Photo: Manu Theobald


Composition Commission issued to Christian Mason

Vienna Philharmonic, Austria


By 2024 the Vienna Philharmonic is planning to perform all nine of Anton Bruckner’s symphonies in key European cathedrals. Beyond honoring Bruckner himself, the aim of the largescale project is to form a bridge between the present and the past: each Bruckner symphony is to be accompanied by the premiere of a contemporary work issued by the Vienna Philharmonic to outstanding composers. To accompany Anton Bruckner’s second symphony the Vienna Philharmonic – which premiered this work on October 26, 1873 under Otto Dessoff to conclude the Vienna World’s Fair – have commissioned the British composer Christian Mason with a 20-minute work. On the one hand, this piece is to reflect the spirituality of Bruckner II and, on the other, epitomize the atmosphere exuded by this fascinating venue. Under the artistic direction of Christoph Eschenbach the premiere is to be held on May 2, 2019 at St. Isaac’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg.

Christian Mason was born in London in 1984. His music impresses listeners with its powerful yet often very delicate, colorful tonal language. Furthermore, Mason is expertly skilled at using the development of sound within the space and utilizing the resonance as a vehicle for composition, carrying the audience away by means of transcendental tonal languages into very underground spheres.

Other performance venues planned for this Vienna Philharmonic concert series are the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, St. Nikolai in Stockholm, St. Vitus in Prague, Notre Dame in Paris, the Basilica of St. Paul “Outside-the-Walls” in Rome as well as a German cathedral.


May 2, 2019
St. Isaac’s Cathedral, St. Petersburg, Russia


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