For Immediate Release

Contact: Stephanie Janes PR, (617) 419-0445, stephanie@stephaniejanespr.com

Celebrity Series of Boston
Gary Dunning, President and Executive Director
Presents
What Makes It Great? with Rob Kapilow
and Orion Weiss, piano
Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, “Appassionata”
Sunday, December 2, 2018, 3pm — NEC’s Jordan Hall 

Rob Kapilow high-res photo | Orion Weiss high-res photo
WMIG video preview
Celebrity Series Press Room

 

(Boston) Celebrity Series of Boston will present What Makes it Great? with Rob Kapilow and pianist Orion Weiss in Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, “Appassionata” on Sunday, December 2, 2018, at 3pm NEC’s Jordan Hall, 30 Gainsborough Street, Boston, MA. This performance is generously sponsored in part by Amy and Joshua Boger. 

Tickets start at $30 and are available online at www.celebrityseries.org, by calling (617) 482-6661 Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m., or at NEC’s Jordan Hall Box Office, 30 Gainsborough Street, Boston, MA.

This will be the 85th Celebrity Series performance for Rob Kapilow and 43rd presentation of What Makes It Great?® since its Boston debut in 1997. This concert will be Orion Weiss’s second Celebrity Series performance; he made his debut last season with violinist Benjamin Beilman.

Rob Kapilow and recent Debut Series artist pianist Orion Weiss take on one of Beethoven’s greatest and most technically challenging piano works, Sonata No. 23, Opus 57, the “Appassionata.” The demonic intensity and daring harmonic sense of this sonata foreshadowed Beethoven’s so-called second creative period. Kapilow and Weiss’s descriptions, dissections, and insights will culminate in a full performance of this magnificent sonata.

For more than 20 years, Rob Kapilow has brought the joy and wonder of classical music – and unraveled some of its mysteries – to audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Characterized by his unique ability to create an “aha” moment for his audiences and collaborators, whatever their level of musical sophistication or naiveté, Kapilow’s work brings music into people’s lives: opening new ears to musical experiences and helping people to listen actively rather than just hear. As the Boston Globe said, “It’s a cheering thought that this kind of missionary enterprise did not pass from this earth with Leonard Bernstein. Rob Kapilow is awfully good at what he does. We need him.”

Kapilow’s range of activities is astonishingly broad, including his What Makes It Great?® presentations (now for more than fifteen seasons in New York and Boston), his family compositions and Family Musik® events, his “Citypieces”, and residencies with institutions as diverse as the National Gallery of Canada and Stanford University. The reach of his interactive events and activities is wide, both geographically and culturally: from Native American tribal communities in Montana and inner-city high school students in Louisiana to audiences in Kyoto and Kuala Lumpur, and from tots barely out of diapers to musicologists in Ivy League programs, his audiences are diverse and unexpected, but invariably rapt and keen to come back for more.

Kapilow’s What Makes It Great?® (WMIG) made its auspicious debut on NPR’s Performance Today more than 20 years ago, and with its accessible ten-minute format it quickly attracted a wide base of fans and followers. Snowballing in popularity, it developed into a full-length concert evening and was soon snapped up by presenters looking to build new audiences. What Makes It Great?® has sold out regular subscription series in places as diverse as Kansas City, MO, Cerritos, CA, as well as at New York’s Lincoln Center, the Celebrity Series of Boston, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC and the National Gallery of Canada. The latest installment of WMIG concerts is now being presented by the Toronto Symphony, and will include Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, the Beethoven Violin Concerto and Copeland’s Appalachian Spring.

In 2008, PBS’s Live From Lincoln Center broadcast a special What Makes It Great?® show, bringing it to TV screens throughout the US; worldwide audiences were also able to see and experience Kapilow’s trademarked presentations when Lincoln Center inaugurated a series of WMIG video podcasts. Kapilow designed a series of WMIG events especially for teenagers, and, in 2005, he introduced them to thousands of middle- and high-school children in collaboration with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, in a series that has continued on an annual basis and has been repeated around North America. 

One of the most sought-after soloists in his generation of young American musicians, pianist Orion Weiss has performed with the major American orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and New York Philharmonic. His deeply felt and exceptionally crafted performances go far beyond his technical mastery and have won him worldwide acclaim.

Named the Classical Recording Foundation’s Young Artist of the Year in September 2010, in the summer of 2011 Weiss made his debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood as a last-minute replacement for Leon Fleisher. In recent seasons, he has also performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and in duo summer concerts with the New York Philharmonic at both Lincoln Center and the Bravo! Vail Valley Festival. In 2005, he toured Israel with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Itzhak Perlman. Also known for his affinity and enthusiasm for chamber music, Weiss performs regularly with his wife, the pianist Anna Polonsky, the violinists James Ehnes and Arnaud Sussman, and cellist Julie Albers. 

Weiss’s impressive list of awards includes the Gilmore Young Artist Award, an Avery Fisher Career Grant, the Gina Bachauer Scholarship at the Juilliard School and the Mieczyslaw Munz Scholarship. A native of Lyndhurst, OH, Weiss attended the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with Paul Schenly, Daniel Shapiro, Sergei Babayan, Kathryn Brown, and Edith Reed. In February of 1999, Weiss made his Cleveland Orchestra debut performing Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1. In March 1999, with less than 24 hours’ notice, Weiss stepped in to replace André Watts for a performance of Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. He was immediately invited to return to the Orchestra for a performance of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto in October 1999. In 2004, he graduated from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Emanuel Ax.

About Celebrity Series of Boston  
Celebrity Series of Boston was founded in 1938 by pianist and impresario Aaron Richmond. Over the course of its 80-year history, Celebrity Series has presented an array of the world’s greatest performing artists, including including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Marian Anderson, Emanuel Ax, Ballet Russe De Monte Carlo, Béla Bartók, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Kirsten Flagstad, Renée Fleming, Dizzy Gillespie, Glenn Gould, Martha Graham, Herbie Hancock, Vladimir Horowitz, Diana Krall, Fritz Kreisler, Yo-Yo Ma, Wynton Marsalis, Ignace Paderewski, Luciano Pavarotti, Itzhak Perlman, Leontyne Price, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Mstislav Rostropovich, Artur Rubenstein, Andrés Segovia, Igor Stravinsky, Arturo Toscanini, and many more.

Now presenting orchestras and chamber ensembles, vocal and piano music, contemporary dance, jazz, spoken word, and more, Celebrity Series believes in the power of excellence and innovation in the performing arts to enrich life experiences, transform lives and build better communities. Through its Arts for All! community programs, Celebrity Series seeks to build a community of Greater Boston where the performing arts are a valued, lifelong, shared experience – on stages, on streets, in neighborhoods – everywhere.

Celebrity Series of Boston is grateful to our 2018-19 Season Sponsors Amy & Joshua Boger, and to the many individuals, corporations, foundations, and government agencies whose support helps fulfil our mission to present performing artists who inspire and enrich our community. Institutional supporters include the Barr Foundation through its ArtsAmplified initiative, Garbis and Arminé Barsoumian Charitable Foundation, Boston Cultural Council, The Boston Foundation, Stephanie L. Brown Foundation, The Catered Affair, Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation, Deloitte LLP, D.L. Saunders Real Estate Corp., First Republic Bank, Foley & Lardner LLP, Liberty Mutual Foundation, Massachusetts Cultural Council, National Endowment for the Arts, The Peabody Foundation, Cynthia and John S. Reed Foundation, Royal Little Family Foundation, Stifler Family Foundation, Tufts Health Plan, and many others.