Tue, Feb. 16, 2021, 7.30 pm | Halle 424
Lecture by Prof. Anja Feldmann, Director and head of the department "Internet Architecture" at the Max-Planck-Institut für Informatik, Saarbrücken
Tom Johnson: Eggs and Baskets for Narrator and Two Instrumentalists
Improvisation on The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe
Tom Johnson: Nine Bells for Drums
Stefan Schäfer: Es war einmal Settings of poems by Daniil Charms For Soprano, Flute, Double Bass and Drums
Bachelor and Master of Music at The Juilliard School in New York
with Emmanuel Villaume at The Juilliard School (live-streamed, 2017), with Margo Garrett and John Churchwell at Music Academy of the West (2019)
Encouragement award, Gerda Lissner Lieder/Song Competition (2017/18), John Erskine Prize of The Juilliard School (2017), Tudor Bowl at Winnipeg Music Festival (2015)
Relation to the Hamburg State Opera:
Member of the International Opera Studio of the Hamburg State Opera since season 2019/20
Annio (La clemenza di Tito), Celia (La fedeltà premiata), Narciso (Agrippina), Second Woman (Dido and Aeneas), La Tasse Chinoise (L’enfant et les sortilèges), Frau Reich/Meg Page (Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor), Phèdre (Hippolyte et Aricie), Claire (Cold Mountain)
World premiere of “Drei Grabschriften” (Stefano Gervasoni), performances of “Animus II” (Druckman), “Folk Songs” (Berio) and “Liebeslieder Walzer” (Brahms), Competitor in the 2019 Wigmore Hall/Independent Opera Song Competition
Cooperation with directors:
Edward Berkeley, Mary Birnbaum, James Darrah, John Giampietro, Stephen Wadsworth
Cooperation with conductors:
William Christie, Jane Glover, Jeffrey Milarsky, Teddy Poll, Avi Stein, Stephen Stubbs
Björn Westlund was born in Stockholm in 1962. At the age of 15, he enrolled at the Malmö Music Academy as a junior student, where his teacher was Bertil Melander. From 1979 to 1983 he continued his studies with Lennart Erhenlood at the Royal Music Academy in Stockholm. As part of a scholarship of the Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic, he also studied with Andreas Blau, the orchestra’s principal flutist. Björn Westlund performed both with the Berlin Philharmonic and in numerous chamber music performances of the orchestra’s musicians. Since 1984 Björn Westlund has been principal flutist of the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra. Ever since, he has been a regular guest of orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Komische Oper Berlin, the Stockholm Philharmonic, the Royal Opera in Stockholm and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. Since 1986 he has regularly played principal flute in the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra. The Berlin Philharmonic’s Digital Concert Hall features Björn Westlund in a performance of “Salome” under Sir Simon Rattle in 2011. Since 1988 Björn Westlund has been a professor at the Hamburg Academy of Music and Theatre. He acts as juror for several competitions in Germany and Scandinavia. He has given master courses all over Europe, especially in Scandinavia, as well as in South America, Japan, China and Australia.
Stefan Schäfer began his studies at the Hamburg Academy of Music and Theatre as a pianist before changing to the double bass in the class of Hans-Dieter Eschmann. He graduated with a diploma and soloist exam with distinction and continued his advanced studies with Klaus Stoll and Ovidiu Badila. Stefan Schäfer holds the position of principal double bassist of the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra Hamburg and is an enthusiastic chamber musician, performing and recording with various ensembles (e.g. octet ensemble acht). He has recorded numerous CDs as a soloist and chamber musician. He is the chairman of the association “kammermusik heute e.V.” and has taught at the Hamburg Conservatory since 1995. In 1993 he was awarded the first prize of the Elise-Meyer-Foundation Hamburg. He is often invited to give international master classes for double bass and chamber music and serves as a jury member or chairman for international instrumental and interdisciplinary competitions. His numerous compositions are wide-ranging in genre and instrumentation. They are performed all over the world, e.g. in famous concert halls such as Carnegie Hall in New York, Vienna’s Konzerthaus and the Philharmonie Berlin. His works are also played at several competitions; for example, he composed the compulsory piece for the Third International Johann-Matthias-Sperger-Competition. In Great Britain and the USA his works were awarded composition prizes (British and International Bass Forum, International Society of Bassists). His works are either self-published under the imprint bassist composer publications or by the Hofmeister Musikverlag in Leipzig. From 2010 to 2012 Stefan Schäfer was Composer-in-Residence of the Baden-Württemberg Pedagogical Double Bass Association, which aims to launch new compositions for double bass instruction, but also for workshops and competitions. Furthermore, Schäfer’s oeuvre includes songs and chamber compositions as well as orchestral commissions for the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra. www.bassist-composer.de
Brian Barker was born in Ottawa, Canada, in 1976, studying first in his hometown and then with Pierre Béluse in Montréal. In 2002 he moved to Berlin to take lessons from Rainer Seegers of the Berlin Philharmonic. Working with Seegers and later also with Marek Stefula of the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig influenced him profoundly. After engagements at the Theater des Westens in Berlin and at the Staatskapelle Schwerin, Brian Barker joined the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra in 2006. During the 2014/15 season he was a guest at La Scala in Milan. Brian Barker teaches at the Hamburg Academy of Music and Theatre and also at the Conservatorio Guido Cantelli in Novara near Milan. Brian Barker has worked with conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Bernard Haitink, Zubin Mehta, Kirill Petrenko, Daniele Gatti, Paavo Järvi, Riccardo Chailly, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Herbert Blomstedt.
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.
"Order is the pleasure of reason, but disorder is the delight of the imagination."
Venue: Halle 424, Stockmeyerstraße 43, 20457 Hamburg
Prices: € 28,00 / 10,00