One of the world’s best chamber orchestras to visit Australia for the first time "The orchestra sounded superb, light and robust, graceful and full." New York Sun "The plaintive warmth of the string playing was beyond belief." New York Times Sydney Opera House and Melbourne Recital Centre today announced the premiere visit to Australia of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra (MCO). Regarded as one of the most artistically interesting and successful ensembles on the international classical music scene, the MCO gives two performances at Sydney Opera House on 10 and 11 June followed by two performances at Melbourne Recital Centre on 12 and 13 June.
When the MCO made its debut at the Teatro Real in Madrid in 2008 Le Monde called it “the
best orchestra in the world.” The MCO is a travelling orchestra with 45 core members from
20 different countries including one Australian, Kirsty Hilton. The MCO is on the move for
approximately 200 days each year and in 2012/13 will perform in 13 countries with
performances in major musical centres as well as exclusive festivals from the North Pole to
the Red Sea. The MCO has been recognised as an official European Cultural Ambassador
for the years 2011 to 2013.
The ensemble's flexible structure makes it possible for them to perform a very wide range of
repertoire, including everything from chamber music to large symphonies and operas, from
baroque to world premieres of contemporary works.
The Orchestra’s name refers to their roots in the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra. Alongside
founder, Claudio Abbado, Daniel Harding is the conductor who has played the most
significant role in the Orchestra’s history. In the summer of 2011 the musicians voted
unanimously to give Harding the permanent title of Conductor Laureate. As the protégé of
Sir Simon Rattle, Daniel Harding will be making his Sydney debut with the Orchestra on this
The first performance of the Sydney season features internationally renowned violinist
Christian Tetzlaff, who was recently profiled in The New Yorker and who has been described
by The Guardian as a performer “…few can equal today.” Teztlaff performs the virtuosic
Beethoven Violin Concerto on a bill including Australian composer Brett Dean and
Schumann’s Symphony No. 3, Rhenish. The second performance of the Orchestra in
Sydney features American star cellist Alisa Weilerstein whose playing has captivated
everyone from Daniel Barenboim to local audiences with some of the “most technically
complete and emotionally devastating” playing to be heard on the international stage.
Weilerstein performs the Shostakovich Cello Concerto No.1and the program concludes with
the Orchestra’s thrilling interpretation of Dvorak Symphony No. 9 From the New World.
Beethoven’s Violin Concerto
(Sydney, Monday 10 June & Melbourne Thursday 13 June)
BEETHOVEN Violin Concerto
SCHUMANN Symphony No.3 Rhenish
Composers like Beethoven and Schumann are the foundation of the Mahler Chamber
Orchestra’s repertoire, the gold standard of an orchestra’s prowess. Christian Tetzlaff and
his ventriloquist’s skill for letting a composer speak through his playing will make this
performance of Beethoven’s concerto unforgettable. Under the baton of conductors like
Daniel Harding, Schumann’s symphonies are at last being heard for the works of genius they
are. The Rhenish is full of high-spirits, high ideals – the work of a Romantic visionary in love
with nature and with life.
Shostakovich and Dvorák
(Sydney Tuesday 11 June & Melbourne Wednesday 12 June)
HENZE Sonata for strings
SHOSTAKOVICH Cello Concerto No.1, Op.107
DVORÁK Symphony No.9 From the New World
Shostakovich’s white-knuckle cello concerto is the ideal vehicle for Alisa Weilerstein, whose
intense and dramatic reading of this work has a devastating power. Shostakovich is
emblematic of the bitter facts of Soviet Russian life but Dvorák’s Symphony No.9 is the
optimistic opposite, born in a new world. This portrait of the golden age of 19th-Century
America was premiered, aptly, in Carnegie Hall. Both are ideal showcases for the brilliant
Mahler Chamber Orchestra.
Where: Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House
When: 10 & 11 June 2013
Tickets: 49 (transaction fees apply)
Bookings: sydneyoperahouse.com / 02 9250 7777
Where: Melbourne Recital Centre
When: 12 & 13 June 2013
Tickets: from $49 (transaction fees apply)
Bookings: melbournerecital.com.au / 03 9699 3333