Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Presents SCHUBERT'S SIXTH, 11/22-11/24
MILWAUKEE, WIS. 10/29/2013 -The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra presents Schubert's Sixth on November 22-24, 2013 at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. Led by guest conductor Hans Graf, the performances feature the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus, Lee Erickson, director, in Schubert's Mass No. 6 in E-flat major, D. 950 and Mozart's Symphony No. 39 in E-flat major, K. 543. Featured soloists
include soprano Joe?lle Harvey, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Rivera, tenor Marc Molomot, tenor Sean Panikkar, and baritone Tyler Duncan.
All concerts include Meet the Music, a free, interactive pre-concert discussion held in the Anello Atrium, beginning at 7:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Mozart's Symphony No. 39 in E-flat major, K. 543, was one of the composer's final three symphonies. It remains unclear whether the composer ever heard Symphony No. 39 performed in his lifetime. Of the three last symphonies, the E -flat major remains the most elusive and the least performed. The Symphony begins with a regal introduction and transitions through sweetness and darkness until it ends in a moment of suspense.
Schubert's Mass No. 6 in E-flat major, D. 950, was composed in 1828 as his sixth and final setting of the Roman Catholic Mass. Details surrounding the circumstances of the composition of the E-flat Mass remain murky, though it is clear that the piece was intended for the Church of the Holy Trinity in the Viennese suburb of Alsergrund. Schubert wrote the work as his health began deteriorating. Unlike earlier works, he writes robustly for the chorus and sparingly for the soloists and gives the orchestration a darker and more burnished hue.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Hans Graf, known for his wide range of repertoire and creative programming, is one of today's most highly respected musicians. Appointed music director of the Houston Symphony in 2001, Mr. Graf concluded his tenure in May 2013 and is the longest serving music director in the orchestra's history. He currently holds the title of conductor laureate. Prior to his appointment in Houston, he was the music director of the Calgary Philharmonic for eight seasons and held the same post with the Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine for six years. He also led the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra from 1984 to 1994. Graf is a frequent guest with all of the major North American orchestras. His recent and upcoming guest engagements include appearances with the Cleveland and Philadelphia orchestras, the New York and Los Angeles philharmonics, the Boston, San Francisco, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Detroit, Dallas, Baltimore, Vancouver, Milwaukee, and National symphonies and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra,
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among others. Mr. Graf made his Carnegie Hall debut with the Houston Symphony in January 2006 and returned to Carnegie leading the Orchestra of St. Luke's in March 2007. He is a professor of orchestral conducting at the University Mozarteum Salzburg.
Milwaukee Symphony Chorus, directed by Lee Erickson, has become one of the finest symphony choruses in the country. Founded in 1976 by Margaret Hawkins at the request of the MSO's second music director, Kenneth Schermerhorn, the MSO Chorus's 150 volunteer members are dedicated to artistic excellence and performances of the highest caliber. Under Lee Erickson's dynamic leadership, the Chorus performs with the MSO throughout each season and also performs regularly at Ravinia with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In addition, the chorus is featured on many of the MSO's recordings, including the current MSO Classics digital series. The 2013.14 season includes performances of Ravel's Daphnis et Chloe?, Schubert's Mass No. 6, and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Chamber groups from the chorus also perform Handel's Messiah in December. The 2012.13 season included performances of John Adams's On the Transmigration of Souls, Rachmaninoff's The Bells, and Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius, as well as a Pops concert of Gershwin favorites.
Lee Erickson, holder of the Margaret Hawkins Chorus Director Chair, has a passion for choral music which shines through every performance. Known for his tireless pursuit of excellence, the standards he sets for tone, precision, diction, and artistry of the ensemble have garnered respect among the conductors, soloists, and composers who have worked with the Chorus. Mr. Erickson was appointed associate director of the Chorus in 1978 and assumed the position of director in 1994 (after founder Margaret Hawkins's death in 1993). He has served on the Choral Panel of the National Endowment for the Arts, is a past dean of the American Guild of Organists, and is music director at St. Anthony's Church in Milwaukee. In 2008, Mr. Erickson was honored by the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music for his musical contribution to the greater Milwaukee community, and he was named as one of the 2007 Artists of the Year by the City of Milwaukee Arts Board. In 2011, Mr. Erickson received the 2011 Distinguished Citizen - Professional in Arts Award from the Civic Music Association of Milwaukee.
Joe?lle Harvey is quickly becoming recognized as one of the most promising young talents of her generation. She is the recipient of a 2011 First Prize Award from the Gerda Lissner Foundation, a 2009 Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation, and a 2010 Encouragement Award from the George London Foundation. Most recently, Harvey debuted with Glyndebourne Festival Opera in a revival of Jonathan Kent's acclaimed production of The Fairy Queen. She also performed Bach's B minor Mass with the English Concert at the BBC Proms and in Leipzig. Future seasons will include her debut with the Royal Opera in London, further performances with the Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Touring Company, and the Dallas Opera, as well as on the concert stage with The Handel & Haydn Society, New York Philharmonic, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and the Kansas City Symphony. Harvey received her bachelor's and master's degrees in vocal performance at College- Conservatory of Music, and she continues to study with CCM professor Karen Lykes.