Performance Tuesday, January 28, 2014 | 8 PM

Anne Sofie von Otter
Emanuel Ax

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Praised for her “trademark purity of voice and meticulous attention to detail,” proving herself to be “an artist as eloquent as versatile” (The Observer, London), Anne Sofie von Otter is joined by virtuosic pianist Emanuel Ax for a program of Brahms lieder and the New York premiere of an homage to the composer by Nico Muhly, a New York–based contemporary composer.

The contemporary works on this program are part of My Time, My Music.


  • Anne Sofie von Otter, Mezzo-Soprano
  • Emanuel Ax, Piano


  • BRAHMS "Erlaube mir, feins Mädchen" from Deutsche Volkslieder, No. 2
  • BRAHMS "Es wohnet ein Fiedler" from Deutsche Volkslieder, No. 36
  • BRAHMS "Mädchenlied," Op. 85, No. 3
  • AULIN "Till en ros" from Four Serbian Folksongs
  • BRAHMS "Trennung," Op. 97, No. 6
  • BRAHMS Intermezzo in A Minor, Op. 118, No. 1
  • BRAHMS Intermezzo in A Major, Op. 118, No. 2
  • BRAHMS "Auf dem Kirchhofe," Op. 105, No. 4
  • BRAHMS "Es schauen die Blumen," Op. 96, No. 3
  • BRAHMS "Sommerabend," Op. 85, No. 1
  • BRAHMS "Juchhe!," Op. 6, No. 4
  • BRAHMS "Von ewiger Liebe," Op. 43, No. 1
  • BRAHMS "Ständchen," Op. 106, No. 1
  • NICO MUHLY So Many Things (NY Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
  • BRAHMS "Nachtwandler," Op. 86, No. 3
  • BRAHMS "Am Sonntag Morgen zierlich angetan," Op. 49, No. 1
  • BRAHMS "Ruhe, Süssliebchen," Op. 33, No. 9
  • BRAHMS Intermezzo in B-flat Minor, Op. 117, No. 2
  • BRAHMS Intermezzo in F Major, Op. 118, No. 5
  • BRAHMS Zigeunerlieder, Op. 103, No. 1-8

  • Encores:
  • BRAHMS "Sapphische Ode," Op. 94, No. 4
  • BRAHMS "Och Moder, ich well en Ding han" from Deutsche Volkslieder, No. 33

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.


  • Anne Sofie von Otter

    Internationally acclaimed Swedish mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter has long been considered one of the finest singers of her generation. A lengthy and exclusive relationship with Deutsche Grammophon produced a wealth of recordings and numerous awards, including an International Record Critics' Award (Recording Artist of the Year), a Grammy Award (Best Classical Vocal Performance) for Mahler's Des Knaben Wunderhorn, and a Diapason d'Or for a recording of Swedish songs with her long-time accompanist Bengt Forsberg. She collaborated with pop legend Elvis Costello on the disc For the Stars and in October 2010 released her first recording on the Naïve label titled Love Songs, a collaboration with renowned jazz pianist Brad Mehldau. Her 2012 disc, Sogno Barocco-a collection of Italian baroque arias, scenes, and duets with Leonardo García Alarcón and Cappella Mediterranea-was nominated for a Grammy Award and her fourth disc for Naïve, Douce France, was released in November 2013.  

    Ms. von Otter earned an international reputation as an outstanding Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier) with performances at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Bavarian State Opera; Opéra national de Paris; and Vienna State Opera. She also performed the role as part of a series of engagements with James Levine and the Metropolitan Opera, and in Japan under Carlos Kleiber (available on DVD). Other seminal opera recordings include Le nozze di Figaro under Levine; Idomeneo, La clemenza di Tito, and Orfeo ed Euridice under Sir John Eliot Gardiner; Handel's Ariodante and Hercules under Marc Minkowski; and Ariadne auf Naxos under Giuseppe Sinopoli.

    Recent opera highlights have included Clytemnestre (Iphigénie en Aulide) for De Nederlandse Opera (available on DVD), Geneviève (Pelléas et Mélisande) for Opéra national de Paris (available on DVD), Countess Geschwitz (Lulu) at the Metropolitan Opera, and her role debut in Charpentier's Médée for Oper Frankfurt. Ms. von Otter appeared in Giulio Cesare at the 2012 Salzburg Festival with an all-star cast that included Cecilia Bartoli and Andreas Scholl. This season she appears in Les contes d'Hoffmann at Madrid's Teatro Real, in Götterdämmerung at Deutsche Oper Berlin, and in The Rake's Progress at Theater an der Wien.

    More Info

  • Emanuel Ax

    Born in Poland, Emanuel Ax moved to Canada with his family when he was a young boy. He studied at The Juilliard School and Columbia University, capturing public attention in 1974 when he won the first Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Tel Aviv. In 1975, he won the Michaels Award of Young Concert Artists, followed four years later by the coveted Avery Fisher Prize.

    The 2013-2014 season begins with appearances at the Barbican Centre followed by Lincoln Center with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Bernard Haitink, as well as collaborations with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Mariss Jansons in Amsterdam, Bucharest, China, and Japan during their worldwide centenary celebrations. The second half of the season sees the realization of a project inspired by Brahms, which includes new pieces linked to Brahms from composers Missy Mazzoli, Nico Muhly, and Brett Dean, commissioned jointly between the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cal Performances Berkeley, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Carnegie Hall, with the participation of collaborators Anne Sofie von Otter and Yo-Yo Ma. To conclude the season, Mr. Ax travels to Hong Kong and Australia for a complete cycle of Beethoven concertos with incoming Chief Conductor David Roberston in Sydney and with Sir Andrew Davis in Melbourne.

    In conjunction with his multiple weeks as artist in residence with the New York Philharmonic during the 2012-2013 season, Sony Classical released Mr. Ax's latest recital disc of works from Haydn to Schumann to Copland, reflecting their different uses of the "variation" concept. In the spring, he joined that orchestra on its European tour conducted by Alan Gilbert. He returned to the orchestras in Los Angeles, St. Louis, Atlanta, Detroit, Washington, and Pittsburgh, where he is a beloved regular.

    Mr. Ax received Grammy Awards for the second and third volumes of his cycle of Haydn's piano sonatas. He has also made a series of Grammy-winning recordings with Yo-Yo Ma of the Beethoven and Brahms sonatas for cello
    and piano.

    Mr. Ax resides in New York City with his wife, pianist Yoko Nozaki. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and holds honorary doctorates of music from Yale and Columbia universities. For more information, visit

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Brahms's Zigeunerlieder ("He, Zigeuner, greife")
Anne Sofie von Otter, Mezzo-Soprano | Bengt Forsberg, Piano
Deutsche Grammophon

At a Glance

In this program by two of the most distinguished artists on earth, we go back and forth between groups of songs by Johannes Brahms that span 30 years of his compositional career, including two sets of his late miniatures for solo piano. In addition, we hear the Zigeunerlieder set that evokes gypsy life, which Brahms was drawn to in his youth. We also hear a new work co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall by Nico Muhly, the exciting composer of the opera Two Boys. The texts that he sets by Constantine P. Cavafy and Joyce Carol Oates in his extended work for mezzo-soprano and piano tell of how artists make beauty, sometimes from the horrific.
Program Notes
Lead support for Carnegie Hall commissions is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
This performance is part of Great Singers I, and Vibrant Voices - Students.

Part of