Season Finale: Mahler Two

Sat 5 Jun 2021, 7.30PM
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Mahler Symphony No2 Resurrection

Thomas Søndergård Conductor
Ruby Hughes Soprano
Karen Cargill Mezzo-Soprano
RSNO Chorus  

A man stands alone at a graveside and takes the first step on a journey that will take him to the end of the world – and beyond. Heaven and hell, joy and terror, Viennese waltzes and distant trumpets… this is Mahler’s epic Resurrection Symphony packed with emotion. Thomas Søndergård conducts massed choirs and a supersized RSNO: this should be a very special evening indeed as we bring the Season to a powerful close.

Sir Alexander Gibson Memorial Concert

6.45PM: RSNO Music Director Thomas Søndergård and RSNO Violin Ursula Heidecker Allen in conversation in the Clyde Foyer.


£38.50, £29.50, £25, £19, £13.50


Under 18s go free when accompanied by a paying adult (max 2 free children per adult); 16-17 year olds go free; Under 26s/Mature Students £6 in advance/£8 after 5pm on the day; Unemployed £6; Disabled patrons and carers 50% off; Group discounts available.

Box Office

0141 353 8000

Featured Artists

Thomas Søndergård

Thomas Søndergård Conductor

Danish conductor Thomas Søndergård is Music Director of Royal Scottish National Orchestra, following six seasons as Principal Guest Conductor. He served as Principal Conductor of BBC National Orchestra of Wales (BBCNOW) from September 2012 – August 2018, and prior to this, as Principal Conductor and Musical Advisor of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra for three seasons.

He has conducted many leading orchestras, including Chicago Symphony, London Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw, London Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, Gothenburg Symphony, Danish National Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Bamberger Symphoniker; leading tours with Junge Deutsche Philharmonie and European Union Youth Orchestra; Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Philharmonic, Luxembourg Philharmonic, Brussels Philharmonic; Swedish Radio Symphony, Finnish Radio Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony, Sydney Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Houston Symphony and Seattle Symphony.

The 2019/20 season includes debuts with Cleveland Orchestra, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover and Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He makes return visits to Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Bayerische Staatsoper orchestra, visits the Guildhall Orchestra for performances of Mahler Symphony No. 7 at the Barbican Centre and embarks on a Korean tour with the orchestra of the Royal Danish Opera. Highlights with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra this season include Berg’s Seven Early Songs with Karen Cargill, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde joined by Simon O'Neill and Jane Irwin, recording work, a European tour and performances of the Verdi Requiem.

Highlights of recent seasons include debuts with Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic, and Orchestre National de France, and many re invitations, including Atlanta Symphony, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Danish National Symphony, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Bayerische Staatsoper (Turandot), Deutsche Oper Berlin (Berlioz’s Romeo and Juliet), Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Gurzenich-Orchester Köln, SWR Baden-Baden, Sydney Symphony, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse and Norwegian Opera. Recent highlights with RSNO include tours to China and the United States, premieres of new commissions and Marsalis’ Violin Concerto with Nicola Benedetti.

A passionate supporter of the music of Carl Nielsen, his most recent programme with Swedish Radio Symphony (Symphony No. 5) received wide praise as “equal of the great pioneers of Nielsen interpretation… It’s hard to imagine a finer performance of this remarkable symphony” (Dagens Nyheter). As part of the 2015 anniversary celebrations of both Sibelius and Nielsen he conducted a wide variety of their works with many leading orchestras. In 2019 he participated in a special concert to celebrate Nielsen’s work with the Royal Danish Academy of Music Copenhagen.

A highly accomplished opera conductor, he is equally at home in mainstream and contemporary repertoire. Previous opera includes Bayerische Staatsoper (Turandot), Norwegian Opera (Die Zauberflöte), Deutsche Oper Berlin (world premiere of Scartazzini’s Edward II); and Tosca, Turandot (Nina Stemme) and Les dialogues des Carmelites (Royal Swedish Opera). His Royal Danish Opera visit conducting Ruders' opera Kafka's Trial was described as a sensation: "He is one of the best things that has happened to the art of opera for many years" and subsequent productions there have included Il barbiere di Siviglia, Le Nozze di Figaro, La bohème, Cunning Little Vixen and Il viaggio a Reims.

