Saturday 27. Apr. 2019, 8.00 pm | Elbphilharmonie, Großer Saal
György Ligeti: Requiem
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 2 "Resurrection"
Kent Nagano is renowned for interpretations of clarity, elegance and intelligence. He is equally at home in music of the classical, romantic and contemporary eras, introducing concert and opera audiences throughout the world to new and rediscovered music and offering fresh insights into established repertoire. In September 2015, he took up the position of General Music Director of the Hamburg State Opera and Chief Conductor of the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra. Since 2006 he has been appointed Honorary Conductor of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and has been Music Director of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM) since September 2006. Further, in September 2013 he became Principal Guest Conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.
Aware of the important tradition of the Hamburg State Opera and the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra, Kent Nagano, together with Artistic Director Georges Delnon, develops a unique and recognizable profile for Hamburg as a city of music between the careful cultivation of a broad repertoire and a bold passion for the new.
Highlights of Kent Nagano’s previous seasons in Hamburg were the premiere of Berlioz‘ Les Troyens, the world premiere of Hosokawa’s Stilles Meer, Messiaen’s Turangalîla with the Hamburg Ballett John Neumeier, the premieres of Wagner’s Parsifal and Beethoven’s Fidelio, the „Philharmonische Akademie“ – a project in the tradition of musical academies of the 18th/19th century –, as well as the South America Tour with the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra, the premieres of Berg’s Lulu and Strauss’ Frau ohne Schatten and the world premiere of Jörg Widmann’s oratorio ARCHE – composed on the occasion of the inauguration of the Elbphilharmonie in January 2017. The live recording of this concert was released on CD by ECM in autumn 2018.
Kent Nagano will go on a Europe tour with the OSM in March 2019, with concerts in Berlin, Vienna, Munich, etc.
In January 2019 he toured through Spain with the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra. At the Hamburg State Opera Kent Nagano conducts the premieres of Schumann’s Szenen aus Goethes Faust and George Benjamin’s Lessons in Love and Violence as well as performances of the entire Ring by Wagner in autumn 2018.
In July 2018, Kent Nagano conducted Krzysztof Penderecki’s St. Luke Passion with the OSM on the occasion of the Salzburg Festival opening concert. In August 2018 he stood at the rostrum of Vienna Philharmonic, conducting the new production of Hans Werner Henze’s The Bassarids at the Salzburg Festival.
Kent Nagano started season 2018/19 with an OSM tour into arctic Quebec.
A milestone in Kent Nagano’s collaboration with the (OSM) was the inauguration of the orchestra’s new concert hall La Maison Symphonique in September 2011. In October 2016, he conducted the world premier of José Evangelista’s Accelerando – a commission by the OSM on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Montréal’s metro. In November of the same year he conducted a semi-staged production of the Matthäus-Passion. Further highlights with the orchestra include the complete cycles of Beethoven and Mahler symphonies, Schoenberg's Gurrelieder, concert versions of Wagner's Tannhäuser, Tristan und Isolde, Das Rheingold, Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au Bûcher, Messiaen's Saint François d'Assise, and concert series featuring the works of Dutilleux (2010 to 2011) and Boulez (2011 to 2012). Nagano has taken the orchestra on a coast-to-coast tour of Canada and also to tours to Japan, South Korea, Europe and South America. Their last tour was in spring 2016 through the US, with stops in Washington, Boston and New York. Their recordings together include Mahler’s Orchestral Songs with Christian Gerhaher, Beethoven’s Piano Concertos Nos. 4 & 5 and a complete recording of all the Symphonies by Beethoven of which the album “Ideals of the French Revolution” with Symphony No. 5 won a Juno award. In March 2015 Kent Nagano conducted the North American Premiere of L’Aiglon, a rare opera of Honegger and Ibert. This production was recorded and released by Decca. Danse Macabre followed as second production with Decca, with works by Dukas, Dvořák, Mussorgsky, Balakirev, Saint-Saens and Ives in October 2016. In June 2018, A quiet place by Leonard Bernstein were released also with Decca as third mutual production.
As a much sought after guest conductor, Nagano has worked with most of the world’s finest orchestras, just as the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, WDR Symphony Orchestra, Concerto Köln, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rom and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. From 2014 to 2016 he led his own festival as part of the AUDI Sommerkonzerte, called Vorsprung-Festival. He has an ongoing relationship with Decca and Sony Classical and has also recorded for Analekta, Erato, FARAO Classics, Teldec, Pentatone, Deutsche Grammophon and Harmonia Mundi, winning Grammy awards for his recordings of Busoni’s Doktor Faust with Opéra National de Lyon, Peter and the Wolf with the Russian National Orchestra and Saariaho’s L’amour de Loin with the Deutsches Symphonieorchester Berlin.
