Performance Wednesday, February 17, 2016 | 8 PM

Dmitri Hvorostovsky
Ivari Ilja

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky is one of the most thrilling singers of our time. Whether he’s singing music from his native Russia, a Verdi aria, or a classic song, his dark baritone and commanding stage presence always mesmerize. Hvorostovsky returns to Carnegie Hall with a program that features music from his homeland by Glinka and Rimsky-Korsakov, and German songs by Mahler and Richard Strauss.


  • Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Baritone
  • Ivari Ilja, Piano


  • GLINKA "To Molly"
  • GLINKA "How sweet it is to be with you"
  • GLINKA "Say not that it grieves the heart"
  • GLINKA "Doubt"
  • GLINKA "Bolero"
  • RIMSKY-KORSAKOV "On the hills of Georgia," Op. 3, No. 4
  • RIMSKY-KORSAKOV "Oh, if thou couldst for one moment," Op. 39, No. 1
  • RIMSKY-KORSAKOV "The wave breaks into spray," Op. 46, No. 1
  • RIMSKY-KORSAKOV "Not the wind, blowing from the heights," Op. 43, No. 2
  • RIMSKY-KORSAKOV "What is my name to thee?," Op. 4, No. 1
  • RIMSKY-KORSAKOV "The lark sings louder," Op. 43, No. 1
  • TCHAIKOVSKY "I bless you, forests," Op. 47, No. 5
  • TCHAIKOVSKY "The Nightingale," Op. 60, No. 4
  • TCHAIKOVSKY "Amid the din of the ball," Op. 38, No. 3
  • TCHAIKOVSKY "The First Meeting," Op. 63, No. 4
  • R. STRAUSS "Allerseelen," Op. 10, No. 8
  • R. STRAUSS "Befreit," Op. 39, No. 4
  • R. STRAUSS "Zueignung," Op. 10, No. 1
  • R. STRAUSS "Morgen," Op. 27, No. 4
  • R. STRAUSS "Cäcilie," Op. 27, No. 2

  • Encores:
  • TRAD. "Farewell, Happiness"


  • Dmitri Hvorostovsky

    Internationally acclaimed Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky was born and studied in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia. In 1989, he won the prestigious BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. From the start, audiences were bowled over by his cultivated voice, innate sense of musical line, and natural legato. After his Western operatic debut at the Opéra de Nice in Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades, his career exploded, resulting in regular engagements at the world's major opera houses and appearances at renowned international festivals, including the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; the Metropolitan Opera; Opéra national de Paris; Bavarian State Opera; Salzburg Festival; Teatro alla Scala; Vienna State Opera; and Lyric Opera of Chicago.

    A celebrated recitalist in demand in every corner of the globe-from the Far East to the Middle East, from Australia to South America-Mr. Hvorostovsky has appeared at such venues as Wigmore Hall, London; Queen's Hall, Edinburgh; Teatro alla Scala, Milan; Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Moscow; Liceu, Barcelona; Suntory Hall, Tokyo; and the Musikverein, Vienna. He performs in concert with top orchestras like the New York and Rotterdam philharmonics, with leading conductors who include Claudio Abbado, Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, and Yuri Temirkanov.

    Mr. Hvorostovsky retains a strong musical and personal contact with Russia. He became the first opera singer to give a solo concert with orchestra and chorus in Moscow's Red Square; this concert was televised in more than 25 countries. He has gone on to sing a number of prestigious concerts in Moscow as a part of his own special series, Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Friends, and invited such celebrated artists as Renée Fleming, Barbara Frittoli, Sumi Jo, Sondra Radvanovsky, Jonas Kaufmann, Marcello Giordani, and Ildar Abdrazakov. In 2005, he gave a historic tour throughout the cities of Russia at the invitation of President Putin, singing to crowds of hundreds of thousands of people to commemorate the soldiers of the Second World War. In 2015, he once again gave a tour of Russia to mark the 70th anniversary of World War II, starting with a free concert at VDNKh in Moscow.

    Mr. Hvorostovsky's extensive discography spans recitals and complete operas. He has also starred in Don Giovanni Unmasked, an award-winning film released by Rhombus Media based on the Mozart opera in which he tackles the dual roles of Don Giovanni and Leporello. Recent critically acclaimed recordings include Wait for Me (Russian war songs with orchestra conducted by Constantine Orbelian); and Verdi: Simon Boccanegra with Barbara Frittoli, Ildar Abdrazakov, Stefano Secco, and Constantine Orbelian.

    Mr. Hvorostovsky has collaborated with popular Russian composer Igor Krutoy, with very successful concerts in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kiev, and New York.

    The 2015-2016 season includes appearances at the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House, and Vienna State Opera, as well as concert and recital tours of Europe and North America.

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  • Ivari Ilja

    Ivari Ilja was born in Tallinn, Estonia. He studied the piano at the Tallinn State Conservatory with Laine Mets, and at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory with Vera Gornostayeva and Sergei Dorensky.

    Mr. Ilja is an internationally recognized accompanist and ensemble musician. His collaborations with renowned singers Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Irina Arkhipova, Maria Guleghina, and Elena Zaremba have been particularly successful. As pianist for these singers, he has performed on many concert stages around the world, including Alice Tully Hall, David Geffen Hall, the Kennedy Center, Davies Symphony Hall, La Scala, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Wigmore Hall, Bolshoi Theatre, Shostakovich Philharmonic Hall, Suntory Hall, Hamburg State Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, and Vienna's Musikverein. Since 2003, he has repeatedly toured with Mr. Hvorostovsky in the US, Europe, Hong Kong, and Japan.

    Mr. Ilja has also held solo recitals in France, the UK
    , Germany, Estonia, Russia, Sweden, and Finland. He has performed as a soloist with several symphony orchestras, such as the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Moscow Symphony Orchestra, and St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra. His repertoire mostly consists of Romantic music-primarily of the works by Chopin, Brahms, and Schumann-as well as music by Mozart, Prokofiev, Britten, and others. 

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GLINKA "Ya pomnu chudnoye mgnovenye" ("I recall a wonderful moment")
Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Baritone | Ivari Ilja, Piano

At a Glance

Dmitri Hvorostovsky’s program traces the evolution of the Russian art song over the course of the 19th century. It begins with the songs of Mikhail Glinka, rarely heard outside Russia, which, like his operatic and orchestral works, ignited the flame of a distinctive Russian sound in classical music. Fascinatingly, Glinka’s songs display as deep a grounding in the suavity of the Italian bel canto tradition as in the ruggedness of Slavic folk song, for he was a singer himself and spent three years studying voice and vocal literature in Italy as a young man.

Slightly more familiar are the songs of the two contemporaries Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Both were directly inspired by Glinka’s music, but the former gave his allegiance to the new Russian nationalist movement while the latter pursued a more cosmopolitan European path. Rimsky-Korsakov’s songs show an impressive attention to careful text setting, while Tchaikovsky favored a broader-brush style in which magnificent melodies carried the emotional meaning.

Mr. Hvorostovsky also explores a very different song tradition with five of Richard Strauss’s most appealing lieder. As another of vocal music’s greatest melodists, Strauss related more closely to Tchaikovsky in his sweeping approach, as we hear in the irresistible tunes of “Zueignung” and “Cäcilie.”
Program Notes
This performance is part of Great Singers I.