Symphony Concert N° 12

Daniel Harding Conductor
Dame Sarah Connolly Mezzo soprano
Andrew Staples Tenor

Olga Neuwirth

  • »Masaot/Clocks without Hands«

Gustav Mahler

  • »Das Lied von der Erde«

Kaleidoscopes of memories

Olga Neuwirth describes her orchestral piece »Masaot/Clocks without Hands« as a shaped stream of memories. Resembling a musical kaleidoscope, song fragments from diverse traditions are combined to form a polyphonic whole. It is no coincidence that this work emerged from a commission to mark the 100th birthday of Gustav Mahler, whose musical imagination encompassed folk songs and waltzes as well as fairground music and the sound of the posthorn. »Das Lied von der Erde« also breaks down musi­cal boundaries, uniting the two genres most favoured by the composer: the symphony and the song cycle.

A concert introduction by Hagen Kunze is given 45 minutes before the start of the performance in the opera cellar.

Daniel Harding

Born in Oxford, Daniel Harding began his career as assistant to Sir Simon Rattle with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, where he made his debut in 1994. Later he was assistant to Claudio Abbado with the Berlin Philharmonic and made his debut at the Musikfest Berlin in 1996.

Today Daniel Harding is Music Director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra and musical partner of the New Japan Philharmonic. Recently he was awarded the title of Conductor Laureate by the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. His previous positions have included Principal Conductor and Music Director of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra (2003-2011), Principal Conductor of the Norwegian Trondheim Symphony Orchestra (1997-2000), Principal Guest Conductor of the Swedish Norrköping Symphony Orchestra (1997-2003) and Music Director of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen (1997-2003). In autumn 2016 he will take over the position of Principal Conductor of the Orchestre de Paris.


Daniel Harding is a regular guest with the Vienna Philharmonic, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala in Milan. Engagements as guest conductor have taken him to the Vienna, Berlin and Munich Philharmonic Orchestras, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, Oslo Philharmonic, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre des Champs-Elysées as well as to the orchestras of New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Chicago.

Dame Sarah Connolly

Born in County Durham, Sarah Connolly studied piano and singing at the Royal College of Music, of which she is now a Fellow.  She was made a DBE in the 2017 Birthday Honours, having previously been made a CBE in the 2010 New Year’s Honours.  In 2011 she was honoured by the Incorporated Society of Musicians and presented with the Distinguished Musician Award. She is the recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s 2012 Singer Award.

Recent highlights in opera have included Fricka (Covent Garden, Teatro Réal & Bayreuther Festspiele) Brangäne »Tristan und Isolde« (Covent Garden, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Glyndebourne Festival & Gran Teatro del Liceu); Komponist »Ariadne auf Naxos« and Clairon »Capriccio« (Metropolitan Opera); Gertrude in the world premiere of Brett Dean's »Hamlet« (Glyndebourne Festival); the title role in »Ariodante« (Wiener Staatsoper, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence & Dutch National Opera); Sesto »La clemenza di Tito« (Festival d’Aix-en-Provence); Purcell’s Dido (Teatro alla Scala & Covent Garden); Jocaste in Enescu's »Œdipe« (Covent Garden); Gluck’s Orfeo and the title role in »The Rape of Lucretia« (Bayerische Staatsoper); Phèdre »Hippolyte et Aricie« (Opéra national de Paris & Glyndebourne Festival) and the title role in »Agrippina« (Gran Teatro del Liceu).

