Mon 22. Mar. 2021, 8.00 pm | Elbphilharmonie, Großer Saal
Charles Ives: Central Park in the Dark
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 7 in E minor "Song of the Night"
Conductor Ingo Metzmacher has distinguished himself through his innovative programming and profound dedication to twentieth and twenty-first century music; to make the new sound familiar and the familiar sound new has been Metzmacher’s focus since the beginning of his career.
Highlights of recent seasons have included the world premiere of Johannes Maria Staud’s “Die Weiden” at the Vienna State Opera, a new production of Shostakovich's “Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk” in Paris, and Rihm’s “Jakob Lenz” at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence. In summer 2019, he conducted the first performances of Enescu’s “Œdipe” at the Salzburg Festival with the Vienna Philharmonic. He returned to The Cleveland Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, and Ensemble Modern, and conducts the National Youth Orchestra of Germany on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. In May 2020, he presents the fifth edition of the KunstFestSpiele Herrenhausen under his artistic direction.
Metzmacher has led productions at many of the great international opera houses including the Berlin and Vienna State Operas, Covent Garden, Teatro Real, La Scala, Opéra de Paris and the Zurich Opera House. Highlights of recent seasons also include new productions of operas by Luigi Nono, Bernd Alois Zimmermann, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, and Wolfgang Rihm at the Salzburg Festival, as well as the complete cycle of Wagner’s ”Ring des Nibelungen” at Grand Théâtre de Genève. He has conducted leading orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Russian National Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
From 2007 to 2010, Metzmacher was Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, where his innovative thematic concert cycles – among them ”From the German Soul”, "Breakthrough 1909”, and “Temptation“, as well as a new series titled Casual Concerts – made a lasting impact on the city’s musical life. Various tours led him and the orchestra throughout Europe and Asia.
From 1997 until 2005 Metzmacher was Chief Conductor of the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra and General Music Director of the Hamburg State Opera, where he led a series of internationally acclaimed productions, many of them in collaboration with stage director Peter Konwitschny. Subsequently, he was named Chief Conductor of the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam. Highlights of his tenure there include performances of the three Mozart-Da Ponte operas, Henze’s ”The Bassarids”, Korngold’s ”Die Tote Stadt”, Schreker’s ”Die Gezeichneten”, and Messiaen’s ”Saint François d’Assise”.
As a pianist, he has appeared in recitals with Christine Schäfer, Matthias Goerne, and Christian Gerhaher at the Aspen Music Festival, London’s Wigmore Hall, the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg and the Salzburg Festival.
Metzmacher’s wide-ranging discography includes live recordings of his New Year’s Eve concerts in Hamburg from 1999 to 2004 entitled ”Who’s Afraid of 20th Century Music?”, a complete recording of Karl Amadeus Hartmann’s symphonies with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, the world premiere of Hans Werner Henze’s Ninth Symphony with the Berlin Philharmonic, Olivier Messiaen’s ”Illuminations of the Beyond…” with the Vienna Philharmonic, Hans Pfitzner’s ”Von deutscher Seele”, and Engelbert Humperdinck’s ”Königskinder” with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, as well as live recordings of ”Lady Macbeth of Mzensk” at the Vienna State Opera and Luigi Nono’s ”Prometeo” at the Salzburg Festival.
In his book ”Vorhang auf! Oper entdecken und erleben” [Curtain Up! Discovering and Experiencing Opera], published in 2009, Metzmacher presents operas from four centuries and explains the making of a music theatre production. He is also the author of ”Keine Angst vor neuen Tönen [Don’t Be Afraid of New Sounds]”, published in 2005, a passionate plea for pioneering composers such as Luigi Nono, Charles Ives, Olivier Messiaen, Arnold Schoenberg, Edgard Varèse, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and John Cage.
Born in Hanover, Metzmacher studied piano, music theory, and conducting in his home town, as well as in Salzburg and Cologne. He found his first artistic home in Frankfurt with the Ensemble Modern and at the Frankfurt Opera under the artistic directorship of Michael Gielen. His international career began in 1988, during Gerard Mortier’s tenure as director of the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, when he stepped in to conduct a new production of Franz Schreker’s ”Der ferne Klang”.
