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Nelsons takes the reins at BSO, Handel and Haydn’s 200th anniversary spotlighted in a busy Boston season
The upcoming Boston season brings another year of high expectations.
The most anticipated events of 2014-2015 are Andris Nelsons’ concerts in his first full season as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Sharing the spotlight are the Handel and Haydn Society and the Boston Early Music Festival, which both celebrate milestone anniversaries this season. As for the city’s younger organizations, Odyssey Opera, Boston’s newest opera company, will present a little-heard work in September.
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Andris Nelsons will conduct ten weeks of concerts in his first season with the BSO (bso.org). The Latvian-born conductor will lead music of Beethoven, Haydn, and Mozart, as well as symphonies by Tchaikovsky (October 1-3), Sibelius (November 6-8 and 11), and Shostakovich (April 2-4). Nelsons will also conduct performances of Bartók’s Miraculous Mandarin (October 1-3), Rachmaninoff’s The Bells (November 20-22), and Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring (November 13-15 and 18).
Nelsons’ first appearance of the season will take place September 27 with a program of operatic favorites. Soprano Kristine Opolais and tenor Jonas Kaufmann will perform selections from Lohengrin, Manon Lescaut, and Cavalleria rusticana.
Nelsons will also lead performances of Mahler’s Sixth Symphony (March 26-28 and 31), Bruckner’s Seventh (January 15-17), Prokofiev’s Symphony-Concerto, with Yo-Yo Ma as soloist (November 20-21), and Strauss’s Don Quixote, which will feature cellist Gautier Capuçon and the BSO’s principal viola Steven Ansell (January 8-10).
In addition, Nelsons will conduct a host of new works, including a BSO commission by Latvian Composer Ēriks Ešenvalds (November 20-22), a new work for organ and orchestra by Michael Gandolfi (March 26-28 and 31), and the American premiere of Brett Dean’s trumpet concerto, Dramatis personae, featuring Håkan Hardenberger as soloist (November 13-15 and 18). Nelsons will also lead performances of Sofia Gubaidulina’s Offertorium, featuring violinist Baiba Skride (November 6-8 and 11) and John Harbison’s Koussevitzky said (November 20-22).
The season opens with Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante, Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas brasileiras No. 5, and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, with Marcelo Lehninger at the podium (September 18-20).
Concerts the weekends of October 16th and 23rd will feature Carl Nielsen’s Symphony No. 4 The Inextinguishable, Brahms First Piano Concerto, with Rudolf Buchbinder as soloist, and a program of sacred music, comprising Bach’s Cantata No. 82 Ich habe genug and Brahms’ A German Requiem, with soprano Rosemary Joshua and bass-baritone Bryn Terfel. The conductor who will fill in for Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, who died this past June, has yet to be announced.
Pianist Christian Zacharias (October 9-11) and violinist Leonidas Kavakos (November 25-29) will return to Symphony Hall in dual roles as conductors and soloists. Russian conductor Tugan Sokhiev will make his BSO debut with music by Berlioz, Saint-Saëns, and Rimsky-Korsakov (January 22-24). Asher Fisch will lead the BSO in a program of Schumann, Prokofiev, and Israeli composer Abner Dorman (January 29-31).
Charles Dutoit will return to conduct the BSO in Debussy’s Images, Brahms’s Violin Concerto, with violinist Julia Fischer, and Stravinsky’s Dumbarton Oaks (February 26-28 and March 3). The Swiss-born conductor leads a concert version of Szymanowski’s King Roger (March 5 and 7).
Vladimir Jurowski will also return to conduct the American premiere of Harrison Birtwistle’s Responses: Of sweet disorder and the carefully careless, Stravinsky’s complete Firebird, and works by Anatol Liadov (February 12-14). Stéphane Denève will lead the BSO in music by Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Milhaud, and Poulenc (February 19-21).
In programs beginning March 19, Christoph von Dohnányi will conduct Mozart’s 39th, 40th, and 41st symphonies. Pianist Emanuel Ax will also join Dohnányi and the BSO for Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 14 and Strauss’s Burleske for piano and orchestra (March 12-14 and 17).
Bernard Haitink returns to Symphony Hall in late April to conduct Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G, featuring Jean-Yves Thibaudet as soloist, the composer’s complete Mother Goose Suite, Mozart’s Linz Symphony, and Adès’ Three Studies from Couperin (April 23-25 and 28). Haitink concludes the season with Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23, featuring Maria João Pires as soloist, Schumann’s Manfred overture, and Brahms First Symphony (April 30-May 2).
