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BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA ANNOUNCES 2015-16 SEASON

BSO MUSIC DIRECTOR ANDRIS NELSONS TO LEAD THIRTEEN PROGRAMS HIGHLIGHTED BY A MULTI-SEASON PROGRAMMING AND RECORDING INITIATIVE AROUND THE WORKS OF SHOSTAKOVICH; THREE WEEKS OF THEMATIC CONCERTS IN HONOR OF THE 400TH ANNIVERSARY OF SHAKESPEARE’S DEATH; CONCERT PERFORMANCES OF STRAUSS’S OPERA ELEKTRA; NEW WORKS BY HANS ABRAHAMSEN, SEBASTIAN CURRIER, GIYA KANCHELI, AND GEORGE TSONTAKIS; AND FAVORITE ORCHESTRAL WORKS BY BEETHOVEN, BRAHMS, BRUCKNER, DEBUSSY, HAYDN, MAHLER, MOZART, PROKOFIEV, RACHMANINOFF, RAVEL, AND TCHAIKOVSKY

Click here for the complete BSO 2015-16 season listing

[Andris Nelsons (photo by Marco Borggreve)][Barbara Hannigan (photo by Ede Haas)][Evgeny Kissin (photo by Sheila Rock)][Kristine Opolais (photo by Tatyana Vlasova)]

BSO ALSO ANNOUNCES MULTI-YEAR RECORDING INITIATIVE WITH DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON:  INITIAL PROJECT FOCUSES ON LIVE RECORDINGS DRAWN FROM BSO’S THREE-YEAR SURVEY OF SHOSTAKOVICH WORKS COMPOSED DURING THE PERIOD HE WAS UNDER INTENSE SCRUTINY BY STALIN, INCLUDING SYMPHONIES 5-10 (CLICK HERE FOR FULL DETAILS ABOUT PROJECT)

BSO AND ANDRIS NELSONS OPEN 2015-16 SEASON ON OCTOBER 1 WITH AN ALL-RUSSIAN PROGRAM FEATURING TCHAIKOVSKY’S PIANO CONCERTO NO. 1 WITH 
EVGENY KISSIN AS SOLOIST, RACHMANINOFF’S SYMPHONIC DANCES,
AND SHOSTAKOVICH’S SYMPHONY NO. 9

SHAKESPEARE INITIATIVE TO FEATURE A NEW WORK BY HANS ABRAHAMSEN BASED ON TEXTS FROM HAMLET AND FEATURING THE ECLECTIC SOPRANO BARBARA HANNIGAN; A NEW BSO COMMISSION BY GEORGE TSONTAKIS BASED ON SHAKESPEARE SONNETS, COMPOSED FOR BSO ENGLISH HORN PLAYER ROBERT SHEENAHENZE’S SYMPHONY NO. 8, INSPIRED BY A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM; AND FAVORITE BARD-INSPIRED WORKS BY MENDELSSOHNPROKOFIEV, ANDTCHAIKOVSKY, AS WELL AS THE FIRST BSO PERFORMANCES OF STRAUSS’S 
MACBETH
 SINCE 1911

STRAUSS’S ELEKTRA WITH CHRISTINE GOERKE IN THE TITLE ROLE, AND ALSO FEATURING 
GUN-BRIT BARKMINJANE HENSCHELGERHARD SIEGEL, AND JAMES RUTHERFORD, AS WELL AS THE TANGLEWOOD FESTIVAL CHORUS

[Christine Goerke (photo by Arielle Doneson)][Gun-Brit Barkman][Paul Lewis][Nikolai Lugansky (photos by Caroline Doutre Naive)]

  GUEST ARTISTS AND ENSEMBLES COLLABORATING WITH ANDRIS NELSONS AND THE BSO INLCUDE PIANISTS YEFIM BRONFMAN (BARTÓK PIANO CONCERTO NO. 2), PAUL LEWIS 
(BEETHOVEN PIANO CONCERTO NO. 3), AND NIKOLAI LUGANSKY (RACHMANINOFF RHAPSODY ON A THEME OF PAGANINI); SINGERS KRISTINE OPOLAIS (LETTER SCENE FROM TCHAIKOVSKY’SEUGENE ONEGIN) AND NADEZHDA SERDYUK (PROKOFIEV’S ALEXANDER NEVSKY); 
VIOLINIST ISABELLE FAUST (BERG VIOLIN CONCERTO); BSO CONCERTMASTER MALCOLM LOWEAND PRINCIPAL VIOLA STEVEN ANSELL (MOZART SINFONIA CONCERTANTE); 
AND THE TANGLEWOOD FESTIVAL CHORUS (CHORAL WORKS OF BACH, PROKOFIEV’S 
ALEXANDER NEVSKY, KANCHELI’S DIXI, AND STRAUSS’S ELEKTRA)

MAESTRO NELSONS TO LEAD BSO IN DUTILLEUX’S MÉTABOLES, IN HONOR OF THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE COMPOSER’S BIRTH AND A NEW WORK BY SEBASTIAN CURRIER; ADDITIONAL ORCHESTRAL WORKS INCLUDE DEBUSSY’S LA MERBRAHMS’S SYMPHONY NO. 2;BRUCKNER’S SYMPHONY NO. 3PROKOFIEV’S ROMEO AND JULIET; RACHMANINOFF’S SYMPHONIC DANCESRAVEL’S LA VALSETCHAIKOVSKY’S SYMPHONY NO. 1 AND ROMEO AND JULIET, ANDSHOSTAKOVICH’S SYMPHONIES 5, 8, AND 9, AS WELL AS MAHLER’S NINTH SYMPHONY, THE WORK MR. NELSONS LED THE FIRST TIME HE EVER CONDUCTED THE BSO