At the Bayerische Staatsoper, where he was General Music Director from 2006 to 2013, Kent Nagano commissioned new operas such as Babylon by Jörg Widmann, Das Gehege by Wolfgang Rihm and Alice in Wonderland by Unsuk Chin. New productions included Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov and Khovanshchina, Idomeneo, Eugene Onegin, Ariadne auf Naxos and Die Schweigsame Frau, Les Dialogues des Carmélites, St François d’Assise, Wozzeck, George Benjamin’s Written on Skin and Der Ring des Nibelungen. With the Bayerisches Staatsorchester Nagano has toured throughout Europe and in Japan and together they have recorded Bruckner Symphonies No. 4, 7 and 8. In January 2014, Kent Nagano returned to the Bayerische Staatsoper to conduct a revival of Widmann’s Babylon.
A very important period in Nagano’s career was his time as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, from 2000 to 2006. He performed Schönberg’s Moses und Aron with the orchestra (in collaboration with Los Angeles Opera), and took them to the Salzburg Festival to perform both Zemlinsky’s Der König Kandaules and Schreker’s Die Gezeichneten, as well as to the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden with Parsifal and Lohengrin in productions by Nikolaus Lehnhoff. Recordings with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin for Harmonia Mundi include repertoire as diverse as Bernstein’s Mass, Bruckner’s Symphonies Nos. 3 & 6, Beethoven’s Christus am Ölberge, Wolf Lieder, Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 and Schönberg’s Die Jakobsleiter and Friede auf Erden, as well as Brahms’s Symphony No. 4 and Schönberg’s Variationen für Orchester Op. 31. In June 2006, at the end of his tenure with the orchestra, Kent Nagano was given the title Honorary Conductor by members of the orchestra, only the second recipient of this honour in their 60-year history. To this day he has a close friendship to the orchestra.
Kent Nagano became the first Music Director of Los Angeles Opera in 2003 having already held the position of Principal Conductor for two years. His work in other opera houses has included Shostakovich’s The Nose (Staatsoper Berlin), Rimsky Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel (Châtelet, Paris), Hindemith’s Cardillac (Opéra national de Paris), Les Dialogues des Carmélites (Metropolitan Opera) and at the Salzburg Festival Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Zemlinsky’s Der Koenig Kandaules, Schreker’s Die Gezeichneten and the world premiere of Saariaho’s L’amour de loin. Other world premieres include Bernstein’s A White House Cantata and operas by Peter Eötvös (Three Sisters), and John Adams (The Death of Klinghoffer and El Niño).
Born in California, Nagano maintains close connections with his home state and was Music Director of the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra from 1978 to 2008. His early professional years were spent in Boston, working in the opera house and as assistant conductor to Seiji Ozawa at the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He played a key role in the world premiere of Messiaen’s opera Saint François d’Assise at the request of the composer, who became a mentor and bequeathed his piano to the conductor. Nagano’s success in America led to European appointments: Music Director of Opéra National de Lyon (1988 to 1998) and Music Director of the Hallé Orchestra (1991 to 2000).
Since 2005 Kent Nagano is honorary doctorate of McGill University in Montréal and since May 2018 of San Francisco State University.
“Wegener’s ability cannot be disputed. The placement of her voice is flawless, she has the complete range of ambitious tone colour, superb timbre that still remains smooth even at a high volume, and perfect legato.” Neue Zürcher Zeitung
Sarah Wegener approaches every role with intensity, as if it were chamber music. She enthrals listeners with the richness and warmth of her voice, for example in performances of Mahler’s 8th Symphony under Eliahu Inbal in Hamburg and Kent Nagano in Montreal, as well as in her War and Peace programme shaped around works by Handel and Purcell, which she recently presented at the SWR Schwetzingen Festival. Her “marvellously radiant voice, as powerful as it is rich in colour” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) marks her out as a Lieder singer of the highest order, as shown on her highly-praised current CD Into the Deepest Sea. On the opera stage, she made successful debuts at the Royal Opera House in London and the Deutsche Oper Berlin in Georg Friedrich Haas’ Morgen und Abend.
Her remarkable versatility has ensured long-standing collaborations with her musical partners, such as the conductors Kent Nagano, Emilio Pomàrico, Peter Rundel, Tonu Kaljuste, Heinz Holliger and Frieder Bernius. Concerts and recitals have taken her to the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, the Rheingau Music Festival, the RuhrTriennale and the Handel Festival Halle, as well as the Alte Oper Frankfurt, the Konzerthaus Berlin, the Tonhalle Zürich, the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Philharmonie Köln, the Casa da Música Porto and the Bozar in Brussels. She has sung leading opera roles at the Wiener Festwochen, the Theater Bonn and the Staatstheater Saarbrücken.
