Soprano Susanna Phillips to Perform Mozart Arias with Marin Alsop and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Nov. 6-8
A Little Night Music and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 also on program
Baltimore, Md. (August 19, 2009)—BSO Music Director Marin Alsop will welcome soprano Susanna Phillips to the stage to perform selections of Mozart’s arias with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra on Friday, November 6 and Saturday, November 7 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, November 8 at 3:00 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. The program also includes Mozart’s lively Eine kleine Nachtmusik (A Little Night Music) and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4. Please see below for complete program information.
Originally scored for a chamber ensemble, Mozart composed Eine kleine Nachtmusik while concurrently composing Don Giovanni. Though Mozart originally composed the piece in five movements, only four survive. Even in its diminished form, the tuneful melodies and simple harmonies make it a favorite among classical and non-classical audiences.
Of Mozart’s 60 arias, 35 were composed for soprano. Susanna Phillips will sing three that were composed in the later years of Mozart’s life: “Alma grande e nobil core,” K. 578, “Vado, ma dove? O dei,” K. 583 and “Bella mia fiamma—Resta, o cara,” K. 528. The last piece was composed for the Czech soprano Josefa Duschek, who reportedly locked Mozart in a room in order to convince him to write an aria for her. In turn, the piece is full of difficult leaps and surprising harmonic progressions. A relatively new artist, Ms. Phillips brings “warmth and suppleness, as well as an attractively dark tone to the soprano lines” (New York Times ).
Gustav Mahler’s Fourth Symphony was inspired by a collection of German folk poems, Des Knaben Wunderhorn (“The Youth’s Magic Horn”). Based on one song from this cycle, “Das himmlische Leben” (“The Heavenly Life”), the symphony relays a child’s concept of heaven. This naïve “child’s vision,” along with its more modest, classical proportions and humorous nature, contributes to its posthumous reputation as one of Mahler’s more approachable works.
Marin Alsop, conductor
Hailed as one of the world’s leading conductors for her artistic vision and commitment to accessibility in classical music, Marin Alsop made history with her appointment as the 12th music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. With her inaugural concerts in September 2007, she became the first woman to head a major American orchestra, which mirrored her ongoing success in the United Kingdom, where she served as the principal conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony from 2002-2008 and now holds the title of conductor emeritus. In 2005, Marin Alsop was named a MacArthur Fellow, the first conductor ever to receive this prestigious award. In 2007, she was honored with a European Women of Achievement Award; in 2008 she was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2009 Musical America named her Conductor of the Year. Maestra Alsop is a regular guest conductor with the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic. She also appears frequently as a guest conductor with many distinguished orchestras worldwide. After a highly successful 12-year tenure as music director of the Colorado Symphony, Ms. Alsop continues her association as conductor laureate. She also continues as music director of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in California. Marin Alsop attended Yale University and received her master’s degree from The Juilliard School. In 1989, her conducting career was launched when she became a prizewinner at the Leopold Stokowski International Conducting Competition.
Susanna Phillips, soprano
Alabama native Susanna Phillips has attracted special recognition for a voice of striking beauty and sophistication. She has won four of the world’s leading vocal competitions–Operalia (both First Place and the Audience Prize), the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the MacAllister Awards and the George London Foundation. She competed in the Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2007. Ms. Phillips recently debuted with the Metropolitan Opera as Musetta, as Mozart’s Countess and Donna Elvira with the Dallas Opera and the Boston Lyric Opera, respectively, and in a role and house debut as Violetta with Opera Birmingham. Recent recital appearances include the Vocal Arts Society at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and at Carnegie Hall with the Marilyn Horne Foundation in New York. She returned to her native Alabama to perform Strauss’ Vier Letzte Lieder with the Huntsville Symphony. She also performed Brahms’ Requiem with the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Louisiana Philharmonic.
COMPLETE PROGRAM INFORMATION
Classical Concert Series: Mozart and Mahler
Friday, November 6, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. —Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall* (JMSH)
Saturday, November 7, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. —JMSH
Sunday, November 8, 2009 at 3:00 p.m. —JMSH
Marin Alsop, conductor
Susanna Phillips, soprano
Mozart: Eine kleine Nachtmusik
Mozart: "Alma grande e nobil core," K. 578
Mozart: "Vado, ma dove? O dei," K. 583
Mozart: "Bella mia fiamma—Resta, o cara," K. 528
Mahler: Symphony No. 4
*Classical Conversations is a free pre-concert lecture at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. The program begins at 7:00 p.m. and is free to ticket holders.
Tickets for these concerts go on sale September 1, 2009, range from $28 to $90 and are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 877.BSO.1444, 410.783.8000 or BSOmusic.org.