BSO 2015-16 SEASON ENDS WITH EIGHT-CONCERT TOUR TO GERMANY, AUSTRIA, AND LUXEMBOURG, MAY 3-12, UNDER THE DIRECTION OF ANDRIS NELSONS

BSO INTRODUCES NEW YOUNG AUDIENCE INITIATIVE: THREE BSO CASUAL FRIDAY CONCERTSOFFER PATRONS SPECIALLY PRICED TICKETS, EXCLUSIVE BEHIND-THE-SCENES DIGITAL MEDIA CONTENT AVAILABLE THROUGH SMARTPHONES AND TABLETS, A CHANCE TO HEAR THE CONDUCTOR AND SOLOISTS SPEAK FROM THE STAGE; IN A RELAXED ATMOSPHERE WHERE CASUAL ATTIRE AND MINGLING WITH FELLOW-CONCERT GOERS AT PRE- AND POST-CONCERT GATHERINGS IS ABSOLUTELY ENCOURAGED

BSO’S HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL $20 TICKETS FOR PEOPLE UNDER 40, COLLEGE CARD, HIGH SCHOOL CARD, AND RUSH TICKET PROGRAMS—ALL OFFERING SIGNIFICANTLY DISCOUNTED TICKETS TO CONCERT- GOERS—TO CONTINUE IN 2015-16 SEASON

TO VIEW THE PORTION OF THE BSO’S 2015-16 SEASON ANNOUNCEMENT THAT OUTLINES ADDITIONAL PROGRAMS FEATURING AN ILLUSTRIOUS SCHEDULE OF GUEST CONDUCTORS 
AND SOLOISTS, CLICK HERE

SUBSCRIPTIONS FOR THE BSO’S 2015-2016 SEASON ARE AVAILABLE NOW BY CALLING 
888-266-7575 OR VISITING www.bso.org; SINGLE TICKETS, $25-$145, GO ON SALE AUGUST 3

To view an online press kit with complete programs, concert listing, ticket information, photos, and artist bios, click here: www.bso.org/presskit

THE 2015-16 SEASON IS SPONSORED BY 
BANK OF AMERICA

[Andris Nelsons (photo by Marco Borggreve)]

 
BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons will lead the Boston Symphony Orchestra in thirteen extraordinarily wide-ranging programs in the 2015-16 BSO season, highlighted by new programming and recording initiatives around the music of Shostakovich, three weeks ofthematic concerts honoring the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, concert performances of Strauss’s Elektra with Christine Goerke in the title role, and new works by Hans Abrahamsen, Sebastian CurrierGiya Kancheli, and George Tsontakis.  Subscriptions for the BSO’s 2015-16 season are available now by calling888-266-7575 or visiting www.bso.org; single tickets, $25-$145, go on sale August 3.

 

[Shostakovich]In conjunction with the BSO’s 2015-16 season announcement, the BSO and Deutsche Grammophon have announced a multi-year collaboration beginning with a series of live recordings of works by Dmitri Shostakovich. The project—five albums to be released in three installments between summer 2015 and summer 2017—will initially focus on music written by Shostakovich during the most intense period of his difficult relationship with Stalin and the Soviet regime—starting with his fall from favor in the mid-1930s, the composition and highly acclaimed premiere of his Fifth Symphony through Stalin’s death in 1953, and the premiere of the composer’s Tenth Symphony. (click here for the full announcement

[Evgeny Kissin (photo by Sheila Rock)]The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s 134th season will open on Thursday, October 1, with an all-Russian program featuring the incomparable Evgeny Kissin, who joins Mr. Nelsons and the orchestra for Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, on a program with works by Shostakovich and Rachmaninoff.  Andris Nelsons, in his second full season with the orchestra, brings the BSO’s season to a close on April 23 with a program featuring soprano Kristine Opolais in the “Letter Scene” from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. The program opens with Dutilleux’s Métaboles, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth; it will also include music of Rachmaninoff, Ravel, and Debussy.

To honor the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, Andris Nelsons leads three programs of Shakespeare-inspired music in January and February, to include not only such popular repertoire staples asMendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream music, Weber’s Overture to Oberon, music from Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet, and Tchaikovsky’s overture-fantasy of that name, but also such rarities as Strauss’sMacbethDvořák’s Othello Overture, and a suite from Shostakovich’s incidental music to Hamlet, as well as Hans Werner Henze’s BSO-commissioned, Midsummer-Night’s-Dream-inspired Symphony No. 8, premiered here in 1993. Also highlighting these weeks will be a series of related events, to encompass lecture, panel discussion, and film presentations.

[Barbara Hannigan (photo by Raphael Brand)]The Shakespeare celebration also includes a new work by Danish composer Hans Abrahamsen—let me tell you, based on texts from Hamlet, featuring, in her BSO debut, Canadian soprano Barbara Hannigan; and the world premiere of American composer George Tsontakis’ Sonnets, a BSO commission written for BSO English horn player Robert Sheena. Other new works under the direction of Mr. Nelsons in 2015-16 include a BSO co-commission (with the Seattle Symphony) of American composer Sebastian Currier’s Divisions for orchestra andthe  American premiere of Georgian composer Giya Kancheli’s Dixi for chorus and orchestra, featuring theTanglewood Festival Chorus.

[Yefim Bronfman]The prestigious list of guest artists and ensembles joining Mr. Nelsons and the BSO for the 2015-16 season includes pianists Yefim Bronfman (Bartók Piano Concerto No. 2), Paul Lewis (Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 3), and Nikolai Lugansky(Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini); mezzo-soprano Nadezhda Serdyuk (Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky); violinist Isabelle Faust (Berg Violin Concerto); BSO Concertmaster Malcolm Lowe and Principal Viola Steven Ansell(Mozart Sinfonia Concertante); and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus (choral works of Bach, Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky, Kancheli’s Dixi, and Strauss’s Elektra).

