Celebrity Series brings fireworks, musical riches to 2024-2025 season

May 6, 2024 at 12:00 pm

By Jonathan Blumhofer

Kirill Petrenko and the Berlin Philharmonic. Photo: Stephan Rabold

A visit from the Berliner Philharmoniker, a string of powerhouse recitals, and some high-profile debuts are among the highlights of the Celebrity Series’ 2024-2025 season, announced Monday.

Headlining the classical offerings is the return of the Berlin Philharmonic, following its triumphant 2022 visit with music director Kirill Petrenko. He’ll be on the podium again, this time leading Anton Bruckner’s Fifth Symphony at Symphony Hall on November 20. Opening the season is pianist Emanuel Ax, who performs works by Beethoven, Schumann, and Corigliano at Groton Hill Music Center’s Concert Hall on October 10, repeating it at Jordan Hall October 13. Paul Lewis also returns to Jordan, playing Schubert on October 25.

Several other pianists will be heard at Symphony Hall, beginning with Seong-Jin Cho, who delivers an afternoon of keyboard music by Ravel on February 2, 2025. Lang Lang assays Romantic-era favorites there on February 28 and Evgeny Kissin tackles selections by Beethoven, Chopin, Shostakovich, and Bach on April 29.

Cellist Alisa Weilerstein and pianist Inon Barnatan inaugurate a series of noteworthy duo performances with their Jordan Hall appearance on November 24. They’re followed, on February 21, by Víkingur Ólafsson and Yuja Wang, who team up for a two-piano concert at Symphony Hall that includes Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances and John Adams’ Hallelujah Junction.

March sees violinist Leonidas Kavakos and pianist Daniil Trifonov join forces for a program of works by Beethoven, Bartók, and others, also at Symphony Hall (March 5). Over the next two nights, violinist Midori and pianist Özgür Aydin offer a meditation on “mourning and lamentation across cultures” at Groton Hill’s Meadow Hall (March 6) and Jordan Hall (March 7).

Chamber groups on the Series, all performing at Jordan Hall, include the Jerusalem Quartet on November 1 (playing Haydn, Shostakovich, and Dvořák), the Dover Quartet on February 14 (presenting works by Schumann, Tchaikovsky, and Dvořák), and the Calidore Quartet on March 23 (music by Jessie Montgomery, Dvořák, and Xavier Foley).

Mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, violist Matthew Lipman, and pianist Tamar Sanikidze combine for a night of selections by Clara Schumann, Brahms, and Joel Thompson at Jordan Hall on January 25. Meanwhile, pianist/composer Conrad Tao and choreographer/tap dancer Caleb Teicher team up for a collaboration at one of the Series’ new concert venues, Boston Arts Academy Theatre (February 7-8).

Composer/vocalist Caroline Shaw and choreographer/dancer Vanessa Goodman present their installation, Graveyards and Gardens, at the season’s other new venue, Arrow Street Arts (March 28-29). Closing the Series’ concert offerings will be violinist Tessa Lark, bassist Edgar Meyer, and cellist Joshua Roman, in a genre-bridging evening at Sanders Theatre on May 9.

The upcoming season includes several important local debuts. Leading off the Debut Series at Longy’s Pickman Hall is the Castalian Quartet. They present music by Schubert, Kurtág, Coleridge-Taylor, and Beethoven on November 14. In January, Chopin Competition-winner Yulianna Avdeeva will be heard in works by Liszt and Beethoven at Pickman (January 15) and at Groton Hill’s Meadow Hall (January 16). Mezzo-soprano Fleur Barron and pianist Kunal Lahiry offer a fusion of music from Latin America, Europe, and Asia (March 18), while pianist Zlata Chochieva plays Rachmaninoff on April 1, both at Pickman.

Rounding out the Debut Series is Westborough native and International Tchaikovsky Competition winner Zlatomir Fung, who presents a pair of concerts featuring arrangements of music for the stage and screen. He’s at Pickman on April 16 and, the next night, Groton Hill’s Meadow Hall. Also making their Celebrity Series debuts are violinist Julia Fischer and pianist Jan Lisiecki. Their program of violin sonatas by Mozart, Beethoven, and Schumann will be at Jordan Hall on March 28.

In addition to the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Australian Chamber Orchestra comes to Jordan Hall on October 18 with a program that pairs Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons with music from the Middle East. Dance offerings include the Martha Graham Dance Company at the Cutler Majestic Theatre, November 22-23, and Cuba’s Malpaso Dance Company at Emerson Paramount Center, January 17-18. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will have two Boston residencies next season. The first is a series of free public workshops at various locations around Boston in March. The second comprises their usual late-season dates at the Boch Center Wang Theatre, April 24-27.

Pre-sale for tickets will begin May 7. Subscriptions can be renewed May 15, while new subscriptions go on sale May 16. Single tickets will be made available August 20. celebrityseries.org

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