Jean Sibelius

Symphony No. 7 in C major, Op. 105

Benjamin Britten

Les Illuminations, Op. 18, for soprano and string orchestra

Franz Schubert

Symphony in C major, D. 944, the Great

Thomas Søndergård
Conductor
Mahler Chamber Orchestra
Claire Booth
soprano
Thomas Søndergård

Thomas SøndergårdDanish conductor Thomas Søndergård is Principal Conductor of BBC National Orchestra of Wales (BBCNOW) and also Principal Guest Conductor of Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO). He was Principal Conductor and Musical Advisor of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra from 2009-2012.

The 2015/16 season includes his debuts with Leipzig Gewandhaus, Toronto Symphony, Norske Opera, Oslo (Magic Flute – new production), Netherlands Philharmonic and Mahler Chamber Orchestra at the Philharmonie Berlin in celebration of Carl Nielsen’s 150th anniversary. He also returns to DSO Berlin, Houston, Atlanta and Danish National Symphony Orchestras.

Highlights of recent seasons include four contrasting programmes at BBC Proms (with BBCNOW) and successful debuts with Philharmonia Orchestra, Gothenburg, Atlanta, Brussels, Oslo and Luxembourg Philharmonics, Seattle, Sydney, Vancouver, Houston and BBC Symphonies, European touring with Junge Deutsche Philharmonie and EUYO, and visits to Rotterdam Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony, CBSO, and Bamberg Symphony. An experienced opera conductor, he has conducted performances with Royal Swedish Opera (Les dialogues des Carmelites, Turandot with Nina Stemme) and Royal Danish Opera (The Cunning Little Vixen).

A passionate supporter of the music of Carl Nielsen, his recent programme with Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra (Symphony No.5) received wide praise as “equal of the great pioneers of Nielsen interpretation… It’s harder to imagine a finer performance of this remarkable symphony” (Dagens Nyheter). As part of the 2015 anniversary celebrations of Sibelius and Nielsen, he conducted a variety of works by these two composers with many leading orchestras.


Mahler Chamber Orchestra

Mahler Chamber Orchestra– renowned for its passion and creativity – was founded in 1997 with the shared vision of being a free and international ensemble. MCO is a nomadic collective of exceptional musicians, with 45 members of the core ensemble spanning 20 different countries and uniting for specific tours in Europe and across the world.

The orchestra is on the move nearly 180 days per year, and has so far performed in 35 countries across 5 continents. It is governed collectively by its management team and orchestra board, and decisions are made democratically with the participation of all musicians.

At the heart of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra’s music making is the passion for chamber music that is shared by all MCO musicians. The orchestra’s sound is characterized by the tight ensemble playing of its alert and independent musical personalities. The MCO’s core repertoire lies in the Viennese Classical and early Romantic periods, while the orchestra also plays contemporary works and world premieres.

MCO musicians all share a strong desire to continually deepen their engagement with audiences. This has inspired a growing number of offstage musical encounters and projects that bring music, learning and creativity to communities across the globe.

The orchestra received its most significant artistic impulses from its founding mentor, Claudio Abbado, and from Conductor Laureate Daniel Harding. Violinist Isabelle Faust and the conductors Daniele Gatti and Teodor Currentzis are current Artistic Partners who inspire and shape the orchestra during long-term collaborations.

In 2015, the MCO concluded its major four-year project with Leif Ove Andsnes, The Beethoven Journey. Andsnes led the complete Beethoven concerto cycle from the keyboard in international residencies including Bonn, Lucerne, Vienna, Paris, New York, Shanghai, Tokyo, and London. The complete cycle is available on CD and was recognized with various prices; amongst them the BBC Music magazine’s 2015 Recording of the Year Award.