Her many concert engagements include appearances at the Lucerne, Salzburg, Tanglewood and Three Choirs Festivals and at the BBC Proms where, in 2009, she was a memorable guest soloist at The Last Night.  Other notable engagements have included »The Dream of Gerontius« (Boston Symphony Orchestra, Mozarteumorchester Salzburg); Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 at the BBC Proms (London Symphony Orchestra); »A Child of our Time« and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Boston Symphony Orchestra & Philadelphia Orchestra); »Das Lied von der Erde« (Concertgebouworkest, Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest); »Des Knaben Wunderhorn« (L’Orchestre des Champs-Elysées) and »La mort de Cléopâtre« (BBC

Symphony Orchestra). She collaborates with eminent conductors such as Daniel Harding, Sir Andrew Davis, Philippe Herreweghe, Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Colin Davis, Bernhard Haitink and Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

She has appeared in recital in London, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Geneva, Madrid, Paris, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, San Francisco, Atlanta, Stuttgart; at the Incontri in Terra di Siena La Foce and the Schubertiada Vilabertran and at the Aldeburgh, Cheltenham, Edinburgh and Oxford Lieder Festivals. In the 2018/19 season she curated a Residency at Wigmore Hall.

Committed to promoting new music, her performances include Peter Lieberson’s »Neruda Songs« (BBC Symphony Orchetsra/Bělohlávek), and the world premieres of Mark Anthony Turnage’s »The Silver Tassie«; Sir John Tavener’s »Tribute to Cavafy« (Tallis Scholars/Phillips at Symphony Hall, Birmingham) and »Gnosis« (BBC Symphony Orchestra/Bělohlávek at the BBC Proms).

A prolific recording artist, her many discs include Purcell’s »Dido and Aeneas« (OAE); »Des Knaben Wunderhorn« (L’Orchestre des Champs-Élysées/Herreweghe - winner of an Edison Award); Brangäne »Tristan und Isolde« (LPO/Jurowski); Elgar’s »Sea Pictures« and »The Dream of Gerontius« (BBC Symphony Orchestra/Sir Andrew Davis – winner of a Gramophone Award); Britten's »Phaedra« (BBC Symphony Orchestra/Gardner) and Mendelssohn’s »Elijah«, Mozart’s »Mass in C Minor« and Haydn’s »Scena di Berenice« (Gabrieli Consort/McCreesh).  Her roles on DVD include Giulio Cesare, Nerone, Clairon and Purcell’s Dido.  Her recording of Handel arias with The Sixteen and Harry Christophers was described as ›the definition of captivating‹ and her three solo recital discs »The Exquisite Hour«, »Songs of Love and Loss« and »My true love hath my heart« have all won universal critical acclaim.  She features on the soundtrack »Fragments of a Prayer« by Sir John Tavener, for the feature film »Children of Men«.

Andrew Staples

A prolific concert performer, Andrew has appeared with the Berliner and Wiener Philharmoniker and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks with Sir Simon Rattle; the Orchestre de Paris, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and London Symphony Orchestra with Daniel Harding; the Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest, the Orcherstre Métropolitain and the Philadelphia Orchestra with Yannick Nézet-Séguin; the Accademia Santa Cecilia with Semyon Bychkov; and the Staatskapelle Berlin with Daniel Barenboim. Andrew made his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Jacquino (»Fidelio«), returning for Flamand (»Capriccio«), Tamino (»Die Zauberflöte«) and Narraboth (»Salome«). He has also appeared at the Metropolitan Opera, the National Theatre Prague; La Monnaie Brussels; the Salzburger Festspiele; Hamburgische Staatsoper, Theater an der Wien, the Lucerne Festival and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Recent and future engagements include his Metropolitan Opera debut as Andres (»Wozzeck«), Nicias in concert performances of »Thais« with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and »Das Lied

von der Erde« with the New York Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Deutsches Symphonie - Orchester Berlin and Budapest Festival Orchestra.

Andrew believes firmly in the evolution of cultural content for screen. Bringing his experience on stage both as a performer and director, he has made a series of music films. Aiming to bring cinematic techniques and rigour to the pre- and post-production phase of his projects, his films aim to capture the thrill of live performance and present it to an audience on screen who desire something more than an archive or stream of the event. Recent film project collaborations have been with La Nuova Musica, Tenebrae, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Aurora Orchestra, Nicola Benedetti, and the Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France. In 2021 he received the Royal Philharmonic Society Enterprise Fund Trailblazer Grant, presented in association with Harriet’s Trust, in order to support and advance the making of such music films.