Berlin opera fans already know him because of his guest conducting engagements at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden and the Komische Oper. Now Constantinos Carydis, who was born in Athens in 1974, makes his conducting debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker at these concerts. Carydis, who received the Bavarian State Opera’s Carlos Kleiber Prize in 2011, studied at the conservatory in his native city (music theory and piano) and the University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich (conducting). His first engagements took him to the Munich State Theater on Gärtnerplatz and the Württemberg State Opera in Stuttgart. In 2006 he made his debut at the Vienna State Opera, then five years later at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. He is a regular guest at such renowned opera houses as the Bavarian State Opera, the Frankfurt Opera, the Netherlands Opera and the Lyon Opera. Festival productions have taken him to Salzburg, Edinburgh, Glyndebourne and Ascona. Carydis also conducts such leading orchestras as the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Zurich’s Tonhalle Orchestra, the Mozarteum Orchestra and the Bamberg Symphony.
For his debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker Carydis, who conducts without a baton, has chosen works by two of the important symphonists of all time: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Dmitri Shostakovich. The concert opens with Mozart’s C major Symphony, K. 338, the composer’s last contribution to the genre from his Salzburg years. Mozart’s “Prague” Symphony, composed 16 years later, concludes the concert, making it clear how important Mozart’s developments were for the history of this genre. Between these works, two chamber music compositions by Shostakovich will be heard in arrangements for string orchestra: the composer’s Two Pieces for String Octet, op. 11, an early work, and his String Quartet No. 8 in C minor, which violist and conductor Rudolf Barshai arranged as a chamber symphony. Barshai’s arrangement met with Shostakovich’s approval, and the composer declared: “Why, that sounds better than the original!” A programme that is rich in contrasts and offers Carydis the opportunity to display the many facets of his artistry at his Philharmonic debut.