Mahler’s Symphony of a ThousandSeason Finale
Fri Jun 10 — Sun Jun 12, 2022
It doesn’t get any bigger than this. Four choirs, eight soloists, and an orchestra of epic proportions come together for a season finale and one final celebration of departing Music Director Osmo Vänskä. Mahler’s Eighth Symphony, known as the Symphony of a Thousand, is one of the most ambitious choral symphonies that exists today. Join all of us for a grand conclusion to this historic season as we wish our music director farewell.
A Few Things to Know
- This performance is part of the Mahler Recording Project, our ongoing initiative to record all ten Mahler symphonies with Music Director Osmo Vänskä. With a week of recording following these concerts, the Orchestra will have nearly completed the ten-part project, with a future recording date in the works for the final installment, Mahler’s Symphony No. 3.
- These concerts will go into history as one of the largest-scale performances ever conducted by Osmo Vänskä at Orchestra Hall.
Date & Time
Symphony No. 8, Symphony of a Thousand1 min note
One Minute Note
In Mahler’s Eighth Symphony, a massive force of voices and orchestra are so interwoven, sharing equally in the sublime musical ideas, that the work is no mere symphony with singing, but a genuine marriage of vocal and instrumental sonorities. This mystical and stirring work, of which Mahler led the premiere performance only eight months before his death, brings together a medieval hymn (molded into an immense sonata structure) and the final scene of Goethe’s verse drama, Faust.
National Lutheran Choir
Angelica Cantanti Youth Choirs
The Grammy Award-winning Minnesota Orchestra, led by Danish conductor Thomas Søndergård—who is serving as music director designate during the 2022-23 season—is recognized for distinguished performances around the world, award-winning recordings and broadcasts, educational engagement programs, and commitment to building the orchestral repertoire of the future. Founded in 1903, the Orchestra has an extensive history of touring throughout Minnesota, nationally and abroad, including high-profile visits in recent years to Cuba, Europe and South Africa. Recording projects undertaken in the past two decades include complete cycles of symphonies by Beethoven, Sibelius and Mahler, all recorded under Osmo Vänskä, who is now the Orchestra’s conductor laureate.
Minnesota Orchestra Conductor Laureate Osmo Vänskä, whose 19-year tenure as the Orchestra’s music director concluded in summer 2022, is renowned internationally for his compelling interpretations of the standard, contemporary and Nordic repertoires. His multi-year project with the Orchestra to perform and record all ten Mahler symphonies concluded in November 2022 with the Third Symphony. Signature initiatives of his music director tenure included a Sibelius symphonies cycle that earned the Orchestra its first Grammy Award and major tours to Cuba, Europe and South Africa. As a guest conductor, he has received extraordinary praise for his work with many of the world’s leading orchestras.
Highly regarded as a performer of both classical and Romantic repertoire as well as contemporary compositions, Sarah Wegener recently sang Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri (Le Cercle de l’Harmonie, Jérémie Rhorer), Dvořak’s Stabat Mater, and Haydn’s Sieben letzte Worte (Philippe Herreweghe, Orchestre des Champs-Élysées, Collegium Vocale Gent), Hans Werner Henze’s Floß der Medusa (Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Cornelius Meister), Krzystof Penderecki’s St. Luke Passion (Orchestre symphonique de Montéal, Kent Nagano), Beethoven’s Missa solemnis (Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Andrew Manze), as well as Schönberg’s Six Orchestral Songs in Saarbrücken. She has given the premiere of numerous works by Georg Friedrich Haas, including the opera Bluthaus, for which she was chosen as Singer of the Year in 2011 by Opernwelt magazine.
The 2021-22 season begins for Sarah Wegener with recitals in Calw, Berlin, and at the International-Hugo-Wolf-Academy in Stuttgart. She will perform Mozart's Requiem in Lille before making her debut as Freia in Wagner's Rheingold, which will be performed in Cologne and Amsterdam with Concerto Köln under Kent Nagano. In January 2022, she can be heard in Hamburg at the fifth anniversary of the Elbphilharmonie with Jörg Widmann's Arche. Other upcoming engagements include concerts with the Vlaams Radiokoor in Belgium, Schubert evenings with the Orchestre national d'Île-de-France and Michael Hofstetter in Paris, and Beethoven's Missa solemnis with Sylvain Cambreling and the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra. She then returns to the role of Peri in Schumann's Das Paradies und die Peri with Jérémie Rhorer and Le Cercle de l'Harmonie, this time at the Cologne Philharmonie, and goes on to sing first soprano in Mahler's Symphony no. 8 with the Minnesota Orchestra under Osmo Vänskä.
