers including John Adams, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Colin Matthews and Steven Mackey. Scheherazade.2 (Dramatic Symphony for Violin and Orchestra) by Adams was given its world premiere by Josefowicz in 2015 with the New York Philharmonic. Luca Francesconi’s concerto Duende – The Dark Notes, also written for Josefowicz, was given its world premiere by her in 2014 with Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Susanna Mälkki before being performed by Josefowicz, Mälkki and the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the BBC Proms in 2015.

Recent highlights include engagements with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Helsinki Philharmonic and Tokyo Metropolitan, St. Louis, San Francisco and Minnesota symphony orchestras. In summer 2017, Josefowicz appeared at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall and London’s Royal Albert Hall at the BBC Proms with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. She returned to the London Symphony Orchestra in December 2016, performing John Adams’ Scheherazade.2 in London, Paris and Dijon.

Josefowicz has released several recordings, notably for Deutsche Grammophon, Philips/Universal and Warner Classics and was featured on Touch Press’ acclaimed iPad app, The Orchestra. Her latest recording, featuring Scheherazade.2 with the St Louis Symphony conducted by David Robertson, was released in 2016 and nominated for a Grammy Award. Josefowicz’s recording of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Violin Concerto with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by the composer, was also nominated for a Grammy Award in 2014.

“Ms Josefowicz gave a thrilling performance of this daunting work, playing with gleaming sound, supple technique and, amazingly, from memory.” (New York Times, April 2009)

“Josefowicz’s musicianship is one of a kind ….” (The Seattle Times, March 2016)
“From breathless pyrotechnic explosions to the episodes of expressive (but still steely) lyricism, [Leila Josefowicz] brought every corner of the work to light like a majestic tragedian.” (San Francisco Chronicle, February 2017)


John NovacekPianist JOHN NOVACEK regularly tours the Americas, Europe and Asia as a solo recitalist, chamber musician and concerto soloist; in the latter capacity, he has presented over thirty concerti with dozens of orchestras.

John Novacek’s major American performances have been heard in New York City’s Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts’ Avery Fisher Hall and Alice Tully Hall, 92nd Street Y, Columbia University’s Miller Theater, Merkin Concert Hall, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Symphony Space, Washington’s The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Boston’s Symphony Hall, Chicago’s Symphony Center and Los Angeles’ Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Hollywood Bowl and Royce Hall, while international venues include Paris’ Theatre des Champs-Elysées, Salle Gaveau and Musée du Louvre, London’s Wigmore Hall and Barbican Centre, as well as most of the major concert halls of Japan. He is also a frequent guest artist at festivals, here and abroad, including New York City’s Mostly Mozart Festival, California’s Festival Mozaic and those of Aspen, Cape Cod, Caramoor, Chautauqua, Colorado College, Mimir, Ravinia, Seattle, SummerFest La Jolla, Wolf Trap, BBC Proms (England), Braunschweig (Germany), Lucerne, Menuhin and Verbier (Switzerland), Majorca (Spain), Sorrento (Italy), Stavanger (Norway), Toulouse (France) and Sapporo (Japan). Mr. Novacek’s current season is highlighted by his debut with the Orquesta Filarmónica de la Ciudad de México.

Often heard on radio broadcasts worldwide, John Novacek has appeared on NPR’s Performance Today, St. Paul Sunday and, as both featured guest composer/performer, on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. He was also seen and heard on television, including The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, Entertainment Tonight and CNN International.

John Novacek is a much sought-after collaborative artist and has performed with Joshua Bell, Matt Haimovitz, Leila Josefowicz, Cho-Liang Lin, Yo-Yo Ma, Truls Mork, Elmar Oliveira and Emmanuel Pahud, and, as well as the Colorado, Harrington, Jupiter, New Hollywood, St. Lawrence, SuperNova and Ying string quartets. He also tours widely as a member of Intersection, a piano trio that includes violinist Kaura Frautschi and cellist Kristina Reiko Coooper. Mr. Novacek has also given numerous world premieres and worked closely with composers John Adams, John Harbison, Jennifer Higdon, George Rochberg, John Williams and John Zorn.

John Novacek took top prizes at both the Leschetizky and Joanna Hodges international piano competitions, among many others. He studied piano with Polish virtuoso Jakob Gimpel at California State University, Northridge, where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree, summa cum laude. Subsequently, he earned a Master of Music degree from New York City’s Mannes College of Music, where his instructors were Peter Serkin in piano and Felix Galimer in chamber music. Mr. Novacek’s coaches in composition included Frederick Werle, Aurelio de la Vega and Daniel Kessner.

John Novacek’s own compositions and arrangements have been performed by the Pacific Symphony, The 5 Browns, Concertante, Manasse/Nakamatsu Duo, Harrington String Quartet, Ying Quartet, Millennium, Quattro Mani and The Three Tenors. He has recorded over 30 CDs, encompassing solo and chamber music by most major composers from Bach to Bartók, as well as many contemporary and original scores. Mr. Novacek records for Philips, Nonesuch, Arabesque, Warner Classics, Sony/BMG, Koch International, Universal Classics, Ambassador, Pony Canyon, Four Winds, Arkay, Virtuoso and EMI Classics. CD titles include Road Movies (2004 GRAMMY nomination as “Best Chamber Music Performance”), Great Mozart Piano Works, Spanish Rhapsody, Novarags (original ragtime compositions), Classic Romance, Hungarian Sketches, Intersection, Romances et Meditations and, with Leila Josefowicz, Americana (GRAMOPHONE: “Editor’s Choice”), For the End of Time, Shostakovich and Recital (BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE: 5 stars/June 2005's chamber choice).