From Shakespeare to Shostakovich, a packed season of music is on tap in Boston

September 8, 2015 at 3:41 pm

By Aaron Keebaugh

Bernard Haitink will mark 45 years of conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the 2015-16 season.

Bernard Haitink will mark 45 years of conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the 2015-16 season.

Boston’s 2015-2016 music season promises to enlighten listeners with a variety of old gems from the classical music repertoire as well as introduce new and little-performed music.

Highlighting the season will be Andris Nelsons, who will mark his second season as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra with thirteen weeks of concerts.

Central to his appearances will be the symphonies of Shostakovich, part of a multi-year live recording project with Deutsche Grammophon. Nelsons will conduct the composer’s Ninth Symphony alongside Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances and Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, with Evgeny Kissin as soloist, October 1-3. Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 will be the centerpiece of Nelsons-led concerts November 19-21. The composer’s suite from Hamlet will be heard along with Prokofiev’s Suite from Romeo and Juliet in concerts February 4-6, and Shostakovich’s massive Symphony No. 8 will be the spotlight of concerts March 24-29.

Nelsons will also continue the tradition of concert opera in Symphony Hall this season by leading the BSO, Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and a starry lineup of soloists in Strauss’s Elektra October 15-17. Soloists include soprano Christine Goerke in the title role, soprano Gun-Brit Barkmin as Chrysotheme, mezzo-soprano Jane Henschel as Klytämnestra, tenor Gerhard Siegel as Aegisth, and baritone James Rutherford as Orest.

In the spring, Nelsons will lead Bruckner’s Symphony No. 3 (April 7-12) and Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 (April 14-19).

Guest soloists and ensembles collaborating with Nelsons and the BSO this coming season will include pianists Yefim Bronfman in Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 2 (November 24-28), Paul Lewis in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 (October 8-10), and Nikolai Lugansky in Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (March 24-29). Soprano Kristine Opolais will join Nelsons and the BSO for works by Tchaikovsky (April 21-23). BSO concertmaster Malcolm Lowe and principal violist Steven Ansell will perform as soloists in Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante (April 7-12), and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus will appear in Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky (October 6 and 16), in choral works by Bach (November 19-21), and others.

The Boston Symphony Orchestra will also perform music drawing from and inspired by the works of William Shakespeare in honor of 400 years of the Bard’s death. The initiative will include the premiere of a new works by Hans Abrahamsen, based on texts from Hamlet (February 4-6), and George Tsontakis will be heard with a piece based on Shakespeare’s Sonnets for BSO English hornist Robert Sheena (February 11-13). Other works to be heard will include Hans Werner Henze’s Symphony No. 8, a piece inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream (January 28-February 2), and popular Shakespeare-inspired works by Mendelssohn, Weber, Tchaikovsky, and Prokofiev. The BSO will also perform Strauss’s Macbeth for the first time since 1911.

The 100th anniversary of the birth of Henri Dutilleux will include performances of the composer’s Les Temps L’Horloge, to be sung by Renée Fleming and conducted by François-Xavier Roth (January 14 and 16); Timbres, Espace, Mouvement, led by Charles Dutoit (February 25-27); and M Étaboles, to be conducted by Nelsons (April 21-23).

The BSO will premiere several new works this season, including Sebastian Currier’s Divisions, a BSO co-commission with the Seattle Symphony (October 8-10), and the first American performance of Giya Kancheli’s Dixi for chorus and orchestra (March 24-29).

BSO conductor emeritus Bernard Haitink will celebrate 45 years with the orchestra this season. In concerts running from March 31 through April 5, Haitink will lead the BSO in performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, featuring Murray Perahia as soloist.

Other guest conductors to appear include Christoph von Dohnányi, leading the premiere of Jean-Frederic Neuburger’s Aube (November 12-14); BSO assistant conductor Ken-David Masur, leading the American premiere of Unsuk Chin’s Mannequin (November 5-10); Pinchas Zukerman will appear as soloist and conductor in music by Tchaikovsky, Elgar, and Schubert (October 29-31); Herbert Blomstedt will team up with pianist Garrick Ohlsson for an all-Beethoven program (March 10-15); Vladimir Jurowski returns to Symphony Hall for a program of Haydn, Beethoven, and Hartmann (February 18-20); and Stéphane Denève will lead works by Saint-Saëns, Higdon, and John Williams’ Violin Concerto featuring soloist Gil Shaham (March 17-19).

