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A Night of Mahler, Transcendent and Sublime

Salastina will perform at Rothenberg Hall on the grounds of the Huntington Library
Published on May 26, 2023

Gustav Mahler photographed by Nähr Moritz in undated photo.

Music of strength and power about our human weakness and mortality will envelop listeners during a one-night-only performance of Mahler’s “Das Lied von der Erde” at the Huntington Library and Gardens on Sunday, June 11, and draw them into the sublime.

The profound and emotive work, filled with moments of both triumph and profound vulnerability, will be performed by Salastina under the guidance of Kevin Kumar and Maia Jasper White, co-artistic directors and violinists.  

The ensemble will be joined by acclaimed vocal soloists Clara Osowski (mezzo-soprano) and Thomas Cooley (tenor). Together, they will breathe fresh life into Mahler’s masterwork, infusing each note with their unique expressive nuances.

Mahler composed “Das Lied von der Erde” after a series of personal tragedies, including the death of his daughter and the diagnosis of his own heart condition. The text for the songs is based on ancient Chinese poetry, translated into German, and reflects on themes of life, death, and the natural world. The final movement, “Der Abschied” (The Farewell), is particularly poignant in its contemplation of mortality.

Audience members are urged to come early, to wander the beautiful gardens of the Huntington Library before the concert  (access to the Huntington is free with the Salastina ticket purchase). 

The concert will be performed in Rothenberg Hall. It promises an evening of refined musical artistry that will resonate with seasoned classical music lovers.

This extraordinary performance will feature the chamber ensemble arrangement by Arnold Schoenberg and Rainer Reihn. With a string quintet, piano, winds, and percussion, this intimate ensemble will highlight the intricate nuances and delicate interplay of Mahler’s composition. 

The absence of a conductor in this chamber music setting allows for a more direct and intimate connection between the musicians and the music.

Violinists Kumar and White established the nonprofit organization and classical ensemble Salastina in 2010, with the goal of  inspiring  audiences through music. 

Following the performance, attendees will have the opportunity to engage in post-concert reflections during a reception.

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