Song of the Earth and The Four Seasons

Music of the Earth Festival

Music Director Krzysztof Urbański presents a mid-winter festival of musical masterworks inspired by the majesty of our planet.

Mahler’s serene “The Song of the Earth,” drawn from delicate lines of Chinese poetry, is the first of his great farewells: music as life giving, life sustaining, life loving as the Earth itself.

Supertitles will be displayed for "The Song of the Earth."


  • A new, three-year initiative of Ball State University Emerging Media, Remix the Symphony will challenge preconceived notions about classical music through interactive experiences in the Hilbert Circle Theatre lobby during evening performances. 
  • Students from Purdue University also will present interactive activities that support the discovery and preservation of Earth’s natural acoustic heritage with the Discovery Park Center for Global Soundscape exhibit. 
  • An hour prior to performances on Friday and Saturday evening, Dr. Jim Larner, Professor of Music and Humanities at Marian University, will give a special presentation, “Going Gently into that Good Night,” that explores how the death of his beloved daughter and own heart ailment led Mahler to confront his grief and mortality in “The Song of the Earth.” 

Behind the CUrtain

With Associate Conductor Vince Lee

"My favorite Mahler works are his song cycles. In my personal opinion, that’s where Mahler is at his absolute best because each song is its own journey with its own individual sound, texture and color. You get this complete musical world given to you in a relatively short period of time. In particular, Das Leid von der Erdre. He took these Chinese poems that were translated into German and they really struck his heart, that’s why he was moved to write this piece. It is an epic work, and several people have referred to it as a 'song symphony,' combining voice with orchestra."

About Sasha Cooke

Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke has been called a "luminous standout" (New York Times) and "equal parts poise, radiance and elegant directness" (Opera News).  Ms. Cooke appears frequently this season singing Mahler, whose works she has sung to great acclaim on four different continents. Sought after by the world’s leading orchestras, opera companies, and chamber music ensembles for her versatile repertoire and commitment to new music, Ms. Cooke's season continues to bring world premiere performances and unique artistic collaborations.  



American tenor Paul Groves enjoys an impressive international career performing on the stages of all the world’s leading opera houses and concert halls. He begins his 2016-17 season with his return to the Opéra national de Paris for a rare role debut singing Alessandro Cesare in Cavalli's Eliogabalo this September. Groves returns to his native New Orleans later in the season singing the title role of Faust with the New Orleans Opera.


Plan Your Visit

This performance is at the Hilbert Circle Theatre in downtown Indianapolis. Doors will open one hour and fifteen minutes before the performance.

Learn more about parking, dining, hotels and more in our Plan Your Visit section.

Buy Tickets


Max Richter

Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi's The Four Seasons


Das Lied von der Erde ("The Song of the Earth")

Sasha Cooke


Alexi Kenney


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