The BSO will perform an all-Dvorák program without a conductor (October 24).

The Boston Symphony Chamber Players will perform four concerts this season. The first will feature Jeremy Flower’s Shamu and Clinical for horn, piano, and electronics and music by J. C. Bach, Walter Piston, Paul Hindemith, and Beethoven (November 15). The second concert will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Henri Dutilleux’s birth with performances of four of the composer’s works, including the Sonatine for flute and piano, Sarabande et cortège for bassoon and piano, Choral, cadence et fugato for trombone and piano, and Les Citations for oboe, harpsichord, double bass, and percussion (January 10). Pianist Garrick Ohlsson will join the Chamber Players for an all-Beethoven program (March 13), and the ensemble will close the season with music by Françaix, Beethoven, Spohr, and Hannah Lash (April 24).

The Celebrity Series will once again feature a starry lineup of soloists, duets, and ensembles in the 2015-2016 season.

Spotlighting the fall concert offerings will be piano superstar Lang Lang, who will perform a recital of Bach, Tchaikovsky, and Chopin October 25 at Symphony Hall. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma and his longtime accompanist Kathryn Stott will return for a recital November 17. Gil Shaham will perform Bach’s Six Solos for violin as accompaniment to original films by David Michalek on November 1 at Sanders Theatre.

As for vocalists, Dawn Upshaw will appear in recital with folk songs as well as works by Schubert, Messiaen, Bartók, Kodály, Ives, and Bolcom on October 17. Irish mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught will appear in her Celebrity Series debut December 2 at Pickman Hall. Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham performs vocal works by Fauré, Mahler, Ravel, Poulenc, and Granados in solo recital April 29 at Jordan Hall, and tenor Paul Appleby, a regular artist at the Metropolitan Opera, will be heard in his Celebrity Series debut March 9 at Pickman Hall.

In the spring, violinist Itzhak Perlman will celebrate the twentieth anniversary of In the Fiddler’s House in a performance that will bring to the stage special guests such as Hankus Netsky, clarinetist Andy Statman, and the Klezmer Conservatory Band on March 6. The New Year will also feature appearances by Emanuel Ax, who will perform keyboard works by Beethoven, Dussek, and C. P. E. Bach (May 1), and András Schiff, who will explore the final piano sonatas of Haydn, Beethoven, Mozart, and Schubert (February 26).

Other pianists to appear will include Denis Kozhukhin, who will make his Celebrity Series debut with music by Haydn, Brahms, Rachmaninoff, Franck, and Prokofiev (January 20), and Jeremy Denk, who returns to the Celebrity Series for a solo recital (April 2 at Jordan Hall).

For chamber music, the 2015-2016 season will feature the Pavel Haas Quartet in a Celebrity Series debut with music by Martinů, Dvořák, and Beethoven (October 22); the Takács Quartet in music by Haydn, Dvořák, and the Boston premiere of a new work by Timo Andres (December 4); the Brooklyn Rider Quartet and Gabriel Kahane in music for strings and voice (February 5); and the Jerusalem String Quartet, with pianist Inon Barnatan, in music by Beethoven, Bartók, and Brahms (April 17).

Other instrumentalists will include violinist Christian Tetzlaff, cellist Tanja Tetzlaff, and pianist Lars Vogt in a recital exploring piano trios by Schumann and Brahms along with Dvořák’s “Dumky” trio (February 27). Cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han will team up with clarinetist David Shifrin in music by Beethoven, Bruch, and Brahms (January 15). Violinist Jennifer Koh and pianist Shai Wosner  will make their Celebrity Series debuts with a new piece by Vijay Iyer and sonatas by Beethoven, including the Kreutzer (November 18).

Guitarist Miloš Karadaglič returns to the Celebrity Series with a recital February 21 at Jordan Hall, and mandolinist Avi Avital, along with accordionist Ksenija Sidorova and percussionist Itamar Doari, will explore the boundaries between folk and classical music through the works of Kreisler, Bach, Villa-Lobos, Bartók, and traditional Turkish and Israeli music (March 11).

Orchestras slotted to appear this season will include the Bach Collegium Japan, led by Masaaki Suzuki, in works by Vivaldi, Handel, and Bach, featuring soprano Joanne Lunn on November 8. Conductor Daniele Gatti will lead the Orchestre National de France in works by Debussy, Tchaikovsky, and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23, featuring pianist Alexandre Tharaud on January 24. Violinist Joshua Bell will appear in dual roles of conductor and soloist in music by Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, and Ligeti in a concert March 20.

