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Orchestra of St. Luke's

Robertson Conducts Beethoven's Seventh
Thursday, October 13, 2016 8 PM Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Two favorite works—Beethoven’s joyously propulsive Symphony No.7 and Mahler’s nostalgic and folk-inspired songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn—are featured in this concert. With its jubilant opening dance, inexorable second movement, blazing Scherzo, and wildly paced finale, Beethoven’s symphony sets the pulse racing with its infectious rhythmic vitality. Brett Dean’s moving tribute to the Beethoven fittingly opens the program.


Orchestra of St. Luke's
David Robertson, Conductor
Thomas Hampson, Baritone


BRETT DEAN Testament

MAHLER Selections from Des Knaben Wunderhorn
·· "Des Antonius von Padua Fischpredigt"
·· "Lied des Verfolgten im Turm"
·· "Das irdische Leben"
·· "Das himmlische Leben"
·· "Urlicht"

BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 7

Event Duration

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

At a Glance

Moving from the present to the past, this evening’s program opens with Brett Dean’s Testament, a meditation on Beethoven’s Heiligenstadt Testament, in which the composer struggled to come to terms with the loss of his hearing. This mysterious and quietly troubling piece, written by a living composer and performer, allows us to imaginatively inhabit the restive mind of an iconic genius, using orchestral techniques that cause us to question our own senses and expectations.

Mahler mined the bizarre and imaginative texts of the folk collection Des Knaben Wunderhorn at numerous points in his career, showing how traditions from the past could inspire and inform musical innovation in the present and future. Tonight’s selections offer a broad sampling of the range of Mahler’s output in this idiom, performed by one of today’s preeminent interpreters of art song, baritone Thomas Hampson.

Beethoven’s joyously propulsive Symphony No. 7 takes us the furthest back in time historically, but in fact situates us in a moment of seemingly timeless rhythm and motion. With its jubilant opening dance, inexorable second movement, blazing scherzo, and wildly paced finale, Beethoven’s symphony sets the pulse racing with its infectious choreographic vitality.


Orchestra of St. Luke's

Orchestra of St. Luke's (OSL) is one of America's most versatile and distinguished orchestras, collaborating with the world's greatest artists and performing ...

Orchestra of St. Luke's (OSL) is one of America's most versatile and distinguished orchestras, collaborating with the world's greatest artists and performing approximately 80 concerts each year--including its Carnegie Hall orchestra series, Chamber Music Series at The Morgan Library & Museum and Brooklyn Museum, and Caramoor Summer Season. In its 42-year history, OSL has commissioned more than 50 new works; has given more than 175 world, US, and New York City premieres; and has appeared on more than 100 recordings, including four Grammy Award winners and seven releases on its own label, St. Luke's Collection. Pablo Heras-Casado is OSL's principal conductor.

OSL grew out of a chamber ensemble that began giving concerts at the Church of St. Luke in the Fields in Greenwich Village in 1974. Today, the 21 virtuoso artists of St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble make up OSL's artistic core.

OSL owns and operates The DiMenna Center for Classical Music in Midtown Manhattan, where it shares a building with the Baryshnikov Arts Center. The DiMenna Center is New York City's premier venue for rehearsal, recording, and learning, having quickly gained a reputation for its superb acoustics, state-of-the-art facilities, and affordability. Since opening in 2011, The DiMenna Center has welcomed more than 100,000 visitors, including more than 400 ensembles and artists such as Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Itzhak Perlman, Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Valery Gergiev, James Levine, James Taylor, and Sting. OSL hosts hundreds of neighbors, families, and schoolchildren at its home each year for free community events.

Through its Education and Community programs, OSL has introduced audiences across New York City to live classical music. OSL brings free chamber concerts to the five boroughs, offers free interactive music programs at The DiMenna Center, provides chamber music coaching for adult amateurs, and engages 10,000 public school students each year through its Free School Concerts. In 2013, OSL launched Youth Orchestra of St. Luke's, an intensive after-school instrumental instruction program that emphasizes musical excellence and social development, in partnership with community organizations and public schools in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood.

