Symphony Concert N° 10

Christian Thielemann Conductor
Julia Kleiter Soprano
Christian Gerhaher Baritone

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy

  • Symphony No. 3 in a minor, Opus 56 »Scottish«

Alexander von Zemlinsky

  • Lyric Symphony for Soprano, Baritone and Orchestra, Opus 18

Lyrical symphonies

Alexander Zemlinsky’s pithy message to his publisher in September 1922 – »This summer I have written something like Das Lied von der Erde« – announced his completion of the Lyric Symphony. And even if the text by the Bengali poet and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore which served as Zemlinsky’s inspiration seemsexotic, the  composer remained committed to the late Romantic style, evident in the symphony’s yearning melodies and use of leitmotifs. Zemlinsky’s settings for soprano and baritone of seven unrelated poems are linked by means of interludes to form a meaningful narrative. Through powerful images, the texts describe the beginning and end of a passionate affair.

The advance booking will be announced later.

Das Konzert wird von MDR Klassik mitgeschnitten und zu einem späteren Zeitpunkt gesendet.
  • 21.05.2022
    19:00 Uhr
    Semperoper
  • 22.05.2022
    11:00 Uhr
    Semperoper

Christian Thielemann

Principal Conductor

Since the 2012/2013 season Christian Thielemann has been Principal Conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden. Following engagements at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, in Gelsenkirchen, Karlsruhe, Hanover and Dusseldorf, in 1988 he moved to Nuremberg to occupy the post of Generalmusikdirektor. In 1997 he returned to his hometown of Berlin to direct the Deutsche Oper until 2004, when he became Music Director of the Munich Philharmonic, a post he held until 2011. In addition to his current position in Dresden, Thielemann has been Artistic Director of the Salzburg Easter Festival since 2013, where the Staatskapelle is resident orchestra.

In previous seasons Christian Thielemann has contributed greatly to the birthday celebrations for Wagner, Strauss and Beethoven. At the same time he has explored a wide range of music from Bach to Henze, Rihm and Gubaidulina in Dresden and on tour. In the Semperoper he recently conducted new productions of »Ariadne auf Naxos« and »Capriccio« while for the Salzburg Easter Festival he interpreted »Die Walküre«, »Tosca« and »Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg«.

Christian Thielemann maintains close ties to the Berlin Philharmonic and the Vienna Philharmonic, whose New Year’s Concert he conducted in 2019. Following his debut at the Bayreuth Festival in 2000, he has

returned every year to thrill audiences with benchmark interpretations. After serving five years as the festival’s Musical Advisor, in June 2015 he became its Music Director. In addition, he has been invited to conduct the leading orchestras of Europe, the United States, Israel and Asia.

As a UNITEL exclusive artist, Christian Thielemann has a comprehensive catalogue of recordings. His most recent projects with the Staatskapelle have been to record the symphonies of Anton Bruckner and Robert Schumann, Arnold Schoenberg’s »Gurre-Lieder« as well as numerous operas. Christian Thielemann is an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music in London, honorary professor at Dresden’s Carl Maria von Weber College of Music and holds honorary doctorates from the Franz Liszt University of Music in Weimar and the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. In 2003 he was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. In May 2015 he received the Richard Wagner Prize from the Richard Wagner Society of the city of Leipzig, followed by the Prize from the Semperoper Trust in October 2016. He is patron of the Richard-Wagner-Stätten in Graupa. His recordings have been showered with awards.

Julia Kleiter

Born in Limburg, German soprano Julia Kleiter studied with William Workmann in Hamburg and with Klesie Kelly-Moog in Cologne.

In 2004, she made her operatic debut at Opéra-Bastille in one of her signature roles, Pamina, in Die Zauberflöte. In the course of the following years she performed this role under the baton of some of the most influential conductors of their time, such as Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Claudio Abbado, or, most recently, Philippe Jordan in Madrid, Zurich, at the Edinburgh and the Salzburg Festival as well as the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

Julia Kleiter has already been heard as the Contessa (Le nozze di Figaro) at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden under Sir John Eliot Gardiner, and at La Scala in Milan as Ilia in Mozart's Idomeneo. Agathe in Weber's Freischütz in Dresden, Donna Anna at the Hamburg State Opera or Eva in Wagner's Meistersinger von Nürnberg under Daniel Barenboim in Berlin are further highlights of the recent past.

The last season was affected by numerous cancellations due to the COVID pandemic: role debuts as Arabella under Fabio Luisi at the Zurich Opera House, as Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier in Brussels and her debut as the Countess in Capriccio in Zurich unfortunately could not take place. In the 2021/22 season, the world premiere of Manfred Trojahn's opera Eurydice - Die Liebenden blind at the Opera in Amsterdam or Le nozze di Figaro at the Semperoper in Dresden are planned. Julia Kleiter can also be heard in numerous recitals at London's Wigmore Hall, in Paris, Madrid, Munich and at the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg. She performs regularly with the pianists Michael Gees and Julius Drake and has also appeared at the Pierre Boulez Hall in Berlin, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Mozarteum in Salzburg and the Philharmonie in Essen.

 

In addition, Julia Kleiter will perform in the current season under the baton of Christian Thielemann alongside Christian Gerhaher in Zemlinsky's Lyric Symphony in Dresden, Vienna and Paris or as soloist in Mahler's 2nd Symphony in Madrid.

As a concert singer and song recitalist, she is regularly invited to all major concert venues. Her extensive repertoire includes Schumann´s Das Paradies und die Peri, Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem, Haydn´s Schöpfung, Bruckner´s Te Deum as well as Dvorak’s Requiem. Mendelssohns’ Lobgesang in Madrid and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis in Duisburg are scheduled later this season as well as several recitals at Zurich Opera, Barcelona and London´s Wigmore Hall. In recital, Julia Kleiter collaborates with pianists Michael Gees and Julius Drake. She is a regular guest at Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, and has also sung at the Pierre-Boulez-Saal in Berlin, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Mozarteum in Salzburg and the Philharmonie Essen.

