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From Paris to Vienna, Natalie Dessay has performed Mozart (The Queen of Night in Die
Zauberflöte, Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail) and Richard Strauss
(Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier, Aminta in
Die schweigsame Frau); but she made her debut with French repertoire, singing
Olympia in Offenbach's Les contes d'Hoffmann at the Opéra national de Paris and
the title role in Delibes's Lakmé at the Opéra Comique.
Ms. Dessay has sung the title role in Stravinsky's Le rossignol at the Théâtre du
Châtelet and in Berlin; Ophelia (Thomas's Hamlet) at the Grand Théâtre de Genève, Le
Capitole de Toulouse, Théâtre du Châtelet, Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, and Gran
Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona; and Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos) at the Metropolitan Opera
in New York and Opéra national de Paris.
Ms. Dessay also sings bel canto roles, such as Amina (Bellini's La sonnambula) at
the Opéra de Lausanne, Opéra de Paris, Opéra national de Bordeaux, La Scala in Milan, and
Santa Fe Opera; and the title role in both the French and Italian versions of Donizetti's
Lucia di Lammermoor at the Opéra de Lyon, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Lyric Opera
of Chicago, Metropolitan Opera, and in Moscow conducted by Valery Gergiev.
She has performed Massenet's Manon in San Francisco, Chicago, Paris, Geneva, Barcelona, and
Toulouse; Mélisande (Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande) in Glasgow and at the Theater
an der Wien; Juliette (Gounod's Roméo et Juliette) at the Metropolitan Opera;
Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) in Santa Fe; Marie (Donizetti's La fille du
régiment) in London, Vienna, New York, and Paris; Musetta (Puccini's La
bohème) and Cleopatra (Handel's Giulio Cesare) at the Opéra de Paris and
Metropolitan Opera; Verdi's La traviata in Santa Fe, Japan, Aix-en-Provence,
Vienna, and New York; and Les contes d'Hoffmann in Barcelona and San
Ms. Dessay has been appointed as Kammersängerin by the Vienna State Opera.
Philippe Cassard has established an international reputation as concerto soloist,
recitalist, and chamber musician since giving a joint recital with Christa Ludwig in Paris
in 1985. The same year, he was finalist at the Concours Clara Haskil, and in 1988, he won
first prize at the Dublin International Piano Competition.
Mr. Cassard has performed as soloist with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, City of
Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Orchestre
National de France, and many more. He has worked with many conductors, including Sir
Neville Marriner, Jeffrey Tate, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Raymond Leppard,
Charles Dutoit, Armin Jordan, Marek Janowski, Emmanuel Krivine, and Thierry Fischer.
Mr. Cassard's performance of the complete piano works of Debussy (four recitals in a single
day)-presented in London (Wigmore Hall), Dublin, Paris, Lisbon, Sydney, Singapore, and
Tokyo-received extremely enthusiastic press and media coverage. Released by Decca, the
collected was awarded the Grand Prix du Disque in 1994.
As a chamber musician, Mr. Cassard has appeared with such artists as Wolfgang Holzmair,
Paul Meyer, David Grimal, Anne Gastinel, Matt Haimovitz, and Isabelle Faust; as well as
with the Ebène, Modigliani, Takács, Auryn, Vanbrugh, Danish, and Chilingirian string
His recording of Schumann's Humoreske, Op. 20, and Fantasiestücke, Op.
12, was named Editor's Choice by Gramophone. Mr. Cassard's other releases (Schubert's
Impromptus and Brahms's Klavierstücke, Op. 116-119) have been received very
warmly. In 2012, Mr. Cassard and Ms. Dessay recorded an album of Debussy songs on Virgin
Mr. Cassard served as artistic director of the Nuits Romantiques du Lac du Bourget festival
from 1999 to 2008, and since 2005, he has presented more than 300 live programs dedicated
to piano interpretation on France Musique Radio. He has written an essay on Schubert and a
book on cinema and music.
Natalie Dessay on Becoming a Singer
Natalie Dessay on the Art of Recital
Natalie Dessay on Working with Philippe Cassard
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 | 8 PM
There is perhaps no other musical ensemble more consistently and closely associated with
the history and tradition of European classical music than the Vienna Philharmonic
Orchestra (VPO). In the course of its 172-year history, the musicians of this most
prominent orchestra of the capital city of music have been an integral part of a musical
epoch that-thanks to an abundance of uniquely gifted composers and interpreters-must
certainly be regarded as unique. Additionally, the orchestra's extensive touring schedule,
prolific recordings, and global television broadcasts allow its artistry to be experienced
around the world.
