São Paulo Symphony Orchestra Makes Carnegie Hall Debut with Conductor Marin Alsop

Marin Alsop leads the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra in its Carnegie Hall debut on Friday, October 14 at 8:00 p.m., a program that includes Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade and works by illustrious 20th-century Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos: his Preludio from Bachianas brasileiras No. 4; Harmonica Concerto, featuring Brazilian harmonica player José Staneck, one of the preeminent players of this repertoire; and Chôros No. 10 with the São Paulo Symphony Choir. This performance will be heard live by listeners around the world through the Carnegie Hall Live broadcast and digital series, created in partnership with WQXR. Co-hosted by WQXR’s Jeff Spurgeon and New Sound’s John Schaefer, the concert will be broadcast on WQXR 105.9 FM in New York and streamed online at wqxr.org and carnegiehall.org/wqxr.

Maestra Alsop and the orchestra return the following evening, Saturday, October 15 at 8:00 p.m. for a multimedia event, “The Amazon Concert: Sights and Sounds of Brazil,” celebrating the Amazonian forest as a prime source of inspiration to Brazilian composers and to all of us. Music on the program includes works by Villa-Lobos, Clarice Assad, Philip Glass, and others as images of the Amazon as seen through the eyes of its myriad species flash above and around the stage. Conceived by Visual Director Marcello Dantas, renowned for his fusion of art and technology, the concert also features soprano Camila Titinger and the São Paulo Symphony Choir.

About the Artists

The story of American conductor Marin Alsop is a story of talent and of firsts, as she unquestionably blazed a trail into the world of conducting for women. In addition to her position as Conductor of Honor for SPSO, she is chief conductor of the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, chief conductor and curator of Chicago’s Ravinia Festival and is director of graduate conducting at the Peabody Institute. She has been a devoted advocate for new music and for the work of American composers in particular for her entire career. She was the first woman conductor to lead BBC’s Last Night of the Proms, and brought SPSO to the Proms in 2012, the first appearance by any Brazilian orchestra at the prestigious festival. She is the first conductor ever to win the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship

Since its first concert in 1954, the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra (Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo) has become an inseparable part of São Paulo and of Brazilian culture, promoting deep cultural and social transformation. Having toured Latin America, the United States, Europe, Asia and Brazil, SPSO also runs a large educational and outreach program for over 25,000 children and teenagers every season. The orchestra has released over 80 recordings, its concerts are regularly broadcast on television and radio, and also streamed live every week on the internet. In 2012, Marin Alsop became the orchestra’s Chief Conductor, and, in 2013, she was appointed Music Director. In that same year, the orchestra embarked on its fourth European tour, performing for the first time and to great acclaim, at the Salle Pleyel, in Paris, the Philharmonie Berlin, and the Royal Festival Hall in London. In 2014, to commemorate its 60th anniversary, SPSO co-commissioned a saxophone concerto by John Adams and performed it in five Brazilian states. The orchestra plays over a hundred concerts per season at its own concert hall, Sala São Paulo, which was chosen in 2015 by The Guardian as one of the 10 best music halls in the world. In 2016, SPSO, under the direction of Marin Alsop, appeared in major European Summer festivals and in the 2017 season won several accolades in Brazil. In 2018, SPSO began recording a series of albums dedicated to Brazilian composers for the Naxos label. In 2019, it toured China and Hong Kong, being the first Latin American professional orchestra to appear in these countries and premiered All Together: A Global Ode to Joy, a project of Carnegie Hall, with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony sung in Portuguese for the first time. In 2020, the Swiss conductor Thierry Fischer took over as Chief Conductor and Music Director, and Marin Alsop was named Conductor of Honor.

Brazilian harmonica virtuoso José Staneck is a truly versatile artist, performing in classical, jazz and popular music settings over the course of his career. He is a champion of new music and multiple compositions have been written for him. He is in demand internationally and frequently tours to perform with orchestras and ensembles all over the world. Mr. Staneck has made 11 CDs, one of which is Villa-Lobos’ harmonica concerto, recorded with the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra under Giancarlo Guerrero, for Naxos.

Soprano Camila Titinger enjoys an international career as recitalist and in a variety of roles on the opera stage. A winner of the International Belvedere Contest in 2018, she has frequently performed the music of Heitor Villa-Lobos, including his Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 at the Teatro Real in Madrid. She made her London debut at the Garsington Opera Festival in 2019 playing Donna Anna, and among her other roles are Pamina and Hanna Glawari.

An award-winning curator and artistic director specializing in interdisciplinary practices both in and outside Brazil, Marcello Dantas pioneered the concept of ‘museology’—weaving the threads of technology, interactivity, and multimedia resources together to provide immersive experiences that engage senses and change perceptions. With a career spanning 30 years, Mr. Dantas has led the way in creating distinct museums and cultural institutions across South America devoted to unique micro-concepts, for example the Museum of the Portuguese Language, Japan House São Paulo and the Museum of Nature in Brazil; Museo del Caribe and Museo del Carnaval in Colombia; and in 2021, he was appointed curator and director of the SFER IK museum Tulum, Mexico. Dantas has curated solo exhibitions with some of the most influential contemporary artists of today, including Ai Weiwei, Anish Kapoor, Laurie Anderson, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Jenny Holzer, Rebecca Horn, Bill Viola and more. Since 2014, he has been on the curatorial board at the Vancouver Biennale, and in 2020 was appointed curator of the 13th Bienal do Mercosul.

Program Information

Friday, October 14 at 8:00 p.m.
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage

Marin Alsop, Conductor of Honor
José Staneck, Harmonica
São Paulo Symphony Choir

VILLA-LOBOS Preludio from Bachianas brasileiras No. 4
VILLA-LOBOS Harmonica Concerto
VILLA-LOBOS Chôros No. 10

This concert is made possible, in part, by an endowment fund for choral music established by S. Donald Sussman in memory of Judith Arron and Robert Shaw.

Saturday, October 15 at 8:00 p.m.
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Presented by Opus 3 Artists
Marin Alsop, Conductor of Honor
Camila Titinger, Soprano
São Paulo Symphony Choir
Marcello Dantas, Visual Director

The Amazon Concert: Sights and Sounds of Brazil

Works by Villa-Lobos, Clarice Assad, Philip Glass, M. A. Guimarães, A.C. Jobim, Edino Krieger, and J.A. Almeida Prado