Thomas Adès to join BSO as artistic partner in 2016-17 season

March 10, 2016 at 12:00 pm

By Aaron Keebaugh

Composer-conductor Thomas Adès will join the Boston Symphony Orchestra as Artistic Partner in the 2016-17 season. Photo: Mausiko Tsusuki

Composer-conductor Thomas Adès will join the Boston Symphony Orchestra as Artistic Partner in the 2016-17 season. Photo: Mausiko Tsusuki

The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s 2016-2017 season will bring performances of beloved music, several premieres as well as add some new artistic leadership.

The biggest news to mark the new season is the appointment of British composer Thomas Adès to the post of Artistic Partner with the BSO, a three-year position that will begin this fall. As part of his duties, Adès will conduct and perform with the orchestra and Boston Symphony Chamber Players, teach fellows of the Tanglewood Music Center beginning summer 2017, and direct the Festival of Contemporary Music during the 2018 and 2019 Tanglewood seasons.

Adès will take to the Symphony Hall podium this November when he leads the BSO in Britten’s Sinfonia da Requiem, Sibelius’ Tapiola, and his own celebrated Totentanz, which will feature vocalists Christianne Stotijn and Mark Stone. Adès will appear as pianist in two events. In the first, he will accompany tenor Ian Bostridge in Schubert’s Winterreise in an event co-sponsored by the BSO and the Celebrity Series (October 28). And he will join the Boston Symphony Chamber Players in music by Britten, Schubert, and himself (October 30).

Andris Nelsons will lead fourteen weeks of concerts next season. His appearances include a concert performance of Richard Strauss’s opera, Der Rosenkavalier, (September 29 and October 1) with Renée Fleming as the Marschallin and Susan Graham as Octavian. Nelsons will also lead performances of choral repertoire, including Bach’s Mass in B minor, which will include soprano Malin Christensson, mezzo-soprano Christine Rice, tenor Benjamin Bruns, and bass-baritone Hanno Müller-Brachmann as soloists; Brahms’ A German Requiem, featuring soprano Camilla Tilling and baritone Thomas Hampson; and Mozart’s Requiem, with soprano Lucy Crowe, mezzo-soprano Tamara Mumford, tenor Ben Johnson, and bass Morris Robinson. Each of these choral masterpieces will also spotlight the Tanglewood Festival Chorus.

As for new music, Nelsons will conduct the premieres of works by Eric Nathan (November 8, 10-12) and Timo Andres (November 15, 17-19). Benjamin’s Dream of the Song, a BSO co-commission, will be the highlight of concerts February 9-11. Nelsons will also lead the American premiere of Sofia Gubaidulina’s Triple Concerto February 23-25, featuring violinist Baiba Skride, cellist Harriet Krijgh, and bayanist Elsbeth Moser. Nelsons and the BSO will pay homage to the late Gunther Schuller in concerts February 16-18 and the 21st with the composer’s Seven Studies on Themes of Paul Klee.

The music of Shostakovich, the focus of the BSO’s ongoing recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon, will be the highlight of Nelsons-led concerts in February, April, and May 2017 with performances of the composer’s Sixth and Seventh Symphonies and Suite from King Lear. Nelsons will open the BSO season September 24 with Shostakovich’s Festive Overture.

Nelsons will also conduct the complete symphonies of Brahms (November 8, 10-12 and 15, 17-19), Beethoven’s Eroica (February 16-18, 21), Bruckner’s Sixth Symphony (April 13-15), and Mahler’s Fourth Symphony (May 4-6), featuring his wife Kristine Opolais as soprano soloist.

Next season will show the return of several beloved guest conductors to Symphony Hall. Charles Dutoit will lead two weeks of concerts in October. The first will be an all-British program, including Walton’s Portsmouth Point Overture and Holst’s The Planets, with Elgar’s Cello Concerto, with  Yo-Yo Ma occupying the solo spotlight. The second will see Dutoit leading a concert performance of Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle, featuring Ildikó Komlósi as Judith and Matthias Goerne as Bluebeard.

Bernard Haitink will return in March to lead a program of Haydn, Beethoven, and Debussy, and Sakari Oramo will conduct Sibelius’ Third Symphony during the same month.

New music will be the focus of a few guest-conductor programs. Christoph von Dohnányi will lead the American premiere of a new work by Julian Anderson as part of concerts featuring music of Schumann and Schubert (January 26-28). François-Xavier Roth will offer the world premiere of Matthias Pintscher’s Cello Concerto, with Alisa Weilerstein as soloist (March 23-25).

Other guests include Juanjo Mena, who will lead performances of Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony, Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony, and Weinberg’s Violin Concerto, featuring Gidon Kremer as soloist (January 19-21, 24).

Bramwell Tovey will lead the BSO in Terry Riley’s At the Royal Majestic (January 12-14), which will feature organist Cameron Carpenter in his subscription debut. Moritz Gnann, also in his subscription debut, will lead music by Mendelssohn, Mozart, and Dvorák (November 22, 25-26).

Two conductors will make their BSO debuts. Jakub Hrůša, will lead music by Smetana, Mussorgsky, and Janácek along with Bartók’s Second Violin Concerto, which will feature Frank Peter Zimmermann as soloist (October 13-15). And Alain Altinoglu will conduct performances of Dutilleux’s Second Symphony, the Second Suite from Roussel’s Bacchus et Ariane, and Lalo’s popular Symphonie espagnole, with violinist Renaud Capuçon (March 30-April 1 2017).

BSO Assistant conductor Ken-David Masur will lead a program of concerti by Vivaldi, Krommer, Jolivet, Rota, and Schumann, which will feature BSO wind musicians (January 5-7).

The 2016-2017 season will showcase some of the most prominent pianists in the music scene, including Emanuel Ax in concertos by Beethoven and Mozart; Yefim Bronfman in Widmann’s Trauermarsch; Leif Ove Andsnes in Rachmaninoff’s Fourth Piano Concerto; Kirill Gerstein in Busoni’s Piano Concerto; Lang Lang in Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto; Jean-Frédéric Neuburger in Schumann’s concerto; Menahem Pressler, Mitsuko Uchida, and Radu Lupu playing Mozart; and Hélène Grimaud playing both Brahms concertos as part of Nelsons’ all-Brahms concerts.

Other solo highlights include Anne-Sophie Mutter in Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto and Takemitsu’s Nostalghia. And Boston’s own Lorelei Ensemble, under direction of Beth Willer, will be featured in George Benjamin’s Dream of a Song (February 9-11).

Subscriptions for the 2016-2017 season are now available. Single tickets go on sale August 1. bso.org; 617-266-1200.

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