The 2024/25 season in Hamburg with Kent Nagano

Georges Delnon, Artistic Director of the Hamburg State Opera, and Kent Nagano, Hamburg’s General Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra, presented the 2024/25 season and concert season in a press conference on March 11, 2024.

Kent Nagano is focussing on contemporary music in his final season in Hamburg: he will conduct the world premiere of Unsuk Chin’s new opera Die dunkle Seite des Mondes (The Dark Side of the Moon), who is one of the most important composers of our present time and this year’s winner of the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize.
Kent Nagano will also conduct the world premiere of Die Illusionen des William Mallory (The Illusions of William Mallory), an opera by Rodolphe Bruneau-Boulmier about the rise and fall of an underdog, based on a true story (text by Inge Kloepfer).

Other new productions are Carl Orff’s Trionfi and Ariadne auf Naxos by Strauss, completing the great success of the Strauss-trilogy by Kent Nagano and Dmitri Tcherniakov after Elektra and Salome. During the 2024/25 season, the Hamburg State Opera revives numerous important productions of the past years, like Tristan und Isolde by Richard Wagner or Jaques Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann which Kent Nagano will conduct.

The concert seasons starts with Carl Orff’s Camina Burana at Rathaus Open Air in August under the baton of Kent Nagano. In the Philharmonic Concerts, Kent Nagano conducts György Ligeti’s Lux Aeterna, Anton Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony and the world premiere of the symphony Anahata by Argentinian composer Alex Nante. Nante’s symphony was commissioned by the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra and have its world premiere in the last Philharmonic Concert conducted by Kent Nagano during his tenure as chief conductor. 

All information about the concerts and performances with Kent Nagano in Hamburg can be found here.
You can download the current season brochure here.

Please read more information about the 2024/25 season in the press release.

Omer Meir Wellber on tour in Asia with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra (March 2024)

Today, conductor Omer Meir Wellber set off on a two-week tour of Asia with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. The tour program includes nine concerts with three different programs in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

In Japan, works by Brahms, the 1st Symphony and the 1st Piano Concerto with pianist Hisako Kawamura will be performed under the direction of Omer Meir Wellber. In Korea, the program includes Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with Bomsori and the 1st Symphony by Johannes Brahms; in Taiwan, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Vienna State Opera Chorus and the Taipei Philharmonic Chorus and Wagner’s “Tannhäuser” Overture.

“Asia is one of the regular stops on the Vienna Symphony Orchestra’s annual tour calendar,” says Artistic Director Jan Nast. “As the orchestra of the City of Vienna, we are ambassadors for one of the world’s most important music capitals. Last year in Korea and China, we experienced how enthusiastically our music is received in Asia – it makes me and the orchestra proud to be regularly invited to Japan, Korea and Taiwan.”

“It’s very nice to be back on tour with this orchestra,” says conductor Omer Meir Wellber. “After performing Beethoven’s 9th with the Symphony Orchestra at the Vienna Konzerthaus on New Year’s Eve, I am very pleased that we are now touring Asia with this work and a varied program, thus engaging in a musical dialogue with our audience there.”

All tour dates:

March 13 Tokyo, Suntory Hall
Brahms: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 1 in D minor
Brahms: Symphony No. 1 in C minor, op. 68

March 14 Tokyo, Suntory Hall
Beethoven: Symphony No.8 in F major
Beethoven: Symphony No.7 in A major

March 15 Hyogo, Hyogo Performing Arts Center
Program see March 13

March 17 Daegu, Daegu Concert House
Tchaikovsky: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major, op. 35
Brahms: Symphony No. 1 in C minor, op. 68

March 19 Sejong, Sejong Art Center
Program see March 17

March 20 Seoul, Seoul Arts Center
Program see March 17

March 22 Taipei, National Concert Hall
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D minor, op. 125

Hila Baggio, soprano
Stefanie Iranyi, mezzo-soprano
Michael Schade, tenor
Erwin Schrott, bass-baritone

March 23 Tainan, Cultural Center, Performance Hall
Program see March 22

March 24 Tainan, Concert Hall
Program see March 22

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.

Jan Vogler & Amanda Gorman: An Evening of Poetry and Bach (February 2024)

On Saturday, February 17, cellist Jan Vogler and inaugural poet Amanda Gorman performed together at Carnegie Hall in New York, presenting a joint concert evening: Amanda Gorman’s contemporary poetry met the 300-year-old music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Together, Gorman and Vogler explored the meeting of these two worlds, building a bridge between Bach’s immortal music and Gorman’s visionary poetry. Jan Vogler played Bach’s first, third and fifth cello suites while Amanda Gorman recited her poems.

