Milwaukee Symphony Presents ENIGMA VARIATIONS This Weekend
The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Edo de Waart present Enigma Variations this weekend, May 2-3, 2014 at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. The program includes Wagner's Siegfried Idyll, Mozart's Symphony No. 38 in D major, "Prague," and Elgar's "Enigma Variations."
Both concerts include Meet the Music, a free, interactive pre-concert discussion, held in Uihlein Hall at 10:15 a.m. on Friday and in Anello Atrium at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday. Friday's performance also includes a Pre-Concert Fashion Show at 10:15 a.m. in the Bradley Pavilion.
Wagner composed Siegfried Idyll in 1870 as a birthday gift to his wife, Cosima. The work is a subtle lullaby which contrasts the large, grandiose statements that Wagner so often composed. Cosima wrote, "When I woke up I heard a sound, it grew ever louder, I could no longer imagine myself in a dream, music was sounding, and what music!" The piece was the capstone to what Wagner described as the "greatest year of my life."
Mozart's Symphony No. 38 in D major, K. 504, "Prague," was composed in 1786. The piece premiered in Prague following the success of his opera, Le Nozze di Figaro. The symphony diverges from Mozart's other works in the genre in that it has three movements instead of four. The "Prague" immediately precedes Mozart's trio of final symphonies (Nos. 39, 40, and 41); however, it stands with them in representing the pinnacle of Viennese Classical style and Mozart's craft.
Elgar's Variations on an Original Theme, Opus 36, "Enigma Variations," was composed in 1898-99. After a long day of teaching, Elgar was improvising at the piano when one particular theme struck his wife, Alice. He proceeded to improvise variations in the character of various friends and acquaintances. Elgar turned this idea into his first major orchestral effort, completing the score to what he would call the "Enigma Variations" in early 1899. Elgar later described the genesis of his Enigma Variations as having "commenced in a spirit of humor and continued in deep seriousness."
ABOUT THE ARTIST
The 2013.14 season is Edo de Waart's fifth as the sixth music director of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. He is also chief conductor of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, artistic partner of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and conductor laureate of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra.
Guest conducting highlights include performances with the San Francisco Symphony, NHK Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Washington's National Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. As an opera conductor, Mr. de Waart has conducted at Nikikai Opera, Geneva Opera, Opera de Bastille, Santa Fe Opera, and The
Metropolitan Opera. Semi-staged and concert opera performances include Der Rosenkavalier (The Metropolitan Opera), Bluebeard's Castle (Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra), and The Rake's Progress (Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra). He regularly conducts an opera with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic as part of the Concertgebouw's Zaterdag Matinee series.
Edo de Waart's extensive catalogue encompasses releases for Philips, Virgin, EMI, Telarc, and RCA. With the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, he has recorded all the orchestral works of Rachmaninoff, the overtures of Wagner for Octavia/Exton, and a Wagner series for Challenge Classics.
Born in Holland, he studied oboe, piano, and conducting at the Music Lyceum in Amsterdam and upon graduating took up the position of associate principal oboe of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Two years later, at the age of 23, he won the Dimitri Mitropoulos Conducting Competition in New York which resulted in his appointment as assistant conductor to Leonard Bernstein at the New York Philharmonic. On his return to Holland, he was appointed assistant conductor to Bernard Haitink at the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. In 1967, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra appointed him guest conductor and, six years later, chief conductor and artistic director. Since then, Edo de Waart has also been music director of the San Francisco Symphony and Minnesota Orchestra, chief conductor and artistic director of the Sydney Symphony, and chief conductor of De Nederlandse Opera. In December 2004, he was made a Knight in the Order of the Dutch Lion, and in 2005, he was appointed an Honorary Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia.
ABOUT THE PERFORMANCE
Edo de Waart, conductor
Tickets range from $25-$105. For more information, please call 414.291.7605 or visit mso.org. Tickets may also be purchased through the Marcus Center Box Office at 414.273.7206.
The 2013.14 Classics Series is presented by UPAF. Friday Classics Series is sponsored by Chase. Saturday Classics Series is sponsored by Rockwell Automation.
ABOUT THE MSO
Ranked among the top orchestras in the country, the MSO is the largest cultural institution in Wisconsin. Since its inception in 1959, the orchestra has received critical acclaim for artistic excellence. The orchestra's full-time professional musicians perform more than 135 concerts each season. A cornerstone organization in Milwaukee's arts community, the MSO provides enrichment and education activities for audiences of every age, economic status, and background.