13.09.2018 Boston Symphony Orchestra | Choirs | Andris Nelsons | Susan Graham - Mahler - Summer Festival - Lucerne Festival

Symphony Concert 28

Boston Symphony Orchestra | Choirs | Andris Nelsons | Susan Graham

Mahler

Thu, 13.09.19.30No. 18354

KKL Luzern, Concert Hall

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Summer Festival

17.08.-16.09. 2018

 

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    Symphony Concert 28

    Boston Symphony Orchestra | Choirs | Andris Nelsons | Susan Graham

    Andris Nelsons  conductor
    Susan Graham  mezzo-soprano
    Gustav Mahler (1860–1911)
    Symphony No. 3 in D minor

    Nothing more and nothing less than a depiction of the world is what Gustav Mahler intended to create with his Third Symphony, the most extensive of all his works. In six movements, his musical story of Creation covers a hierarchical span from the rocky formations of inanimate nature through plants, animals, and humans to the highest form of existence, divine love. Children, the epitome of innocence, are given a prominent position in this scheme: Mahler introduces them in the fifth movement in the form of a boys’ choir intoning the ringing of the bells and thus symbolically underscoring what “the Angels tell me” – a “music of the heavens” that is already close to Paradise. The Third is a deeply felt, personal work. Which is why Mahler himself was convinced that “only I will be able to conduct it…” On this last point, history has fortunately contradicted the composer, as Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra will splendidly prove, together with two choruses from Leipzig and the American mezzo-soprano Susan Graham.

    Boston Symphony Orchestra

    On 22 October 1881, the Boston Symphony Orchestra gave its opening concert, realizing the dream of its founder, the Civil War veteran, philanthropist, and businessman Henry Lee Higginson, who wanted his native city to have its own major orchestra. Among the first music directors were such figures as Georg Henschel, Arthur Nikisch, Max Fiedler, Karl Muck, and Pierre Monteux. Lasting from 1924 to 1949, for a quarter-century, the tenure of Serge Koussevitzky was a period in which the Boston Symphony Orchestra established its annual summer residency in Tanglewood, starting in 1937. Koussevitzky was succeeded by Charles Munch (1949–62), Erich Leinsdorf (1962–69), William Steinberg (1969–72), Seiji Ozawa (1973–2001), and James Levine (2004–11), who was the first American-born conductor to helm the orchestra. Since 2014, the Latvian maestro Andris Nelsons has held the post of Music Director; he has meanwhile extended his contract until 2022. In the 2017-18 season, he led twelve programs with a widely ranging repertoire, three of which were also performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, and he undertook his first joint tour with the orchestra to Japan. Since 2016, the British composer, conductor, and pianist Thomas Adès has been serving as Artistic Partner. The Boston Symphony Orchestra reaches an audience of millions each year through its concerts, which take place at Symphony Hall, as well as on tours and via radio and television broadcasts and Internet streaming. The BSO Youth Concerts aim to attract the audience of the future, while the Tanglewood Music Center offers one of the best training facilities for professional young musicians. The Boston Symphony Chamber Music Players and the Boston Pops Orchestra are two independent ensembles comprising musicians from the orchestra who are respectively devoted to chamber music and lighter music.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 27 August 1979 with works by Bartók, Respighi, and Ravel conducted by Seiji Ozawa.

    July 2018

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    Women of the Gewandhaus Choir

    Gewandhaus Children’s Choir

    With the GewandhausKinderchor the Leipzig Gewandhaus has at the ready an ensemble of emerging young talent of its own which introduces 80 youngsters to the art of choral singing. Its repertoire ranges from folk song through sacred motets and orchestrally accompanied choral works to staged projects in which the children also perform as soloists. The chorus master is Frank-Steffen Elster, who was born in 1976 and who studied voice and choral conducting in Leipzig; he is also the Director of the Stadtsingechor zu Halle.

    August 2014

    Andris Nelsons

    Born in Riga in 1978, Andris Nelsons grew up in a family of musicians and began his career as a trumpeter at the Latvian National Opera. In parallel to this, he continued his education as a conductor, studying this discipline with Alexander Titov in St. Petersburg and taking private lessons with Mariss Jansons. As early as 2003, Nelsons was appointed Principal Conductor of the Latvian National Opera, which post he held for four years. From 2008 to June 2015, he subsequently helmed the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Since 2014, he has served as Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and he has also held the position of Gewandhaus Kapellmeister with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra since February 2018. Within a brief period, Nelsons succeeded in becoming a regular guest conductor of leading international orchestras and major opera companies. He has conducted at the Vienna, Munich, and Berlin State Opera companies; the Metropolitan Opera in New York; the Royal Opera House in London; and the Bayreuth Festival. He performs regularly with the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. LUCERNE FESTIVAL gave him the distinction of naming Nelsons “artiste étoile” in 2012 and engaged him to conduct several concerts of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA in 2014 and 2015. Andris Nelsons’s recordings have received many international awards. He is currently working with the Boston Symphony Orchestra on a Shostakovich cycle that includes all of the symphonies and the opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk; the first two CDs of the series have earned Grammy Awards. In 2019 he will release accounts of all nine Beethoven symphonies with the Vienna Philharmonic.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 31 August 2009 with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in works by Britten, Berlioz, Debussy, and Ravel.

    July 2018

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    Susan Graham

    The American mezzo-soprano Susan Graham was born in New Mexico and grew up in Texas. While still a student at the Manhattan School of Music, she was engaged to perform in Masse-
    net’s Chérubin. As a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, she began her international career in the 1989-90 season appearing as Annio in Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito at Chicago Lyric Opera; she then made her San Francisco Opera debut in 1990 and her first appearance at the Metropolitan Opera in 1991. She launched her European career at the Salzburg Festival in 1993 in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo and Verdi’s Falstaff. Since then Graham has performed at the Royal Opera House in London, the Vienna Staatsoper, the Bavarian Staatsoper, La Scala in Milan, and the Opéra national de Paris. In the 2017-18 season, she appeared on the Met stage in Lehár’s The Merry Widow in the title role and in a production of Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti in Chicago; the Boston Symphony Orchestra engaged her for performances of Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust and Mahler’s Third Symphony. She has also made contemporary works part of her repertoire and participated in the world premieres of Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, Picker’s An American Tragedy, and Harbison’s The Great Gatsby. Graham is a sought-after concert and lied singer whose repertoire spans from the Baroque to music of the 20th century; she is a highly acclaimed interpreter in particular of French music – not by chance has the French government made her a Knight of the Legion of Honor. Graham’s recordings have received many awards, including a Grammy for her account of Ives songs. Susan Graham was named Musical America’s Vocalist of the Year in 2004 and received an honorary doctorate from the Manhattan School of Music in 2008.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 2 September 1994 in Mozart’s C minor Mass, which was conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner.

    July 2018

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