André Previn

Conductor, composer and pianist André Previn’s achievements have brought him numerous honours, including the Cross of Merit from both Austria and Germany, a Kennedy Center Honor for Lifetime Achievement, several Grammy Awards, Musical America’s ”Musician of the Year 1999”, and the Grand Prix du disque for the recording of his opera A Streetcar Named Desire. In 1996 he was awarded an honorary knighthood (KBE) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Highlights of his second season (2003/04) as Music Director of the Oslo Philharmonic included a tour of Germany and a European tour of his Violin Concerto (2001) with Anne-Sophie Mutter. The Concerto was commissioned by the Boston Symphony and premiered by the Orchestra with Mutter and Previn in March 2002. A frequent guest with the world’s major orchestras – both in concert and on recordings – Previn appears annually with the Wiener Philharmoniker, Boston Symphony Orchestraand New York Philharmonic, to name but a few. He previously held the chief artistic posts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, London Symphony and Houston Symphony or¬chestras.

As a pianist, Previn often performs together with Anne-Sophie Mutter, and in 2004 they gave piano-trio recitals on tour in the US (with cellist Lynn Harrell) and Europe (with cellist Daniel Müller-Schott). Previn has also appeared in recitals with Renée Fleming at Lincoln Center and with Barbara Bonney at Carnegie Hall and the Salzburg Mozarteum, and he regularly gives chamber-music concerts with the Emerson String Quartet as well as members of the Boston Symphony, London Symphony and Wiener Philharmoniker.

In 1998 Previn conducted the premiere performances of his opera A Streetcar Named Desire at the San Francisco Opera with Renée Fleming as Blanche Dubois. The work, with a libret¬to by Philip Littell based on Tennessee Williams’s play, was recorded by Deutsche Gram¬mophon and telecast on PBS. In June 2003, Previn conducted performances of Streetcar in London with the London Symphony Orchestra and the original cast, and in May 2004 he took the baton for the opening performances of a production at the Washington Opera.

In May 2003, the Emerson String Quartet and Barbara Bonney premiered Previn’s String Quartet (with Soprano) at Carnegie Hall. Other recent compositions include a violin-and-piano work (Tango Song and Dance) and the Violin Concerto, both written for and recorded by Anne-Sophie Mutter on Deutsche Grammophon. His ”play for actors and orchestra”, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, written in collaboration with Tom Stoppard for the London Symphony Orchestra in 1976, was revived in 2002 by the Philadelphia Orchestra. In January 2000, the Wiener Philharmoniker gave the premiere of his Diversions, also recorded by Deutsche Grammophon. He has also composed a piano concerto for Vladimir Ashkenazy, a cello sonata for Yo-Yo Ma, and song cycles for Dame Janet Baker, Kathleen Battle and Barbara Bonney.
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