CONDUCTOR SIR SIMON RATTLE EMBARKS ON TWO-YEAR
PERSPECTIVES SERIES AT CARNEGIE HALL
Mr. Rattle Leads the Berliner Philharmoniker in Complete Beethoven Symphony Cycle in
Five Concerts Over Five Consecutive Days, November 17–21
|Esteemed conductor Sir Simon Rattle, who has appeared at Carnegie Hall nearly 40 times since his debut in 1976, launches his two-year Perspectives series at the Hall this November. Presenting what he calls an “extraordinary journey,” this season Sir Simon leads the Berliner Philharmoniker in all nine Beethoven symphonies in five concerts over five consecutive days from November 17–21, all at 8:00 p.m.
“For orchestra, conductor, and audience,” Sir Simon says of the Beethoven symphonies, “if you’ve heard these pieces over five days you really get an idea of how the entire 19th century was made—how it was taken from one place and moved to another by the force and genius of one man.”
Sir Simon begins his Beethoven symphony cycle with Nos. 1 and 3 on Tuesday, November 17. He continues with the Leonore Overture No. 1 and symphonies Nos. 2 and 5 on Wednesday, November 18; Nos. 8 and 6 on Thursday, November 19; and Nos. 4 and 7 on Friday, November 20. For the last concert on Saturday, November 21, Sir Simon conducts Symphony No. 9 with soloists including soprano Annette Dasch, mezzo-soprano Eva Vogel, tenor Christian Elsner, and bass Dimitry Ivashchenko, along with the Westminster Symphonic Choir.
“To do Beethoven symphonies is hard enough,” Sir Simon continues, “but to do a cycle of Beethoven symphonies is something very different. It’s at the center of music. It’s such a journey through [Beethoven’s] life. And of course it’s clearly the same composer who’s written the First and who’s written the Ninth, but the distance between them is really astonishing…You can also see someone building a whole edifice that will support the music of the next 150 years.”
Details about Sir Simon’s Perspectives events in the 2016-2017 season are to be announced. For more information, visit carnegiehall.org/rattle.
In celebration of the Berliner Philharmoniker’s Beethoven symphony cycle, Carnegie Hall presents a Discovery Day on Sunday, November 15 at 1:00 p.m. in Weill Recital Hall. The afternoon features a keynote lecture with Harvard Professor of Music Thomas Forrest Kelly followed by a piano performance of movements from Beethoven’s Symphonies Nos. 1, 3, 4, and 5 by Gregory DeTurck and Tanya Gabrielian. The performance is followed by a dramatic reading and a panel discussion with musicians from the Berliner Philharmoniker—violist Ulrich Knörzer, horn player Fergus McWilliam, and bass player Peter Riegelbauer. Moderating this special event is Carnegie Hall’s Director of Artistic Planning Jeremy Geffen.
In addition, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute welcomes five musicians of the Berliner Philharmoniker who will lead master classes for alumni from the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America in the Resnick Education Wing. Master class leaders include first concertmaster Noah Bendix-Balgley, first principal second violin Christian Stadelmann, first principal viola Máté Szűcs, first principal cello Ludwig Quandt, and horn player Sarah Willis.
About the Artists
A particular interest of Sir Simon’s is to bring the work of the Berliner Philharmoniker and its music within reach of young people from different social and cultural backgrounds. To this end, he created the highly successful education program of the Berliner Philharmoniker with which the orchestra has broken new ground in the field of music education. For this commitment, as well as for his artistic work, Sir Simon has won many awards: In 1994, he received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II; in 2009, he was awarded the Spanish Premio Don Juan de Borbón de la Música, the gold medal “Gloria Artis” from the Polish Ministry of Culture and the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. Furthermore, in 2010, he was inducted into the Order of Knights of the French Legion of Honour. In February 2013, Sir Simon was awarded the Léonie Sonning Music Prize from the Danish Léonie Sonning Music Foundation in Copenhagen, and in December 2013, he was appointed Member of the Order of Merit by Queen Elizabeth II.
In January 2013, Sir Simon announced that he would not renew his contract as chief conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker after it expires in 2018. In March 2015, he announced his appointment as Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra beginning in September 2017.
