Berlin Philharmonic, Trifonov, DiDonato on tap in Celebrity Series’ 2020-21 season

May 5, 2020 at 12:42 pm

By Jonathan Blumhofer

Kirill Petrenko will conduct the Berlin Philharmonic in the Celebrity Series’ 2020-21 season.

The Celebrity Series’ 2020-21 season—while contingent on an abatement of the coronavirus pandemic crisis—promises the return of a bevy of favorite, high-profile orchestras, soloists, and chamber ensembles to Boston.

Headlining the Series’ offerings is the first appearance of the Berlin Philharmonic since 2016, led by its new music director, Kirill Petrenko. The conductor makes his local debut leading works by Webern, Mendelssohn, and Brahms Nov. 11 at Symphony Hall.

The Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, led by conductor Antonio Pappano, will perform music by Amilcare Ponchielli and Tchaikovsky, as well as Maxim Vengerov playing Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1 (April 11, 2021).

The season’s third orchestra is the Trondheim Soloists, who come to town April 24 performing music by Arnold Schoenberg, Osvaldo Golijov, and Pēteris Vasks. Alisa Weilerstein takes the solo spotlight in the concert with Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 1.

More music by Golijov features in an October 17 concert by the Silkroad Ensemble: the group presents the Boston premiere of Golijov’s song-cycle Falling Out of Time.

Among the star keyboard artists next season are Daniil Trifonov playing selections bySzymanowski, von Weber, and Brahms (October 30) and Sir András Schiff performing works by Bach, Beethoven, Haydn, and Schubert (March 7). Evgeny Kissin returns April 25 in a program of Chopin, Schumann, Debussy, and Scriabin.

Four pianists make their Boston recital debuts as part of next year’s Debut Series. Alexander Malofeev plays works by Medtner, Brahms, and Schumann October 28, and Chopin International Competition Gold Medalist Seong-Jin Cho offers Chopin alongside pieces by Schumann, Berg, and Liszt December 6. On December 16, composer-pianist Conrad Tao presents a new piece of his own, plus music by Beethoven, Schumann, and Jason Eckardt. And on January 29 Jean-Yves Thibaudet makes his belated Celebrity Series solo debut performing both books of Debussy’s Préludes.

Among other ensembles slated to appear are the Tetzlaff Quartet playing Beethoven (December 11),  the Doric String Quartet and pianist Benjamin Grosvenor presenting works by Mozart, Fauré, and Elgar (January 23), and the Takács Quartet and pianist Jeremy Denk performing Mozart, Henri Dutilleux, and Schumann (February 28). Rounding out the year on May 7, the Emerson String Quartet offers a triple-bill of scores by Alexander Borodin, Thomas Adès, and Haydn.

Other instrumentalists appearing next season include the artists of The Goat Rodeo Sessions – Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, and Chris Thile – joined by vocalist Aoife O’Donovan in Not Our First Goat Rodeo (October 26). Violinist Simone Porter makes her Boston recital debut March 10 with an enticing program of Andrew Norman, Grazyna Bacewicz, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Heinrich Biber, and César Franck. Itzhak Perlman brings his “An Evening with Itzhak Perlman” tour to Symphony Hall April 18.

Next season’s vocal artists includes mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato singing Schubert’s Die Winterreise November 20. Another mezzo, Isabel Leonard, joins the guitar quartet The Romeros on their 60th-anniversary tour January 30. The pairing’s program offers a mix of guitar and vocal selections by Manuel de Falla, Joaquin Rodrigo, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Federico Moreno Torroba, and others.

Bass-baritone Dashon Burton makes his Celebrity Series recital debut with an evening of American songs by John Jacob Niles, Kurt Weill, and Paul Bowles, alongside some Moses Hogan spirituals (February 10). Also making his recital debut is baritone Benjamin Appl, who presents music of Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Schumann, William Bolcom, Brahms, and Edvard Grieg (April 7).

The principle classical installment in next year’s Stave Sessions is Nathalie Joachim’s Fanm d’Ayiti (Women of Haiti), which examines the role of women’s voices in Haitian musical culture and features Joachim along with the Spektral Quartet (March 18). The full Sessions run March 16-20.

Rob Kapilow’s “What Makes It Great?” series returns with two programs, both at Jordan Hall. The first examines Mozart’s String Quartet no. 19 in C major (“Dissonance”) with the Ariel Quartet (November 15). For the second, Kapilow investigates the Lerner & Lowe songbook (February 19).

The upcoming season’s jazz focal points include Joshua Redman, Brad Mehldau, Christian McBride, and Brian Blade at Symphony Hall (October 4). On November 8 Dianne Reeves, Chucho Valdés, and Joe Lovano come to the Berklee Performance Center, as, a month later, does the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and Rubén Blades (December 12). Also on the schedule is the Maria Schneider Orchestra presenting their latest project, Data Lords (March 12).

Dance highlights include the Compañía Nacional de Danza’s Carmen (October 24 and 25), Circa’s En Masse (March 3-7), and the annual residency of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (April 29-May 2).

Subscriptions for the 2020-21 season will go on sale 9 a.m. Wednesday. celebrityseries.org; 617-482-6661

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