Wednesday, May 17, 2017 | 7:30pm
Herbst TheatreVenue Information
FLEURS: works on floral themes by PURCELL, BRITTEN, SCHUMANN, QUILTER, GOUNOD, FAURÉ, STRAUSS, SCHUBERT, POULENC, HAHN, DEBUSSY, BOULANGER and CHABRIER
About This Performance
The irresistible hallmarks of Carolyn Sampson’s artistry—her supple tone, thoughtful and thought-provoking interpretations, warm humor and unabashed passion for song—have made her an audience favorite. These gifts are artfully demonstrated in this elegant program spanning five centuries of songs in the language of flowers.
“Those of us who rejoice in the crystalline beauty of Carolyn Sampson’s interpretations of Bach, Handel and Purcell will welcome this bouquet of songs on a floral theme.”
—The Guardian (UK)
Equally at home on the concert and opera stages, Carolyn Sampson has enjoyed notable successes in the UK as well as throughout Europe and the US.
On the opera stage her roles for English National Opera have included the title role in Semele and Pamina in The Magic Flute. For Glyndebourne Festival Opera she sang various roles in Purcell’s The Fairy Queen, now released on DVD. In 2012 she sang Anne Truelove/The Rake’s Progress in Sir David McVicar’s new production for Scottish Opera. Internationally she has appeared at Opéra de Paris, Opéra de Lille, Opéra de Montpellier and Opéra National du Rhin. She also sang the title role in Lully’s Psyché for the Boston Early Music Festival, which was released on CD and was subsequently nominated for a Grammy in 2008.
Carolyn Sampson’s numerous concert engagements in the UK have included regular appearances at the BBC Proms and with orchestras including The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, The English Concert, Bach Collegium Japan, Britten Sinfonia and The Sixteen. She is a frequent guest with the Hallé and has performed with City of London Sinfonia, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestras.
In Europe her many appearances have included concerts with Bergen Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra of the Bayerische Rundfunk, WDR Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Gürzenich Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and a performance of J.C. Bach’s Lucio Silla with the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra. She recently made her debut with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra in the Musikverein
In the US Carolyn Sampson has featured as soloist with San Francisco Symphony, Boston Symphony, Detroit Symphony, St Paul Chamber Orchestra and is a regular guest at the Mostly Mozart Festival. In October 2013 she made her Carnegie Hall recital debut to a sold-out audience in the Weill Recital Hall.
Carolyn works regularly with conductors such as Sir Mark Elder, Markus Stenz, Ivor Bolton, Philippe Herreweghe, Harry Bicket, Trevor Pinnock, Riccardo Chailly, Louis Langrée, Harry Christophers and Robert King.
A consummate recitalist, Carolyn Sampson appears regularly at the Wigmore Hall where a recital of lute songs with Matthew Wadsworth was recorded on the Wigmore Live label and released to huge critical acclaim. She has given regular recitals at the Saintes and Aldeburgh Festivals as well as the Amsterdam Concertgebouw.
Carolyn’s recent Harmonia Mundi recording of Poulenc’s Stabat Mater and Sept Répons de Ténèbres was awarded the Choc de l’Année Classica 2014. Other recent recordings include A French Baroque Diva—celebrating Marie Fel, a star soprano of Rameau’s time, and Mozart’s Requiem with Bach Collegium Japan. Her recording of Purcell songs for BIS was selected as Editor’s Choice in the December 2007 issue of Gramophone Magazine Her many recordings for Hyperion with The King’s Consort include a highly acclaimed CD of Mozart sacred music Exsultate jubilate which was selected as BBC Music Magazine’s “Record of the Month” and was also the recipient of an ECHO Award. She recorded a highly-acclaimed CD of Stravinsky’s Les Noces and Mass for Harmonia Mundi and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and Riccardo Chailly for the Decca label. Recent recording projects include Carolyn’s debut song recital disc, with the pianist Joseph Middleton. Entitled Fleurs and released in Spring 2015, it features songs by composers such as Fauré, Debussy, Schumann, Strauss, Quilter and Britten, amongst others.
