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(Canceled) Boston Symphony OrchestraSir Mark Elder conducts Brahms and Beethoven

(Canceled) Boston Symphony Orchestra
Sir Mark Elder conducts Brahms and Beethoven


Koussevitzky Music Shed - Lenox, MA View Map


Boston Symphony Orchestra
Sir Mark Elder, conductor
Tamara Wilson, soprano
Tamara Mumford, mezzo-soprano
Pavol Breslik, tenor
Tanglewood Festival Chorus, James Burton, conductor

BRAHMS Geistliches Lied and Fest- und Gedenksprüche, for chorus*
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 9

*Conducted by James Burton


Featured Performers & Ensembles

Sir Mark Elder
Sir Mark Elder View biography in full page >


Sir Mark Elder has been Music Director of the Hallé since September 2000. He was Music Director of English National Opera (1979-1993), Principal Guest Conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (1992 – 1995) and Music Director of Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, USA (1989 – 1994). He has held positions as Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the London Mozart Players.

He has worked with many of the world’s leading symphony orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw, Budapest Festival Orchestra and London Philharmonic. He is a Principal Artist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and works regularly with the London Symphony Orchestra. He has appeared annually at the Proms for many years, including in 1987 and 2006, the internationally televised Last Night of the Proms and from 2003 with the Hallé Orchestra.

He works regularly in the most prominent international opera houses, including the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Metropolitan Opera New York, Opéra National de Paris, Lyric Opera Chicago, Glyndebourne Festival Opera. Other guest engagements have taken him to the Bayreuth Festival (where he was the first English conductor to conduct a new production), Munich, Amsterdam, Zürich, Geneva, Berlin, and the Bregenz Festival.

Sir Mark Elder has made many recordings with orchestras including the Hallé, London Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony, the OAE, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and ENO, in repertoire ranging from Verdi, Strauss and Wagner to contemporary music. In 2003 the Hallé launched its own CD label and releases have met with universal critical acclaim culminating in Gramophone Awards for The Dream of Gerontius in 2009 and Götterdämmerung and Elgar’s Violin Concerto in 2010, and The Apostles won Recording of the Year in the 2013 BBC Music Magazine Awards. The recent release of Siegfried has completed his RING Cycle on disc with the Hallé. A live recording of Lohengrin has recently been released by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

TV appearances include a two-part film on the life and music of Verdi for BBC TV in 1994 and a similar project on Donizetti for German television in 1996. In November 2011 he co-presented BBCTV’s four part series Symphony, and in 2012 fronted BBC2’s TV series Maestro at the Opera. He presented a series of TV programmes on BBC4 during the 2015 Proms in which he talked about eight symphonies ranging from Beethoven to MacMillan featuring performances from the season’s concerts.

In April 2011, he took up the position of Artistic Director of Opera Rara, for whom recording projects have included Donizetti’s Dom Sebastien, Imelda di Lambertazzi, Linda di Chamounix, Maria di Rohan, a multi award winning release of Les Martyrs and, most recently, Rossini’s Semiramide.

Recent and forthcoming concert engagements, as well as his commitment to the Hallé, include Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra Washington, London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony, Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Vienna Symphony and the OAE. Operatic engagements include a complete performance of Parsifal at the BBC Proms with the Hallé, Tannhäuser and La bohème at the Opéra National de Paris, Benvenuto Cellini for Netherlands Opera, Meistersinger for San Francisco Opera, Billy Budd, Falstaff and La Traviata for Glyndebourne, several productions for Covent Garden including Wozzeck, Fidelio, La bohème ,Il Barbiere di Siviglia and L’Etoile and concert performances of Lohengrin with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He opened the Met season in New York in September 2018 with a new production of Samson et Dalila.

Sir Mark Elder was appointed a Companion of Honour in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours, was knighted in 2008 and awarded the CBE in 1989. He won an Olivier Award in 1991 for his outstanding work at ENO and in May 2006 he was named Conductor of the Year by the Royal Philharmonic Society. He was awarded Honorary Membership of the Royal Philharmonic Society in 2011.


