Conductor Cornelius Meister Makes BSO Debut Leading Brahms' Second Symphony, April 28-30
BSO Concertmaster Jonathan Carney will perform Bruch's Second Violin Concerto
Baltimore, Md. (March 23, 2011) - Young German conductor Cornelius Meister makes his Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) debut leading the BSO in Brahms' Second Symphony on Thursday, April 28 at 8 p.m. and Friday, April 29 at 8 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and Saturday, April 30 at 8 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore. Also on the program will be Mahler's arrangement of Smetana's The Bartered Bride Overture and Bruch's rarely heard Second Violin Concerto, featuring BSO Concertmaster Jonathan Carney. Please see below for complete program details.
Johannes Brahms composed his ebullient and tender Second Symphony at the peak of his career. Brahms began work on his second symphony in the summer of 1877, while on vacation in a country retreat in Portschach, and later premiered the symphony in Vienna in December of the same year. Making his debut performance, the BSO welcomes young German conductor Cornelius Meister, who also holds the post of Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Max Bruch had a particular affection for the violin, though he himself did not play the instrument, remarking that the violin "can sing a melody better than the piano, and melody is the soul of music." Bruch partnered with Spanish virtuoso Pablo Sarasate for the performance of his best-known work, his First Violin Concerto. Impressed by the singing quality of the Spaniard's tone, he composed his Second Violin Concerto for Sarasate in 1878. This relatively unknown work's unusual form stems from the composer's efforts to program the work on the Carlist War in Spain, at Sarasate's suggestion.
After years of studying abroad in Sweden, Smetana returned to his homeland of Bohemia, or modern day Czech Republic, a staunch advocate for presenting national sentiment in his musical compositions by fusing Czech folk-tunes with Western musical practices. His second opera, The Bartered Bride, is a comedy about a young girl from a Czech country village forced by her parents to marry a man she does not love. Originally spurned by Prague's elite for its focus on rural life, Smetana's numerous revisions to the opera eventually resulted in a work that the public embraced for its engaging score, folk'inspired songs, dance rhythms and vivacious overture.
Cornelius Meister, conductor
Cornelius Meister's post of Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra began in the 2010-2011 season. The position includes subscription concerts both at the Musikverein and at the Konzerthaus as well as recordings, tours, opera productions at the Theater an der Wien and the annual opening concert of the Wiener Festwochen with live TVbroadcast throughout Europe.
Cornelius Meister remains Music Director of the City of Heidelberg, heading both the Heidelberg Philharmonic and the Opera, a post he has held since the 2005-2006 season. This season's engagements include debuts with the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra as well as a first appearance at the Salzburg Festival with his Vienna orchestra. In December, Cornelius Meister gave his Scandinavia debut at the Royal Opera House in Copenhagen with Wagner's "Tristan and Isolde". He will return to the Latvian National Opera in Riga, to complete Wagner's "Ring" cycle.
Previous years have seen Cornelius Meister in several important debuts: at the age of 21 at the opera in Hamburg, at 24 at the Bavarian opera house in Munich, at 26 at the New National Theatre Tokyo and at 29 at the San Francisco opera and the Deutsche Oper in Berlin.
Cornelius Meister has been a guest conductor with renowned orchestras such as the Bamberg Symphony, NDR Symphony Orchestra Hamburg, Munich Radio Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Orchestre de l'Opera national de Paris and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.
Jonathan Carney, violin
BSO Concertmaster Jonathan Carney begins his ninth season with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra after 12 seasons with London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Born in New Jersey, Mr.Carney hails from a musical family with all six members having graduated from The Juilliard School. After completing his studies with Ivan Galamian and Christine Dethier, he was awarded a Leverhulme Fellowship to continue his studies at the Royal College of Music in London. After enjoying critically acclaimed international tours as both concertmaster and soloist with numerous ensembles, he was invited by Vladimir Ashkenazy to become concertmaster of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1991. He was also appointed concertmaster of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in 1994 and the Basque National Orchestra in 1996. Recent solo performances have included concertos by Bruch, Korngold, Khatchaturian, Sibelius, Nielsen, the Brahms Double Concerto and Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending. He has made a number of recordings, including concertos by Mozart, Vivaldi and Nielsen; sonatas by Brahms, Beethoven and Franck; and a disc of virtuoso works by Sarasate and Kreisler with his mother Gloria Carney as pianist. New releases include Beethoven's Archduke and Ghost trios, the cello quintet of Schubert and a Dvořak disc with the Terzetto and four Romantic pieces for violin.
COMPLETE PROGRAM INFORMATION
BSO Classical Concert: Brahms' Second Symphony
Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 8 p.m.—Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Friday, April 29, 2011 at 8 p.m.—Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Saturday, April 30, 2011 at 8 p.m.—Music Center at Strathmore
Cornelius Meister, conductor †
Jonathan Carney, violin
Smetana (arr. Mahler): The Bartered Bride Overture ‡
Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 2
Brahms: Symphony No. 2
† Denotes a BSO artist debut
‡ Denotes a BSO premiere
Tickets range from $28 to $88. Tickets are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 877.BSO.1444, 410.783.8000 or BSOmusic.org.