The orchestra's close association with this rich musical history is best illustrated by
the statements of countless preeminent musical personalities of the past. Richard Wagner
described the orchestra as being one of the most outstanding in the world; Anton Bruckner
called it "the most superior musical association"; Johannes Brahms counted himself a
"friend and admirer"; Gustav Mahler claimed to be joined together through "the bonds of
musical art"; and Richard Strauss summarized these sentiments by saying, "All praise of the
Vienna Philharmonic reveals itself as understatement."
The Vienna State Opera Orchestra holds a special relationship with the private association
known as the Vienna Philharmonic. In accordance with Philharmonic statutes, only a member
of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra can become a member of the Vienna Philharmonic. The
engagement in the Vienna State Opera Orchestra provides the musicians a financial stability
that would be impossible to attain without relinquishing their autonomy to private or
corporate sponsors. Over the course of more than a century and a half, this chosen path of
democratic self-administration has experienced slight modifications, but has never been
substantially altered. The foremost ruling body of the organization is the orchestra
The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra's mission is to communicate the humanitarian message of
music into the daily lives and consciousness of its listeners. For more than a decade, the
VPO has given benefit concerts in support of humanitarian causes around the world, and
since 1999, it makes an annual donation of 100,000 Euros from its New Year's Concert to a
variety of international charitable organizations. In 2005, the orchestra was named
Goodwill Ambassador for the World Health Organization, and has served as an official
Goodwill Ambassador for IIASA (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis) since
2012. Since 2008, Rolex has been the Exclusive Sponsor of the Vienna Philharmonic
Orchestra. The musicians endeavor to implement the motto with which Ludwig van Beethoven,
whose symphonic works served as a catalyst for the creation of the orchestra, prefaced his
Missa solemnis: "From the heart, to the heart."
Zubin Mehta was born in 1936 in Bombay and received his
first musical education under the guidance of his father, Mehli Mehta, who was a noted
concert violinist and founder of the Bombay Symphony Orchestra. After a short period of
pre-medical studies in Bombay, Mr. Mehta left for Vienna in 1954 and eventually entered the
conducting program under Hans Swarowsky at the Akademie für Musik. By 1961, he had already
conducted the Vienna, Berlin, and Israel philharmonic orchestras, and he has recently
celebrated 50 years of musical collaboration with all three ensembles.
Mr. Mehta was music director of Orchestre symphonique de Montréal from 1961 to 1967 and
also assumed the music directorship of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1962, a post he held
until 1978. In 1969, he was appointed music advisor to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
and was made music director in 1977. In 1981, the orchestra awarded him the title of music
director for life. In 1978, he took the post as music director of the New York Philharmonic
and commenced a tenure that lasted 13 years-the longest in the orchestra's history. Since
1985, he has been chief conductor of the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.
Mr. Mehta made his debut as an opera conductor with Tosca in Montreal in 1963.
Since then, he has conducted at the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna State Opera, Milan's Teatro
alla Scala, the opera houses of Chicago and Florence, and the Royal Opera House, Covent
Garden, as well as at the Salzburg Festival. Between 1998 and 2006, he was music director
of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. In October 2006, he opened the Palau de les Arts
Reina Sofia in Valencia, and since then, he has held the position of president of that
city's annual Festival del Mediterrani, where he conducted a celebrated Ring
cycle. He has also led Ring cycles in Chicago and Munich.
Mr. Mehta continues to support the discovery and furtherance of musical talents all
over the world. Together with his brother Zarin, he is co-chairman of Bombay's Mehli Mehta
Music Foundation, where more than 200 children are educated in Western classical music. The
Buchmann-Mehta School of Music in Tel Aviv develops young talent in Israel and is closely
related to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, as is a new project of teaching young Arab
Israelis in the cities of Shfaram and Nazareth.
Gil Shaham is one of the foremost violinists of our time. His combination of
flawless technique and inimitable warmth has solidified his legacy as an American master.
Highlights of his 2013-2014 season include performances of Korngold's Violin Concerto with
The Cleveland Orchestra and Orchestre de Paris; a continuation of his exploration of the
concertos of the 1930s with the San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and on
tour with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; the world, Asian, and European premieres
of a new concerto by Bright Sheng; and a recital tour that features Bach's sonatas and
partitas for solo violin.
