BSO Announces 2014- 2015 Season
Welcomes Andris Nelsons
By: BSO - 03/06/2014
The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s 2014-15 season shines a welcoming spotlight on Andris Nelsons as he makes hihighly anticipated debut as BSO Music Director, leading performances that feature an eclectic offering of music and an impressive lineup of guest artists, and presenting programs that illuminate touchstone moments in his life as a musician, from his youngest days as a child in Riga, to his present-day stature as one of the world’s most sought-after conductors. When Mr. Nelsons takes on the title of BSO Music Director in September 2014, at age 35, he will be the youngest conductor to hold that title with the orchestra in over 100 years. The fifteenth music director since the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s founding in 1881, Mr. Nelsons is also the first Latvian-born conductor to assume the post.
Mr. Nelsons’ first season with the Boston Symphony Orchestra begins in grand style on Saturday, September 27, when he opens a celebratory program with Wagner’s Overture to Tannhäuser—the work that first inspired a five-year-old Nelsons to a life in music. Two singers strongly associated with Mr. Nelsons’ artistic life, the acclaimed soprano Kristīne Opolais, Mr. Nelsons’ wife, and the great tenor Jonas Kaufmann, join the BSO and its new conductor for an evening of operatic and symphonic showpieces featuring works by Puccini, Respighi, and Wagner, among others. Together, Ms. Opolais and Mr. Kaufmann will join the orchestra and Mr. Nelsons for the dramatic duet, “Tu, tu, amore? Tu?” from Puccini’s Manon Lescaut. Ms. Opolais will also be featured along with the BSO in Wagner’s magnificent Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde, and Mr. Kaufmann will return to the BSO stage for a performance of the title character’s famous third-act narrative, “In fernem Land,” from Wagner’s Lohengrin. Each of the evening’s vocalists will also sing solo arias from the Italian opera repertoire. To bring this special evening to an end, the BSO and Mr. Nelsons will be front and center in a performance of Respighi’s glorious orchestral showpiece Pines of Rome.
The following week, October 1-3, Mr. Nelsons returns to the BSO to lead a powerhouse program of three major orchestral works—Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8, Bartók’s Miraculous Mandarin Suite, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, Pathétique, for his first full week of subscription programs. Mr. Nelsons’ three subsequent appearances with the BSO—in November 2014, January 2015, and March/April 2015—will each take on its own musical focus and offer insights into the many influences behind Mr. Nelsons’ musical life past and present, including the role of new music with programs featuring works by Brett Dean, Ēriks Ešenvalds, Michael Gandolfi, Sofia Gubaidulina, John Harbison, and Gunther Schuller.
Works by Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Sibelius, Tchaikovsky, and Rachmaninoff, and performances by Håkan Hardenberger andBaiba Skride, will be featured in three BSO programs focusing on music from the Slavic and Scandinavian traditions, and on musicians with whom Mr. Nelsons has frequently collaborated, November 6-22. In two programs devoted to some of his favorite works from the great German-Austrian tradition, January 8-17, Mr. Nelsons will lead the BSO in music of Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner, Haydn, and Mozart, among others. Monumental works by Mahler, Shostakovich, and Strauss will each be featured prominently in Mr. Nelsons’ final three BSO programs of the season, March 26-April 14, also to be repeated at Carnegie Hall, April 15-17.
Bringing Andris Nelsons’ passion for music’s storytelling powers to the fore, a thematic thread throughout many of the conductor’s programs will be favorite orchestral works inspired by great narratives, including texts by Shakespeare, Cervantes, and Edgar Allen Poe, along with new music and 20th-century masterpieces inspired by a wide variety of sources.
In addition to Ms. Opolais and Mr. Kaufmann, Mr. Nelsons will bring some of his longtime collaborators to the Symphony Hall stage, including cellist Gautier Capuçon, trumpeter Håkan Hardenberger, violinists Baiba Skride and Christian Tetzlaff, pianist Lars Vogt, singers Pavel Černoch and Kostas Smorigninas, and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. Mr. Nelsons looks forward to new collaborations with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, BSO principal violist Steven Ansell, pianist Richard Goode, organist Olivier Latry, and soprano Victoria Yastrebova.
“In planning my first season as the Boston Symphony’s music director, I wanted really to concentrate on deepening my relationship with the orchestra and its wonderfully enthusiastic audience and community,” said Andris Nelsons. “Music is food for our souls, and my ambition is to work very closely with the BSO to bring the deepest passion and love that we all share for music to ever greater numbers of music lovers at Symphony Hall and throughout the world. It was clear to me that the only way for me to do this was to listen to my heart and share the great music and wonderful artists that have inspired me as a musician, from my childhood in Latvia to my current good fortune in leading many of the world’s great orchestras. I truly hope the programs I’ve chosen for our first season already express my passion for the great masterpieces, the extraordinary creativity behind the music of our time, the amazing virtuosity of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the remarkable musicianship of the guest artists with whom I have the privilege of working and the pleasure of bringing to Symphony Hall. Most important, I want to say how thrilled and honored I am to introduce our first season together, every moment of which I look forward to sharing with the BSO’s special audience. We are all embarking upon a great musical journey, and I look forward to many years of enjoying music together!”
2014-15 BSO SEASON OVERVIEW OF PROGRAMS WITH RAY AND MARIA STATA
MUSIC DIRECTOR ANDRIS NELSONS
TWO CELEBRATORY PROGRAMS LAUNCH ANDRIS NELSONS’ FIRST SEASON AS BSO MUSIC DIRECTOR
On September 27, the Boston Symphony Orchestra will celebrate the arrival of its new music director with a gala concert featuring Andris Nelsons leading a program filled with works and guest artists that have inspired his musical life. In an evening of operatic and orchestral showpieces, Mr. Nelsons opens the program with the overture to Wagner’s Tannhäuser—the first live opera Nelsons ever heard as a child and the work that would set him on the path of becoming a conductor—putting a special focus on this exciting new collaboration between conductor and orchestra. That focus on the orchestra and its new conductor continues with Wagner’s Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde, which also features the highly acclaimed singer Kristīne Opolais; the Intermezzo from Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana, and Respighi’s resplendent Pines of Rome, which will bring the program to an end. The opera portion of the evening will feature the great tenor Jonas Kaufmann along with Ms. Opolais—two artists with whom Mr. Nelsons frequently collaborates—in a performance of the famous duet “Tu, tu, amore? Tu?” from Puccini’s Manon Lescaut. Each singer will also take center stage for solo arias, with Ms. Opolais singing the moving Italian aria "Ebben? Ne andrò lontana" from Catalani’s La Wally. When Mr.Kaufmann returns to the stage he will sing two beloved selections for tenor: the title character’s magical third-act narrative, “In fernem Land,” from Wagner’s Lohengrin, and the moving aria, “Mamma, quel vino è generoso," from Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana.