As in previous seasons, performance venues will be split between Symphony Hall, Jordan Hall, and Pickman Hall.

Other Orchestras

The Boston Philharmonic, led by Benjamin Zander, will pair Richard Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra with Holst’s The Planets in their season opener on October 22. In their November concerts, the orchestra will offer an all-Wagner program, featuring excerpts from the composer’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Tristan und Isolde, and Die Götterdämmerung, with soprano Alwyn Mellor as soloist. Elgar’s Symphony No. 1 will be the focus of the orchestra’s February concerts, which will also feature Schumann’s Manfred Overture and Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, with Jennifer Frautschi as soloist. Zander and the Boston Philharmonic will team up with soprano Angela Meade, mezzo-soprano Violeta Urmana, tenor Stephen Costello, bass Daniel Borowski, and Chorus Pro Musica for a single performance of Verdi’s Requiem on April 24.

Zander will also lead the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra in three concerts this season. Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5, Debussy’s La Mer, and Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto, featuring violinist Ayano Ninomiya, will be the focus of the November 2 concert at Symphony Hall. In February the orchestra will pair Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony with Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. And in a concert May 8 at Sanders Theatre the BPYO will premiere Michael Gandolfi’s Doubles along with Brahms’ Double Concerto, featuring violinist Hikaru Yonezaki and cellist Leland Ko, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 1.

A Far Cry, the conductor-less string orchestra, will offer four concerts at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall. Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht and Françaix’s Les Inestimables Chroniques du Bon Géant Gargantua will be the focus of the first (October 16); the ensemble will pair a premiere of a new work by Gabriel Kahane with Schubert’s Quartet in G major, D. 887 along with transcriptions of songs by both composers (December 18); Prokofiev’s Visions Fugitives, Radiohead’s Paranoid Android, Gershwin’s “Embraceable You”, Appalachian fiddle tunes, and works by Mozart and Bartók will make for a genre-blending program (March 18, 2016); and Bernstein’s Serenade after Plato’s “Symposium” will be heard along with Glass’ Company, Mark O’Connor’s Elevations, and Derek Bermel’s Murmurations (May 20, 2016).

Concerts at St. John’s Church will feature Glass’ Symphony No. 3, Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras No. 9, Frank’s Leyendas, and Ginastera’s Concerto per Corde (September 26); Concerto Grossi by Handel and Corelli (December 5); Penderecki’s Sinfonietta for Strings, Pärt’s Trisagion, and Sibelius’ String Quartet No. 2 (February 6); and an reimagining of Bach’s Goldberg Variations (April 30, 2016).

A Far Cry will team up with the choral ensemble Blue Heron for a concert January 29 at Old South Church that will feature selected motets by Gombert along with Françaix’s Symphonie d’archets, Daniel-Lesur’s Cantique des cantiques, and Fauré’s Requiem. 

The New England Philharmonic, led by Richard Pittman, will spotlight the music of Gunther Schuller and Irving Fine in their opening concert October 25 as well as works by Webern, Ravel, and Shostakovich. On December 13, the orchestra will perform an all-American program that will feature George Antheil’s Tom Sawyer Overture, John Harbison’s Remembering Gatsby, and Rob Kapilow’s Elijah’s Angel, with the Boston City Singers and baritones David Kravitz and Dana Whiteside as soloists. The focus on American music continues on February 27 with performances of Roy Harris’s Symphony No. 3 and the Boston premiere of Bernard Hoffer’s MacNeil Lehrer Variations on a program that features Brian Robison’s In Search of the Miraculous and Rachmaninoff’s Variations on a Theme of Paganini, with pianist Randall Hodgkinson as soloist. Pittman and the orchestra will offer the premiere of David Rakowski’s Symphony No. 6 along with the Boston premiere of David Hertzberg’s Spectre of Spheres. Berg’s Violin Concerto, featuring Danielle Maddon as soloist, and Sibelius’ The Oceanides will round out the program. All concerts will take place at the Tsai Performance Center.