The Boston Symphony Chamber Players will give four concerts at Jordan Hall this season, covering music by Bach, Nielsen, and Brahms (October 19); and Mysliveček, Foote, Dvořák, and a new work by Eric Nathan (January 11). The chamber players will team up with Emanuel Ax for works by Schumann (March 15), and Jean Yves-Thibaudet for Poulenc’s Sextet for piano and winds and Fauré’s Piano Quartet No. 1 (April 26).
The big draw for the Celebrity Series (celebrityseries.org) this fall will be Michael Tilson Thomas conducting the San Francisco Symphony in Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz No.1, Ravel’s second Daphnis and Chloe suite, Samuel Carl Adams’ Drift and Providence, and Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto, which will feature Gil Shaham as soloist (November 16, Symphony Hall). The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra comes to Symphony Hall with conductor Riccardo Chailly leading works by Mendelssohn along with Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, featuring Nikolaj Znaider (November 7). Among other orchestras and ensembles this season, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra makes its Boston debut with a concert billed as “The Beethoven Journey,” which will spotlight conductor and pianist Leif Ove Andsnes in Beethoven’s Second, Third, and Fourth Piano Concertos (February 22, Jordan Hall). Cellist Yo-Yo Ma and his Silk Road Ensemble will celebrate the group’s fifteenth anniversary with a concert on March 4.
As for the 76th season’s starry lineup of soloists, violinist Itzhak Perlman will appear in solo recital (November 23, Symphony Hall), and Renée Fleming makes her return to Boston with a solo recital (February 8, Symphony Hall). Other singers this season will include mezzo-soprano Anne Sophie von Otter in German and French art song (January 23), and tenor Joseph Calleja will appear in solo recital on April 17.
Italian pianist Maurizio Pollini opens the Celebrity Series season with music by Schumann and Chopin (October 5, Symphony Hall). Vadym Kholodenko, the 2013 Van Cliburn Gold Medalist, makes his Boston debut (October 29, Pickman Hall) as does Inon Barnatan (December 10, Pickman Hall). Other pianists this season will include Richard Goode, in an all-Beethoven program (November 1), Daniil Trifonov (March 13), and Stephen Hough (May 8).
Chris Thile (mandolin) and Edgar Meyer (double bass) team up for a program of original music (October 12, Sanders Theatre). Look to the winter and spring for an additional lineup of fine duos. Violist Janine Jansen and pianist Itamar Golan will perform works by Beethoven, Ravel, and Prokofiev (February 6). Violinist Lisa Batiashvili and pianist Paul Lewis perform Bach, Beethoven, and Schubert (March 29.) Inon Barnatan returns with cellist Alisa Weilerstein for music of Bach, Schubert, Prokofiev, and a new work by Joseph Hallman (May 1).
The Simón Bolívar String Quartet will make its Boston debut with music by Mendelssohn, Brahms, and Ginastera (November 18 -19, Pickman Hall). Other groups include the Juilliard Quartet in performances of works by Berg, Webern, and Schubert (October 18, Jordan Hall). The Emerson Quartet will give the Boston premiere of Lowell Lieberman’s String Quartet, co-commissioned by the Celebrity Series, as part of a program featuring music by Purcell and Beethoven (January 22, Jordan Hall). The Calder Quartet will perform the Boston premiere of Andrew Norman’s Sabina along with music by Beethoven, Ravel, and Adès (February 20, Jordan Hall).
The Dublin Guitar Quartet makes its Boston debut with a program of Tavener, Brouwer, Ligeti, and Pärt (April 8, Pickman Hall), as does the Trio Jean Paul, in music by Beethoven, Dvořák, and Rihm (April 22, Pickman Hall).
Odyssey Opera (odysseyopera.org) began its season this summer with successful performances of Verdi’s Un giorno di regno and a double bill of Mascagni’s Zanetto and Wolf-Ferrari’s Il segretto di Susanna. Gil Rose and company return on September 13 with the Boston premiere of Eric Wolfgang Korngold’s Die tote Stadt in a concert version, featuring Jay Hunter Morris and Meagan Miller.
Guerilla Opera (guerillaopera.com) will kick off its eighth season at Boston Conservatory’s Zack Box Theatre on September 25 with Let’s Make a Sandwich, a chamber opera by Rudolf Rojahn and Curtis K. Hughes, under direction of Copeland Woodruff and Giselle Ty. The company will premiere composer Per Bloland’s and librettist Paul Schick’s Oslo Kenning in May 2015. Both performances will be broadcast free of charge on Livestream.
After a successful staging of Britten’s Rape of Lucretia in its inaugural year, Opera Brittenica (operabrittenica.com) returns with the composer’s dark and brooding The Turn of the Screw in late October. The young company will also delve into Britten’s chamber and orchestral music in two additional concerts this season. Specific details for those events are still coming together.
For more standard repertoire, the Boston Lyric Opera (blo.org) will feature of season full of leading ladies, with Anya Matanovic as Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata (October 10-19), Chelsea Basler as Isolt in Frank Martin’s The Love Potion (November 19-23), Elaine Alvarez as Kátya in Janáček’s Kátya Kabanová (March 13-22, 2015), and Jennifer Johnson Cano as Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni (May 1-10, 2015).
The Handel and Haydn Society (handelandhaydn.org) will celebrate 200 years in grand fashion on October 10 and 12 with Harry Christophers leading performances of Handel’s anthems Zadok the Priest and The King shall rejoice along with Music from the Royal Fireworks. Peppering the program will be two Vivaldi concerti and Bach’s Singet dem Herrn. Concertmaster Aisslinn Nosky will lead the H&H period instrument orchestra in instrumental music by Vivaldi, Corelli, and Tartini in concerts October 31 and November 1. H&H’s annual performance of Handel’s Messiah (November 28-30) will feature soprano Joélle Harvey, countertenor Tim Mead, tenor Allan Clayton, and bass Brinkley Sherratt as soloists. Scott Allen Jarrett leads H&H in this year’s Christmas program (December 18 and 21), featuring the music of J. S. Bach and beyond. Aisslinn Nosky will appear as soloist in Haydn’s Violin Concerto in C major as part of an all-Haydn program, which will also include the composer’s Le Midi and La Poule symphonies (January 23 and 25). Richard Egarr returns to conduct the H&H in Mozart’s Waisenhaus Mass and Beethoven’s First Symphony (February 13-15).
The season will also showcase H&H in repertoire that has made the society a household name in oratorio performance. Christopher Hogwood returns to the H&H March 6 and 8 to lead the chorus and period instrument orchestra in Mendelssohn’s Elijah, with bass-baritone Andrew Foster-Williams in the title role. On March 27 and 29, Harry Christophers leads H&H in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, featuring tenor Joshua Ellicott as the Evangelist and baritone Roderick Williams as Jesus. H&H bicentennial concludes with Haydn’s The Creation (May 1 and 3).
To open their 25th anniversary season, the Boston Early Music Festival (bemf.org) will offer a survey of Monteverdi’s madrigals, featuring the BEMF vocal and chamber ensembles on October 11 at Jordan Hall. Harpsichordist Kenneth Weiss performs transcriptions from Rameau’s Dardanus, Castor et Pollux, Pygmalion, and Les Indes galantes on November 1. The BEMF opera will perform a double bill of Neapolitan comic operas, Pergolesi’s La serva padrona and Livietta e Tracollo, featuring sopranos Amanda Forsythe and Erica Schuller and bass-baritones Douglas Williams and Jesse Blumberg on November 29 and 30 at Jordan Hall. In the choral music offerings, the Tallis Scholars return to First Church in Cambridge December 12 with a program of Byrd, Josquin, and Turges.
And Stile Antico will perform music from the Habsburg Imperial Court on March 1 at St. Paul’s Church in Cambridge. In February 6 at First Church, Cambridge, the Newberry Consort offers a multimedia performance of selections from the Cantigas de Santa Maria. Also at First Church, the Venice Baroque Orchestra, with mandolinist Avi Avital, will perform works by Vivaldi, Galuppi, Locatelli, and Paisello on March 13. The BEMF will conclude its silver anniversary with a concert of operatic highlights by Handel, Steffani, and Monteverdi, featuring soprano Amanda Forsythe and countertenor David Hansen along with Paul O’Dette (theorbo) and Stephen Stubbs (lute and Baroque Guitar).