Jacquelyn Wagner is in high demand by such prestigious opera houses and festivals as the Paris Opera, the Teatro alla Scala, the Zurich Opera House, the Gran Teatre del Liceu of Barcelona, the Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Salzburg Festival.
With her "lovely clean and focused sound" (The New York Times), "silvery tone", "a natural dignity and vocal command that" make her performances "highly impressive" (Opera News), the American soprano is enjoying resounding success in such different repertoire as Mozart, Handel, Verdi and Puccini, with a special focus on the German Fach and the iconic jugendlich-dramatische roles by Wagner, Strauss and Weber.
The 2021-22 season takes Wagner to the Volksoper in Vienna as 'Marschallin'/"Der Rosenkavalier", to the Easter Festival in Salzburg as /"Lohengrin" (Christian Thielemann), to Hamburg as 'Rosalinde'/"Die Fledermaus" and 'Leonore'/"Fidelio", to concerts at the Bruckner Festival in Linz, to Innsbruck for her role debut of 'Salome' in a new production (director: Angela Denoke) and to the Puccini Festival Torre del Lago as 'Magda'/”La Rondine”. Future projects include her return to Deutsche Oper Berlin, Zurich, Theater an der Wien, etc.
Equally at home on the concert and opera stages, Carolyn Sampson has enjoyed notable successes in the UK as well as throughout Europe and the US.
On the opera stage her roles have included the title role in Semele and Pamina in The Magic Flute for English National Opera, various roles in Purcell’s The Fairy Queen for Glyndebourne Festival Opera (released on DVD) and both Anne Truelove The Rake’s Progress and Mélisande Pelléas et Mélisande in Sir David McVicar’s productions for Scottish Opera. Internationally she has appeared at Opéra de Paris, Opéra de Lille, Opéra de Montpellier and Opéra National du Rhin. She also sang the title role in Lully’s Psyché for the Boston Early Music Festival, which was released on CD and was subsequently nominated for a Grammy.
Two-time Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke has been called a “luminous standout” by the New York Times and “equal parts poise, radiance and elegant directness” by Opera News. Ms. Cooke has sung at the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, English National Opera, Seattle Opera, Opéra National de Bordeaux, and Gran Teatre del Liceu, among others, and with over 70 symphony orchestras worldwide frequently in the works of Mahler.
The coming season marks the release of Ms. Cooke’s new CD, entitled how do I find you, on the Pentatone label. The recording, which features 17 newly written songs by Caroline Shaw, Nico Muhly, Missy Mazzoli, Jimmy Lopez and others, is intended as a tribute to both the struggles and hopes of artists that have been wrought by the pandemic. Ms. Cooke will perform the world premiere with pianist Kirill Kuzmin on January 30th, 2022, as part of the San Francisco Symphony’s Great Performers Series, before giving subsequent recitals at the Shriver Hall Concert Series and elsewhere.
Shortlisted for a Royal Philharmonic Society Award in the category of Young Artist, Cumbrian contralto Jess Dandy has been praised for her instrument of velvety plangent timbre, and her artistic maturity of remarkable immediacy. Last summer, she was the contralto soloist at the First Night of the Proms 2021, singing Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music and a new commission by Sir James MacMillan. Other recent highlights include a series of BBC Radio 3 broadcasts which included her Wigmore Hall debut, and a solo recital with Malcolm Martineau at Perth Concert Hall. She also appeared at Wigmore Hall in a Vivaldi and Ariosti programme with La Serenissima.
In a prestigious career built on impeccable technique and innate musicality, Barry Banks’ performances of the leading bel canto roles by Bellini, Rossini and Donizetti have taken him to the world’s leading opera houses including The Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Gran Teatre del Liceu and the Salzburg Festival. He made his debut at the 2021 Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro in a revival of Elisabetta regina d’Inghilterra.
Notable operatic roles have included Banks’ debut as Arnold (Guillaume Tell) at Welsh National Opera, the title role in Mitridate, re di Ponto and Don Narciso (Il turco in Italia) at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Ernesto (Don Pasquale) at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Count Almaviva at Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Idreno (Semiramide) at the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples and Nemorino (L’elisir d’amore) at the Metropolitan Opera. He has appeared as Iago in Rossini’s Otello at both Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and the Salzburg Festival. The role of Don Ramiro (La cenerentola) saw his debut at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, and Oreste (Ermione) marked his debut at the Santa Fe Festival. He made his debuts in Vienna as Norfolk (Elisabetta, Regina d’Inghilterra) at Theater an der Wien, at the Teatro Real as the Astrologer in The Golden Cockerel and at Opernhaus Zürich as Pirelli in Sweeney Todd.