Commercial recordings with BBCNOW include Sibelius Symphonies 1, 2, 6 & 7 and a disc of his tone poems and theatre music, featuring Finlandia and Valse Triste (Linn Records). His first release with Royal Scottish National Orchestra features music by R Strauss, the concert suite from Der Rosenkavalier and Ein Heldenleben (Linn Records). Pentatone also recently released the Lutoslawski and Dutilleux cello concertos with Johannes Moser and Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin. Earlier noteworthy recordings include Vilde Frang's celebrated debut recording for EMI, and Ruders’ Piano Concerto No. 2, (Bridge Records) which was nominated for a Gramophone Award. In 2011 he was awarded the prestigious Queen Ingrid Foundation Prize for services to Music in Denmark.

Ruby  Hughes

Ruby Hughes Soprano

Holder of a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award, shortlisted for a 2014 Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award, winner of both First Prize and the Audience Prize at the 2009 London Handel Singing Competition and a former BBC New Generation Artist, Ruby Hughes began her musical studies as a cellist graduating from the Guildhall School of Music in London. She went on to study voice at the Hochschule für Musik und Theatre, Munich and the Royal College of Music, London.

For Theater an der Wein Ruby has sung Roggiero in Rossini’s Tancredi, and Fortuna in L’Incoronazione di Poppea, further roles include Euridice in L’Orfeo for Aix-en-Provence Festival, Sandrina L’infedelta delusa and Narcissa Philemon und Baucis at the Musikfestspiele Potsdam Sanssouci, The Indian Queen at the Schwetzinger Festival, and Rose Maurrant Street Scene at the Opéra de Toulon. In the UK she has performed major roles with the English National Opera, Garsington Opera, The Opera Group, Music Theatre Wales, Scottish Opera, and Sir Jonathan Miller’s acclaimed production of the St Matthew Passion at the National Theatre. Most recently she appeared in the title role of Handel’s Theodora for Potsdamer Winteroper.

In concert she has sung under conductors including Rinaldo Allesandrini, Ivor Bolton, Laurence Cummings, Thierry Fischer, HK Gruber, Pablo Heras Casado, Philippe Herreweghe, Rene Jacobs, Juanjo Mena, Gianandrea Noseda, Marc Minkowski, Hervé Niquet, Thomas Søndergård, John Storgårds, and Osmo Vanska to name a few, and with ensembles such as Les Arts Florissants, all the BBC Orchestras, Britten Sinfonia, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Le Concert Spirituel, Concerto Koln, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Philharmonia Orchestra, RIAS Kammerkoor, and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

Festival appearances have included the Bach Fest Leipzig, BBC Proms, Cheltenham, Edinburgh International, La Folle Journée, Gent Festival OdeGand, Göttingen, Marlboro, Lockenhaus, Manchester International, Spitalfields, and West Cork.

Ruby has broadcast and recorded extensively covering a wide range of repertoire including works by Bach, Barber, Berg, Britten, Crumb, Handel, Haydn, Mahler, Maxwell Davies, Macmillan, Mozart, Schubert and Schumann. A champion of woman composers, she has received multiple commissions by Helen Grime and Judith Weir, and recent releases include Heroines of Love and Loss, a disc dedicated to 17th-century female composers for BIS Records, with long-term collaborator Jonas Nordberg, which was Editor’s Choice in Gramophone Magazine, and awarded a Diapason d’or. The following year she released a critically acclaimed disc for Chandos Records with Laurence Cummings and the OAE dedicated to Giulia Frasi, Handel’s lyric muse. In 2019 she released an album for BIS of works by Mahler, Berg and Rhian Samuel with BBCNOW.

Ruby is a passionate recitalist and works closely with the pianists Julius Drake and Joseph Middleton. In 2016 she released her first solo recital disc Nocturnal variations, songs by Schubert, Mahler, Britten and Berg with pianist Joseph Middleton for the Champs Hill label, named BBC Music Magazine’s choice of the month. In the same month she appeared on the critically acclaimed disc Purcell Songs Realised by Britten for the same label. In 2020 her second release with Joseph Middleton will feature a commissioned song cycle by Helen Grime, together with songs by Mahler and Charles Ives, for BIS Records.

