Mystery score

Mystery score

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Now We Know

Back in March, I speculated about the Boston Symphony Orchestra's programming and leadership options for 2011-12, given James Levine's resignation from the position of music director there. The press releases related to the season just landed in my in-box, and here's the story: it's a season of guest conductors.

They'll be led by (in order) Anne-Sophie Mutter, Sean Newhouse (BSO Assistant Conductor), Juanjo Mena, Kurt Masur, Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos (two weeks), Myung-Wun Chung, Ludovic Morlot (two weeks), Jiri Belohlavek, Andris Nelsons, David Zinman, Riccardo Chailly (two weeks), Charles Dutoit, Jaap van Zweden, Stephane Deneve, Kurt Masur (again), Christoph Eschenbach, Juraj Valcuha, Leonidis Kavakos (yes, he is playing and conducting), Christoph von Dohnanyi, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Bernard Haitink (3 weeks).

Whew!

That is quite a line-up, running the gamut from the up and coming (Newhouse, Morlot, Nelsons, van Zweden) to towering figures like Haitink, Chailly, and Dohnanyi. Plenty of tasty programming as well. I'm seriously curious whether the BSO had two schedules planned, one with and one without Levine, or if they had to scramble mightily to figure out who was available when and get them under contract.

Of local interest: Ludovic Morlot, the incoming music director of the Seattle Symphony, is taking the West Coast tour dates, which include two programs in S.F. He'll be leading the already-announced program - another big whew, because I really really want to hear the Carter Flute Concerto.

In any event, the season is a good one, and if I lived in Boston, I'd just get a ticket to everything. Well, almost everything, anyway.

Much of the press release is after the cut.




WEEK BY WEEK PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS OF THE BSO’S 2011-12 SEASON
ANNE-SOPHIE MUTTER JOINS BSO TO OPEN SEASON SEPTEMBER 30 AND OCTOBER 1 PERFORMING ALL FIVE MOZART CONCERTOS
The Boston Symphony Orchestra and Anne-Sophie Mutter welcome the beginning of the 2011-12 season September 30 and October 1 as the dazzling German violinist leads the orchestra as both soloist and conductor in Mozart’s complete violin concertos. Opening Night at Symphony on September 30 features Violin Concertos Nos. 3 and 5, and the cycle is completed October 1 with Concertos Nos. 1, 2, and 4. All composed between 1773 and 1775—when he was just 17 to 19 years old—Mozart’s five violin concertos are remarkable evidence of the composer’s early genius, humming with elegance and vitality.

DIVERSE PROGRAM OF BRITTEN, PROKOFIEV, AND SIBELIUS, LED BY SEAN NEWHOUSE,
OCT. 6-11

Sean Newhouse, one of the BSO’s young assistant conductors, takes the helm October 6-11 for a concert that explores diverse 20th-century repertoire from England, Russia, and Finland. The program opens with Benjamin Britten’s vivid and dramatic Four Sea Interludes, a series of orchestral entr’actes from the composer’s operatic masterpiece Peter Grimes. French pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet then joins the BSO for Prokofiev’s inventive Piano Concerto No. 3, a whirlwind for soloist and orchestra that is in turns lyrical and energetically dissonant. Closing the program is Sibelius’s Symphony No. 2—one of his most popular and immediately captivating works—which emerged at the turn of the century and spans the vast stylistic gulf between his Tchaikovskian First Symphony and the stark, decidedly modern-sounding Third and Fourth.

YO-YO MA JOINS CONDUCTOR JUANJO MENA AND BSO FOR DVOŘÁK, OCT.13-18 
Spanish conductor Juanjo Mena, who conducted the BSO at Tanglewood in 2010, makes his subscription series debut at Symphony Hall October 13-18. On the first half of the program, he is joined by the inimitable cellist Yo-Yo Ma for Dvořák’s Cello Concerto, one of the great concertos for the cello and the composer’s finest concerto for any instrument. The orchestra takes the spotlight for the second half of the program in Bartók’s ballet The Wooden Prince, which he described as “a symphonic poem to be danced to.” Infused with fairy-tale elements as well as Bartók’s intense love of nature, The Wooden Prince tells the fanciful story of a prince who attempts to woo a princess from a neighboring kingdom through the use of a magic puppet.

KURT MASUR LEADS BSO IN ALL-BRAHMS PROGRAM WITH YEFIM BRONFMAN AS SOLOIST, OCT. 20-22
October 20-22 marks the return of two familiar BSO guests as eminent German conductor Kurt Masurtakes the podium for the first all-Brahms program of the season. Opening the program is the Third Symphony—the most concise and classically reserved of the composer’s four—written in 1883 when Brahms was 50 years old and firmly established as a master. After the interval, always-impressive Russian pianist Yefim Bronfman joins Maestro Masur and the orchestra for the expansive and brilliant four-movement Piano Concerto No. 2.