Irish mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught will make her Boston debut in a recital for the Celebrity Series December 2 at Pickman Hall. Photo: Christian Kaufmann

Irish mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught will make her Boston debut in a recital for the Celebrity Series December 2 at Pickman Hall. Photo: Christian Kaufmann


The Boston Lyric Opera will stage Philip Glass’s In the Penal Colony as part of their Opera Annex program in performances running from November 11-15. Neal Ferreira will sing the role of the Visitor and David McFerrin will appear as the Officer. Ryan Turner conducts. The Lyric Opera will open the season with a new production of Puccini’s beloved La Bohème, starring Kelly Kaduce as Mimì, Jesus Garcia as Rodolfo, Jonathan Beyer as Marcello, and Emily Birsan as Musetta. Performances run from October 2-11 at Shubert Theatre. Crystal Manich will direct a new production of Massenet’s Werther in performances running from March 11-20. Joseph Kaiser will star as Werther, Sandra Piques Eddy will perform the role of Charlotte, Rachele Gilmore will sing the role of Sophie, and John Hancock will appear as Albert. In May, the Lyric Opera will stage Franz Lehár’s classic operetta The Merry Widow, featuring Susanna Phillips as Hannah Glawari, Roger Honeywell as Count Danilo, John Tessier as Camille de Rosillon, Andrew Wilkowske as baron Zeta, Chelsea Basler as Valencienne, and Jesse Blumberg as Njegus. Performances will run from April 29 through May 8 at the Schubert Theatre.

Guerilla Opera remains Boston’s most experimental opera company, and this season it will offer two new works: Mischa Salkind-Pearl’s Troubled Water and Hannah Lash’s Beowulf. The first, which will run from September 18-25 at the Zack Box Theater, follows the brief life and career of Japanese writer Natsuko Higuchi, with scenes and characters of the opera drawn from the author’s stories. Allegra Libonati will direct and the opera will star mezzo-soprano Sophie Michaux as Higuchi, and soprano Aliana de la Guardia and baritone Brian Church in multiple roles. The instrumental ensemble will include Amy Advocat (clarinet), Kent O’Doherty (saxophone), and Mike Williams (percussion).

Lash’s Beowulf, which runs from May 20-28 at the Zack Box, offers a modern twist on the epic poem, where Beowulf is a doctor suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome who is caring for his elderly mother. Stage direction is by Andrew Eggert.

Odyssey Opera, led by Gil Rose, will offer the belated Boston premiere of Massenet’s Le Cid in a single performance September 18 at Jordan Hall. The concert performance features a star-studded cast, including Paul Groves as Rodrigue, Tamara Mancini as Chimène, Oren Gradus as Don Diègue, Michael Chioldi as Le Roi, and Elena Calenos as L’Infante.

Opera Brittenica will stage Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors in December. Britten’s music will be the focus of two concerts in the New Year, with the composer’s harp music the feature of an event in February and his Serenade and les Illuminations to be heard in April.

Early Music

The 200th anniversary celebrations of the Handel and Haydn Society continues this season as Harry Christophers leads the period instrument orchestra and chorus in performances of Mozart’s Requiem October 2 and 4 at Symphony Hall. Soloists include soprano Lauren Snouffer, mezzo-soprano Hannah Pedley, tenor Robert Murray, and bass-baritone Dashon Burton. Christophers and H&H will offer their annual performance of Handel’s Messiah in performances running from November 27-29 at Symphony Hall, featuring soprano Sophie Bevan, contralto Emily Marvosh, tenor James Gilchrist, and baritone Christopher Purves as soloists.

H&H’s annual Christmas concert will feature music of Bach (December 17 and 20 at Jordan Hall). Laurence Cummings conducts.

In spring of 2016,Christophers and company will perform Bach’s St. John Passion, with tenor Nicholas Mulroy as the Evangelist and bass-baritone Matthew Brook as Jesus (March 11 and 13 at Symphony Hall).

H&H’s all-Haydn project continues January 29 and 31, 2016 at Symphony Hall with performances of the composer’s Symphonies Nos. 8 and 84 along with the Violin Concerto in A major, featuring concertmaster Aisslinn Nosky as soloist.

Nosky will serve as soloist and leader for concerts dedicated to chamber music by Mozart and Beethoven in the spring. Clarinetist Eric Hoeprich will appear as soloist in a clarinet and string-trio arrangement of Mozart’s Violin Sonata in B-flat Major, K. 378 (April 8 at Jordan Hall and April 10 at Sanders Theatre).

Richard Egarr will return to conduct two events. The first will focus upon the music of Gabrieli, Castello, and Marini (October 30 and November 1 at Jordan Hall). The second will pair Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 with the composer’s Fourth Piano Concerto, featuring Robert Levin as soloist (February 26 and 28, 2016 at Symphony Hall).