“We’re bringing something from the past into a modern, contemporary feel. And we’re doing it with poetry that I have never performed with music before,” says Amanda Gorman

“Poetry, there’s this in between the words, and with music, it’s the same — in between the notes, actually, the real message happens,” says Jan Vogler. “The whole Bach suites are about humanity, about feelings, about lows and highs.”

Amanda Gorman is a young American poet, writer and activist who performed her poem “The Hill We Climb” at Joe Biden’s inauguration in 2021. With her then 22 years, she was the youngest poet ever to perform at the inauguration of a US president.

Amanda Gorman & Jan Vogler, February 17, 2024 (c) Chris Lee

General Music Director Kent Nagano receives Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (February 2024)

Kent Nagano stands for classical music at the highest level and carries his enthusiasm far into society.
Dr Carsten Brosda, Minister of Culture and Media Hamburg

Kent Nagano has been honoured by the Federal President with the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. Dr Carsten Brosda, Minister Culture and Media, presented him with the award today in the Tower Hall of the Town Hall.

“I feel deeply honoured to receive this high recognition from Germany and, indirectly, from the great culture it represents. If I have been able to contribute in any way to the extensive artistic tradition in this country, it is only because of the privilege of working closely with exceptional ensembles and institutions: such as the Hamburg State Opera and the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra, the Bavarian State Opera and the Bavarian State Orchestra, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Dresden Festival Orchestra, Concerto Köln and many other great German cultural institutions and artists.”
Kent Nagano, Conductor and General Music Director of the Hamburg State Opera and Chief Conductor of the Philharmonic State Orchestra

Ehrung BVO Kent Nagano (c)Claudia Höhne, Bundesverdienstorden, Rathaus Hamburg, Turmsaal, 19.02.2024


More information can be found here.

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 Honorary Memory of Maestro Seiji Ozawa (February 2024)

“With Maestro Seiji Ozawa’s passing the world has lost not only an exceptional artist, we have lost one of music’s greatest pioneers and ambassadors of his generation. Personally, I have lost a close mentor, trusted friend and perpetual source of inspiration. His legacy will live on through his tireless investment in the  young generation and the many cultural institutions he built during his lifetime. The music community has been deeply fortunate to have known such a formidable artist and we send a heartfelt note of condolence to the Ozawa family.”

– Kent Nagano, February 2024

Peter Grimes premiere with Kent Nagano in Hamburg (February 2024)

On Sunday, February 11, 2024, General Music Director Kent Nagano will conduct the premiere of Benjamin Britten’s opera Peter Grimes at the Hamburg State Opera.

In February, Kent Nagano will also devote himself to preparations for the premiere of “Die Walküre”, which will take place on March 9 at the Prague State Opera. “Die Walküre” will continue the Dresden Music Festival’s “The Wagner Cycles” project, in which “Die Walküre” will be performed in concert with the Dresden Festival Orchestra and Concerto Köln under the direction of Kent Nagano.

Sunday, February 11, 2024, Hamburg, State Opera                       Premiere
Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra
Benjamin Britten: Peter Grimes
Gregory Kunde (Peter Grimes)
Jennifer Holloway (Ellen Orford)
Katja Pieweck (Auntie)
Iain Paterson (Balstrode)
Kent Nagano (conductor)
Sabine Hartmansshenn (director)

Further performances:
February 14, 18 & 21, 2024

Further information can be found at

Mari Kodama and “Living the Classical Life” interview (February 2024)

“A zone of ease by being yourself”: pianist Mari Kodama was interviewed by “Living the Classical Life”. In the interview she describes her life on stage and her studies with her legendary mentors Alfred Brendel and Tatyana Nikolayeva, as well as finding balance in life and on stage.

Living the Classical Lifeis an award-winning series of one-of-a-kind conversations with musicians from around the world, hosted by pianist Zsolt Bognár. 

Manfred Honeck & Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (February 2024)

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and its Music Director, Manfred Honeck, will be touring Europe again in 2024, including the concert dates on August 22 in Salzburg with Yefim Bronfman (piano) and on August 25 in Grafenegg with Maria Dueñas (violin). Further dates will follow.

In Pittsburgh, Manfred Honeck will conduct 10 programs this season, including all four world premieres and commissioned works of the season. The world premieres and commissioned works are: Yizkor by Boris Pigovat (already performed in November 2023); a new work by Katherine Balch in February; a new work by Samy Moussa in April; and a double concerto for oboe and horn by Michael Daugherty in June.

The most recent recording by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Manfred Honeck, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 and Schulhoff’s Five Pieces, was listed as one of the best recordings of 2023 by the New York Times, the New Yorker and Gramophone magazine.

Manfred Honeck was a guest on the American music magazine Fanfare Magazine‘s podcast “Fanfare Talks”, this latest episode can be found here.

Find out more about the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Manfred Honeck in the video here:

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