Highly regarded as a performer of both classical and romantic repertoire, as well as contemporary compositions, Sarah Wegener recently sang Dvořak’s Stabat Mater and Haydn’s Sieben letzte Worte (Philippe Herreweghe, Orchestre des Champs-Élysées, Collegium Vocale Gent), Hans Werner Henze’s Floß der Medusa (Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Cornelius Meister) and, in a sensational concert in Graz, Strauss‘ Vier letzte Lieder. She has given the premiere of numerous works by Georg Friedrich Haas, including the opera Bluthaus, for which she was chosen as Singer of the Year in 2010 by Opernwelt magazine. With the NDR Symphony Orchestra under Thomas Hengelbrock she performed Dunkle Saiten by Jörg Widmann, who also dedicated the solo part in his work Labyrinth III to her; a recording of the work with the WDR Symphony Orchestra was released in summer 2018.
Sarah Wegener’s discography includes recordings of Korngold’s Die stumme Serenade, Schubert’s Lazarus and Mozart’s C minor Mass as well as Fauré’s Pélleas et Mélisande and Rossini’s Petite Messe solennelle.Into the Deepest Sea, her first Lieder recording with the pianist Götz Payer, was released in November 2017 on CAvi-music.
The 2017/18 season was crowned by Sarah Wegner’s debut at the Salzburg Festival under the direction of Kent Nagano, performing Penderecki’s St. Luke Passion with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal. This season, she will return to the Musikkollegium Winterthur, followed by a performance of Schoenberg’s Six Orchestral Songs with the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie in Saarbrücken. Now a regular guest with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, she will return to the orchestra to perform Handel’s Messiah, as well as performing Mozart’s Requiem in February with the Bach-Collegium Stuttgart. With Le Concert Lorrain she will take Handel’s Brockes Passion on tour, and she will make her second appearance at the Elbphilharmonie with the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra under Kent Nagano, where Mahler’s 2nd Symphony and Ligeti’s Requiem will be on the programme.
Following her double bass studies, the British-German soprano studied singing with Prof. Jaeger-Böhm in Stuttgart and took part in masterclasses with Dame Gwyneth Jones and Renée Morloc.
Gerhild Romberger was born and brought up in the Emsland. After studying music for schools at the Academy of Music in Detmold, she attended voice training classes with Heiner Eckels and graduated with concert-standard honours. She rounded off her studies with courses under the professors of lieder performance Mitsuko Shirai and Hartmut Höll. She now lives with her family in Detmold, where for a long time she has been an extremely popular professor of singing at the Academy of Music.
As a contralto she has always concentrated on concert performances, her work focusing on lieder recitals on a wide variety of themes, as well as on contemporary music. Her extremely extensive repertoire encompasses all the major contralto and mezzo-soprano parts in the oratorio and concert literature from the Baroque to the Classical and Romantic periods all the way to the twentieth century. Significant career moments for Gerhild Romberger in recent years were the concerts with Manfred Honeck, who invited her to perform in, among other works, Mahler’s symphonies, Beethoven’s Missa solemnis and the Grosse Messe by Walter Braunfels. She has also performed with the Berlin Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel, the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Herbert Blomstedt and the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester with Riccardo Chailly. Furthermore she performed with the Vienna and Bamberg Symphony Orchestras (under Daniel Harding), at La Scala (under Franz Welser-Möst) and with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (under Thomas Hengelbrock and Bernard Haitink).
Gerhild Romberger she performed with the Radio Philharmonisch Orkest in Utrecht and Amsterdam in Szymanowski’s Stabat Mater under Markus Stenz, with the Vienna Philharmonic in Karl Amadeus Hartmann’s Second Symphony (under Ingo Metzmacher) in Hamburg and Cologne and in Leipzig with the Gewandhausorchester and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (under Andris Nelsons). Furthermore, a major tour with the Budapest Festival Orchestra under Iván Fischer (Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde) took her to Zurich, Geneva, Paris, Cologne, Lugano und Budapest. In 2019 she can be heard with Mahler’s 2nd symphony, the ‘Resurrection’ Symphony at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg under Kent Nagano.
The Arnold Schoenberg Choir was founded in 1972 by current artistic director Erwin Ortner and remains one of the most sought after and versatile vocal ensembles in Austria. The choir’s repertoire ranges from renaissance and baroque to the present day with a focus on contemporary music. The choir has a particular interest in a cappella music, however it also regularly performs large scale works for choir and orchestra.
As well as concert performances, the choir has also regularly taken part in opera productions, beginning with Schubert's Fierrabras at the Vienna Festwochen in 1988 (directed by Ruth Berghaus and conducted by Claudio Abbado), and including Messiaen's Saint François d'Assise in 1992 (directed by Peter Sellars and conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen) and the world premiere of Berio's Cronaca del Luogo at the Salzburg Festival.in 1999 (directed by Claus Guth and conducted by Sylvain Cambreling).