Martin Pearlman and Boston Baroque will open the season with a one-night performance of Vivaldi’s Juditha Triumphans, featuring mezzo-soprano Daniela Mack and Boston Baroque favorites Amanda Forsythe (soprano) and Leah Wool (mezzo-soprano) (October 23 at Jordan Hall).

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Corelli’s Concerto Grosso in F will be the focus of Boston Baroque’s New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day concerts.

Boston Baroque’s annual performances of Handel’s Messiah will feature the debut of Trinidadian soprano Jeanine De Bique along with well-known soloists, including countertenor Christopher Lowrey, tenor Thomas Cooley, and bass-baritone Dashon Burton (December 11 and 12 and Jordan Hall).

Boston Baroque will turn its attention to the music of Beethoven, featuring the composer’s Fifth Symphony and Second Piano Concerto (March 4 and 5 at Jordan Hall). Fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenhout performs as soloist.

Acclaimed tenor Nicholas Phan and soprano Leah Partridge will return to Boston Baroque as Tamino and Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (April 15 and 16 at Jordan Hall).

The Boston Early Music Festival will host some of the brightest stars in opera and early music this coming season. Mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter will perform music by Dowland, Purcell, Monteverdi, and selections from Airs de cour in a concert at Harvard University’s Paine Hall November 9. Viola da gambist Jordi Savall will return to the Festival March 5, 2016 at St. Paul’s Church in Cambridge with a program dedicated to viol music from English and Celtic worlds. On April 24 at Sanders Theatre, Les Arts Flourisants will perform their popular program of serious airs and drinking songs. And the Tallis Scholars will return to St. Paul’s Church in Cambridge December 12 with a program consisting of works by Sheppard, Tallis, and Pärt.

Other musicians to appear at First Church in Cambridge as part of the Festival will include the Orlando Consort, in music by Guillaume de Machaut (February 12); Solamente Naturali will perform 17th and 18th-century folk and dance music from Central Europe (October 16); soprano Emma Kirby and lutenist Jakob Lindberg will team up for music by Dowland, Purcell, Lawes, Blow, Humfry, and Eccles (October 2); Lute music will ring in the new year as Paul O’Dette and Ronn McFarland offer virtuoso lute duets from England and Italy (January 16); and harpsichordists Ton Koopman and Tini Mathot will perform music by Bach, Soler, and Mozart (March 11).

The Early Music Festival will revive their 2009 production of Handel’s Acis and Galatea in two performances November 28 and 29 at Jordan Hall.

Boston Camerata, led by Anne Azéma, will perform a characteristically diverse program ranging from music of the Baroque and beyond in four events this season.

The first will focus upon Baroque music from Latin America (October 3 at All Saints’ Church in Ashmont and October 4 at Trinity Church, Boston); their annual Christmas Program will feature music from all around the Mediterranean world (December 18 at Hancock United Church of Christ in Lexington, December 19 at First Parish Church in Newberry, and December 21 at the First Church in Cambridge); in April, the Boston Camerata will perform a musical-theatrical production by Azéma that tells of courtly culture from medieval France (April 16-17 and Pickman Hall); The Camerata will offer its program of American folk hymnody in a single concert on May 22 at Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Boston.

Works by and inspired by Johann Sebastian Bach will be the focus of Emmanuel Music this season.

Conductor Ryan Turner will lead performances of Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 2 and Concerto for Three Violins. In addition, Emmanuel Music will offer Swingle’s arrangements of Bach’s vocal music and Stravinsky’s Four Preludes and Fugues from Das Wohlternperierte Klavier (October 3 at Pickman Hall).

Emmanuel Music will offer a reconstructed version of Bach’s St. Mark Passion March 19, 2016 at Emmanuel Church. And the orchestra and soloists will team up with Urbanity Dance for a concert featuring Bach’s The Contest between Phoebus and Pan and Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins (April 9 at Emmanuel Church).

Emmanuel Music will pair the music of Felix Mendelssohn and Hugo Wolf again this season in four concerts at Emmanuel Church, featuring the Lydian and Arneis String Quartets (October 25, November 1, April 3, and May 1). And Bach’s Cantatas will be featured in church services running from September 20 through May 15.

Richard Pittman will copnduct a variety of Ameican composers this season with both

Richard Pittman will conduct a wide variety of American composers this season with the New England Philharmonic and Boston Musica Viva.

