"I have loved the music of Brahms since I was a teenager and have been studying and practicing his music for 40 years—I wish I had another 40 to understand it better! For this project, bridging Brahms's time and our own, we have asked four composers for something a bit unusual: to include a theme of Brahms in their pieces. We are hoping that this idea is an inspiring starting point for them. It is a great privilege to be able to participate in concerts devoted to Brahms's music, and that of some exceptional composers of our time, with the great artists Anne Sofie Von Otter and Yo Yo Ma."
The superlative pianist Emanuel Ax brings a new project to Berkeley that simultaneously celebrates one of his most profound musical influences and revels in the creativity of some of the most exciting composers working today. In Program One, Ax is joined by the versatile mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter, who brings nuance and subtlety to classic and new works alike, and "possesses one of the most flexible and natural vocal instruments of any living artist" (Opera Now). For their program, Brahms's lieder are paired with new works by rising New York stars Missy Mazzoli and Nico Muhly.
Program Two: Emanuel Ax and Yo-Yo Ma, cello
*Cal Performances co-commissions, Bay Area premieres
Program notes are available online. [PDF]
Multimedia & Interviews
Emanuel Ax Talks Brahms and Beyond
Ax talks to composers Missy Mazzoli and Nico Muhly about the new works they have composed for Program One of Ax's Brahms and Beyond project featuring Ax and mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter.