Critic’s Choice

February 12, 2015 at 5:13 pm

By Aaron Keebaugh

Pierre-Laurent Aimard. Photo: Rob Brimson

Vladimir Jurowski has bowed out of his return to Symphony Hall this week for undisclosed reasons. He will be replaced by assistant conductor Ken-David Masur and Stefan Asbury who will lead the Boston Symphony Orchestra in a program of French and Russian favorites along with a new work by Harrison Birtwistle.

The British composer’s Responses: Of sweet disorder and the carefully careless, a piano concerto written for French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, received its world premiere with the Bavarian Radio Orchestra in Munich this past October under Asbury’s direction. The two will now reunite this week to bring Responses to Boston audiences in its American premiere.

The rest of the program, to be led by Masur, features the full expressive powers and colors of the BSO: Liadov’s From the Apocalypse, Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, and Stravinsky’s complete ballet music to The Firebird.

The Boston Symphony Orchestra will perform at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at Symphony Hall. bso.org; 617-266-1492

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