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Friday, September 9, 8.00 pm

Programme

Robert Schumann: Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra in A Minor, Op. 129Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, WAB 109

Robert Schumann and Anton Bruckner stood at the acme of German romanticism during the 19th century. The first of them reached the peak as the ideological leader of his generation, while the second was placed there somewhat retroactively; his works only achieved the appropriate recognition after the author’s death. The A minor concerto for violoncello and orchestra and Symphony no. 9 in D minor constantly elicit new interpretations thanks to their mysteriousness. However, their impressiveness leaves no room for any doubt as to the fact that they are masterful compositions. It is as if Schumann has flawlessly expressed his romantic desire for a distant and unattainable objective. Bruckner created his symphonic epitaph in the three movements of the Ninth, as he left the massive work unfinished. Schumann’s violoncello concerto opens a path to other spiritual worlds that leads to the beloved God, to whom Bruckner dedicated his last symphony.

The Münchner Philharmoniker will be led by their charismatic principal conductor Valery Gergiev, while the solo part in the Schumann concerto will be performed by the magnificent Norwegian violoncellist and Grammy Award winner, Truls Mørk.

  • Dress code: black tie
  • Doors close: 7.50 pm
  • End of concert: 9.40 pm

Artists

Munich Philharmonic

The Munich Philharmonic was founded in 1893, and since then, under the direction of renowned conductors, it has vastly enriched Munich’s musical life. Gustav Mahler conducted the orchestra in the world premičres of his 4th and 8th Symphonies, and in November 1911, the world premičre of Mahler’s »Das Lied von der Erde« took place under Bruno Walter’s direction. Ferdinand Löwe led the first Bruckner concerts and established the orchestra’s Bruckner tradition, which was then gloriously continued by Siegmund von Hausegger and Oswald von Kabasta.

During the Rudolf Kempe era the Philharmonic made its first tour to what was then the U.S.S.R. The legendary Bruckner concerts with general music director Sergiu Celibidache made a major contribution to the orchestra’s international reputation. The Munich Philharmonic made Zubin Mehta the first »conductor laureate« in the orchestra’s history. For the 100ths anniversary of the premičre of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 in Munich, chief conductor Christian Thielemann conducted two performances of this work. He was succeeded as chief conductor by Lorin Maazel, who held the position until his death in 2014.

As of the 2015-16 season, the position of chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic is held by Valery Gergiev. Tours have taken the Munich Philharmonic to numerous European cities as well as Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan and the USA. Programme highlights conceived by Valery Gergiev include performances of symphonic cycles by Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Rachmaninov as well as new formats, such as the »MPHIL 360°« festival. Concerts are regularly broadcast via live stream and on radio and TV. In September 2016, the first CD recordings documenting the Munich Philharmonic’s work were released under the orchestra’s own label, »MPHIL«. From 2017 to 2019, the Munich Philharmonic and Valery Gergiev recorded all of Anton Bruckner’s symphonies in the basilica of St. Florian Monastery, Anton Bruckner's final resting place. The complete recordings have been released in autumn 2020.

With »Spielfeld Klassik«, the Munich Philharmonic has developed a comprehensive music education programme for young and old. Up to 35,000 people of all ages attended the more than 150 events held each year. Under the motto of »MPhil on Site«, the Munich Philharmonic also leaves its home base – the Philharmonie Gasteig – to appear in unusual and varied locations, such as the Hofbräuhaus tavern as well as alpine meadows, clubs and industrial halls.

On 13 October 2018 the Munich Philharmonic and Valery Gergiev celebrated the 125th anniversary of the Munich Philharmonic by performing Igor Strawinsky's »Symphonie de Psaumes« and Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 8.

Munich Philharmonic

Valery Gergiev

Born in Moscow, Valery Gergiev initially studied conducting under Ilya Musin at the Leningrad Conservatory. While still a student, he won the Herbert von Karajan conducting competition in Berlin. In 1978, aged 24, Valery Gergiev became assistant conductor of Yuri Temirkanov at the Mariinsky Opera, where he made his debut conducting Sergei Prokofiev’s adaptation of Tolstoy’s »War and Peace«. More than two decades ago, he assumed his current position as director of the legendary Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, which has since become a cornerstone of operatic culture in Russia.

Valery Gergiev’s close cooperation with the Munich Philharmonic began in the 2011 12 season. Since then, he has performed all symphonies by Dmitri Shostakovich and a cycle of works by Igor Stravinsky with both the Philharmonic and the Mariinsky Orchestra.

As of the 2015-16 season, the position of chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic is held by Valery Gergiev. Tours have taken the Munich Philharmonic to numerous European cities as well as Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan and the USA. Programme highlights conceived by Valery Gergiev include performances of symphonic cycles by Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Rachmaninov as well as new formats, such as the »MPHIL 360°« festival. Concerts are regularly broadcast via live stream and on radio and TV. In September 2016, the first CD recordings documenting the Munich Philharmonic’s work were released under the orchestra’s own label, »MPHIL«. From 2017 to 2019, the Munich Philharmonic and Valery Gergiev recorded all of Anton Bruckner’s symphonies in the basilica of St. Florian Monastery, Anton Bruckner's final resting place. The complete recordings have been released in autumn 2020.

