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In the Elbphilharmonie it's now "First America"

The political attitude "America first" stands for nationalism and isolationism in the USA - as is well known, it was most recently revived by ex-President Donald Trump.

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In the Elbphilharmonie it's now "First America"

The political attitude "America first" stands for nationalism and isolationism in the USA - as is well known, it was most recently revived by ex-President Donald Trump. The American conductors and orchestras who work and travel around the world, on the other hand, stand for international cultural exchange - and testify to how attractive Hamburg has become for the stars of the classical music scene since the opening of the Elbphilharmonie.

Examples of this are the two Hamburg regulars at the start of the season over the next two weeks: Alan Gilbert as chief conductor of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra and Kent Nagano as general music director of the Hamburg State Opera. Shortly thereafter, three great American orchestras, namely from Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Cleveland, will make guest appearances in the Elbphilharmonie. The beginning of the season could therefore be summarized under the heading "First America" ​​- with a view to artistic positions.

The focal point of the prelude is no less than five concerts by the Philharmonic State Orchestra conducted by Kent Nagano. Four academy concerts by the conductor from California will be complemented by an open-air concert on Rathausmarkt on Thursday, September 1st, which is free of charge. In addition to Ludwig van Beethoven's Eighth and Johannes Brahms' Violin Concerto in D major, the Hamburg version of Arvo Pärt's Swansong for orchestra will also be heard there.

The first academy concert of the season will also be performed in the large hall of the Elbphilharmonie on August 27th and 28th. There Nagano will perform the German Requiem by Johannes Brahms in the original Bremen version with six movements instead of the later seven, as it was first performed 154 years ago in Bremen Cathedral.

Kate Lindsey (soprano and alto) and baritone Jóhann Kristinsson appear as vocal soloists, Hamburg choirs and the choir of the Kang administration weave the comforting carpet of singing. While Brahms forms the link between the prelude in the city's new landmark and the concert on the town hall square, Arvo Pärt stands for the connection to the following three academy concerts.

"With Beethoven's 8th Symphony, the Violin Concerto of St. John of Hamburg, played by the stubborn Christian Tetzlaff as the soloist and with Arvo Pärt's orchestral work 'Swansong', which was premiered almost a year ago by our state orchestra in the Elbphilharmonie, we are sending a clear signal," says Kent Nagano WORLD ON SUNDAY. "Pärt's music will be one of the musical heavyweights alongside Brahms at this year's 'Akademie'."

Academy concerts two to four in the main church of St. Michaelis promise unprecedented sound experiences, as composers in the current church, as in the previous buildings, take into account the special acoustic challenges of the sacred concert hall. The composer and outgoing President of the Hamburg Academy for Music and Theater, Elmar Lampson, is also very aware of this challenge.

A new composition by Lampson will be premiered in the second Academy Concert on Friday, September 2nd. The second premiere of the evening will be a requiem by Peter Ruzicka, the third the piece "Resonant Shadows" by Jean-Baptiste Barrière. In addition, the Hamburg premiere of "Intrusions" by Misato Mochizuki will be heard. Nagano combines the concentrated new sounds with works by Johann Sebastian Bach and Pärt. In the third (September 3) and fourth Academy Concert (September 4) in the Michel, works by Pärt will also be combined with Bach and in the final concert of the series also with Johannes Brahms.

While the second academy concert is being performed in St. Michaelis, the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, as the orchestra in residence at the Konzerthaus, will begin its season with a major event on September 2nd. Under the direction of chief conductor Alan Gilbert, Gustav Mahler's second symphony in C minor, the "Resurrection Symphony", will be performed with a large choir - which is formed here from professionals from the NDR Vokalensemble and the Rundfunkchor Berlin. The soprano Christina Nilsson and mezzo-soprano Sarah Conolly are the soloists in the vocal part.

In the interpretation of the work by the New York Mahler expert Gilbert, the message sung at the end of the symphony "Resurrect, yes you will rise!" This time, in addition to its deep religious and philosophical meaning, it also applies to the profane resurrection of the concert business, after three seasons affected to varying degrees by the pandemic. The fact that the 22/23 season should once again enable a full range of performances is also evident at the beginning of the season in the guest performances of three large American orchestras.

Already on Wednesday, August 24th, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will be guesting under the direction of the Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck with a fitting prelude. After Györgi Ligeti's "Lontano" and the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in G major by Maurice Ravel with Hélène Grimaud as the soloist on the grand piano, Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 1 in D major can be heard in the Elbphilharmonie.

The work had its premiere under the title "Titan" in Hamburg in 1893, conducted by the composer himself. The following day, the Pittsburghers presented Erwin Schulhoff's five pieces for string quartet, Antonin Dvorák's cello concerto with Gautier Capucon as the soloist and Richard Strauss's "Elektra". other aspects of their ability. In the second half of the season in March 2023, Honeck will also conduct two concerts by the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra.

The Philadelphia Orchestra will play at the official opening of the Elbphilharmonie season on August 30th. Under the direction of its chief conductor, the Canadian Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the orchestra, which is one of the so-called Big Five, i.e. the five most important orchestras in the USA, plays a varied programme. In addition to works by Gabreila Lena Frank and Valerie Coleman, the Symphony No. 1 in E minor by Florence B. Price (1887-1953) will be performed.

The works of the two contemporary composers Coleman and Frank frame Samuel Barber's "Knoxville: Summer of 1915 for soprano and orchestra". Angel Blue takes over the singing part. In the concert on the previous day, the orchestra will play Karol Szymanowski's Violin Concerto with Lisa Batiashvili on the violin, complemented by Ernest Chuasson's Poème for violin and orchestra. After the break, Beethoven's third symphony is performed.

The third orchestra from the USA to be guest in Hamburg is also one of the Big Five. As part of the Elbphilharmonie Summer on August 31, the Cleveland Orchestra, conducted by the Austrian Fanz Welser-Möst, will present “Three pieces from Alban Berg’s ‘Lyric Suite’ and play Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 9 in D minor. On the second evening in the Elbphilharmonie, the musicians will present the Metamorphoses 2 and 3 by Wolfgang Rihm and the eighth symphony in C major, the "great one" by Franz Schubert.

The fourth major American orchestra of the season does not have its performances at the beginning of the season, but in March 2023. Then the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra will make a guest appearance under the direction of the Finnish composer and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen with two exciting programs and soloists, namely Johan Daline on violin (March 15) and Yuya Wang on piano (March 16).

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