Throughout the 2015-16 season, Mr. Nelsons continues to spotlight the orchestra through performances of such major symphonic works as Brahms’s Symphony No. 2Bruckner’s Symphony No. 3Debussy’s La Mer,Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet,  Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic DancesTchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet,Ravel’s La ValseShostakovich’s Symphonies Nos. 5, 8, and 9, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 1,Winter Daydreams, as well as Mahler’s Ninth Symphony, the work Mr. Nelsons led the first time he ever conducted the BSO, in March 2011, before becoming its music director in fall 2014.

[Andris Nelsons (photo by Marco Borggreve)]Following the BSO’s 2015-16 season at Symphony Hall, Andris Nelsons will lead the orchestra in a European tour, May 3-12, 2016 to eight cities in Germany, Austria, and Luxembourg.   This will be Andris Nelsons’ second tour with the BSO; he leads his first tour as BSO music director in August/September 2015—an eight-city tour to major European capitals, including Berlin, Cologne, London, Milan, and Paris, as well as the Lucerne, Salzburg, and Grafenegg festivals. 

The Boston Symphony Orchestra performs October through April in internationally-acclaimed

Symphony Hall, which has been consistently ranked as one of the top three concert halls in the world since its opening as the BSO’s home in 1900; information about the BSO can be found at www.bso.org. During the 2015-16 season, the BSO and Andris Nelsons also perform a three-concert series at Carnegie Hall, October 20, 21, and 22; Carnegie Hall release available here. The orchestra’s summer season takes place at Tanglewood—this country’s preeminent summer music festival and the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra since 1937—located in the Berkshire Hills between Stockbridge and Lenox, MA; details about the 2015 Tanglewood season available at www.tanglewood.org.

Click here for the complete BSO 2015-16 season listing

QUOTE FROM ANDRIS NELSONS:
[Andris Nelsons (photo by Marco Borggreve)]“As I lead my last few concerts of the Boston Symphony’s 2014-15 season and announce the 2015-16 season, I can’t help but reflect on what an amazing year it has been as I started the exciting journey of getting to know our fantastic orchestra, wonderfully enthusiastic audiences, and infinitely generous supporters.  As we look ahead to next year, It is a great pleasure for me to welcome you to our new 2015-2016 BSO season together and I would like to express our excitement in sharing this wonderful music with you all.

Every aspect of the season offers something deeply special for an audience of every age and experience: from powerful Shostakovich performances and a recording cycle with the prestigious Deutsche Grammophon, to a Shakespeare festival of some of the greatest music inspired by the master writer, to new world premieres, some of the most remarkable and beloved works of our musical canon, and a wonderful list of international guest conductors and soloists.

Our hope is that our performances will convey the deep passion and commitment that we feel about the music and how it has truly become food for our souls. Our greatest wish is that it will become just that for all who come to hear the BSO in the acoustical sensation that is Symphony Hall.”

PROGRAM DETAILS FOR 2015-16 BSO SEASON WITH ANDRIS NELSONS

ANDRIS NELSONS LEADS OPENING AND CLOSING CONCERTS OF 2015-16 SEASON
[Andris Nelsons (photo by Marco Borggreve)]The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s 134th season will open on Thursday, October 1, with an all-Russian program featuring the incomparable Evgeny Kissin, who joins Mr. Nelsons and the orchestra for Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, on a program that opens with Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9, not played by the BSO since 1962, and closes with Rachman[Kristine Opolais (Photo by Tatyana Vlasova)]inoff’s Symphonic Dances.   

Andris Nelsons, the Ray and Maria Stata Music Director, leads the final program of the 2015-16 season on April 21-23. The program will feature soprano Kristine Opolais in the “Letter Scene” from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin and Rachmaninoff’s Zdes’khorosho (How fair this place), Op. 21, No. 7. The program opens with Dutilleux’s Métaboles, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth and his longstanding ties to the BSO, dating back to the music directorship of Charles Munch and continuing through the tenures of Seiji Ozawa and James Levine. The program will also include Mr. Nelsons leading the orchestra in two core works of the French repertoire—Debussy’s La Mer and Ravel’s La Valsemusic for which the Boston Symphony has been particularly well-known throughout its history. 

STRAUSS’S ELEKTRA WITH CHRISTINE GOERKE IN THE TITLE ROLE
[Christine Goerke (photo by Arielle Doneson)]Andris Nelsons—who is strongly committed to presenting opera on a regular, if not annual, basis—will follow his extraordinary success leading the BSO in Strauss’sSalome in 2014 with another of the composer’s masterful operas, Elektra, withChristine Goerke in the title role, Gun-Brit Barkmin as Chrysothemis (Barkmin was previously heard here as Salome), Jane Henschel as Klytämnestra, Gerhard Siegelas Aegisth, and James Rutherford as Orest, along with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus

 

SHOSTAKOVICH RECORDING AND PERFORMANCE CYCLE
[Shostakovich]The BSO and Andris Nelsons, in a multi-year programming and recording initiative around the works of Shostakovich, place a special focus on Symphonies 5-10, which encompass the period the composer was under particularly close scrutiny by Stalin and the Soviet regime. The project, entitled Shostakovich Under Stalin’s Shadowis also the inspiration for a new collaboration between the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Deutsche Grammophon, which will release five live-recorded albums in three installments between summer 2015 and summer 2017 (click here for the full announcement).  In addition to Symphonies 5-10, the project will also include performances and recordings of the incidental music from King Lear and Hamletand the Passacaglia from Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. During the 2015-16 BSO season the orchestra will perform and record Shostakovich’s Symphonies Nos. 5, 8 & 9 and the composer’s Suite from the incidental music to Hamlet.  

