Kent Nagano receives the Brahms Prize 2024 (March 2024)

The Brahms-Gesellschaft Schleswig-Holstein is awarding this year’s Brahms Prize to the renowned conductor Kent Nagano. The California-born maestro has been celebrated worldwide for decades for his conducting achievements in both the symphonic oeuvre and the opera repertoire. In recent years in particular, as GMD of the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra, he has increasingly focussed on Johannes Brahms and opened up new perspectives on the work of the North German composer. […]

The award ceremony for the Brahms Prize, which is endowed with EUR 10,000, will take place on 29 September 2024 at 7.30 pm in St. Bartholomew’s Church in Wesselburen. Kent Nagano will be accompanied by the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra, which will perform works by Johannes Brahms and Richard Strauss under his baton and in his honour.


Jan Vogler & Amanda Gorman on the Late Night Show with Stephen Colbert (February 2024)

Cellist Jan Vogler and award-winning lyricist Amanda Gorman were guests on Stephen Colbert’s US Late Night Show on February 27. The “duo” was invited as a live act and together they performed an excerpt from their joint concert program on the stage of the late night show.  Stephen Colbert’s show is one of the biggest and best-known late night shows in America, to which only a few classical musicians have ever been invited. In their performance, Amanda Gorman and Jan Vogler combined Gorman’s poems with the cello suites by Johann Sebastian Bach.

The premiere of this project took place on February 17 in the almost sold-out Carnegie Hall in New York. On Colbert’s show, they performed the encore of the Carnegie Hall concert again, which many described as the highlight of the performance.

Jan Vogler dreams of bringing the project with Amanda Gorman to Germany and to the Dresden Music Festival.

Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra live from Warsaw to be released on CD (February 2024)

The Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra was founded in 2022 by conductor Keri-Lynn Wilson in collaboration with the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture, the New York Metropolitan Opera and the Polish National Opera in Warsaw. The highlight of the Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra’s 2023 European tour was an emotionally charged performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Schiller’s great poem “Ode to Joy”, sung in Ukrainian. The Warsaw concert, captured on this recording, was the first time that the text of the symphony was presented in translation outside Ukraine. Further information from Deutsche Grammophon can be found here.

This project was also a special highlight of the past year for us at PR² classic! It also included the orchestra’s concert in Berlin on September 24, Ukraine’s Independence Day. You can find a report on this concert here.

Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra, Keri-Lynn Wilson
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D minor op. 125

Vladyslav Buialskyi
Olga Kulchynska
Nicole Chirka
Dmytro Popov
The Choir of the Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic in Białystok

Kent Nagano’s concert engagements at the beginning of the year 2024 (January 2024)

Kent Nagano’s first concerts in 2024 will take him to Amsterdam for the Dutch premiere of Unsuk Chin’s Alaraph ‘Rite of the Heartbeat‘ in January, which can be listened to here, as well as to the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra with a world premiere of Bryce Dessner’s Piano Concerto and then to Berlin at the end of January with Mahler’s 7th Symphony to the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester.

At the Hamburg State Opera, Kent Nagano conducts the performances of Peter Grimes in February and the resumption of Lady Macbeth in May, as well as several concerts with the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra in the Elbphilharmonie. In June, a special semi-staged production of Olivier Messiaen’s Saint Francois d’Assise will be performed three times at the Musikfest Hamburg.

In November 2023, an episode of the YouTube channel Living the Classical Life with Kent Nagano was released:

Wagner’s “Das Rheingold” on tour (August 2023)

After the successful start at the Dresdner Musikfestspiele in June 2023, Kent Nagano will go on tour with Wagner’s “Das Rheingold” in historically informed performance practice in August 2023. With musicians from the Dresdner Festspielorchester and Concerto Köln as well as a renowned cast, there will be guest performances at the Cologne Philharmonie (18 August), the Ravello Festival (20 August) and the Lucerne Festival (22 August).


Kent Nagano and the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra go on tour! (April 2023)

The State Orchestra is playing in New York, but there is also the opportunity to experience the concert program presented in Carnegie Hall in Germany. On Saturday, April 22, 2023, General Music Director Kent Nagano will lead a concert at Carnegie Hall that brings together cellist Jan Vogler, 90 musicians from the Staatsorchester, and 100 young choral singers between the ages of eleven and 27 from Hamburg, Germany, and New York. The program will be presented again on April 28 and 30, 2023, in the Elbphilharmonie for the opening of the International Music Festival Hamburg, and on May 5, 2023, as part of the Dresden Music Festival.

The program takes up the unifying idea by combining Johannes Brahms from Hamburg (Schicksalslied for choir and orchestra) and Ludwig van Beethoven (8th Symphony), arguably the most important German composer in the world, with a contemporary U.S. composer living in New York: Sean Shepherd’s work “An einem klaren Tag – On a Clear Day,” which will be premiered here, is based on a cycle of poems by the lyricist Ulla Hahn. Shepherd’s composition for cello, choirs and orchestra was commissioned by the Philharmonisches Staatsorchester and the Dresden Music Festival.

Kent Nagano in Berlin (April 2023)

On Saturday, April 8, 2023, Kent Nagano returns to Berlin to present a special program, matching the Easter days, with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and the Audi Jugendchorakademie.

The concert will be broadcast live at 8:03 p.m. on Deutschlandfunk Kultur:


Johannes Brahms: ‘Ein deutsches Requiem’ for soli, choir and orchestra (Bremen version)

Reconstruction of the version Brahms put together for the Bremen performance on April 10, 1868 – still without the fifth movement, but with inserted movements by Bach, Handel, Tartini and Schumann.

Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Kent Nagano
Audi Youth Choir Academy
Martin Steidler – choral conducting

Rachael Wilson – mezzo-soprano
Konstantin Krimmel – baritone
Marina Grauman – violin
Jakub Sawicki – organ

Festival Présences 2023 with Kent Nagano on ARTE (February 2023)




Johann Sebastian Bach/Thomas Lacôte: Six-part Ricercar (orchestral version by Thomas Lacôte – commissioned by Radio France, world premiere)
Unsuk Chin: 2nd Violin Concerto “Shards of Silence” (French premiere)
Johann Sebastian Bach: The righteous man perishes
Yann Robin: Requiem Æternam – Monumenta II pour deux pianos, orgue, chœur et orchestre (commissioned by Radio France – world premiere)

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