Choral Ensembles

David Hoose will lead the Cantata Singers in performances of Handel’s Israel in Egypt (January 29 and 31 at Cary Hall, Lexington and Jordan Hall respectfully) and Brahms’ German Requiem (April 1 at Jordan Hall). The Cantata Singers will also pair music by Bach and Pärt in a concert at the First Church in Cambridge May 20. The season opens October 10 with Joseph Flummerfelt leading the ensemble in works by Victoria, Casals, Maxwell Davies, Duruflé, Stravinsky, Britten, Barber, and Copland and others.

The Cantata Singers’ Chamber Music series will kick off November 17 at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Cambridge with a program dedicated to American music, featuring works by Copland, Fine, and Barber. On February 26 at the same location, conductor Amy Lieberman will lead the Cantata Singers in music by Pärt, Janequin, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Machaut, and Berio, featuring his Cries of London. The Chamber Series concludes March 15 at the American Academy with music by Mendelssohn and Brahms.

The Lorelei Ensemble will serve up a mix of old and new music this season beginning November 7-8 at Marsh Chapel. There, the all-female chorus will perform reconstructed works from the Medieval and Renaissance eras as well as pieces by John Luther Adams and William Thomas McKinley. Lorelei will premiere a new choral version of David Lang’s Love Fail January 10 at the Gardner Museum. And in concerts May 13-14, the ensemble will team up with Boston Percussion Group for a concert that will explore the boundaries between popular and classical repertoire. Lorelei will perform its first Christmas program, featuring carols from early English sources as well as new works by Timothy Takach, Adam Jacob Simon, and Bryan Christian, December 18-19 at Marsh Chapel.

Scott Allen Jarrett will lead the Back Bay Chorale in works by Brahms and Schubert November 7 at St. Paul’s Church, Cambridge. Stabat Mater settings by Verdi and Poulenc will the focus of a concert March 5, 2016 at Sanders Theatre. Soprano and Jacquelyn Stucker will appear as soloist. In May, the Back Bay Chorale will offer Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, with soprano Karen Slack, mezzo-soprano Abigail Fischer, tenor Yeghishe Manucharyan, and baritone David Kravitz as soloists, in two events, May 14 at the Zeiterion Arts Center in New Bedford and May 15 at Sanders Theatre.

Back Bay Chorale’s annual Christmas program, which will take place December 20 at Old South Church in Boston, will feature music written and arranged by Boston composers.

Johannes Ockeghem’s Missa L’homme armé will be the centerpiece of the opening concert given by Blue Heron, led by Scott Metcalfe, October 17 at First Church in Cambridge. A concert on February 6 at First Church will feature music from the Eton Choirbook and Peterhouse Partbooks, including works by Hugh Aston, John Browne, John Mason, and Hugh Sturmy. On April 2 at the same location Blue Heron will team up with the Dark Horse Consort for a program consisting of music from 16th-century Seville.

Blue Heron’s Christmas program will include a selection of carols, chants, as well as choral works by John Dunstaple and Leonel Power (December 18-19 at First Church in Cambridge).

Chorus Pro Musica, led by Jamie Kirsch, will open the season with a mix of old and new music, featuring works by Bach, Bruch, Betinis, McDonald, Tavener, Koehler, and Esenvalds November 7 at First Church, Cambridge. That same mix will characterize the ensemble’s concert on March 12 at Sanders Theatre, which will feature music by Bach, Britten, Pärt, and the premiere of Spencer the Rover by Andy Vores.

Chorus Pro Musica will offer their annual Family Holiday concert December 6 at Hibernian Hall in Roxbury and their candlelight Christmas concert at Old South Church on December 18.

Chamber Music

This fall, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum will host a wide variety of performers on its Sunday Concert series beginning September 13 when the Claremont Trio joins French hornist Chard Yarbrough for works by Brahms, Smetana, and Judd Greenstein. The Trio will return November 15 for works by Haydn, Brahms, and the premiere of a new trio by Robert Paterson. Works by Charles Griffes and Frazelle will be the focus of a concert September 20, featuring mezzo-soprano Kathryn Findlen and pianist Richard Masters. A Far Cry will perform Philip Glass’s Third Symphony along with works by Gabriela Lena Frank, Villa-Lobos, and Ginastera on September 27. The conductor-less string orchestra will return December 6 with a concert that will draw its music from Corelli’s and Handel’s Op. 6 Concerti Grossi. Violinist Tessa Lark and pianist Amy Yang will offer music by Telemann, Schubert, and Schoenberg on October 4.