Julian Orlishausen received his musical basic education at the Windsbacher Boy's Choir. He completed his singing studies with Prof. Endrik Wottrich at the Wuerzburg University of Music by numerous masterclasses with famous singers such as Cheryl Studer, Francisco Araiza, Grace Bumbry, Michael Volle and Edda Moser.
His successful debut at the opera Leipzig quickly resulted in numerous engagements at, among others, the Staatstheater Kassel, the Theater Chemnitz, the Vienna Volksoper and the Staatsoper Stuttgart, in roles like Marcello in "La Bohème" and Sharpless in "Madame Butterfly" by Puccini, Sid in "Albert Herring" by Britten, as Graf in "Der Wildschütz" by Lortzing as well as Don Giovanni in „Don Giovanni“ by Mozart and Wolfram in Wagner's „Tannhäuser“. He is also a regular guest of numerous festivals such as the International Gluck Opernfestival in Nuremberg and the Tyrolean Festival Erl.
With a voice of “warm, noble timbre and great flexibility” (Forum Opéra), German bass-baritone Christian Immler is a multifaceted artist whose career ranges widely across the worlds of lieder, oratorio and opera, “a technically, musically and stylistically consummate interpreter, with a strikingly masculine, truly grounded bass capable of tenoral splendour, exemplary diction and emotional urgency coupled with a deep intellectual textual understanding.” (Klassik Heute) His artistry is strongly centred in the baroque and early Classical repertoire, but with a versatility that extends through the 19th century recital and orchestral tradition and into contemporary works.
Recent highlights have included Rocco in Beethoven’s Leonore with René Jacobs and the Freiburger Barockorchester, widely acclaimed recordings of the St Matthew and St John Passions (as Jesus) with Bach Collegium Japan for BIS Records, the cantatas of Bach, Werner and Albrechtsberger at Müpa Budapest, Haydn’s Die Schöpfung with the Geneva Chamber Orchestra, Bach’s Magnificat with Les Violons du Roy in Canada and Christmas Oratorio with the Orchester der Klangverwaltung, recital performances of Schubert’s Winterreise and Beethoven’s An die ferne geliebte, and the role of the Hermit in Der Freischütz at the Opéra de Rouen and the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées with Laurence Equilbey. Upcoming highlights include Mahler’s Symphony No.8 with the Minnesota Orchestra, Mendelssohn’s Elijah with Bach Collegium Japan, Haydn’s Stabat Mater and Salve Regina with the Kammerorchester Basel, Mozart’s C minor Mass with Ensemble Pygmalion, Telemann’s Orpheus with the B’Rock Orchestra, the Musiklehrer in Ariadne auf Naxos in Limoges, and Don Fernando in Fidelio at the Opéra Comique in Paris.
The Minnesota Chorale has served as the Minnesota Orchestra’s principal chorus since 2004 and is in its 28th season under the leadership of Kathy Saltzman Romey. Founded in 1972, the Chorale is Minnesota’s preeminent symphonic chorus, with a roster of over 200 singers. Best known for its work with the two major orchestras of the Twin Cities—including collaborations with the Minnesota Orchestra in performing, recording and international touring—the ensemble is equally dedicated to programs that build and enrich community. The Chorale continues to explore new artistic directions and collaborative opportunities, while earning the highest critical acclaim for its work on the concert stage.
The Minnesota Boychoir is the oldest continually operating boys choir in the Twin Cities. For over 60 years, the Boychoir’s reputation for excellence has brought invitations from local and national music conventions as well as sporting events, local theater productions and touring Broadway companies. The Boychoir has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra—including at the June 2022 season finale concerts of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony—Minnesota Opera, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, Prague Philharmonic and a long list of local, regional and national performing artists, ensembles and theater companies.
Your Concert Experience
Join us for Q&A’s, hosted discussions, exhibits and more. All free with your concert ticket!
When: Sat Jun 11 | 7:15pm-7:45pm
Where: Target Atrium
Join Phillip Gainsley, Minnesota Orchestra musician and Artistic Advisory Committee member Kenneth Freed and producer Robert Suff of BIS Records for a recap of the Orchestra's past year, and conversation about the upcoming Minnesota Orchestra season.
When: Sun Jun 12 | 1:15pm-1:45pm
Where: Target Atrium
Join Phillip Gainsley and Minnesota Orchestra President and CEO Michelle Miller Burns for a look back at this extraordinary season, and a discussion of what's in store for the future.
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