The Hamburg Ballet, led by director and chief choreographer John Neumeier, will present  the classic Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler to audiences at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance this February in the only American presentation of the work during the company’s U.S. visit in 2014. The Harris Theater is the only American venue that will present Third Symphony during the company’s U.S. visit in 2014. 

Following the Chicago debut of Neumeier’s critically acclaimed Nijinsky last season, the world-renowned ensemble will make its highly anticipated return to Chicago with another Neumeier classic. In Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler—described by dance critic Clive Barnes as “a work of genius” (New York Post)—the Milwaukee-born choreographer takes inspiration from Mahler’s captivating Third Symphony (the longest of Mahler’s nine symphonies), translating the imagery into a momentous six-movement ballet that conjures themes of creation, death, and existence, among others. The performance is part of the Harris Theater’s 10th anniversary season.

“The Harris Theater has established itself as a premier destination for international dance companies,” said Neumeier. “When the Hamburg Ballet premiered Nijinsky last season (at the Harris Theater), the company received an incredible reception from the patrons of Chicago, and we look forward to performing again during the Theater’s 10th season.”

Michael Tiknis, Harris Theater’s president and managing director, underscored the importance the relationship The Harris has quickly developed with Neumeier and his company. “We’ve forged a special relationship with The Hamburg Ballet and John Neumeier in just two short years. It becomes even more special with this performance of Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler, a ballet of immense beauty and virtuosity. We were very fortunate to make this happen exclusively for Chicago audiences.”

The fourth movement of Neumeier’s ballet (“Night”) originally premiered in Stuttgart in 1974 as a tribute to choreographer and former Stuttgart Ballet director John Cranko. The full-length ballet premiered in Hamburg, Germany, in 1975, and has since toured in more than 40 cities internationally, including Paris, Tel Aviv, Beijing, and New York City. The Third Symphony has been performed by some of the world’s most prestigious dance companies and is currently in the repertory of the Paris Opéra Ballet and the Royal Swedish Ballet. 

Performances are Wednesday, February 19, and Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 7:30PM.
Tickets are available at or by calling the Box Office at 312.334.7777. 
The acclaimed Hamburg Ballet in artistic director John Neumeier's epic Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler (photo by Holger Badekow ).

Neumeier and Hamburg Ballet to Return to Harris Theater in Mahler's Third Symphony