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Thomas Adès conducts Britten, Sibelius and Adès featuring Christianne Stotijn and Mark Stone

Boston Symphony Orchestra

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British composer/conductor/pianist Thomas Adès joins the BSO family in the role of "Artistic Partner" this season, collaborating with the orchestra and its musicians in a variety of capacities. In these concerts he conducts his own 2013 Totentanz ("Dance of Death") for mezzo-soprano, baritone, and orchestra. Set to a text accompanying a 15th-century German frieze depicting Death (represented by the baritone) dancing with individuals from all strata of humanity (represented by the mezzo-soprano), the work is both macabre and funny-the Dance of Death is the one dance none of us may refuse. Opening the program is Britten's dramatic early orchestral work, Sinfonia da Requiem, premiered by the New York Philharmonic in 1941 during Britten's time in the U.S. as a conscientious objector. (Its performance soon afterward by Serge Koussevitzky and the BSO led directly to Koussevitzky's commissioning Britten's opera Peter Grimes.) Also on the program is the great Finnish composer Jean Sibelius's late tone poem Tapiola, which atmospherically depicts the realm of the forest spirit Tapio from the Finnish epic Kalevala.

Featured Performers

Thomas Adès, conductor
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Born in London in 1971, Thomas Adès studied piano and composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and read music at King's College, Cambridge.  Renowned as both a composer and a performer he works regularly with the world's leading opera companies and festivals.  

Recent conducting engagements include a tour with the Britten Sinfonia, concerts with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Gulbenkian Orchestra as part of his Gulbenkian Foundation Residency, the London Symphony and Sao Paulo State Symphony Orchestras, his debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC, Finnish and Danish Radio Symphony Orchestras, the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (whose Music Director he was between 1998 and 2000), the London Sinfonietta, Ensemble Modern and the Athelas Ensemble.
He recently conducted productions of The Rake's Progress at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and Zurich Opera.  His most recent piano engagements include a recital at Carnegie Hall with Ian Bostridge, and an appearance with Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic. In 2010 he undertook a piano recital tour that included Carnegie Hall, and London's Barbican Centre featured the premiere of his new piano work Concert Paraphrase from Powder Her Face.  2010/11 saw Adès return to Australia as an artist in residence at the Melbourne Festival.  Future plans include concerts with the Accademia Santa Cecilia in Rome, Barry's "The Importance of Being Earnest" with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, and a piano recital at the Festival de Saint Denis.

Between 1993 and 1995 he was Composer in Association with the Hallé Orchestra, which resulted in The Origin of the Harp (1994) and These Premises Are Alarmed for the opening of the Bridgewater Hall in 1996. Asyla (1997) was a Feeney Trust commission for Sir Simon Rattle and the CBSO who performed it at Symphony Hall in August 1998 in Rattle's last concert as Music Director. From 1999-2008 he was Artistic Director of the Aldeburgh Festival.

Adès' first opera, Powder Her Face (commissioned by Almeida Opera for the Cheltenham Festival in 1995), has been performed all around the world, was televised by Channel Four, and is available on a DVD as well as an EMI CD. Most of the composer's music has been recorded by EMI, with whom Adès has a contract as composer, pianist and conductor. Adès' second opera, The Tempest, was commissioned by the Royal Opera House and was premiered under the baton of the composer to great critical acclaim in February 2004. It was revived at Covent Garden in 2007 - again with the composer conducting and to a sold-out house - and has also been performed in Copenhagen, Strasbourg and Santa Fe. Recently released to outstanding reviews, The Tempest is also available on an EMI CD and in France, the disc was recently awarded the prestigious Diapason d'Or de l'année and the 2010 Classical Brit Award for Composer of the Year. In September 2005 his violin concerto, Concentric Paths, written for Anthony Marwood, was premiered at the Berliner Festspiele and the BBC Proms, with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe under his baton. His second orchestral work for Simon Rattle, Tevot, (2007) was commissioned by the Berliner Philharmoniker and Carnegie Hall. 

Appointed to the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer Chair at Carnegie Hall for 2007/8, he was featured as composer, conductor and pianist throughout that season.  Adès' most recent works include a 'Piano concerto with moving image' entitled In Seven Days, a collaboration with video artist Tal Rosner, commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and London's Southbank Centre and Lieux Retrouvés, a work for 'cello and piano written for Steven Isserlis and commissioned by Aldeburgh Festival and Wigmore Hall.

