Hamilton, ON ā€“ The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra launches its 2014-15 Concert Season at FirstOntario Concert Hall (formerly Hamilton Place) on Saturday, September 20 at 7:30pm with Opening Night: Laplante Plays Beethoven, an exciting program featuring guest conductor and Music Director candidate Alastair Willis who will lead Canadian pianist Andre Laplante and the orchestra in works from Beethoven, DvoÅ™Ć”kĀ and Kulesha.

Grammy-nominated conductor Alastair Willis is the first Music Director candidate to take stage this season. While holding his post as music director for the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Willis has guest conducted for orchestras around the world including the New York Philharmonic, Orquesta Sinfonica de Rio de Janeiro and the Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma.

Willis garnered a Grammy nomination for best Classical Album in 2009 for his recording of Ravelā€™s Lā€™Enfant et les Sortileges with the Nashville Symphony and Opera for Naxos. He graduated from Englandā€™s Bristol University with an honours bachelorā€™s degree, Kingston University with a degree in Education and Rice Universityā€™s Shepherd School of Music with a Masters in Music.

Internationally celebrated Canadian pianist Andre Laplante will enamour audiences in Beethovenā€™s Piano Concerto No. 5. Referred to as a ā€œLiszt specialistā€, Laplante gained international recognition after winning the Geneva and Sydney International Piano competitions. His recording of Jacques Hetuā€™s Piano Concerto No. 2 won him the 2004 Juno award and Western Canadian Music Award for Best Recording.

The Toronto Star voted Laplanteā€™s recording of Liszt as the best solo classical album of the year. In 2005, Laplante was appointed an Officer of Canada and in that same year received the Prix Award for Best Performer of the Year. Laplante teaches a class at the Montreal Conservatory and spends his summer instructing in Canada and the United States.

Beethovenā€™s Piano Concerto No. 5, often called the Emperor Concerto, is one of his most dynamic works for piano. As the last concerto Beethoven wrote, the dazzling scales and ornamentation contrast the difficult political climate in Vienna where Beethoven composed the piece. Pianist Friedrich Schneider performed the piano solo during the 1811 premiere of this piece in LeipzigĀ since Beethovenā€™s deafness had progressed to a point that made solo performances impossible. The spirit of heroism in a political time of turbulence is present in the music making this a majestic piece amongst the concerto repertoire.

Ticket Information

Single tickets for Opening Night: Laplante Plays Beethoven $23 to $67 (plus applicable taxes and fees) and are available online at Office in FirstOntario Concert Hall (formerly Hamilton Place) at 10 MacNab Street South or FirstOntario Concert Hall (formerly Hamilton Place) Box Office the evening of the concert.

Special hpoGO tickets for the under 35 crowd over the phone, or in person. To receive special discounts and invitations to special events, under 35 patrons can sign up online at staginghpo.wpengine.com

Group Sales Tickets for groups of 10 or more can be purchased by contactingĀ Heather Hollis at 905-526-7756.

HPO at the Library

In partnership with the Hamilton Public Library, this FREE program features HPO musicians and guest artists in an intimate community setting.

Friday, September 19, 12:45 to 1:30pm

Central Branch, Hamilton Public Library (55 York Blvd.)


Reserve your Table before the Concert

The HPOā€™s Dinner and a Concert program offers patrons the opportunity to enjoy a three prix fixe meal at a partnering restaurant within half a kilometre of FirstOntario Concert Hall (formerly Hamilton Place).

includes a meal at partneringĀ restaurants and a ticket to the performance. Call the HPO Box Office at 905.526.7756 to reserve your table.

SlĆ”inte Irish Pub ā€“ $49 Radius Restaurant
33 Bowen St.

Incognito Restaurant & Wine Bar ā€“ $59
93 John St. S. 6 Main St. E.

Radius Restaurant ā€“ $69
151 James St. South

The Hamilton Club ā€“ $79
6 Main St. E.

Media Contact: Diana Weir, Partnerships Manager | Tel: 905.526.1677 x230 | Email: dweir@hpo.org