Boston Baroque (bostonbaroque.org) will kick off its season November 14 at Jordan Hall with Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610. Martin Pearlman will lead the BB chorus and period instrument orchestra in their annual performance of Handel’s Messiah December 12 and 13 at Jordan Hall. This season’s soloists will include soprano Sherezade Panthaki, mezzo-soprano Ann McMahon Quintero, tenor William Burden, and bass-baritone Dashon Burton. Baritone Andrew Garland and Sara Heaton will join Boston Baroque to ring in the New Year with performances of Cimarosa’s Il maestro di cappella and selected arias and duets by Mozart (December 31 and January 1, Sanders Theatre). On February 27 and 28, Pearlman conducts Bach’s St. John Passion, featuring tenor John Mark Ainsley as the Evangelist and Andrew Garland as Jesus. Boston Baroque’s production of Handel’s opera Agrippina (April 24 and 25) will feature Metropolitan Opera soprano Susanna Phillips in the title role, Amanda Forsythe as Poppea, and Countertenor David Hansen as Nerone.
The Boston Camerata (bostoncamerata.com) will present their take on The Play of Daniel (November 21 and 23, Trinity Church, Boston). Their Christmas program will feature American carols, New England anthems, and Southern folk hymns (December 18-20). Boston Camerata, joined by Sharq Arabic Music Ensemble in an interfaith collaboration, performs music from Jewish liturgy, Sephardic folksong, and Gregorian and Koranic chant March 29 at Pickman Hall.
For their performances at Jordan Hall this season, A Far Cry (afarcry.org) presents Shostakovich’s Violin Sonata, with guest violinist Augustin Hadelich (September 12); a string orchestra arrangement of the composer’s Quartet No. 10, Weinberg’s Seventh Symphony, and Riley’s In C, featuring Urbanity Dance (November 21); Rzewski’s Les Moutons de Panurge, the premiere of the new work by Ljova, and Mozart Piano Concerto, featuring Robert Levin as soloist (January 9); and Tippett’s Fantasia Concertante on a theme by Corelli, Golijov’s Three Songs, with soprano Margot Rood, and Mozart’s Symphony No. 29 (March 6).
The conductor-less string orchestra will also give four concerts at St. John’s Church in Jamaica Plain this season. The first (September 6) pairs Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings with Stravinsky’s Concerto in D. Works by Mozart and Biber will fill out the program. For the second, the musicians join soprano Amanda Forsythe for a concert of music by Johann Meder, Vivaldi, and Handel (November 15). In February, the ensemble performs the duet from Steve Reich’s Triple Quartet along with Britten’s Prelude and Fugue for 18 Strings, a collection of Swedish fiddle tunes, arranged by A Far Cry, and music by Grieg and Ingvar Lidholm (February 21). Works by Hindemith, Carlo Farina, and Elkies stand alongside pieces by Mozart and Boccherini in the April 18 concert at St. John’s.
A Far Cry will continue to give concerts at Calderwood Hall in their role as the Gardner Museum’s resident chamber orchestra. The musicians will perform the Stravinsky-Tchaikovsky program at the Gardner Museum (gardnermuseum.org) on September 7 and their Meder-Vivaldi-Handel program there on November 16. On October 2, as part of Gardner’s Thursday night Stir offerings, A Far Cry teams up with saxophonist Harry Allen for Eddie Sauter’s Focus.
The Stir program, the Gardner Museum’s experimental art and music series, will also bring the Callithumpian Consort in music by Zorn, Stockhausen, Donatoni, and Ianni (September 11). This year, the museum’s Sunday concert series features a new collaboration between the Gardner and the Handel and Haydn Society. H&H concertmaster Aisslinn Nosky and members of the period instrument orchestra will perform Bach’s six Brandenburg Concertos in a series of concerts beginning December 7 at Calderwood Hall. Other highlights from the fall lineup include the Borromeo Quartet (September 21), the Eroica Trio (September 14); two all-Brahms programs, featuring cellist Wendy Warner and pianist Irina Nuzova (September 28) and violinist Stefan Jackiw and pianist Anna Polonsky (October 5); tenor Mark Padmore and pianist Jonathan Biss in songs by Schumann, Tippett, and Fauré (October 12); pianist Paavali Jumppanen in a recital of music by Stockhausen and Schumann (November 30); the Musicians from Marlboro (October 19); the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (November 23); and the New York Festival of Song in works by Wolf, Mahler, Schoenberg, Strauss, and others (November 9). The Gardner Museum’s In-and-Out concerts invites guests to leisurely come and go during performances of rarely-performed pieces. This fall, the Gardner celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of Terry Riley’s In C in four Monday afternoon performances (November 3, 10, 17, and 24).
