Russian WondersPurchase Tickets
George Stellutoconductor
James Gilespiano
6:30pm pre-concert lecture
7:00pm lobby
7:30pm start
Peoria Civic Center Theater
201 SW Jefferson Ave
Peoria, Illinois 61602
Add to Calendar

Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 – James Giles, piano
Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2

Program Notes

About Artist

James Giles, piano

James Giles regularly delights audiences in important musical centers  around the world. Known for his probing and charismatic performances,  Giles’s interests range from Beethoven to Bernstein, and from Romantic  staples of the repertoire to new music written specifically for him. The  2019-2020 season featured a tour of Denmark and recitals in Toronto,  Paris, Naples, Budapest, and Manchester, England. Recent U.S. dates  included recitals in Atlanta, Dallas, Tampa, Des Moines, Bloomington, IN,  and Chicago.  

In an eclectic repertoire encompassing the solo and chamber music  literatures, Giles is equally at home in the standard repertoire as in the  music of our time. He has commissioned and premiered works by William  Bolcom, Stephen Hough, Lowell Liebermann, Ned Rorem, Augusta Read  Thomas, and Earl Wild. Most of these new works are featured on Giles’s  Albany Records release entitled “American Virtuoso.” His recording of solo  works by Schumann and Prokofiev is available on England’s Master  Musicians label. He recorded John Harbison’s Horn Trio with the Chicago  Chamber Musicians and recently released a recording with the St.  Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic.  

His Paris recital at the Salle Cortot in was hailed as “a true revelation, due  equally to the pianist’s artistry as to his choice of program.” After a recital at  the Sibelius Academy, the critic for Helsinki’s main newspaper wrote that  “Giles is a technically polished, elegant pianist.” And a London critic called  his Wigmore Hall recital “one of the most sheerly inspired piano recitals I  can remember hearing for some time” and added that “with a riveting  intelligence given to everything he played, it was the kind of recital you  never really forget.”  

He has performed with New York’s Jupiter Symphony (Alkan and Czerny);  the London Soloists Chamber Orchestra in Queen Elizabeth Hall (Mozart  and Beethoven); the Kharkiv Philharmonic in Ukraine (Prokofiev and  Rachmaninoff); and with the Opera Orchestra of New York in Alice Tully  Hall (Chopin). After his Tully Hall solo recital debut, critic Harris Goldsmith  wrote: “Giles has a truly distinctive interpretive persona. This was beautiful  pianism – direct and unmannered.” Other tours have included concerts in  the Shanghai International Piano Festival; St. Petersburg’s White Nights 

New Music Festival, Warsaw’s Chopin Academy of Music; Chicago’s Dame  Myra Hess Series, Salt Lake City’s Assembly Hall Concert Series, and in  Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Musikhalle in  Hamburg, and the Purcell Room at London’s South Bank Centre. He has  given live recitals over the public radio stations of New York, Boston,  Chicago, and Indianapolis. As a chamber musician he has collaborated  with mem- bers of the National and Chicago Symphonies and with  members of the Escher, Pacifica, Cassatt, Chicago, Ying, Chester, St.  Lawrence, Essex, Lincoln, and Miami Quartets, as well as singers Aprile  Millo and Anthony Dean Griffey.  

A native of North Carolina, Dr. Giles studied with Byron Janis at the  Manhattan School of Music, Jerome Lowenthal at the Juilliard School,  Nelita True at the Eastman School of Music, and Robert Shannon at  Oberlin College. He received early career assistance from the Clarisse B.  Kampel Foundation and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study in  Italy with the legendary pianist Lazar Berman.  

The pianist was the recipient of a fellowship grant and the Christel Award  from the American Pianists Association. He won first prizes at the New  Orleans International Piano Competition, the Joanna Hodges International  Piano Competition, and the Music Teachers National Association  Competition. As a student he was awarded the prestigious William  Petschek Scholarship at the Juilliard School and the Arthur Dann Award at  the Oberlin College Conservatory.  

Also a sought-after teacher, Dr. Giles is coordinator of the piano program  and director of music performance graduate studies at Northwestern  University’s Bienen School of Music and during the summers is director of  the piano program at the Amalfi Coast Music Festival. He gives master  classes and lectures at schools nationwide, including Juilliard, Manhattan,  Eastman, Oberlin, Indiana, Yale, and the New England Conservatory. His  classes internationally have occurred throughout China as well as at Seoul  National University, the Royal Danish Academy of Music (Copenhagen),  the Sibelius Academy (Helsinki), the Chopin Academy (Warsaw), the Royal  Northern College of Music (Manchester) and the Royal College of Music  (London).

Concert Sponsors & Underwriters

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

Next Concert

Sign up for our e-newsletter
This season was made possible, in part, by leadership gifts from:
Peoria Symphony Foundation Soderstrom Skin Institute Illinois Arts Council Agency
© 2022 Peoria Symphony Orchestra. Website created by Central States Media.