GIDON KREMER MAKES HIGHLY-ANTICIPATED RETURN TO SYMPHONY HALL STAGE,
OCT. 27-NOV. 1

Beloved BSO guest conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos returns to Symphony Hall October 27-November 1 for two works emerging from the German tradition. Latvian violinist Gidon Kremer kicks off the program as soloist in Schumann’s Violin Concerto, written in 1853, just three years before the composer’s death. One of Schumann’s least well-known significant works, the concerto has a strange and complicated history and went unperformed until 1937. Concluding the program is Strauss’s captivating and episodic tone poem Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life), which provides the orchestra with a chance to fully flex its muscles.

JAMES MORRIS SINGS EXCERPTS FROM WAGNER’S DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NÜRNBERG,
NOV. 3-5

Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos returns for a second consecutive week November 3-5 to conduct a program of Haydn and Wagner. The prolific Classical master is featured on the first half of the program as Maestro Frühbeck de Burgos leads the BSO in the Symphony No. 1—which, composed in 1759, may or may not actually be the first symphony Haydn wrote—and the Symphony No. 100, one of the famous London symphonies written some 35 years later when Haydn was one of Europe’s most well-respected composers. After intermission, the Tanglewood Festival ChorusJohn Oliver, conductor, joins the orchestra for excerpts from Wagner’s majestic Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, composed (like Tristan und Isolde) during a hiatus in the midst of his thirty plus years toiling on Der Ring des Nibelungen.

GARRICK OHLSSON PERFORMS BARBER’S PIANO CONCERTO ON PROGRAM WITH TCHAIKOVSKY’S PATHÉTIQUE, UNDER THE DIRECTION OF MYUNG-WHUN CHUNG, NOV. 10-12
South Korean conductor Myung-Whun Chung returns to the BSO November 10-12 after an absence of 15 years, leading the orchestra in Carl Maria von Weber’s Overture to Der Freischütz, American composer Samuel Barber’s Piano Concerto with superlative American pianist Garrick Ohlsson as soloist, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, Pathétique. Barber’s Piano Concerto, for which the composer won his second Pulitzer Prize, was given its critically acclaimed world premiere by the BSO in New York City in 1962. Tchaikovsky’s cathartic, powerfully emotional Symphony No. 6—which received its world premiere under the composer’s baton just nine days before his death—concludes the program.

LUDOVIC MORLOT RETURNS TO BSO TO CONDUCT BERLIOZ, MOZART, CARTER, AND BARTÓK, NOV. 17-22
In a diverse program November 17-22, the BSO welcomes back to Symphony Hall rising French conductorLudovic Morlot as well as distinguished American pianist Richard Goode, who performs Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25 in C, K.503. Also featured on the program is the BSO’s own principal flutist Elizabeth Rowe, who steps in front of the orchestra as soloist in Elliott Carter’s Flute Concerto, a work that received its U.S. premiere with Ms. Rowe and the orchestra in February 2010. The program opens with Berlioz’sRoman Carnival Overture and concludes with Bartók’s Suite from The Miraculous Mandarin, which contains about two-thirds of the music from the composer’s original scandal-inducing ballet about three cash-strapped men who attempt to use the provocative dancing of their female companion to attract and steal money from passers-by.
MORLOT TO LEAD MUSIC FROM RAVEL’S DAPHNIS AND CHLOÉ AND MAHLER 1, NOV. 26-29 
In his second straight week on the podium, Ludovic Morlot continues to demonstrate his versatility. To open the program, Mr. Morlot leads the orchestra in the Symphony No. 4 of John Harbison, a work from 2003 by a composer whose music has been featured prominently by the BSO is recent seasons. The concert ends with Mahler’s at times brooding, at times vigorously energetic First Symphony. In between the two symphonies is Ravel’s Suite No. 2 from his masterful ballet Daphnis et Chloé, beginning with a scintillating depiction of the sunrise and gradually gaining momentum until finally expending its energy at the end of a frantic orgiastic dance.
JIŘÍ BĚLOHLÁVEK MAKES SUBSCRIPTION SERIES DEBUT DEC. 1-3 WITH SOLOISTS JONATHAN BISS, SASHA COOKE, AND GERALD FINLEY
Czech conductor Jiří Bělohlávek, making his subscription series debut, leads the BSO in three performances December 1-3 featuring works by Beethoven and Harbison. Beethoven’s Grosse Fuge, for strings will open the program, followed by acclaimed young pianist Jonathan Biss, who last performed with the orchestra in April 2011, appearing as soloist in Beethoven’s Piano concerto No. 4. Mezzo-sopranoSasha Cooke and baritone Gerald Finley then join the orchestra for Harbison’s Symphony No. 5, a BSO 125th Anniversary Commission, premiered by the orchestra in 2008.
ANDRIS NELSONS MAKES SUBSCRIPTION DEBUT JAN. 5-7 IN WORKS OF HAYDN, TURNAGE, AND STRAUSS
Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons, who stepped in on short notice to conduct the BSO in Mahler’s Ninth Symphony at Carnegie Hall in March 2011, makes his subscription series debut January 5-7 in a program of Haydn’s witty Symphony No. 90, Strauss’s tone poem Thus Spake Zarathustra (immortalized in Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey), and British composer Mark-Anthony Turnage’s 2004 From the Wreckage, for trumpet and orchestra. Trumpet player Håkan Hardenberger, who performed the world premiere of From the Wreckage in Helsinki, makes his BSO debut as soloist.
DAVID ZINMAN LEADS HARBISON PREMIERE AND LEIF OVE ANDSNES PLAYS BEETHOVEN,
JAN. 12-17