This program’s celebratory spirit continues into the following week when Mr. Nelsons leads his first week of subscription concerts, October 1-3. In what promises to be a special occasion for BSO audiences, Mr. Nelsons showcases the Boston Symphony Orchestra in a program featuring three major symphonic masterworks: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8, Bartók’s Miraculous Mandarin Suite, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, Pathétique.
THREE PROGRAMS, OCTOBER 6-22, FOCUS ON ANDRIS NELSONS’ ROOTS AS A MUSICIAN AND SPOTLIGHT HIS FREQUENT COLLABORATORS
When Andris Nelsons returns to the BSO podium, November 6-22, he will lead three programs including works by Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich, Sibelius, and Tchaikovsky, putting a special focus on the rich Slavic and Scandinavian music traditions and offering audiences a glimpse into the repertoire that has made such a deep imprint on the conductor, from his early life as a student of music to his current life leading performances worldwide. In addition, Mr. Nelsons will bring to the Symphony Hall stage several of his favorite frequent collaborators, including Swedish trumpeter Håkan Hardenberger andLatvian musicians violinist Baiba Skride and composer Ēriks Ešenvalds—all important members of his ever-growing musical family.
On November 6, 7, 8, and 11, Mr. Nelsons brings Latvian violinist Baiba Skride to the BSO for a performance of preeminent Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina’s masterful Offertorium, on a program closing with Sibelius’s majestic Second Symphony. The following week, November 13, 14, 15, and 18, Mr. Nelsons welcomes his frequent collaborator, Swedish trumpeter Håkan Hardenberger, for the American premiere of Australian composer Dean Brett’s Trumpet Concerto, Dramatis personae, a title that refers to the varied characters the composer associates with the instrument. This program opens with Tchaikovsky’s Hamlet and closes with Stravinsky’s monumental The Rite of Spring.
The third program in this series, November 20, 21, and 22, opens with John Harbison’s Koussevitzky Said: for chorus and orchestra, a musical tribute to one of the BSO’s legendary music directors, the Russian-born Serge Koussevitzky, and originally composed for Tanglewood’s 75th anniversary season in 2012. Following the Harbison work, Maestro Nelsons, the BSO, and Tanglewood Festival Chorus will present the world premiere of a new work for chorus and orchestra by Latvian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds, a co-commission between the BSO and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, where Maestro Nelsons will have served as music director from 2008 to 2015. Yo-Yo Ma joins Maestro Nelsons and the BSO for the opening work of the second half of the program, Prokofiev’s Symphony-Concerto for cello and orchestra, which will be followed by Rachmaninoff’s The Bells, a choral symphony the composer considered one of his own favorite works. Soloists for the Rachmaninoff include Czechoslovakian tenor Pavel Černoch and Lithuanian baritone Kostas Smoriginas, both being previous collaborators of Mr. Nelsons, as well as Russian soprano Victoria Yastrebova, with whom Mr. Nelsons will work for the first time; all three will be making their BSO debuts.
ANDRIS NELSONS TO LEAD THE BSO IN SOME OF HIS FAVORITE WORKS FROM THE CORE GERMAN-AUSTRIAN REPERTOIRE, JANUARY 8-17, 2015
Maestro Nelsons brings a special focus to some of his favorite works from the core German-Austrian music tradition, January 8-17, with two BSO programs of music by Brahms, Bruckner, Haydn, Mozart, and Strauss. These programs will also place a special spotlight on two artists with whom Mr. Nelsons frequently collaborates: cellist Gautier Capuçon and pianist Lars Vogt.
Brahms’s Haydn Variations opens the first of these programs, January 8, 9, and 10, followed by Haydn’s Symphony No. 90 and Strauss’s Don Quixote, with cellist Gautier Capuçon and BSO principal viola Steven Ansell. Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24, with soloist Lars Vogt, is paired with Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7 for Mr. Nelsons’ program of January 15, 16, and 17.
ANDRIS NELSONS LEADS THE BSO IN THREE ORCHESTRAL MASTERWORKS AND A NEW WORK BY MICHAEL GANDOLFI, MARCH 26-APRIL 14, 2015
For his final series of programs in his first season as the BSO’s new music director, Mr. Nelsons will lead three orchestral masterworks, the world premiere of a new work by Michael Gandolfi, and the Boston premiere of a recent work by Gunther Schuller premiered by the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra during the 2012 Tanglewood season. These programs will mark the first time Mr. Nelsons will conduct works by Mr. Gandolfi and Mr. Schuller.
Acclaimed French organist Olivier Latry joins Maestro Nelsons and the BSO for the world premiere of a new work for organ and orchestra by Mr. Gandolfi, composed in memory of former BSO organist Berj Zamkochian, to open the orchestra’s program of March 26, 27, 28, and 31, which will conclude with Mahler’s monumental Symphony No. 6. On April 2, 3, and 4, Christian Tetzlaff is the soloist for Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, on a program with Shostakovich’s dramatic Symphony No. 10. Gunther Schuller’s Dreamscape opens Maestro Nelsons' final program of the season, April 9, 10, 11, and 14, which will also feature Richard Goode in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 27, and Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben. Maestro Nelsons and the BSO will bring these three programs to Carnegie Hall—except for the Gandolfi work, due to the lack of a concert organ at Carnegie Hall—for performances on April 15, 16, and 17.
ANDRIS NELSONS AND THE BSO AT TANGLEWOOD IN 2015
Mr. Nelsons will be in residency at Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, for three weeks during the 2015 season. In addition to several programs with the BSO, Maestro Nelsons will lead the Tanglewood Music Center in Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, “Symphony of a Thousand,” as part of a summer-long celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Tanglewood Music Center, the BSO’s prestigious summer music academy founded by former BSO music director (1924-49) Serge Koussevitzky in 1940.
ANDRIS NELSONS TO LEAD BSO IN AN 8-CITY 2015 SUMMER TOUR TO MAJOR EUROPEAN MUSIC CAPITALS INCLUDING BERLIN, COLOGNE, LONDON, LUCERNE, PARIS, AND SALZBURG
In late August/early September 2015, Andris Nelsons and the BSO will be featured in an 8-city tour to major European capitals, including Berlin, Cologne, London, Paris, as well as the Lucerne and Salzburg festival. Further details about the tour will be announced at a later date.
A SYMPHONY GALA, SYMPHONY HALL OPEN HOUSE, AND MEDIA PROJECTS DURING ANDRIS NELSONS’ FIRST SEASON AS MUSIC DIRECTOR
A Symphony Gala in honor of Andris Nelsons’ first season as BSO music director will take place on Tuesday, September 23. Featuring a variety of musical performances, this festive evening will be a celebration of Mr. Nelsons’ musical life designed to welcome him, his wife Kristīne Opolais, and their two-year-old daughter Adriana into the Boston community.
Symphony Hall will open its doors for a free day of musical activities on Sunday, April 12, 2015, giving members of the Boston community a chance to see Mr. Nelsons lead the BSO and Tanglewood Festival Chorus in performance. The day will be filled with family-fun activities and a wide variety of performances.
