Péter Eötvös, Béla Bartók | Senza Sangue/Herzog Blaubarts Burg
Conductor and composer
Composer, conductor and teacher, Péter Eötvös combines all three roles in one very high-profile career. His music features regularly in the programmes of orchestras, contemporary music ensembles and festivals worldwide, and as composer and conductor he has led projects focusing on his work in cities across the globe.
His operas “Senza Sangue”, “Paradise Reloaded (Lilith)”, “Love and Other Demons”, “Angels in America” and “Golden Dragon” followed his repertoire staple and seminal work “Three Sisters”, in generating an ever-increasing number of new productions. In recent years, Eötvös’ most notable compositions have included “Cello Concerto Grosso” premiered by Berliner Philharmoniker, “DoReMi Violin Concerto No. 2” and “Speaking Drums” for percussion solo and orchestra. 2016/17 season saw premiere performances of “Halleluja–Oratorium balbulum” – a large-scale oratorical work premiered by Daniel Harding and the Wiener Philharmoniker at Salzburger Festspiele, “The Sirens Cycle” for soprano and string quartet, “Dialog mit Mozart – Da Capo” commissioned by Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, as well as “Alle Vittime Senza Nome”, an orchestral Requiem co-commissioned by four major Italian orchestras. In October 2017, Péter Eötvös and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra premiered a brand-new “Multiversum for organ, Hammond organ and orchestra” at Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, before taking the piece to other prominent concert venues in Amsterdam, Cologne, Brussels and Budapest. Later during the season the work is to be performed in Paris, Geneva and Seoul.
Péter Eötvös’ conducting activities are characterised by long-term relationships with Europe's most distinguished orchestras, opera houses and leading new music ensembles. From 1985 to 2011, he held conducting titles with the Radio Chamber Orchestra Hilversum, BBC Symphony, Gothenburg Symphony and Budapest Festival orchestras, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR and Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien. In 2017/18, Péter Eötvös conducts various programmes featuring his music as well as 20th/21st century classics. This season’s highlights include the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, SWR Sinfonieorchester, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, hr-Sinfonieorchester (within a 3-year residency), Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Ensemble Intercontemporain and Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks.
Eötvös’ extensive Hamburg residency in 2017/18 features the “Multiversum” world premiere, a concert with Klangforum Wien, revivals of “Senza Sangue” and Bartók’s “Blue Beard’s Castle” at Hamburgische Staatsoper, ‘Eötvös Universe’ event hosted by Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, as well as Stockhausen’s “Donnerstag aus Licht” at Kampnagel. Other opera highlights include “Senza Sangue” performance at Hackney Empire in London as well as a new production of the latter opera at Palace of Arts and Hungarian State Opera in Budapest. The Music Theatre Wales takes “The Golden Dragon” on a UK tour in autumn 2017, while opera houses in Freiburg and Münster present “Angels in America” in early 2018.
Widely regarded as one of the world's leading interpreters of contemporary music, Eötvös performed regularly with the Stockhausen Ensemble between 1968 and 1976 and collaborated with the electronic music studio of the Westdeutscher Rundfunk in Cologne from 1971 to 1979. In 1978, at the invitation of Pierre Boulez, he became Musical Director of the Ensemble intercontemporain, a post he held until 1991. In 2015 he led the London Symphony Orchestra’s celebration of Boulez’s 90th birthday, and in 2015/16 season he took part in a major presentation of Stockhausen’s music at Musica Viva Festival in Munich.
Alongside his career as composer and conductor, Eötvös places equal importance on his teaching activities, mostly at present spent at the International Eötvös Institute and Foundation for young conductors and composers in Budapest which he founded in 1991 and the Eötvös Contemporary Music Foundation which he established in 2004.
Eötvös’ works have been recorded by labels including BMC, Naïve, BIS, Deutsche Grammophon, ECM, KAIROS and Col Legno. A new recording of Concertos (“DoReMi”, “Speaking Drums” and “Cello Concerto Grosso”) was released by Alpha Classics, while the opera “Paradise Reloded” by BMC Records in spring 2016. Eötvös’ music is published by Schott Music, Ricordi Berlin, Editio Musica Budapest and Durand Salabert Eschig. He is a member of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin, Széchenyi Academy of Literature and Arts in Budapest, Sächsische Akademie der Künste in Dresden, Royal Swedish Academy of Music and Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium.
