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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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Thomas Adès was born in London in 1971.  Renowned as both a composer and a performer, Thomas Adès works regularly with the world’s leading orchestras, opera companies and festivals.

His compositions include three operas : the most recent of which The Exterminating Angel premiered at the 2016 Salzburg Festival and subsequently has been performed at the Metropolitan Opera, New York and the Royal Opera House, London; The Tempest  (Royal Opera House and Metropolitan Opera); and Powder Her Face.  His orchestral works include Asyla (CBSO, 1997), Tevot (Berlin Philharmonic and Carnegie Hall, 2007), Polaris (New World Symphony, Miami 2011), Violin Concerto Concentric Paths (Berliner Festspiele and the BBC Proms, 2005), In Seven Days (Piano concerto with moving image - LA Philharmonic and RFH London 2008), and Totentanz for mezzo-soprano, baritone, and orchestra (BBC Proms, 2013).   His compositions also include numerous celebrated chamber and solo works.

Thomas Adès was recently appointed Artistic Partner by the Boston Symphony Orchestra through 2019; he will conduct the orchestra in Boston and at Tanglewood, perform chamber music with the orchestra players, and lead the summer Festival of Contemporary Music. He coaches Piano and Chamber Music annually at the International Musicians Seminar, Prussia Cove.

As a conductor, Thomas appears regularly with, among others, the Los Angeles, New York and London Philharmonic orchestras, the Boston, London, BBC, City of Birmingham, Melbourne and Sydney Symphony orchestras, the Royal Concertgebouworkest and last season he made his debut with the Czech Philharmonic. In opera, in addition to The Exterminating Angel,  he has conducted The Rake’s Progress at the Royal Opera House and the Zürich Opera, The Tempest at the Metropolitan Opera and Vienna State Opera, and Gerald Barry’s latest opera Alice’s Adventures Under Ground in Los Angeles (world premiere) and in London (European premiere).  This season he will conduct the London and Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestras, the Finnish Radio and Boston Symphony orchestras, as well as the Orchestre de Paris, the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester and Britten Sinfonia. 

His recent piano engagements include solo recitals at Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium), New York and the Wigmore Hall in London, and concerto appearances with the New York Philharmonic. In recital, this season he will give a solo programme of Janáček in London, Paris, Lisbon and the Czech Republic, Schubert’s Winterreise at London’s Wigmore Hall with Ian Bostridge, and he will join Kirill Gerstein in duo recitals at Carnegie Hall and the Tanglewood Festival. 

His many awards include the Grawemeyer Award for Asyla (1999); Royal Philharmonic Society large-scale composition awards for Asyla, The Tempest and Tevot; and Ernst von Siemens Composers' prize for Arcadiana; British Composer Award for The Four Quarters.  His CD recording of The Tempest from the Royal Opera House (EMI) won the Contemporary category of the 2010 Gramophone Awards; his DVD of the production from the Metropolitan Opera was awarded the Diapason d'Or de l'année (2013), Best Opera recording (2014 Grammy Awards) and Music DVD Recording of the Year (2014 ECHO Klassik Awards); and The Exterminating Angel won the World Premiere of the Year at the International Opera Awards (2017).  In 2015 he was awarded the prestigious Léonie Sonning Music Prize.

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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