In addition, the Boston Symphony Orchestra is currently in discussions with several media partners about a wide range of broadcast and recording projects focusing on Mr. Nelsons’ work with the orchestra during the 2014-15 season.
Further information about the Symphony Gala, Symphony Hall Open House, and media projects for the 2014-15 BSO season will be announced at a later date.
BS0 2014-15 SEASON TICKET INFORMATION IN BRIEF
The 134th season of the Boston Symphony Orchestra takes place September 18, 2014–May 2, 2015. Subscriptions for the BSO’s 2014-2015 season will be available March 10 by calling 888-266-7575 or visiting www.bso.org. Single tickets go on sale August 4, at 10 a.m.
The BSO’s <40=$20 program allows patrons under the age of 40 to purchase tickets for $20. The BSO College Card and High School Card are the best way for students and aspiring young musicians to experience the BSO on a regular basis. A limited number of Rush Tickets for Boston Symphony Orchestra subscription concerts on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Friday afternoons are set aside to be sold on the day of a performance. The Boston Symphony Orchestra offers groups advanced ticket reservations and flexible payment options for BSO concerts at Symphony Hall. Further ticket information is available at the end of this release.
The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s extensive website, BSO.org, is the largest and most-visited orchestral website in the country, receiving approximately 7 million visitors annually and generating over $92 million in revenue since its launch in 1996. The site’s Media Center consolidates its numerous new media initiatives in one location, including audio concert preview podcasts; Emmy Award-winning interviews with guest artists and BSO musicians; “It’s Your BSO” member interviews; concert program notes; WGBH radio broadcast streams of select BSO, Boston Pops, and Tanglewood performances; and all self-produced albums by the BSO, Boston Pops, Boston Symphony Chamber Players, Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and Tanglewood Music Center Fellows. BSO.org is now accessible in a smart phone-/mobile device-friendly format, where patrons can access performance schedules, purchase tickets and pre-performance food and beverages, access the BSO’s new media content, and make donations to the BSO – all in the palm of their hand. BSO.org also launched eTicketing and Print-at-Home tickets, making it easier for patrons attending a concert to access their tickets at home or on their smartphones. The Boston Symphony Orchestra is on Facebook at Facebook.com/BostonSymphony on Twitter at Twitter.com/BostonSymphony, and on Google+ at Google.com/+bostonsymphony. Video content from the BSO is also available at YouTube.com/BostonSymphony.
IN ADDITION TO PROGRAMS LED BY ANDRIS NELSONS DURING HIS INAUGURAL SEASON AS BSO MUSIC DIRECTOR (CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS), THE 2014-15 BSO SEASON ALSO BOASTS AN ILLUSTRIOUS SCHEDULE OF GUEST ARTISTS, MASTERPIECES OF THE EARLY 20TH CENTURY ASSOCIATED WITH THE BALLETS RUSSES, THE DEBUT OF SEVERAL PROMINENT VOCALISTS NEW TO BSO AUDIENCES, AN IMPRESSIVE ARRAY OF WORKS BY MOZART, AND TWO-WEEK RESIDENCIES BY
SUCH CONDUCTING LUMINARIES AS CHRISTOPH VON DOHNÁNYI, CHARLES DUTOIT,
RAFAEL FRÜHBECK DE BURGOS,ANDBSO CONDUCTOR EMERITUS BERNARD HAITINK
BSO SEASON OPENS ON SEPTEMBER 18 WITH BSO ASSOCIATE CONDUCTOR MARCELO LEHNINGER LEADING BEETHOVEN’S FIFTH SYMPHONY, MOZART’S SINFONIA CONCERTANTE FEATURING BSO WIND PRINCIPALS, AND HEITOR VILLA-LOBOS’S BACHIANAS BRASILEIRAS
WITH AMERICAN SOPRANO NICOLE CABELL
MAJOR WORKS OF THE SEASON INCLUDE THE FIRST-EVER BSO PERFORMANCES OF
SZYMANOWSKI’S KING ROGER, WITH POLISH BARITONE MARIUSZ KWIECIEN INHIS BSO
SUBSCRIPTION SERIES DEBUT;BRAHMS’S GERMAN REQUIEM, FEATURING BARITONE BRYN TERFEL AND SOPRANO ROSEMARY JOSHUA IN HER BSO DEBUT; MOZART’S SYMPHONIES 39, 40, AND 41 IN A SINGLE PROGRAM; MUSSORGSKY’S PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION, NIELSEN’S SYMPHONY NO. 4, THE INEXTINGUISHABLE, RAVEL’S COMPLETE MOTHER GOOSE, AND STRAVINSKY’S COMPLETE FIREBIRD
ACCLAIMED YOUNG RUSSIAN CONDUCTOR TUGAN SOKHIEV MAKES HIS BSO DEBUT WITH MUSIC OF BERLIOZ, SAINT-SAËNS, AND RIMSKY-KORSAKOV, AND THE CHARISMATIC VLADIMIR JUROWSKI RETURNS TO THE BSO TO LEAD THE AMERICAN PREMIERE OF HARRISON BIRTWISTLE’S PIANO CONCERTO WITH THE BRILLIANT FRENCH PIANIST PIERRE-LAURENT AIMARD AS SOLOIST
PIANIST CHRISTIAN ZACHARIAS AND VIOLINIST LEONIDAS KAVAKOS RETURN TO BSO PODIUM IN DUAL CONDUCTOR-SOLOIST ROLES; ISRAELI CONDUCTOR ASHER FISCH, IN HIS SUBSCRIPTION SERIES DEBUT, INTRODUCES MUSIC BY THE ISRAELI COMPOSER AVNER DORMAN; AND STÉPHANE DENÈVE RETURNS FOR A COLORFUL PROGRAM OF MUSIC BY STRAVINSKY, MILHAUD, AND POULENC
INSTRUMENTALISTS JOINING THE BSO’S 2014-15 SEASON INCLUDE PIANISTS
EMANUEL AX (Mozart Piano Concerto No. 14), RUDOLF BUCHBINDER (Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1), MARIA JOÃO PIRES (Mozart Piano Concerto No. 23), AND JEAN-YVES THIBAUDET
(Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G); VIOLINISTS JAMES EHNES (Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 1),
JULIA FISCHER (Brahms’s Violin Concerto), JULIAN RACHLIN (Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 2),
AND FRANK PETER ZIMMERMANN (Sibelius Violin Concerto);AND
CELLIST JOHANNES MOSER (BSO DEBUT in Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto No. 1)
VOCALISTS JOINING THE BSO INCLUDE SOPRANO ROSEMARY JOSHUA AND BASS-BARITONE BRYN TERFEL (BRAHMS’S GERMAN REQUIEM) AND BARITONE MARIUSZ KWIECIEN (KING ROGER), SOPRANO OLGA PASICHNYK, MEZZO-SOPRANO YVONNE NAEF, TENORS EDGARAS MONTVIDAS AND ALEXANDER RICHARDSON, AND BASS RAYMOND ACETO (SZYMANOWSKI’S KING ROGER); THE TANGLEWOOD FESTIVAL CHORUS IS ALSO FEATURED IN THE BRAHMS AND SZYMANOWSKI WORKS
TO VIEW THE PORTION OF THE BSO’S 2014-15 SEASON ANNOUNCEMENT THAT OUTLINES
ANDRIS NELSONS’ PROGRAMS FOR HIS FIRST SEASON AS BSO MUSIC DIRECTOR, CLICK HERE
SUBSCRIPTIONS FOR THE BSO’S 2014-2015 SEASON WILL BE AVAILABLE MARCH 10 BY CALLING
888-266-7575 OR VISITING www.bso.org; SINGLE TICKETS GO ON SALE AUGUST 4
THE 2014-15 SEASON IS SPONSORED BY BANK OF AMERICA AND EMC CORPORATION
In addition to the programs detailed separately that Andris Nelsons will lead for his inaugural season as BSO Music Director (see link for details), the BSO’s 2014-15 season, September 18-May 2, also boasts an impressive roster of legendary figures of the classical music world with an equal measure of guest artist debuts and return appearances by guests who have proved themselves BSO favorites—all taking part in a season honoring both the great traditions of the classical music world and the extraordinary power of new and less familiar works heard for the first time.