American conductor David Zinman, currently music director of the Tonhalle Orchester Zurich, leads the BSO in the world premiere of John Harbison’s Symphony No. 6, a BSO commission and the culmination of the orchestra’s two-season transversal of the Boston-based composer’s complete symphonies. Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes, currently one of the world’s most sought-after soloists, joins the orchestra as soloist in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Opening the program is Carl Maria von Weber’s Overture toEuryanthe, and closing it is another of Strauss’s kaleidoscopic tone poems, Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks.
RICCARDO CHAILLY MAKES BSO DEBUT LEADING THE RITE OF SPRING AND MUSIC OF PROKOFIEV AND DEBUSSY, JAN. 19-24
Renowned Italian conductor Riccardo Chailly makes his long-awaited BSO debut January 19-24 in an unconventional program of exclusively 20th-century opera and ballet music. Opening the program is Prokofiev’s Suite from The Love of Three Oranges, a satirical opera commissioned during the composer’s first visit to the United States in 1918, followed by Debussy’s Khamma, an exotic, rarely performed ballet set in ancient Egypt. Finally, Maestro Chailly conducts some of the most innovative, thrilling, and revolutionary music of all time in Stravinsky’s astonishing The Rite of Spring.
CHAILLY LEADS RARE BSO PERFORMANCES OF MENDELSSOHN’S LOBGESANG, JAN. 26-31
Mr. Chailly returns to the podium for his second week January 26-31 for four concerts devoted exclusively to Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang (Hymn of Praise). For this piece, which calls for orchestra, chorus, and soloists, Maestro Chailly is joined by the Tanglewood Festival Chorus as well as soprano Carolyn Sampson, soprano Camilla Tilling, and tenor Mark Padmore, all three of whom make their BSO debuts in these concerts. Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang, which sets German-language excerpts from Scripture, was composed in 1840 in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the invention of the printing press.
CHARLES DUTOIT JOINS BSO FEB. 2-4 FOR DEBUSSY’S LA MER AND MUSIC BY STRAUSS
AND DUTILLEUX

