Celebrity Series to offer vast musical variety in 2018-19 season

April 11, 2018 at 1:00 am

By Aaron Keebaugh

Joyce DiDonato will make her Boston recital debut next March in the Celebrity Series' 2018-19 season.

Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato will make her Boston recital debut next March in the Celebrity Series’ 2018-19 season.

Artists from Ax to Villegas will be featured in the Celebrity Series 2018-2019 season through performances by new and familiar stars of the classical music world.

Headlining next season’s offerings will be American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato in her Boston recital debut. In a program entitled SONGPLAY, which can be heard March 1, 2019 at Jordan Hall, the celebrated singer will perform a wide range of music driven by improvisation.

A star-studded trio comprising violinist Joshua Bell, cellist Steven Isserlis, and pianist Jeremy Denk will offer music by Mendelssohn, Shostakovich, Rachmaninoff, and Ravel April 28, 2019 at Symphony Hall.

The San Francisco Symphony will return to the Celebrity Series on March 24, 2019 at the same location. Under conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, the orchestra will perform Tilson Thomas’ own Agnegram along with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 and Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor. Violinist Christian Tetzlaff will appear as soloist.

The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble will make its Boston debut on October 12 at Jordan Hall with music by Nielsen, Françaix, and Schubert. Other ensembles to appear next season include the Australian Chamber Orchestra, led by Richard Tognetti, in music by Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 12 in A major April 23, 2019 at Jordan Hall. Pianist Paul Lewis will be the featured soloist. In addition, Philharmonix, a dynamic group comprising members of the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonics, will make its Boston debut May 3, 2019 at Jordan Hall.

As for small ensembles, the Dover Quartet will also make its Boston debut with music by Tchaikovsky and Dvorák along with Mason Bates’ From Amber Frozen on December 5 at Pickman Hall. The Hagen Quartet will return to Boston March 23, 2019 at Jordan Hall with a program of Schubert, Beethoven, and Webern.

The entertaining septet Mnozil Brass will perform their program Cirque in the group’s Boston debut February 9, 2019 at Jordan Hall. 

Pianists to visit Boston next season will include Emanuel Ax in music by Bach, Schoenberg, Schumann, Ravel, and Chopin (October 28 at Symphony Hall); Inon Barnatan in works by Handel, Rameau, Couperin, Ravel, and Adès (November 18 at Jordan Hall); Leif Ove Andsnes in a program of Schumann, Janácek, and Bartók (January 18, 2019 at Jordan Hall); and Beatrice Rana in her Boston debut with Chopin’s Études, Op. 25 and music by Ravel and Stravinsky (February 27, 2019 at Pickman Hall). Kirill Gerstein and Thomas Adès will team up for a joint piano recital March 15, 2019 at Jordan Hall playing music of Debussy, Lutoslawski, Adès, and Shostakovich’s piano reduction of Stravinsky’sSymphony of Psalms.

Other instrumentalists set to appear next season will include violinist Gil Shaham and pianist Akira Eguchi in works by Leclair, Wheeler, Prokofiev, Franck, and Kreisler (November 16 at Jordan Hall). Spanish guitarist Pablo Sáinz Villegas will make his Boston debut with a selection of American and Latin-American music (January 23, 2019 at Pickman Hall). Cellist Alisa Weilerstein makes her return to the Celebrity Series with Bach’s complete Cello Suites (February 15, 2019 at Jordan Hall), and cellist Gautier Capuçon will team up with piano superstar Yuja Wang in a recital of Chopin and Franck (April 6, 2019 at Jordan Hall). Violinist Itzhak Perlman and pianist Evgeny Kissin will perform sonatas by Brahms, Beethoven, and Mozart (April 22, 2019 at Symphony Hall).

As for singers appearing in Boston next season, countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo will perform arias and songs by Purcell, Handel, Poulenc, Britten, Glass, and the world premiere of a new work by Gregory Spears (November 7 at Pickman Hall). Baritone Thomas Hampson and bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni will perform No Tenors Allowed, a program of operatic and Broadway favorites, on February 1, 2019 at Jordan Hall.

Stave Sessions, the Celebrity Series’ signature contemporary music series, will run March 19-23, 2019 at 160 Mass Ave in Boston. Sō Percussion will bring Steve Reich’s Drumming to the city as an extension of those events on March 28, 2019 at Sanders Theatre. Other performers and programming will be announced this Fall.

Bassist and composer Edgar Meyer will team up with banjoist Béla Fleck and tabla player Zakir Hussain for a special concert of classical, bluegrass, and world music November 17 at Sanders Theatre.

Highlighting the Celebrity Series jazz offerings next season will be the return of Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in a program entitled The Music of McCoy Tyner and Charles McPherson (April 7, 2019 at Symphony Hall). Rob Kapilow’s What Makes it Great?series will examine the music of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, and Artie Shaw (March 2, 2019 at Jordan Hall).

For dance enthusiasts, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will return to the Boch Center Wang Theatre on May 2-5, 2019. The Mark Morris Dance Group will also come back to Boston with a new production entitled Pepperland, a 50th anniversary tribute to the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band commissioned by the Celebrity Series (February 8-10 at the Boch Center Shubert Theatre).

Subscriptions for the Celebrity Series 2018-2019 season go on sale at 9 a.m. April 11, 2018. Deadline for subscription orders is October 5, 2018. celebrityseries.org; 617-482-6661

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