Performance Sunday, October 16, 2011 | 3 PM

The MET Orchestra

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
The MET Orchestra kicks off its three-concert series at Carnegie Hall with Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi. Joining them is pianist Richard Goode in a first half devoted to Mozart, and mezzo-soprano Christine Rice, who premieres a new work by John Harbison with a text by Alice Munro. The finale is Strauss’s jocular tone poem that depicts the exploits of an incorrigible trickster from German folklore.

The MET Orchestra's Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi has graciously agreed to replace James Levine for this performance. Maestro Levine has cancelled his fall appearances with The MET Opera due to a recent fall that resulted in back injury.

For further information, ticket holders may contact CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800.


  • The MET Orchestra
    Fabio Luisi, Principal Conductor
  • Richard Goode, Piano
  • Christine Rice, Mezzo-Soprano


  • MOZART Overture to The Magic Flute
  • MOZART Piano Concerto No. 25 in C Major, K. 503
  • JOHN HARBISON / ALICE MUNRO Closer To My Own Life (World Premiere)
  • R. STRAUSS Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche


  • The MET Orchestra

    The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra is regarded as one of the world’s finest orchestras. From the time of the company’s inception in 1883, the ensemble has worked with leading conductors in both opera and concert performances and has developed into an orchestra of enormous technical polish and style.

    The MET Orchestra (as the ensemble is referred to when appearing in concert outside the opera house) maintains a demanding schedule of performances and rehearsals during its 32-week New York season, when the company performs seven times a week in repertory that normally encompasses approximately 27 operas.

    Arturo Toscanini conducted almost 500 performances at the Met, and Gustav Mahler, during the few years he was in New York, conducted 54 Met performances. More recently, many of the world’s great conductors have led the orchestra: Walter, Beecham, Reiner, Mitropoulos, Kempe, Szell, Böhm, Solti, Maazel, Bernstein, Mehta, Abbado, Karajan, Dohnányi, Haitink, Tennstedt, Ozawa, Gergiev, Barenboim, and Muti. Carlos Kleiber’s only US opera performances were with the MET Orchestra.

    In addition to its opera schedule, the orchestra has a distinguished history of concert performances. Toscanini made his American debut as a symphonic conductor with the Met Orchestra in 1913, and the impressive list of instrumental soloists who appeared with the orchestra includes Leopold Godowsky, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Arthur Rubinstein, Pablo Casals, Josef Hofmann, Ferruccio Busoni, Jascha Heifetz, Moritz Rosenthal, and Fritz Kreisler. Since the orchestra resumed symphonic concerts in 1991, instrumental soloists have included Itzhak Perlman, Maxim Vengerov, Alfred Brendel, and Evgeny Kissin, and the group has performed five world premieres: Babbitt’s Piano Concerto No. 2 (1998), Bolcom’s Symphony No. 7 (2002), Shen’s Legend (2002), and Wuorinen’s Theologoumenon (2007) and Time Regained (2009).

    The orchestra’s high standing led to its first commercial recordings in nearly 20 years: Wagner’s complete Ring cycle, conducted by James Levine. Recorded by Deutsche Grammophon over a period of three years, Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, and Götterdämmerung were winners of an unprecedented three consecutive Grammy Awards in 1989, 1990, and 1991 for Best Opera Recording. Other recordings under Maestro Levine include L’elisir d’amore, Idomeneo, Le nozze di Figaro, Der fliegende Holländer, Parsifal, Erwartung, Manon Lescaut, and seven Verdi operas. Maestro Levine has also led the orchestra for recordings of Wagner overtures, Verdi ballet music, an all-Berg disc with Renée Fleming, and aria albums with Bryn Terfel, Kathleen Battle, and Ms. Fleming. The orchestra’s first symphonic recordings are pairings of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition with Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps; Beethoven’s “Eroica” with Schubert’s “Unfinished” symphonies; and Richard Strauss’s Don Quixote and Tod und Verklärung.

    In spring 1991 the orchestra, under the leadership of Maestro Levine, began concert touring. They have since traveled across the US and to Europe (including their debut at the Salzburg Festival in 2002), as well as annually to Carnegie Hall.

    Fabio Luisi

    Fabio Luisi was named principal conductor of the Metropolitan Opera in September 2011. He made his Met debut in 2005, leading Verdi’s Don Carlo, and has since returned to the company for performances of Die Ägyptische Helena, Simon Boccanegra, Turandot, Elektra, Le Nozze di Figaro, Hansel and Gretel, Ariadne auf Naxos, Rigoletto, Tosca, Lulu, and Das Rheingold. This past summer, he joined the company for a tour of Japan, leading Don Carlo, La Bohème, and a concert with the MET Orchestra in Tokyo. In May 2011, he conducted the MET Orchestra at Carnegie Hall with soloist Natalie Dessay. This season, Maestro Luisi appears at the Met conducting new productions of Siegfried, Don Giovanni, Massenet’s Manon, and a revival of La Traviata.

    A native of Genoa, Italy, Maestro Luisi is currently chief conductor of the Vienna Symphony and artistic director of the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan. He served as general music director of the Saxon State Opera and Staatskapelle Dresden from 2007 to 2010, artistic director of the MDR Symphony Orchestra in Leipzig from 1999 to 2007, music director of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande from 1997 to 2002, and chief conductor of Austria’s Tonkünstler Orchestra from 1995 to 2000. He has appeared with many of the world’s most renowned orchestras and opera companies, including the New York Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Vienna Philharmonic, the Chicago and Boston Symphony Orchestras, the Philadelphia Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Santa Cecilia Orchestra, Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Vienna State Opera, Bavarian State Opera, Berlin’s Deutsche Oper and State Opera, and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. He made his Salzburg Festival debut in 2002.

