Marin Alsop Leads Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Mahler's Song of the Earth, May 6-8
Program also includes Mendelssohn's "Italian" Symphony
Baltimore, Md. (March 23, 2011) . Mezzo-soprano Theodora Hanslowe and tenor Simon O'Neill make their Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) debuts, under the direction of BSO Music Director Marin Alsop, in a performance of Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde ("Song of the Earth") on Friday, May 6 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 8 at 3 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, and Saturday, May 7 at 8 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore. Also on the program is Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 4, "Italian". Please see below for complete program details.
Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 4, "Italian" was inspired by the young composer's trip to Italy. Commissioned by London Philharmonic society, now known as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the work premiered in 1833 in London under Mendelssohn's baton. While many music critics classify it as one of his most perfectly conceived symphonic works, the composer was not happy with the work and continued to revise it until his death. The work was finally
In the summer of 1907, Gustav Mahler endured several devastating life events: his eldest daughter, Maria, died of scarlet fever, his wife Alma collapsed from the strain of this tragedy and he was diagnosed with a serious heart condition, which limited his beloved vigorous outdoor outings. It was the summer after these events that he completed his most personal work, Das Lied von der Erde. Based on Mahler Hans Bethge's The Chinese Flute, seven poems translated from ancient Chinese texts, the work fuses song and symphony creates opportunities for sections of the Orchestra to be heard as small chamber ensembles, highlighting the meanings of the poetry.
Marin Alsop, Music Director
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. She also holds the title of conductor emerita at the Bournemouth Symphony in the United Kingdom, where she served as the principal conductor from 2002-2008, and is music director of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in California. At the start of the 2012 season, she will also take up the post of Chief Conductor of the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra (OSESP).
In 2005, Ms. 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."
A regular guest conductor with the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic, Ms. Alsop appears frequently as a guest conductor with the most distinguished orchestras around the world. In addition to her performance activities, she is also an active recording artist with award-winning cycles of Brahms, Barber and Dvořák.
Marin Alsop attended Yale University and received her master's degree from The Juilliard School. In 1989, her conducting career was launched when she won the Koussevitzky Conducting Prize at Tanglewood where she studied with Leonard Bernstein.
Theodora Hanslowe, mezzo-soprano
In the 2010-2011 season, Theodora Hanslowe returns to the Metropolitan Opera as Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor. Last season she joined the company to sing the role of Countess in Shostakovich's The Nose, sang as soloist in Messiah with Nashville Symphony, Israelitish Man in Judas Maccabeus with Berkshire Choral Festival and in Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde with Sinfonietta of Riverdale. Recent highlights include Flora in La traviata at the Metropolitan Opera for their internationally broadcasted Opening Night Gala; the title role in Santa Fe Opera's American premiere of Saariaho's Adriana Mater; soloist in Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass and Vaughan Williams' Serenade to Music, both with Columbus Symphony Orchestra; Hahn's Tomorrow with Doug Varone and Dancers; Dillon's Still Point at Mannes School of Music; and with Salt Bay Chamberfest in the world premiere of songs by Pulitzer Prize nominee Tamar Muskal. On concert stages, she has sung as soloist with such orchestras as Boston Symphony Orchestra (Andre Previn), San Francisco Symphony (Michael Tilson Thomas), St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony (Raymond Leppard), Huntsville and Dallas symphony orchestras and Cathedral Choral Society at National Cathedral. She made her Carnegie Hall debut singing Berlioz' Les Nuits d'ete with St. Louis Symphony.
Simon O'Neill, tenor
Simon O'Neill has rapidly established himself as one of the finest helden-tenors on the international stage. A native of New Zealand, he is a principal artist with the Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, La Scala and both the Bayreuth and Salzburg Festivals, appearing with a number of illustrious conductors including James Levine, Riccardo Muti, Valery Gergiev, Antonio Pappano, Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Sir Charles Mackerras, Daniele Gatti, Edo de Waart, Bertrand de Billy, Donald Runnicles and Pietari Inkinen.
Notable debuts have included the Bayreuth Festival as the title role in Lohengrin with Andris Nelsons, New York's Metropolitan Opera as the Gran Sacerdote in Idomeneo with James Levine, the Royal Opera House as Jenik in The Bartered Bride with Sir Charles Mackerras, the Salzburg Festival in Die Zauberflote with Riccardo Muti and Australian Opera as Sergei in Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk with Sir Richard Armstrong. A consummate musician, both a pianist and tuba player his operatic highlights include the title role of Lohengrin and Florestan in Fidelio at the Royal Opera House, Metropolitan Opera tour of Japan with Die Walkure, Mao in John Adams Nixon in China with Minnesota Opera, Mitch in Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire at Theater an der Wien and Dmitri in Boris Godunov with New Zealand Opera. Simon also had the honour of touring Europe with Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra performing act one Die Walkure.
In the summer of 2010 Simon sang the title role in Lohengrin at the Bayreuth Festival and Florestan in Fidelio at the Grafenegg Festival followed by Mahler's Eighth Symphony at the Edinburgh Festival. Simon then opened La Scala's 10/11 season as Siegmund in Die Walkure with Barenboim. Other engagements this season include Cavaradossi in Tosca in Berlin, Siegfried in Gotterdammerung in La Coruna, Das lied von der Erde with Levine at Carnegie Hall and at the Deutsche Opera Berlin with Runnicles, the title role in Samson and Delilah at the Concertgebouw, his return to the Bayreuth Festival as Parsifal and his debut at the Berlin Staatsoper as Siegmund.
COMPLETE PROGRAM INFORMATION
BSO Classical Concert: The Songs of the Earth
Friday, May 6, 2011 at 8 p.m.—Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Saturday, May 7, 2011 at 8 p.m.—Music Center at Strathmore
Sunday, May 8, 2011 at 3 p.m.—Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Marin Alsop, conductor
Theodora Hanslowe, mezzo-soprano †
Simon O'Neill, tenor †
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4, "Italian"
Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde
† Denotes a BSO artist debut
Tickets range from $28 to $88. Tickets are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 877.BSO.1444, 410.783.8000 or BSOmusic.org.