The Chameleon Arts Ensemble (chameleonarts.org) opens its season with works by Vaughan Williams, Karen Tanaka, Schubert, and John Luther Adams September 27 and 28 at First Church in Boston. On November 8 and 9, the ensemble will perform Clara Schumann’s Three Romances for violin and piano, Op. 22 and Robert Schumann’s Piano Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 47. John Woolrich’s A Cabinet of Curiosities will stand alongside Schubert’s String Trio in B-flat Major, D. 581 and Dan Welcher’s Florestan’s Falcon at the same event. Lutosławski’s Dance Preludes will be heard with Joseph Phibbs’ Flex, Andrea Clearfield’s Neruda Songs, Prokofiev’s Quintet in G minor Op. 39, and Dvořák’s Second Piano Quartet in concerts January 31 and February 1. On March 28 and 29, the Chameleons will perform George Crumb’s Apparition and Schubert’s Auf dem Strom, featuring soprano Mary Mackenzie, in addition to George Rochberg’s Contra Mortem et Tempus, Louis Vierne’s Piano Quintet in C Minor, and Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin for wind quintet. Stravinsky’s Suite from Histoire du Soldat will be heard along with works by Bernard Rands, Clint Needham, Janáček, and Brahms on May 16 and 17.
The Rockport chamber music series (rockportmusic.org) will feature the St. Lawrence String Quartet in works by Haydn, Dvořák, and Korngold (October 25); the Bretano Quartet in music by Charpentier, Brahms, and Debussy (February 28); the American Brass Quintet in music from the Elizabeth era (March 22); and performances by guitarist Sharon Isbin (September 6), pianist Sergey Schepkin (November 16), and the Handel and Haydn Society’s cellist Guy Fishman and fortepianist Ian Watson (January 11).
The Boston Chamber Music Society (bostonchambermusic.org) will return to Sanders Theatre September 28 with a piano and string trio version of Bach’s Goldberg Variations and Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio in D minor, Op. 49. Tchaikovsky’s Piano Trio in A minor will be the focus of a concert October 26. The BCMS will perform an all-Brahms program on November 23. March 29 will feature Golijov’s Dream and Prayers of Isaac the Blind alongside Mozart’s Kegelstatt Trio and Strauss’ Violin Sonata. On April 19, soprano Lisa Saffer joins the ensemble for Schubert’s Der Hirt auf dem Falsen along with the performance of a BCMS commission, Jalbert’s Quartet for Clarinet, Violin, Cello, and Piano. May 17 will bring together Shostakovich’s Viola Sonata, Brahms Piano Quintet in F minor, and Schubert’s Quartettsatz in C minor. The BCMS will also give two concerts at the Fitzgerald Theatre this season. The first will feature four-hand piano arrangements of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Debussy’s Prelude á l’après-midi d’un faune along with piano trios by Fauré and Ravel (January 25). The second will pair works by Mozart and Schnittke (February 22).
Schubert’s sparkling double cello quartet will be heard alongside Saariaho’s Vent Nocturne, Barber’s Summer Music, and Randall Woolf’s nobody move in the opening concert of the Radius Ensemble (radiusensemble.org) October 11. The group’s November 22 concert will combine works by Beethoven, Debussy, Jean Francaix, and Boston’s Keeril Makan. On March 7, the Radius Ensemble will perform Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57, Elena Ruehr’s Jane Wang considers the dragonfly, and the premiere of a work by the Fourth Annual Pappalardo Composition Competition winner (to be determined). The ensemble will perform works by Schumann, Gubaidulina, Pärt, and Gabriella Lena Frank on May 2.
In the Conservatories
New England Conservatory (necmusic.edu) will offer a memorial concert of the works of Lee Hyla, who died earlier this year (September 25). Hugh Wolff leads the NEC Philharmonia in Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony as well as works by Berlioz and Salonen (October 1). David Loebel conducts the NEC Phil in music by Bizet, Mozart, and Stravinsky (October 8). Flutist Paula Robinson joins the orchestra for Leon Kirchner’s Flute Concerto as part of concert that includes Schubert’s Ninth Symphony (November 5). The NEC Concert Choir and Philharmonia present Brahms’ Requiem, with Loebel conducting (December 2). With the NEC Phil, Wolf conducts a program and Strauss, Ravel and Prokofiev (February 11), Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony (April 8) and Mahler’s Ninth (April 29). The Yale Schola Cantorum visits Jordan Hall (October 17), and pianist Russell Sherman performs Beethoven sonatas and “Eroica” Variations (March 25).