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  • Richard Goode

    Pianist Richard Goode has been acknowledged worldwide as one of today’s leading interpreters of Classical and Romantic music. In addition to his appearance with the MET Orchestra today, he is also heard this season with Los Angeles Philharmonic, on a West Coast tour with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and in recital at Carnegie Hall, as well as in Chicago, Philadelphia, Berkeley, Kansas City, Baltimore, Detroit, and at universities around the country. In Europe, he will be performing in major series in cities that include Birmingham, Budapest, Genoa, Madrid, and Paris, as well as throughout the UK.

    Mr. Goode was honored for his contributions to music with the first-ever Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance, which culminated in a two-season residency at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. In May 2010, he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

    A native of New York, Richard Goode studied with Elvira Szigeti and Claude Frank, with Nadia Reisenberg at the Mannes College of Music, and with Rudolf Serkin at the Curtis Institute. Among his many prizes are the Young Concert Artists Award, first prize in the Clara Haskil Competition, the Avery Fisher Prize, and a Grammy Award.

    An exclusive Nonesuch recording artist, he has appeared with many of the world’s greatest orchestras, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra under James Levine, Bernard Haitink, and Seiji Ozawa; the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Christoph Eschenbach; The Cleveland Orchestra under David Zinman; the San Francisco Symphony under Herbert Blomstedt and Alan Gilbert; the New York Philharmonic with Colin Davis; the Toronto Symphony Orchestra with Peter Oundjian; and the St. Louis Symphony under David Robertson. He has also appeared with the Orchestre de Paris, made his Musikverein debut with the Vienna Symphony, and has been heard throughout Germany in sold-out concerts with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields under Neville Marriner.

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  • Christine Rice

    Mezzo-soprano Christine Rice was born and educated in Manchester, England, and has appeared at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in roles that include Carmen, Hansel, Giulietta in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Concepción in Ravel’s L’Heure Espagnol, Emilia in Otello, Lucretia in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, Judith in Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle, and in two world premieres: Ariadne in Harrison Birtwistle’s The Minotaur and Miranda in Thomas Adès’s The Tempest. For the English National Opera she has sung Nero in Agrippina, Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Olga in Eugene Onegin, Arsace in Partenope, Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Zenobia in Radamisto, and Marguerite in La Damnation de Faust. She has also performed for De Vlaamse Opera in the title roles of Handel’s Ariodante and Rinaldo. She has appeared at Munich’s Bayerische Staatsoper as Ariodante, Rinaldo, and Dorabella (in Così fan tutte); in Madrid as Hermia; at the Seattle Opera as Dorabella; in Frankfurt and Madrid as Penelope in Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria; and as Diana in Cavalli’s La Calisto in Geneva. Concert appearances include Elgar’s Sea Pictures and Debussy’s La damoiselle élue with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Das Rheingold with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Sir Simon Rattle; The Dream of Gerontius with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Ed Gardner and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra; Berlioz’s La mort de Cléopâtre with Turin’s RAI Orchestra; Des Knaben Wunderhorn at Palermo’s Teatro Massimo; the St. Matthew Passion at the St. Denis Festival with John Nelson; and Britten’s Spring Symphony at the BBC Proms. Upcoming operatic engagements include Nicklausse in Les Contes d’Hoffmann for English National Opera, Rosina for Welsh National Opera, and Maddalena in Rigoletto at Covent Garden.

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Mozart Piano Concerto No. 27 in B-flat Major K. 595 (Rondo Allegro)
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra; Richard Goode, Piano

At a Glance

Overture to The Magic Flute  

The Magic Flute—an opera that conflates fairy tale, philosophy, fantasy, melodrama, and broad, slapstick comedy—opened in Vienna on September 30, 1791, and took the city by storm; it was presented nearly every night for more than a month. The overture is deceptively simple, based on a jaunty, energetic tune that Mozart puts through a dizzying series of complex, syncopated variations.  


Piano Concerto No. 25 in C Major, K. 503

The Piano Concerto No. 25 emerged from one of the most successful periods of Mozart’s life, and is the last of the 12 great concertos the composer wrote in Vienna over the course of three massively productive years. One of the lengthiest and weightiest of Mozart’s concertos, the work has a monumental yet dignified character, evoking a sense of gravity without blustering. 


Closer to My Own Life 

Closer to My Own Life brings together the music of Pulitzer Prize–winning composer John Harbison and the words of acclaimed Canadian author Alice Munro. Harbison’s music evokes the “ambiguity of the situations, the sudden fatefulness and decisiveness, [and] the strangeness that also seems very close” in Munro’s writing.  


Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche

The folk anti-hero Till Eulenspiegel—tales of whom date back at least as far as the early 16th century—is the archetypical jokester, instigating an endless series of tricks, pranks, and scuffles, each more slapstick and absurd than the last. A helter-skelter 15-minute orchestral romp, Strauss’s Till Eulenspiegel was written in 1894 and 1895 and contains remarkable evocations of the title character.  

Program Notes
This performance is part of The MET Orchestra, and Matinee Series.