Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos Conducts New York Philharmonic in Carmina Burana, Atlantida, 5/31-6/2
Spanish conductor Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos returns to the New York Philharmonic to conduct music from two secular cantatas: selections from Falla's Atlantida, and Orff's complete Carmina burana - which the Orchestra has not performed since 1995 - Thursday, May 31, 2012, at 7:30 p.m., Friday, June 1, at 8:00 p.m., and Saturday, June 2, at 8:00 p.m. The international cast that Mr. Fruhbeck has assembled for these performances features American soprano Erin Morley, American tenor Nicholas Phan (in his Philharmonic debut), South African baritone Jacques Imbrailo (debut), the Spanish chorus Orpheo?n Pamplone?s, Igor Ijurra Ferna?ndez, director (debut), and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Dianne Berkun, director.
The program features works by two composers who together reflect both sides of Mr. Fruhbeck's heritage: he was born in Spain, the homeland of Manuel De Falla (whose music is a specialty of this conductor), and his father's family hailed from Germany, where Carl Orff lived. Atlantida explores Spanish national mythologies, while Carmina burana sets 24 medieval poems on eternal subjects such as the fickleness of fate and the pleasures of Spring, food, drink, and lust. Although composed at roughly the same time, these compositions have had very different histories, with Orff's being so popular as to have become a mainstay of film and commercial sound tracks while Falla's is rarely performed - in fact, these concerts mark the first time that the Philharmonic has ever performed music from Atlantida.
Pre-Concert Talks are $7; discounts available for multiple concerts, students, and groups. They take place one hour before each performance in the Helen Hull Room, unless otherwise noted. Attendance is limited to 90 people. Information: nyphil.org or (212) 875-5656.
On the Music: The New York Philharmonic Podcast New York Philharmonic Audio Producer Mark Travis is the producer and host of this program. Formerly with the WFMT Radio Network, he is the producer of the 52- week-per-year nationally and internationally syndicated radio series, The New York Philharmonic This Week. These award-winning previews of upcoming programs - through musical selections as well as interviews with guest artists, conductors, and Orchestra musicians - are available at nyphil.org/podcast and from iTunes.
This program will be broadcast the week of June 25, 2012,* on The New York Philharmonic This Week, a radio concert series syndicated weekly to more than 300 stations nationally, and to 122 outlets internationally, by the WFMT Radio Network. The 52-week series, hosted by actor Alec Baldwin, is generously underwritten by The Kaplen Foundation, the Audrey Love Charitable Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Philharmonic's corporate partner, MetLife Foundation. The broadcast will be available on the Philharmonic's Website, nyphil.org. The program is broadcast locally in the New York metropolitan area on 105.9 FM WQXR on Thursdays at 9:00 p.m. *Check local listings for broadcast and program information.
A regular guest with North America's top orchestras, Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos is returning to the New York Philharmonic for the fourth time since 2005. This season he also conducts the Cincinnati, Boston, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Montreal symphony orchestras, The Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He appears regularly with the National, Chicago, and Toronto symphony orchestras, and at the Tanglewood Music Festival.
Born in Burgos, Spain, in 1933, Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos studied violin, piano, music theory, and composition at the conservatories in Bilbao and Madrid, and conducting at Munich's Hochschule fu?r Musik, where he graduated summa cum laude and was awarded the Richard Strauss Prize. From 2004 to 2011 he was chief conductor and artistic director of the Dresden Philharmonic, and in the 2012–13 season will begin his post as chief conductor of the Danish National Orchestra.
Mr. Fruhbeck has toured extensively with such ensembles as the Philharmonia of London, London Symphony Orchestra, National Orchestra of Madrid, and Swedish Radio Orchestra. He has toured North America with the Vienna Symphony, Spanish National Orchestra, and Dresden Philharmonic. He has recorded extensively for EMI, Decca, Deutsche Gramophone, Spanish Columbia, and Orfeo. Several of his recordings are considered to be classics, including his interpretations of Mendelssohn's Elijah and St. Paul, Mozart's Requiem, Orff's Carmina burana, Bizet's Carmen, and the complete works of Manual de Falla.
Named Conductor of the Year by Musical America in 2011, Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos has been awarded numerous other honors and distinctions, including the Gold Medal of the City of Vienna, Bundesverdienstkreutz of the Republic of Austria and Germany, Gold Medal from the Gustav Mahler International Society, and Jacinto Guerrero Prize, Spain's most important musical award; he has received an honorary doctorate from the University of Navarra in Spain. In 1998 Mr. Fruhbeck was named emeritus conductor of the Spanish National Orchestra. Since 1975 he has been a member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando.
This season soprano Erin Morley - a graduate of The Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program - returns to her home company, The Met, for the Ring cycle, in which she is singing Woglinde in Wagner's Das Rheingold and Go?tterda?mmerung and the Forest Bird in Siegfried. She also returns to Santa Fe Opera as Roxana in Szymanowski's King Roger. She performs Bach cantatas with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and is joined by pianist Vlad Iftinca in recitals for Salt Lake City's Virtuoso Series and at Carnegie Hall's Weill Hall. Future engagements include leading roles at The Met, Ope?ra National de Paris, Vienna Staatsoper, and the Bavarian Staatsoper.
