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

    The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, which was founded in 1918, will soon look back over a full century of accomplishment. Initially it comprised musicians who concertized for the sheer pleasure of it, but starting in 1930, when Eduard Flipse took over directorship, it became professionalized and ascended 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 served as music directors. For a period of 13 years, from 1995 to 2008, Valery Gergiev helmed the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, bringing it to international fame; among his innovations was the annual Gergiev Festival, which the maestro continues to lead to this day, now in his capacity as Honorary Conductor. Since 2008 Yannick Nézet-Séguin has been active as Music Director in Rotterdam, with support from Jiří Bělohlávek as Principal Guest Conductor since 2013. The Rotterdam Philharmonic’s headquarters are located in De Doelen, a cultural center whose large concert hall can hold up to 2,200 audience members. Along with the symphony concerts that take place there, the Orchestra regularly gives opera performances 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 educational programs, the Philharmonic annually reaches an audience from 150,000 to 200,000 music lovers. Their discography comprises a rich catalogue ranging from documents of the early years under Eduard Flipse up to recent releases with Yannick Nézet-Séguin, providing an overview of the Rotterdam Philharmonic’s artistic activities.

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

    August 2016

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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 got to know Carlo Maria Giulini, who allowed him to attend rehearsals and became a significant inspiration. Following his early positions with his own ensemble and as choral director at the Opéra de Montreal, Nézet-Séguin was appointed Music Director of the Orchestre Métropolitain in Montreal in 2000, and in 2008 he began his tenure as Music Director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra; since 2012 he has helmed the Philadelphia Orchestra, and starting in 2020 he will additionally take over as Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Nézet-Séguin regularly performs with such major 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 closely associated from 2008 to 2014 as Principal Guest Conductor. In the United States he has also conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Nézet-Séguin made his Salzburg Festival debut in 2008 with Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette; he has also appeared as an opera conductor at the Royal Opera House in London, La Scala in Milan, Dutch National Opera, and the Vienna Staatsoper. Since 2011 he has been performing the seven great Mozart operas as a cycle at the Baden-Baden Festspielhaus, all of which are being released as live recordings. Yannick Nézet-Séguin holds several honorary doctorates and is a Companion of the Order of Canada and a member of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres du Québec. He received the National Arts Centre Award in 2010, and in 2016 Musical America named him Artist of the Year.

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

    August 2016

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    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.