Boston Conservatory’s (bostonconservatory.edu) String Masters concert series begins with a recital by violist Roberto Diaz and pianist Max Levinson (October 19). The Piano Masters series opens with Awadagin Pratt (September 30) and continues this fall with recitals by Michael Lewin (November 4) and David Korevaar (December 2). Cellist Andrew Mark and pianist Max Levinson perform John Harbison’s Suite for Solo Cello along with music by Martinů, Strauss, and Beethoven (November 16). Boston Conservatory’s new Music Festival showcases students and faculty in music by Varèse, Lara, Du Yun, Zwilich, Caroline Shaw, John Luther Adams, and others (November 19-22).
Longy Conservatory (longy.edu) will put on a full-staged opera in Pickman Hall (April 17). Details and repertoire will be posted at a later date.
Boston Musica Viva’s (bmv.org) season will included premieres of new works by Eitan Steinberg (September 27), Richard and Deborah Cornell (November 22), Charles Zoll (February 8), and Shirish Korde (April 11). These new works will also be paired with Copland’s Vitebsk Trio (September 27), Berio’s Folk Songs, featuring mezzo-soprano Krista River (November 22), Poulenc’s Babar the Elephant (February 8), and Currier’s Whispers, along with works by Wen-chung and Donatoni (April 11).
Collage New Music (collagenewmusic.org) opens its 44th season with Joan Tower’s Noon Dance, Jonathan Harvey’s Song Offerings, John Harbison’s Samuel Chapter, and Andrew Imbrie’s Spring Fever (October 5, Pickman Hall). Details for the remainder of the season are still coming together.
The Boston Philharmonic (bostonphil.org) will open its season October 23 at Sander Theatre with Mozart ‘s Sinfonia Concertante and Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2. Concerts in November will feature pianist HaeSun Paik in Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2 and English hornist Peggy Pearson in Sibelius’ Swan of Tuolena. Rounding out the program will be Sibelius’ Finlandia and Symphony No. 7. Soprano Aga Mikolaj will join the BPO in Strauss’ Four Last Songs and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 in February. The April concerts will pair Saint-Saëns’ Cello Concerto No. 1, featuring cellist Jonas Ellsworth, with Berlioz’s Symphonie fantasique.
The Boston Classical Orchestra (bostonclassicalorchestra.org) will offer an additional performance of Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante (featuring the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s violinist Lucia Lin and violist Cathy Basrak) along with Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 and Beethoven’s First Symphony.
The Boston Symphony’s acclaimed flutist Elizabeth Rowe and oboist John Ferrillo will join the BCO in Haydn’s Double Concerto for Flute and Oboe and List’s Duet-concertino for Flute and Oboe on November 9th. The December 14th concert will bring more Haydn, featuring cellist Hyunah Park in the composer’s Cello Concerto in D alongside the Symphony No. 45, Farewell. On March 8, violinist Irina Muresanu plays a double dose of Bach with the Violin Concertos in A minor and E major. And pianist Michael Lewin will appear as soloist in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2 as part of an all-Beethoven program on April 25. All concerts will take place in Faneuil Hall.
The New England Philharmonic (nephilharmonic.org) will offer the premieres of David Rakowski’s Dance Episodes: Symphony No. 5 and Bernard Hoffer’s Ligeti Split on October 25. The December 14 concert will feature the Boston premiere of Michael Gandolfi’s Night Train to Perugia and Chris van Allsburg’s Polar Express, with baritone David Kravitz, along with Honegger’s Pacific 231 and selections from Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas brasileiras No. 2. The NEP will also give the Boston premiere of John Harbison’s Darkbloom (March 1) in a concert featuring Copland’s Appalachian Spring and Britten’s Spring Symphony, with soprano Sarah Pelletier, mezzo-soprano Krista River, tenor Ray Bauwens, Chorus Pro Musica, and the Boston Children’s Chorus. The orchestra will perform the Boston premiere of Matthew Browne’s How the Solar System Was Won (2014 Call-for-scores winner) and the world premiere oF Andy Vores’ Violin Concerto No. 2, with NEP concertmaster Danielle Maddon as soloist on May 2. Gunther Schuller’s Meditation and Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances round out the program.