In addition to the opening night performance of Shostakovich Symphony No. 9 (see full opening night program description above), music of Shostakovich will be performed as part of three programs throughout the season.  The BSO and Andris Nelsons will perform Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony—one of his first works to be closely watched by the Russian authorities—on a program with Berg’s Violin Concerto with soloist Isabelle Faust, November 19-21.  This program will also feature the BSO and Tanglewood Festival Chorus in Bach’s motetKomm, Jesu, komm! and chorale Es ist genug.  Shostakovich’s Suite from the incidental music to Hamlet opens the February 4-6 program, the full details of which are described below under the section about the BSO’s three-week Shakespeare celebration.  Shostakovich’s massive Symphony No. 8 closes the fourth program of the season to feature works of Shostakovich, March 24-26; this program opens with the American premiere of Kancheli’s Dixi for chorus and orchestra, featuring the Tanglewood Festival Orchestra, followed by Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with pianist Nikolai Lugansky.  All of the performances of Shostakovich’s music will be recorded live for future release on Deutsche Grammophon. 

Mr. Nelsons—born in Riga, Latvia in 1978, when it was still a part of the Soviet Union—is certain to bring a unique perspective to the performances and recordings of Shostakovich’s music. One of the last conductors trained under the Soviet music tradition, and having studied extensively in St Petersburg, Andris Nelsons now represents the last of a distinct musical voice which is influenced heavily by both those great Russian masters and later those of Western Europe in the core Germanic repertoire.

In conjunction with the performances and recordings of Shostakovich’s works, the BSO will provide enhanced online materials detailing the BSO’s history with Shostakovich, including Serge Koussevitzky’s  close advocacy of Shostakovich’s music during his BSO music directorship, 1925-49; an interview with Andris Nelsons about his early experiences and strong ties to Shostakovich’s music; and fascinating details on the August 14, 1942 American concert premiere of Shostakovich’s Seventh Symphony by the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra with Koussevitzky conducting.   

THREE-WEEK SHAKESPEARE CELEBRATION HONORING THE 400TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BARD’S DEATH
[William Shakespeare]Andris Nelsons and the BSO will devote three weeks of programs, January 28-February 13, to performances honoring the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.  The first program, January 28-February 2, opens with Weber’s popular Overture to Oberon, followed by Henze’s BSO-commissioned, Midsummer-Night’s-Dream-inspired Symphony No. 8, premiered here in 1993. The program ends with one of the most well-known musical works inspired by Shakespeare—the complete incidental music to Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Shostakovich’s suite from the incidental music to Hamlet, a program rarity, opens the February 4-6 programs, which will also include Prokofiev’s Suite from Romeo and Juliet. The highly acclaimed Canadian soprano Barbara Hannigan, in her BSO debut, will be featured in the American premiere of Hans Abrahamsens’s Hamlet-inspired let me tell you—which was given its world premiere on December 20, 2013 with the Berlin Philharmonic, with Ms. Hannigan as soloist, under the direction of Mr. Nelsons.  

A world premiere performance of Tsontakis’s Sonnets, written for BSO English horn player Robert Sheena, will be a highlight of the following week’s program, February 11-13, also dedicated to the Shakespeare anniversary.  Strauss’s Macbeth, not performed by the BSO since 1911, opens the program, followed by Dvořák’s OthelloOverture, with Tchaikovsky’s powerful Romeo and Juliet concluding the program. 

BSO “INSIGHTS SERIES” WITH FILM SCREENINGS, ARTIST CONVERSATIONS, AND FREE CHAMBER CONCERTS TO TAKE PLACE IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE BSO’S SHAKESPEARE PROJECT
In conjunction with the BSO’s programs marking the Shakespeare anniversary, the BSO will offer an “Insights Series” in collaboration with Harvard Department of Music Professor Thomas Kelly. Established in 2012 with the support of the NEA, the “Insights Series” offers chamber music performances, moderated panel discussions, and film screenings, all designed to deepen audience engagement with BSO repertoire by providing a glimpse into the artistic process of the composers, performers, and conductors involved in the BSO’s performances and related programming.

Highlights of the 2015-16 Insights Series, January 23-February 14, will include Monday night film screeningsat Symphony Hall of seminal 20th-century Shakespeare films featuring scores by major composers; highlights will include the 1971 film King Lear (music by Shostakovich) and the 1955 film Richard III (music by Walton).“Conversations with Creators” will take place on Tuesday nights at Symphony Hall moderated by Professor Kelly.  Initial plans for this project include a conversation between the actors from the BSO’s performances of Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream music and Bill Barclay of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London; a discussion of Hans Abrahamsen’s let me tell you with soprano Barbara Hannigan, writer Paul Griffiths(lyricist for the work), and the composer; and a discussion of the compositional process with George Tsontakisand BSO English horn principal Robert Sheena.  

Preceding the Thursday-evening Shakespeare-based BSO concerts at Symphony Hall, free chamber concerts—featuring BSO musicians and students from the New England Conservatory—will explore vocal music settings of Shakespeare works. The BSO will also produce concert preview audio podcasts and/or videos ofperformer interviews for dissemination via the BSO’s online Media Center.

