Symphony Concert 28

Boston Symphony Orchestra | Choirs | Andris Nelsons | Susan Graham


Thu, 18354

KKL Luzern, Concert Hall

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Summer Festival

17.08.-16.09. 2018




    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 first concert, thereby making into reality the dream of its founder, the Civil War veteran, philanthropist, and businessman Henry Lee Higginson, who wanted to have a major orchestra for his own native city. Among the first principal conductors were such musicians as Georg Henschel, Arthur Nikisch, Max Fiedler, Karl Muck, and Pierre Monteux. For 25 years, from 1924 to 1949, Serge Koussevitzky held this position; under his aegis the BSO also established its annual summer residency at Tanglewood in 1937. Koussevitzky’s successors were Charles Münch (1949–62), Erich Leinsdorf (1962–69), William Steinberg (1969–72), Seiji Ozawa (1973–2001), and James Levine (2004–2011), who was the first native-born American to lead the orchestra. Since the 2014-15 season, the Latvian maestro Andris Nelsons has been serving as Music Director; Bernard Haitink has been Conductor Emeritus since 2004, having previously held the position of First Guest Conductor for nine years. Through its concerts, which take place in Symphony Hall (opened in October 1900), as well as through its tours, radio and television broadcasts, and internet streaming, the Boston Symphony Orchestra is annually heard by an audience numbering in the millions. Through the BSO Youth Concerts it reaches out to the audience of the future, and with the Tanglewood Music Center it provides one of the best training facilities for professional young musicians. As ensembles comprising players drawn from the BSO, the Boston Symphony Chamber Music Players dedicate themselves to chamber music and the Boston Pops Orchestra to lighter fare. The Boston Symphony Orchestra also regularly commissions new works. Since 2009 it has released recordings on its own label, BSO Classics.

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

    August 2015

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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

    Andris Nelsons was born in Riga in 1978. He grew up in a musical family and began his career as a trumpet player with the Orchestra of the Latvian National Opera. At the same time he studied conducting with Alexander Titov in St. Petersburg and undertook private instruction with Mariss Jansons. In 2003 the young Nelsons was appointed Principal Conductor of the Latvian National Opera, holding that position for four years; from 2008 to July 2015 he directed the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Since the beginning of the 2014-15 season he has served as Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, with whom he untertakes his first European tour this summer. Within a short period Nelsons has become a regular guest artist with the leading international orchestras and the major opera houses. He conducts at the Vienna Staatsoper, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and the Royal Opera House in London; he also concertizes with the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. In 2010 Nelsons opened the Bayreuth Festival with a new production of Lohengrin staged by Hans Neuenfels, which he has conducted there every summer since; in 2016 he will return to participate in a new production of Parsifal. In 2012 LUCERNE FESTIVAL singled Nelsons out for the honor of being “artiste étoile” and in 2014 engaged him to lead the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA during the first summer following Claudio Abbado’s death. Nelsons’s CDs have received many international awards. His most recent recording, which he made with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and released in the summer of 2015, is of Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony.

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

    August 2015

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    Susan Graham

    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 for performances of Massenet’s Chérubin. After becoming a prize-winner at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, she began her international career in 1989-90 as Annio in Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito at the Chicago Lyric Opera; in 1990 she made her debut at San Francisco Opera and in 1991 appeared for the first time at the Metropolitan Opera – two companies with which she continues to maintain a close relationship. The mezzo-soprano began her European career at the Salzburg Festival in 1993 performing Musica in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo and Meg Page in Verdi’s Falstaff. Since then she has also performed at the Royal Opera House in London, the Vienna Staatsoper, the Bavarian Staatsoper, La Scala in Milan, and the Paris National Opera. In recent seasons she has appeared as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and Marguerite in Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust at the Met; she has sung the title role of Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride in Chicago, San Francisco, and London. Her repertoire also includes contemporary works, and she participated in the world premieres of Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, Picker’s An American Tragedy, and Harbison’s The Great Gatsby. Susan Graham is in demand as a concert and lieder singer whose repertoire extends from the baroque to 20th-century music; in the past year she gave lieder recitals in Berlin, Copenhagen, Vienna, and Brussels, among other cities. Many of her recordings have garnered awards, including a Grammy for her recording of Ives songs and an ECHO Klassik Award. In 2004 Susan Graham was chosen as America’s Vocalist of the Year; in 2008 she received an honrary doctorate from the Manhattan School of Music.

    July 2010

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