The Musicians from Marlboro return to the Gardner Museum October 11 for works by Earl Kim, Fauré, and Mozart. Music by three generations of Viennese composers will be the feature of a concert given by the young Hermès Quartet on October 18, encompassing music by Mozart, Schubert, and Webern. Cellist Steven Isserlis and fortepianist Robert Levin will perform works of Beethoven in two concerts October 25 and November 1. The New York Festival of Song will bring music by Rachmaninoff, Gershwin, Berg, and others when they return to the Gardner Museum November 8. Musicians from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center will perform works by Mozart, Debussy, and Faurè November 22. Pianist Paavali Jumppanen will perform Debussy’s two books of Preludes in recital November 29. The Handel and Haydn Society will continue its partnership with the Gardner Museum with a concert December 13 dedicated to J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos. The Borromeo String Quartet will offer the complete String Quartets of Bartók in a single concert December 20. All concerts take place in Calderwood Hall.

The Gardner Museum’s Stir series features adventurous programming of contemporary music. This fall, Stir will host A Far Cry in Music by Zorn, Takemitsu, and Rzewski along with works by Scheidt, Vivaldi, and Shostakovich (October 1). The Callithumpian Consort will perform music by Xenakis, Ligeti, and Reich, along with the premiere of a new work by David Fulmer (November 5). Carla Kihlstedt and the Firebird Ensemble will perform Sarah Kirkland Snider’s song cycle Penelope, an introspective work inspired by Homer’s Odyssey (December 3).

The Callithumpian Consort will perform John Luther Adams’ Songbirdsong in four events as part of the Gardner Museum’s In-And-Out Concerts (November 2, 9, 16, and 23).

The Boston Chamber Music Society will open the season will music by Haydn, Beethoven and Strauss (September 20 at Sanders Theatre. Strauss’ music will also be on the October 25 program along with Bach and Beethoven (Sanders Theatre). Tenor Charles Blandy will appear as soloist in Schubert’s Auf dem Strom and Brahms’ Regenlied and Nachklang from Lieder und Gesänge, Op. 59 (November 22 at Sanders Theatre). The Chamber Music Society will perform works by Enescu, Franck, and Ravel on January 31 at the Fitzgerald Theatre. Music of Dvorák will be the focus of a concert February 21 at the same location. In March, the Society will offer the world premiere of Meltzer’s Piano Quartet along with music by Schubert and Mendelssohn (March 13, 2016 at Sanders Theatre). An April concert will feature music by Schubert, Brahms, Debussy, and Kodály (April 3 at Sanders Theatre). And the Society’s final concert of the season will feature the Boston premiere of John Harbison’s String Trio and Piano Quartets by Mozart and Schumann (May 15 at Sanders Theatre).

The Chameleon Arts Ensemble ( will continue its trend of adventurous programming this season. Their opening concert will feature works by Per Nørgard and Elliot Carter alongside pieces by Saint-Saëns, Stravinsky, and Shostakovich (October 10 and 11 at First Church in Boston). The Chameleon Arts Ensemble will tackle music by Steven Stucky and Lutoslawski as well as music by Mendelssohn, Villa-Lobos, and Mozart (November 7 at First Church and November 8 at the Goethe-Institut). Bach’s complete Brandenburg Concertos will be the focus of concerts December 5 and 6 at First Church. Onuté Narbutaité’s Winterserenade and Harbison’s November 19, 1828 will be heard along with works by Schumann and Schubert (February 13 at First Church and February 14 at the Goethe-Institut). In April concerts, the Chameleon Arts Ensemble will offer works by Robert Kahn, Judith Shatin, Jake Heggie, Vaughan Williams, and Brahms (April 2 and 3 at First Church). And in May, Ernest Bloch’s Baal Shem will be heard along with Messiaen’s Chants de terre et de ciel, David Ludwig’s Haiku Catharsis, Elena Firsova’s Meditation in a Japanese Garden, and the Piano Trio No. 2 by Saint-Saëns (May 21 at First Church and May 22 at the Goethe-Institut).

The Chameleon Arts Ensemble will also offer two recitals in their Up Close series. The first will feature works for clarinets and piano by Mendelssohn, Saint-Saëns, Poulenc, Kulesha, and Brahms (March 6 at the Goethe-Institut), and the second will showcase sonatas by violin and piano by Debussy, Bartók, Beethoven, and Kurtag (April 17 at the Goethe-Institut).