Eötvös has been honoured with numerous awards throughout his career including the Officier and the Commandeur de l´Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Kossuth Prize, Bartók Prize and the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award. In 2014 he was appointed an Honorary Academician of Santa Cecilia and in 2015 presented with the Order of Saint Stephen by the Hungarian President. Most recently, he was awarded the Grand Prix artistique de la Fondation Simone et Cino Del Duca by the Académie des beaux-arts in November 2016.
Péter Eötvös has also received the Cannes Classical Living Composer Award and Pro Europa Composition Prize. In September 2011, he was honoured by the Biennale di Venezia with the Golden Lion award for lifetime achievement in music. Eötvös’ recording with Patricia Kopatchinskaja of the Bartók, Ligeti and Eötvös Violin Concertos, with hr-Sinfonieorchester and Ensemble Modern, won Gramophone’s Recording of the Year in 2013 and was awarded prizes by ICMA and Echo Klassik, as well as being nominated for a Grammy Award.
Angela Denoke was born in Stade near Hamburg in Germany. After completing her studies at the "Hochschule für Musik und Theater" in Hamburg, she joined the ensemble of the Theater Ulm followed by the Staatsoper Stuttgart.
She is closely associated with the Wiener Staatsoper (Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Arabella, Salome, Die tote Stadt, Parsifal, Jenufa, Der Rosenkavalier, Lohengrin, Tannhäuser and Pique Dame), the Opera National de Paris (Salome, Katya Kabanova, Cardillac, Der Rosenkavalier, Wozzeck, Parsifal, Fidelio, and Vec Makropulos), the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin (Tannhäuser, Fidelio, Pique Dame and Erwartung under Daniel Barenboim, Der Rosenkavalier and Tannhäuser under Philippe Jordan) and the Bayerische Staatsoper (Salome, Der Rosenkavalier, Parsifal, Jenufa and Wozzeck). For the Salzburg festivals she has sung Katya Kabanova, Die Tote Stadt, Wozzeck, Fidelio and Vec Makropulos.
She has sung with the London Symphony Orchestra (Daniel Harding, Valery Gergiev and Gianandrea Noseda), Boston Symphony Orchestra (Andris Nelsons), Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks (Nelsons and Bychkov), Philharmonia Orchestra (Esa Pekka Salonen and Andris Nelsons) and the Berliner Philharmoniker (Sir Simon Rattle), and she appears at the Royal Opera House, Metropolitan Opera New York, Netherlands Opera, Semperoper Dresden, Teatro Real Madrid, Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona, Opernhaus Zürich, and at the Paris Chatelet. She made a highly acclaimed debut at Teatro alla Scala, Milan in Vec Makropulos.
Her recordings include Vec Makropulos (Salzburg Festival 2011, DVD), Salome (Baden-Baden, DVD), Alceste (Madrid, DVD), a New Year’s Eve Lehar Gala (Staatskapelle Dresden with Christian Thielemann, CD and DVD), Die tote Stadt, Die Walküre, Kátya Kabanová, Cardillac, Beethoven 9 (with Mikhail Pletnev / DG and Daniel Barenboim / Warner), Wozzeck (with Ingo Metzmacher / EMI) and Fidelio (with Simon Rattle / EMI).
Her jazz and chanson programme “From Babelsberg to Beverly Hills” (devoted to the era of Marlene Dietrich and Zarah Leander) has toured throughout Europe. Her Kurt Weill recital “Two Lives to Live” was premiered at the 2011 Salzburg Festival and toured venues including the Wiener Staatsoper and the Liceu, Barcelona. Her latest recital programme “Städtebewohner, Kurt Weill und seine Zeit” premiered at the 2015 Salzburg Festival.
Engagements last season include La Donna in Eötvös´ “Senza Sangue/Herzog Blaubarts Burg” at the Hamburgische Staatsoper, Berlioz La Reine for the Nationaltheater Mannheim and Katya Kabanova and Marschallin for the Wiener Staatsoper.
She was voted Singer of the Year by Opernwelt in 1999 and in 2007 received the Deutsche Theaterpreis Der Faust for her portrayal of Salome. In February 2009 the Austrian Government awarded her the title of Kammersängerin of the Wiener Staatsoper.
photo: Johan Persson
Sergei Leiferkus gab sein Debüt in den frühen 1980ern mit den Berliner Philharmonikern unter Kurt Masur, seit dieser Zeit ist er ein ständiger Gast auf den Opern- und Konzertbühnen der Welt.
