CULTURE

Strauss and Wagner at the Megaron

leading European orchestra and a very promising young maestro are set to perform for one night only at the Athens Concert Hall tomorrow. Under the baton of Andris Nelsons, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra will perform works by Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss at the Friends of Music Hall. The evening at the Megaron, as it is known locally, will start off with the introduction and the «Venusburg» finale from Wagner’s opera «Tannhauser» and continue with the prelude and «Liebestod» from another Wagner opera, «Tristan and Isolde.» The program will end with Strauss’s tone poem «Death and Transfiguration.» Founded in 1920, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra made its debut performance under the baton of Sir Edward Elgar. Its history and character were greatly influenced by Sir Simon Rattle, who was the orchestra’s music director between 1980 and 1998. Under Rattle’s guidance, the orchestra became specialized in works of the post-romantic era and the 20th century, particularly those of Sibelius and Mahler. Andris Nelsons has been its music director since 2007. Born to a family of musicians in Latvia in 1978, Nelsons started off as a trumpet player before turning to conducting, which he studied in St Petersburg under Alexander Titov. Despite his young age, he has already conducted orchestras of the caliber of Zurich’s Tonhalle-Orchester, Berlin’s Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester, the Royal Stockholm Orchestra and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and is scheduled to perform soon at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, where he debuted two years ago. Athens Concert Hall, 1 Kokkali & Vas. Sofias, tel 210.728.2333.