Carnegie Hall Presents Vienna: City of Dreams A Citywide Festival Celebrating the Arts and Culture of Vienna
The centerpiece of Vienna: City of Dreams is seven concerts to launch and conclude the festival at Carnegie Hall by the renowned Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Vienna State Opera, led by esteemed conductors Franz Welser-Möst, Daniele Gatti, Andris Nelsons, and Zubin Mehta all in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage. Vienna has long been known as a crucible for creativity and great artistic achievements, especially in the area of classical music, and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Vienna State Opera have both been at the center of the city’s artistic life since their inception. Concerts presented as part of Vienna: City of Dreams highlight the roles played by these unparalleled cultural institutions as well as Carnegie Hall’s longstanding partnership with the orchestra, which has appeared more than 100 times at the Hall since its 1956 debut—more than any other overseas ensemble.
The residency includes concert performances of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck and Richard Strauss’s Salome, marking only the second time in their history that the Viennese musicians have performed opera in concert at Carnegie Hall. The orchestra also performs such masterpieces as Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9; Bruckner’s Symphony No. 6; Brahms’s Symphony No. 3; Schubert’s Symphony No. 8, “Unfinished;” and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, concerts featuring core symphonic repertoire for which the ensemble has long been known. In addition to their concerts at Carnegie Hall, members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Vienna State Opera are featured in festival partner events at Austrian Cultural Forum New York and The Paley Center for Media.
The Vienna: City of Dreams celebration extends throughout New York City with festival events at leading cultural institutions, crossing arts disciplines to include music, film, visual arts, panel discussions, and even a Viennese Opera Ball, which launches the festival on February 21. For a complete list of partners and events, please click here for festival press kit.
Carnegie Hall has launched a special website carnegiehall.org/vienna, which features information on festival events, interviews with artists, videos introducing the music being performed, and other content designed to illuminate Vienna: City of Dreams offerings. Once the festival begins, Carnegie Hall will also capture video of select Vienna: City of Dreams performances to be shared alongside this content on the website.
Festival concerts by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Vienna State Opera at Carnegie Hall are as follows:
Tuesday, February 25 at 8:00 p.m. Conductor Franz Welser-Möst launches the residency, leading musicians and soloists from the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Vienna State Opera in a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. Soloists include soprano Ricarda Merbeth, mezzo-soprano Zoryana Kushpler, tenor Peter Seiffert, and bass Günther Groissböck. The New York Choral Artists and chorus director Joseph Flummerfelt are also featured in the symphony and open the concert with the Viennese musicians in a performance of Schoenberg’s Friede auf Erden.
Wednesday, February 26 at 8:00 p.m. Maestro Welser-Möst returns the following evening, leading the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in Mozart’s Symphony No. 28, Bruckner’s Symphony No. 6, and Johannes Maria Staud’s On Comparative Meteorology.
The February 26 concert will air on WQXR 105.9 FM in New York and on stations as part of the Carnegie Hall Live broadcast and digital series. Produced by WQXR, New York City’s classical music station, and Carnegie Hall, and presented in partnership with American Public Media, the series is hosted by WQXR’s Jeff Spurgeon and APM’s Fred Child, and will be available for streaming on wqxr.org and carnegiehall.org/wqxr. Select concerts will be archived for on-demand streaming post-broadcast. During each broadcast, WQXR and Carnegie Hall will host live chats featuring behind-the-scenes insights by the broadcast team, color commentary by the hosts, and interaction with the broadcast / webcast listeners, connecting national and international fans to the music and to each other.
Friday, February 28 at 8:00 p.m. The Vienna State Opera, Vienna State Opera Chorus, and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra perform Alban Berg’s Wozzeck in a concert conducted by Daniele Gatti, with Matthias Goerne singing the title role, Evelyn Herlitzius as Marie, Monika Bohinec as Margret, Herbert Lippert as Drum Major, Norbert Ernst as Andres, Wolfgang Bankl as Doctor, and Herwig Pecoraro as Captain, with Andreas Hörl and Clemens Unterreiner as First and Second Apprentice, Peter Jelosits as Madman, Franz Gruber as Soldier, and members of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. A pre-concert talk starts at 7:00 p.m. in with Ara Guzelimian, Provost and Dean of The Juilliard School.
Saturday, March 1 at 8:00 p.m. The following night, the Vienna State Opera and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra perform Richard Strauss’s Salome conducted by Andris Nelsons, with Gun-Brit Barkmin in the title role, Falk Struckmann as Jochanaan, Gerhard A. Siegel as Herodes, Jane Henschel as Herodias, Carlos Osuna as Narraboth, and Ulrike Helzel as Page, with Norbert Ernst as First Jew, Michael Roider as Second Jew, James Kryshak as Third Jew, Thomas Ebenstein as Fourth Jew, Walter Fink as Fifth Jew, Adam Plachetka as First Nazarene, Marcus Pelz as Second Nazarene, Dan Paul Dumitrescu as First Soldier, Il Hong as Second Soldier, Jens Musger as A Cappadocian, and Gerhard Reiterer as A Slave.
