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Also sprach Zarathustra

Jan 02 - Jan 07

Richard Strauss’s Also sprach Zarathustra became famous thanks to 2001: A Space Odyssey, but there is much more to this tone poem. Inspired by Nietzsche’s book of the same name, Strauss uses orchestral forces to explore our place in the universe. Isabel Leonard sings Berlioz’s song cycle of love and longing. Samy Moussa’s Elysium depicts the Greek mythological heroes’ final resting place. Kevin John Edusei conducts.

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Wu Tsai Theater, David Geffen Hall



Samy Moussa



Les Nuits d’été

R. Strauss

Also sprach Zarathustra


Kevin John Edusei Conductor

German conductor Kevin John Edusei is sought-after the world over. He is deeply committed to the creative elements of performance, presenting classical music in new formats, cultivating audiences, introducing music by under-represented composers, and conducting an eclectic range of repertoire. He is praised repeatedly for the drama and tension that he brings to his music-making, as well as for his attention to detail, sense of architecture, and the fluidity, warmth, and insight that he brings to his performances.

Learn more about Kevin John Edusei

Isabel Leonard Mezzo-Soprano

Richard Tucker Award–winning mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard has performed the music of composers from Vivaldi to Mozart to Nico Muhly on the stages of the Vienna Staatsoper, Paris Opéra, Salzburg Festival, Bavarian Staatsoper, Carnegie Hall, Glyndebourne Festival, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Aix-en-Provence Festival, The Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, and Los Angeles Opera. She has appeared as Rosina in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, Angelina in Rossini’s La Cenerentola, Cherubino in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, Dorabella in Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Charlotte in Massenet’s Werther, Blanche de la Force in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmélites, Costanza in Vivaldi’s Griselda, the title roles in Offenbach’s La Périchole and Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, and Sesto in both Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito and Handel’s Giulio Cesare. She has performed with conductors including Marin Alsop, Harry Bicket, James Conlon, Andrew Davis, Gustavo Dudamel, Edward Gardner, Valery Gergiev, Michele Mariotti, Andris Nelsons, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Seiji Ozawa, Antonio Pappano, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Michael Tilson Thomas, Edo de Waart, and Franz Welser-Möst, appearing with the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic, and San Francisco Symphony, among others. Ms. Leonard is in demand as a recitalist and is on Carnegie Hall’s board of trustees. She has appeared on multiple Grammy Award–winning recordings, most recently Ravel’s L’Enfant et les sortilèges on Decca (2016) and Thomas Adès’s The Tempest at The Metropolitan Opera on Deutsche Grammophon (2014). Her television and film appearances include Sesame Street and as host for The Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD transmissions.

Learn more about Isabel Leonard