The 134th season of the Boston Symphony Orchestra takes place September 18, 2014–May 2, 2015. Subscriptions for the BSO’s 2014-15 season will be available March 10 by calling 888-266-7575 or visiting www.bso.org. Single tickets go on sale August 4, at 10 a.m.
During the mid-winter month of February, the BSO will introduce a series of programs that put a spotlight on some of the magnificent dance-inspired music of the early 20th century, with a special emphasis on composers closely associated with Sergei Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, including Debussy, Milhaud, Poulenc, Prokofiev, and Stravinsky—all composers who were also championed early on by Serge Koussevitzky, the BSO’s legendary music director from 1925 to 1949. The 2014-15 subscription season also offers BSO patrons an impressive wealth of Mozart, including—besides the composer’s Haffner, Linz, and last three symphonies—five of the composer’s astonishingly inventive piano concertos, which placed him center-stage as both composer and pianist: No. 17 in G, K.453, with Christian Zacharias in October; No. 24 in C minor, K.491, with Lars Vogt in January; No. 14 in E-flat, K.449, with Emanuel Ax in March; No. 27 in B-flat, K.595, Mozart’s last piano concerto, with Richard Goode in April; and No. 23 in A, K.488, with Maria João Pires, also in April.
2014-15 BSO SEASON HIGHLIGHTS
Musical highlights of the BSO’s 2014-15 season include the first-ever BSO performances of Szymanowski’s King Roger, with Metropolitan Opera star Mariusz Kwiecien in his BSO subscription series debut under the direction of Charles Dutoit,and the American premiere of a new Harrison Birtwistle work for piano and orchestra, featuring Pierre-Laurent Aimard as soloist under the direction of Vladimir Jurowski. In two separate programs, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos leads Brahms’s German Requiem with vocalists Bryn Terfel and Rosemary Joshua in her BSO debut, and Nielsen’s monumental Symphony No. 4, The Inextinguishable. Christoph von Dohnányi conducts three of Mozart’s greatest symphonies, Nos. 39, 40, and 41, in a single program, and Stéphane Denève leads the orchestra in music of Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Milhaud, and Poulenc.Closing the BSO’s 2014-15 season with two programs, April 23-May 2, BSO Conductor Emeritus Bernard Haitink leads the BSO in music of Ravel, Thomas Adès, Mozart, Schumann, and Brahms, including the return to the BSO stage after a 15-year absence of the masterful Portuguese pianist Maria João Pires, in Mozart’s A major piano concerto, K.488.
In addition, the highly acclaimed young Russian conductor Tugan Sokhiev makes his BSO debut leading music by Berlioz and Rimsky-Korsakov on a program with Saint-Saëns’ Cello Concerto No. 1, featuring the first BSO appearances by German cellist Johannes Moser. Israeli conductor Asher Fisch in his subscription series debut introduces BSO audiences to music by Israeli composer Avner Dorman, a former Fellow of the Tanglewood Music Center, the BSO’s prestigious summer music academy.
2014-15 BSO SEASON OVERVIEW OF PROGRAMS WITH GUEST CONDUCTORS
BSO SEASON OPENS ON SEPTEMBER 18
The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s 2014-15 season officially opens on September 18, 19, and 20 with a special program of music by Mozart and Beethoven led by the BSO’s popular and much-praised associate conductor, Brazilian-born Marcelo Lehninger. The first half of the program features BSO wind principals John Ferrillo, William R. Hudgins, Richard Svoboda, and James Sommerville in Mozart’s seldom-heard Sinfonia concertante in E-flat for oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and horn, after which the young American soprano Nicole Cabell and the BSO’s cello section join forces for a rarity—Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos’s Bachianas brasileiras No. 5 for soprano and cellos. The program closes with one of the most exciting and best-known works in the orchestral repertoire—Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.
RAFAEL FRÜHBECK DE BURGOS CONDUCTS BRAHMS’S GERMAN REQUIEM AND NIELSEN’S SYMPHONY NO. 4, “THE INEXTINGUISHABLE”
For the first of two programs led by Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos (October 16, 17, 18, and 21), the veteran Spanish conductor will lead Brahms’s youthful Piano Concerto No. 1 with Rudolf Buchbinder as soloist, and Nielsen’s Symphony No. 4, The Inextinguishable. The following week (October 23, 24, and 25), Maestro Frühbeck will lead the BSO in Brahms’s profound German Requiem—alongside Bach’s Cantata No. 82, Ich habe genug. This program will feature the artistry of British soprano Rosemary Joshua in her BSO debut, and the great Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel.
Following Maestro Frühbeck’s two programs, returning Spanish conductor Juanjo Mena teams with German violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann for the Sibelius Violin Concerto, paired with a favorite Schubert work, his Great C major symphony (October 30 and 31, November 1 and 2).
CHRISTIAN ZACHARIAS AND LEONIDAS KAVAKOS RETURN TO BSO IN DUAL ROLES AS CONDUCTOR/SOLOISTS
Returning to the BSO podium this fall are two multi-talented conductor-soloists. In October, Christian Zacharias does double duty for Mozart’s elegant G major piano concerto, K.453, the centerpiece of a Mozart-Schubert program beginning with Schubert’s charming music from Rosamunde and ending with his ever-popular Unfinished Symphony (October 9, 10, and 11). November brings the return of violin virtuoso and conductor Leonidas Kavakos, who leads Bartók’s Two Portraits for violin and orchestra, Haydn’s boisterous Symphony No. 82, The Bear, and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition in the brilliant orchestration by Maurice Ravel (November 25, 28, and 29).
