(212) 875-5718

March 24, 2015
Contact: Katherine E. Johnson
(212) 875-5718; [email protected]
U.S. PREMIERE of PETER EÖTVÖS’s One-Act Opera Senza Sangue
With Mezzo-Soprano ANNE SOFIE VON OTTER and Baritone RUSSELL BRAUN
Program Also To Include SCHUBERT’s Symphony in B minor, Unfinished
May 8–9, 2015
Music Director Alan Gilbert will lead the New York Philharmonic in the U.S. Premiere of Peter
Eötvös’s one-act opera Senza sangue — featuring mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter and
baritone Russell Braun, the two vocalists for whom the work is being composed — and
Schubert’s Symphony in B minor, Unfinished, Friday, May 8, 2015, at 8:00 p.m. and Saturday,
May 9, 2015, at 8:00 p.m.
Alan Gilbert will have led the Philharmonic, Anne Sofie von Otter, and Russell Braun in
the World Premiere of Peter Eötvös’s Senza sangue in Cologne, Germany, during the
EUROPE / SPRING 2015 tour. The Philharmonic co-commissioned Senza sangue with
the Kölner Philharmonie as part of The Marie-Josée Kravis Prize for New Music, and the
work is written in Henri Dutilleux’s memory. Mr. Eötvös is one of three composers
(along with Anthony Cheung and Franck Krawczyk) with whom the late Henri Dutilleux
shared the inaugural Prize in 2011 and who were each commissioned to write a work for
the Orchestra to premiere.
“I highly appreciate the trust shown in me by Maestro Dutilleux by his selection to share the
Kravis Prize, and I am most grateful for the commission from the New York Philharmonic and
Kölner Philharmonie for Senza sangue,” Peter Eötvös said. “I prepared for it like a film director
who decides he’s going to shoot his next film in black and white. In my previous operas I
strove for a colorful palette of sound, but here I aim for sharp contrasts, and shades of black,
grey, and white. I have emphasized a mass of sound: many instruments play the same line,
creating a weighty sound, like a stroke in Japanese calligraphy, where a single black line is
drawn with a thick brush.”
Senza sangue (Without Blood) is based on the concluding passages of Alessandro Baricco’s
novella of the same name about a child whose family is murdered in the midst of a civil war, but
is saved when one of the marauders discovers her hiding but lets her live, and what happens once
she grows up, having plotted her revenge, and meets him. The work will use the same
orchestration, roles, and relationships between characters as Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle, for
which Senza sangue is eventually intended as a companion piece. Anne Sofie von Otter’s
previous Philharmonic appearances include a performance of Bluebeard’s Castle, alongside
baritone Matthias Goerne and led by Christoph von Dohnanyi, in March 2006.
Alan Gilbert / Anne Sofie von Otter / Russell Braun / 2
This will be Mr. Eötvös’s second work to be performed by the Philharmonic; in June 2014 as
part of the inaugural NY PHIL BIENNIAL, the Orchestra performed the New York Premiere of
his second violin concerto, DoReMi, with Midori as soloist (for whom it was written) and
conducted by Alan Gilbert.
This program follows the concert Wednesday, May 6, 2015, at 7:30 p.m. in which Alan Gilbert
will lead the Orchestra in Stravinsky’s Petrushka, Ravel’s Valses nobles et sentimentales, and R.
Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier Suite, a program they will have performed on the EUROPE /
SPRING 2015 tour, April–May 2015.
Related Events
 Philharmonic Free Fridays
The New York Philharmonic is offering 100 free tickets for young people ages 13–26 to the
concert Friday, May 8 as part of Philharmonic Free Fridays. Information is available at
nyphil.org/freefridays. Philharmonic Free Fridays offers 100 free tickets to 13–26-year-olds
to each of the 2014–15 season’s 18 Friday evening subscription concerts; it is part of Share
the Music!, a new initiative to support expanded access to the New York Philharmonic.
 Pre-Concert Insights
Author, pianist, and professor Arbie Orenstein will introduce the program May 6. Composer
Daniel Felsenfeld will introduce the program May 8–9. Pre-Concert Insights are $7;
discounts available for multiple talks, students, and groups. They take place one hour before
these performances in the Helen Hull Room, unless otherwise noted. Attendance is limited to
90 people. Information: nyphil.org/preconcert or (212) 875-5656.
Music Director Alan Gilbert began his New York Philharmonic tenure in September 2009, the
first native New Yorker in the post. He and the Philharmonic have introduced the positions of
The Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence, The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-inResidence, and the Artist-in-Association; CONTACT!, the new-music series; and the NY PHIL
BIENNIAL, an exploration of today’s music by a wide range of contemporary and modern
composers inaugurated in spring 2014. As New York magazine wrote, “The Philharmonic and its
music director Alan Gilbert have turned themselves into a force of permanent revolution.”