The choir is also regularly engaged in opera productions at the Theatre an der Wien; among others Janaceks Aus einem Totenhaus, which was directed by Patrice Chéreau and conducted by Pierre Boulez. This production was voted “Best Opera production in German speaking countries 2007”
2008 Stravinskys The Rakes Progress (directed by Martin Kusej, conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt) and 2009 Claus Guths staged interpretaion of Handels Messiah were further operatic highlights. For 40 years the choir has had a close association with the conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt. It has undertaken numerous concert tours and appears regularly at the Vienna Festwochen, the Salzburg festival, the Wien Modern festival, the Carinthian Summer festival and the styriarte in Graz.
In 1994 an international panel presented the choir with the “Classical music award”, 2017 it received in London the Opera Award as best opera choir in 2016. The choir also received numerous prizes, including the German “Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik“, the “Diapason d'or“, the “Prix Caecilia“ and the “Grand Prize of the Academy Awards”, for its 1996 recording of the complete choral works of Franz Schubert, which was conducted by its artistic director Erwin Ortner. The choir also won a Grammy award in 2002 for its recording of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Nicholas Harnoncourt. Latest recordings of Arnold Schoenberg Choir in collaboration with Nikolaus Harnoncourt include an album with cantatas from Bach, Gershwin's Porgy and Bess as well as Haydn's The Seasons, which was awarded the Echo Klassik Price 2010.
The State Choir Latvija is one of the tallest lighthouses in the Latvian cultural panorama; its musical radiance complete with the warmest, refined and perfect instrumentation of the vocal culture and the specific sound of Latvian choral tradition is a miracle known the world over – the largest professional choir of the Baltic States is regularly wanted on the concert programmes of the world’s most prominent conductors and orchestras. Since 1997 Māris Sirmais is Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the choir, and Māris Ošlejs is its Director. In 2017 the State Choir Latvija celebrated its 75th anniversary.
The musical intelligence and vocal skill of the 50 choristers make Latvija a universal instrument capable of depicting subtle a capella paintings as well as conjuring up grand vocal symphonies accompanied by a triple orchestra. Choir Latvija has collaborated with such world-renown symphony orchestrasas Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Bavarian Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Gustav Mahler Chamber Orchestra and others. It has performed with such outstanding conductors as Mariss Jansons, Andris Nelsons, Naeme Järvi, Pavo Järvi, Vladimir Ashkenazy, David Zinman, Valery Gergiev, Zubin Mehta, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Simone Young, Tõnu Kaljuste, Andres Mustonen and others. The cooperation with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam and its conductor Mariss Jansons on the world tour dedicated to the 125th anniversary of the orchestra ranks among the highest achievements of the choir.
This is a label internationally acclaimed and an academic value as well; the choir is open to innovative projects ranging from the cooperation with Sigur Rós and Kristjan Järvi’s electro-acoustic group Absolute Ensemble, to performanceof Joe Zawinul’s jazz compositions and recordings of the music for computer games and films, and to performances of concert operas and large-scale vocal and instrumental opuses.
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 Telemann, Tchaikovsky, Strauss, Mahler, Prokofiev and Stravinsky, since the 20th century chief conductors such as Karl Muck, Joseph Keilberth, Eugen Jochum, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Horst Stein, Aldo Ceccato, Christoph von Dohnányi, 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 Christian Thielemann, Semyon Bychkov, Kirill Petrenko, Sir Neville Marriner, 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, focusing on experimentation and chamber music. In 2016 Nagano and the Philharmonic undertook a successful three-week concert tour in South America, a tour of Spain followed in 2019. 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 concert recording has been released at ECM.
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 140 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.
In 2008 Simone Young and the Philharmonic State Orchestra won the Brahms Award of the Schleswig-Holstein Brahms Society. 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 Hamburg’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. 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.
Death – one of life’s great themes! Ever-present, even when we fail to sense it. A religious approach is unnecessary to question ourselves, and to ask the grand question: “What is this life – and this death?” Ligeti’s Requiem, which is based on the Catholic liturgy, was written between 1963 and 1965, soon after his epoch-making work Atmosphères. “My Requiem is not liturgical. I am not Catholic, I am of Jewish extraction, but am not a member of any religion. I used the text of the Requiem because of its imagery of fear, the fear of death and the end of the world.” The poetic power of his music brings Gustav Mahler’s work to mind. In the finale of his Symphony No. 2, Mahler had an apocalyptic vision of the Last Judgment. However, to him it meant not the end of the world, but rather an appeal to rise again to life’s challenges, and thus also face this existential question: “What is this life – and this death? Do we have an existence beyond it? Is all this only a confused dream, or do life and this death have a meaning?” (Gustav Mahler)
Opening Concert of the Hamburg International Music Festival
Venue: Elbphilharmonie, Großer Saal, Platz der Deutschen Einheit 4, 20457 Hamburg