For its performances of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony from November 17 to 19, California’s Pacific Symphony will include several elements designed to illuminate Mahler’s life. Joseph Horowitz, the orchestra’s artistic advisor, will give a pre-concert presentation, “I Beg You to Be Truthful!—The Marriage of Gustav and Alma Mahler: A Self-Portrait in Letters,” with actors Nick Ullett and Jenny O’Hara portraying the couple. In the Segerstrom Concert Hall lobby, images from Mahler’s life and letters between Gustav and Alma will be displayed. The concert’s first half will feature performances of portions of Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder, which expresses the composer’s thoughts as he was writing his ninth symphony. After intermission, Music Director Carl St.Clair will lead a complete performance of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony, and the concert will be followed by a conversation led by St.Clair and Horowitz. The concert is the final of three “Departures” concerts exploring final symphonies by iconic composers; the first two in the series were centered around Tchaikovsky’s Sixth and Bruckner’s Ninth symphonies. This month’s Mahler program is also part of the Pacific Symphony’s three-year Music Unwound initiative to bring innovative new formats and thematic programming to the concert experience, underwritten by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Posted November 16, 2011