Mr. Shaham has more than two dozen concerto and solo CDs to his name, including
bestsellers that have appeared on record charts in the US and abroad, winning him multiple
Grammy Awards, a Grand Prix du Disque, a Diapason d'Or, and a
Gramophone Editor's Choice award. His recent recordings are produced by the Canary
Classics label, which he founded in 2004; they comprise Nigunim: Hebrew Melodies,
Haydn violin concertos and Mendelssohn's Octet with the Sejong Soloists, Sarasate:
Virtuoso Violin Works, Elgar's Violin Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra,
The Butterfly Lovers and Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, Tchaikovsky's Piano Trio
in A Minor with Yefim Bronfman and Truls Mørk, The Prokofiev Album,
The Fauré Album, Mozart in Paris, and works by Haydn and
Mr. Shaham was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1990, and in 2008 he received the
coveted Avery Fisher Prize. He plays the 1699 "Countess Polignac" Stradivarius. He lives in
New York City with his wife, violinist Adele Anthony, and their three children.
Diana Damrau continues to amaze audiences with her unique voice and arresting
stage presence. A regular guest at the most renowned opera companies and concert halls, she
was awarded the title Bayerische Kammersängerin in 2007 and, in 2008, was named Singer of
the Year by Opernwelt magazine. A documentary on her life, directed by
Beatrix Conrad and entitled Diana Damrau-Divine Diva, was first aired on the
French-German TV channel ARTE in February 2011.
During the 2013-2014 season, Ms. Damrau performs a broad range of repertoire on both
operatic and concert stages. She began the season in Vienna, where she performed the title
role in the world premiere of Iain Bell's new opera A Harlot's Progress at
the Theater an der Wien, followed by her performance as Violetta in a new production of
La traviata that opened the season of Milan's Teatro alla Scala. She also
performs Violetta for company role debuts in Paris and London. Other
projects include her role debut as Amina in La sonnambula at the Metropolitan
A beloved artist at the Met, Ms. Damrau has returned to New York every year since 2005,
tackling Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos), Rosina (Il barbiere di
Siviglia), Aithra (Die ägyptische Helena), Konstanze (Die Entführung aus
dem Serail), Gilda (Rigoletto), Lucia (Lucia di Lammermoor), Marie
(La fille du regiment), Adèle (Le comte Ory), and Adina (L'elisir
d'Amore); she also caused a sensation by singing both her first Pamina and her last
Queen of the Night in a 2007 run of Die Zauberflöte. In Europe, she has close ties
with the Salzburg Festival, where her 2001 debut was followed by appearances as Queen of
the Night, Blonde (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Fauno (Ascanio in
Alba), and Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro). The list of conductors with whom Ms. Damrau
has performed includes Riccardo Muti, Zubin Mehta, Lorin Maazel, Sir Colin Davis, Ivor
Bolton, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Kent Nagano, Fabio Luisi, Jérémie Rhorer, Dan Ettinger, and
In addition to her achievements in opera, Ms. Damrau has established herself as one of
today's finest lieder singers and gives recitals with such pianists as Helmut Deutsch,
Julius Drake, and Matthias Lademann at renowned venues that include Berlin's Philharmonie,
Vienna's Musikverein, London's Wigmore Hall, the Salzburg Festival, and the Schubertiade
Schwarzenberg. Her extraordinary musical partnership with harpist Xavier de Maistre is
documented on CD, entitled Nuit d'étoiles, and on a recital DVD released in
A native of Günzburg, Germany, Ms. Damrau studied voice with Carmen Hanganu at the
Hochschule für Musik Würzburg and with Hanna Ludwig in Salzburg.
The New York Choral Artists was founded by Joseph Flummerfelt in 1979. Highlights of past
seasons include a memorial performance of Brahms's Ein deutsches Requiem with
the New York Philharmonic in 2001; the world premiere of John Adams's On the
Transmigration of Souls with the same orchestra in 2002; and performances at the
rededication of the Statue of Liberty in 1986 and the 100th anniversary of Carnegie Hall.
