Season Opener: Strauss & Mahler One

Sat 5 Oct 2019, 7.30PM
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

R. Strauss Don Juan
Berg Seven Early Songs
Interval
Mahler Symphony No1 Titan

Thomas Søndergård Conductor
Karen Cargill Mezzo-Soprano

A flurry of strings, a blast of trumpets: Richard Strauss’ Don Juan opens with one of the most dramatic flourishes in musical history. Gustav Mahler took a different approach and began his youthful First Symphony with the creation of the world itself. But they both knew how to make an orchestra sound sensational, and along with Berg’s seven lush songs – sung by the great Scottish mezzo Karen Cargill – Thomas Søndergård will make this an ear-tingling, heart-pounding start to our new Season.

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Supported by the RSNO Conductors’ Circle

6.45PM: RSNO Music Director Thomas Søndergård in conversation with RSNO Director of Concerts and Engagement Bill Chandler in the Clyde Foyer.

Tickets

£38, £29.50, £24.50, £18.50, £13

Discounts

Under 16s free (max 2 per paying adult); Under 26s / Mature Students £6 in advance, £8 after 5pm on the day; Unemployed £6; Disabled patrons and their 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.

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.

Forthcoming concert highlights include Gurrelieder with the Orquesta Nacional de Espana and David Afkham; Bruckner Mass in F minor with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Mariss Jansons; Mahler Symphony No2 with the Hong Kong Philarmonic and Jaap van Zweden and also with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla; Brangaene in concert for Montpellier Opera and Das Lied von der Erde and La Damnation de Faust for DSO Berlin and Robin Ticciati.

On the opera stage she will appear as Waltraute Götterdämmerung at the Royal Opera Covent Garden and has three return invitations to the Metropolitan Opera, New York with roles including Erda and Mere Marie.

Karen regularly sings with the Boston, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Chicago, Rotterdam and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras, Dresden Staatskapelle, London Symphony and Philharmonic Orchestras 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 and Edward Gardner. Opera highlights have included appearances at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden; Metropolitan Opera, New York; Deutsche Opera, Berlin and Glyndebourne Festival with roles including Waltraute Götterdämmerung, Brangaene Tristan and Isolde; Mere Marie Dialogues of the Carmelites and Judith Bluebeard’s Castle. Karen appears regularly at the BBC Proms 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 Cléopatre 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.

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