David Robertson

David Robertson is one of today's most sought-after conductors, celebrated worldwide as a champion of contemporary composers, an ingenious and adventurous programmer, and a masterful communicator whose passionate and compelling advocacy for the art form is widely recognized. This marks Mr. Robertson's 12th season as music director of the storied, 137-year-old St. Louis Symphony. He also serves as chief conductor and artistic director of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in Australia.

Mr. Robertson has solidified the St. Louis Symphony's standing as one of the nation's most enduring and innovative orchestras. His established relationships with artists and composers is deeply rooted, and is evidenced by the St. Louis Symphony's strong relationship with composer John Adams. Their 2014 release of City Noir (Nonesuch Records)--featuring works by Adams performed by the St. Louis Symphony with Mr. Robertson--won the Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance. Adams's violin symphony, Scheherazade.2, performed by Leila Josefowicz with Mr. Robertson leading the St. Louis Symphony, was released last month on Nonesuch.

Highlights of Mr. Robertson's 2016-2017 season with the St. Louis Symphony include a Carnegie Hall performance of Adams's The Gospel According to the Other Mary as part of a celebration of the composer's 70th birthday. Mr. Robertson and the symphony hold a season-long celebration of Adams, highlighted by Ms. Josefowicz's performance of the composer's Violin Concerto at Powell Hall. This performance will also be recorded by Nonesuch, and is scheduled for release in 2017.

Born in Santa Monica, California, Mr. Robertson was educated at London's Royal Academy of Music, where he studied horn and composition before turning to orchestral conducting. He received Columbia University's 2006 Ditson Conductor's Award, and he and the St. Louis Symphony have been recipients of several major awards from ASCAP and the League of American Orchestras. Musical America named Mr. Robertson Conductor of the Year for 2000. In 2010, he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the most prestigious honorary societies in the United States.

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Thomas Hampson

Thomas Hampson, America's foremost baritone, hails from Spokane, Washington. He has received many honors and awards for his probing artistry and cultural leadership. ...

Thomas Hampson, America's foremost baritone, hails from Spokane, Washington. He has received many honors and awards for his probing artistry and cultural leadership. Honored as a Metropolitan Opera Guild "Met Mastersinger" and inducted into both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Gramophone's 2013 Hall of Fame, Mr. Hampson is one of the most respected and innovative musicians of our time. Comprising more than 170 albums, his discography includes winners of a Grammy Award, five Edison Awards, and the Grand Prix du Disque. He received the 2009 Distinguished Artistic Leadership Award from the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC, and was appointed the New York Philharmonic's first artist-in-residence. In 2010, he was honored with a Living Legend award by the Library of Congress, where he serves as Special Advisor for the Study and Performance of Music in America. In addition, he has received the famed Concertgebouw Prize, and was named ECHO Klassik's Singer of the Year in 2011 for the fourth time in 20 years.

Mr. Hampson was made an honorary professor on the faculty of philosophy of the Heidelberg University; holds honorary doctorates from the Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory of Music, Whitworth College, and San Francisco Conservatory of Music; and is an honorary member of London's Royal Academy of Music. He carries the titles of Kammersänger of the Vienna State Opera and Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of the Republic of France, and was awarded the Austrian Medal of Honor in Arts and Sciences.

Mr. Hampson enjoys a singular international career as an opera singer, recording artist, and "ambassador of song," maintaining an active interest in research, education, musical outreach, and technology. He has won worldwide recognition for thoughtfully researched and creatively constructed programs, as well as recordings that explore the rich repertoire of song in a wide range of styles, languages, and periods. Through the Hampsong Foundation, which he founded in 2003, he employs the art of song to promote intercultural dialogue and understanding.

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