The choir has sung under the batons of Leonard Bernstein, Riccardo Chailly, Sir Colin
Davis, Erich Leinsdorf, Kurt Masur, Lorin Maazel, and Riccardo Muti, among many
Collaborating regularly with the New York Philharmonic, the choir has performed Strauss's
Elektra, Puccini's Tosca, Mahler's Symphony No. 8, and Britten's War
Requiem on the occasion of Mr. Maazel's retirement; Handel's
Messiah with Nicholas McGegan; and an acclaimed run of My Fair
Lady with Rob Fischer. Other performances include Verdi's Requiem, Ravel's
L'enfant et les sortilèges, and Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky.
The New York Choral Artists' discography includes On the Transmigration of
Souls with Lorin Maazel and Mahler's Symphony No. 3 with Leonard Bernstein, both
of which won Grammy Awards; Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 and Schoenberg's
Gurrelieder with Zubin Mehta; Shostakovich's Symphony No. 13 with Kurt Masur;
Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd; Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms,
Oedipus Rex, and Requiem Canticles; Gershwin's Porgy and Bess; a
Christmas recording that features Kathleen Battle; and a Christmas album, O Come All Ye
Faithful. Jacqueline Pierce is the contractor for the New York Choral Artists.
Joseph Flummerfelt, Musical America's 2004 Conductor of the Year, is the founder
and musical director of the New York Choral Artists. He is also an artistic director of the
Spoleto Festival USA, and was the conductor of the Westminster Choir for 33 years. Mr.
Flummerfelt has conducted more than 50 performances with the Spoleto Festival Orchestra in
Italy and the US. He has also guest conducted numerous US orchestras in Haydn's
Creation and the world premiere of Stephen Paulus's Voices of
Light with the New York Philharmonic and the Westminster Choir, among others. For
nearly four decades, Mr. Flummerfelt has collaborated in the preparation of hundreds of
choral-orchestral performances with such conductors as Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim,
Leonard Bernstein, Pierre Boulez, and Riccardo Chailly, among others.
Mr. Flummerfelt's Westminster Symphonic Choir and New York Choral Artists have been
featured in 45 recordings, including Britten's War Requiem, Mahler's Symphony No.
3 with Leonard Bernstein, John Adams's On the Transmigration of Souls, and
Messiaen's La transfiguration de notre seigneur Jésus Christ with the
National Symphony Orchestra. His recordings of Barber's Antony and
Cleopatra and of John Adams's On the Transmigration of Souls with
the New York Philharmonic won Grammy Awards, and he has received Grammy nominations for the
Westminster Choir's recording of Haydn's Missa in angustiis with Leonard
Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic, and Berlioz's Roméo et Juliette with
Riccardo Muti and The Philadelphia Orchestra. Other accolades include Le Prix du Président
de la République from L'Académie du Disque Français, and four honorary doctoral
During February and March 2014, Carnegie Hall salutes Vienna's extraordinary artistic legacy with "Vienna: City of Dreams."
Sunday, March 16, 2014 | 7 PM
Beethoven's Sonata No. 21, Op. 53 Leif Ove Andsnes, Piano
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 | 8 PM
Friday, March 21, 2014 | 7:30 PM
The mercilessly self-critical Brahms described his C-Minor Quartet as "mean and paltry," but posterity has rendered a different verdict on his masterpiece. The two Op. 51 quartets are dedicated to Theodor Billroth, Brahms's surgeon friend in Vienna and an accomplished amateur violist. Billroth knew better than to take the composer's judgment at face value. "These dedications will keep our names known longer than our best work," he remarked to a fellow dedicatee.
As a student in Paris in the late 1950s, Hungarian composer György Kurtág became so fascinated by the music of Anton Webern (whose works were unavailable in Communist Hungary) that he went to the library and copied out by hand virtually the entire output of the Austrian composer. Kurtág's debt to Webern is apparent in the spare, aphoristic style of this richly allusive work, which was first performed on April 22, 1989, in Witten, Germany, by the Auryn Quartet.
Beethoven considered Op. 131 the best of his 16 string quartets. Although much has been written about the work's unconventional seven-part structure and often abstruse tonal relationships, the robust lyricism and emotional intensity of the music have never failed to pull listeners into its unforgettable sound world. One of the C-sharp-Minor Quartet's greatest admirers was Franz Schubert, who is said to have requested a performance on his deathbed.
Sunday, March 23, 2014 | 7:30 PM
Friday, March 28, 2014 | 8 PM
Friday, April 4, 2014 | 7:30 PM
Friday, April 4, 2014 | 8 PM
Saturday, April 5, 2014 | 9:30 PM
Saturday, April 12, 2014 | 8 PM