Ms. Morley's recent roles engagements include Mozart's The Magic Flute with Santa Fe Opera (as The Queen of the Night); Brahms's A German Requiem with James Bagwell and The Collegiate Chorale at Carnegie Hall; and Satie's Socrate with James Levine and the Met Chamber Ensemble in Carnegie's Zankel Hall (as Phe?don). Her concert appearances as soloist have included the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke's, Utah Symphony, Salt Lake Symphony, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Utah Chamber Artists, and Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as engagements in China and Italy.
A native of Salt Lake City, Erin Morley completed her artist diploma at The Juilliard Opera Center in 2007, and was a recipient of the Florence and Paul DeRosa Prize. She earned her master of music degree from Juilliard, and received her bachelor of music degree from the Eastman School of Music. She won first place in the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation Competition in 2006, and third place in the Wigmore Hall International Song Competition in 2009. She made her Philharmonic debut on October 14, 2006, in a Young People's Concert conducted by Delta David Gier, and appeared in the Orchestra's production of Camelot in May 2008, conducted Paul Gemignani.
American tenor Nicholas Phan began the 2011–12 season with performances of Lurcanio in Handel's Ariodante with Il Complesso Barocco in Turin and Bucharest, followed by his Los Angeles Philharmonic debut in Mozart's Requiem. Other highlights include performances with the Baltimore, St. Louis, and National symphony orchestras; a concert tour of Ariodante that included stops at Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, Vienna's Theater an der Wien, and the Auditorio Nacional in Madrid; a solo recital for the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society; and a return to the Atlanta Opera as Don Ottavio in Mozart's Don Giovanni. He also returns twice to Carnegie Hall in the season, for Bach's Magnificat with Robert Spano and the Orchestra of St. Luke's, and for Bach's St. John Passion with Bernard Labadie and Les Violons du Roy.
An avid proponent of vocal chamber music, Mr. Phan has collaborated with pianists Mitsuko Uchida, Richard Goode, and Cecile Licad, as well as Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Horn Jennifer Montone, among others. He is also the artistic director of the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago, a Chicago-based organization devoted to promoting the teaching, performance, and development of vocal chamber music repertoire. Mr. Phan's first solo album, Winter Words, was released in the fall of 2011 by AVIE. His growing discography includes the Grammy-nominated recording of Stravinsky's Pulcinella with Pierre Boulez and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO Resound) and the world premiere recording of Evan Chambers's orchestral song cycle The Old Burying Ground (Dorian).
A graduate of the University of Michigan, Nicholas Phan also studied at the Manhattan School of Music and the Aspen Music Festival and School, and is an alumnus of the Houston Grand Opera Studio and the Glimmerglass Opera Young American Artists Program. This performance marks his New York Philharmonic debut.
Winner of the Audience Prize at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World, South African baritone Jacques Imbrailo was a member of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in which he sang leading roles in two Britten operas: the title character in Owen Wingrave, and Demetrius in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Recent opera engagements include Figaro in Rossini's The Barber of Seville (at Welsh National Opera), The Count in The Marriage of Figaro (Welsh National Opera and Covent Garden), Malatesta in Donizetti's Don Pasquale (Covent Garden), Guglielmo in Mozart's Cosi? fan tutte (Opera Colorado and Opera North), Schaunard in Puccini's La bohe?me (Covent Garden), and a reprise of Britten's Billy Budd (de Nederlandse Opera).
Mr. Imbrailo made his Glyndebourne Festival debut in 2010 in the title role of Billy Budd in Michael Grandage's new production, conducted by Sir Mark Elder. His oratorio performances have included Bach's St. John Passion, Handel's Messiah, Brahms's A German Requiem, Faure?'s Requiem, and Durufle?'s Requiem. He has given solo Lieder recitals at London's Wigmore Hall and St. John's Smith Square, and performed in concert at the Verbier Festival, Royal Albert Hall, and South Bank Centre.
His upcoming roles include Tarquinius in Britten's The Rape of Lucretia (Houston Grand Opera), Christ in Elgar's The Apostles (The Halle?), Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte (Welsh National Opera), Il Barone di Trombonok in Il viaggio a Reims (Covent Garden), Dandini in Rossini's La cenerentola (Welsh National Opera), and Simon in Miss Fortune, Judith Weir's new commission for Covent Garden.
Orfeo?n Pamplone?s, founded in 1865, is one of Europe's most prestigious choral institutions, and has given the Spanish debuts of works such as Beethoven's Missa solemnis and J.S. Bach's B-minor Mass. The choral society was the first in Spain to incorporate women, with the establishment in 1903 of a female choir that performed at the wedding of King Alfonso XIII. Distinguished names who have accompanied the Orfeo?n over the years range from Ravel, Saint-Sae?ns, and Atau?lfo Argenta to Michel Plasson, Alain Lombard, Vale?ry Gergiev, Vladimir Spivakov, Lorin Maazel, Oleg Caetani, Riccardo Frizza, Sylvain Cambreling, Georges Pre?tre, Miguel A?ngel Go?mez Marti?nez, and Juanjo Mena.