On 13 October 2018 Maestro Valery Gergiev celebrated the 125th anniversary of the Munich Philharmonic by performing Igor Strawinsky's »Symphonie de Psaumes« and Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 8 at the Philharmonic Hall at Gasteig in Munich.

Valery Gergiev - conductor

Truls Mørk

Truls Mørk’s compelling performances, combining fierce intensity, integrity and grace, have established him as one of the pre-eminent cellists of our time.

Truls Mørk is a celebrated artist who performs with the most distinguished orchestras including the Orchestre de Paris, Berliner Philharmoniker, Wiener Philharmoniker, Concertgebouworkest, Münchner Philharmoniker, Philharmonia and London Philharmonic orchestras and Gewandhausorchester Leipzig. In North America he has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia and Cleveland orchestras, Boston Symphony Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic. Conductor collaborations include Esa-Pekka Salonen, David Zinman, Manfred Honeck, Gustavo Dudamel, Sir Simon Rattle, Kent Nagano, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Christoph Eschenbach, amongst others.

The 2021/22 season sees returns to Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, London Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, hr-Sinfonieorchester, and Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, to name a few. Truls Mørk will be Artist in Residence at the Tongyeong Festival in Korea, opening the Festival with Dvořák’s Cello Concerto under Dalia Stasevska. He will also perform Shostakovich Cello Concerto No.1 with the Cologne Chamber Orchestra conducted by Christopher Poppen, and in recital with Hie-Yon Choi.

A great champion of contemporary music, Truls Mørk has given in excess of 30 premieres. In the 2019/20 season he premiered Victoria Borisova-Ollas’ cello concerto Oh Giselle, Remember Me, commissioned by the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra – where he was Artist in Residence, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Gothenburg Symphony, and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom he will give the UK premiere of the piece in May 2022. He has also given highly successful performances of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Cello Concerto, conducted by the composer at the Royal Festival Hall, Lincoln Center and the Festival d’Aix en Provence. In collaboration with Klaus Mäkelä, he performed the Salonen Cello Concerto with Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. Other commissions include Rautavaara’s Towards the Horizon with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and John Storgårds, Pavel Haas’ Cello Concerto with Wiener Philharmoniker and Jonathan Nott, Krzysztof Penderecki's Concerto for Three Cellos with the NHK Symphony Orchestra and Charles Dutoit, Hafliði Hallgrímsson's Cello Concerto, co-commissioned by the Oslo Philharmonic, Iceland Symphony and Scottish Chamber orchestras.

With an impressive recording output, Truls Mørk has recorded many of the great cello concertos for labels such as Virgin Classics, EMI, Deutsche Grammophon, Ondine, Arte Nova and Chandos many of which have won international awards including Gramophone, Grammy, Midem and ECHO Klassik awards. These include Dvořák’s Concerto (Mariss Jansons/Oslo Philharmonic), Britten's Cello Symphony and Elgar's Concerto (Sir Simon Rattle/CBSO), Miaskovsky Concerto and Prokofiev's Sinfonia Concertante (Paavo Järvi/CBSO), Dutilleux (Myung-Whun Chung/Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France), CPE Bach (Bernard Labadie/Les Violons du Roy), Haydn's Concertos (Iona Brown/Norwegian Chamber Orchestra), Rautavaara’s Towards the Horizon (John Storgårds/Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra) as well as the complete Bach Cello Suites and Britten Cello Suites. His most recent recordings include Shostakovich’s Concertos with Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra/Vasily Petrenko, works for cello and orchestra by Massenet with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande/Neeme Järvi and the Saint-Saëns Concertos together with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra/Neeme Järvi.

Initially taught by his father, Truls Mørk continued his studies with Frans Helmerson, Heinrich Schiff and Natalia Schakowskaya. In his early career he won a number of competitions such as the Moscow Tchaikovsky Competition (1982), Cassado Cello Competition in Florence (1983), the Unesco Prize at the European Radio-Union competition in Bratislava (1983) and the Naumberg Competition in New York (1986).

Truls Mørk - cello

Rudolfinum, Dvořák Hall

The Rudolfinum is one of the most important Neo-Renaissance edifices in the Czech Republic. In its conception as a multi-purpose cultural centre it was quite unique in Europe at the time of its construction. Based on a joint design by two outstanding Czech architects, Josef Zítek and Josef Schultz, a magnificent building was erected serving for concerts, as a gallery, and as a museum. The grand opening on 7 February 1885 was attended by Crown Prince Rudolph of Austria, in whose honour the structure was named. In 1896 the very first concert of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra took place in the Rudolfinum's main concert hall, under the baton of the composer Antonín Dvořák whose name was later bestowed on the hall.