RUSSIAN CONDUCTOR TUGAN SOKHIEV IN HIS BSO DEBUT AND ISRAELI CONDUCTOR ASHER FISCH IN HIS SUBSCRIPTION SEASON DEBUT
Acclaimed Russian conductor Tugan Sokhiev, widely considered one of the most sought after young conductors in Europe, makes his BSO debut leading Berlioz’s Le Corsaire Overture and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, on a program with Saint-Saëns’ Cello Concerto No. 1 with the young German cellist Johannes Moser in his BSO debut (January 22, 23, and 24).
The following week (January 29, 30, and 31), Israeli conductor Asher Fisch, in his subscription series debut, introduces Symphony Hall audiences to music by the Israeli composer and Tanglewood Music Center alumnus Avner Dorman, teams with Lithuanian violinist Julian Rachlin for Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2, and challenges winter with Schumann’s Symphony No. 1, Spring.
EARLY-20TH-CENTURY MASTERPIECES ASSOCIATED WITH THE BALLETS RUSSES AND THE BSO’S OWN SERGE KOUSSEVITZKY
Over a series of three programs, February 12-March 3, 2015, the BSO will present performances of influential works from the first three decades of the 20th century, many of which share the common thread of association with the Ballets Russes. Many are also works that represent a key component of the BSO’s history, having been written by composers whom Serge Koussevitzky championed during his twenty-five-year tenure as BSO music director from 1925 to 1949.
To open this special series of concerts, February 12, 13, and 14, Vladimir Jurowski will lead the BSO in Stravinsky’s complete Firebird, the first work Stravinsky composed for the legendary Russian choreographer Sergei Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, a collaboration that played a significant role in introducing Stravinsky as a major composer of international significance. The program opens with Baba-Yaga, Kikimora, From the Apocalypse, and Nenie by Anatol Liadov, a student of the great Russian composer Rimsky-Korsakov. This program will also feature Pierre-Laurent Aimard performing the American premiere of English composer Harrison Birtwistle’s Responses: Of sweet disorder and the carefully careless, for piano and orchestra, a BSO commission reflecting the orchestra’s continuing commitment to new music.
The following week, February 19, 20, and 21, Stéphane Denève leads the orchestra in three works closely associated with the Ballets Russes: Stravinsky’s Pulcinella Suite, a ballet commissioned by Diaghilev and premiered at the Paris Opera in 1920; Milhaud’s The Creation of the World, composed in 1923 for the ballet company Ballets Suedois, the Swedish contemporaries of Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes; and Poulenc’s Les Biches, a ballet choreographed by the great Russian dancer/choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky, premiered by the Ballets Russes in 1924, and the work that helped establish Poulenc as a dynamic leader of a new generation of French composers. The program will also include the BSO debut of James Ehnes performing Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1.
Charles Dutoit continues this programmatic theme, February 26, 27, 28, and March 3, with performances of Stravinsky’s Dumbarton Oaks, a chamber concerto composed in Stravinsky’s neo-classical period, and Debussy’s Images, putting a spotlight on the French composer most closely associated with the Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes. Filling out this program, the elegant German violinist Julia Fischer joins Mr. Dutoit and the BSO as soloist in Brahms’s Violin Concerto.
Maestro Dutoit will also lead the first BSO performances of Polish composer Karol Szymanowski’s moving opera King Roger (March 5 and 6), loosely based on Euripides’ Bacchae, premiered in 1926 in Warsaw, to be sung in Polish with English supertitles, and featuring an internationally acclaimed cast headed by star Polish baritone Marius Kwiecien making his BSO subscription series debut in the title role. King Roger has long been championed by Maestro Dutoit, who led the Paris, New York, and Canadian premieres of this rarely heard work, which focuses on the conflict between Christianity and paganism in 12th-century Sicily. These two programs with Maestro Dutoit continue his multi-year survey with the BSO of some of the musical landmarks of the early 20th century.
CHRISTOPH VON DOHNÁNYI BRINGS HIS MASTERY TO MOZART’S SYMPHONIES 39, 40, AND 41; BERNARD HAITINK CLOSES BSO SEASON WITH WORKS OF RAVEL, MOZART, AND BRAHMS
Christoph von Dohnányi puts Mozart front and center in his two programs, March 12-21. The first juxtaposes music of Mozart and Richard Strauss—who acknowledged Mozart’s influence on several of his own works—with Emanuel Ax as soloist in Mozart’s E-flat piano concerto, K.449, and Strauss’s Burleske for piano and orchestra (March 12, 13, 14, and 17). Maestro Dohnányi’s second program offers the rare opportunity to experience in a single concert the contrasting worlds of Mozart’s last three symphonies, Nos. 39, 40, and 41, which taken together represent a pinnacle of Classical style (March 19, 20, and 21).
BSO Conductor Emeritus Bernard Haitink closes the BSO’s 2014-15 season with French and German repertoire for which he has special affinity. For the first of his two season-ending programs he juxtaposes music of Ravel—the complete Mother Goose ballet score, and the Piano Concerto in G with renowned Ravel exponent Jean-Yves Thibaudet—with Mozart’s flavorful Linz Symphony, and British composer Thomas Adès’s modern take on music by the great French Baroque composer Couperin (April 23, 24, 25, and 28). For his second program, Maestro Haitink is joined by the masterful Portuguese pianist Maria João Pires—not heard with the BSO since 1999—for Mozart’s A major concerto, K.488, with Schumann’s dramatic Manfred Overture as curtain-raiser, and Brahms’s Symphony No. 1 to end the season in triumph.
WEEK-BY-WEEK PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS OF THE BSO’S 2014-15 SEASON
2014-15 SEASON BEGINS SEPTEMBER 18-20 WITH CONDUCTOR MARCELO LEHNINGER, SOPRANO NICOLE CABELL, AND BSO PRINCIPAL SOLOISTS IN MUSIC BY MOZART, VILLA-LOBOS, AND BEETHOVEN
The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s 201415 season begins September 18-20 with a program of music by Mozart, Beethoven, and Villa-Lobos that shines the spotlight on principal players from the orchestra. The concerts are led by BSO Associate Conductor Marcelo Lehninger and also feature sought-after American soprano Nicole Cabell. The program begins with Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante in E-flat for oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and horn, K.297b—with BSO principals John Ferrillo, William R. Hudgins, Richard Svoboda, and James Sommerville as soloists—followed by Villa-Lobos’s Bachianas brasileiras No. 5, for soprano and cellos. Concluding the concerts is Beethoven’s immortal Symphony No. 5.
