The Viennese composer Gustav Mahler wrote that he could never write a Mass because he had no Credo. But he composed a massive symphony, his second, for orchestra, choir and vocal soloists, inspired by a German poem extolling the promise of resurrection. The “Resurrection” symphony has moved audiences for over 100 years and for Gilbert Kaplan, the experience was even more dramatic. He was so overwhelmed that he gave up a successful career as a banker and journalist to study conducting and music with the goal of conducting Mahler’s epic work.
Twenty-five years later, Kaplan’s achievements include over 50 performances with the world’s leading orchestras, a foundation devoted to Mahler research and publication, an active teaching career and impressive recording stats. Kaplan leads the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the May Festival Chorus and soloists Janice Chandler-Eteme and Christianne Stotijn in the “Resurrection” Symphony at 8 p.m. on Oct. 17 and 18 at Music Hall. The concerts commemorate the 100th anniversary of the symphony’s American debut and also mark the American premiere of Kaplan and Renata Stark-Voit’s new critical edition. At 6:30 p.m. Kaplan will give a multi-media presentation on Mahler and his music, featuring musical excerpts, photographs and illustrations, many never seen before. You may not want to give it up to be conductor. But you will be overwhelmed. $12-$95. Get details, buy tickets and find nearby bars and restaurants here.