The Song of the Earth
Symphony No. 4 in C minor, D. 417 (“Tragic Symphony”)
“The Song of the Earth” for mezzo-soprano, tenor and orchestra
Vladimir Jurowski - Conductor
Vladimir Jurowski has been Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin since 2017. He has meanwhile extended his contract until 2027. In parallel, he has been General Music Director of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich since 2021.
After receiving training at the Moscow Conservatory The conductor, pianist and musicologist Vladimir Jurowski emigrated to Germany in 1990. Here he continued his studies at the music conservatories in Dresden and Berlin. In 1995 he made his international debut at the British Wexford Festival with Rimski-Korsakov’s Mainacht and in the same year at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden with Nabucco. Subsequently he was, among other things, First Kapellmeister of the Komische Oper Berlin (1997- 2001) and Music Director of the Glyndebourne Festival Opera (2001-2013). In 2003 Vladimir Jurowski was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and has been its Principal Conductor since 2007 until 2021. He was also Artistic Director of the State Academic Symphony Orchestra Yevgeny Svetlanov of the Russian Federation until 2021, Artistic Director of the International George Enescu Festival in Bucharest and Principal Artist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in Great Britain. He works regularly with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the ensemble unitedberlin.
Vladimir Jurowski has conducted the major orchestras of Europe and North America, including the Berlin, Vienna and New York Philharmonic Orchestras, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, the Boston and Chicago Symphony Orchestras, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, the Staatskapelle Dresden and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra.
He is a recurring guest conductor in in London, Berlin, Dresden, Luzern, Schleswig-Holstein und Grafenegg as well as at the Rostopowitsch-Festival. Although Vladimir Jurowski is invited as a guest conductor by top orchestras from all over the world, in future he would like to concentrate his activities on that geographical area which is acceptable to him from an ecological point of view.
In 2022/2023 he performed with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin in concerts in various cities in Germany, Italy and Antwerp in the Netherlands. The joint CD recordings of Vladimir Jurowski and the RSB began in 2015 with Alfred Schnittke’s Symphony No. 3, followed by works by Britten, Hindemith, Strauss, Mahler and soon again Schnittke.
Vladimir Jurowski has been the recipient of numerous awards for his achievements, including various international record prizes. In 2016, he was bestowed an honorary doctorate from Prince Charles at the Royal College of Music in London. In 2018, the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards named him Conductor of the Year. In summer 2020, Jurowski was awarded the Order of Cultural Merit by the Romanian President in recognition of his work as Artistic Director of the George Enescu Festival.
Sarah Connolly - Mezzo-soprano
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.
Highlights in her 2018/19 season include Fricka Das Rheingold and Die Walküre at Covent Garden and in Das Rheingold at the Teatro Réal in Madrid. On the concert platform, her engagements include Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde (Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin/Jurowski & London Philharmonic Orchestra/Jurowski), his Symphony No. 8 (Wiener Symphoniker/Jordan), Des Knaben Wunderhorn (Orchestre national de Paris/Saraste) and Tippet’s A Child of our Time (Orchestre de Paris/Adès). Dame Sarah also curates a Residency at Wigmore Hall in the 2018/19 season and she will give recitals for the Schubertíada a Vilabertran, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Grand Théâtre de Genève, the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid and for the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society.
Past highlights have included Fricka (Covent Garden & Bayreuther Festspiele) Brangäne Tristan und Isolde (Covent Garden, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Glyndebouren Festival & Gran Teatro del Liceu); Komponist Ariadne auf Naxos and Clairon Capriccio (Metropolitan Opera); the title role in Giulio Cesare and 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 and Nerone L’Incoronazione di Poppea (Gran Teatro del Liceu).
She has also sung the title role in Maria Stuarda and Roméo I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Opera North); Komponist (Welsh National Opera) and Octavian Der Rosenkavalier (Scottish Opera). A favorite at the English National Opera, her many roles for the company have included Geschwitz Lulu; Octavian; the title roles in Charpentier’s Medée and Handel’s Agrippina, Xerxes, Ariodante and Ruggiero Alcina; the title role in The Rape of Lucretia; Didon Les Troyens; Roméo, Susie The Silver Tassie and Sesto – for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera.
The future sees her return to the Metropolitan Opera, the Opéra national de Paris, the Teatro Réal in Madrid and to the English National Opera.
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/Sir Colin Davis & Mozarteumorchester Salzburg/Bolton); Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 at the BBC Proms (LSO/Haitink); A Child of our Time and Brangäne (Berliner Philharmoniker/Rattle); Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (Leipzig Gewandhausorchester/Chailly, Boston Symphony Orchestra/von Dohnanyi & Philadelphia Orchestra/Nézet-Séguin); Das Lied von der Erde (Concertgebouworkest/Harding, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra/Nézet-Séguin & LPO/Jurowski); Des Knaben Wunderhorn (L’Orchestre des Champs-Elysées/Herreweghe) and La mort de Cléopâtre (Hallé/Elder, CBSO/Gardner & BBC Symphony Orchestra/Sir Andrew Davis).
She has appeared in recital in London, New York, Boston, 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.
Committed to promoting new music, her world premiere performances include Judith Bingham’s The Colour of Fire (Two Moors Festival); Torsten Rasch’s A Welsh Night (Three Choirs Festival); Gareth Farr’s Relict Furies (Edinburgh Festival); Jonathan Harvey’s Songs of Li Po (Aldeburgh Festival) and Sir John Tavener’s Tribute to Cavafy (Symphony Hall, Birmingham) and Gnosis (BBC Proms).
Robert Dean Smith
From Schubert’s tragic to Mahler’s cheerful apocalypse
Concert introduction: Pre-concert talk with Steffen Georgi: 6.45 pm, Südfoyer