ANDRIS NELSONS MAKES HIGHLY ANTICIPATED DEBUT AS BSO MUSIC DIRECTOR IN GALA CONCERT SEPTEMBER 27
Andris Nelsons takes the podium as the BSO’s Music Director for the first time September 27, making his highly awaited debut in a gala program featuring music and soloists—soprano Kristīne Opolais, the maestro’s wife, and tenor Jonas Kaufmann, a frequent collaborator with Mr. Nelsons and one of the leading operatic figures of our time—that are near to his heart. The first half of the concert is devoted to music by Wagner, a composer who has had an overwhelming influence on the conductor, and begins with the Overture to Tannhäuser, the first opera Mr. Nelsons heard as a child. The other Wagner selections are “In fernem Land” from Act III of Lohengrin (with Mr. Kaufmann) and the Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde (with Ms. Opolais). After intermission, Mr. Nelsons leads four Italian operatic excerpts: “Mamma, quel vino è generoso” and the Intermezzo from Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana (Mr. Kaufmann), “Ebben? Ne andrò lontana” from Catalani’s La Wally (Ms. Opolais), and “Tu, tu, amore? Tu?” from Puccini’s Manon Lescaut (Ms. Opolais and Mr. Kaufmann). The orchestra’s new music director ends his debut performance with another work demonstrating his affinity for Italian music, Respighi’s exuberant Pines of Rome.
ANDRIS NELSONS LEADS BSO IN MUSIC BY BEETHOVEN, BARTÓK, AND TCHAIKOVSKY
BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons leads his first full subscription weekend October 1-3 in a diverse program of music by Beethoven, Bartók, and Tchaikovsky showcasing the range and virtuosity of the orchestra. The concerts begin with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8, the composer’s most jubilant work in the genre, and continue with Bartók’s Suite from exotic ballet The Miraculous Mandarin, which displays the full measure of Bartók’s brilliant orchestration and uniquely angular style. Bringing the program to a close in dramatic and profound fashion is Tchaikovsky’s beloved Symphony No. 6, Pathétique, a cathartic, powerfully emotional work that received its world premiere under the composer’s baton just nine days before his death.
CHRISTIAN ZACHARIAS LEADS ORCHESTRA AS CONDUCTOR AND PIANO SOLOIST OCTOBER 9-11
Acclaimed German conductor and pianist Christian Zacharias comes to Symphony Hall October 9-11 to perform with the BSO in both capacities in works by Mozart and Schubert, composers that are two of the maestro’s specialties. Mr. Zacharias begins and ends the program with baton in hand, conducting the orchestra in incidental music from Schubert’s Rosamunde—composed for an 1823 play by Helmina von Chézy that has since been lost—and the same composer’s Symphony in B minor, Unfinished, a work that, despite being only two movements, endures as one of Schubert’s greatest and most popular creations. At the heart of the program, Mr. Zacharias leads the BSO from the keyboard in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 17 in G, K.453, one of the series of transcendent Vienna concertos.
RAFAEL FRÜHBECK DE BURGOS AND PIANIST RUDOLF BUCHBINDER JOIN BSO OCTOBER 16-21
Spanish conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, a frequent and revered guest of the BSO, returns to lead the orchestra October 16-21 in a program that also features venerable Austrian pianist Rudolf Buchbinder. A leading interpreter of the great Austro-German music at the core of the repertoire, Mr. Buchbinder appears as soloist in one such work, Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Joining the Brahms on the program is Danish composer Carl Nielsen’s Symphony No. 4, The Inextinguishable, a work composed contemporaneously with World War I and expressing, according to the composer, “the spirit of life or manifestations of life, that is: everything that moves, that wants to live ....”
BSO IS JOINED BY ROSEMARY JOSHUA, BRYN TERFEL, AND THE TANGLEWOOD FESTIVAL CHORUS FOR TWO GREAT MASTERPIECES OF ORCHESTRAL-VOCAL MUSIC OCTOBER 23-25
In the second consecutive week of concerts under the direction of maestro Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, the BSO welcomes two distinguished Welsh vocal soloists—soprano Rosemary Joshua and bass-baritone Bryn Terfel—as well asthe Tanglewood Festival Chorus for concerts presenting two of the most poignant vocal-orchestral works in the canon. Opening the program in Bach’s Cantata No. 82, Ich habe genug, a divinely beautiful declaration of faith that is heartbreaking in its expression of the desire to leave earthly troubles behind and ascend to a higher plane. More humanistic but equally affecting is Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem, a non-liturgical setting of German-language text from Scripture—inspired at least in part by the death of the composer’s mother—that emphasizes the mourning process of those left behind by the dead, which concludes the program.
CONDUCTOR JUANJO MENA AND VIOLINIST FRANK PETER ZIMMERMANN RETURN TO SYMPHONY HALL FOR MUSIC BY SIBELIUS AND SCHUBERT OCTOBER 30-NOVEMBER 4
Spanish conductor Juanjo Mena—chief conductor of the BBC Philharmonic—takes the BSO podium October 30-November 4 for a program featuring eminent German violinist Frank Peter Zimmerman as soloist in Sibelius’s Violin Concerto,a pinnacle of the concerto repertoire and uniquely Sibelian in its alternately hushed and rhapsodic atmosphere.The concerts conclude with another pillar of the repertoire, Schubert’s Symphony in C, The Great. The composer’s ultimate symphony (in both senses of the word: it is his biggest and last word in the genre), the C major was famously praised for its “heavenly length” by Robert Schumann, who observed also that it “transports us into a world we cannot recall ever having been before.”
ANDRIS NELSONS RETURNS TO LEAD WORKS BY SIBELIUS AND SOFIA GUBAIDULINA
BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons returns to Symphony Hall November 6-11 to lead the orchestra in the first of three weeks of programs with ties to Scandinavian and Slavic music and artists. For these four concerts, Mr. Nelsons and the BSO arejoined by Latvian violinist Baiba Skride, who is featured as soloist in sophisticated and widely celebrated Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina’s moving violin concerto Offertorium, a 1980s work inspired by two of the composer’s greatest influences, Bach and Webern, and incorporating, as much of her music does, religious elements. Also on the program is Sibelius’s Symphony No. 2, one of his most popular works, a vibrant and rousing dialogue between Sibelius and the preceding two centuries of musical influences from across the European continent.
NELSONS LEADS THE RITE OF SPRING AND AMERICAN PREMIERE OF MUSIC BY BRETT DEAN NOVEMBER 13-18
High drama is the order of the day November 13-18 as BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons leads a program of works with strong ties to the theater and/or film, beginning with Tchaikovsky’s Hamlet. Like the same composer’s more famous Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet is a concert overture inspired by Shakespeare, capturing the play’s darkness and moody mystery. At the center of the program is the American premiere of Australian composer Brett Dean’s Dramatis personae, for trumpet and orchestra. Featuring Swedish soloist Håkan Hardenberger, with whom Mr. Nelsons has worked frequently, Dean’s work incorporates the spirit of theater and the silver screen, with allusions to music from superhero movies to Charlie Chaplin. The concerts close with Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, the score to an intensely dramatic ballet and on its own some of the most dramatic music ever written.