Adès' music has attracted numerous awards and prizes, including the prestigious Grawemeyer Award (in 2000, for Asyla), of which he is the youngest ever recipient.

Thomas Adès, conductor Christianne Stotijn, mezzo-soprano
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The Dutch mezzo-soprano Christianne Stotijn was born in Delft and studied violin and voice at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. After obtaining her solo violin diploma she continued her vocal studies with Udo Reinemann, Jard van Nes and Dame Janet Baker. Over the years Christianne has won numerous awards, including the prestigious ECHO Rising Stars Award 2005/2006, the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award in 2005, and the Nederlands Muziekprijs in 2008. In 2007 she was selected as a BBC New Generation Artist.

Christianne is a passionate interpreter of art songs. Accompanied by the pianists Joseph Breinl and Julius Drake, with whom she has a longstanding duo partnership, she has appeared in the world's leading concert venues. She regularly performs chamber music with musicians such as the violist Antoine Tamestit,  her brother the double bassist Rick Stotijn and the Oxalys Ensemble.

The conductor Bernard Haitink has had a profound influence on Christianne's career. Under his direction she has performed with orchestras including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and London Symphony Orchestra.

Christianne has also worked with world-class conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Ivan Fischer, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Andris Nelsons, Gustavo Dudamel, Mark Elder and Jaap van Zweden, performing repertoire including: Berlioz's La Mort de Cléopâtre and Les Nuits d'été, Elgar's Sea Pictures, Britten's Phaedra, Mussorgsky's Songs and Dances of Death, Mahler's Rückert Lieder and Kindertotenlieder, the Neruda Songs by Peter Lieberson, Fünf neapolitanische Lieder by Hans Werner Henze, Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder and Sieben frühe Lieder by Alban Berg.

She has performed diverse world premières of contemporary works. For instance, Michel van der Aa jointly dedicated his song cycle Spaces of Blank to Christianne and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in 2009. In 2013 she sang the world première of Totentanz by Thomas Adès at the Proms in the Royal Albert Hall, London.

Christianne also appears regularly on the operatic stage. She has sung the role of Pauline in Pique Dame at the Paris Opera, Isabella in L'Italiana in Algeri at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, Ottavia in Poppea at Dutch National Opera, the Teatro Campoamor in Oviedo and the Teatro Arriaga in Bilbao. She sang Cornelia in Giulio Cesare at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels and at Dutch National Opera. Other major engagements have included the title role in Tamerlano at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden and the role of Brangäne in a concertante performance of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde. In 2014 she appears as Marfa in Mussorgsky's La Khovanshchina at Oper Stuttgart.

Christianne Stotijn released several recordings on the Onyx label. In 2010 her recording of Tchaikovsky songs received the BBC Music Magazine Award. For the MDG label Christianne recorded a work close to her heart: Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke by Frank Martin. This recording earned her the ECHO Award 'Liedeinspielung des Jahres 2008'. Christianne  recently signed with Warner Classics, and released her first album for them - If the Owl Calls Again -in November 2014.

Christianne Stotijn, mezzo-soprano
Mark Stone, baritone
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Mark Stone studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In 1998 he was awarded the Decca Prize at the Kathleen Ferrier Awards. He recently sang the title role in Don Giovanni at the Deutsche Staatsoper, Berlin and New Zealand Opera, Il Conte (Le nozze di Figaro) at Tampere and Hamburg Opera and Storch (Intermezzo) at Garsington Opera.

Recent and future concert engagements include Thomas Adès' Totentanz with the New York Philharmonic and Danish National Symphony Orchestra also Brahms Deutsches Requiem with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,

A keen recitalist, he has sung in New York at Carnegie's Weill Hall; at Wigmore Hall and St John's Smith Square in London; and the Canterbury, Buxton and Oxford Lieder festivals.

In his spare time he enjoys relaxing with his family in Sussex, long-distance running, supporting Chelsea FC and running the internationally-acclaimed record label Stone Records.

Mark Stone, baritone
Program Notes Audio
BRITTEN - Sinfonia da Requiem (21 min)
SIBELIUS - Tapiola (18 min)
Thomas ADÈS - Totentanz, for mezzo-soprano, baritone, and orchestra (35 min)
Full Program Notes - Audio Concert Preview
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