BSO INTRODUCES NEW YOUNG AUDIENCE INITIATIVE:  “CASUAL FRIDAYS” 
“Casual Fridays,” a new young audience initiative to be introduced in the 2015-16 BSO season, designed  to make concerts more affordable and accessible for the next generation of attendees, will be offered on three Friday-evenings during the season, January 15, February 12, and March 18.  In addition, this new, lower-priced “Casual Fridays” series includes a free pre-concert reception for all concert-goers, an opportunity for audience members to hear directly from the conductor and soloist from the Symphony Hall stage, and allows for the use of tablets–provided by the BSO–in a designated area of the hall.  Subscribers who choose to take advantage of this digital media content can view in-depth information about the conductors and soloists, a score of the music being performed, and informative notes on the evening’s program.  This new series also encourages concert-goers to wear their favorite casual attire to Symphony Hall, and includes a post-concert gathering in Higginson Hall, where they are encouraged to mingle and share their concert experiences in a relaxed setting with live music, snacks, and a cash bar.

The BSO’s highly successful $20 tickets for people under the age of 40, College Card, High School Card, and Rush Ticket programs—all offering significantly discounted tickets to concert-goers—will continue in the 2015-16 season. 

_______________________________________________________________________

 

IN ADDITION TO THE THIRTEEN PROGRAMS LED BY ANDRIS NELSONS DURING HIS SECOND 
SEASON AS BSO MUSIC DIRECTOR, THE BSO’S 2015-16 SEASON, 
OCTOBER 1,2015-APRIL 23, 2016, ALSO FEATURES RENOWNED GUEST CONDUCTORS AND LEGENDARY SOLOISTS IN NEWER WORKS, INDISPENSIBLE RARITIES AND UNDISPUTED MASTERWORKS IN THE ORCHESTRAL REPERTOIRE

Click here for the complete BSO 2015-16 season listing

[Bernard Haitink (photo by Todd Rosenberg)][Christoph von Dohnanyi][Charles Dutoit][Francois Xavier-Roth]

CONDUCTORS FRANÇOIS-XAVIER ROTH AND CHARLES DUTOIT JOIN ANDRIS NELSONS IN CELEBRATING THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF HENRI DUTILLEUX’S BIRTH WITH PERFORMANCES OF THE COMPOSER’S LES TEMPS L’HORLOGE (ROTH, 1/14 & 16) AND TIMBRES, ESPACE, MOUVEMENT(DUTOIT, 2/25-27) (MR. NELSONS LEADS MÉTABOLES 4/21-23)

BSO CONDUCTOR EMERITUS BERNARD HAITINK—CELEBRATING FORTY-FIVE YEARS AS PART OF THE BSO FAMILY THIS SEASON—LEADS MAHLER’S SYMPHONY NO. 1 AND BEETHOVEN’S PIANO CONCERTO NO. 4 WITH SOLOIST MURRAY PERAHIA (3/31-4/5)

THE 2015-16 SEASON FEATURES FOUR WORLD AND AMERICAN PREMIERE PERFORMANCES, INCLUDING CHRISTOPH VON DOHNÁNYI CONDUCTING THE WORLD PREMIERE OF JEAN-FREDERIC NEUBURGER’S AUBEAND BSO ASSISTANT CONDUCTOR KEN-DAVID MASUR LEADING THE BSO IN THE AMERICAN PREMIERE OF UNSUK CHIN’S MANNEQUIN

MASTER CONDUCTOR HERBERT BLOMSTEDT IS JOINED BY PIANIST GARRICK OHLSSON FOR AN 
ALL-BEETHOVEN PROGRAM (3/10-15); ACCLAIMED RUSSIAN CONDUCTOR VLADIMIR JUROWSKIRETURNS TO THE BSO PODIUM FOR A PROGRAM OF HAYDN, HARTMANN, AND BEETHOVEN (2/18-20); STÉPHANE DENÈVE RETURNS WITH GIL SHAHAM FOR MUSIC BY HIGDON, WILLIAMS, AND SAINT-SAËNS (3/17-19)

[Herbert Blomstedt (photo by Gert Mothes)][Pinchas Zukerman][Vladimir Jurowski][Renee Fleming (photo by Jonathan Tichler)]

PINCHAS ZUKERMAN RETURNS TO THE BSO PODIUM AS CONDUCTOR AND SOLOIST FOR A PROGRAM OF TCHAIKOVSKY, ELGAR, AND SCHUBERT (10/29-31); MEMBERS OF THE BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA PERFORM AN ALL-DVOŘÁK CONCERT WITHOUT CONDUCTOR (10/24)

THREE BSO PROGRAMS THIS SEASON FEATURE BSO PRINCIPAL PLAYERS AS SOLOIST: ELIZABETH ROWE AND JESSICA ZHOU IN MOZART’S DOUBLE CONCERTO FOR FLUTE AND HARP (1/7-12 & 15);ROBERT SHEENA IN THE WORLD PREMIERE OF TSONTAKIS’S SONNETS, CONCERTO FOR ENGLISH HORN AND ORCHESTRA (2/11-12); AND MALCOLM LOWE AND STEVEN ANSELL IN MOZART’SSINFONIA CONCERTANTE FOR VIOLIN, VIOLA, AND ORCHESTRA (4/7-12)

INSTRUMENTALISTS JOINING THE BSO’S 2014-15 SEASON INCLUDE PIANISTS 
GARRICK OHLSSON (Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1), MURRAY PERAHIA (Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4), MARTIN HELMCHEN (Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, Emperor), LOUIS LORTIE (BSO SUBSCRIPTION DEBUT in Liszt’s Totentanz), and JAVIER PERIANES (BSO DEBUT in Falla’s Nights in the Gardens of Spain); VIOLINISTS PINCHAS ZUKERMAN (as soloist and conductor), GIL SHAHAM (Williams’ Violin Concerto), and ALINA IBRAGIMOVA (BSO DEBUT in Haydn’s Violin Concerto No. 1); CELLISTJOHANNES MOSER (Dvořák’s Cello Concerto)