Sir Mark Elder Tamara Wilson, soprano
Tamara Wilson, soprano View biography in full page >

Hailed by The New York Times as "a young American who sings Verdi with a passion that surpasses stereotype," Tamara Wilson is quickly gaining international recognition for her interpretations of Verdi, Mozart, Strauss and Wagner. She is the 2016 recipient of the prestigious Richard Tucker Award, an annual prize conferred by the Richard Tucker Music Foundation given to a rising American opera singer on the "threshold of an major international career." Other recent honors include a 2016 Olivier Award nomination and receipt of the 'Revelation Prize' by the Argentine Musical Critics Association. Ms. Wilson is also a Grand Prize Winner of the Annual Francisco Viñas Competition held at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Spain. 

Tamara Wilson begins the 2017-2018 season as the title role in Aida to open the season at the Washington National Opera in a production by Francesca Zambello. She returns to her home company of Houston Grand Opera for her role debut as Chrysothemis in Elektra and will make her Paris debut as Sieglinde in Die Walküre with the Mariinsky Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev at the Philharmonie de Paris. She makes her New York Philharmonic debut in Bernstein's Kaddish Symphony (Symphony No. 3) with Leonard Slatkin to celebrate Bernstein's Philharmonic: A Centennial Festival and will also debut with the Boston Symphony in the same piece under Giancarlo Guerrero. At the BBC Proms, she will return for Mahler's Symphony No. 8 with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. She makes her Italian debut with Riccardo Chailly and Teatro alla Scala Orchestra in Verdi's Messa da requiem with performances in Pavia, Paris, and Hamburg. 

Ms. Wilson made her acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut in Aida and London debut in Calixto Bieto's new production of La forza del destino at the English National Opera, for which she received an Olivier Award nomination. She also inaugurated the new opera house in Kyoto, Japan with Seiji Ozawa as Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus. She was heard at Oper Frankfurt for her first performances as the Empress in Die Frau ohne Schatten conducted by Sebastian Weigle which was just released by Oehms Classics. She recently debuted at the Bayerische Staatsoper and Opernhaus Zürich conducted by Fabio Luisi, both as Elisabetta di Valois in Don Carlo. She debuted at the Deutsche Oper Berlin as Amelia in Un ballo in maschera, triumphed in Act 3 of Die Walküre as Brünnhilde with Mark Wiggleworth and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales at Royal Albert Hall, and debuted with the Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev in Act 3 of Die Walküre as Sieglinde.

A noted interpreter of Verdi roles, she has been seen as Elisabeth de Valois in the five-act French Don Carlos (Houston Grand Opera); Amelia in Un ballo in maschera (Washington National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Florida Grand Opera, and Teatre Principal de Maó in Menorca); Elvira in Ernani (Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse); Elisabetta in Don Carlo (Bayerische Staatsoper, Zurich Oper, and Oper Frankfurt); Lucrezia Contarini in I due Foscari (Théâtre du Capitole, Teatro Municipal de Santiago and Netherlands Radio Orchestra); Leonora in Il trovatore (Gran Teatre del Liceu, Houston Grand Opera, Théâtre du Capitole under Daniel Oren and Palma de Mallorca); Desdemona in Otello (Cincinnati Symphony and James Conlon); Alice Ford in Falstaff (Washington National Opera debut); Amelia Grimaldi in Simon Boccanegra (Canadian Opera Company); the title role in Aida (Opera Australia, Teatro de la Maestranza, and Teatro Municipal de Santiago); Marchesa del Poggio in Un giorno di regno (Wolf Trap Opera); and Gulnara in Il corsaro (Washington Concert Opera). Other notable performances include her debut in Norma at Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona; Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus at the Canadian Opera Company; her German debut at Oper Frankfurt in concert performances of Wagner's early opera Die Feen as Ada under Sebastian Weigle; Elettra in Idomeneo under Harry Bicket at the Canadian Opera Company and under James Conlon at the Ravinia Festival; Donna Anna in Don Giovanni under James Conlon and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, as well as with Edo de Waart and the Milwaukee Symphony.