Ruby made her US recital debut in 2015 with Julius Drake at The Frick Collection in New York and in 2017 made her Carnegie Hall recital debut with a commissioned song cycle by Huw Watkins. She recently performed and recording Mahler Symphony No2 with the Minnesota Symphony under Osmo Vänskä for BIS Records.

Recent and future highlights include various Handel works with NDR Hamburg AAM (Richard Egarr), Royal Northern Sinfonia (Jonathan Cohen), the Munich Philharmonic (Andrew Manze), International Handel Festispiele Gottingen (Lawrence Cummings) and Beaune and Namur Festivals (Leonardo García Alarcón); Mahler Symphonies with the Ulster Orchestra and L’Orchestre national d’ile de France, Berg with Stavanger Symphony and Mozart/Mendelssohn with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. Recital appearances include Wigmore Hall (including a new commission by Helen Grime), King’s Place, Schloss Elmau, Vienna Konzerthaus with Quatuor Mosaiques, and her debut recital for Het Concertgebouw.

Karen  Cargill

Karen Cargill Mezzo-Soprano

Scottish mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and was the winner of the 2002 Kathleen Ferrier Award.

Current season highlights include La Damnation de Faust for DSO Berlin and Robin Ticciati; Elgar Sea Pictures with Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra and Thomas Søndergård, and Bach B minor Mass for Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. In opera, Karen appears as Judith Bluebeard’s Castle for Opera North and as Mère Marie Les Dialogues des Carmelites at the 2020 Glyndebourne Festival, returning to the Metropolitan Opera in 2021.

Karen regularly sings with the Boston, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Chicago, Rotterdam and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras, Dresden Staatskapelle, London Symphony and Philarmonic Orchestras, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, working with conductors including Donald Runnicles, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Bernard Haitink, Sir Simon Rattle, Daniele Gatti, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Daniel Harding, Robin Ticciati, Edward Gardner, Mariss Jansons and Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla. Opera highlights have included appearances at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Metropolitan Opera, New York; Deutsche Oper Berlin; Montpellier Opera; Glyndebourne Festival and Edinburgh Festival with roles including Waltraute Götterdämmerung; Erda Das Rheingold and Siegfried; Brangaene Tristan and Isolde; Mère Marie Les Dialogues des Carmelites and Judith Bluebeard’s Castle. Karen appears regularly at the BBC Prom and the Edinburgh International Festival.

Highlights with her regular recital partner Simon Lepper include appearances at Wigmore Hall London, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Kennedy Centre Washington and Carnegie Hall, as well as regular recitals for BBC Radio 3. With Simon she recently recorded a critically acclaimed recital of Lieder by Alma and Gustav Mahler for Linn Records, for whom she has also recorded Berlioz Les nuits d’été and La mort de Cléopâtre with Robin Ticciati and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

In July 2018 Karen was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She is also Patron of the National Girls’ Choir of Scotland.

 RSNO Chorus

RSNO Chorus  

The RSNO Chorus performs in around six different programmes in up to twenty concerts across Scotland with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra each year. The RSNO Chorus has also had great success in recording with the Orchestra. Its recordings, amongst others, of Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky, conducted by Neeme J?rvi, and Holst’s The Planets, conducted by David Lloyd-Jones, have both attracted high critical acclaim.

In addition to its commitment to the Orchestra, the RSNO Chorus performs independently and has been invited to perform with orchestras in many parts of the world, establishing an international status and touring to Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Israel, Germany, Belfast, Australia, Trondheim and most recently, Amsterdam and Prague. In 2018 it performed Britten’s War Requiem with the RSNO at the BBC Proms.

The RSNO Chorus evolved from a choir formed in 1843 to sing the first full performance of Handel’s Messiah in Scotland. Today, it is one of the most successful choruses in the UK. In recent years, it has performed practically every work in the standard choral repertoire along with contemporary works by renowned composers, including John Adams, Magnus Lindberg, Howard Shore and James MacMillan.

The RSNO Chorus is directed by Gregory Batsleer, one of the UK’s most dynamic and in demand choral conductors and chorus masters. In 2015 Gregory received The Arts Foundation Fellowship in Choral Conducting.

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