VOCALISTS JOINING THE BSO INCLUDE SOPRANO RENÉE FLEMING (Dutilleux’s Les Temps l’Horlogeand selections from Canteloube’s Songs of the Auvergne), TENOR PAUL GROVES (Berlioz’s Te Deum), MEZZO-SOPRANO DANIELA MACK, TENORS BENJAMIN HULETT AND FRANCOIS PIOLINO, AND BARITONE JEAN-LUC BALLESTRA (BSO DEBUTS), AND BASS-BARITONE DAVID WILSON-JOHNSON(Ravel’s L’Heure espagnole); THE TANGLEWOOD FESTIVAL CHORUS IS ALSO FEATURED IN BERLIOZ’STE DEUM

[Gil Shaham][Garrick Ohlsson][Alina Ibragimova][Johannes Moser]

BSO INTRODUCES NEW YOUNG AUDIENCE INITIATIVE:  THREE BSO CASUAL FRIDAY CONCERTSOFFER PATRONS SPECIALLY PRICED TICKETS, EXCLUSIVE BEHIND-THE-SCENES DIGITAL MEDIA CONTENT AVAILABLE THROUGH SMARTPHONES AND TABLETS, A CHANCE TO HEAR THE CONDUCTOR AND SOLOISTS SPEAK FROM THE STAGE; IN A RELAXED ATMOSPHERE WHERE CASUAL ATTIRE AND MINGLING WITH FELLOW-CONCERT GOERS AT PRE- AND POST-CONCERT GATHERINGS IS ABSOLUTELY ENCOURAGED

BSO’S HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL $20 TICKETS FOR PEOPLE UNDER 40, COLLEGE CARD, HIGH SCHOOL CARD, AND RUSH TICKET PROGRAMS—ALL OFFERING SIGNIFICANTLY DISOUNTED TICKETS TO CONCERT- GOERS—TO CONTINUE IN 2015-16 SEASON

TO VIEW THE PORTION OF THE BSO’S 2015-16 SEASON ANNOUNCEMENT THAT OUTLINES 
ANDRIS NELSONS’ PROGRAMS, CLICK HERE

SUBSCRIPTIONS FOR THE BSO’S 2015-2016 SEASON ARE AVAILABLE NOW BY CALLING 
888-266-7575 OR VISITING www.bso.org; SINGLE TICKETS, $25-$145, GO ON SALE AUGUST 3

To view an online press kit with complete programs, concert listing, ticket information, photos, and artist bios, click here: www.bso.org/presskit

THE 2015-16 SEASON IS SPONSORED BY 
BANK OF AMERICA

In addition to the programs detailed separately that Andris Nelsons will lead during his second season as BSO Music Director (click here for details), the BSO’s 2015-16 season, October 1, 2015-April 23, 2016, also features an impressive array of renowned guest conductors and legendary soloists in newer works, indispensible rarities and undisputed masterworks in the orchestral repertoire.

The 135th season of the Boston Symphony Orchestra takes place October 1, 2015-April 23, 2016. Subscriptions for the BSO’s 2015-16 season are available now by calling 888-266-7575 or visiting www.bso.org. Single tickets go on sale August 3.

2015-16 BSO SEASON HIGHLIGHTS
[Bernard Haitink (photo by Todd Rosenberg)]Highlights of the BSO’s 2015-16 season include BSO Conductor Emeritus Bernard Haitink—who celebrated 45 years this season as a member of the BSO family—leading the orchestra in Mahler Symphony No. 1 and Beethoven on a program featuring pianist Murray Perahia (3/31-4/5); and two French Romantic-focused programs led by BSO guest conductor Charles Dutoit—who continues his multi-year survey of French repertoire and key works of the early 20th century—in February and March highlighting music by Berlioz, Falla, Ravel, and Dutilleux, joined [Charles Dutoit (photo by Priska Ketterer)]by tenor Paul Groves, pianist Javier Perianes, vocal soloists, theTanglewood Festival Chorus, and Voices Boston (2/25-3/5). Christoph von Dohnányi leads the world premiere performances of Jean-Frédéric Neuburger’s Aube, a BSO commission, on a program also featuring pianistMartin Helmchen in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, Emperor (11/12-14); Assistant Conductor Ken-David Masur leads a program featuring pianist Louis Lortie, in his BSO subscription debut, in Liszt’s Totentanz, sharing the program with Schumann’s Rhenish Symphony and the American premiere of Korean composerUnsuk Chin’s Mannequin, a BSO co-commission.

[Francois-Xavier Roth]Veteran conductor Herbert Blomstedt will be joined by American pianist Garrick Ohlsson in an all-Beethoven program (3/10-15); conductor Jiři Bělohlávek returns to the podium for an all-Czech program with cellist Johannes Moser, who made his debut with the orchestra in January 2015; and Vladimir Jurowski introduces violinistAlina Ibragimova to BSO audiences with two rarely performed violin works by Hartmann and Haydn.

François-Xavier Roth leads two programs focused on music with French connections, including selections from Canteloube’s Songs of the Auvergne with soprano Renée Fleming (1/7-16); world renowned musician Pinchas Zukerman will take the stage as conductor and violinist on a program of Tchaikovsky, Elgar, and Shubert (10/29-31); and French-MaestroStéphane Denève conducts a program featuring Gil Shaham in John Williams’ Violin Concerto. 

 

2014-15 BSO SEASON OVERVIEW OF PROGRAMS WITH GUEST CONDUCTORS

CHARLES DUTOIT AND FRANÇOIS-XAVIER ROTH MARK THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF DUTILLEUX’S BIRTH WITH PERFORMANCES OF HIS WORKS 
Charles Dutoit (photo by Hilary Scott)]Charles Dutoit and François-Xavier Roth will both lead the BSO in two weeks of programs during the 2015-16 season, focusing on French and French-inspired music, as well as shining a spotlight on great French composer Henri Dutilleux (1916-2013). Dutilleux had longstanding ties to the Boston Symphony Orchestra, dating back to the music directorship of Charles Munch—who was an important champion of the composer’s work—and continuing through the tenures of Seiji Ozawa and James Levine. To mark the 100th anniversary of Dutilleux’s birth, the orchestra will play three of his significant works.