Thursday, March 13 at 8:00 p.m.Andris Nelsons returns with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra for a performance of Haydn’s Symphony No. 90 in C Major and two works by Brahms—Symphony No. 3 and Variations on a Theme by Haydn in B-flat Major.
Saturday, March 15 at 8:00 p.m.Daniele Gatti leads the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in performances of Schubert’s Symphony No. 8, “Unfinished,” and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with guest soprano Juliane Banse. A pre-concert talk begins at 7:00 p.m. with Walter Frisch, Professor of Music, Columbia University.
Sunday, March 16 at 7:00 p.m. Conductor Zubin Mehta concludes the residency by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vienna: City of Dreams festival, leading the orchestra in a wide variety of Viennese classics, including songs by Johann Strauss Jr. and Franz Lehár with soprano Diana Damrau, Korngold’s Violin Concerto with soloist Gil Shaham, and works for chorus by Mozart and Nicolai with the New York Choral Artists.
Vienna Philharmonic and Vienna State Opera—Festival Partner Presentations
In addition to the seven concerts at Carnegie Hall, musicians, conductors, and administrators of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Vienna State Opera will appear in several Vienna: City of Dreams festival events at partner cultural organizations including chamber music performances and panel discussions. Also, three historic television broadcasts of performances by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Vienna State Opera will receive screenings at The Paley Center for Media.
Vienna State Opera Music Director Franz Welser-Most and Director Dominique Meyer take part in a panel discussion titled Vienna 1860 to 1914: Creativity, Culture, Science and Politics on Monday, February 24 at 6:00 p.m., presented by the Chumir Foundation for Ethics in Leadership. Three nights later, Clemens Hellsberg, longtime president and violinist with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra participates in a second panel presented by the foundation on Thursday, February 27 at 5:30 p.m., exploring the theme Austria: Coming to Terms with a Troubled History, and how Vienna’s creative, cultured, and open society deteriorated in the years leading to the 1938 Anchluss and World War II. A third panel, presented by the Chumir Foundation, will take place on Friday, February 28 at 12:00 p.m., examining Lessons from History: The Search for a Global Ethic. All three panels will take place at The Paley Center for Media.
Matthias Schorn, principal clarinetist of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, will perform compositions for solo clarinet written for and dedicated to him by Austrian composers at his concert, Born to be Schorn, presented by the Austrian Cultural Forum New York on Thursday, February 27 at 7:30 p.m. Among the Austrian Cultural Forum New York’s other musical programming presented as part of Vienna: City of Dreams, members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra will present a chamber concert—Vienna’s Musical Production During the Great War—on Sunday, March 2 at 11:00 a.m., including works by Lehár, Benatzky, Stolz, and Hochreiter, followed by a symposium at 2:00 p.m. All events presented by Austrian Cultural Forum New York are free.
In addition, The Paley Center for Media will offer screenings of three historic television broadcasts: the Vienna Philharmonic’s 1961 gala at the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, performed on the eve of summit talks between John F. Kennedy and Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev, seen in attendance with their wives (Saturday, March 8 at 3:00 p.m.); a 1971 celebration of Beethoven’s birthday by the Vienna State Opera, narrated and conducted by Leonard Bernstein (Sunday, March 9 at 3:00 p.m.); and a 1981 film featuring the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Vienna Choir Boys, performing highlights from the Viennese waltz repertoire (Sunday, March 9 at 4:30 p.m.).
For complete information about these programs and other partner events, visit carnegiehall.org/Vienna.
Artist Information for Performances at Carnegie Hall
Daniele Gatti has been the music director of the Orchestre National de France since September 2008. He has conducted many new productions at leading opera houses all over the world, including the Vienna State Opera; La Scala; the Bavarian State Opera; the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; the Zurich Opera House; and the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where he made his debut in a new production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly in 1994, and where he returned February 2013 for an acclaimed new production of Wagner’s Parsifal. In December 2013, he opened the new season at La Scala with Verdi’s La traviata, closing the Verdi bicentenary celebrations. Also this season, Maestro Gatti conducts the Bayerische Rundfunk Orchester and the London Symphony Orchestra. He appears for the first time at the Dutch National Opera leading Verdi’s Falstaff with the Concertgebouw Orchestra and also in Salzburg with an opera and two symphonic concerts. Maestro Gatti is an exclusive recording artist with Sony. His first two Sony recordings with the Orchestre National de France, dedicated to Debussy and Stravinsky, were released in 2012 and 2013.
