CSO to Perform Final Works of Mozart & Strauss, 4/11-12

CSO to Perform Final Works of Mozart & Strauss, 4/11-12

On this special Easter-season program, the CSO and Music Director Jean-Marie Zeitouni will show how two great composers concluded their careers and bid farewell to earthly life. In the Requiem that 35-year-old Mozart left unfinished, he offered a compelling mixture of beauty, anguish, majesty, and drama. At 84, Richard Strauss looked back over a long, brilliant career in the achingly nostalgic Four Last Songs. Program will also feature guest soprano Susan Gritton and the Columbus Symphony Chorus, as well as a performance of Wagner's Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde.

The Columbus Symphony presents Mozart & Strauss at the Ohio Theatre (39 E. State St.) on Friday and Saturday, April 11 and 12, at 8pm. Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.), all Ticketmaster outlets, and www.ticketmaster.com. To purchase tickets by phone, please call (614) 228-8600 or (800) 745-3000. The CAPA Ticket Center will also be open two hours prior to each performance. Young people between the ages of 13-25 may purchase $5 PNC Arts Alive All Access tickets while available. For more information, visit www.GoFor5.com.

The 2013-14 Masterworks Series is made possible through the generous support of season sponsors Anne and Noel Melvin.

Jean-Marie Zeitouni, music director of the Columbus Symphony and principal conductor and artistic director of I Musici de Montréal, has emerged as one of Canada's brightest young conductors whose eloquent yet fiery style results in regular re-engagements across North America. Also enjoying an association with Les Violons du Roy that goes back many years, first as conductor-in-residence, then as associate conductor, and since 2008, as principal guest conductor, he has led the ensemble in more than 200 performances in the province of Québec, across Canada, and in Mexico. In 2006, he recorded his first album with Les Violons du Roy entitled Piazzolla which received a 2007 JUNO Award for Classical Album of the Year in the category Solo or Chamber Ensemble. They also have two subsequent recordings-Bartok (2008) and Britten (2010).

Winner of the 1994 Kathleen Ferrier Memorial Prize, Susan Gritton read botany at Oxford and London Universities before embarking on a singing career. She is one of the most accomplished lyric sopranos of her generation, acclaimed for her versatility in music ranging from Handel and Mozart to Strauss, Berg, and Britten. Her recent successes on the opera stage include Ellen Orford Peter Grimes (La Scala & Opera Australia); Blanche Dialogues des Carmélites (Bayerische Staatsoper); Countess Madeleine Capriccio (Grange Park); Micäela Carmen and Liù Turandot (Covent Garden); Governess The Turn of the Screw (Aldeburgh); Fiordiligi Così fan tutte (Bayerische Staatsoper & New York's Mostly Mozart Festival); Donna Anna Don Giovanni (Bolshoi & Opéra de Montreal); Elettra Idomeneo (Netherlands Opera) and Konstanze Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Deutsche Staatsoper & Bayerische Staatsoper). Title roles include Theodora (Glyndebourne); Rodelinda (Bayerische Staatsoper); The Bartered Bride (Covent Garden); and The Cunning Little Vixen (ENO). She has also sung in innovative staged performances of Sibelius' Luonnotar in London; Honegger's Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher in Rome and Handel's Messiah in Vienna.

Wagner was a German composer, theatre director, polemicist, and conductor who is primarily known for his operas. Unlike most opera composers, Wagner wrote both the libretto and the music for each of his stage works. His compositions, particularly those of his later period, are notable for their complex textures, rich harmonies and orchestration, and the elaborate use of leitmotifs-musical phrases associated with individual characters, places, ideas, or plot elements. Composed between 1857 and 1859, Wagner's opera Tristan und Isolde premiered in Munich on June 10, 1865. It was inexorably influential among Western classical composers and provided direct inspiration to composers such as Mahler, Strauss, Szymanowski, Berg, Schönberg, and Britten. Many see Tristan as the beginning of the move away from common practice harmony and tonality and consider that it lays the groundwork for the direction of classical music in the 20th century.

Photo Courtesy of Askonas Holt