Schoenberg’s Gurre-Lieder Press Release

March 22, 2024

Carnegie Hall



MARCH 22, 2024

Concert Marks Gurre-Lieder’s Centennial and the 150th Anniversary of Schoenberg’s Birth
Soloists are Soprano Felicia Moore, Mezzo-Soprano Krysty Swann,
Tenors Dominic Armstrong and Brenton Ryan, and Bass-Baritones Carsten Wittmoser
and Alan Held, with James Bagwell Leading the Bard Festival Chorale

New York, NY, February 14, 2024 Music Director Leon Botstein leads the American Symphony Orchestra (ASO) and the Bard Festival Chorale in a rare performance of Schoenberg’s massive cantata, Gurre-Lieder, at Carnegie Hall on Friday, March 22 at 8 PM. Infrequently performed due to the unusually large number of musicians required and the logistical challenges it poses, the work is scored for more than 200 musicians, including six soloists, chorus, and a grand orchestra.

The performance celebrates the 150th anniversary of Schoenberg’s birth, and the centennial of Gurre-Lieder’s 1913 world premiere in Vienna. It has been more than 90 years since the work’s 1932 American premiere by American Symphony Orchestra founder Leopold Stokowski with the Philadelphia Orchestra. It was recorded the next day for a remarkable twenty-seven 78 RPM discs. This concert closes the ASO’s 2023-24 season at Carnegie Hall.

The guest artists are soprano Felicia Moore, noted by The Wall Street Journal for her “opulent, Wagner-scaled soprano,” who sang in this year’s Metropolitan Opera premiere of Anthony Davis’ X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X; mezzo-soprano Krysty Swann, who recently appeared at The Met as Jade Boucher in Dead Man Walking; tenor Dominic Armstrong, who this season sings Cavaradossi in Maryland Opera’s production of Tosca; tenor Brenton Ryan, hailed by Opera News for his “remarkable tonal suavity and refined phrasing,” who returned to The Met as Monostatos in the new Simon McBurney staging of Die Zauberflöte;   bass-baritone Carsten Wittmoser, a frequent performer in major opera houses ranging from Deutsche Oper Berlin to The Met; and bass-baritone Alan Held, winner of a Brigit Nilsson Prize with a repertoire including title roles in Wozzeck and Der fliegende Holländer.

Schoenberg’s Gurre-Lieder
Friday, March 22, 2024, 8 pm at Carnegie Hall, Isaac Stern Auditorium
Conductor’s Notes Q&A 7 pm
American Symphony Orchestra
Leon Botstein, conductor
Dominic Armstrong, Waldemar
Felicia Moore, Tove
Krysty Swann, Waldtaube
Alan Held, Bauer
Brenton Ryan, Klaus Narr
Carsten Wittmoser, Narrator
Bard Festival Chorale  
James Bagwell, music director
Arnold Schoenberg: Gurre-Lieder
Wagnerian in conception, Schoenberg’s Gurre-Lieder is his largest work. It was written during the composer’s tonal period and represents the ideal of late Romanticism, full of lush, colorful orchestration along with endless melodies and a highly chromatic harmonic language. The complexity of the work can be demonstrated in part by its gargantuan orchestration, which includes 40 violins; 6 timpani, tenor, snare, and bass drums; 3 four-part male choruses and an eight-part mixed chorus; cymbals, triangle, tam-tam, ratchet, glockenspiel, xylophone, and even large iron chains. Met with a standing ovation at its Viennese premiere, the cantata springs from a sonnet in an 1868 novella titled A Cactus Blooms by the young Danish poet Jens Peter Jacobsen. The story is based on a 14th-century Gurre legend about King Waldemar, his passion for the maiden Tove Lille, their love tryst at Gurre Castle, and Tove’s subsequent murder by the king’s jealous wife.

Tickets: Priced at $25–$65, tickets are available at, by calling CarnegieCharge at 212.247.7800, or visiting the box office at 57th St. & 7th Ave.

This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

The ASO’s Vanguard Series is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

 Images:  Felicia Moore ©Gillian Riesen, Krysty Swann ©Dario Acosta, Dominic Armstrong ©Fay Fox, Brenton Ryan ©Gillian Riesen, Carsten Wittmoser ©Jesús Cornejo, and Alan Held ©Pierre Gatreau.

Media Contact

Pascal Nadon
Pascal Nadon Communications
Phone: 646.234.7088



March 22, 2024
Carnegie Hall