Er sang unter anderem am Royal Opera House Covent Garden, der Wiener Staatsoper, der Opéra Bastille in Paris, der Mailänder Scala, der Deutschen Oper Berlin, der San Francisco Opera, der Metropolitan Opera in New York, dem Palau de les Arts in Valencia, der Netherlands Opera und dem Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.
Sein Repertoire umfasst Partien wie: Eugen Onegin (Eugen Onegin), Telramund (Lohengrin), Pizarro (Fidelio), Amonasro (Aida), Don Carlo (La Forza del Destino), Scarpia (Tosca), sowie die Titelpartien in „Don Giovanni“, „Nabucco“, „Macbeth“ und „Simon Boccanegra“.
Der Künstler trat zudem bei einer Vielzahl von Festivals auf, unter anderem beim Edinburgh Festival, beim Bregenz und Glyndebourne Festival sowie bei den Salzburger Festspielen. Er ist gemeinsam mit den großen Sinfonieorchestern aufgetreten, wie dem London Symphony, Boston Symphony, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic und vielen anderen. Der Bariton hat mit namhaften Dirigenten zusammengearbeitet, unter anderem mit Claudio Abbado, Lorin Maazel, James Levine, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Seiji Ozawa, Kent Nagano und Sir Georg Solti. Sergei Leiferkus hat die gesammelten Werke von Mussorgsky für BMG/Conifer aufgenommen. Für seine erste Mussorgsky-Aufnahme wurde er für einen Grammy nominiert, die zweite Aufnahme gewann 1997 den Cannes Classical Award, im gleichen Jahr wurden drei weitere seiner CDs mit dem „Diapason d’Or“ ausgezeichnet.
Der Künstler gab zahlreiche Liederabende, unter anderem am Royal Opera House, dem Teatro alla Scala, beim Tanglewood Festival in den USA und im Wiener Konzerthaus.
Sergei Leiferkus war 2006 und 2009 in der Partie des Scarpia in „Tosca“, 2015/16 als Förster (Das schlaue Füchslein) und Guillaume Tell zu erleben sowie 2016/17 in „Senza Sangue/Herzog Blaubarts Burg“, als Schigolch in „Lulu“ und erneut als Guillaume Tell.
Born in the Transylvanian area of Sepsiszentgyörgy (Romania), Hungarian bass Bálint Szabó graduated from the Gheorge Dima Music Academy in Cluj-Napoca in 1997 and completed his studies at the International Vocal Arts Institute in New York and at the Israeli Vocal Arts Institute in Tel-Aviv.
Among his victories in vocal competitions are the Nicolae Bretan Competition in Cluj-Napoca, 1996 (second prize) and the International Vocal Contest in Budapest, 1998 (first prize).
Between 1990 and 1995 he was a soloist at the Cluj-Napoca State Hungarian Opera and since 1996 he has been a soloist at the Romanian State Opera, as well as a permanent guest soloist at the Hungarian National Opera in Budapest. During this time he also made numerous tours of Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, Hungary, Oman, and the USA, and pursued an ongoing collaboration with the National Radio Orchestra of Romania, the Danubia Youth Orchestra of Budapest, and the Szeged Symphony Orchestra. In 2004 he was honoured by the Romanian Government with the title of Knight of the Order for Merit in the arts and culture.
He had an engagement at the Hamburgische Staatsoper from 2003 to 2005. From 2005 to 2009 he was a member of the Oper Frankfurt.
He has worked with such conductors as Maurizio Benini, Ádám Fischer, Iván Fischer, Sir Mark Elder, Carlo Rizzi, Carlo Franci, Tomáš Netopil, Rani Calderon, and others. Among stage directors Bálint has collaborated with Peter Konwitschny, Christof Loy, Stefan Herheim, Nicolas Joel, Pier Luigi Pizzi, Willy Decker, Mariame Clément, and Jean-Louis Pichon to name just a few.