YO-YO MA AND VOCAL SOLOISTS JOIN NELSONS, BSO, AND TANGLEWOOD FESTIVAL CHORUS FOR PROGRAM INCLUDING RACHMANINOFF’S THE BELLS NOVEMBER 20-22
Andris Nelsons concludes his three-week stay November 20-22 with performances that welcome several guests and are filled with new and rarely heard music. International superstar cellist Yo-Yo Ma joins the orchestra for Prokofiev’s Symphony-Concerto for cello and orchestra, written in 1950-51 and dedicated to Mstislav Rostropovich, but otherwise these concerts are dedicated to vocal music. They open with Koussevitzky Said: Choral Scherzo with Orchestra, Boston-based composer John Harbison’s tribute to the BSO’s longtime music director, featuring the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. The chorus also joins the BSO for the world premiere of a new BSO co-commissioned work for chorus and orchestra by Latvian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds. These large forces are expanded even further—welcoming vocal soloists soprano Victoria Yastrebova, tenor Pavel Černoch, and bass-baritone Kostas Smoriginas—for the final work on the program, Rachmaninoff’s The Bells, an eerily powerful work inspired by the composer’s artistic hero, Edgar Allen Poe.
LEONIDAS KAVAKOS LEADS BSO AS CONDUCTOR AND VIOLIN SOLOIST NOVEMBER 25-29
For the second year in a row, acclaimed Greek artist Leonidas Kavakos leads the BSO as both conductor and violin soloist. In three concerts November 25-29, Mr. Kavakos first performs with bow in hand in Bartók’s Two Portraits for violin and orchestra, re-orchestrated portions of previous works that the composer repackaged into this smaller format. Kavakos then takes up his baton to lead two very different works: Haydn’s Symphony No. 82, The Bear, one of the so-called “Paris” symphonies and a fine example of the composer’s mastery of the Classical symphonic form; and one of the repertoire’s most barnstorming, kaleidoscopic showpieces, Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.
ANDRIS NELSONS LEADS PROGRAM OF BRAHMS, HAYDN, AND STRAUSS JANUARY 8-10
Andris Nelsons leads a program of music by Brahms, Haydn, and Strauss to start the spring half of the BSO’s 2014-15 season. The opening work, Brahms’s Variations on a Theme by Haydn, was intended as a tribute to the great Classical composer—although current scholars now believe the tune on which Brahms based his variations was not actually written by Haydn. Brahms’s homage is followed by a work that certainly was written by Haydn, the Symphony No. 90, which emerged shortly before the composer’s more famous “London” symphonies but nonetheless is one of his finest and most elegant creations. Concluding the program is Strauss’s tone poem Don Quixote—featuring cellist Gautier Capuçon and BSO principal violist Steven Ansell as soloists—a characteristically colorful work that portrays several scenes from Cervantes’s seminal novel.
NELSONS AND BSO WELCOME PIANIST LARS VOGT FOR PROGRAM OF MOZART AND BRUCKNER JANUARY 15-17
Distinguished German pianist Lars Vogt joins the BSO and Music Director Andris Nelsons January 15-17 as soloist in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor, K. 491, the composer’s most generously scored work in the genre and one of only two in a minor key. Following the Mozart on these concerts is Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7, one of Mr. Nelsons’ favorite works in the Austro-German symphonic repertoire. The only one of Bruckner’s symphonies to achieve real popular success during his lifetime, the Seventh became the composer’s monument to his hero Wagner, who died during its composition.
JOHANNES MOSER JOINS BSO AS SOLOIST IN SAINT-SAËNS’S CELLO CONCERTO NO. 1
In a January 22-24 program conducted by rising Ossetian conductor Tugan Sokhiev—principal conductor and artistic director of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin—young German-Canadian cellist Johannes Moser performs as soloist in Saint-Saëns’s Cello Concerto No. 1, structured in one continuous movement and requiring terrific virtuosity from the cellist. Also on the program are Berlioz’s Le Corsaire Overture, inspired by pirate novels and the turquoise Mediterranean waters at Nice, and Rimsky-Korsakov’s ever-popular Scheherazade, a brilliantly colorful and atmospheric musical depiction of the Thousand and One Nights.
CONDUCTOR ASHER FISCH RETURNS FOR MUSIC BY SCHUMANN, PROKOFIEV, AND
AVNER DORMAN JANUARY 29-31
Following an acclaimed BSO debut at Tanglewood in 2012, Israeli conductor Asher Fisch leads BSO subscription concerts for the first time January 29-31 in music by Schumann, Prokofiev, and Israeli composer Avner Dorman. The program begins with Dorman’s Astrolatry, which is inspired by the previously citybound composer’s newfound love for stargazing, which developed after spending time in rural Pennsylvania. Following the new work, the orchestra is joined by Lithuanian violinist Julian Rachlin for Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2, a melodious later work with audible influences from Russian and Spanish folk music, and the program then concludes with Schumann’s Symphony No. 1, Spring.
MAESTRO VLADIMIR JUROWSKI AND PIANIST PIERRE-LAURENT AIMARD JOIN BSO FEBRUARY 12-14
Two of classical music’s leading and most distinctive artists—Russian-born principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra Vladimir Jurowski and visionary French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard—come to Symphony Hall February 12-14. A dedicated and compelling advocate for new music, Mr. Aimard is featured as soloist in the American premiere of innovative British composer Harrison Birtwistle’s Responses: Of sweet disorder and the carefully careless, for piano and orchestra, a BSO co-commission. To open and close the program, Mr. Jurowski leads the orchestra in a vibrant selection of Russian music: four tone poems by Anatoly Liadov—Baba-Yaga, Kikimora, From the Apocalypse, and Nenie—and Stravinsky’s breakthrough early work The Firebird (complete), the commission for which he received only when Liadov was unable to complete a work in time.
STÉPHANE DENÈVE RETURNS WITH VIOLINIST JAMES EHNES FEBRUARY 19-21
French conductor Stéphane Denève, chief conductor of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra and a frequent BSO guest in recent seasons, takes the podium February 19-21 for a program of Russian and French music. Before intermission, Maestro Denève leads the orchestra in Stravinsky’s glittering Pulcinella Suite—based on music from the largely Italian 18th-century music—and Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1, for which the orchestra is joined by prodigious Canadian soloist James Ehnes. On the second half of the program, Mr. Denève focuses on music from his home nation, leading Milhaud’s jazz-inflected The Creation of the World and Poulenc’s music for Les Biches, an urbane ballet depicting a sophisticated 1920s house party.
CHARLES DUTOIT AND JULIA FISCHER COME TO SYMPHONY HALL FEBRUARY 26-MARCH 3
In the third consecutive week of programs featuring music by Stravinsky, eminent Swiss conductor Charles Dutoit leads the BSO in the Russian composer’s Concerto in E-flat, Dumbarton Oaks, commissioned by the owners of the Dumbarton Oaks estate in Washington, DC, and the last piece Stravinsky wrote in Europe before emigrating to America in 1939. To conclude the program, highly acclaimed German violinist Julia Fischer teams up with Mr. Dutoit and the orchestra for Brahms’s Romantic yet refined Violin Concerto, and in between are Debussy’s Images, for orchestra, which sparkle with color and evocative orchestral effects and in some ways even surpass his earlier masterpieces for sheer vividness of sound painting.
