P. Lieberson. “Neruda Songs” (five songs for mezzo-soprano and orchestra, set to the poems of Pablo Neruda)
J. Brahms. Symphony No. 2 in D Major, op. 73
Uniquely talented and charismatic singer Ieva Prudnikovaitė is one of the most prominent Lithuanian mezzo-sopranos. The soloist, who graduated from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, became the laureate of the International Singers' Competition in Cologne (Germany) in 2006. In 2008-2014 I. Prudnikovaitė was a soloist with the Aalto Opera House in Essen (Germany). One of the singer's most prominent roles is Carmen in G. Bizet’s opera “Carmen”, performed by the soloist at the German Aalto and Braunschweig Opera Theatres, the Latvian National Opera and the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre. For the latter role I. Prudnikovaitė was awarded the "Opera Lighthouse" as the Opera Soloist of the Year 2009. The singer is regularly collaborating with Vilnius City Opera, in 2019 she also created roles for the Opera House in St. Gallen (Switzerland). In addition to opera, the singer is very interested in the genre of tango. In 2002, I. Prudnikovaitė together with the ensemble "4Tango" became a finalist in the Astor Piazzolla International Competition in Italy.
Tonight, I. Prudnikovaitė will perform a very special work – “Neruda Songs” by the American composer Peter Lieberson (1946–2011), inspired by the poems written by Pablo Neruda (1904–1973), one of the most famous poets of the 20th century. “Neruda Songs” is a five-song cycle for mezzo-soprano and orchestra created by the composer for his wife, singer Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. "My first encounter with P. Neruda's work happened by accident: a pink book cover caught my eye at the airport. The book mesmerized me as soon as I opened it – I looked through a few poems and immediately realized that I had to create music for Lorraine based on this poetry,” – the composer later wrote.
The second part of the concert will feature Symphony No. 2 in D Major by the German composer Johannes Brahms (1833–1897), one of the most uplifting works in composer's mature repertoire. The symphony was written during J. Brahms' summer holiday in 1877, when the composer was resting in Austria. The premiere of the work at the Vienna Philharmonic in December of the same year was a great success: Brahms was recognized as a promising symphonist. The composer later wrote four symphonies in total, and Symphony No. 2 remained his favourite.
Tonight, the orchestra will be conducted by Maltese maestro Brian Schembri. An eloquent musician, compassionately, gently and majestically creating music with his hands, combines humanism and higher art in his work. The conductor is valued around the world for his stylish and convincing sound and his ability to create a life-filled atmosphere.