Eminent Swiss conductor Charles Dutoit, currently chief conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra and principal conductor of the Royal Philharmonic, leads the BSO February 2-4 in Strauss’s Suite from Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, Debussy’s La Mer, and Dutilleux’s Baudelaire-inspired Tout un monde lointain…(1970) with cellist Gautier Capuçon making his BSO debut as soloist. Strauss’s neoclassical nine-movement Suite from Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme demonstrates a composer at the height of his powers and in a playful mood, while Debussy’s beloved La Mer paints Symphony Hall with vivid watercolors.
EMANUEL AX PERFORMS BEETHOVEN’S PIANO CONCERTO NO. 2, FEB. 8-11
Longtime BSO collaborator Emanuel Ax joins the orchestra and Dutch conductor Jaap van Zweden, making his subscription series debut, for four performances February 8-11. On the first half of the program, the versatile American pianist performs the Piano Concerto No. 2 by Beethoven, the third of the composer’s piano concertos to be performed during the season. After the interval, Maestro van Zweden leads the orchestra in Rachmaninoff’s hyper-Romantic Symphony No. 2.
PIANIST PETER SERKIN JOINS STÉPHANE DENÈVE AND BSO FOR STRAVINSKY’S CONCERTO FOR PIANO AND WINDS ON PROGRAM WITH RAVEL AND SHOSTAKOVICH, Feb. 16-21
American pianist Peter Serkin joins conductor Stéphane Denève February 16-21 for Stravinsky’s Concerto for Piano and Winds. Also on the program are Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5.  BSO Assistant Conductor Marcelo Lehninger will conduct the February 21 performance.
KURT MASUR LEADS STAR-STUDDED GROUP OF SOLOISTS IN BEETHOVEN’S MISSA SOLEMNIS, FEB. 23-25
Maestro Masur makes his second appearance of the season February 23-25 in a program featuring a single monumental work. He is joined by the Tanglewood Festival ChorusJohn Oliver, conductor, sopranoChristine Brewer, mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung, tenor Simon O’Neill, and bass-baritone Eric Owens in Beethoven’s mighty Missa solemnis, one of the great masterpieces of the legendary composer’s career and a towering achievement of the form. Composed between 1819 and 1823, thework dates from the composer’s late period and displays the same contemplative mood and intricate fugal writing found in much of Beethoven’s music toward the end of his life.
CHRISTOPH ESCHENBACH CONDUCTS BERLIOZ’S SYMPHONIE FANTASTIQUE AND PIANIST CÉDRIC TIBERGHIEN MAKES BSO DEBUT PERFORMING RAVEL, MAR. 2-3
In two concerts March 2-3, French pianist Cédric Tiberghien performs with the BSO, conducted by current National Symphony Orchestra music director Christoph Eschenbach, in Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G, completed in 1931 and heavily influenced by jazz. To begin and end the program, Mr. Eschenbach will conduct the BSO in two works by Berlioz: the Overture to Benvenuto Cellini and the composer’s beloved symphonic touchstone, the dazzling Symphonie fantastique, a virtuosic orchestral narrative that boasts some of the most vibrant symphonic music ever written.
JURAJ VALČUHA MAKES BSO CONDUCTING DEBUT MAR. 22-24 WITH FRANK PETER ZIMMERMANN PERFORMING DVOŘÁK
Slovakian conductor Juraj Valčuha—who holds the post of Chief Conductor of the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, Torino—makes his BSO debut March 21-24 in a program that pairs two Slavic works with Mendelssohn’s vivacious and popular Symphony No. 3, Scottish. German violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann, who last appeared with the BSO in 2009, is featured as soloist in Dvořák’s 1879 Violin Concerto, and Mr. Valčuha opens the concerts with Zoltán Kodály’s Dances of Galanta, inspired by gypsy music the composer heard in the Hungarian town of Galanta, where he spent seven years of his childhood.
VIOLINIST KAVAKOS LEADS ALL-BEETHOVEN PROGRAM AS SOLOIST AND CONDUCTOR,
MAR. 27-31

