Sun, Nov. 05, 2023, 11.00 am | Elbphilharmonie, Grand Hall
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: "A Midsummer Night's Dream" Overture op. 21
Sergei Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major op. 19
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: "Songs without Words" for solo oboe and string orchestra arranged and orchestrated by Andreas N. Tarkmann
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Symphony No. 4 in A major, op. 90 "Italian"
François Leleux – conductor and oboist – is renowned for his irrepressible energy and exuberance. He is currently Artistic Partner of Camerata Salzburg. Leleux was previously Artist-in-Association with Orchestre de Chambre de Paris and has featured as Artist-in-Residence with orchestras such as hr-Sinfonieorchester, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Berner Symphonieorchester, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, and Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife.
In the 2021/22 season, Leleux returns as conductor to Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana, BBC Scottish Symphony, Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra, Camerata Salzburg, Chamber Orchestra Europe, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Nederlands Chamber Orkest and Orchestre de Chambre de Paris. He has previously conducted orchestras such as Oslo Philharmonic, HR and WDR Sinfonieorchester, Orchestre National de Lille, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, and the Sydney, Gulbenkian, Swedish Radio and Tonkünstler orchestras.
As an oboist, Leleux has performed as soloist with orchestras such as New York Philharmonic, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Budapest Festival Orchestra, and the Swedish Radio and the NHK symphony orchestras. A dedicated chamber musician, he regularly performs worldwide with sextet Les Vents Français and with recital partners Lisa Batiashvili, Eric Le Sage and Emmanuel Strosser.
Konradin Seitzer, born in Aachen in 1983, began playing the violin at the age of four and enrolled at the age of 14 as a junior student in the class of Atila Aydintan at the Hanover Academy of Music and Theatre. He then continued his studies with Antje Weithaas at the Hanns Eisler School of Music in Berlin, from which he graduated with distinction in January 2009. He has appeared around the world as a soloist with orchestras including the Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin, the Brandenburg State Orchestra in Frankfurt and the State Orchestra Rheinische Philharmonie, appearing at venues such as the Konzerthaus Berlin, the Glocke in Bremen and the Seongnam Arts Center in South Korea. In addition to his work as a soloist, Konradin Seitzer is also dedicated to chamber music and has given concerts with artists such as Robert Levin, Thomas Brandis and Ulf Hoelscher. Konradin Seitzer was previously First Concertmaster of the orchestra of the Komische Oper Berlin; since 2012 he has held the same position at the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra. In 2015 he received the Eduard Söring Prize of the Foundation for the Support of the Hamburg State Opera.
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, Adam Fischer 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 and since June 2023 also its honorary conductor. 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 toured South America, followed by concert tours to Spain and Japan in 2019, and in the spring of 2023, the Philharmonic State Orchestra made its debut at New York's Carnegie Hall under his direction, which was acclaimed by audiences and the press. 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 by ECM, for which Widmann received the OPUS KLASSIK as Composer of the Year 2019, and ARCHE was performed again in 2023 to great acclaim.
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.
The romantic world of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, which François Leleux will awaken as conductor and solo oboist with the Philharmonic State Orchestra in this concert at the Elbphilharmonie, is interspersed with a piece of contemporary history that concerns Konradin Seitzer as First Concertmaster of the Philharmonic and soloist of Prokofiev both musically and humanly: "Prokofiev's 1st Violin Concerto was written in a time marked by war and misery. It touches me deeply to play this work as a soloist with my orchestra exactly a century after its premiere and to have to realize that the spirit of violence and aggression of that time has come alive anew in our days." Beauty and horror - in these concerts, past music in our present time, they meet.
Venue: Elbphilharmonie, Grand Hall, Platz der Deutschen Einheit 4, 20457 Hamburg
Prices: € 74,00 / 57,00 / 46,00 / 31,00 / 13,00