“Elbphilharmonie Visions,” the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra’s ten-day celebration of 21st-century music founded by Alan Gilbert, receives its inaugural edition February 2–12. Gilbert, who curated the festival and looks forward to conducting three of its nine programs, explains, “Lots of people believe that contemporary music doesn’t speak to them. But the spectrum of contemporary styles is so huge that it’s impossible to make generalizations in this regard. Music is just as rich and diverse as humanity itself.”
His opening-night concert showcases the world premiere of Flügel, a new commission from Sweden’s Lisa Streich, paired with In This Brief Moment (2020-21) by Brett Dean. Featuring soprano Siobhan Stagg, countertenor Patrick Terry, the Hallé Choir and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) Chorus, Dean’s composition is an “evolution cantata” that, as the composer explains, addresses the ways “human life seems to have developed agency over its own future and perhaps even over that of the planet itself” (Feb 2).
Also on the program is Catamorphosis by Anna Thorvaldsdóttir, which Gilbert couples with Let Me Tell You by Denmark’s Hans Abrahamsen for his second appearance in the festival. In the festival’s closing concert, Gilbert leads Homunculus by Esa-Pekka Salonen and Scheherazade.2 by John Adams, with Leila Josefowicz as the violin soloist (Feb 12).
The opening concert will be broadcast live online and on radio. Click here to tune in on February 2.