A Song by Mahler

Wednesday, May 15, 2024 - 7:30 PM
Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center

Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center

300 South Broad Street Learn More

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About This Performance

This concert is part of the Arts on the Mind Festival, presented with lead sponsorship from The Albert M. Greenfield Foundation and with additional support from Allen R. and Judy Brick Freedman Venture Fund for New Music and Constance & Michael Cone.

A love song by Gustav Mahler is at the center of this probing new work by eminent pianist and composer Marc Neikrug. Liebst du um Schönheit (“If You Love for the Sake of Beauty”), from Mahler’s Rückert Lieder, is “a key element to the drama,” Neikrug says, and, as it “embodies the message of love as an aspiration, a self-embodied posture, and a state of being,” it speaks to the emotional core of the work as well. A Song by Mahler centers on the changing realities of two characters: a concertizing singer who is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s and her husband, who is also her accompanist. This work of music theater is “an attempt to address the specific emotional evolution of this couple, touching on their love and their particular relationship to music” Neikrug says. “It is not an attempt at documenting the myriad aspects of the disease.”

Jennifer Johnson Cano, mezzo-soprano; Ryan Bradford, baritone; David Shifrin, clarinet; FLUX Quartet; Production designed and directed by Doug Fitch

Neikrug: A Song by Mahler  Philadelphia Premiere

Running time: 1 hour and 20 minutes (no intermission)