Symphony Concert 18

Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra | Yannick Nézet-Séguin | Sarah Connolly


Thu, 16322

KKL Luzern, Concert Hall

Vergangenes Konzert

Please book a wheelchair ticket under t +41 (0) 41 226 44 80 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Summer Festival

12.08.-11.09. 2016




    Symphony Concert 18

    Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra | Yannick Nézet-Séguin | Sarah Connolly

    Sarah Connolly  mezzo-soprano
    Alma Mahler (1879–1964)
    Songs for Medium Voice
    (orchestrated by Colin and David Matthews)
    Gustav Mahler (1860–1911)
    Symphony No. 10
    (version drawn from Mahler’s sketches as arranged by Deryck Cooke)
    On 19 December 1901, the 22-year-old Viennese composition student Alma Schindler wrote this of her admirer Gustav Mahler: “He has no regard for my art – but plenty for his own – and I have no regard for his art but plenty for mine.” That same day he had written to her: “How do you imagine both wife and husband as composers? Do you have any idea how ridiculous such an idiosyncratic rivalry would end up becoming?” Mahler made it clear that she had to be the way he needed her – “my wife and not my colleague” – as a precondition to their partnership, which was sealed four days later with their engagement. Yet the marriage was not destined for lasting happiness. In 1910 Alma’s relationship with the young architect Walter Gropius catapulted Mahler into a grave crisis. His Tenth Symphony, which he was unable to complete, reflects this catastrophic experience. Yannick Nézet-Séguin and his Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra will explore the relationship between this eminent couple.

    Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra

    This year the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, which was founded in 1918, celebrates its 100th anniversary. Initially it comprised musicians who made music together purely for their own pleasure; but starting in 1930, when Eduard Flipse took on leadership, it became professionalized and began its ascent to one of the leading orchestras of the Netherlands. Following Flipse’s retirement in 1962, Franz Paul Decker, Jean Fournet, Edo de Waart, David Zinman, James Conlon, and Jeffrey Tate have held the office of Chief Conductor. For a 13-year period, from 1995 to 2008, Valery Gergiev helmed the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, establishing its international reputation. Among the innovations for which he was responsible are the annual Gergiev Festivals, which the maestro directs to this day (September 2018 brings the 30th edition). From 2008 to the summer of 2018, Yannick Nézet-Séguin served as Music Director; upon his departure, he was named the orchestra’s Honorary Conductor. The young Israeli maestro Lahav Shani succeeds him at the start of the 2018-19 season. The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra has been headquartered in the cultural center “De Doelen” since 1966, whose grand concert hall seats 2,200. Along with the symphony concerts that take place there, the orchestra also regularly performs at the Dutch National Opera. Since 2010 the Rotterdam Philharmonic has additionally enjoyed a close relationship with the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris as orchestra-in-residence. Through its concerts, tours, and education programs, the orchestra annually reaches an audience of 150,000 to 200,000 music lovers. A rich catalogue of recordings, ranging from documents of the years of its founding under Eduard Flipse to current releases under Yannick Nézet-Séguin, allows for a discographic overlook of the activities of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 20 August 1999, under the direction of Valery Gergiev.

    July 2018

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    Yannick Nézet-Séguin

    Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who was born in 1975 in Montreal, studied piano, conducting, composition, and chamber music at the Conservatoire de Musique du Québec. At the age of 19 he became acquainted with Carlo Maria Giulini and was allowed to follow him during rehearsals, thus gaining important inspiration. He initially held positions with his own ensembles and as choral director at the Opéra de Montréal before being appointed Music Director of the Orchestre Métropolitain in Montreal in 2000. From 2008 to the summer of 2018, he served as Chief Conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, and he has helmed the Philadelphia Orchestra since 2012; additionally, he will take up his post as Music Director at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in the 2018-19 season. Nézet-Séguin appears regularly with such leading European orchestras as the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, with which he was associated from 2008 to 2014 as Principal Guest Conductor. In the United States, he has conducted the Boston Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Nézet-Séguin made his Salzburg Festival debut in 2008 with Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette; he has appeared as an opera conductor at London’s Royal Opera House, La Scala in Milan, the Dutch National Opera, and the Vienna Staatsoper. Since 2012 he has been performing a cycle of Mozart’s seven major operas at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden; all of these are being recorded live. Yannick Nézet-Séguin holds multiple honorary doctorates, is a Companion of the Order of Canada, and belongs to the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres du Québec; he is also an Officier de l’Ordre de Montréal. He received the National Arts Centre Award in 2010 and was named Artist of the Year by Musical America in 2016.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 13 September 2011, when he led the Vienna Philharmonic in a program of works by Messiaen, Debussy, Schubert, and Ravel.

    July 2018

    Other dates

    Sarah Connolly

    The mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly, who was born in County Durham in England, studied piano and voice at the Royal College of Music in London. She began her career as a member of the BBC Singers, but in the middle of the 1990s she made the move to a soloist career and had her breakthrough in 1998 singing the title role in Handel’s Serse at the English National Opera. Since then Connolly has been invited to appear on the leading international stages singing an unusually broad repertoire that ranges from Monteverdi to the music of the present. At the Royal Opera in London she most recently appeared as Jocaste in Enescu’s Œdipe; she has performed Purcell’s Dido at La Scala in Milan, Phèdre in Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie at the Opéra National de Paris, the Composer in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and Gluck’s Orfeo at the Bavarian Staatsoper. Connolly has also earned a reputation as a Wagner performer: she sang Brangäne from Tris-
    tan und Isolde
    in March 2016 under the direction of Sir Simon Rattle at the Baden-Baden Easter Festival, and currently she is appearing as Fricka in Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Bayreuth Festival. Other credits include engagements by the festivals at Aix-en-Provence, Glyndebourne, Aldeburgh, Edinburgh, Salz
    burg, and Tanglewood – and of course by the BBC Proms, starring in the latter’s legendary Last Night concert in 2009. Connolly has worked with such conductors as Riccardo Chailly, Sir Colin Davis, Daniel Harding, Philippe Herreweghe, Vladimir Jurowski, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Her recording of Mahler’s Wunderhorn Lieder won the Edison Award. In 2010 she was named Commander of the Order of the British Empire, and in 2012 she won the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Singer Award.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 11 August 2011 for a concert with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski, which presented Mendelssohn’s incidental music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

    August 2016

    18.30 | Introduction by Susanne Stähr | Auditorium

    Concert Sponsor

    Broadcast date
    Radio SRF 2 Kultur | Live Broadcast at 7.30 pm.