Philippe Jordan conducts Strauss’s “Alpine Symphony”

When a storm erupts during an orchestral work, there is a moment of overwhelming energy, followed by a lessening of tension and relief: a reflection of the struggles of an agitated soul. Philippe Jordan, music director of the Vienna State Opera, conducts two powerful works in which such scenes occur at a crucial place: Richard Strauss’s Alpine Symphony and excerpts from Wagner’s Rheingold. Expressive energy is also unleashed in Alban Berg’s Altenberg Lieder, with a blizzard and a thunderstorm. The soloist is Anja Kampe, who has enjoyed worldwide success, particularly as a Wagner interpreter.

Berliner Philharmoniker

Philippe Jordan conductor

Anja Kampe soprano

Richard Wagner

Das Rheingold: Orchestral Excerpts, compiled by Philippe Jordan

Alban Berg

Five Orchestral Songs on postcards texts by Peter Altenberg, op. 4

Anja Kampe soprano

Richard Strauss

Eine Alpensinfonie (An Alpine Symphony), op. 64

Dates and Tickets

Biography

Wagner, but also Mahler, Strauss, Bruckner and Beethoven: Philippe Jordan prefers to devote himself to the “Alpha and Omega of the symphony”, as he says: “A conductor who has not done Beethoven’s nine symphonies is not a conductor”. Born in Switzerland, Philippe Jordan received his first theory lessons from his father Arnim, chief conductor of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (1985-1997). “That happened quite naturally,” he recalls. After early piano and violin lessons, he was admitted to the Zurich University of the Arts at the age of 16, where he studied music theory and composition. Philippe Jordan began his conducting career as Kapellmeister at the Stadttheater Ulm before moving to the Staatsoper in Berlin. As assistant to Daniel Barenboim, he learned there how to “still get the best out of very good musicians at a high level”. From 2001 to 2004, he was chief conductor of Oper Graz and the Grazer Philharmoniker. During this time, he made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Royal Opera House in London, the Teatro alla Scala in Milan and Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, among others. He then returned to Staatsoper Berlin as principal guest conductor before becoming music director of the Opéra national de Paris from 2009 to July 2021. Philippe Jordan has been music director of Wiener Staatsoper since September 2020, where he has conducted productions including Der Rosenkavalier, Wozzeck, Tristanund Isolde and Parsifal.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung calls her the “fantastic Anja Kampe”. The soprano is one of the small group of top Wagner singers in demand worldwide. However, she doesn’t hold with “pigeonholing”: “In the past, it was a matter of course to be active in the German as well as the Italian repertoire. I’m also convinced that it’s extremely good for the voice to remain flexible, and the different styles enrich each other.” The soprano, whose versatile and dramatic voice is a source of delight all over the world, studied music in Dresden. Shortly before the fall of the Berlin Wall, she left the GDR for Italy to complete her studies at the Conservatorio “Giuseppe Verdi” in Turin. At the side of Placido Domingo, Anja Kampe finally achieved her international breakthrough as Sieglinde in Wagner’s Valkyrie at Washington National Opera – one of her signature roles, which she has performed under the baton of Kirill Petrenko at the Munich Opera Festival, and in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berlin, Paris, London, and Bayreuth. In addition to other major Wagner roles such as Senta, Isolde, Brünnhilde and Kundry, Anja Kampe’s repertoire also includes roles such as Leonore (Fidelio), Tosca, Jenůfa, Carlotta (Die Gezeichneten), Minnie (La fanciulla del West), Marie (Wozzek) and Katerina Ismailova (Lady Macbeth of Mzensk). She was awarded the title of Bayerische Kammersängerin in 2018.