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Peter Oundjian guest conducts the Yale Philharmonia in Mahler’s Fifth Symphony and more April 1

March 4, 2011

Bass-baritone Tyler Simpson, winner of the Woolsey Competition, sings Strauss

Tyler Simpson, bass-baritone

The Yale School of Music presents the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale and guest conductor Peter Oundjian on Friday, April 1, 2011 at 8 pm in Woolsey Hall (500 College Street at Grove Street, New Haven). The concert will feature Gustav Mahler’s Fifth Symphony as well as music of Bedřich Smetana and Richard Strauss. Oundjian, a longtime faculty member at the Yale School of Music, was recently appointed the music director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

The program opens with Smetana’s Šárka, one of the six tone poems from the series Má Vlast (“Homeland”). It is named for the female warrior Šárka, a fierce figure in the Czech legend of the Maidens’ War. Bass-baritone Tyler Simpson, a graduate of the Yale Opera program and a winner of the Woolsey Hall Concerto Competition, will sing Notturno, a song by Strauss on a text by Richard Dehmel. Dehmel’s poem tells the story of an encounter with Death in a dark, snow-covered landscape. Holly Piccoli will play the solo violin line, which depicts the moment that Death plays a violin.

Mahler’s epic Fifth Symphony will constitute the second half of the concert. The conductor Herbert von Karajan once said that when listening to the work, “you forget that time has passed. A great performance of the Fifth is a transforming experience.”

This performance is free and open to the public. For more information, visit music.yale.edu or contact the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158.

About the Performers

The Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale is one of America’s foremost music school ensembles. The largest performing group at the Yale School of Music, the Philharmonia offers superb training in orchestral playing and repertoire. Performances include an annual series of concerts in Woolsey Hall, as well as Yale Opera productions in the Schubert Performing Arts Center. In addition to its season of six Woolsey Hall concerts, the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale has performed on numerous occasions in Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York City and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In 2008 the Philharmonia undertook its first tour of Asia, with acclaimed performances in the Seoul Arts Center, the Forbidden City Concert Hall and National Center for the Performing Arts (Beijing), and the Shanghai Grand Theatre.

Peter Oundjian

Conductor and violinist Peter Oundjian studied at the Royal College of Music in London and at Juilliard. He has soloed with numerous orchestras and was first violinist of the Tokyo String Quartet from 1981 to 1995. Peter Oundjian made his formal conducting debut in 1995 with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and has since conducted the Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, and Berlin symphony orchestras, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Zurich Tonhalle, among others. He is the music director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, artistic director of the Caramoor Festival, and artistic director and principal guest conductor of the Detroit Symphony. He was recently appointed artistic director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Oundjian has been on faculty of the Yale School of Music since 1981.

Tyler Simpson, bass-baritone, has established himself as an artist that audiences love to see and hear. A native of Sabetha, KS, Mr. Simpson has  performed in over 50 different productions of opera, musical theater, and classical concert repertoire.  He earned a Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music, where he made numerous appearances with Yale Opera, and received his bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from the University of Kansas. Mr. Simpson has been an Apprentice Artist at Santa Fe Opera and Lyric Opera of Kansas City. Mr. Simpson has appeared as Adam in Haydn’s Creation with the Yale Glee Club, and the baritone soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Waterbury Symphony. He makes his debut at Fort Worth Opera in the spring of 2011, appearing as Ferrando in Verdi’s Il Trovatore.

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