Opening Concert

Concert Information

December 16, 1978

Opening Concert

Robert Hart Baker, conductor
Kurt Nikkanen, violin

Liadov: A Musical Snuff-Box, Op. 32
Prokofiev: Lieutenant Kije, Suite Symphonique, Op. 60
Saint-Saens: Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 28
Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92

Guest Artist

Kurt Nikkanen

An internationally recognized violin soloist, Kurt Nikkanen is one of the finest American violinists of his generation.  Born and raised in Hartford, Connecticut, Kurt began his violin studies at the age of three.  At twelve, Kurt gave his Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Youth Symphony.  Continuing his formal studies as a young adult, Kurt earned his Bachelor's Degree, studying with Dorothy DeLay, at the Julliard School in 1986. 

Kurt has appeared with orchestras such as the Detroit and St. Louis symphonies, and in Europe with the BBC Symphony and Dresden Staatskapelle.  He has worked with many leading conductors including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Andrew Davis, Jeffrey Tate, Hans Vonk, Hugh Wolff, Neeme Jarvi, and Andrew Litton.  An enthusiastic advocate of contemporary music, Kurt Nikkanen has given numerous performances of John Adams' “Violin Concerto” among many other works.

Other contemporary projects include Aaron Jay Kernis' “Concerto for Violin & Guitar,” performed at the 1998 Aspen Festival with conductor Hugh Wolff, and HK Gruber's violin concerto, “Nebelsteinmusik,” performed with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra under the composer's direction in 1999.  In the year 2000, he recorded Steven R. Gerber's violin concerto, which was written for Kurt and continues to receive performances.

Since becoming a frequent soloist of the New York City Ballet Orchestra in 2003, Kurt has performed several concertos with the orchestra, including those by Stravinsky, Berg, Bach, andVivaldi.  In 2006 he premiered a new Peter Martins ballet set to Corigliano’s “Red Violin” Concerto.