Highlights of the forthcoming season include Carolyn’s debut with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra, concert performances of Semele with Concerto Köln and Ivor Bolton, and several recitals with Joseph Middleton.
In the 2014–15 season Carolyn was featured as one of the artists in residence at the Wigmore Hall.
Pianist Joseph Middleton specialises in the art of song accompaniment and chamber music and has been highly acclaimed within this field. Described in the BBC Music Magazine as ‘one of the brightest stars in the world of song and Lieder’, he has also been labeled ‘the cream of the new generation’ by The Times and ‘a perfect accompanist’ by Opera Now. He performs and records with many of the world’s finest singers in major music centers across Europe, the Americas and Far East. Joseph is Director of Leeds Lieder, a Professor at his alma mater the Royal Academy of Music, and holds the position of Musician in Residence at Pembroke College Cambridge, where he curates an imaginative song recital series as well as directing the University’s Lieder Scheme.
Joseph enjoys recitals with internationally established singers including Sir Thomas Allen, Ian Bostridge, Benjamin Appl, Sarah Connolly, Lucy Crowe, Iestyn Davies, Wolfgang Holzmair, Christiane Karg, Katarina Karnéus, Dame Felicity Lott, Christopher Maltman, John Mark Ainsley, Ann Murray, Mark Padmore, Joan Rodgers, Amanda Roocroft, Kate Royal, Matthew Rose, Carolyn Sampson and Roderick Williams. He regularly collaborates with rising stars from the younger generation and in 2012 he formed the Myrthen Ensemble to further explore lesser-known song repertoire with regular duo partners Mary Bevan, Clara Mouriz, Allan Clayton and Marcus Farnsworth. Recent seasons have taken him to London’s Wigmore Hall, Royal Opera House and Royal Festival Hall, the Vienna Konzerthaus, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Köln Philharmonie, Zürich Tonhalle and Luxembourg Philharmonie. In the Americas he has appeared at New York’s Lincoln Center, Toronto’s Koerner Hall, Vancouver’s Chan Center, San Francisco’s Nourse Theater and Chicago’s Ravinia Festival. He is a regular guest at Festivals in Aix-en-Provence, Aldeburgh, BBC Proms, Brighton, Cheltenham, Edinburgh, Munich, Oxford Lieder, Stuttgart and West Cork.
Joseph’s 2016–17 plans include his début BBC Prom with Iestyn Davies and Carolyn Sampson; three US recital tours with Kate Royal, Sarah Connolly and Carolyn Sampson taking him to New York (Park Avenue Armory & Alice Tully Hall), San Francisco’s Herbst Theatre and Atlanta’s Spivey Hall; as well as recitals with Christopher Maltman in Strasbourg and deSingel Antwerp, Katarina Karnéus in Gothenburg, Simon Keenlyside and Ian Bostridge in Leeds; and European Myrthen Ensemble débuts at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and the Musée d’Orsay, Paris. His appearances at the Wigmore Hall include recitals with Sarah Connolly and Clara Mouriz (BBC Lunchtime series) and with Carolyn Sampson. He has also programmed a 4-part Mahler series for BBC Radio 3.
His critically acclaimed discography includes Fleurs with Carolyn Sampson for BIS Records (nominated for a Gramophone Award & Radio France’s Disc of the Month); and, for Champs Hill Records: Nocturnal Variations with Ruby Hughes (Recording of the Month—BBC Music Magazine), Elgar in Sussex with Dame Felicity Lott, Tell me the Truth about Love with Amanda Roocroft, This Other Eden with Kitty Whately (Shortlisted for Best Disc of 2015—American Record Guide), the Lieder of Ludwig Thuille with Sophie Bevan and Jennifer Johnston and the complete Purcell/Britten realizations with Ruby Hughes, Allan Clayton and Matthew Rose. The Myrthen Ensemble’s début disc—Songs to the Moon—was recently released on Signum Records.
Born in Gloucestershire, Joseph graduated with an MPhil from the University of Birmingham, studied piano on an EMI Scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music and went on to win the accompanist prizes at the Wigmore Hall International Song, Kathleen Ferrier, Richard Tauber, Royal Over-Seas League and Geoffrey Parsons Awards. He lives near London with his family.