Performance Details

Overture, Idomeneo (5’)
Songs (20’)
Symphony No 4 (54’)

KAREN CARGILL – Mezzo-Soprano         

*We are very sorry to announce that Mark Wigglesworth is indisposed and has had to withdraw from conducting this week’s concerts with the SCO. We are very grateful to Kensho Watanabe who has agreed to step in to replace him. 

The radiant Scottish mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill has long championed the songs of Alma Mahler alongside those of her more famous husband, Gustav. It is a miracle they exist at all since Mr Mahler insisted that Mrs should “devote yourself to me unconditionally”, and cease composing. Characteristically, she did not pursue her composing career in public.

These orchestral versions showcase them alongside Gustav Mahler’s heavenly symphony, a piece he compared to “…the blue of the sky.” Saving the best until the last, Cargill completes the evening in the symphony’s touching, closing song – a child’s vision of heaven where angels bake the bread and St Peter fishes from a limitless pond.

COMPOSER INSIGHTS, 6.45pm - 7.10pm
Free to concert ticket holders in Glasgow and Edinburgh
Discussion on the life and music of Alma Mahler with author Cate Haste and SCO Creative Learning Director Kirsteen Davidson Kelly.

Digital editions of the programmes are now available for sale for £2 from 
These can be purchased and read online or downloaded the morning of the first concert of the week. We will then make these available free of charge the following Monday. 
Traditional printed programmes will still be on sale at the venue for £3.

Kensho Watanabe

Guest Conductor

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Emerging onto the international stage over the past two years, Kensho Watanabe is fast becoming one of the most exciting and versatile young conductors to come out of the United States. Most recently, Kensho was recognized as a recipient of a Career Assistance Award by the Solti Foundation U.S. He held the position of Assistant Conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra from 2016 to 2019 and during this time made his critically acclaimed subscription debut with the Orchestra and pianist, Daniil Trifonov, taking over from his mentor Yannick Nézet-Séguin. He would continue on to conduct four subscription concerts with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 2019, in addition to debuts at the Bravo! Vail Festival and numerous concerts at the Mann and Saratoga Performing Arts Centres. Watanabe has previously been an inaugural conducting fellow of the Curtis Institute of Music from 2013 to 2015, under the mentorship of Nézet-Séguin.

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Karen Cargill


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Forthcoming concert highlights include Gurrelieder with the Orquesta Nacional de Espana and David Afkham; Bruckner Mass in f minor with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Mariss Jansons; Mahler Symphony no. 2 with the Hong Kong Philharmonic and Jaap van Zweden and also with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Mirga Gražinytė-tyla; Brangaene in concert for Montpellier Opera and Das Lied von der Erde and La Damnation de Faust for DSO Berlin and Robin Ticciati.

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