Showing his versatility, Greek violinist-conductor Leonidas Kavakos leads the BSO with both instrument and baton in Bach’s Concerto in D minor for violin, strings, and continuo, March 27-31. Mr. Kavakos also leads the great Polish composer Witold Lutosławski’s Musique funèbre and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4, arguably the least-known and least-performed of the composer’s nine symphonies.
CHRISTOPH VON DOHNÁNYI CONDUCTS BRAHMS’S A GERMAN REQUIEM, APR. 5-7
In another BSO performance of a large-scale German choral work, following concerts featuring Beethoven’sMissa solemnis and Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang earlier in the season, revered conductor Christoph von Dohnányi leads the orchestra, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, soprano Anna Prohaska, and bass-baritone Hanno Müller-Brachmann in Brahms’s expansive A German Requiem. A non-liturgical setting of German-language text from Scripture, Brahms considered his Requiem—inspired at least in part by the death of his mother—a humanistic rather than dogmatic work, emphasizing the mourning process of those left behind by the dead.
ESA-PEKKA SALONEN MAKES WELCOME RETURN TO BSO PODIUM, APR. 12-14
Conductor-composer Esa-Pekka Salonen, who spent many years as Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, takes the podium April 12-14 to lead the BSO for the first time since 1988 in a program featuring his own Violin Concerto, with violinist Leila Josefowicz as soloist. The concerto received its world premiere in 2009 with the same soloist, and in fact Maestro Salonen describes the rich, visceral work as a musical portrait of Ms. Josefowicz. Also on the program are Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin, dedicated to friends the composer lost in World War I, and the complete score of from Stravinsky’s incendiary balletThe Firebird.
EMINENT CONDUCTOR BERNARD HAITINK JOINS BSO FOR BEETHOVEN AND MENDELSSOHN, APR. 19-24
In four performances April 19-24 that mark the first of three weeks with the orchestra, long-influential conductor Bernard Haitink returns to the BSO to conduct Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 and Mendelssohn’s incidental Music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, for which he and the orchestra will be joined by soprano Layla Claire, mezzo-soprano Kate Linsdey, narrator Claire Bloom, and women of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. Shakespeare was an influence and inspiration for Mendelssohn throughout the composer’s career, and he wrote his first music related to A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream—the astonishingly accomplished Overture—when he was just seventeen years old.
MAESTRO HAITINK LEADS BEETHOVEN’S SYMPHONY NO. 6 ON PROGRAM WITH PIANIST TILL FELLNER IN HIS BSO DEBUT, APR. 26-28
Fast-rising young Austrian pianist Till Fellner makes his BSO debut April 26-28 in performances of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 22 in E-flat, K.482, with Mr. Haitink again on the podium. Opening the program is Debussy’s epochal Prelude to “The Afternoon of a Faun,” which planted a seed from which much subsequent music grew. The evenings conclude with Beethoven’s evocative Symphony No. 6,Pastoral.
HAITINK, SOLOISTS, AND TANGLEWOOD FESTIVAL CHORUS BRING SEASON TO AN END WITH BEETHOVEN’S NINTH, MAY 3-5
Ending 2011-12 in triumphant fashion and taking a page from Tanglewood tradition, Maestro Haitink concludes the season and his three-week stay with the BSO in performances of Beethoven’s always-inspiring Symphony No. 9, with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, soprano Jessica Rivera, mezzo-sopranoMeredith Arwady, tenor Roberto Saccá, and bass Günther Groissböck. Also on the program is a work near and dear to the orchestra and significant in its history: Stravinsky’s movingly contemplativeSymphony of Psalms, commissioned by Serge Koussevitzky to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the BSO.
BSO ANNOUNCES PROGRAM CHANGES FOR DECEMBER 2011 WEST COAST TOUR AND MARCH 2012 CARNEGIE HALL PROGRAMS

Previously announced programs for the BSO’s four-city West Coast tour, December 6-10, and Carnegie Hall concert series, March 6, 7, and 9, have been updated since the March 2011 announcement that James Levine will be stepping down as Boston Symphony Music Director as of September 2011. 
French conductor Ludovic Morlot will lead the BSO in its West Coast tour with performances at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, December 6 and 7, Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara, December 8, McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, December 9, and Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, December 10.  Repertoire for the West Coast tour will include Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25 in C, K.503, withRichard Goode, Elliott Carter’s Flute Concerto No. 25 with BSO principal flutist Elizabeth Rowe, Ravel’s Suite No. 2 from Daphnes and Chloé, Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, and Brahms’s Violin Concerto with Gil Shaham. An assistant conductor of the BSO from 2004 to 2007, Maestro Morlot has since appeared with major orchestras on both sides of the Atlantic, including the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, and Royal Concertgebouw, and is now Music Director Designate of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.
The Carnegie Hall programs, March 6, 7, and 9, will feature Kurt Masur leading Beethoven’s Missa SolemnisChristoph Eschenbach leading Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique and Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G with Cédric Tiberghien, and Stéphane Denève leading Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5, Ravel’sMother Goose Suite, and Stravinsky’s Concerto for Piano and Winds with Peter Serkin.
For further details about the BSO’s West Coast tour in December 2011 and Carnegie Hall concert series in March 2012, visit www.bso.org/presskit

4 comments:

Henry Holland said...

Just went to the BSO site and not a peep about either the press release or the 2011/12 season. *sigh*

Nice season, lots of 20th century classics, but only a few modern works and (I think) only one premiere. All in all, it could have been a lot safer. Esa-Pekka Salonen's program is interesting, his violin concerto, Tombeau du Couperin and the complete Firebird.

Liked this typo though:

Elliott Carter’s Flute Concerto No. 25

I know Carter is prolific but he's no Vivaldi or Telemann in that regard. :-)

khushi said...

Intertesting read...quite an information

John Marcher said...

The soloists for the Missa Solemnis make me want to buy a ticket to Boston- what an incredible line-up!

While I typically dislike ther performer-conductor arrangement I think the Mutter concerts would also be interesting. Thankfully Salonen and Josefowicz will do the same in SF next season, but if you're in Boston, consider that not-to-missed.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Our upcoming Missa (next month) is no slouch! And, well, they have Masur. I know he is supposed to be great in that rep, but I did not love his Mendelssoh.