Special Concert within the »Richard Strauss Days« at the Semperoper

Antonio Pappano Conductor
Norbert Anger Cello
Florian Richter Viola

Max Reger

  • Variations and fugue on a theme by Mozart opus 132

Richard Strauss

  • »Don Quixote« Fantastic Variations on a Theme of Knightly Character op. 35

Hero and World

On 15 April 1897, Strauss wrote: »Symphonic poem Held und Welt beginning to take shape; also Don Quixote as a satyr play«. The note proves that »Ein Heldenleben« (as »Held und Welt« later became) and »Don Quixote« are two sides of the same coin, namely ironic refractions of the term Held (hero). »Don Quixote« was first performed in Cologne in 1898. With its virtuoso cello part, the symphonic poem is a real challenge for any orchestra. Friedrich Grützmacher was fetched from Dresden to ensure that the premiere went off without a hitch. The former solo cellist of the Royal Saxon Kapelle is until today regarded as one of the great interpreters of »Don Quixote«.

  • Saturday
    19:00 Uhr
  • Sunday
    11:00 Uhr

Antonio Pappano

Antonio Pappano was born in London to Italian parents and moved with his family to the United States at the age of 13. He studied piano with Norma Verrilli, composition with Arnold Franchetti and conducting with Gustav Meier.

He was appointed Music Director of the Oslo Opera Den Norske in 1990 and was Music Director of the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels from 1992-2002. From 1997-1999 he was Principal Guest Conductor of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Since 2002 he has been Music Director of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and since 2005 Music Director of the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. Pappano is therefore in great demand as an opera conductor at the Metropolitan Opera New York, the State Operas of Vienna and Berlin, the Bayreuth and Salzburg Festivals, the San Francisco Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Théâtre du Châtelet and the Teatro alla Scala, among others.

Pappano has also appeared as guest conductor with many of the world's most renowned orchestras, including the Berlin, Vienna, New York and Munich Philharmonic Orchestras, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Chicago and Boston Symphony Orchestras, the Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras, and the Orchestre de Paris. Upcoming highlights include return visits to the Staatskapelle Berlin, the London Philharmonic, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and extensive tours with the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. He is also heavily involved in the promotion of young singers and instrumentalists, and in summer 2020 he will deepen his links with the Aldeburgh and Verbier Festivals and will lead concerts and master classes.

Since 1995 Pappano has been an exclusive artist for Warner Classics and his discography includes numerous complete operas, including »Don Carlo«, »La Rondine«, »Guillaume Tell«, »Il Trittico«, »Werther«, »Il Trovatore«, »Tristan and Isolde« and most recently »Aida«. His orchestral recordings with the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia include Rachmaninov's 2nd, Mahler's 6th, Dvorak's 9th and Tchaikovsky's 4th, 5th and 6th symphonies, Respighi's Roman Trilogy, Rossini's Stabat Mater, Petite Messe Solenelle and selected overtures, Britten's War Requiem and Verdi's Requiem. His discography also documents his work with other ensembles, including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic and the orchestras of the Royal Opera House and Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, with music ranging from Pergolesi and Mendelssohn to Panufnik, Boesmans and Maxwell Davies.

His awards and honours include Gramophone's »Artist of the Year« in 2000, the Olivier Award 2003 for outstanding achievements in opera, the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award 2004 and the Bruno Walter Prize of the Académie du Disque Lyrique in Paris. In 2012 he was appointed Cavaliere di Gran Croce of the Republic of Italy and Knight of the British Empire for his services to music. In 2015 he received the 100th Gold Medal of the Royal Philharmonic Society, the organisation's highest distinction. He has also developed a remarkable career as a narrator and presenter and has been at the forefront of several critically acclaimed BBC television documentaries, including »Opera Italia«, »Pappano's Essential Ring Cycle« and »Pappano's Classical Voices«.

Norbert Anger


Norbert Anger is regarded as one of the most outstanding cellists of his generation, and has appeared as a soloist with major orchestras, such as the Orchestre de Paris, the State Symphony Orchestra of Moscow, the Staatskapelle Dresden and the Beethoven Orchester Bonn.

He has made guest-appearances at renowned international venues, such as the Salle Gaveau, the Salle Pleyel and the Comédie des Champs-Elysées, the Moscow Philharmonic and the Semperoper Dresden, and has collaborated with conductors such as Christian Thielemann, Vladimir Spivakov, John Storgårds and Andrea Marcon. 

Norbert Anger has impressed the music world as a laureate of many international competitions, such as the Concours Rostropovich in Paris, the Tschaikovsky Competition in Moscow, the Paulo Cello Contest in Helsinki and the Deutsche Musikwettbewerb. As a devoted chamber musician, he has worked together with many distinguished musicians, such as Hartmut Rohde, Latica Honda-Rosenberg, Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt and David Geringas, and has performed at international music festivals, such as the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele and the Festival Mitte Europa.

Norbert Anger started his musical education at Dresden’s Special School of Music Carl Maria von Weber, with Christoph Schulze. Already at an early age, he attracted public interest by winning international competitions, such as the Vibrarte Competition in Paris and the Domenico Gabrielli Competition in Berlin. He completed his studies with Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt at the Berlin University of Arts, and also gained valuable musical input from David Geringas, Heinrich Schiff and Sir Colin Davis.

In 2012, the German label Genuin Classics released his first CD with works by Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann and Debussy, which was highly praised by the press.

Since 2013, Norbert Anger holds the position of First Concertmaster of the cello section of the Staatskapelle Dresden, and recently in 2015, he was also named solo cellist of the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra.

As a laureate of the 21st Competition of the German Fund of Musical Instruments, he was entrusted with an instrument made by Andrea Guaneri, ex Ludwig Hoelscher, Cremona 1691 - a funding commitment by the Dr. Meyer-Struckmann Foundation. Presently, Norbert Anger plays a violoncello by Domenico Montagnana, ex Hekking, Venice 1721. 

Norbert Anger plays strings exclusively by Larsen strings A/S.

Florian Richter

Principal Viola

Florian Richter got his first lessons for violin at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater »Felix Mendelsson Bartholdy« in Leipzig with Professor Klaus Hertel. In 2000 he changed to the viola and one year later he moved at the music high school »Schloss Belvedere« in Weimar in the class of Professor Erich Krüger.

He studied at the »Hochschule für Franz Liszt Weimar« as a multiple Federal Prize winner of »Jugend Musiziert« with Professor Ditter Leser and Professor Erich Krüger and completed his education with the concert exam.


Florian Richter was scholarship holder of Hans und Eugenia Jütting Stiftung, Deutschen Stiftung Musikleben and der Carl Flesch Akademie. As a soloist he played for example under the direction of Johannes Klumpp, Helmuth Rilling, Stefan Solyom, Michael Sanderling und Marek Janowski. He was solo violist at Staatskapelle Weimar 2010 to 2012 and also at Staatsorchester Stuttgart 2012 to 2017.

Until 2017 he was also active at the music high school »Schloss Belvedere« in Weimar for young viola players.

Since October 2017 Florian Richter has been professor for viola at the Hochschule für Musik in Nuremberg and since August 2017 also solo violist of the Staatskapelle Dresden.