In the 2014–15 season Alan Gilbert conducts the U.S. Premiere of Unsuk Chin’s Clarinet
Concerto, a Philharmonic co-commission, alongside Mahler’s First Symphony; La Dolce Vita:
The Music of Italian Cinema; Verdi’s Requiem; a staging of Honegger’s Joan of Arc at the
Stake, featuring Oscar winner Marion Cotillard; World Premieres; a CONTACT! program; and
Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble. He concludes The Nielsen Project — the multi-year
initiative to perform and record the Danish composer’s symphonies and concertos, the first
release of which was named by The New York Times as among the Best Classical Music
Recordings of 2012 — and presides over the EUROPE / SPRING 2015 tour. His Philharmonictenure highlights include acclaimed productions of Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre, Janáček’s The
Cunning Little Vixen, Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd starring Bryn Terfel and Emma
Thompson, and Philharmonic 360 at Park Avenue Armory; World Premieres by Magnus
Alan Gilbert / Anne Sofie von Otter / Russell Braun / 3
Lindberg, John Corigliano, Christopher Rouse, and others; Bach’s B-minor Mass and Ives’s
Fourth Symphony; the score from 2001: A Space Odyssey alongside the film; Mahler’s Second
Symphony, Resurrection, on the tenth anniversary of 9/11; and eight international tours.
Conductor laureate of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and principal guest
conductor of Hamburg’s NDR Symphony Orchestra, Alan Gilbert regularly conducts leading
orchestras around the world. His 2014–15 appearances include the Leipzig Gewandhaus
Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, The Metropolitan Opera, and The Philadelphia Orchestra. He
made his acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut conducting John Adams’s Doctor Atomic in 2008,
the DVD of which received a Grammy Award. Renée Fleming’s recent Decca recording Poèmes,
on which he conducted, received a 2013 Grammy Award. His recordings have received top
honors from the Chicago Tribune and Gramophone magazine. Mr. Gilbert is Director of
Conducting and Orchestral Studies at The Juilliard School, where he holds the William Schuman
Chair in Musical Studies. In May 2010 Mr. Gilbert received an Honorary Doctor of Music
degree from The Curtis Institute of Music and in December 2011, Columbia University’s Ditson
Conductor’s Award for his “exceptional commitment to the performance of works by American
composers and to contemporary music.” In 2014 he was elected to The American Academy of
Arts & Sciences.
Grammy Award–winning mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter’s long and exclusive
relationship with Deutsche Grammophon produced numerous acclaimed recordings, including
For the Stars, a collaboration with Elvis Costello. Her first recording for Naïve Classique, Love
Songs with jazz pianist Brad Mehldau (2010), was followed by the Grammy-nominated Sogno
Barocco with Leonardo García-Alarcón and Cappella Mediterranea, and Berlioz’s Les Nuits
d'été with Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble. Her fourth recording for
Naïve, Douce France, is a double CD of mélodies and chansons, released in October 2013.
Recently, Ms. von Otter has appeared with the Berlin Philharmonic and Simon Rattle,
Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and David Robertson, the Boston Symphony
Orchestra and Daniele Gatti, and the National Symphony Orchestra and Christoph Eschenbach.
For the recent Wagner bicentenary she performed Wesendonck Lieder with Orchestre national du
Capitole de Toulouse, led by Minkowski, and with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, led
by Paavo Järvi. To mark the centenary of Mahler’s death she appeared with Jonas Kaufmann and
the Berlin Philharmonic, led by the late Claudio Abbado, in a televised performance of Das Lied
von der Erde. This season’s highlights include a new production of Richard Strauss’s Capriccio
at Lyric Opera of Chicago, led by Andrew Davis; Leocadia Begbick in Weill’s Rise and Fall of
the City of Mahagonny at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, led by Mark Wigglesworth;
and singing Waltraute in Wagner’s Götterdämmerung at the Vienna Staatsoper, led by Rattle. On
the concert stage she performs Schubert orchestrated songs with the Royal Stockholm
Philharmonic Orchestra, led by Jukka Pekka Saraste, and Zemlinsky’s Maeterlinck Lieder with
the BBC Symphony Orchestra, led by Sakari Oramo. Anne Sofie von Otter made her
Philharmonic debut in September 1987 performing in Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust, led by
Colin Davis; she will have most recently performed with the Philharmonic on its EUROPE /
SPRING 2015 tour in April–May 2015, led by Alan Gilbert.
