Munich Philharmonic and Lorin Maazel to Perform Richard Strauss Programs 4/11-12 at Carnegie Hall
This April, Lorin Maazel conducts the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra in two concerts of works by Richard Strauss at Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage. On Friday, April 11 at 8:00 p.m., the orchestra performs Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30, and Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche, Op. 28, and is joined by pianist Emanuel Ax for Burleske. The following evening, Saturday, April 12 at 8:00 p.m., soprano Karita Mattila sings the composer's Four Last Songs. Also on the program is Ein Heldenleben, Op. 40, and the Der Rosenkavalier Suite. The Munich Philharmonic Orchestra last performed at Carnegie Hall in 2002.
About the Artists
Pianist Emanuel Ax first captured public attention in 1974 after winning the first Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Tel Aviv. In 1975, he won the Michaels Award of Young Concert Artists, and, four years later, the coveted Avery Fisher Prize. Mr. Ax has released a long list of critically-acclaimed recordings, receiving Grammy Awards for the second and third volumes of his cycle of Haydn's piano sonatas. He has also made a series of Grammy Award-winning recordings with cellist Yo-Yo Ma of the Beethoven and Brahms sonatas for cello and piano. A champion of 20th-century composers, Mr. Ax has premiered works by John Adams, Christopher Rouse, Krzysztof Penderecki, Bright Sheng, and Melinda Wagner. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and holds honorary doctorates of music from Yale and Columbia universities. This season at Carnegie Hall, Mr. Ax has presented a three-concert retrospective focusing on the music of Brahms played alongside new works, all co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall, including performances with mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter and longtime friend and collaborator cellist Yo-Yo Ma. The final concert in the series features the pianist in a solo recital, on Thursday, May 15 at 8:00 p.m. on a program which includes Brahms's Piano Sonata No. 2 in F-sharp Minor, Klavierstücke, and Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, alongside New York premieres of Carnegie Hall co-commissions by Brett Dean and Missy Mazzoli. To conclude this season, he travels to Hong Kong and Australia for a complete cycle of Beethoven concerti with incoming Chief Conductor David Robertson in Sydney, and Sir Andrew Davis in Melbourne.
Karita Mattila is one of today's most exciting lyric dramatic sopranos, recognized for the beauty and versatility of her voice, as well as for her extraordinary stage ability. She sings in all the world's major opera houses and festivals, and has performed with the world's greatest conductors, including James Levine, Claudio Abbado, Sir Colin Davis, Christoph von Dohnányi, Bernard Haitink, Antonio Pappano, Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Wolfgang Sawallisch. Ms. Mattila's innate sense of drama has led to remarkable collaborations with major stage directors, including Luc Bondy in his highly acclaimed Don Carlos; Lev Dodin in his productions of Elektra, PiqueDame, and Salome; Peter Stein for his Simon Boccanegra in Salzburg and Don Giovanni in Chicago; and Jürgen Flimm for his Fidelio in New York. She is an influential artistic force in the development of new music, regularly collaborating with eminent contemporary composers in debut performances of significant modern works including the world premiere of Kaija Saariaho's Émilie at the Opéra de Lyon. Ms. Mattila has many recordings on the Phillips, EMI, Sony, DG, and Ondine labels. Her 40th birthday concert was released on disc by the Ondine label. Throughout her distinguished career, Ms. Mattila has garnered numerous awards and prizes. In 2005, she was named Musical America's Musician of the Year, one of the most prestigious honors paid to classical artists in the US. In 2003, she was awarded one of France's highest cultural honors, the Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
For over five decades, Lorin Maazel has been one of the world's most esteemed and sought-after conductors. He was music director of the New York Philharmonic from 2002-2009; he assumed the same post with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra at the start of the 2012-2013 season. He is also the founder and artistic director of a festival based at his farm property in Virginia, the Castleton Festival, launched to exceptional acclaim in 2009. Over the past twelve years, Mr. Maazel has also come into prominence as a composer with a widely varied catalogue of works. His first opera, 1984, based on the literary masterwork by George Orwell, was given its world premiere in May of 2005 at London's Royal Opera House Covent Garden. Mr. Maazel has stood on the podiums of more than 150 different orchestras in no less than 5,000 concert and operatic performances andhas conducted over 300 recordings. In 1956, Mr. Maazel became artistic director and chief conductor of the Deutsche Oper Berlin. There followed positions as Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra (1972-1982) and Chief Conductor of the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks (1993-2002). Sixty years after his debut with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Mr. Maazel was appointed the successor to Kurt Masur as Music Director of this orchestra in September of 2002. Lorin Maazel is an Honorary Member of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra as well as the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, with which he has conducted the New Year's Concert eleven times, and has received the Hans von Bülow Medal from the Berliner Philharmoniker.
The Munich Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 1893 through the private initiative of Franz Kaim, the son of a piano manufacturer. In the orchestra's earliest years-initially under the name Kaim Orchestra-conductors like Hans Winderstein, Hermann Zumpe, and the Bruckner pupil Ferdinand Löwe guaranteed both a high technical standard of performance and enthusiastic support of contemporary artistry. Gustav Mahler directed the orchestra in 1901 and 1910 at the respective world premieres of his Fourth and Eighth Symphonies. In November 1911, the orchestra, then called the Konzertverein Orchestra performed the world premiere of Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde ("The Song of the Earth") under Bruno Walter's direction-only six months after the composer's death in Vienna. From 1908 to 1914, Ferdinand Löwe again took over the orchestra. In the wake of a triumphant guest appearance in Vienna on March 1, 1898 featuring Anton Bruckner's Fifth Symphony, he conducted the first large-scale Bruckner concerts and thereby founded the orchestra's Bruckner tradition, which has continued unbroken to the present day. During the administration of Siegmund von Hausegger, who guided the orchestra as its General Music Director from 1920 to 1938, the world premieres of two Bruckner symphonies in their original versions took place as well as the final, definitive change of the orchestra's name to Munich Philharmonic Orchestra.
From 1999 until 2004, James Levine was chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra. With him, the orchestra undertook extended concert tours. After a grand European tour in the winter of 2000, it made a guest appearance with James Levine in February 2002 at New York's Carnegie Hall. In the summer of 2002, they made their joint debut at the BBC Proms in London. In the spring of 2003, the Munich Philharmonic was awarded the prize for the "Best Concert Programming of the 2002-2003 Season" by the Society of German Music Publishers.
As of the 2012-2103 season, Lorin Maazel has assumed the post of music director of the Munich Philharmonic for a three-year period. From 2015-2016 on, Valery Gergiev will be the music director of the orchestra.