Washington University announces 2018-19 Great Artists Series

Nikolai Lugansky, Tamara Mumford, Gil Shaham and Katia and Marielle Labèque

From left: Gil Shaham, Tamara Mumford and Nikolai Lugansky

Nikolai Lugansky is a virtuoso pianist who plays with “plush sound and plenty of impetuosity” (New York Times). Tamara Mumford, the charismatic mezzo-soprano, “has an aristocratic middle range, dusky depths and great confidence” (New York Times).

Violinist Gil Shaham is renowned for his “silvery tone, spot-on intonation and meticulously molded phrasing” (Washington Post). Katia and Marielle Labèque are “the best piano duet in front of an audience today” (New York Times).

For its 2018-19 Great Artists Series, Washington University in St. Louis will present four affordably priced concerts by some of today’s finest performers.

“Our third Great Artists Series promises more not-to-be-missed recitals,” said Todd Decker, chair of the Department of Music in Arts & Sciences, which presents the series. “These are some of the most powerful performers of our time.”

Lugansky will open the series Feb. 10 with works by Claude Debussy, Alexander Scriabin and Sergei Rachmaninov, followed by Mumford on March 21. On April 7, Shaham will be joined by pianist Akira Eguchi, his longtime collaborator, for music of Fritz Kreisler, Scott Wheeler, Avner Dorman, Johann Sebastian Bach and César Franck. The Labèque sisters will conclude the series May 5 with works by Debussy, Igor Stravinsky and Philip Glass.

“With a truly international lineup and four concerts at very affordable prices in the beautiful, historic and recently renewed Des Lee Concert Hall,” Decker added, “the music department hopes to further expand the enthusiastic audience for classical music on the Delmar Loop.”

Katia and Marielle Labèque (Photo: Umberto Nicoletti)


Subscriptions to all four recitals are $120 and include premier reserved seating, post-concert receptions with the artists (when available), and all ticketing fees. Subscribers also will receive complimentary tickets to the March 2 performance by Third Coast Percussion, winners of the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music.

Single tickets are $35-40, or $32-37 for seniors and Washington University faculty and staff, and $15 for students and children.

Subscription renewals began April 22. New subscriptions went on sale May 7. Single ticket sales begin Aug. 27.

All four performances take place in the560 Music Center’s E. Desmond Lee Concert Hall, 560 Trinity Ave. at the intersection with Delmar Boulevard. Tickets are available through the Edison Theatre Box Office, 314-935-6543, or at edison.wustl.edu.

For more information, call 314-935-5566 or email daniels@wustl.edu.


Lugnasky (Photo:
Caroline Doutre Naive)

A pianist of extraordinary depth and versatility, Lugansky was born in Moscow and memorized his first Beethoven sonata at age 5. Two years later, he enrolled at Moscow’s Central Music School and then studied at the Moscow Conservatoire.

Today, Lugansky works regularly with top conductors such as Osmo Vänskä, Yuri Temirkanov and Mikhail Pletnev. Recent concert highlights include engagements with the London and Baltimore symphony orchestras, the Hong Kong Philharmonic and European tours with the Russian National Orchestra and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra/Sakari Oramo.

Lugansky appears frequently at many of the world’s most distinguished festivals, including La Roque d’Anthéron, the Verbier Festival, Tanglewood, Aspen and Ravinia. His numerous honors include being named a People’s Artist of Russia and both the Diapason d’Or and an ECHO Klassik Award for his recording of Rachmaninov’s Piano Sonatas. The Guardian (U.K.) described his most recent recording, of Tchaikovsky’s “Grande Sonata” and “The Seasons,” as “insightful and mature.”

Lugansky is artistic director of the Tambov Rachmaninov Festival as well as a supporter of, and regular performer at, the Rachmaninov Estate and Museum of Ivanovka.


Mumford (Photo: Fay Fox)

A graduate of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, Mumford has appeared in more than 150 productions with the company, including “Rigoletto,” “Nixon in China,” “The Magic Flute” and the complete Ring Cycle. In 2016, she was featured as Le Pélerin in a new production of Kaija Saariaho’s “L’Amour de Loin,” which was shown in movie theaters around the world as part of the Met’s Live in HD series.

An active concert performer, Mumford has appeared with the Boston, Oregon, San Francisco, San Diego and Seattle symphonies, and with the Berlin, New York and Netherlands Radio philharmonics, among others. Recent highlights include title roles in “Dido and Aeneas” and “The Rape of Lucretia”; the world premiere of “Yardbird,” a chamber opera about jazz legend Charlie Parker; and the world premiere of John Adam’s oratorio “The Gospel According to the Other Mary,” in U.S. and European tours with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Mumford’s numerous recordings include several Met Live productions, as well as the Grammy Award-nominated recording of Darius Milhaud’s “L’Orestie d’Eschyle” and Beethoven’s “Cantata on the Death of Emperor Joseph II,” the latter with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony.

Shaham, with Eguchi

Shaham (Photo: Luke Ratray)

Celebrated for his inimitable warmth and flawless technique,  Shaham is one of the foremost violinists of our time. He appears regularly on many of the world’s great concert stages and with many of the world’s leading orchestras, include the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris and San Francisco Symphony.

Shaham has released more than two dozen concerto and solo recordings, earning multiple Grammy Awards, a Grand Prix du Disque, Diapason d’Or and Gramophone Editor’s Choice. Many of these recordings appear on Canary Classics, the label he founded in 2004. His most recent recordings are the Grammy-nominated 1930s Violin Concertos Vol. 2” and “Bach: Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin.”

Shaham was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1990, and, in 2008, received the coveted Avery Fisher Prize. In 2012, he was named “Instrumentalist of the Year” by Musical America. He plays the 1699 “Countess Polignac” Stradivarius.

Eguchi, Shaham’s longtime duo partner pianist, has performed at major venues around the world, from New York’s Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall to the Kennedy Center in Washington and Theatre des Champs-Elysees in Paris. An active composer, he has been featured on 45 albums, including 11 solo recordings.

 Katia and Marielle Labèque

Katia and Marielle Labèque. (Photo: Brigitte Lacombe)

Born in Bayonne, France, the Labèques rose to international fame with their two-piano rendition of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” — one of the first gold records in classical music. Their extensive repertoire ranges from contemporary classical to jazz, minimal music and Baroque music performed on period instruments.

Renowned for their energy and synchronicity, the Labèques have performed with leading conductors across Europe and the United States, including Semyon Bychkov, Sir Colin Davis, Seiji Ozawa, Sir Simon Rattle and Leonard Slatkin; and worked with composers such as Luciano Berio, Pierre Boulez, György Ligeti and Olivier Messiaen.

In 2015, the siblings joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the world premiere of Philip Glass’ “Double Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra,” which was written for them. Their 2016 performance with the Vienna Philharmonic drew a television audience of 1.5 million and was released on both CD and DVD.

The Labèques have released dozens of recordings, many for their own KML label. Their most recent recording, dedicated to Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” and Debussy’s “Epigraphes Antiques,” was released by Deutsche Grammophon in November 2016.

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