Over the last ten years, through the beginning of the 2013-2014 season, he has performed as Filippo II in “Don Carlo”, Selim in “Il turco in Italia”, Sparafucile in “Rigoletto”, Publio in “La clemenza di Tito” and Bluebeard in the NP “Bluebeard’s Castle” at the Hamburgische Staatsoper; Zaccaria in “Nabucco” at the Israeli Opera; the King of Egypt in “Aida” at the Macerata Opera Festival; Méphistophélès in “Faust” at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein; Enrico VIII in “Anna Bolena” and Don de Silva in “Ernani” at the Klangvokal Festival in Dortmund; Sparafucile in “Rigoletto”, the Monk in “Don Carlo” and the title role in “Bluebeard’s Castle” at the Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse; Alfonso d’Este in “Lucrezia Borgia” at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona and Teatro Municipal de Santiago de Chile; Don Ferrando in “Fidelio” at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, Fiesco in “Simon Boccanegra” and Sir Giorgio in “I puritani” at the Greek National Opera. He has taken up the title role in “Bluebeard’s Castle” for the Budapest National Opera (the show was also recorded on DVD), as well as at the Teatro Municipal de Santiago de Chile, and with the Royal Symphony Orchestra under Charles Dutoit at the Montreux Festival and in NHK Hall Tokyo. He has also sung Publio in “La clemenza di Tito”, the Monk in “Don Carlos” and Surin in “Pique Dame” at the Opéra National de Paris and the Opéra Bastille; Procida in “I vespri siciliani” at De Nederlandse Opera (subsequently released on DVD) and at the Grand Théâtre de Genève; Douglas in “La donna del lago” at the Grand Théâtre de Genève (also released on CD) and at the Teatro della Scala di Milano; Walter in “Luisa Miller” at the Buxton Festival and at the Oper Stuttgart; Tom in “Un ballo in maschera” and Don Prudenzio in “Il viaggio a Reims” at the Opéra de Monte Carlo; Sarastro in “Die Zauberflöte” with the Opéra National du Rhin (in Strasbourg, Colmar and Mulhouse) and at the Opéra de Nice; Lodovico in “Otello”, Tom in “Un ballo in maschera”, Filippo II in “Don Carlo”, Sid in “La fanciulla del West”, Fiesco in “Simon Boccanegra”, Méphistophélès in “Faust”, Colline in “La Bohème”, Banco in “Macbeth”, Raimondo in “Lucia di Lammermoor”, Zaccaria in “Nabucco”, Sarastro in “Die Zauberflöte”, Don Profondo in “Il viaggio a Reims”, and the title role in “Don Giovanni” at the Oper Frankfurt; Ramfis in “Aida” and the Bonzo in “Madama Butterfly” at the Soirées Lyriques de Sanxay; and the Prince de Bouillon in “Adriana Lecouvreur”, Oroe in “Semiramis” as well as Prefetto in “Linda di Chamounix” at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden (also released on CD).
Mezzosoprano Elena Zhidkova made her debut at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. Career highlights include appearances at the Bayreuth Festival, concertante “Parsifal” with Claudio Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic, Mezzo soprano Elena Zhidkova made her professional debut at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. She appeared at the Bayreuth Festival. Claudio Abbado invited her for the concert version of Parsifal, for Schumann’s “Faustszenen” and for his farewell concert at the Berlin Philharmonic where she appeared again in Händel’s “Jephta” under the baton of Nikolaus Harnoncourt.
At the Teatro Real in Madrid she debuted as Waltraute (Götterdämmerung) and as Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde. A highly sought after guest performer in Tokyo as well she could be heard at the New National Theatre Tokyo among others as Octavian (Rosenkavalier), Fricka (Ring des Nibelungen) and Brangäne (Tristan und Isolde). She debuted very successfully as Judith in Bartok’s “Duke Bluebeard’s Castle” at the Teatro alla Scala, a role she has also created at the Barbican Hall London with the London Symphony Orchestra under Valéry Gergiev (published on CD).
Her interpretation of Judith (Herzog Blaubarts Burg) at the Mariinsky Theatre gained her the „Golden Mask“ award as best singing actress in Russia. She was invited to sing the same part under Seiji Ozawas at the Saito Kinen Festival (also published on CD). Her appearance as Fricka (Ring des Nibelungen) could be witnessed at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and in the new production of the tetralogy at the Grand Théâtre de Genève.
She could be seen as Venus in “Tannhäuser” at the Semperoper Dresden and sang Marie (Wozzeck) with the BBC Orchestra under Donald Runnicles. As Kundry (Parsifal) she appeared in Lyon, Mannheim and Düsseldorf. Successful performances include furthermore La Principessa di Bouillon (Adriana Lecouvreur), The Foreign Princess (Rusalka) and Eboli (Don Carlo) at the Wiener Staatsoper, Charlotte (Werther) under Michel Plasson, as well as her debut as Ortrud (Lohengrin).