Zubin Mehta was born in 1936 in Bombay, India. He left for Vienna in 1954 where he eventually entered the conducting program at the Akademie für Musik. He won the Liverpool International Conducting Competition in 1958. 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. Maestro Mehta was Music Director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra from 1961 to 1967 and also assumed the music directorship of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra from 1962 to 1978. In 1969, he was appointed Music Adviser to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and was made Music Director in 1977. In 1981, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra awarded him the title of Music Director for Life. In 1978, Maestro Mehta took over the post as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic commencing a tenure lasting 13 years, the longest in the orchestra's history. Since 1985, he has been chief conductor of the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence. In October 2008, Maestro Mehta was honored by the Japanese Imperial Family with the “Praemium Imperiale.” In March 2011, he received a special distinction in getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany was bestowed to him in July 2012. The Indian Government honored him in September 2013 with the “Tagore Award for cultural harmony,” which a year earlier was awarded to Ravi Shankar.
Andris Nelsons is the newly appointed Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, beginning in the 2014–2015 season. He made his Boston Symphony Orchestra debut in March 2011, leading Mahler’s Ninth Symphony at Carnegie Hall. This new appointment cements Maestro Nelsons as one of the most sought-after conductors on the international scene today, a distinguished name both on the opera and concert podiums. He has been Music Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) since 2008 and remains at the helm of orchestra until summer 2015. Maestro Nelsons made his debut in Japan, on tour with Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and returned to tour Japan and the East Asia with the CBSO in November 2013. Over the next few seasons, he will continue collaborations with Berliner Philharmoniker, Vienna Philharmonic, and New York Philharmonic, among others. Nelsons is a regular guest at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Vienna State Opera; and the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Born in Riga in 1978 into a family of musicians, Nelsons began his career as a trumpeter in the Latvian National Opera Orchestra before studying conducting. He was Principal Conductor of Northwest German Philharmonic in Herford, Germany, from 2006 to 2009 and Music Director of Latvian National Opera from 2003 to 2007.
Franz Welser-Möst began his tenure as General Music Director of the Vienna State Opera at the start of the 2010–2011 season, leading performances of Puccini’s La bohème and a production of Wagner’s Tannhäuser. Recent performances with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra include appearances at the Lucerne and Salzburg festivals, in Tokyo, and in concert at La Scala in Milan, as well as leading the Philharmonic’s 2011 and 2013 New Year’s Day concerts, telecast in 70 countries worldwide. Across a decade-long tenure with the Zurich Opera, culminating in three seasons as general music director (2005-2008), Mr. Welser-Möst led the company in more than 40 new productions and numerous revivals. In addition, Maestro Welser-Möst has served as Music Director of The Cleveland Orchestra since 2002. His long-term commitment extends to the orchestra’s centennial in 2018. Under Mr. Welser-Möst’s leadership, The Cleveland Orchestra has established an ongoing biennial residency in Vienna at the famed Musikverein concert hall and at the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland. Together, they have also appeared in residence at Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Japan, and at the Salzburg Festival, where a 2008 residency included five sold-out performances of a staged production of Dvořák’s opera Rusalka. Mr. Welser-Möst’s recordings and videos have won major awards, including the Gramophone Award, Diapason d’Or, Japanese Record Academy Award, and two Grammy Award nominations.
Inaugurated in 1869, the Vienna State Opera is today considered one of the most important opera houses in the world; in particular, it is the house with the largest repertoire. It has been under the direction of Dominique Meyer, along with General Music Director Franz Welser-Möst and Ballet Director Manuel Legris, since September 1, 2010. The season runs annually from September to June and offers over 300 performances of more than 60 different operas and ballets. An artistic pillar of the house is a regular ensemble of singers and ballet dancers who are constantly supplemented by international guests. Additionally, there is the Vienna State Opera orchestra (from which the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra recruits its musicians), the Stage Orchestra, and the Chorus. The Vienna State Opera is the essence of Austrian music tradition.
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. In the course of its more than 160-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 must certainly be regarded as unique. Its inception through Otto Nicolai in 1842 was the result of the Vienna court opera musicians’ desire to provide artistically worthy performances of the symphonic works of Mozart and Beethoven in their own city, leading to the decision to present a “Philharmonic” concert series independent of their work at the opera. With concerts at home and on tour around the world, today’s Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra is much more than Austria’s most coveted cultural export. The orchestra’s members are considered ambassadors, expressing through their performances the ideals of peace, humanity, and reconciliation with which music is so inseparably bound, and regularly donating services to create events that promote peace through music. Examples of this include the orchestra’s historic performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Sir Simon Rattle in 2000 at Mauthausen, the former site of Austria’s largest concentration camp during World War II; the 2002 concert in New York City’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral in remembrance of victims of terrorism; annual benefits in New York City for the American Austrian Foundation / Salzburg Cornell (Medical Seminars); and, beginning in 1999, an annual donation of 100,000 euros from the orchestra’s New Year’s concerts to a variety of humanitarian organizations. The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra has been a Goodwill Ambassador for the World Health Organization since 2005.
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