[Francois-Xavier Roth]In January, François-Xavier Roth conducts the song cycle Les Temps l’Horloge(originally a BSO 125th Anniversary Commission) with soprano Renée Fleming, who sang the American premiere with the BSO in 2007. This program also includes Debussy’s late orchestral work, Jeux, selections of Canteloube’s Songs of the Auvergne with Ms. Fleming, and Stravinsky’s brilliantly orchestrated Petrushka.

Later in the season, Charles Dutoit will lead Dutilleux’s masterfully atmosphericTimbres, espaces, movement, a work dedicated to Charles Munch. The program will include two works by Berlioz—the Resurrexit from the Messe solennelle and the Te Deum with tenor Paul Groves, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and Voices Boston.  Andris Nelsons’season-ending program in April will feature the composer’s Métaboles.

BSO FAMILY TIES
[Bernard Haitink (photo by Clive Barta)]The BSO 2015-16 season will feature programs led by BSO Conductor EmeritusBernard Haitink, who returns March 31-April 5 with esteemed pianist Murray Perahiafor a program pairing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 with Mahler’s powerful Symphony No. 1; and BSO Assistant Conductor Ken-David Masur, who leads the BSO November 5-10 in the American premiere of Unsuk Chin’s Mannequin (a BSO co-commission), as well as Liszt’s Totentanz for piano and orchestra with Louis Lortie, and Schumann’s Symphony No. 3, Rhenish.

[Elizabeth Rowe]Five BSO principal musicians will be featured as soloist through the BSO season. In January, Elizabeth Rowe and Jessica Zhou perform Mozart’s Double Concerto for Flute and Harp with François-Xavier Roth and the BSO. In February, BSO English horn Robert Sheena will be featured in the world premiere performances of George Tsontakis’s Sonnets for English horn and orchestra (a BSO commission, led by Andris Nelsons), and in April, Malcolm Lowe and Steven Ansell take on soloist roles for Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante for violin, viola, and orchestra with Mr. Nelsons conducting.

The winds and strings of the BSO will take center stage for one night, October 24, in a conductor-less program featuring Dvořák’s Wind Serenade, Nocturne for strings, and the Serenade for Strings.

RETURNING FAVORITES
[Pinchas Zukerman]Pinchas Zukerman joins the orchestra October 29-31 as conductor and soloist for two works by Tchaikovsky, including Mélodie for violin and orchestra and the Andante cantabile for violin and strings. Mr. Zukerman will also lead the BSO in Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings, Elgar’s Chanson de la nuit, and Schubert’s Symphony No. 5.

Massachusetts-born Swedish conductor Herbert Blomstedt is joined by American pianist Garrick Ohlsson March 10-15 for an all-Beethov[Stephane Deneve]en program pairing the composer’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the ever-popular Symphony No. 7. Frequent BSO guest and audience favorite Stéphane Denève leads the BSO in Jennifer Higdon’s Blue Cathedral, John Williams’ Violin Concerto with soloist Gil Shaham and Saint-Saëns’ magesterial Symphony No. 3, Organ.

Czech Conductor Jiři Bělohlávek, who made his BSO subscription series debut in 2011, returns to Symphony Hall January 21-23 for an all-Czech program including Smetana’s The Moldau and Martinů’s Sixth Symphony, Fantaisies symphoniques (a BSO 75th anniversary commission premiered in 1955). German-Canadian cellist Johannes Moser, who made his debut with the BSO in January 2015, joins Mr. Bělohlávek for Dvořák’s Cello Concerto.

NEW FACES PERFORMING WITH THE BSO
[Louis Lortie]The 2015-16 season will feature a number of instrumentalists and vocalists making their BSO or subscription series debuts. Three pianists will make debuts with guest conductors this season: Louis Lortie, who made his BSO debut at Tanglewood 1988, will make his first Symphony Hall appearances November 5-10 performing Liszt’sTotentanz with BSO Assistant Conductor Ken-David Masur. Acclaimed young pianistMartin Helmchen will also make his subscription series debut, November 12-14, performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, Emperor, with conductor Christoph von Dohnányi. Maestro von Dohnányi introduced Mr. Helmchen to Tanglewood audiences in 2011.

[Javier Perianes]In March, Spanish pianist Javier Perianes will make his BSO debut with conductorCharles Dutoit in Falla’s brilliant Nights in the Gardens of Spain on a program of Spanish-inspired music. Four vocalists make their BSO debuts in performances of Ravel’s one-act comedic opera, L’Heure espagnole, about a woman’s attempts to get her watchmaker husband out of the way so she can juggle her other lovers. The[Daniela Mack]March 3-5 performances will feature mezzo-sopranoDaniela Mack as Concepción; tenor François Piolino as her husband, Torquemada; tenor Benjamin Hulett as the poet Gonzalve, and baritone Jean-Luc Ballestra as one of her lovers, Ramiro, all in their BSO debuts. Bass-baritone David Wilson-Johnsonsings the role of Don Iñigo, another of Concepción’s lovers.

Russian-born violinist Alina Ibragimova will join Vladimir Jurowski February 18-20 in her BSO debut, performing two rarely heard works: Hartmann’s Concerto funèbrefor violin and strings, a piece never before performed by the BSO; and Haydn’s Violin Concerto No. 1, last performed by the orchestra on just two occasions more than 30 years ago.

