Mark Padmore (photo: Marco Borggreve)

Karajan Academy

Mark Padmore, Pekka Kuusisto and the Karajan Academy

One of the tasks of the Philharmoniker’s Artist in Residence is to give a concert with the students of the Karajan Academy. In this case, the programme includes two expressive song cycles by Witold Lutosławski and Benjamin Britten. The concert is conducted by the Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto, who is also to be heard in the German premiere of Anders Hillborg’s Bach Materia and in an unusual version of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3.

Scholars of the Karajan Academy

Pekka Kuusisto violin and direction

Mark Padmore tenor

Academy III – Mark Padmore

Johann Sebastian Bach

Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major, BWV 1048

Witold Lutosławski

Paroles tissées for tenor and chamber orchestra

Mark Padmore tenor

Anders Hillborg

Concerto for Violin and Strings Bach Materia German Première

Jean Sibelius

Rakastava, op. 14

Benjamin Britten

Les Illuminations for Tenor und String Orchestra, op. 18

Mark Padmore tenor

Dates and Tickets


The Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 is one of the most regularly played and popular works of the Baroque. The concise and lively motifs and the tight, forward-moving rhythm of the first movement, as well as the semiquaver runs in the fugato of the third movement, give the piece a drive that carries the listener along. What distinguishes this concerto is that the opening and closing movements are connected only by two cadential chords played in the Adagio. A separate central movement was missing – until now. Anders Hillborg, one of Sweden’s leading composers, has composed a complete second movement for Bach’s work which was premiered in March 2017. The students of the Karajan Academy, under the direction of the violinist Pekka Kuusisto, present the well-known concerto with the new middle movement. The Finnish violinist is also the soloist in Hillborg’s Bach Materia for violin and strings, which will be given its German premiere at this concert.

The audience encounters a very different kind of music for string ensemble in Jean Sibelius’ Suite Rakastava (The Lover) – lyrical, reflective, languorous. While Sibelius was working on his Fourth Symphony, he returned to a song cycle which he had first composed for a male choir, then later for a mixed choir, and arranged it for orchestra. Witold Lutosławski also created a very particular, unusual sound world in his cycle Paroles tissées, inspired by the surrealist poem Quatre tapisseries pour la châtelaine de Vergi by the Frenchman Jean-François Chabrun. What fascinated the Polish composer was the medieval love story which he then set to music in a dramatic, expressive way. The work was created in 1965 for the tenor Peter Pears, who is also the dedicatee of the song Being Beauteous from Les Illuminations by his partner Benjamin Britten. The entire cycle, which consists of settings of poems by Arthur Rimbaud, was originally written by the English composer for the soprano Sophie Wyss. At this concert, the singer is artist in residence Mark Padmore.

Mark Padmore (photo: Marco Borggreve)