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Donald Runnicles conducts Atlanta Symphony for two weeks

Donald Runnicles, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor,
Leads Two Weeks of Concerts of Austrian and German Masterpieces (Jan 29 – Feb 7)

Donald Runnicles, Principal Guest Conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Designate of both the Deutsche Oper Berlin and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, returns to Atlanta at the end of January for two weeks of concerts. Between January 29 and February 7, these concerts will feature works by Mozart, Richard Strauss, and Anton Webern. During the second week, soprano Christine Brewer, a popular guest in Atlanta and one of Maestro Runnicles’s frequent collaborators, sings excerpts from three operas by Richard Strauss, in a performance that will be recorded for release by Telarc. The first week’s program stars rising Israeli pianist Shai Wosner, performing Mozart’s brilliant, youthful Piano Concerto No. 9 in E-flat major, K. 271, nicknamed the “Jeunehomme”.

Maestro Runnicles has conducted and recorded several Richard Strauss works with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in recent seasons. The first release, featuring Christine Brewer singing the Four Last Songs, has received lavish praise, including an enthusiastic endorsement by Classics Today:

“Donald Runnicles leads this fine program of shadowy, late-Romantic music with an assured hand. … The orchestra’s performance of Tod und Verklärung is spectacular. … The transfiguration theme is presented near the end with utter ease and dignity. … Brewer’s and Runnicles’ reading [of Strauss’s Four Last Songs] is ravishing.”

This season’s all-Strauss program presents Ms. Brewer in excerpts from Salome, Die Frau ohne Schatten, and Elektra, with young Metropolitan Opera basso Eric Owens joining her in duets from the two latter operas. The orchestra will also perform excerpts from Strauss’s Salome and Capriccio.

Mr. Runnicles leads off the first week’s orchestral program with Anton Webern’s shimmering Im Sommerwind – a 15-minute tone poem of surpassing beauty – and continues with Mozart’s “Jeunehomme” Piano Concerto performed by Shai Wosner, who has been hailed by the Financial Times as “an artist to follow keenly.” Mr. Wosner won a coveted Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2005 and has performed all over the world. The final work on the program is Richard Strauss’s magnificent, picturesque Alpine Symphony, the symphonic poem composed as a portrait of one of Strauss’s beloved Bavarian Alps, sometimes dubbed “a day in the life of an Alp.” The 45-minute work requires a mountain-sized orchestra to depict all the scenery and the day’s weather – from quiet and then stunning sunrise and noonday breezes to a pounding thunderstorm.

Over the next few months, Donald Runnicles, who is also Music Director of the Grand Teton Music Festival, conducts John Adams in Aberdeen, Scotland and Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes at Switzerland’s Geneva Opera; returns to Atlanta for Mahler’s Symphony No. 6; and leads farewell performances of Verdi’s Requiem and La traviata (starring Anna Netrebko) with the San Francisco Opera.

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Details of Donald Runnicles’s upcoming engagements, including those with the Atlanta Symphony:

January 29, 31; February 1
Atlanta, GA
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Webern: Im Sommerwind
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 9, “Jeunehomme” (with Shai Wosner)
Strauss: An Alpine Symphony

February 5, 7
Atlanta, GA
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
All-Richard Strauss Program
Sextet from Capriccio
“Recognition Scene” from Elektra (with Christine Brewer, soprano, and Eric Owens, bass)
Act III Duet from Die Frau ohne Schatten (with Christine Brewer and Eric Owens)
“Moonlight Interlude” from Capriccio
“Dance of the Seven Veils” from Salome
Final Scene from Salome (with Christine Brewer)

February 19-20
Aberdeen, Scotland
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Adams: Slonimsky’s Earbox
Ravel: Piano Concerto (with Adam Golka)
Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique

March 28, 31; April 2, 5, 7, 9
Geneva, Switzerland
Geneva Opera
Britten: Peter Grimes

April 23, 24
Atlanta, GA
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Mahler: Symphony No. 6

May 2
Copenhagen, Denmark (Tivoli Garden)
Tivoli Symphony Orchestra
Wagner: Siegfried and Götterdämmerung, final scenes (with Nina Stemme, soprano)

Glenn Petry
21C Media Group
162 W. 56th Street, Suite 506
New York, NY 10019
(212) 625-2038

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