Boston Symphony Orchestra announces mix of old and new for 2013-14 season

April 23, 2013 at 12:11 am

By David Wright

Christoph von Dohnanyi will open the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s 2013-14 season September 21 with an all-Brahms program.

The selection of a new music director for the Boston Symphony Orchestra is rumored to be near, but it will still be a while before the lucky lady or gentleman can fulfill other obligations and take the reins in Boston.

And so, the years-long festival of guest conductors will continue in 2013-14, beginning and ending with familiar podium figures: Christoph von Dohnányi leading an all-Brahms program September 21 to open the season, and Lorin Maazel wrapping it up on April 25 with works of Glinka, Rachmaninoff, and Berlioz.

Three large-scale dramatic works will be the tallest peaks in the range next season: Britten’s War Requiem, under the direction of Charles Dutoit, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth; Strauss’s Salome, with conductor Andris Nelsons, celebrating the composer’s sesquicentennial; and Golijov’s St. Mark Passion, led by Robert Spano.

Another ambitious project will be a complete cycle of the five Beethoven piano concertos with pianist Yefim Bronfman and conductor Christoph von Dohnányi.

The film West Side Story will be screened with live accompaniment by the BSO, performing Leonard Bernstein’s famous score under the direction of David Newman, making his BSO subscription series debut.

The season will also feature world or American premieres of commissioned works by Marc Neikrug (Bassoon Concerto), Justin Dello Joio (Piano Concerto), Bernard Rands (Piano Concerto), and Mark Anthony Turnage (Speranza).

If you loved the 2013 triple-threat appearances of British composer-conductor-pianist Thomas Adès on the BSO podium and with the BSO Chamber Players, he will repeat the feat this October, conducting his own Polaris and other works.

Other guest conductors will include Andrew Davis, Stéphane Denève, Christoph Eschenbach (in the dual role of pianist and conductor), Leonidas Kavakos (as both violinist and conductor), Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Manfred Honeck, and Daniel Harding (in his BSO conducting debut). BSO Assistant Conductor Andris Poga will make his subscription season debut.

BSO Conductor Emeritus Bernard Haitink will lead the BSO in two programs: an all-Ravel bill featuring mezzo-soprano Susan Graham in Shéhérazade, and a program of Stucky (Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary, after Purcell), Brahms, and the Schumann Piano Concerto with soloist Murray Perahia.

Other piano soloists will include Jonathan Biss (in the world premiere of Bernard Rands’ Piano Concerto), Garrick Ohlsson (performing the world premiere of Justin Dello Joio’s Piano Concerto), Paul Lewis (in his BSO subscription season debut, Mozart No. 25), Peter Serkin (Brahms No. 2), Yuja Wang (Prokofiev No. 2), and Behzod Abduraimov (making his BSO debut, Rachmaninoff’s Paganini Rhapsody).

BSO principal bassoonist Richard Svoboda will perform the world premiere of Marc Neikrug’s Bassoon Concerto. In a bumper year for cellists, Yo-Yo Ma will appear in Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1 (10/3-8), and cellists Gautier Capuçon, Daniel Müller-Schott (subscription season debut), and Arto Noras (BSO debut) will perform Penderecki’s Concerto Grosso No. 1 for three cellos and orchestra, in celebration of the composer’s 80th birthday year.

Anne-Sophie Mutter will appear in Dvořák’s Violin Concerto and Romance for violin and orchestra. Violinist Guy Braunstein, in his BSO debut, will join cellist Alisa Weilerstein and Yefim Bronfman for Beethoven’s Triple Concerto.

Singers will be everywhere: Tatiana Pavlovskaya (BSO debut), John Mark Ainsley, and Matthias Goerne (subscription season debut) in the War Requiem; Gun-Brit Barkmin in the title role of Salome, with Jane Henschel (Herodias), Gerhard Siegel (Herod), and Evgeny Nikitin (Jochanaan); Camilla Tilling and Sarah Connolly in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, Resurrection; Christianne Stotijn and Michael Schade in Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde .

Osvaldo Golijov’s La Pasión Según San Marcos, which was given its United States premiere by the BSO in 2001, returns to Symphony Hall Jan. 9-11 under conductor Robert Spano (who also led the U.S. premiere) with the Orquesta La Pasíon, soprano Jessica Rivera, alto Biella da Costa, Afro-Cuban singer and dancer Reynaldo Gonzalez-Fernandez, and Deraldo Ferreira, Capoeira dancer and berimbau, and members of the Schola Cantorum de Venezuela.

Subscriptions for the BSO’s 2013-2014 season are available at bso.org or by calling 888-266-7575. Single tickets go on sale Monday, August 5, at 10 a.m.

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