Biography

Among the most versatile and seasoned musicians of his generation, German conductor Sebastian Lang-Lessing is a sought-after guest at the most prestigious symphony halls and opera houses world wide. Currently Music Director of the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Lang-Lessing's previous posts have included Resident Conductor at the Hamburg State Opera and Deutsche Oper Berlin, as well as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Opera National de Lorraine, the Orchestre symphonique et lyrique de Nancy, and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.

His North American symphonic engagements include the Milwaukee Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Naples Philharmonic, Oregon Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Florida Orchestra, and Grand Teton Music Festival. International engagements include the Koblenz Rheinisches Staatsorchester, Orquestra Filharmonica de Gran Canaria, Orchestra del Teatro Massimo di Palermo, Oldenburgisches Staatsorchester, Taiwan Philharmonic, Belgrade Philharmonic, Orchestra National de Pays de la Loire, and a tour to the Royal Opera House Muscat with the Teatro San Carlo. Previous notable engagements have included the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre de Toulouse, Orchestre de Bordeaux, Orchestre de l'Opéra de Lyon, and Orquesta Filarmonica Malaga.

Equally at home in the opera theater, Mr. Lang-Lessing's recent appearances have included Die Tote Stadt with the Dallas Opera, the International Wagner Competition with the Seattle Opera, and a critically acclaimed Rienzi with the Deutsche Oper Berlin. Mr. Lang-Lessing leads the San Antonio Opera in a production of Salome this Winter, and heads to the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing for a production of Der Rosenkavalier in the Spring. Other notable operatic engagements have included the Paris Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Washington National Opera, Bordeaux Opera, and Hamburg State Opera. Mr. Lang-Lessing enjoys a close relationship with the Cape Town Opera, leading the company both in their home in South Africa and on tour.

In 2013, Mr. Lang-Lessing led the Philharmonia Orchestra for Renee Fleming's new album Guilty Pleasures, released on Decca. Other notable recordings have included the complete symphonies of Mendelssohn and Schumann with the Tasmanian Symphony, and the works of Joseph-Guy Ropartz with the Orchestre symphonique et lyrique de Nancy. Highlights of the current and next seasons are his re-invitation of Copenhagen Tivoli Festival for a Russian symphonic program and a concert as guest conductor of Badische Staatskapelle in Karlsruhe, presenting works of Glanert, Saint-Saëns and Brahms.

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Reviews

Although it was only three years since the orchestra last performed this popular work, it takes intense and efficient rehearsals to perform this work with such diamond clarity and beauty.

After the dramatic first movement, Lang-Lessing, conducting without a score, delivered a vivacious, brisk and sweeping scherzo. Jeff Garza on the horn, Paul Leuders on oboe and Peter Flamm on timpani were perfect in their exposed roles. The moving and emotional adagio was relaxed and luxuriant, with horn player Adedeji Ogunfolu splendid in his solo.

The final movement exploded like a thunder clap before the cellos and basses took over as snippets of the previous movement’s themes were quoted. The music reflects Beethoven’s mental pursuit for perfection here as he rejects the previous themes until a new one appears.

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