In the last five years, the society has performed major works of the symphonic-choral repertoire in Spain, France, Portugal, Holland, Germany, and Mexico. The repertoire has included Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Missa solemnis; Brahms's A German Requiem; the Requiems of Verdi, Mozart, and Berlioz; Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 2, Lobgesang, and Elijah; Mahler's Symphonies Nos. 2, 3, and 8; Orff's Carmina burana; Bruckner's Mass in F minor; Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky; and Haydn's Creation.
The Orfeo?n Pamplone?s has also participated in the performances of operas such as Puccini's La bohe?me, with soprano Ainhoa Arteta, and Rossini's La donna del lago, with tenor Juan Diego Flo?rez; as well as in special projects including Berlioz's The Damnation of Faust and Carmina burana, both with the theatrical group La Fura dels Baus. The Carmina burana project, which was premiered in 2009, is touring internationally through 2014.
The Brooklyn Youth Chorus (BYC) was launched in 1992 with the idea of creating a community based chorus that would excel in repertoire as varied as the backgrounds of its singers. The BYC's growing reputation has taken it from the White House to Lincoln Center, from Madison Square Garden to Radio City Music Hall, across 12 states and overseas to Russia, the United Kingdom, Austria, Canada, and Germany. The group has performed with the New York, Los Angeles, and Brooklyn philharmonic orchestras; Lou Reed, Judy Collins, Andrea Boccelli, Sir Elton John, John Legend, and Ray Davies; under the batons of Marin Alsop, Charles Dutoit, Valery Gergiev, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Robert Spano; and alongside the Mark Morris and Wally Cardona dance companies. It has recorded with Grizzly Bear, Talib Kweli, Holy Ghost, and Laurie Berkner, and sang on the Philip Glass sound track for the film Undertow.
The BYC made its New York Philharmonic debut in 2002 in the world premiere of John Adams's On the Transmigration of Souls, a performance captured in the live, Grammy Award-winning recording. It last appeared with the Philharmonic in June 2009, performing in Mahler's Symphony No. 8, conducted by then Music Director Lorin Maazel.
Repertoire Manuel De Falla considered Atlantida his masterpiece, the crowning glory of his career as a composer. The scenic cantata - which he hoped would "glorify the immortality of Spain through music" - would occupy him for two decades, although it remained unfinished at the end of his life (to be completed by Ernesto Halifter, a composer and student of Falla). Atlantida is a massively conceived, richly imagined story of Spain, Catholicism, and the mythic lost continent of Atlantis. Based on a text by the Catalan poet Jacint Verdaguer, it tells the story of the lost continent, which was punished for its sins by being submerged under the Atlantic Ocean, thus separating Spain from the New World; Spain's destiny was to take Christianity there, and thereby bring about the reemergence of Atlantis. Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos, a fervent advocate of Falla (having recorded the composer's complete works) is leading the New York Philharmonic's first performances of any music from this virtually unknown musical epic.
Carl Orff's Carmina burana was an instant success following its premiere at the Frankfurt Opera in June 1937. The composer set 24 poems from a medieval collection of poems and dramatic texts, as they appeared in an edition published by Munich Court Librarian JohAnn Andreas Schemeller in 1847. Schemeller gave the collection the name Carmina burana, which is translated as "Songs from Beuern," a variant of the German name for Bavaria. The text became known to American readers through the 1884 translation Wine, Women, and Song. Orff himself felt the momentum of the work, telling his publisher Shott after its premiere, "Everything I have written to date, and which you have, unfortunately, printed, can be destroyed. With Carmina burana my collected works begin." The New York Philharmonic first performed the work in August 1960 under the direction of AlFred Wallenstein; the most recent performances were in December 1995, conducted by then Music Director Kurt Masur.
Tickets for these concerts start at $45. Tickets for Open Rehearsals are $18. Pre-Concert Talks are $7; discounts are available for multiple concerts, students, and groups (visit nyphil.org/preconcert for more information). All other tickets may be purchased online at nyphil.org or by calling (212) 875-5656, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets may also be purchased at the Avery Fisher Hall Box Office or the Alice Tully Hall Box Office at Lincoln Center, Broadway at 65th Street. The Box Office opens at 10:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and at noon on Sunday. On performance evenings, the Box Office closes one-half hour after performance time; other evenings it closes at 6:00 p.m. A limited number of $12.50 tickets for select concerts may be available through the Internet for students within 10 days of the performance, or in person the day of. Valid identification is required. To determine ticket availability, call the Philharmonic's Customer Relations Department at (212) 875-5656.
Photo credit: Chris Lee