Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
Press Release

Michelle DeYoung Performs With Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra presents Michelle DeYoung on November 21-22, 2014 at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.

By - Oct 30th, 2014 04:31 pm

Michelle DeYoung

MILWAUKEE, WIS. 10/30/2014 – The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra presents Michelle DeYoung on November 21-22, 2014 at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. Led by guest conductor Asher Fisch, the performances feature Schumann’s Symphony No. 2, Berg’s Seven Early Songs, and Strauss’s Tod und Verklärung (Death and Transfiguration) with mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung.

Both concerts include Meet the Music, a free, interactive pre-concert discussion held one hour prior to concert start time in Uihlein Hall on Friday and in Anello Atrium on Saturday. Friday’s performance offers a post-concert Meet the Artist Luncheon in the Bradley Pavilion.

Schumann began composing Symphony No. 2 in C major, Opus 61 in 1845 as he began his recovery from a severe depression. In a letter to the head of the Hamburg Musical Society in 1849, Schumann reminisced about the work: “I wrote the C Major Symphony in December 1845 while I was still half sick, and it seems to me that one can hear this in the music. Only in the final movement did I begin to feel my old self again…” The Second Symphony is widely considered the greatest of the four symphonies that Schumann completed and one of the great symphonic works of the nineteenth century.

Berg’s Seven Early Songs began during the early stages of Berg’s study with composer Schoenberg. Between 1905 and 1908, Berg wrote over one hundred songs scored for voice and piano. In 1928, Berg revisited this body of work and chose seven to be included in a published set, including orchestration of the accompaniment. The resulting Seven Early Songs is one of Berg’s finest works, both in lyricism and text settings as well as subtle and evolved harmonic detail.

Strauss’s Tod und Verklärung, Opus 24 (Death and Transfiguration)was composed in 1888 and premiered in 1890. In a letter to a friend, Strauss wrote, “It was six years ago that it occurred to me to present in the form of a tone poem the dying hours of a man who had striven toward the highest idealistic aims, maybe indeed those of an artist.” However, no one knows why at the young age of 24 he felt compelled to write a piece on the experience of facing death.


Israeli conductor Asher Fisch became principal conductor and artistic adviser of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra in Perth in March 2014. Mr. Fisch is currently principal guest conductor of the Seattle Opera, where he conducted its quadrennial Wagner Ring Cycle in summer 2013, and his former posts include music director of the New Israeli Opera and the Wiener Volksoper. A seasoned conductor in both the operatic and symphonic worlds and a frequent guest to the great orchestras and the most renowned opera houses, his appointment to WASO is Mr. Fisch’s first chief artistic position with a symphony orchestra. Known best for his interpretative command of core German and Italian repertoire of the Romantic and post-Romantic era, he also conducts a wide variety of other repertoire from Gluck to contemporary works, and serves as an advocate of such composers as Avner Dorman and others. He has long maintained strong and deep ties to the Bayerische Staatsoper (Munich) and in the 2013.14 season conducted six titles including a new production by Martin Kušej of Verdi’s La forza del destino. Among North American symphony orchestras, Mr. Fisch has conducted those of Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Dallas, Seattle, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Houston, St. Louis, Toronto, Montreal, Minnesota, and the National Symphony in Washington, D.C. In Europe he appears regularly at the Munich Philharmonic and Staatskapelle Dresden.

Michelle DeYoung has already established herself as one of the most exciting artists of her generation. She has appeared with many of the world’s leading orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, The Met Orchestra (in Carnegie Hall), the Met Chamber Ensemble, Vienna Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Bayerische Staatsoper Orchestra, Berliner Staatskapelle, Sao Paulo Symphony, and the Concertgebouworkest. She has also appeared in the prestigious festivals of Ravinia, Tanglewood, Aspen, Cincinnati, Saito Kinen, Edinburgh, Salzburg, and Lucerne. The conductors with whom she has worked include Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, James Conlon, Sir Colin Davis, Stéphane Denève, Christoph von Dohnányi, Gustavo Dudamel, Christoph Eschenbach, Bernard Haitink, Manfred Honeck, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Kent Nagano, Seiji Ozawa, Antonio Pappano, Andre Previn, David Robertson, Donald Runnicles, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Mariss Jansons, and Michael Tilson Thomas.


Michelle DeYoung
Asher Fisch, conductor
Michelle DeYoung, mezzo-soprano

Uihlein Hall, Marcus Center for the Performing Arts

Friday, November 21 | 11:15 a.m.
Meet the Music, Uihlein Hall | 10:15 a.m.
Meet the Artist Luncheon | Post-concert | Tickets $25 ($22 for Forte members)

Saturday, November 22 | 8:00 p.m.
Meet the Music, Anello Atrium | 7:00 p.m.

Tickets range from $25-105. For more information, please call 414.291.7605 or visit Tickets may also be purchased through the Marcus Center Box Office at 414.273.7206.


The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, under the dynamic leadership of Music Director Edo de Waart, is among the finest orchestras in the nation and the largest cultural institution in Wisconsin. Now in his sixth season with the MSO, Maestro de Waart has led sold-out concerts, elicited critical acclaim, and conducted a celebrated performance at Carnegie Hall on May 11, 2012. The MSO’s full-time professional musicians perform over 135 classics, pops, family, education, and community concerts each season in venues throughout the state. Since its inception in 1959, the MSO has found innovative ways to give music a home in the region, develop music appreciation and talent among area youth, and raise the national reputation of Milwaukee.

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