On August 16 & 17, Susanna Mälkki conducts the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and Lahti Symphony Orchestra in Schönberg’s vast cantata, Gurrelieder, at the Helsinki Music Centre. Composed for an expanded orchestra, male choir and mixed choir, five vocal soloists, and a narrator, Gurrelieder is always a guaranteed experience and event for the listener.

The roster of world-class soloists will include Torsten Kerl (Waldemar), Emily Magee (Tove), Katarina Karnéus (Waldtaube), Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke (Klaus Narr), Gidon Saks (Peasant), and Salome Kammer (Narrator). Choruses include the Helsinki Music Centre Chorus, Polytech Choir, and Spira Ensemble. The concert will be recorded and broadcasted on Friday, August 16th via YLE Radio 1.

“The dramatic poem Gurrelieder first appeared in 1868 as part of a novella titled A Cactus Blooms by the 21-year-old Danish poet Jens Peter Jacobsen. In the novella, Jacobsen describes a gathering of five friends who are assembled for the once-in-nine-year flowering of a rare cactus. To while away the long evening waiting for the night-bloom, each friend recites a poem or tells a story. The culminating recitation, Gurresange, is a retelling of a legendary tale of passion, jealousy, tragic death, condemnation, the constant search for love beyond death, and the eventual resurrection of the human spirit through the healing forces of nature.” – Leonard Stein (1916-2004) was the Director of the Arnold Schoenberg Institute at USC from its founding in 1975 to 1991.