The Philharmonic State Orchestra is Hamburg’s largest and oldest orchestra, looking back on many years of musical history. When the “Philharmonic Orchestra” and the “Orchestra of the Hamburg Municipal Theatre” merged in 1934, two tradition-steeped orchestras combined. Philharmonic concerts have been performed in Hamburg since 1828, artists such as Clara Schumann, Franz Liszt and Johannes Brahms being regular guests of the Philharmonic Society. The history of the opera company goes back even further: Hamburg has been home to musical theatre since 1678, even if a regular opera or theatre orchestra was only formed later. To this day, the Philharmonic State Orchestra has embodied the sound of the Hansa City, a concert and opera orchestra in one.
During its long history, the orchestra encountered great artist personalities. Apart from composers of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, such as Telemann, Tchaikovsky, Strauss, Mahler, Prokofiev and Stravinsky, since the 20th century chief conductors such as Karl Muck, Joseph Keilberth, Eugen Jochum, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Horst Stein, Aldo Ceccato, Christoph von Dohnányi, Gerd Albrecht, Ingo Metzmacher and Simone Young have shaped the orchestra’s sound. Renowned conductors of the pre-war era such as Otto Klemperer, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Bruno Walter, Karl Böhm and Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt gave brilliant performances, as did outstanding conductors of our times: suffice it to mention Christian Thielemann, Semyon Bychkov, Kirill Petrenko, Sir Neville Marriner, Valery Gergiev and Sir Roger Norrington.
Starting with the 2015/2016 season, Kent Nagano has taken on the position of Hamburg’s General Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Philharmonic State Orchestra and the Hamburg State Opera. In his first season Kent Nagano initiated a new project, the Philharmonic Academy, focusing on experimentation and chamber music. In 2016 Nagano and the Philharmonic undertook a successful three-week concert tour in South America, a tour of Spain followed in 2019. Since 2017 Kent Nagano and the Philharmonic State Orchestra have continued the traditional Philharmonic Concerts at the new Elbphilharmonie, for which they commissioned Jörg Widmann to compose the oratorio ARCHE, which was given its world premiere during the hall’s opening festivities. The concert recording has been released at ECM.
The Philharmonic State Orchestra offers approximately 35 concerts per season and performs more than 240 performances per year at the Hamburg State Opera and the Hamburg Ballet John Neumeier, making it Hamburg’s busiest orchestra. The stylistic bandwidth covered by the 140 musicians, ranging from historically informed performance practice to contemporary works and including concert, opera and ballet repertoire, is unique throughout Germany. Chamber Music has a long tradition at the Philharmonic State Orchestra: what began in 1929 with a concert series for chamber orchestra has been continued since 1968 by a series of chamber music only.
In 2008 Simone Young and the Philharmonic State Orchestra won the Brahms Award of the Schleswig-Holstein Brahms Society. The orchestra has recorded the complete Ring by Wagner as well as the complete symphonies of Johannes Brahms and Anton Bruckner – the latter in the rarely-performed original versions – as well as works by Mahler, Hindemith and Berg, and has released DVDs of opera and ballet productions by Hosokawa, Offenbach, Reimann, Auerbach, J.S. Bach, Puccini, Poulenc and Weber.
The members of the Philharmonic State Orchestra feel equally beholden to Hamburg’s musical tradition and responsible for the city’s artistic future. Since 1978 the musicians have been participating in education programmes in Hamburg’s schools. Today, the orchestra maintains a broad education programme, including school and kindergarten visits, patronage for music projects, introductory events for children and family concerts. The orchestra’s own academy prepares young musicians for their professional careers. The Philharmonic’s musicians thereby make an equally enjoyable and valuable contribution to tomorrow’s music education in the music metropolis of Hamburg.
Metzmacher conducts Mahler – an event awaited in Hamburg with considerable eagerness. Hamburg’s former general music director last conducted the Philharmonic State Orchestra in 2005. Gustav Mahler has always been one of Ingo Metzmacher’s fascinations, and so he combines Mahler’s Seventh Symphony with Charles Ives’ "Central Park in the Dark", for "Music of the 20th Century" is also an issue dear to Metzmacher’s heart – extensively documented by the eponymous CD cycle recorded with the Philharmonic Orchestra during Metzmacher’s Hamburg tenure.
Venue: Elbphilharmonie, Großer Saal, Platz der Deutschen Einheit 4, 20457 Hamburg
Prices: € 83,00 / 65,00 / 51,00 / 36,00 / 14,00
to be confirmed