American music will highlight this season’s Longwood Symphony (longwoodsymphony.org) concerts, with Irving Fine’s Diversions for Orchestra (September 28), Howard Hanson’s Symphony No. 2 (December 6), John Corigliano’s Gazebo Dances (March 14), and Copland’s Music for Movies (May 9). Vassily Primakov performs Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 (September 28), and Adrian Daurov appears as soloist in D’Albert’s Cello Concerto (March 14). Paula Robison and Jessica Zhou will perform Mozart’s Concerto for Flute and Harp in C Major with the orchestra (December 6).
Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra (proarte.org) will open the season October 11 with the first suite from Respighi’s Ancient Airs and Dances, Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto (with soloist Ian Greitzer), and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8. The orchestra takes on Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2, featuring Yevgeny Kutik, and Symphony No. 1 along with Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings on January 10 at the First Baptist Church in Newton. Cellist Sergey Antonov will perform Saint-Saëns’ Cello Concerto No.1 on February 28 as part of a program of French music that will feature Mozart’s “Paris” Symphony, Fauré’s Pavane, and Ravel’s Pavane for a Dead Princess and Mother Goose Suite. On May 17 Gisèle Ben-Dor will lead Pro Arte in Ginastera’s Variaciones Concertantes and Piazzolla’s The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires.
Boston audiences will get a double dose of Mozart’s Great Mass in C minor this season. The Back Bay Chorale (bbcboston.org) will present the work alongside Haydn’s Te Deum and Schoenberg’s Friede auf Erden (October 18, Sanders Theatre). The BBC will perform Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis on March 21. And Duruflé’s alluring Requiem will be the focus of their concert May 9 at Saint Paul’s Church in Cambridge.
The Cantata Singers (cantatasingers.org) will premiere Elena Ruehr’s Eve, a Cantata Singers commission, on November 8 at Jordan Hall as part of a program that features two Bach cantatas. On January 31 at Wellesley College’s Houghton Chapel, conductor David Hoose will lead the ensemble in Rachmaninoff’s Vespers. Mozart’s Great Mass in C minor, in its second hearing of the season, will be the focus of a Beethoven-Haydn-Mozart concert March 20 at Jordan Hall. And the May 10th concert at Jordan Hall will feature the Cantata Singers in the first Boston performance of Zelenka’s Te Deum in D, to be heard alongside Bach’s Magnificat in D.
The Emmanuel Music series (emmanuelmusic.org) will begin its season on October 17 with the East Coast premiere of the chamber orchestration of John Harbison’s Crossroads, a work based upon Louise Glück’s poetry, Wolf’s Italian Serenade and Mörike-lieder (with soprano Krista Rivers), Stravinsky’s Concerto in D for strings, and Mendelssohn’s Sinfonia No. 2 in D major. The group performs Bach’s St. John Passion on March 21, with tenor Matthew Anderson as the Evangelist and baritone Dana Whiteside as Jesus. Mozart’s colorful opera The Abduction from the Seraglio will be performed May 9, starring Charles Blandy, Barbara Kilduff, Teresa Wakim, Jason McStoots, and Donald Wilkinson. Emmanuel’s Chamber Music series will focus on works by Mendelssohn and Wolf, featuring the former’s Piano Quartet No. 1 (November 2) and Octet for Strings (April 12), and the latter’s Mörike-lieder (November 2, November 16, and April 12). The Emmanuel choir will also continue its tradition of performing Bach’s cantatas and other sacred works as part of their church services, beginning September 22 with Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis and Gabrieli’s In ecclesiis.
Chorus Pro Musica (choruspromusica.org) will perform Carol Barnett’s Bluegrass Mass along with the premiere of a new work by Stephen Feigenbaum November 2 at Boston’s Old South Church. Next spring, the ensemble will perform Stravinsky’s Les Noces in collaboration with the BoSoma dance company (May 30 at Jordan Hall). Chorus Pro Musica will also perform their annual holiday concert, this year with the Boston City Singers, December 14 at Old South Church. On December 19 the chorus will present their annual candlelight procession in a concert featuring the premiere of a new work by James Kallembach, Director of Choral Activities at the University of Chicago.