Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to Open 2014-15 Season with Beethoven's Violin Concerto, 9/18-21
Music Director Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) kick off the 2014-2015 concert season with Beethoven's Violin Concerto and Mahler's Fourth Symphony on Thursday, September 18 at 8 p.m. at The Music Center at Strathmore, and Friday, September 19 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, September 21 at 3 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Baltimore native and Grammy award-winning violinist Hilary Hahn joins the BSO to perform Beethoven's Violin Concerto, which is widely considered the pinnacle of the violin literature. Also on the program is Mahler's Fourth Symphony, for which soprano Tamara Wilson will join the BSO for its final movement, "Das himmlische Leben." Please see below for complete program details.
Baltimore's Hilary Hahn, who made her orchestral debut with the BSO in 1991 at age 12, returns to perform one of her signature concertos: Beethoven's majestic Violin Concerto. Hahn made one of the most highly lauded recordings of this concerto with the BSO and then Music Director David Zinman in 1999, which was nominated for a Grammy (Best Instrumental Soloist Performance with Orchestra).
Throughout the 2014-2015 season, the BSO explores themes of spirituality and transcendence in eight programs. The first of these programs of the upcoming season is Mahler's Symphony No. 4. Incorporating a German lullaby, "Das himmlische Leben," the final movement of Mahler's Fourth presents a child's vision of Heaven. Composed shortly after the death of his young daughter, this work is considered to be one of Mahler's most metaphysical, and attempts to articulate the existence of God and the afterlife through the eyes of a child. One of the most lightly scored, the musical texture tends to be light and serene, with some playful moments, which attempt to articulate the hope that a father can find solace after tragedy.
Marin Alsop is an inspiring and powerful voice in the international music scene, a music director of vision and distinction who passionately believes that "music has the power to change lives." She is recognized across the world for her innovative approach to programming and for her deep commitment to education and to the development of audiences of all ages.
Marin Alsop made history with her appointment as the 12th music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO). With her inaugural concerts in September 2007, she became the first woman to head a major American orchestra. Her success as the BSO's music director has garnered national and international attention for her innovative programming and artistry. Her success was recognized when, in 2013, her tenure was extended to the 2020-2021 season.
Alsop took up the post of principal conductor of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra in 2012, and became music director in July 2013. There, she steers the orchestra in its artistic and creative programming, recording ventures and its education and outreach activities. She also holds the title of conductor emeritus at the Bournemouth Symphony in the United Kingdom, where she served as the principal conductor from 2002-2008.
In the summer of 2014, Maestra Alsop served her 23rd season as music director of the acclaimed Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in California. In September 2013, she made history as the first female conductor of the BBC's Last Night of the Proms in London. When Musical America named Maestra Alsop the 2009 Conductor of the Year, they commented, "[Marin Alsop] connects to the public as few conductors today can."
In the two decades since her professional debut, Hilary Hahn has followed her passion for adventurous programming, delving into core repertoire, contemporary music and less familiar classic compositions with equal commitment; and bringing virtuosity, expansive interpretations and daring repertoire choices to global audiences.
Hahn took her first lessons shortly before her fourth birthday. When she was five years old, she met Klara Berkovich, with whom she studied until being admitted to the Curtis Institute of Music at age 10. There, Hahn was a pupil of Jascha Brodsky. She completed her university requirements at Curtis at 16, having already made her solo debuts with the Baltimore and Pittsburgh symphony orchestras, the Philadelphia and Cleveland orchestras, and the New York Philharmonic. By the time she received her bachelor's degree, she was a full-time touring musician. Hahn's ever-evolving approach to music-making and her curiosity about the world have made her a fan favorite.
In the 2014-2015 opera season, Tamara Wilson makes her role and house debut as the title role in Norma at the Gran Teatre del Liceu; she returns to Oper Frankfurt for her first performances as the Empress in Die Frau ohne Schatten and for concert performances as Helena in Die Aegyptsiche Helena. In concert, she returns to the Ravinia Festival as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni under James Conlon and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a role she also debuts with Edo de Waart and the Milwaukee Symphony. Additionally, Ms. Wilson debuts with the National Symphony in Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 2 and returns to the Baltimore Symphony in Mahler's Symphony No. 4 with Marin Alsop.
An alumna of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, Ms. Wilson's awards include the George London Award from the George London Foundation, as well as both a career grant in 2011 and study grant in 2008 from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation. Other notable awards include first place in the 2005 Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers in Houston and finalist in the 2004 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, among others. In addition to her operatic and orchestral performances, Ms. Wilson is an avid lecturer of vocal technique. She has been a guest master class lecturer for the National Pastoral Musicians in the Chicago area. Ms. Wilson received her degree at the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music.