Ottawa Symphony Orchestra to perform Mahler’s Symphony No. 9

Ottawa, October 25, 2012 – On Monday, November 26, 2012, David Currie will conduct the 100-member Ottawa Symphony Orchestra in a concert at 8:00 p.m. in Southam Hall at the National Arts Centre.

For the second concert of its 2012-2013 season, the OSO will perform Mahler’s Ninth Symphony, honouring the centennial of its premiere in Vienna, Austria, in 1912. Mahler’s Ninth set a new mark in illuminating the human condition, and is considered by some to have been the true beginning of a new century of music.

“Mahler’s personal farewell to the world, his Symphony No.9, bid adieu to Romanticism and began the Modern era,” says David Currie, Music Director for the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra. “There could not have been a Schoenberg without Mahler.”

Tickets are available from the NAC Box Office and through Ticketmaster. Prices range from $26 to $71 for regular tickets, from $22 to $65 for seniors, and from $14 to $29.50 for students. A backstage tour, guided by one of the orchestra’s musicians, and a pre-concert chat will also be available to audience members before the concert.

Backstage Tour
Ever wondered what it’s like backstage before a concert? The OSO invites you to take a short tour backstage guided by one of the orchestra’s musicians, where you will also meet Conductor and Music Director David Currie. Tours are limited to 12 audience members on a first-come, first- serve basis. Meet at the OSO table in the foyer by 6:50 p.m. Tours begin at 7:00 p.m. and are 15 minutes in duration.

Pre-Concert Chat
What better way to appreciate and enjoy the concert you are about to hear than with some insight about the composers and their music? Join us for a pre-concert chat with Christopher Moore, Assistant Professor at the School of Music, University of Ottawa, in the mezzanine at 7:15 p.m.

An exhibition on the art and life Gustav Klimt will also be on display in the foyer, as part of the celebration of Klimt’s 150th anniversary. Organized by the Austrian Embassy, the exhibit will feature historical photographs, information about the artist’s life, and reproductions of some of his most famous works of art.

For more information, and for further details about ticket purchases, visit

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About Mahler’s Symphony No.9

Beginning in 1908, Mahler sketched out his Ninth and final symphony at Toblach, completing the orchestration there in early 1910. However, he died before the work could be performed. This is thus Mahler’s last completed symphony. The well-known Adagio demonstrates the composer’s acceptance of his own imminent death. Mahler himself said, referring to the symphony (and specifically the final Adagio), “There is no more irony, no sarcasm, no resentment whatever; there is only the majesty of death.”

In 1938, Henry Boys described the predominant mood of both Das Lied von der Erde, Mahler’s previous work, which might have been considered his ninth symphony, and the work he actually named his Ninth Symphony, as “one of consuming nostalgia and world-weariness,” and stated that the drama of the Ninth “might be thought of as expressing the conflict of final reconciliation of Mahler’s personal world with some more peaceful world towards which he had always aspired.”

Striking differences exist between the format of the Ninth and that of the traditional four-movement symphony. Instead of using fast outer movements to frame a slow movement and a scherzo, the composer began and ended his Ninth with two vast slow movements, separating them with two shorter (but still not short) quick movements.

Henry Boys also wrote of these inner movements that, “The music seems to alternate between a terrific, often frenzied agitation and an attitude of devil-may-care.”

The Adagio, by contrast, begins with violins expressing the composer’s resignation to the inevitability of his death. The lower strings are then added, increasing the sobering effect. Mahler himself marked the final bar of the Adagio “erstebend,” which in German is equivalent to the Italian “morendo,” meaning “dying away.”

About the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra

The Ottawa Symphony Orchestra is the National Capital Region’s largest orchestra, and the only full-size symphony orchestra in the region able to present major works of the late 19th and 20th centuries. The OSO presents five concerts each year at the National Arts Centre, under Music Director and Conductor David Currie. Concert programs reflect the orchestra’s commitment to the promotion of Canadian talent through continuing employment of local and regional musicians, the engagement of Canadian soloists and regular inclusion of Canadian works.

Yael Santo

Marketing Coordinator

Ottawa Symphony Orchestra

[email protected]