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26 April 2019

Daniel Harding, between heaven and earth

von Anne Payot-Le Nabour

The CV leaves nothing to be desired: at the age of only 16, he became Sir Simon Rattle’s assistant, then Claudio Abbado’s, causing a veritable stir when he conducted Don Giovanni at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence seven years later, and again when he led the season opening of La Scala Milan at only 30 years of age. Ever since, he has pursued an impressive career which has most recently taken him to the position of Music Director at the Orchestre de Paris, not counting numerous appointments as Conductor Laureate, including the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.
On the side, Daniel Harding is an aviation buff who has recently acquired a pilot’s license.

After several previous appearances at the Philharmonie, the conductor returns to Luxembourg for three concerts in the 2019/20 season. First, he makes his debut with the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, joined by Håkan Hardenberger as the trumpet soloist – an instrument the conductor once studied himself. This is followed by Mahler’s Fifth Symphony with its gripping orchestral development from darkness towards light.

The music of Mahler, whose champion Daniel Harding has long been, is a common theme in his residency: next, he leads the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra in the composer’s Eighth Symphony, the «Symphony of a Thousand». The British conductor thereby invites the audience to a comprehensive journey into the profound depths of the symphonic repertoire – plus a detour through the world of Schubert’s songs, in which he and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra accompany the soloist of choice, baritone Matthias Goerne.