The Columbus Symphony To Perform Brahms' Requiem

The Columbus Symphony To Perform Brahms' RequiemBrahms' A German Requiem is a work that surpasses religious context to convey peace and hope through the power of music. Conducted by CSO Music Director Rossen Milanov and featuring guest vocalists Abigail Rethwisch and Jarrett Ott, as well as the Columbus Symphony Chorus, this program pairs the music of Brahms with Leino Songs, a mystical song cycle by Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho.

The Columbus Symphony presents Brahms: Requiem at the Ohio Theatre (39 E. State St.) on Friday and Saturday, March 23 and 24, at 8pm. Tickets start at $10 and can be purchased at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.), all Ticketmaster outlets, and To purchase tickets by phone, please call (614) 469-0939 or (800) 745-3000. The CAPA Ticket Center will also be open two hours prior to each performance.

Prelude - As part of the CSO's Subject Matter lecture series, Professor Jeremy Glazier from The Ohio State University's Department of English, will preface the evening's program with a lecture titled Poetry in Music.

Postlude - Directly following the performance, patrons are invited to stay in the auditorium and enjoy a talk back with the evening's artists.

In collaboration with the Columbus Museum of Art (CMA), this lecture will focus on two of modern art's greatest women artists, Mary Cassatt and Georgia O'Keefe, offering a study in contrasts and stories of persistence in male-dominated art worlds. The event will conclude with a chamber music performance by CSO musicians. Tickets are $5 for CMA members or $20 for non-members (which also includes admission to the museum) and can be purchased by calling CMA at 614.629.0359.

Respected and admired by audiences and musicians alike, Rossen Milanov is currently the Music Director of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Princeton Symphony Orchestra, and the Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias in Spain.

Milanov has established himself as a conductor with considerable national and international presence. He has appeared with the symphonies of Colorado, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Baltimore, Seattle, and Fort Worth, as well as the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall "Link Up" education projects with Chicago's Orchestra of St. Luke's and Civic Orchestra.

Internationally, Milanov has collaborated with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra de la Suisse Romand, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Aalborg, Latvian, and Hungarian National Symphony Orchestras. He has also conducted orchestras in Toronto, Vancouver, Mexico, Colombia, Sao Paolo, Belo Horizonte, New Zealand, and the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic in South Africa. In the Far East, he has appeared with the symphonies of NHK, Sapporo, Tokyo, and Singapore, the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra, the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic.

Noted for his versatility, Milanov is also a welcome presence in the worlds of opera and ballet. Most recently, he collaborated with Komische Oper Berlin (Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of Mtzensk), Opera Oviedo (Spanish premiere of Tchaikovsky's Mazzepa and Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle that was awarded best Spanish production for 2015), and Opera Columbus (Verdi's La Traviata).

Currently a resident artist with Utah Opera, Rethwisch will perform in their Carmen, The Man of La Mancha, and The Long Walk. Additionally, she will solo in Utah Symphony's annual Messiah, and join the Santa Fe Opera as an apprentice artist for their 2017 season. She spent the 2015-16 season as a resident artist with Tri-Cities Opera, and the summer of 2016 as an apprentice artist with Chautauqua Opera. Gaining significant recognition in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Rethwisch has been a regional finalist three times, most recently in the Great Lakes Region where she won second place. Other competition awards include a finalist in the 2016 Jensen Foundation Competition, first place in the Central Region NATS Competition, and first place in the Young Artist Concerto Competition for both the Fort Dodge and Central Iowa Symphonies.

Recently named one of 25 "Rising Stars" by Opera News, Jarrett Ott's voice in Cold Mountain was described by the publication as having an, "often ravishing, airy vocal finish...he brought the testing role not only lovely, Pelléas-like sound but a deep investment in the words." In his continued career ascension, Ott will make many important role debuts in the 2017-18 season, including Papageno in Die Zauberflöte with Opera Philadelphia, Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Lyric Opera Kansas City and Dayton Opera, Jupiter in Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld with New Orleans Opera, and at Santa Fe Opera, Harlekin and Maximilian in Ariadne auf Naxos and Candide, respectively. Important concert debuts include Carmina Burana with Seattle Symphony, Brahms' Requiem with Columbus Symphony and Stanford's Songs of the Fleet with the New York Choral Society at Carnegie Hall. Ott will join the Ensemble of Staatsoper Stuttgart in 2018-19.

Now in its 57th season, the Columbus Symphony Chorus is comprised of 140 volunteer singers from central Ohio and performs major works from Bach through the 21st century. Under the leadership of conductor Ronald J. Jenkins for the past 33 years, the Chorus has grown both in the quality of its performances and in the diversity of its classical repertoire.

Based in Paris, Saariaho is a Finnish composer that studied composition in Helsinki, Freiburg, and Paris. Her research at the Institute for Research and Coordination Acoustic marked a turning point in her music, moving from strict serialism toward spectralism. Her characteristically rich, polyphonic textures are often created by combining live music and electronics. Leino Songs are a setting of poems written by Eino Leino, one of Finland's most important poets. His works combine symbolism, mythic tradition, and influences from Nietzsche with his own romantic concept of the poet as a truth-seeking visionary. The four songs, entitled "Looking at You," "The Heart," "Evening Prayer," and "Peace" were written for the Finnish soprano Anu Komsi and are the first set of songs Saariaho has written in Finnish.

German composer and pianist Johannes Brahms composed for symphony orchestra, chamber ensembles, piano, organ, and voice/chorus, many of which have become staples of the modern concert repertoire. As a virtuoso pianist, he premiered many of his own works. Composed between 1865 and 1868, Brahms' A German Requiem is a large-scale work for chorus, orchestra, a soprano, and a baritone soloist. It comprises seven movements, making it Brahms' longest composition. The work is sacred but non-liturgical, and unlike a long tradition of the Latin Requiem, it is a Requiem in the German language.

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