The Berliner Philharmoniker, founded in 1882 as a self-governing body, has long been esteemed as one of the world’s greatest orchestras. In 2007, it celebrated the 125th anniversary of its founding with a multitude of activities. The 2013–2014 season was dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the Berlin Philharmonie, which was designed for the orchestra by the architect Hans Scharoun. Hans von Bülow, Arthur Nikisch, and Wilhelm Furtwängler were the principal conductors who left their distinctive mark in the Berliner Philharmoniker’s early decades. In 1955, Herbert von Karajan became the orchestra’s artistic director and, in the ensuing years, worked with the musicians to develop a unique tonal quality and performing style that made the Berliner Philharmoniker famous all over the world. Claudio Abbado, chief conductor from 1989 to 2002, devised a new type of programming, with increased emphasis on contemporary works, expanded chamber recital series, and performance of operas in concert. When Sir Simon Rattle took the orchestra’s helm in September 2002, an education program was initiated to ensure that the Berliner Philharmoniker reaches a wider and, especially, younger audience. In November 2007, the orchestra and its artistic director Sir Simon Rattle were appointed UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors, the first artistic ensemble ever to represent the international children’s organization.
In January 2009, the Berliner Philharmoniker launched its innovative Digital Concert Hall, which broadcasts the orchestra’s concerts live worldwide over the internet. In May 2014, the Berliner Philharmoniker launched its own in-house label, Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings. During an orchestra assembly on June 21, 2015, Kirill Petrenko was elected by a large majority of the members of the Berliner Philharmoniker as the Chief Conductor Designate of the orchestra and Artistic Director of the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation.
Carnegie Hall’s Perspectives
Previous Perspectives artists have included Senegalese vocalist Youssou N’Dour; Brazilian singer-songwriter Caetano Veloso; Indian classical tabla player Zakir Hussain; experimental rocker David Byrne; and singer-songwriter James Taylor; as well as conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim; conductors Pierre Boulez, James Levine, Michael Tilson Thomas, and David Robertson; violinists Gidon Kremer, Anne-Sophie Mutter, and Christian Tetzlaff; cellist Yo-Yo Ma; pianists Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Leif Ove Andsnes, Martha Argerich, Emanuel Ax, Maurizio Pollini, Andras Schiff, Peter Serkin, and Mitsuko Uchida; sopranos Renée Fleming and Dawn Upshaw; mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato; bass-baritone Thomas Quasthoff; the Emerson String Quartet; the Kronos Quartet; and early music ensemble L’Arpeggiata. Other Perspectives artists in the 2015-2016 season are pianist Evgeny Kissin and singer / songwriter Rosanne Cash.
1:00-1:05 PM – Welcome: Jeremy Geffen, Moderator
1:05-1:55 PM — Keynote Address: Professor Thomas Forrest Kelly, Speaker
1:55-2:05 PM — Break
2:05-2:55 PM — Performance
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 4 in B-flat Major, Op. 60 (arr. Franz Liszt for solo piano)
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21 (arr. Franz Liszt for solo piano)
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, “Eroica,” Op. 55 (arr. Ferdinand Lukas Schubert for piano, four hands)
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67 (arr. Wilhelm Meves for piano, four hands)
2:55-3:20 PM — Break
3:20-4:05 PM — Dramatic Reading: Actors to be announced
4:05-4:15 PM — Break
4:15-5:00 PM — Panel Discussion with Berliner Philharmoniker musicians Ulrich Knörzer, Fergus McWilliam, and Peter Riegelbauer; Jeremy Geffen, Moderator
Tuesday, November 17 at 8:00 p.m.
Pre-concert talk starts at 7:00 p.m. in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage with Walter Frisch, Professor of Music, Columbia University.
Wednesday, November 18 at 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, November 19 at 8:00 p.m.
Pre-concert talk starts at 7:00 p.m. in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage with Elaine Sisman, Professor of Music, Columbia University.
Friday, November 20 at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 21 at 8:00 p.m.
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125
The Carnegie Hall presentations of the Berliner Philharmoniker are made possible by a leadership gift from Marina Kellen French and the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation.
Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.
Image of Sir Simon Rattle at top of release courtesy of Carnegie Hall