The Radius Ensemble will present Elena Ruehr’s Quetzal Garden and works by Ligeti and Paquito D’Rivera in their season opener October 17. Jonathan Bailey’s Synchrony, a quintet for oboe, bassoon, strings, and piano, will be heard alongside pieces by Beethoven, Rao, and Froom in a concert November 14. In March, Radius Ensemble will present *12* by Eun Young Lee, a work that includes audience participation via smartphone. Also on the program are works by Poulenc and a new piece by the winner of the Pappalardo Composition Competition. The Ensemble will premiere a new trio for clarinet, viola, and piano by John Harbison along with pieces by Schubert and Zhurbin in a May 7 concert. All events take place in Pickman Hall.

The Radius Ensemble will present a free concert that will feature Vivaldi’s Four Seasons concerti in February 2016 at the Cambridge Public Library.

New Music

Music of the late Gunther Schuller will be the focus of a several concerts in various groups this season. On November 22 at Jordan Hall, Gil Rose and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, in collaboration with Odyssey Opera, will perform the composer’s The Fisherman and his Wife and Journey Into Jazz. Schuller’s music will also be heard in a tribute concert given by Collage New Music November 1 at Pickman Hall. Rounding out the program will be the premiere of a new work by Paul Brust, the Boston premiere of Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon’s Páramo, and Rand Steiger’s Elliott’s Instruments.

Rose and BMOP will open the season with the Boston premiere of Tigran Mansurian’s Requiem, Hovhaness’ Khrimian Hairig, Komitas’ Cloudy Sky, and Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 1, with Nareh Arghamanyan as soloist (October 18 at Jordan Hall). Music inspired by Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos will be the spotlight of a concert January 22 at Jordan Hall, featuring works by Paul Moravec, Stephen Hartke, Aaron Jay Kernis, Christopher Theofanidis, Melinda Wagner, and Peter Maxwell Davies. BMOP will close the season with a rarity: a complete performance of David Del Tredici’s Child Alice March 25 at Jordan Hall.

Premieres will also abound in a concert January 10 at Pickman Hall as Collage New Music offers the first local performances of works by Talia Amar, David Rakowski, and Chaya Czernowin. Yehudi Wyner’s The Second Madrigal: Voices of Women rounds out the program. Collage New Music will offer a concert dedicated to the memory of Edward Cohen February 14 at Killian Hall at MIT. The program will include Cohen’s Elegy along with works by Nina Young, Seymour Shifrin, and Peter Child. Collage New Music will close the season March 13 at Pickman Hall will an all Elliot Carter program. The composer’s Sonata for Flute, Oboe, Cello, and Harpsichord will be heard along side his Scrivo in Vento, Piano Sonata, Tempo e tempi, and Figments II and Vi.

The Ludovico Ensemble returns to action this season after a hiatus with concerts dedicated to the music of Marti Epstein (November 24 at Boston Conservatory’s Seully Hall) and Mischa Salkind-Pearl (May 2, 2016 at Seully Hall). Ludovico will open the season with works by Vlinko Globokar, Fritz Hauser, and Salkind-Pearl (September 8 at the Davis Square Theater in Somerville). Music by Kaija Saariaho and John Tavener will be heard along with Marti Epstein’s Nachtvoll on December 1 at the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Brookline.

Boston Musica Viva, led by Richard Pittman, will open their 47th season with works by Steven Stucky, Lutoslawski, Brett Dean, Magnus Lindberg, and Rilke Songs, a collaboration between Martin Brody, Peter Child, Shirish Korde, and Joseph Schwantner, featuring soprano Sarah Pelletier (September 26 at the Tsai Performance Center). Music by the late Lee Hyla will be heard along with premieres of new works by Patrick Greene and the semi-finalists of the Rapido! Composition Competition (November 21 at the Longy School of Music). Bernard Hoffer’s The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, featuring Steve Aveson as narrator and dancers from the Northeast Youth Ballet, will be the focus of the Boston Musica Viva’s Family Concert on March 13, 2016 at the Tsai Performance Center. Hoffer’s Lear in the Wilderness, to be sung by baritone David Kravitz, will be given its world premiere on a concert April 23 at Tsai Performance Center. Also on the program will be Schoenberg’s Serenade, Op. 24 and Andy Vores’ Fabrication 15: Amplification.

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