Alan Gilbert / Anne Sofie von Otter / Russell Braun / 4
Baritone Russell Braun has received acclaim for his appearances as Chou En-lai in John
Adams’s Nixon in China; Prince Andrei in Prokofiev’s War and Peace; The Traveller in
Britten’s Death in Venice; and the title roles in Britten’s Billy Budd, Debussy’s Pelléas et
Mélisande, Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, and Mozart’s Don Giovanni at The Metropolitan
Opera, Opéra national de Paris, Vienna Staatsoper, Los Angeles Opera, Teatro alla Scala, and
Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, as well as the Salzburg and Glyndebourne festivals. This
season features his debut as Ford in the Canadian Opera Company (COC) production of Verdi’s
Falstaff, the title role of Don Giovanni with COC, Lescaut in The Met’s production of
Massenet’s Manon, Britten’s War Requiem with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Brahms’s
A German Requiem with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, and Fauré’s Requiem with the
Calgary Philharmonic. Recent highlights include debuts as the Duke of Nottingham in
Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux and as Conte di Luna in Verdi’s Il Trovatore with COC; Chou Enlai in Nixon in China and Olivier in Richard Strauss’s Capriccio at The Met; Jaufré Rudel in
Kaija Saariaho’s L’Amour de loin with the Oslo Philharmonic; Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride at
COC; Gounod’s Faust at The Met; and Manon at La Scala. His discography features the 2015
Opera Award–nominated recording of Offenbach’s Fantasio with the Orchestra of the Age of
Enlightenment and Mark Elder (Opera Rara); the Grammy-nominated disc of Mahler’s Das Lied
von der Erde (Dorian); the International Opera Award–nominated recording of Dietch’s Le
Vaisseau Fantôme (Naïve); JUNO Award winners Mozart Arie e Duetti (CBC) and Apollo e
Dafne (Handel); and a JUNO-nominated recording of Schubert’s Winterreise (CBC). He appears
on DVDs including the Salzburg Festival’s Romeo et Juliette, Dido and Aeneas, Nixon in China
(Nonesuch), Capriccio (Decca), and Alexina Louie’s comic opera Burnt Toast. Russell Braun
made his New York Philharmonic debut alongside Joyce DiDonato in the 2009 World Premiere
of Peter Lieberson’s The World in Flower, conducted by Alan Gilbert; he will have most recently
performed with the Philharmonic on its EUROPE / SPRING 2015 tour in April–May 2015, led
by Alan Gilbert.
Repertoire, May 6
Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971) composed the 1911 original version of Petrushka for Serge
Diaghilev’s famous Ballets Russes. While it had a triumphant premiere in Paris, in Vienna it met
with violent opposition from the musicians of the Vienna Philharmonic, who branded it “dirty”
and initially refused to play it. Its subsequent London and New York Premieres, however, were
unqualified successes. The ballet was created around the puppet character Petrushka, whom
Stravinsky remembered seeing in carnival puppet shows in his childhood, and its score conjures
the vibrant atmosphere of the Shrovetide fair in St. Petersburg. The original 1911 version of
Petrushka was first performed by the New York Philharmonic in February 1923, when Albert
Coates led the New York Symphony (which merged with the New York Philharmonic in 1928 to
form today’s Philharmonic); the Orchestra will have most recently performed it on the EUROPE
/ SPRING 2015 tour in April–May 2015, led by Alan Gilbert.
In 1911 the Société Indépendante, the more radical of the two associations for living French
composers, produced concerts of new music in which the composers’ names were omitted from
the programs, and the audience was invited to guess who wrote what. This was the forum for the
premiere of Ravel’s Valses nobles et sentimentales. The title, the composer wrote, “sufficiently
indicates my intention of writing a cycle of waltzes after the example of Schubert.” The work
Alan Gilbert / Anne Sofie von Otter / Russell Braun / 5
was originally written for piano, and Ravel orchestrated it the following year. Like Beethoven,
Maurice Ravel (1875–1937) was a pianist, composed at the piano, and introduced many of his
innovations in piano pieces. As an expert orchestrator, he was able to carry their freshness over
into their orchestral versions. Walter Damrosch led the New York Symphony (which would
merge with the New York Philharmonic in 1928 to form today’s New York Philharmonic) in the
Orchestra’s first performance of the work in October 1916 at Aeolian Hall; the Orchestra will
have most recently performed it on the EUROPE / SPRING 2015 tour in April–May 2015, led
by Alan Gilbert.
Richard Strauss (1864–1949) thought his 1911 comic opera Der Rosenkavalier to be the work
most emblematic of himself (he took to introducing himself as “the composer of Der
Rosenkavalier”), and it marked the true beginning of his remarkable and fruitful collaboration
with librettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal. The opera tells of an aristocratic married woman — the
wife of a field marshal — who loses her 17-year-old lover when he falls in love with a bourgeois
girl his own age. Within the framework of a comedy-farce, the work reflects movingly on love,
social climbing, aristocratic grace, and the passage of time. It is also a uniquely stylish blend of
nostalgia and sophistication, combining the sounds of Viennese waltz with the 18th-century
ambiance of Mozart’s operas — all set to Strauss’s gorgeous vocal lines and fragrant orchestral
textures. So popular has the work become that the publisher’s catalogue abounds in arrangements
of it, and many eminent conductors have culled suites from it. The New York Philharmonic
performed the World Premiere of this Der Rosenkavalier Suite in October 1944, led by its likely
arranger, Artur Rodziński; the Orchestra will have most recently performed it on the EUROPE /
SPRING 2015 tour in April–May 2015, led by Alan Gilbert.