On the concert stage, Ms. Wilson debuted with the Cleveland Orchestra in Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 under Franz Welser-Möst, the National Symphony in Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 2 ("Lobgesang") with Matthew Halls and with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in Verdi's Messa da Requiem conducted by Marin Alsop at the BBC Proms, which was recorded for commercial release. She has been heard in the Verdi Requiem with the Orchestra de Lyon under Leonard Slatkin, her Atlanta Symphony debut in Ralph Vaughan Williams' Sea Symphony conducted by Robert Spano, Malaysian Philharmonic debut conducted by Mark Wigglesworth in Verdi and Wagner, and as soprano soloist for performances of Missa solemnis with John Nelson and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe (available on DVD). She made her Carnegie Hall debut with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under Marin Alsop in Honegger's Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher, as well as in Baltimore for Mahler's Symphony No 4, Verdi's Requiem and Britten's War Requiem. Ms. Wilson performed Mahler's Symphony No. 4 with Marin Alsop and Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with Donald Runnicles at the Grand Teton Music Festival, Mozart's Requiem with Edo de Waart and the Milwaukee Symphony and Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 2 ("Lobgesang") with the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra. A favorite of the Oregon Bach Festival, she debuted in Verdi's Messa da requiem under Helmuth Rilling for the opening of their 40th Anniversary season, subsequently returning for the same piece in Mo. Rilling's final season as music director. She has returned to sing Brahms's Ein deutsches Requiem, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 under Rilling, Marguerite in Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher under Marin Alsop, Tippett's A Child of Our Time, a concert of Verdi, Britten, and Wagner with Matthew Halls, and Beethoven's Ah, perfido. She added to her concert repertoire when she performed Wagner's Wesendonck-Lieder with the Milwaukee Symphony conducted by Asher Fish.

An alumna of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, Ms. Wilson's awards include the George London Award from the George London Foundation, as well as both a career grant in 2011 and study grant in 2008 from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation. Other notable awards include first place in the 2005 Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers in Houston and finalist in the 2004 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, among others. She was a featured soloist at the 2010 NEA Opera Honors in which she sang "Ernani, involami" from Verdi's Ernani to honor recipient Martina Arroy.

In addition to her operatic and orchestral performances, Ms. Wilson is an avid lecturer of vocal technique. She has been a Guest Master Class Lecturer for the National Pastoral Musicians in the Chicago area. Ms. Wilson received her degree at the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music.

Tamara Wilson, soprano
Tamara Mumford, mezzo-soprano Tamara Mumford, mezzo-soprano Pavol Breslik, tenor
Pavol Breslik, tenor View biography in full page >

The overnight success of the tenor Pavol Breslik began in 2005, when he was chosen the "Most Promising Singer of the Year" in a critics' survey in the magazine "Opernwelt". Born in 1979 in Slovakia, he completed his studies at the Academy of Arts in Banska Bystrica. In 2000 he won the first prize at the Antonín-Dvořák Competition in the Czech Republic. In 2002/03, he continued his education at the Opera Studio CNIPAL in Marseilles, and completed master classes with Yvonne Minton, Mady Mesplé, Mirella Freni and William Matteuzzi.

From 2003 to 2006, Pavol Breslik was a member of the Berlin State Opera Unter den Linden, where among other parts he was heard as Ferrando ("Così fan tutte"), Tamino ("Zauberflöte"), Don Ottavio ("Don Giovanni"), Nemorino ("Elisir d'amore"), Kudrjasch ("Katja Kabanowa") and God's Fool ("Boris Godunov"). During this time, he gave guest performances with his Mozart parts at the Teatro Verdi in Trieste, at the Piccolo Teatro in Milan, at Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, at the Glyndebourne Festival, at the Wiener Festwochen and at the Aix-en-Provence Festival. At the Paris Théâtre du Châtelet, he performed Jaquino in "Fidelio".

As a free-lance performer since 2006, he has expanded his Mozart repertoire with Belmonte ("Entführung aus dem Serail") and Idamante ("Idomeneo"). As Don Ottavio he performed at the Salzburg Festival and at the Metropolitan Opera New York, as Alfred ("Die Fledermaus") at the Geneva Grand Théâtre, as Tamino in London's Covent Garden, as the Evangelist in the Johannes Passion in Théâtre du Châtelet, as Idamante, Lenski ("Eugen Onegin") and Edgardo ("Lucia di Lammermoor") at the Bavarian State Opera Munich and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Silvio ("Arbore di Diana" by Martín y Soler) in Madrid, Macduff at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. In Munich he sang with Edita Gruberova, giving his début performance as Gennaro in Christof Loy's successful new production of Donizetti's "Lucrezia Borgia". With the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Simon Rattle he sang Narraboth ("Salome") in Berlin and Salzburg. At Zurich Opera Stewa ("Jenufa"). In Zurich, he gave his debut as Faust, Nadir ("Pêcheurs de Perles") and Peter Quint  in "Turn of the Screw". At Paris Opéra he sung Tamino with enormous success.