2016 starts with several high-profile projects: In January, Mitsuko Uchida and the MCO inaugurate their long-term partnership focused on Mozart’s piano concertos with an extensive tour to Spain, Luxemburg, Salzburg, and Frankfurt. In February, the orchestra proceeds with its Beethoven symphonies cycle under the baton of Artistic Partner Daniele Gatti in Italy. Daniel Harding will conduct the 8th MCO Academy project at partner venues in Dortmund, Cologne and Essen, Germany. In March, the orchestra tours with a semi-staged concert version of George Benjamin’s masterpiece Written on Skin under the baton of the composer. The Mahler Chamber Orchestra played the world premiere of Written on Skin in 2012, and the US stage premiere at the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York in summer 2015.

 


Claire Booth

Claire Booth has become internationally renowned both for her commitment to an extraordinary breadth of repertoire, and for the vitality and musicianship that she brings to the operatic stage and concert platform. In the 2013-14 season alone her diverse schedule includes Kurtag’s Kafka Fragments in Netia Jones’ groundbreaking multi media production at the Royal Opera House, Mozart concert arias with the Deutsche Symphonie Orchester at the Berlin Philharmonie, Handel’s virtuosic ‘Delirio Amoroso’ with the Elbipolis Barockorchester and Oliver Knussen’s ‘Whitman Settings’ in her debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Recent operatic highlights include Rosina inThe Barber of Seville and Dorinda in Handel’s Orlando both for Scottish Opera, Nora in Vaughan Williams’ Riders to the Sea for English National Opera, Anne Truelove with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Lucia in Rape of Lucretia, Narrator in Benjamin’s Into the Little Hill both for the Aldeburgh Festival, Zerlina and First Niece in Peter Grimes both for Opera North, Despina for Opera Nantes-Angers and Mélisande for Opera Theatre Company Dublin. Most recently she made her debut at Welsh National Opera singing ‘Pakati’ in Jonathan Harvey’s ‘Wagner Dream’.

Her numerous concert appearances have resulted in close associations with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and Ensemble Intecontemporain, the Aldeburgh and Holland Festivals and other recent debut appearances with both the Berlin Deutsche Symphonie and London Philharmonic Orchestra. Regular appearances at the BBC Proms have included Knussen’s Requiem – Songs for Sue and Whitman Settings, George Crumb’s Ancient Voices of Children, Luke Bedford’s On voit tout en aventure, Berg’s Der Wein and Debussy’s Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien.

For more than a decade she has collaborated with video director Netia Jones to produce a series of critically acclaimed productions. These include her performances of Max in Knussen’s Where the Wild Things Are and Rhoda in Higglety, Piggelty, Pop, which toured from the Aldeburgh Festival via The Los Angeles Philharmonic and a further debut under Gustavo Dudamel, to the Barbican’s own 60th birthday celebrations for the composer.

Her most recent CD release is a live recording of her role as Lucia in Britten’s Rape of Lucretia with Angelika Kirkschlager and Ian Bostridge for EMI. Other recordings include Harvey’s opera Wagner Dream with Martyn Brabbins and the Ictus Ensemble, John Eccles’ The Judgement of Paris with Christian Curnyn and the Early Opera Company and diverse works by Oliver Knussen including ‘Requiem, Songs for Sue’ of which she sang the world première.

The seasons ahead see Claire take on the title role in Jancek’s Cunning Little Vixen for Garsington Opera, returns to Welsh National Opera and performances of Birtwistle’s ‘Yan Tan Tethera’ with the Britten Sinfonia.

On the concert stage Claire performs recital programmes with Iain Burnside for BBC Radio 3, and takes part in a retrospective of Julian Anderson’s works at London’s Wigmore Hall. She sings Britten’s Spring Symphony with BBCSO as part of Aldeburgh’s Britten centenary celebration weekend under Oliver Knussen, returns to the Ensemble Intercontemporarin to perform excerpts from Harvey’s opera Wagner Dream and performs ‘Augenlieder’ with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by the composer, her long time collaborator Ryan Wigglesworth.