The MET Orchestra
The MET Orchestra
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Music Director and Conductor
Elīna Garanča, Mezzo-Soprano
MAHLER Rückert Lieder
BRUCKNER Symphony No. 7
Event DurationThe printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission. Please note that there will be no late seating before intermission.
Have you heard?
Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7
In a career filled with critical disappointments, Bruckner finally achieved acclaim with his Symphony No. 7. It’s a superbly crafted masterpiece where drama and soaring lyricism are combined. It opens mysteriously, has flashes of rustic humor in its Scherzo—including an imitation of a rooster’s crow—and culminates in a jubilant finale. Its soul is the second-movement Adagio, a breathtaking tribute inspired by thoughts of the death of his idol, Wagner.
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 33-week New York season, when the company performs as many as seven times a week in repertory that this season encompasses 27 operas.
In addition to its opera schedule, the orchestra has a distinguished history of concert performances. Arturo 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, Moriz Rosenthal, and Fritz Kreisler. In recent years, instrumental and vocal soloists have included Itzhak Perlman, Maxim Vengerov, Alfred Brendel, Maurizio Pollini, Evgeny Kissin, Christian Tetzlaff, Anna Netrebko, Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Natalie Dessay, Diana Damrau, Christine Goerke, Joyce DiDonato, Matthew Polenzani, and Peter Mattei, among many others. The group has also performed six world premieres: Milton Babbitt’s Piano Concerto No. 2 (1998), William Bolcom’s Symphony No. 7 (2002), Hsueh-Yung Shen’s Legend (2002), Charles Wuorinen’s Theologoumenon (2007) and Time Regained (2009), and John Harbison’s Closer to My Own Life (2011).
Canadian-born conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin became the Met’s Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer Music Director with the beginning of the 2018–2019 season, during which he conducted a new production of Verdi’s La traviata, and revivals of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande and Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites. He made his company debut in 2009 with a new production of Bizet’s Carmen and has since returned every season, conducting new productions of Verdi’s Don Carlo, Gounod’s Faust, and Verdi’s Otello, as well as revivals of Dvořák’s Rusalka, La traviata, Strauss’s Elektra, and Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer and Parsifal. He has been music director of The Philadelphia Orchestra since 2012, and held the same position with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra between 2008 and 2018. Since 2000, he has served as artistic director and principal conductor of Montreal’s Orchestre Métropolitain.
Maestro Nézet-Séguin has worked with many leading European ensembles and enjoys close collaborations with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Chamber Orchestra of Europe. From 2008 to 2014, he was principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. He has appeared at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival and the BBC Proms, as well as the festivals of Salzburg, Edinburgh, Lucerne, Grafenegg, Lanaudière, Vail, and Saratoga.
Recent recordings include Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and the complete symphonies of Schumann with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe; Stravinsky’s Le sacre du printemps, Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (featuring pianist Daniil Trifonov), and Bernstein’s Mass with The Philadelphia Orchestra; and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra.
Maestro Nézet-Séguin studied piano, conducting, composition, and chamber music at the Conservatoire de Musique du Québec à Montréal, and choral conducting at the Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, before going on to study with renowned conductors, most notably Carlo Maria Giulini. His honors include the Order of Montreal, Musical America’s 2016 Artist of the Year, the Royal Philharmonic Society Award, Canada’s National Arts Centre Award, and the Prix Denise-Pelletier awarded by the Quebec government. He holds honorary doctorates from McGill University, University of Quebec, and Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute. He received the Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec in 2015 and was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada in 2012.
Elīna Garanča was born into a musical family in Riga, Latvia, where she studied at the Latvian Academy of Music with her mother. Ms. Garanča won the 1999 Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition and was a finalist in the 2001 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition. She began her professional career appearing in many leading roles as a resident artist with Meiningen’s Südthüringisches Staatstheater, later appearing as a resident artist with Oper Frankfurt.
Ms. Garanča has established herself as a major star through her performances with leading opera companies and symphony orchestras around the world. She has captured critical and popular acclaim for her beautiful voice, intelligent musicianship, and compelling stage portrayals. In September 2005, Ms. Garanča became an exclusive artist with Deutsche Grammophon. Her first solo recording, Aria Cantilena, was released in March 2007 to great acclaim. Her 2012 album, Romantique, and 2015 album, Meditation, both won ECHO Klassik awards; her 2016 album, Revive, was released to unanimous critical praise.
During the 2018–2019 season, Ms. Garanča opened the Metropolitan Opera’s season in a new production of Samson et Dalila, and returned to the Vienna State Opera in Cavalleria rusticana. On the concert platform, she sang Verdi’s Requiem with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Riccardo Muti, and also gave recitals at London’s Wigmore Hall.
Other recent highlights include role debuts in new productions of Don Carlos (Princess Eboli) at the Opéra national de Paris and Samson et Dalila (Dalila) at the Vienna State Opera. Ms. Garanča also starred in a new production of Der Rosenkavalier at the Metropolitan Opera.
Ms. Garanča is the recipient of many awards, including Musical America’s 2010 Vocalist of the Year, MIDEM’s 2007 Singer of the Year, and ECHO Klassik’s 2007 Female Singer of the Year. In May 2013, she was awarded the honorary title “Kammersängerin” by the Vienna State Opera. One of the youngest recipients of the award, she was honored for her devotion to the house, where she has sung more than 140 performances of 18 roles since her debut in 2003.