His future plans including a.o. his debuts as Hans (Verkaufte Braut ),
Leicester (Maria Stuarda) in Zurich, Morosus (Schweigsame Frau), Rinuccio (Gianni Schicchi) in Munich and Romeo in Hobart/Tasmanien, aswell as his return to the festivals of Aix-en-Provence and Munich.

Pavol Breslik  is also a welcome guest on the concert stage. At the BBC Proms in London, he performed with the Philharmonic Orchestra under Kurt Masur in Janáček's "Glagolitic Mass", with the Concert d'Astrée under Emmanuelle Haïm in London and in Paris in Handel's "Il trionfo del tempo" (on Virgin Classics CD), at the Edinburgh Festival in Beethoven's C Major Mass and in "Christus am Ölberg". Under Kurt Masur he also performed in the premiere of Siegfried Matthus' "Te Deum", and with the Orchestre National de France, in Beethoven's "Missa Solemnis" and the Ninth Symphony. Further, he performed the "Missa Solemnis" with the London Symphony Orchestra under Colin Davis, "La Messe Solennelle" and "Roméo et Juliette" by Berlioz with the Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio under Riccardo Muti. The original version of Dvořák's "Stabat Mater" was  recorded on CD by Naïve with the Ensemble Accentus as well as the "Missa solemnis" with Enoch zu Guttenberg. He was also performing "Don Giovanni" with Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra under Gustavo Dudamel.

Pavol Breslik, tenor
Tanglewood Festival Chorus
Tanglewood Festival Chorus
Tanglewood Festival Chorus, (TFC) View biography in full page >

Tanglewood Festival Chorus
James Burton, BSO Choral Director and Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus
John Oliver (1939-2018), Founder

The Tanglewood Festival Chorus joins the BSO this season for performances of Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy and Poulenc’s Gloria led by Andris Nelsons (September 19-21, the opening program of the 2019-20 subscription season); Galina Grigorieva’s On Leaving and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 2, also under Maestro Nelsons (November 21-26); Duruflé’s Requiem under Giancarlo Guerrero (February 27-March 3), and Stravinsky’s Perséphone with Thomas Adès conducting (March 26-28). In addition, to mark the TFC’s fiftieth anniversary in April 2020, James Burton leads the ensemble in a post-concert Casual Friday performance of Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil (April 17). Originally formed under the joint sponsorship of Boston University and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the all-volunteer Tanglewood Festival Chorus was established in 1970 by its founding conductor, the late John Oliver, who stepped down from his leadership position with the TFC at the end of the 2015 Tanglewood season. In February 2017, following appearances as guest chorus conductor at Symphony Hall and Tanglewood, and having prepared the chorus for that month’s BSO performances of Bach’s B minor Massled by Andris Nelsons, James Burton was named the new Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, also being appointed to the newly created position of BSO Choral Director. Mr. Burton occupies the Alan J. and Suzanne W. Dworsky Chair on the Boston Symphony Orchestra roster.

