About the Event
In this highly‐anticipated concert, hear the mellifluous sounds of classical music by Antonín Dvořák, Samuel Barber and Gideon Klein at Berlin's treasured and world‐renowned Konzerthaus.
The outstanding Moravian composer Gideon Klein (1919 ‐1945) played a crucial role in the cultural life of the Theresienstadt concentration camp, which continued to exist despite the omnipresent terror. There he created masterpieces such as the 'Partita for Strings'. He met his tragic end in January 1945 under mysterious conditions in a subcamp of Auschwitz. Fortunately, his impressive, if scarce, body of work was preserved.
Born in Pennsylvania in 1910, Samuel Barber impressed his contemporaries early on with his extraordinary musical gifts. Confident of his ability, he expressed, 'I write what I feel. I am not an insecure composer.' He affirmed this by retaining his Violin Concerto, Op. 14, even though it was not to the liking of either the patron or the artist. He eventually decided on another soloist and waived the remaining part of the fee. In the U.S., the work has been highly regarded since its premiere in 1941. With us, soloist Ning Feng performs this emotionally charged and melodically rich piece that is second to none in its uniqueness.
Afterwards, we are further treated to the sounds of the Konzerthaus Orchestra and conductor Joshua Weilerstein, as Antonín Dvořák's Ninth Symphony, 'From the New World,' is performed. Its slow movement, hauntingly introduced by the English horn, is a highlight. During his transatlantic sojourn, the Bohemian maestro composed this work, which became a resounding success at its premiere in Carnegie Hall in 1893 and continues to this day.
- Gideon Klein – Partita für Streicher
- Samuel Barber – Konzert für Violine und Orchester op. 14
- Antonín Dvořák – Symphonie Nr. 9 e‐Moll op. 95 „Aus der neuen Welt“ (1893)
The Konzerthaus Berlin is a concert hall situated on the Gendarmenmarkt, the most beautiful square in the city. Built in 1821, the structure initially served as a theater. Severely damaged in the Second World War, it was rebuilt as a concert hall in 1977, with a neoclassical interior, and changed its name to reflect its new function in 1994. Consistently numbered among the top five concert halls in the world, the Konzerthaus hosts around 500 performances every year, ranging from symphony and chamber concerts featuring international stars to new music and children's concerts.
Antonin Dvorak is considered to be one of the most well-known and prominent Czechs in the world, as his musical work gained international recognition already during his lifetime. He was born in 1841 in a small Czech village into a butcher’s family. At the age of 6, Dvorak started taking violin lessons and it immediately became obvious that the boy had exceptional talent in music. Later in life, he was learning to master piano and organ as well as simultaneously working in a slaughterhouse. After Dvorak turned 16, he was admitted to the Organ School in Prague that trained future professional composers. After graduating, he stayed in Prague, joined Karel Komzak’s orchestra and started actively composing his own music. However, he struggled to make ends meet and always had to work on the side by playing music in churches and giving private music lessons. Finally, 1874 became a turning point in his life when he won a financial grant from an Austrian Prize competition for his 15 submitted works. This allowed him to quit the orchestra and devote himself fully to composing. During this period, he wrote his Slavonic Dances, Moravian Duets and Violin Concerto, which brought him sweeping success. In 1892 he was invited to teach at the New York National Conservatory, where he stayed until 1895 before returning home. He started teaching at the Prague conservatory and later became its director. Until his death in 1904, he had been a successful and well-loved composer, both in his homeland and around the whole world.