Boston Philharmonic

Under the direction of Benjamin Zander

Concert Program

J. Strauss, Jr.
Voices of Spring Waltz, Op. 410

Richard Strauss
Four Last Songs

Gustav Mahler
Symphony No. 4

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Friday, February 20, 2015 - 8:00 pm - Mechanics Hall

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Tickets: Adult $49, Student $15, Youth $5

Join us for a free pre-concert Talk in the Great Hall at 6:45 PM, given by Maestro Zander

The Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, founded by Benjamin Zander in 1979, features student, professional and amateur musicians. One of Boston's premier orchestras, the Boston Philharmonic is not your average musical ensemble; on the contrary, the Boston Philharmonic follows a vision of "passionate music making without boundaries," meaning the presentation of top-notch music in a manner that both music aficionados and the casual listener can enjoy.

The Boston Philharmonic will be performing this program on February 19th, 21st, and 22nd in Boston and Cambridge

The Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, founded by Benjamin Zander in 1979, features student, professional, and amateur musicians. One of Boston's premier orchestras, the Boston Philharmonic is not your average musical ensemble; on the contrary, the Boston Philharmonic follows a vision of "passionate music making without boundaries." To us, this means presenting top-notch music in a manner that both music aficionados and the casual listener can enjoy.

One way we achieve this is through our innovative pre-concert talks with conductor, Benjamin Zander, who has a unique approach to explaining classical music. His intense passion for the art form attracts hundreds of attendees for each talk. As a result, our audience describes the Boston Philharmonic as "passionate," "inspiring," "unique," and—perhaps our favorite descriptor—"un-stuffy."

The Boston Philharmonic will be performing this program on February 19 and 21 in Boston and Cambridge.

Music was Benjamin Zander's life at a very early age. When Zander was nine he was already composing and by twelve he was studying under Benjamin Britten and Imogen Holst. He left home at the age of fifteen to study for five years with the great Spanish cellist Gaspar Cassado in Florence and at the State Academy in Cologne. After completing his degree at London University, he went to the United States on a Harkness Fellowship and has made his home in Boston ever since. There, as conductor of the Boston Philharmonic since its formation in 1978, and a guest conductor of numerous orchestras, he has become the centre of an intense, at times almost cult-like following. In his case, however, the followers are not starry-eyed acolytes, but rather some of the most well-informed musical intellectuals in America. For nearly thirty years, beginning with Michael Steinberg's passionate advocacy on his behalf in the pages of the Boston Globe, critics and public have been united in their praise of Mr. Zander's interpretations of the central repertory.

For 45 years he was on the faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music, where his class on interpretation attracted students from all over the world, and he travels extensively giving masterclasses, conducting guest performances, and touring with his own recently formed Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. He has established an international reputation as a guest conductor and has conducted the Israel Philharmonic for three consecutive years, and conducted orchestras as diverse as the Bournemouth Symphony, the Scottish and Irish National Orchestras, the St Petersburg Philharmonic, the Malaysian Symphony, the St Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and has appeared with the National Youth Orchestras of New Zealand, Australia and Venezuela.

Mr. Zander has a unique relationship with the Philharmonia Orchestra (London), with which he is currently recording a series of Beethoven and Mahler symphonies. Beethoven's Fifth and Seventh Symphonies, and Mahler's First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Ninth Symphonies have been released thus far. Each of these recordings includes a full-length discussion disc with Benjamin Zander explaining the music. High Fidelity named the recording of Mahler's Sixth as "the best classical recording of 2002." The recording of Mahler's Third was awarded the "Critics' Choice" by the German Record Critics' Award Association in 2004, and the recording of Mahler's Ninth Symphony was nominated for a Grammy Award. Their recording of Bruckner's 5th Symphony was nominated for a 2010 Grammy for Best Orchestral Performance.