CHARLES DUTOIT RETURNS TO LEAD SZYMANOWSKI’S COMPLETE OPERA KING ROGER MARCH 5-7
BSO audiences have two rare opportunities March 5 and 7 to hear complete concert presentations of the opera King Roger by early-20th-century Polish composer Karol Szymanowki, one of Poland’s greatest composers after Chopin. For these performances, sung in Polish with English supertitles, the orchestra is conducted by Charles Dutoit and joined by the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and Voices Boston, as well as a distinguished case of vocal soloists, headlined by Polish baritone and Met opera star Mariusz Kwiecien in the title role and also featuring soprano Olga Pasichnyk; mezzo-soprano Yvonne Naef; tenors Edgaras Montvidas and Alexander Richardson, and bass Raymond Aceto. The opera, composed between 1918 and 1924, is based on the life of 12th-century Sicilian monarch King Roger II.
BSO IS JOINED BY CONDUCTOR CHRISTOPH VON DOHNÁNYI AND PIANIST EMANUEL AX
German maestro Christoph von Dohnányi takes the podium March 12-17 for works by Mozart and Strauss. Leading American pianist and frequent BSO guest soloist Emanuel Ax is featured in two works: Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 14 in E-flat, K.449—the first work in the second series of concertos Mozart wrote after moving to Vienna and the beginning of a string of mature masterpieces in the genre—and Strauss’s Burleske for piano and orchestra, a brilliant one-movement mini-concerto from very early in the composer’s long career. Also on the program are Strauss’s Sextet from Capriccio, which serves as the overture to the composer’s final opera, and Mozart’s Symphony No. 35, Haffner.
CHRISTOPH VON DOHNÁNYI RETURNS TO LEAD MOZART’S FINAL THREE SYMPHONIES
In three concerts March 19-21, the BSO, conductor Christoph von Dohnányi, and Symphony Hall audiences have the chance to revel in the transcendence of Mozart’s final three symphonies, a pinnacle of the great composer’s career, the Classical period, and the entire symphonic repertoire. Composed in rapid succession during the summer of 1788, the Symphonies Nos. 39, 40, and 41 cover a remarkable breadth of stylistic and emotional ground, but each displays Mozart’s combination of technical mastery (both of the elegant Classical style and of complex counterpoint), imaginative originality, and melodic inspiration. The program proceeds in numerical order, beginning with the grand and capricious No. 39, proceeding with the drama and pathos of the minor-key No. 40, and concluding with the magnificence of No. 41, Jupiter.
ANDRIS NELSONS LEADS MAHLER’S SIXTH SYMPHONY AND WORLD PREMIERE OF MUSIC BY MICHAEL GANDOLFI MARCH 26-31
BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons is back on the podium March 26-31 for a program featuring the world premiere of a new work for organ and orchestra by Boston-based American composer and close BSO collaborator Michael Gandolfi. The work, featuring French organist Olivier Latry and was composed in memory of former BSO organist Berj Zamkochian, the BSO’s regular organist for many years. The program also features Mahler’s monumental, intricate, and devastatingly tragic Symphony No. 6, the finale of which features three cataclysmic hammer blows that the composer later believed presaged three great misfortunes in his life: the death of his daughter, the loss of the directorship of the Vienna Court Opera, and the diagnosis of the heart condition that would ultimately lead to his death.
MAESTRO NELSONS WELCOMES VIOLINIST CHRISTIAN TETZLAFF APRIL 2-4
In three performances April 2-4, Andris Nelsons is joined by his friend and world-renowned German violinist Christian Tetzlaff for Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, one of the composer’s many great masterpieces and a work that holds a cherished place at the heart of the violin repertoire. After intermission, Mr. Nelsons leads his orchestra in Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10, an intense and emotionally draining work that is contentiously claimed to represent the Stalin years of the Soviet Union but certainly represents one of the composer’s highest achievements in the symphonic genre.
RICHARD GOODE JOINS BSO FOR MOZART AND NELSONS LEADS STRAUSS AND SCHULLER
In his final appearances of the 2014-15 season April 9-14, Music Director Andris Nelsons leads a program showcasing the orchestra in a crystalline Classical concerto, the lush late-Romanticism of Richard Strauss, and the modernism of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Gunther Schuller. At the heart of the program is Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 27 in B-flat, K.595, with eminent American Mozart specialist Richard Goode. To begin the concerts, Mr. Nelsons leads the BSO in Schuller’s scintillating Dreamscape, a symphony-in-miniature revealed to the composer in a dream; it was composed for and premiered by the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra in 2012. The program concludes with Strauss’s epic, episodic, and brilliantly colorful Ein Heldenleben, which is based on the composer’s own life and incorporates quotations from several of his previous works.
BERNARD HAITINK AND JEAN-YVES THIBAUDET JOIN BSO FOR RAVEL, ADÈS, AND MOZART
BSO Conductor Emeritus Bernard Haitink arrives in Boston for the final two weekends of the 2014-15 season, beginning with an April 23-28 program of Ravel and Mozart. Mr. Haitink leads the orchestra in the complete score of Ravel’s fairy tale-inspired ballet Mother Goose, including movements depicting the tales of Sleeping Beauty, Tom Thumb, and Beauty and the Beast. Acclaimed French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet then joins the orchestra for the Piano Concerto in G, a work both modern and tuneful and one of Ravel’s finest works. English composer Thomas Adès wrote his Three Studies from Couperin as an homage to the French Baroque composer—much as Ravel had done with his Tombeau de Couperin a hundred years ago. Unlike Ravel, Adès borrows directly from his source, resulting in an elegant, exotic style existing simultaneously in the past and present. Bringing the program to an end is Mozart’s Symphony No. 36, Linz, which, not having a symphony on hand to perform, he wrote in a four-day flurry during a stopover in that Austrian city.
BERNARD HAITINK, MARIA JOÃO PIRES, AND BSO BRING 2014-15 SEASON TO AN END
APRIL 30-MAY 2
Maestro Bernard Haitink is on the podium for the BSO’s final Symphony Hall performances of the 2014-15 season April 30-May 2. The great Portuguese pianist Maria João Pires is soloist in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 in A, K.488, written toward the end of the composer’s life and notable for its intimate, chamber-musical character and heightened lyricism (even for Mozart). Robert Schumann’s Manfred Overture, composed in 1848 as part of the incidental music to Byron’s dramatic poem, is one of the composer’s most overtly Romantic works. Closing these concerts is Brahms’s lyrical and powerful Symphony No. 1, a work of long gestation that both refers to, and pointedly departs from, the symphonies of Beethoven.
TICKET, SPONSORSHIP, AND OTHER PATRON INFORMATION
Subscriptions for the BSO’s 2014-15 season will be available March 10 by calling the BSO Subscription Office at 888-266-7575 or online through the BSO’s website (http://www.bso.org/subscriptions). Single tickets go on sale August 4 at 10 a.m. Tickets may be purchased by phone through SymphonyCharge (617-266-1200 or 888-266-1200), online through the BSO’s website (www.bso.org), or in person at the Symphony Hall Box Office (301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston)