BEETHOVEN’S NINTH SYMPHONY
Manfred Honeck leads the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Swedish Radio Choir and the Eric Ericsson Chamber Choir and four soloists in a concert featuring masterpieces in the spirit of freedom and peace. It includes Arnold Schönberg’s ethereal Friede auf Erden and Beethoven’s last symphony, Symphony No. 9, best known for the euphoric choral finale based on the “Ode to Joy” theme.
Friday’s concert on December 16 will be broadcast live on Sveriges Radio P2 and on Berwaldhallen Play at 7pm.
The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra is known worldwide as one of Europe’s most versatile orchestras with an exciting and varied repertoire and a constant striving to break new ground The multi-award-winning orchestra has been praised for its exceptional, wide-ranging musicianship as well as collaborations with the world’s foremost composers, conductors and soloists.
Permanent home of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra since 1979 is Berwaldhallen, the Swedish Radio’s concert hall. In addition to the audience in the hall, the orchestra reaches many many listeners on the radio and the web and through it´s partnership with EBU. Several concerts are also broadcast and streamed on Berwaldhallen Play and with Swedish Television, offering the audience more opportunities to come as close as possible to one of the world’s top orchestras.
“The orchestra has a unique combination of humility, sensibility and musical imagination”, says Daniel Harding, Music Director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra since 2007. “I have never had a concert with the orchestra where they haven’t played as though their lives depended on it!”
The first radio orchestra was founded in 1925, the same year that the Swedish Radio Service began its broadcasts. The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra received its current name in 1967. Through the years, the orchestra has had several distinguished Music Directors. Two of them, Herbert Blomstedt and Esa-Pekka Salonen, have since been appointed Conductors Laureate.
For more than 90 years, the Swedish Radio Choir has contributed to the development of the Swedish a cappella tradition. Under the leadership of legendary conductor Eric Ericson, the choir earned great international renown. It is still hailed as one of the best choirs in the world. The choir members’ ability to switch between powerful solo performances and seamlessly integrating themselves in the ensemble creates a unique and dynamic instrument praised by critics and music lovers alike, as well as by the many guest conductors who explore and challenge the choir’s possibilities.
Permanent home of the Swedish Radio Choir since 1979 is Berwaldhallen, the Swedish Radio’s concert hall. In addition to the seated audience, the choir reaches millions of listeners on the radio and the web through Klassiska konserten i P2. Several concerts are also broadcast and streamed on Berwaldhallen Play, offering the audience more opportunities to come as close as possible to one of the world’s top choirs.
With the 2020–2021 season, Kaspars Putniņš begins his tenure as the tenth Music Director of the Swedish Radio Choir. Since January 2019, Marc Korovitch is the choirmaster of the Swedish Radio Choir with responsibility for the ensemble’s continued artistic development. Two of the orchestra’s former Music Directors, Tõnu Kaljuste and Peter Dijkstra, were appointed Conductors Laureate in November 2019. Both maintain a close relationship with the choir and make regular guest appearances.
The Swedish Radio Choir was founded the same year as the Swedish Radio Service began its broadcasts and the choir had its first concert in May 1925. Right from the start, the choir had high ambitions with a conscious aim to perform contemporary music.
The Eric Ericson Chamber Choir was founded in 1945 by the then 27-year-old Eric Ericson and has since been a prominent hub of the Swedish as well as the international music scene. The ensemble’s interest in continually finding new music and new fields of work has given them a very extensive repertoire: from early music to the very latest. For generations of Swedish and international composers, the choir has represented an ideal with its characteristic Nordic sound and skilful virtuosity. The Eric Ericson Chamber Choir is part of the international elite of professional ensembles. Fredrik Malmberg has been their choirmaster since 2013.
Manfred Honeck has firmly established himself as one of the world’s leading conductors, whose distinctive and revelatory interpretations receive great international acclaim. He is now entering his 15th season as Music Director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, where his contract was extended last year to run through the 2027-2028 season. Guest appearances regularly include Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, as well as the major venues of Europe and festivals such as the BBC Proms, Salzburg Festival, Musikfest Berlin, Lucerne Festival, Rheingau Music Festival, Beethovenfest Bonn, and Grafenegg Festival.
Born in Austria, Manfred Honeck completed his musical training at the University of Music in Vienna and was a member of the viola section in the Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna State Opera for many years. He began his conducting career as assistant to Claudio Abbado and as director of the Vienna Jeunesse Orchestra. Subsequently, he was engaged by the Zurich Opera House, where he was awarded the European Conducting Prize in 1993. He has since served as one of three principal conductors of the MDR Symphony Orchestra Leipzig, as Music Director of the Norwegian National Opera, Principal Guest Conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, and Chief Conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Stockholm.
Manfred Honeck also has a strong profile as an opera conductor. In his four seasons as General Music Director of the Staatsoper Stuttgart, he conducted premieres of operas by Berlioz, Mozart, Poulenc, Strauss, Verdi, and Wagner. Beyond the podium, Manfred Honeck has designed a series of symphonic suites, including Janáček’s Jenůfa, Strauss’s Elektra and Dvořák’s Rusalka, all of which he recorded with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and regularly performs around the globe.
As a guest conductor, Manfred Honeck has worked with the leading international orchestras around the globe, including Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Staatskapelle Dresden, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, New York Philharmonic, Accademia di Santa Cecilia Rome, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic.
Malin Broman is First Concertmaster of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and an internationally sought-after soloist, having visited the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Copenhagen Philharmonic, and the Gothenburg Symphony, among others.
From 2015 to 2020, Malin served as Artistic Director of the Musica Vitae Chamber Orchestra, and succeeded Sakari Oramo as Artistic Director of the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra in 2019. She has also appeared as musical director/soloist with Tapiola Sinfonietta, Scottish Ensemble, Nordic Chamber Orchestra, Västerås Sinfonietta, Trondheim Soloists, Lapland Chamber Orchestra and the ACO Collective – the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s string ensemble.
