Trifonov, Dudamel and LA Phil on tap for Celebrity Series’ 2017-18 season

April 19, 2017 at 12:01 am

By Aaron Keebaugh

Daniil Trifonov will perform a duo-piano recital with Sergei Babayan in the Celeb

Daniil Trifonov will perform a duo-piano recital with Sergei Babayan March 3, 2018 for the Celebrity Series.

New seasons bring new faces, and the 2017-2018 Celebrity Series season will present the Boston premieres of five singers and instrumentalists, most of whom are in the early stages of major international careers. New music will play a larger role next season as well, including the Boston premieres of works by Esa-Pekka Salonen and Aaron Jay Kernis. Beloved works by established masters, though, will remain the focus of the many concerts and recitals.

Headlining the season’s offerings will be the return of the Los Angeles Philharmonic to Symphony Hall on April 28, 2018. Gustavo Dudamel will lead Varèse’s Ameriques, Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5, and the Boston premiere of a new work by the orchestra’s former conductor, Esa-Pekka Salonen.

The other guest orchestra to appear will be the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. Conductor Antonio Pappano will lead a program of Verdi and Respighi as well as Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3, featuring pianist Martha Argerich (October 22 at Symphony Hall).

The phenomenal Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov will join his teacher Sergei Babayan in a rare two-piano performance March 3 at Jordan Hall. Works to be performed will include Schumann’s Andante and Variations in B-flat major, Op. 46, a new work for two pianos by Mauro Lanza, Schubert’s Fantasie in F minor, D. 940, and Rachmaninoff’s Suites Nos. 1 and 2 for two pianos.

Other pianists to appear will include Maurizio Pollini, who will return to the Celebrity Series for a recital April 8 at Symphony Hall. The program will be announced at a later date. Rafał Blechacz will make his Celebrity Series debut April 11 at Pickman Hall with music by Beethoven, Schumann, and Chopin, and the blazing Yuja Wang will perform in recital May 11 at Jordan Hall. Her program, too, will be announced at a later date.

The Celebrity Series will also continue its tradition of hosting singers of an international caliber. Tenor Lawrence Brownlee and bass-baritone Eric Owens will make their Celebrity Series debuts in a duo performance April 7 at Jordan Hall. Mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton will also make her Celebrity Series debut December 13 at Pickman Hall, and soprano Julia Bullock will mark her Boston recital debut May 2 at the same location

The St. Thomas Boys Choir will celebrate 500 years of the Protestant Reformation in a performance of works by Schütz, Schein, Bach, and Mendelssohn November 12 at Jordan Hall.

The season’s chamber music offerings will spotlight pianist Evgeny Kissin and the Emerson String Quartet in a performance April 22. Violinists Itzhak Perlman and Pinchas Zukerman will join pianist Rohan De Silva for music of Bach, Mozart, and Bartók November 19, and pianist Emanuel Ax, violinist Leonidas Kavakos, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma will team up for the piano trios of Brahms, February 21. All three programs will be performed at Symphony Hall.

Pianist Jeremy Denk will join violinist Stefan Jackiw in the complete Ives violin sonatas January 26 at Jordan Hall. The a cappella group Hudson Shad will perform the songs that Ives quotes in those works.

The prominent period-instrument ensemble Quatuor Mosaïques will make its Boston debut October 14 at Jordan Hall with music by Mozart and Haydn, and the ever-popular Canadian Brass will perform their arrangements of new and recent works in a Jordan Hall performance November 18.

Violinist Benjamin Beilman and pianist Orion Weiss will perform music of Beethoven, Bartók, and a new work by Frederic Rzewski March 7 at Pickman Hall, and mandolinist Chris Thile will present An Evening with Chris Thile November 21 at Sanders Theatre. Brazilian guitarists Sérgio and Odair Assad will join mandolinist Avi Avital in a program that will explore music from both the classical and choros traditions February 10 at Jordan Hall.

The Celebrity Series will host two string quartets next season. The Doric String Quartet will perform music by Britten and Mendelssohn February 15 at Pickman Hall, and the Takács Quartet will make its return to Boston with quartets by Mozart, Beethoven, and Shostakovich March 23 at Jordan Hall.

The Celebrity Series Stave Sessions, a signature series of contemporary music concerts, will also be back next season. Performers, dates, and locations are still being confirmed.

The Celebrity Series will host a special event of the New England Conservatory Philharmonia. Led by conductor Hugh Wolf, the orchestra will celebrate the conservatory’s 150th anniversary in a special Symphony Hall performance April 18, 2018 with music by Debussy, Bernstein, and a new work by Aaron Jay Kernis.

Rob Kapilow will present What Makes it Great? in two events. The first will delve into Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G minor (December 3 at Jordan Hall). The second will focus on the songs of Leonard Bernstein in celebration of the composer’s centennial (March 9 at Sanders Theatre).

Highlights of the many jazz offerings include Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra June 10, 2018 at Symphony Hall, and two of the world’s most highly acclaimed banjo players, Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn, will perform November 16 at Sanders Theatre. 

The Alvin Ailey American Theater will celebrate 50 years since its first performance with the Celebrity Series in performances March 22-25, 2018 at the Boch Center Wang Theatre.

Subscriptions for the 2017-2018 Celebrity Series season go on sale Wednesday April 19. celebrityseries.org; 617-482-6661.

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