She enjoyed great success as Didon in Berlioz’ ”Les Troyens” at the Hamburgische Staatsoper and Santuzza at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Opéra Bastille Paris.
Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg
The Philharmonic State Orchestra is Hamburg’s largest and oldest orchestra, looking back on many years of musical history. When the “Philharmonic Orchestra” and the “Orchestra of the Hamburg Municipal Theatre” merged in 1934, two tradition-steeped orchestras combined. Philharmonic concerts have been performed in Hamburg since 1828, artists such as Clara Schumann, Franz Liszt and Johannes Brahms being regular guests of the Philharmonic Society. The history of the opera company goes back even further: Hamburg has been home to musical theatre since 1678, even if a regular opera or theatre orchestra was only formed later. To this day, the Philharmonic State Orchestra has embodied the sound of the Hansa City, a concert and opera orchestra in one.
During its long history, the orchestra encountered great artist personalities. Apart from composers of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, such as Georg Philipp Telemann, Piotr I. Tchaikovsky, Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler, Sergey Prokofiev and Igor Stravinsky, since the 20th century chief conductors such as Karl Muck, Eugen Jochum, Joseph Keilberth, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Horst Stein, Gerd Albrecht, Ingo Metzmacher and Simone Young have shaped the orchestra’s sound. Renowned conductors of the pre-war era such as Otto Klemperer, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Bruno Walter, Karl Böhm and Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt gave brilliant performances, as did outstanding conductors of our times: suffice it to mention Sir Neville Marriner, Christian Thielemann, Semyon Bychkov, Kirill Petrenko, Valery Gergiev and Sir Roger Norrington.
Starting with the 2015/2016 season, Kent Nagano has taken on the position of Hamburg’s General Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Philharmonic State Orchestra and the Hamburg State Opera. In his first season Kent Nagano initiated a new project, the Philharmonic Academy at St. Michaelis, focusing on experimentation and chamber music. In 2016 Nagano and the Philharmonic undertook a successful three-week concert tour in South America. Since 2017 Kent Nagano and the Philharmonic State Orchestra have continued the traditional Philharmonic Concerts at the new Elbphilharmonie, for which they commissioned Jörg Widmann to compose the oratorio ARCHE, which was given its world premiere during the hall’s opening festivities.
The Philharmonic State Orchestra offers approximately 35 concerts per season and performs more than 240 performances per year at the Hamburg State Opera and the Hamburg Ballet – John Neumeier, making it Hamburg’s busiest orchestra. The stylistic bandwidth covered by the 134 musicians, ranging from historically informed performance practice to contemporary works and including concert, opera and ballet repertoire, is unique throughout Germany. Chamber Music has a long tradition at the Philharmonic State Orchestra: what began in 1929 with a concert series for chamber orchestra has been continued since 1968 by a series of chamber music only, which celebrates its 50-year anniversary in 2017/18.
In 2008 Simone Young and the Philharmonic State Orchestra won the Brahms Award of the Schleswig-Holstein Brahms Society. In 2012 Simone Young received a Helpmann Award for performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 and Wagner’s Rheingold with the Philharmonic in Brisbane, Australia. The orchestra has recorded the complete Ring by Wagner as well as the complete symphonies of Johannes Brahms and Anton Bruckner – the latter in the rarely-performed original versions – as well as works by Mahler, Hindemith and Berg, and has released DVDs of opera and ballet productions by Hosokawa, Offenbach, Reimann, Auerbach, J.S. Bach, Puccini, Poulenc and Weber.
The members of the Philharmonic State Orchestra feel equally beholden to the Hansa City’s musical tradition and responsible for the city’s artistic future. Since 1978 the musicians have been participating in education programmes in Hamburg’s schools. To this day, the TV format Musikkontakte initiated by Gerd Albrecht during his tenure as General Music Director is unforgotten. Today, the orchestra maintains a broad education programme, including school and kindergarten visits, patronage for music projects, introductory events for children and family concerts. The orchestra’s own academy prepares young musicians for their professional careers. The Philharmonic’s musicians thereby make an equally enjoyable and valuable contribution to tomorrow’s music education in the music metropolis of Hamburg.
photo: Foto: Felix Broede