Over the last few years, Broman has performed world premieres of violin concertos by Britta Byström, Andrea Tarrodi and Daniel Nelson. She has recorded over 30 discs, among them Carl Nielsen’s and Britta Byström’s concertos. Her recording of Mendelssohn’s double concerto for violin and piano with Musica Vitae and Simon Crawford Phillips was nominated for a Grammy in 2019. She has also made many recordings with celebrated ensemble the Kungsbacka Piano Trio.
Among Malin Broman’s latest recordings can be mentioned an album with music by Laura Netzel, as well as a recording with the Ostrobothnia Chamber Orchestra, Stockholm Diary, with works by, among others, Salonen and Stravinsky. In the spring of 2020, Broman filmed a noted recording of her playing all eight parts of Felix Mendelssohn’s String Octet. Since then she has made another two recordings according to a similar concept, A Room of One´s Own to Malin Broman x 8 by Britta Byström, and a recording with the solo contra bassist of The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Rick Stotijn.
Malin Broman is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, and Professor of Viola at the Edsbergs Institute of Music. In the spring of 2019, she was awarded H.M. the King’s eighth size medal for her considerable contributions to the Swedish music industry. She plays a Stradivarius violin from 1709 and a Bajoni viola from 1861, borrowed from the Järnåker Foundation.
Christina Landshamer is a much sought-after concert and opera singer. She has performed with conductors such as Kent Nagano, Roger Norrington and Ricardo Chailly, as well as with some of Europe’s most renowned orchestras including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam and the Orchestre de Paris, as well as North American ensembles such as the New York Philharmonic and the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal. Recently she performed in Britten’s Les Illuminations and Mozart’s Requiem as well as on tour with the Orchestre des Champs-Élysées and Mendelssohn’s Elijah.
Katija Dragojevic is a Swedish mezzo-soprano, who works on international stages such as La Scala, Covent Garden and Salzburger Festspiele.
She is educated at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm and at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, and debuted in 2000 as Krista in Janacek’s The Makropulos Affair at La Monnaie in Brussels. Other roles she has done include the title roles in Xerxes and Carmen and Cherubin in The Marriage of Figaro, and she has also appeared as Zerlina in Kasper Holten’s acclaimed film adaptation of Don Juan, based on Mozart’s Don Giovanni.
As a concert singer, Dragojevic has appeared with symphony orchestras such as the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, the Orchester de Paris, the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon, the NDR Sinfonieorchester in Hamburg and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks in Munich. She has performed, among others, Bach’s Matthew Passion, Mozart’s Requiem, Berlioz’s Les nuits d´été, Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, with conductors such as Ivor Bolton, Daniel Harding, Andris Nelsons, Leif Segerstam, Manfred Honeck and Robin Ticciati.
Tenor Maximilian Schmitt studied singing with Anke Eggers at the Berlin University of the Arts and was artistically coached by Roland Hermann.
Schmitt gained his first stage experience as a member of the Opera Studio at Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich before joining the ensemble of the Mannheim National Theater for four years in 2008. In 2012, he made his debut at the Amsterdam Opera as Tamino under Marc Albrecht. In 2016 Maximilian Schmitt he debuted as Idomeneo in another major Mozart role, this time at the Opéra du Rhin in Strasbourg. Immediately afterwards, he appeared for the first time at the Vienna State Opera as Don Ottavio. In 2017, he made a guest appearance at La Scala in Milan, where he debuted as Pedrillo in Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio under Zubin Mehta. In 2019, he sang his first Max in Weber’s Freischütz at the Aalto Theater in Essen, followed in 2022 by his debut as Erik in the Flying Dutchman at the Graz Opera.
Maximilian Schmitt is a regular guest on the major international concert stages. His broad repertoire ranges from Monteverdi and Mozart to Mendelssohn, Elgar, Mahler, Zender and Britten. Invited by conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Daniel Harding, Manfred Honeck, René Jacobs and Robin Ticciati, he has already worked, with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, the symphony orchestras of the Bavarian and Central German Radio, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig. Schmitt is also a regular guest of the Orchestre de Paris or the Orchestre National de France.
Polish bass Krzysztof Bączyk, born in 1990, received his musical training first as a member of the Poznań Boys Choir. He went on to study at the Academy of Music from where he graduated in 2014. He also attended master-classes held by artists such as Neil Shicoff, Anita Garanča, Andrzej Dobber, Anne Murray and David Pountney. Moreover, he attended Akademia Operowa Young Artists Program at the Polish National Opera in Warsaw and he worked with Izabela Kłosińska and
Bączyk has a broad repertoar and has since 2010 sung bass roles in operas such as Lady Macbet form Mtsensk, Aida, Eugene Onegin, Parsifal, Don Giovanni, La clemenza di Tito. He has appeared on international stages including the opera festivals in Aix-en-Provence, Glyndebourne and Salzbourg as well as on the Opera Bastille in Paris, the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow.
Approximate concert length: 1 h 20 min (no intermission)
CHRISTMAS CONCERT 2022
The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Swedish Radio Choir and sisters Rebecka and Johanna Wallroth offer a festive concert with the best music of Christmas.
EPIPHANY CONCERT 2023
Festive traditional Epiphany concert at Berwaldhallen featuring the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Swedish Radio Choir and the soloists Katija Dragojevic and Tobias Westman.
THE SWEDISH RADIO CHOIR: LUNCH CONCERT WITH THE SWEDISH YOUTH CHOIR
The Swedish Radio Choir and the Swedish Youth Choir meet in a lunch concert with music by Francis Poulenc and others.