Though first established for performances at the BSO’s summer home, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus was soon playing a major role in the BSO’s subscription season as well as BSO concerts at Carnegie Hall; the ensemble now performs year-round with the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops. It has performed with the BSO on tour in Hong Kong and Japan, and on two European tours, also giving a cappella concerts of its own on those two occasions. The TFC made its debut in April 1970 at Symphony Hall, in a BSO performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Leonard Bernstein conducting. Its first recording with the orchestra, Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust with Seiji Ozawa, received a Grammy nomination for Best Choral Performance of 1975. The TFC has since made dozens of recordings with the BSO and Boston Pops, with Seiji Ozawa, Bernard Haitink, James Levine, Leonard Bernstein, Sir Colin Davis, Keith Lockhart, and John Williams. In August 2011, with John Oliver conducting and soloist Stephanie Blythe, the TFC gave the world premiere of Alan Smith’s An Unknown Sphere for mezzo-soprano and chorus, commissioned by the BSO for the ensemble’s 40th anniversary. Its most recent recordings on BSO Classics, all drawn from live performances, include a disc of a cappella music marking the TFC’s 40th anniversary; Ravel’s complete Daphnis et Chloé (a 2009 Grammy-winner for Best Orchestral Performance), Brahms’s German Requiem, and William Bolcom’s Eighth Symphony for chorus and orchestra (a BSO 125th Anniversary Commission). On July 4, 2018, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus joined Keith Lockhart for the “Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular” on the Charles River Esplanade.

Besides their work with the BSO, TFC members have also performed with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic and in a Saito Kinen Festival production of Britten’s Peter Grimes under Seiji Ozawa in Japan. The ensemble had the honor of singing at Sen. Edward Kennedy’s funeral; has performed with the Boston Pops for the Boston Red Sox and Boston Celtics; and can be heard on the soundtracks of Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River, John Sayles’s Silver City, and Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan. TFC members regularly commute from the greater Boston area and beyond to sing with the chorus in Boston and at Tanglewood. For more information about the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and upcoming auditions, please visit


James Burton
James Burton, conductor View biography in full page >

James Burton was appointed Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and to the newly created position of BSO Choral Director, in February 2017. He made his BSO subscription-series conducting debut in October 2018, leading the Tanglewood Festival Chorus in Maija Einfelde’s Lux aeterna. In August 2019 he led the Boston Symphony Children’s Choir and Boston Symphony Orchestra in the world premiere of his The Lost Words, a BSO co-commission, as part of the summer’s gala Tanglewood on Parade concert. In April 2020 he will conduct the Tanglewood Festival Concert in a post-concert Casual Friday performance of Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil to celebrate the TFC’s fiftieth anniversary. Mr. Burton made his debut with the Boston Pops in December 2017, returned to the Pops podium last December—as he will again for Holiday Pops concerts in December 2019—and led the Pops this past June at Tanglewood in a program celebrating Queen with Marc Martel.

Born in London, James Burton holds a master’s degree in orchestral conducting from the Peabody Conservatory, where he studied with Frederik Prausnitz and Gustav Meier. He began his training at the Choir of Westminster Abbey, where he became head chorister, and was a choral scholar at St. John’s College, Cambridge. He has conducted concerts with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Hallé Orchestra, the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, the Royal Northern Sinfonia, BBC Concert Orchestra, and Manchester Camerata. Opera credits include performances at English National Opera, English Touring Opera, Garsington Opera, and the Prague Summer Nights Festival, and he has served on the music staff of the Metropolitan Opera and Opera de Paris. Mr. Burton’s extensive choral conducting has included guest invitations with professional choirs including the Gabrieli Consort, the Choir of the Enlightenment, Wrocław Philharmonic, and the BBC Singers, with whom he performed in the inaugural season of Dubai’s Opera House in 2017. From 2002 to 2009 he served as choral director at the Hallé Orchestra, where he was music director of the Hallé Choir and founding conductor of the Hallé Youth Choir, winning the Gramophone Choral Award in 2009. From 2002 to 2017 he was music director of the Schola Cantorum of Oxford. Well known for his inspirational work with young musicians, he was director of the National Youth Choir of Japan in 2017 and founded the Boston Symphony Children’s Choir in 2018. Mr. Burton has given conducting master classes at the Royal Academy of Music in London and at the Tanglewood Music Center, and founded a scholarship for young conductors at Oxford. His growing composition portfolio includes works for commissioners including the National Portrait Gallery in London, the 2010 World Equestrian Games, the Choir of St. John’s College, Cambridge, and the Exon Festival, where he was composer-in-residence in 2015. His works are published by Edition Peters. As BSO Choral Director and Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, James Burton occupies the Alan J. and Suzanne W. Dworsky Chair, endowed in perpetuity.


Program Notes Audio
BRAHMS - Geistliches Lied and Fest- und Gedenksprüche, for chorus
BEETHOVEN - Symphony No. 9 (65 min)