Julia Kleiter is represented on a vast array of recordings. Her newest album, Songs by Franz Liszt, will be released in January 2020 on Hyperion.

Christian Gerhaher

Baritone

During his studies under Paul Kuen and Raimund Grumbach, German baritone Christian Gerhaher attended the Opera School of the Academy of Music in Munich and, together with Gerold Huber, studied lied interpretation with Friedemann Berger. While completing his medical studies Christian Gerhaher perfected his vocal training in master-classes given by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Inge Borkh. At present Christian Gerhaher himself teaches occasionally in select master-classes and is an honorary professor at the Academy of Music in Munich. He holds the title Bayerischer Kammersänger, is an honorary professor at the Munich Academy of Music and Theatre and bearer of the Bavarian Maximilian Order for Science and Art.

Together with his regular piano accompanist Gerold Huber, Christian Gerhaher has devoted himself to lied interpretation for 30 years now, in concerts, recordings and in teaching, and they have been awarded major prizes. The lied duo can be heard on the stages of major international recital centres, for instance in the concert halls of New York, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Cologne and Berlin Philharmonie and the Cité de la musique in Paris. They are particularly frequent guests in the Konzerthaus and the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid as well as in the Wigmore Hall in London – there and in the Musikverein in Vienna Christian Gerhaher was artist in residence in recent years. He is a regular guest at festivals such as the Rheingau Music Festival, the London Proms, the Salzburg Festival as well as the Edinburgh and Lucerne Festivals.

Christian Gerhaher has performed together with conductors such as wie Simon Rattle, Daniel Harding, Herbert Blomstedt, Bernard Haitink, Christian Thielemann, Kirill Petrenko, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Pierre Boulez, Daniel Barenboim, Andris Nelsons, Kent Nagano and Mariss Jansons in the world’s major concert halls. Major orchestras which regularly invite Christian Gerhaher to perform include the London Symphony Orchestra, the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, and in particular the Berlin Philharmonic, where he was the first ever singer to be artist in residence, as well as the Swedish and especially the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. Together with this ensemble, conducted by Daniel Harding, Christian Gerhaher recorded his first album of arias devoted to opera in the German Romantic era and for which he received the International Opera Award 2013. In the meantime another opera recital was issued on CD in 2015: Mozart Arias accompanied by the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra.

The beginning of the 2020/21 season is overshadowed, as was the end of the past season, by the corona pandemic. Opera productions which had been planned for a long time, such as Wozzeck in Aix-en-Provence (July 2020 with Sir Simon Rattle/Simon McBurney) as well as concerts and lied recital tours could not take place, other engagements arise at short notice, often only as streamed concerts, for instance the Monday concerts of the Bavarian State Opera, or for audiences with a limited number of persons, such as the MDR Music Summer or the Festival d’Aix. A performance of Othmar Schoeck’s Elegie with the Basel Chamber Orchestra conducted by Heinz Holliger is intended to re-open the Basel Casino in August 2020.

Song recitals in Elmau, in the Wigmore Hall in London and at the Bavarian State Opera, with lieder by Franz Schubert and Alban Berg on the programme, mark the start of the season in September. Dates with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (in October, Nuits d’été by Berlioz conducted by Stéphane Denève; in February 2021 Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder conducted by Robin Ticciati), the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra (in January 2021 Mahler’s Wunderhornlieder conducted by Daniel Harding, the Staatskapelle Weimar (in April 2021 Alphons Diepenbrock’s Im großen Schweigen conducted by Peter Gülke), recitals of Schubert’s Schwanengesang (Helsinki, Stockholm, London, Paris in January 2021 and in March 2021 in Hong Kong and Tokyo) are noted in the calendar.

Besides his principle activity giving concerts and recitals, Christian Gerhaher is also a highly sought-after performer on the opera stage and has received several prizes such as the Laurence Olivier Award and the theatre prize Der Faust. Under Riccardo Muti he sang Papageno in a production of »The Magic Flute« in 2006 at the Salzburg Festival (issued by Decca as a DVD. Other roles include Eisenstein (»Die Fledermaus«), Posa in Don Carlo, Olivier (»Capriccio«) as well as the title roles in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, in »Don Giovanni«, in Debussy’s »Pelléas et Mélisande« (CD with LSO Live, Simon Rattle), and in Henze’s »Prinz von Homburg«. Wolfram in Richard Wagner’s »Tannhäuser« was and remains a constant role in his calendar in the opera houses in Berlin, Vienna, London and Munich where he last sang the role in June 2017 in the new production by Romeo Castelluci. A milestone in Christian Gerhaher’s opera career was his debut in the title role of Alban Berg’s »Wozzeck« in September 2015 at Zurich Opera House in the exceptional staging by Andreas Homoki (available as a DVD on the Accentus label; Gramophone Award in 2017).

Christian Gerhaher’s CDs are issued by Sony Music, with which he has an exclusive partnership. Accompanied by Gerold Huber, the Schubert, Schumann and Mahler cycles have been released on this label. At present, together with BR Klassik, the classical music programme of Bavarian Radio, and the Heidelberg Liedzentrum, a large scale complete recording of all Robert Schumann’s songs is being made. In November 2018 the first album Frage was issued, for which Christian Gerhaher received the Gramophone Award as well as the Opus Klassik as Singer of the Year. The album Myrthen was issued in November 2019 and the release of the complete recording is planned for spring 2021.