Repertoire, May 8–9
Few musical works have been subject to as much conjecture as Franz Schubert’s Symphony in
B minor, Unfinished. Schubert (1797–1828) began the work in 1822, finishing the first two
movements and sketches for the third. Then he stopped. One scholar has speculated that the
composer was intimidated by his own achievement; another suggests that he was fearful of
accusations of plagiarizing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2; another interpretation alludes to an
unrequited romance. The piece was not premiered until 1865, decades after Schubert’s untimely
death in 1828. Although unfinished, the symphony’s drama and melodic invention have ensured
its reputation. The work was first performed by the New York Philharmonic in February 1869,
led by Carl Bergmann, and most recently in October 2011, conducted by Kurt Masur.
Peter Eötvös (b. 1944) based his one-act opera Senza sangue (Without Blood) on Alessandro
Baricco’s novella of the same name, which follows the aftermath of an incident that takes place
during a civil war. When a group of men kills a family, one of the attackers spares the life of the
young daughter. She spends her life in a schizophrenic state, seeking retribution by arranging the
deaths of her family’s murderers, one by one. Mari Mezei’s libretto focuses on the last portion of
the novel, which takes place years later, when the daughter finally meets the marauder who
spared her life, and Peter Eötvös’s opera portrays this dramatic encounter. Throughout the
meetings, questions arise: Can murder be excused by faith in a better world? Can revenge save a
broken life? Was the fight for a better world in vain if it did not succeed? The Philharmonic cocommissioned Senza sangue with the Kölner Philharmonie as part of The Marie-Josée Kravis
Alan Gilbert / Anne Sofie von Otter / Russell Braun / 6
Prize for New Music, awarded every two years to a composer for extraordinary artistic endeavor
in the field of new music. Mr. Eötvös is one of the three composers (along with Anthony Cheung
and Franck Krawczyk) with whom the late Henri Dutilleux shared the inaugural Prize in 2011
and who were each commissioned to write a work for the Orchestra to premiere. The
Philharmonic, led by Alan Gilbert with soloists Anne Sofie von Otter and Russell Braun, will
have performed the work’s World Premiere in Cologne, Germany, during the Orchestra’s
EUROPE / SPRING 2015 tour.
The May 8–9 concerts are made possible with generous support from The Barbro Osher Pro
Suecia Foundation.
Programs are supported, in part, by public funds from New York City Department of Cultural
Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the
New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the
New York State Legislature.
Tickets for these performances start at $33. Pre-Concert Insights are $7; discounts are available
for multiple talks, students, and groups (visit nyphil.org/preconcert for more information).
Tickets may be purchased online at nyphil.org or by calling (212) 875-5656, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00
p.m. Monday through Friday; 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 5:00 p.m. Sunday.
Tickets may also be purchased at the Avery Fisher Hall Box Office. The Box Office opens at
10:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and at noon on Sunday. On performance evenings, the
Box Office closes one-half hour after performance time; other evenings it closes at 6:00 p.m. A
limited number of $16 tickets for select concerts may be available through the Internet for
students within 10 days of the performance, or in person the day of. Valid identification is
required. To determine ticket availability, call the Philharmonic’s Customer Relations
Department at (212) 875-5656. [Ticket prices subject to change.]
For press tickets, call Lanore Carr in the New York Philharmonic Marketing and
Communications Department at (212) 875-5714, or e-mail her at [email protected]
Alan Gilbert / Anne Sofie von Otter / Russell Braun / 7
New York Philharmonic
Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center
Wednesday, May 6, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
Pre-Concert Insights (one hour before each concert) with author, pianist, and professor Arbie
Alan Gilbert, conductor
Petrushka (1911, original version)
Valses nobles et sentimentales
Der Rosenkavalier Suite
Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center
Friday, May 8, 2015, 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 9, 2015, 8:00 p.m.
Pre-Concert Insights (one hour before each concert) with composer Daniel Felsenfeld
Alan Gilbert, conductor
Anne Sofie von Otter, mezzo-soprano
Russell Braun, baritone
Symphony in B minor, Unfinished
Senza sangue (U.S. Premiere–New York
Philharmonic Co-Commission, with
the support of the Kravis Prize for
New Music, with the Kölner
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