Richard Strauss

Horn Concerto Nr. 1 Es-Dur op. 11

Charles Ives

The Unanswered Question

Pjotr Iljitsch Tschaikowski

Symphonie Nr. 6 H-Moll op. 74 "Pathéthique"

Gustavo Gimeno
Conductor
Alessio Allegrini
french horn
Wiener Symphoniker

The Vienna Symphony Orchestra is one of Europe’s most prestigious orchestras and famous for its "typical" Viennese sound. As a conductor, Richard Strauss was also enthusiastic about working with this orchestra. The programme of this concert is exciting and starts with a key composition of the modern era. „The Unanswered Question“ by American composer Charles Ives revolves in just six minutes around the question of the meaning of life - the answer, as the title says, remains open. At the age of 18, Richard Strauss composed his first horn concerto for his father Franz, one of the most respected French horn players of his time. However, he refused to play the work. "Too difficult" so his comment. Alessio Allegrini, the Italian horn virtuoso, masters the piece brilliantly. The concert’s second part is dedicated to the „Pathétique“. With his 6th Symphony Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky completed his life's work and created one of the most moving works of music history. The Spanish conductor Gustavo Gimeno directs this special concert.


Gustavo Gimenez © Marco BorggreveBorggreve
Gustavo Gimenez © Marco BorggreveBorggreve

Gustavo GimenoGustavo Gimeno has been Music Director of the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg (OPL) since 2015. During the past season Gustavo Gimeno and the OPL extended their contract for three more years until 2022. Gustavo Gimeno conducts the OPL in various concert formats and plans to expand the orchestra’s touring activities as well as its discography. In the current season he will share the Philharmonie stage with such artists as Daniel Barenboim, Krystian Zimerman, Khatia Buniatishvili, Sir Bryn Terfel and Frank Peter Zimmermann. He will again present an opera production in Luxembourg, Mozart’s Don Giovanni.

Gustavo Gimeno is in great demand worldwide as a guest conductor. In 2017/18 he has been invited back to the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the Orchestre National de France, the Wiener Symphoniker and the Philharmonia Zurich. He will also conduct the Mariinsky Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale RAI and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra for the first time. In addition, he will return to the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, which specialises in historically informed performance practice.
Highlights of the past season included debuts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra Washington, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Wiener Symphoniker and the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.
Gustavo Gimeno made his opera debut in 2015 with Bellini’s Norma at the Valencia Opera House. During the past season he conducted Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra with the OPL at the Grand Théâtre in Luxembourg.
In 2017 the classical label PENTATONE, the OPL and Gustavo Gimeno announced a multiple-release collaboration. Recordings of the First Symphonies by Dmitri Shostakovich and Anton Bruckner and, most recently, Maurice Ravel’s complete Daphnis et Chloé have been released thus far.
Born in Valencia, Gustavo Gimeno began his international conducting career in 2012, when he was a member of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, as assistant to Mariss Jansons. He also gained significant experience as assistant to Bernard Haitink and Claudio Abbado, mentors who actively nurtured his talent and influenced him in many ways.


Alessio Allegrini © Riccardo Musacchio
Alessio Allegrini © Riccardo Musacchio

Alessio AllegriniAt age 23 Alessio Allegrini, born 1972 in Poggio Mirteto, came to La Scala, Milan, that was then under the direction of Riccardo Muti, where he was the first solo horn player. In 2000 he made his debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker. Today he plays as a solo hornist in the Orchestra Nazionale of Santa Cecilia in Rome and is a frequent guest solo hornist with the Berliner Philharmoniker. Often he appeared with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra under the direction of Claudio Abbado. He also gives concerts as a soloist and with chamber music ensembles in different countries. He studied at the Accademia Nazionale of Santa Cecilia in Rome and at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena and several years under Michael Höltzel in Detmold.

In 2008 he played with the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia under the direction of Antonio Pappano the European premiere of the Horn Concerto by Elliot Carter. He played under conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Daniel Barenboim, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Lorin Maazel, Mariss Jansons, and Sir Simon Rattle. There are some highly acclaimed CD recordings with Alessio Allegrini. For example, the four horn concertos by Mozart and the Sinfonia concertante (both by Deutsche Grammophon). Johann Sebastian Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos were performed by the Orchestra Mozart and Allegrini under the direction of Claudio Abbado. He is President of the Musicians for Human Rights and Artistic Director of the Human Rights Orchestra and is considered one of Europe’s leading horn players. In 2015 he played Benjamin Britten’s Serenade op. 31 under Sir Jeffrey Tate with the Symphoniker Hamburg. In 2016 he returned with horn concerts by Mozart and Strauss. In recent years he has already conducted numerous orchestras – among others in Japan.


Wiener Symphoniker © Andreas Balon
Wiener Symphoniker © Andreas Balon

Wiener SymphonikerAs Vienna’s culrural ambassador and eoncerr orchestra, the Wiener Symphoniker handlcs the lion’s share of symphonic activity that makes up the musical life of the Austrian capital. The orchestra’ s activities centre on innovative projects that are associated with the purposeful cultivation of important Viennese musical traditions. In October 1900, the newly formed Wiener Concertverein, as it was called back then, gave its first public performance ar the Vicn na M usikvercin with Ferdinand Löwe on the podium. The Wiener Symphoniker has premiered works that are now undisputed staples of the orchestral repertoire, induding Anton Bruckner’ s Ninth Symphony, Arnold Schönberg’ s Gurre Lieder, Maurice Ravel’ s Piano Concerto Jor the Lejt Hand, and Franz Schmidt’ s The Book with Seven Seals.

Over the course of its history, conducting greats like Bruno Walter, Richard Strauss, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Oswald Kahasta, George Szell and Hans Knappertsbusch have left an indelible mark on the orchestra. In later decades, Herbert von Karajan (1950-1960) and Wolfgang Sawallisch (1960-1970) were the Chief Conductors who moulded the sound of the orchesrra most signiflcanrly. After the bricf return ofJosefKrips, the position of Chief Conductor was fllled by Carlo Maria Giulini and Gennadij Roshdestvensky. Georges Pretre was Chief Conductor from 1986 to 1991. Rafael Fri.ihbeck de Burgos, V1adimir Fedoseyev and Fabio Luisi then assumed leadership of the orchestra. Leonard Bernstein, l orin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Claudia Abbado and Sergiu Celibidache are among the luminaries who have enjoyed notable success as guests on the podium of the Wiener Symphoniker.
The Swiss conductor Philippe Jordan took up the position of Music Director at the beginning of the 2014-15 season, leading the Wiener Symphoniker into a new era. In the process, the orchesrra focuses especially on seasonal involvement with major composers, comemporary music, collaboration with Artists in Residence, and spirited activity in music education.
The Wiener Symphoniker appears in more than 150 concerts and operatic performances per season , the vast majority of which take place in Vicnn a’s weil known concert venues, the Musikverein and the Konzerrhaus. Added to rhat is a very busy and extensive rnuring schedule. Since 1946, the Wiener Symphoniker has been the Orchestra in Residence at the Bregenz Festival, where it also plays the majority of operatic and symphonic performances. The orchestra took on a new challenge at the beginning of 2006: That’ s when the Theater an der Wien became a functioning opera house again, and the orchestra has heen responsible for a significant number of productions ever since. 2 . 678 characters ( without headings, including blanks), changes and abridgements sukfect to consultation.