Monday, June 12, 2017

It's Possible to Overthink These Things.

Sometimes people go to concerts because they just want to hear the music, but if you're an executive with a major musical organization, especially the musical organization across the street from the current venue, then people who overthink things (that would be me) might wonder about spotting the SF Opera general director and director of communications & public affairs at Susanna Mälkki's bang-up Stravinsky and Beethoven program the other day. Even when she knows that the director of communications loves double reeds and there were lots of them on the program.

That was a long sentence! But the fact is that every US musical organization should have Mälkki on their list of "people we'd like to have as a guest conductor some day." She is terrific, with proven abilities in new music (she was MD of the mighty Ensemble Intercontemporain, for heaven's sake), the classics, and opera (it's not a secret that Matthew Shilvock was in the house last fall for Kaija Saariaho's L'Amour de Loin at the Met, conducted by Mälkki).


Civic Center said...

Just put up a post about The Rite of Spring she conducted on Sunday afternoon, which was one of the greatest performances of ANYTHING I have ever heard (and I'm old and have heard a lot). It made me proud of the orchestra, to tell you the truth, that they could turn in that kind of controlled yet slightly crazy performance.

Anonymous said...

From a press release from the LA Phil, dated April 6, 2016:

"The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association announced today the appointment of Susanna Mälkki as Principal Guest Conductor of the LA Phil. She assumes her new role in the 2017/18 season for a three-year term. This prestigious position has been held by only two previous conductors: Sir Simon Rattle (1981-1994) and Michael Tilson Thomas (1981-1985)... Mälkki will present three subscription weeks as part of the Walt Disney Concert Hall 2017/18 season, Green Umbrella dates as well as other projects with the orchestra to be announced."

Her programs for next season are:

Oct 27, 28, 29
Berlioz: “Queen Mab” Scherzo
Luca Francesconi: Duende – The Dark Notes (U.S. premiere)
Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique

Nov 2, 3, 4, 5
Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (with scenes from Shakespeare’s play)

Jan 19, 20, 21
Bach (arr. Webern): Ricercar
Zimmermann: Concerto for cello and orchestra (U.S. premiere)
Strauss: An Alpine Symphony

Jan 23 (Green Umbrella)
Francesca Verunelli: Unfolding
Marcos Balter: new work for ensemble (world premiere, LA Phil commission)
Francesco Filidei: Toccata
Helmut Lachenmann: Mouvement

Cool, right?

Lisa Hirsch said...

Cool,yes, except that I can't get to all of her LA programs!

CruzSF said...

It blows my mind that L.A. Phil has programs like the above and we get the same big symphonies from a small number of canon composers again and again.

Lisa Hirsch said...


Weirdly, I looked at the SFS season brochure this week and was shocked at how much I did want to see - the Ives programs and a bunch of others are good. In the context of "typical" program, the season doesn't look bad, but everybody looks bad next to LA.