This weekend, Kazushi Ono will give his last concerts as the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra’s principal conductor. The Japanese maestro’s appointment as the OBC’s music director, which began in 2015, will conclude with performances on 27, 28 and 29 May of Symphony No.2 “Resurrection” by Gustav Mahler. The concerts will also bring the OBC’s current season to a close.
Kazushi Ono’s first concert with the OBC took place on 20 September 2015 at the Basilica of the Sagrada Família. Since then, his intense programme of activities with the orchestra has included a five-week tour of Japan in 2019¬–with a performance of the opera Turandot by Puccini, featuring soprano Iréne Theorin and new staging by Àlex Ollé–, performances of Brahms’ complete symphonies, and participation in the Beethoven Festival. Mention must also be made of performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in L’Auditori’s Hall 1 Pau Casals, under the baton of the Japanese maestro, with staging by Agrupación Señor Serrano and three days of fully sold out concerts.
In the field of newly created music, Kazushi Ono has also conducted premieres of music by Hèctor Parra, Ferran Cruixent, Fabià Santcovsky and Mariona Vila, in this last case as part of the ‘Et toca a tu’ project. As for recordings of music, one special highlight was the recording of the CD Les ballets de Picasso, with music from some of the ballets by Falla, Stravinsky, Satie and Milhaud that featured set and costume designs by Pablo Picasso.
Kazushi Ono has also played a key role in the renewal of the OBC, with the creation of new posts for musicians in recent years, and he has actively striven to ensure musical excellence and the cohesion of the orchestra’s sound.
As from September 2022, Kazushi Ono will be the principal conductor of the Brussels Philharmonic, and efforts are being made by L’Auditori to find dates when he can return as a guest conductor to head the OBC during forthcoming seasons.
Ono will be joined at this weekend’s concerts by two internationally acclaimed soloists with close links with German repertoires: soprano Lydia Teuscher and mezzo-soprano Mihoko Fujimura. They will be accompanied by the OBC and the Orfeó Català in a superb end-of-season finale for the orchestra. In coming weeks, the OBC will be making new recordings with its new principal conductor, Ludovic Morlot, and it is also preparing for the Mozart Nits d’Estiu Festival, which will open on 30 June.
Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection” by Gustav Mahler is based on the same large orchestra used for Titan , with the addition of the human voice, through soloists and a chorus; a characteristic feature of his later symphonies. It is also the first work in which Mahler used texts from the collection Des Knaben Wunderhorn: Alte deutsche Lieder (The Youth’s Magic Horn: Old German Songs), a series of traditional German poems and songs compiled in 1805, which was to become an endless source of inspiration in his work.
Originally conceived as a one-movement funereal symphonic poem, with the death of the conductor Hans von Bülow, the composer later added four more movements to create a major symphony on the themes of death, recalled happiness, lost and recaptured faith and, lastly, resurrection in God’s hands through love.
The symphony links the theme of Love and Hate that has run through L’Auditori’s programme this season with the theme of Death or Return, which can be enjoyed next season.
Aleix Palau | 24 May 2022
Kazushi Ono bids farewell as the OBC’s principal conductor with Resurrection by Mahler
The closing concerts of the OBC’s season will feature soprano Lydia Teuscher, mezzo-soprano Mihoko Fujimura and the Orfeó Català.