Barbara Hannigan

Barbara Hannigan will make her debut conducting the Concertgebouw Orchestra in early December. She personally chose the programme for these concerts on 1, 2 and 4 December. We’ll hear the orchestra perform in surprising configurations, playing music that is permeated with love and loss.
Barbara Hannigan (image: Marco Borggreve)
Barbara Hannigan (image: Marco Borggreve)

Common theme

Barbara Hannigan, the soprano who can sing anything, has in recent years developed into a much sought-after conductor. For her, designing the programme is a key part of her role. An orchestra under Hannigan’s baton is not likely to play a traditional programme with an overture, solo concerto and, after the interval, a symphony.

“When I put together a programme, I do so with dramaturgical intent. Not that I want to tell the audience a story, that’s too specific. Through dramaturgy you can encompass elements that would contradict each other in a story”, Hannigan explains.

The concerts on 1, 2 and 4 December all have the same common theme, although the music on 1 December, for the Late Night concert, is slightly different. In Hannigan’s words, it will be a journey through “memory, loss, loneliness, childhood innocence and growing up”. The orchestra’s Creative Partner Pierre Audi and Lighting Designer Jean Kalman provide a mise-en-espace with a vibrant lighting scheme.

Three remarkable women

In this programme Barbara Hannigan shares the podium with two other women who have been able to pursue their own path in the music world for years now. Soprano Aphrodite Patoulidou will be the soloist for all three concerts. Barbara Hannigan feels an artistic kinship with the vocalist and admires her greatly: ‘I don’t know what planet she comes from, she’s one of those old souls, an extraordinarily gifted person. She arranges, composes, writes poems, makes photography and creates her own special connection with every genre of music, she even sings with a metal band.’

Aphrodite Patoulidou (foto: Daniel Nartschick)

Aphrodite Patoulidou (photo: Daniel Nartschick)

On 2 and 4 December, Vilde Frang is the soloist in Alban Berg’s Violin Concerto. The original Norwegian violinist made a big impression during her debut with the Concertgebouw Orchestra in 2018. The unique tone she manages to coax from her violin seems to be made for Berg’s extremely personal and vulnerable Violin Concerto “To the Memory of an Angel”.

Vilde Frang (photo: Marco Borggreve)

2 and 4 December

Samuel Barber – Mutations from Bach, for brass ensemble
Alban Berg – Violin Concerto “To the Memory of an Angel”, with soloist Vilde Frang
Richard Strauss – Metamorphosen for 23 strings
Claude Vivier – Lonely Child, with soprano Aphrodite Patoulidou as the soloist.

1 December – Late Night

Anonymous – Greek lullaby
Richard Strauss - Metamorphosen for 23 strings
Claude Vivier - Lonely Child, with soprano Aphrodite Patoulidou as the soloist.

This concert is part of the series ‘unique listening experiences’. especially for this evening a large part of the chairs will be removed from the Main Hall. Seated on carpets on the floor of The Concertgebouw, the audience can relax and let the music wash over them.

Violinist Jae-Won Lee about the concerts with Barbara Hannigan