The composer, pianist and conductor Gregor Mayrhofer was Sir Simon Rattle’s assistant in Berlin and is a conducting scholar at the Karajan Academy of the Berliner Philharmoniker. Prior to that, he completed his studies with Alan Gilbert at the Juilliard School in New York after studying composition and conducting in Paris, Munich and Düsseldorf.
Together with other Karajan Academy scholars and soprano Sophie Klußmann, Mayrhofer presents a varied programme flanked by two classic works of Modernism: Luigi Dallapiccola’s atmospheric night music Piccola musica notturna, whose introverted and fragile sounds are repeatedly interrupted by ghostly interjections, and Franz Schreker’s Chamber Symphony, in which the composer created an iridescently fantastic soundscape with unusual instrumentation.
In addition to the Insect Concerto, a work by Gregor Mayrhofer, listeners will hear La donna danada by Claudio Ambrosini, who was born in Venice in 1948, and Stefano Gervasoni’s highly expressive concerted work Godspell for mezzo-soprano, flute, clarinet, percussion, piano, celesta and string quintet, with texts by the American poet Philip Levine. As part of composer George Benjamin’s residency, the musicians will present another virtuosically orchestrated ensemble piece, At First Light, which was inspired by William Turner’s painting Norham Castle, Sunrise and depicts a “celebration of the colours and noises of daybreak” (Benjamin) with iridescent “light sounds”.