The German conductor Karl-Heinz Steffens is to return to London’s Royal Festival Hall with the Philharmonia Orchestra next March in the dual roles of conductor and soloist.
Steffens will conduct an all-Brahms programme including Ein deutsches Requiem with soprano Elsa Dreisig, baritone Michael Kraus and the Philharmonia Chorus, preceded by the composer’s Clarinet Quintet alongside members of the Philharmonia. Composed twenty-five years apart, both works have a valedictory aura, with the former written following the passing of his mother and the latter being one of Brahms’ final compositions.
Karl-Heinz Steffens is recognised as a conductor of great distinction. As well as his guest engagements with ensembles such as the Bavarian Radio Symphony, the Berlin Philharmonic and the Vienna Symphony Orchestras, Steffens takes particular pleasure in undertaking substantial surveys of repertoire, such as an ongoing Bruckner symphony cycle with the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz where he is Musical Director. The performance in March 2018 brings to conclusion a wider Brahms cycle Steffens has been undertaking with the Philharmonia Orchestra.
The concert also presents a rare opportunity to hear Karl-Heinz Steffens return to the role of soloist. Prior to his conducting career, Steffens was a highly respected solo clarinettist and held several orchestral positions culminating in the successive posts of Principal Clarinet with the Bavarian Radio and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras. He relinquished the latter post in 2007 to focus on his conducting career, but still performs occasionally among friends and colleagues.
Speaking about the upcoming concert, Karl-Heinz Steffens comments: “I am truly honoured to perform with the entire Philharmonia family next March in two key pieces of symphonic and chamber repertoire, the Quintet and Requiem. I am looking forward to another wonderful musical experience with my friends at this great orchestra.”
Ahead of the concert in March 2018, Karl-Heinz Steffens will lead the Philharmonia Orchestra on a tour of Spain and make his debut with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. He will also conduct Bruckner’s Symphony No.8 with the Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, Ravi Shankar’s Concerto for Sitar and Orchestra No. 2 “Räga-Mälä” alongside Debussy’s La Mer with the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, and give the Italian premiere of German composer Detlev Glanert’s Double Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra at the Teatro Regio di Torino.
Purchase tickets through the Southbank Centre website.