Guest Pianist André Watts Plays Beethoven cover

Guest Pianist André Watts Plays Beethoven


Tonight's program features superstar André Watts, who remains one of the most celebrated and adored pianists, over 50 years after Leonard Bernstein introduced him to the world.
In his talented hands, Beethoven’s revolutionary piano concerto No. 4 becomes a fitting farewell to the season. After intermission, Berlioz’s evocative Symphonie Fantastique, inspired by his infatuation with a British ingénue, will conclude tonights program.
Preview Talk with host Alan Chapman included.
This is Part 2 of the Program Notes for June 2 - 4. You'll be automatically linked to the next NoteStream at the end.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.
Concerto No. 4 in G Major for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 58
Allegro moderato
Andante con moto
Rondo: Vivace
Pianist André Watts
Symphonie Fantastique, Op. 14
Rêveries, Passions
Un bal (A Ball)
Scène aux champs (Scene in the Country)
Marche au supplice (March to the Scaffold)
Songe d’une nuit du sabbat (Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath)

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Guest Pianist André Watts Plays Beethoven

André Watts

André Watts burst upon the music world at the age of 16 when Leonard Bernstein chose him to make his debut with the New York Philharmonic in their Young People’s Concerts, broadcast nationwide on CBS-TV.

Only two weeks later, Bernstein asked him to substitute at the last minute for the ailing Glenn Gould in performances of Liszt’s E-flat Concerto with the New York Philharmonic, thus launching his career in storybook fashion.

More than 50 years later, André Watts remains one of today’s most celebrated and beloved superstars.

Perennial Favorite

Stephen J. Sherman

Perennial Favorite

A perennial favorite with orchestras throughout the U.S., Watts is also a regular guest at the major summer music festivals including Ravinia, the Hollywood Bowl, Saratoga and Tanglewood.

Upcoming Engagements

Recent and upcoming engagements include appearances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and on tour, the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, the Minnesota Orchestra and the St. Louis, Atlanta, Detroit, Cincinnati, Dallas, Houston, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Seattle and National symphonies among others.

In celebration of the Liszt anniversary in 2011, Watts played all-Liszt recitals throughout the U.S., while recent and upcoming international engagements include concerto and recital appearances in Japan, Hong Kong, Germany and Spain.

Television Credits

Watts has had a long and frequent association with television, having appeared on numerous programs produced by PBS, the BBC and the Arts and Entertainment Network, performing with the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center among others.

His 1976 New York recital, aired on the program “Live from Lincoln Center,” was the first full-length recital broadcast in the history of television, and his performance at the 38th Casals Festival in Puerto Rico was nominated for an Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Individual Achievement in Cultural Programming.

Recent Appearances

Watts’ most recent television appearances are with the Philadelphia Orchestra on the occasion of the orchestra’s 100th Anniversary Gala and a performance of the Brahms Concerto No. 2 with the Seattle Symphony, Gerard Schwarz conducting, for PBS.

Watts’ extensive discography includes recordings of works by Gershwin, Chopin, Liszt and Tchaikovsky for CBS Masterworks; recital CD’s of works by Beethoven, Schubert, Liszt and Chopin for Angel/EMI; and recordings featuring the concertos of Liszt, MacDowell, Tchaikovsky and Saint-Saëns on the Telarc label.

He is also included in the Great Pianists of the 20th Century series for Philips.


David Bazemore


A much-honored artist who has played before royalty in Europe and heads of government in nations all over the world, Watts received a 2011 National Medal of Arts, given by the president of the United States to individuals who are deserving of special recognition for their outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support and availability of the arts in the United States.

Awards and Inductions

In June 2006, he was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl of Fame to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his debut (with the Philadelphia Orchestra) and he is also the recipient of the 1988 Avery Fisher Prize.

At age 26, Watts was the youngest person ever to receive an honorary doctorate from Yale University and he has since received numerous honors from highly respected schools including the University of Pennsylvania, Brandeis University, The Juilliard School of Music and his alma mater, the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University.

Previously artist-in-residence at the University of Maryland, Watts was appointed to the newly created Jack I. and Dora B. Hamlin Endowed Chair in Music at Indiana University in May, 2004.

Hamburg Steinway

David Bazemore

Hamburg Steinway

André Watts’ Hamburg Steinway is provided by Mary Schwendeman Concert Service. Recordings available on the SONY Classical, Philips, Angel/EMI and Telarc labels. André Watts appears by arrangement with CM Artists.

To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.