Benjamin Zander has traveled the world lecturing to organizations on leadership. He has appeared several times as a keynote speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where he was presented with the Crystal Award for "Outstanding Contributions in the Arts and International Relations." The best-selling book, The Art of Possibility, co-authored with leading psychotherapist Rosamund Zander, has been translated into seventeen languages.

In 2002, Mr. Zander was awarded the Caring Citizen of the Humanities Award by the International Council for Caring Communities at the United Nations. In 2007, he was awarded the Golden Door award by the International Institute of Boston for his "outstanding contribution to American society" as a United States citizen of foreign birth. In March of 2009, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from New England Conservatory of Music, and in 2012 he was awarded Faculty Emeritus status at that institution.

Aga Mikolaj, soprano
[Agent's site for photo downloads - http://www.harrisonparrott.com/artist/profile/aga-mikolaj]

A student of the late Dame Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and a former member of Munich's Bayerische Staatsoper, Aga Mikolaj's career was launched on Mozart's leading ladies, Pamina, Countess, Fiordiligi and Donna Elvira. Equally at home in the key lyric soprano roles, and Richard Strauss in particular, Mikolaj is frequently praised for her silvery vocal quality and seamless legato line.

Concluding her time as a member of Munich's Bayerische Staatsoper in 2007, Aga Mikolaj has since returned there regularly as a guest (Countess, Donna Elvira, Fiordiligi, Micaela as well as Freia in the new Andreas Kreigenburg's production of Das Rheingold under Kent Nagano) and has debuted in many other prestigious theatres including Opéra National de Paris (Erste Dame), Deutsche Oper Berlin (Aennchen), Staatsoper unter den Linden (Woglinde), Teatro alla Scala (Erste Dame) and at the Glyndebourne Festival (Fiordiligi).

Recent seasons have included an acclaimed debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (Gustavo Dudamel) as Donna Elvira, a role debut as Donna Anna in Dmitri Tcherniakov's production at the Bolshoi Theatre Moscow, followed by the same role at Tokyo's New National Theatre, a return to Berlin's Staatsoper and Teatro alla Scala for the co-production of Der Ring des Nibelungen under Daniel Barenboim and Donna Elvira with the Wiener Staatsoper on tour to the Budapest Festival.

A frequent concert performer, Aga Mikolaj has a diverse repertoire featuring works by composers including Mahler, Beethoven, Schubert, Richard Strauss, Verdi, Penderecki and Szymanowski.  Recent seasons include a triumphant debut at the BBC Proms under Daniel Barenboim (Das Rheingold) as well as appearances with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra under John Nelson (Ein deutsches Requiem and Exsultate Jubilate), with L'Orchestre de Paris under James Conlon (Dvořák's Requiem), with the Hallé Orchestra under Sir Mark Elder (Mahler's Symphonies Nos.4  and 8), with the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin under Marek Janowski (Janáček's Glagolitic Mass) and with the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra and Antoni Wit (Penderecki's Symphony No.7).

This season sees Aga Mikolaj return to the Bolshoi Theatre as Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus), a role she reprises with the Philharmonia Orchestra under John Wilson. She also joins the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under Mariss Jansons for Verdi's Messa da Requiem, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra under James Gaffigan for Poulenc's Stabat Mater and Mahler's Symphony No.4 under Markus Stenz, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo under Gianluigi Gelmetti for Beethoven's Symphony No.9, Orquestra Sinfonia Nacional for Lutoslawski's 20 Polish Carols and Rachmaninov's The Bells, both the Macau Orchestra and Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra for Strauss' Vier letze Lieder and Verdi's Messa da Requiem at the Konzerthaus, Berlin.

Aga Mikolaj's first solo CD of Richard Strauss and Mozart, together with the WDR Rundfunkorchester Köln and conductor Karl Sollak, was released last year on the CPO label to great critical acclaim.

About the Orchestra

Visit the website

About the Conductor

Benjamin Zander's website

About the Program

Mahler's Symphony no. 4

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