Ludwig van Beethoven

Sinfonien Nr. 4 & 5

Orchester der Tiroler Festspiele Erl

Conductor Erik Nielsen

Soprano Jennifer Davis

Christian Daniel Friedrich Schubart heard a “perspective on a better world” in the key of B flat major. And to be sure the symphony No. 4 in B flat major, op. 60, by Ludwig van Beethoven appears to look with pleasure to the future. He wrote this
refined composition, orchestrated almost like chamber music, in 1806, between work on the monumental ‘Eroica’ and his symphony No. 5. Yet even in this delicate music the stormy sound occasionally emerges, already indicating the symphony still
to come. This begins with the most famous four beats in music history. Even though the phrase “fate is thus knocking at the door” is not from Beethoven but from his biographer Schindler, these gloomy chords are inseparably associated with the idea of inescapable fate. Beethoven’s enthusiasm for the ideals of the French Revolution is undisputed, these songs allegedly also inspired the fifth symphony. The concert comes to an end with a facet of Beethoven that absolutely does not match the cliché
of the furious revolutionary. ‘Ah! Perfido – Per pietà, non dirmi addio’ is Beethoven’s first setting of a scene from an Italian opera seria, whose closeness to Mozart cannot be overheard. Beethoven wrote it during his concert tour to Prague in 1796. In
the same year the soprano Josepha Dussek first performed it in public in Leipzig. Jennifer Davis now follows in her footsteps; she also sings the role of Elsa in the production in Erl of Wagner’s Lohengrin. She is accompanied by the Tyrol Festival Erl Orchestra conducted by Erik Nielsen. 

Thu 23. Jul
19:30 h → Festspielhaus

Orchester der Tiroler Festspiele Erl

Erik Nielsen


Jennifer Davis


Orchester der Tiroler Festspiele Erl


Erik Nielsen became Chief Conductor of the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra in September 2015 and was Music Director of Theater Basel from 2016 – 2018.. He joined the Frankfurt Opera in 2002 and was Kapellmeister there from 2008 – 2012. Prior to moving to Frankfurt, he played harp in the Berlin Philharmonic as a member of its Orchester-Akademie. He studied conducting at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and received his bachelor’s degree as a double-major in oboe and harp at The Juilliard School in New York. In the summer 2007 he attended Tanglewood, conducting orchestral and chamber concerts and assisting James Levine with Don Carlos, and he returned in 2008 to conduct a production of Mahagonny. In September 2009 he was awarded the $25,000 Solti Fellowship by the US Solti Foundation.  In March 2010 he made his US opera début with Ariadne auf Naxos for Boston Lyric Opera which was followed by The Magic Flute at the Metropolitan Opera, New York.


During his years in Frankfurt Erik Nielsen conducted a wide repertoire, ranging from Handel to Reimann (the German premiere of Medea).  In January 2009 Erik Nielsen made his London debut conducting The Magic Flute for English National Opera. 


Opera engagements in recent years include Die Zauberflöte for Rome Opera, Hartmann’s Simplicus Simplicissimus, Henze’s Gisela!  and We Come to the River as well as Lohengrin and Karl May at the Semper Oper Dresden, La Traviata for Deutsche Oper Berlin, Cosi fan Tutte with Teatro Nacional de Sao Carlos, Lisbon, Reimann’s Lear for Malmo Opera, Otello, Giulio Cesare and Ariane et Barbe-bleu in Frankfurt, Peter Grimes  and Trojahn’s Oreste for Opernhaus Zürich, The Merchant of Venice at the Bregenz Festival, the world premeiere of Dai Fujikawa’s Solaris at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées in Paris, La forza del destino in Luxembourg,  Die Tote Stadt and Salome in Bilbao, The Rake’s Progress for Hungarian State Opera, Elektra, Eugene Onegin, Macbeth, Die Tote Stadt and Lucio Silla in Basel and Carmen and Peter Pan for Welsh National Opera. Recent and future plans include plans include Billy Budd in Frankfurt, Pelleas et Melisande in Basel, a double bill of Oedipus Rex and Il prigioniero in Dresden, his debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich with Krenek’s Karl V and a new production of Die Meistersinger for Norwegian National Opera.

Concert engagements include performances with Chicago Civic Orchestra, Kölner Kammerorchester, the Royal Swedish Opera, Basel Sinfonieorchester, Orquesta Sinfónica de Bilbao, Orquesta Sinfonica Castilla y Leon, Orquestra Sinfonica Portuguesa in Lisbon, Sinefonieorchester Basel, RTE National Symphony Orchestra., Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg,  Philharmonie Südwestfalen, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Ensemble Modern, Junge Deustche Philharmonie, the World Youth Symphony Orchestra at the Interlochen Arts Camp, and the Royal Northern Sinfonia.


Die Sopranistin Jennifer Davis wurde in Irland geboren. Sie absolvierte das Jette Parker Young Artist Programm. Erst Auftritte führten sie bald an das Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, wo sie unter anderem als Adina in L’elisir d’amore, als Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte, als Ifigenia in Oreste, als Arbate in Mitridate, re di Ponto und als Inès in Il trovatore zu erleben war. 2018 sang sie erstmals die Elsa an diesem Haus und gestaltete die Partie auch an der Opera Vlaanderen und an der Staatsoper Stuttgart. Auch als Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel war sie in London zu hören. Weitere Auftritte absolvierte sie als Donna Anna in Don Giovanni an der Opera North, als Erste Dame an der Welsh National Opera sowie als Pamina an der Irish National Opera. Künftige Engagements führen Jennifer Davis unter anderem an die San Francisco Opera (als Contessa d’Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro), als Elsa an die Opera Australia sowie an das Gran Teatre del Liceu in Lissabon und die Deutsche Oper Berlin. Die junge Sängerin ist auch am Konzertpodium zu erleben, unter anderem mit dem Netherlands Radio Philharmonic und der Accademia Santa Cecilia.