BOSTON SYMPHONY CHAMBER PLAYERS 2015-16 SEASON
[Boston Symphony Chamber Players (photo by Stu Rosner)]The Boston Symphony Chamber Players 2015-16 season opens Sunday, November 15, 2015, with performances of electronic music composer and pianistJeremy Flower’s Shamu and Clinical for horn, laptop computer, and piano (with Mr. Flower as pianist).  Also on the program is J.C. Bach’s Quintet in G for flute, oboe, violin, and continuo, Walter Piston’s Three Pieces for flute, clarinet, and bassoon, Paul Hindemith’s Sonata for double bass and piano, and Beethoven’s String Trio in G, Op. 9, No. 1. This will be the first of Beethoven’s three String Trios performed throughout the 2015-16 season. The Chamber Players will also perform the String Trio in C minor, Op. 9, No. 3 (March 13, 2016) and the String Trio in D, Op. 9, No. 2 (April 24, 2016). On Sunday, January 10, 2016, the Chamber Players celebrate the 100th anniversar[Edwin Barker (photo by Stu Rosner)]y of Henri Dutilleux’s birth (born January 22, 1916) with the performance of four of the composer’s works: three earlier pieces, including the Sonatine for flute and piano (1943), Sarabande et cortège for bassoon and piano (1942), and Choral, cadence et fugato for trombone and piano (1995); and the 1991 Les Citations for oboe, harpsichord, percussion, and double bass. The program also includes works by Dukas and Ravel, who were great influences for Dutilleux. Pianist Garrick Ohlssonjoins the Chamber Players Sunday, March 13, 2016, for an all-Beethoven program of music composed between 1795 and 1798, when he was gaining popularity in Vienna. Finally, on Sunday, April 24, 2016, the Chamber Players close their 2015-16 season with a program including Jean Françaix’s Divertissement for oboe, clarinet, and bassoon; Hannah Lash’s Three Shades Without Angles, for flute, viola, and harp, which the ensemble premiered in 2014; Beethoven’s early String Trio in D, Op. 9, No. 2; and the 1813 Nonet by Beethoven’s younger contemporary and colleague Louis Spohr.

 

WEEK-BY-WEEK PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS OF THE BSO’S 2015-16 SEASON

ANDRIS NELSONS KICKS OFF THE BSO’S 2015-16 SEASON OCTOBER 1-3 WITH THE FIRST OF TWO ALL-RUSSIAN PROGRAMS FEATURING SHOSTAKOVICH’S SYMPHONY NO. 9, TCHAIKOVSKY’S PIANO CONCERTO WITH SOLOIST EVGENY KISSIN, AND RACHMANINOFF’S SYMPHONIC DANCES
[Andris Nelsons (photo by Marco Borggreve)]The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s 2015-16 season begins October 1-3 with Music Director Andris Nelsons leading the orchestra in a program of Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, and Rachmaninoff. The centerpiece of the program features soloistEvgeny Kissin in Tchaikovsky’s sprawling Piano Concerto No. 1, one of the most popular and familiar works in all of music, and a piece for which Mr. Kissin is known. The program opens with Shostakovich’s concise and introverted Symphony No. 9, a work which was last performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra over 50 years ago, in 1962. Closing out the program Is Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances, a gorgeous and rhythmic orchestral showpiece and the composer’s final composition.

MAESTRO NELSONS AND THE ORCHESTRA ARE JOINED BY MEZZO-SOPRANO NEDEZHDA SERDYUK FOR PROKOFIEV’S ALEXANDER NEVSKY, OCTOBER 6 & 16
[Nadezhda Serdyuk]In two concerts October 6 and 16, Russian mezzo-soprano Nadezhda Serdyuk joinsMaestro Nelsons, the BSO, and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus for Prokofiev’sAlexander Nevsky cantata, assembled from music originally written for Sergei Eisenstein’s nationalistic film about the 13th-century Russian prince. The score was Prokofiev’s third for a film and is considered one of the most remarkable collaborations between a composer and film maker. The cantata is one of the most renowned of the 20th century.  Maestro Nelsons closes the program with Rachmaninoff’s colorful and energetic Symphonic Dances, his final work and a summing-up of his compositional output, written in New York in exile but full of nostalgia for the old Russia.

PIANIST PAUL LEWIS JOINS ANDRIS NELSONS AND THE BSO FOR BEETHOVEN’S PIANO CONCERTO 
NO. 3, OCTOBER 8-10, ON A PROGRAM FEATURING CURRIER’S DIVISIONS AND BRAHMS’ 
SYMPHONY NO. 2

[Paul Lewis]Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra are joined by English pianistPaul Lewis for Beethoven’s dramatic and tumultuous Third Piano Concerto, October 8-10. The program opens with Sebastian Currier’s Divisions, a BSO co-commission (premiering with the Seattle Symphony in April 2015), and closes with Brahms’s energetic and lyrical Symphony No. 2, written by the composer in a single summer in 1877.


 

SOPRANO CHRISTINE GOERKE JOINS ANDRIS NELSONS, THE BSO, TANGLEWOOD FESTIVAL CHORUS, AND A CAST OF DISTINGUISHED VOCALISTS FOR CONCERT PERFORMANCES OF STRAUSS’S ELEKTRA, OCTOBER 15 & 17
[Christine Goerke]On October 15 and 17, Andris Nelsons lead a concert performances of Strauss’s tragic opera, Elektra, featuring soprano Christine Goerke in the title role. The performance also features soprano Gun-Brit Barkmin (Chrysothemis), mezzo-soprano Jane Henschel (Klytämnestra), tenor Gerhard Siegel (Aegisth), and baritoneJames Rutherford (Orest). The searing one-act opera, Strauss’s first collaboration with librettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal, centers on the murder of Elektra’s father, Agamemnon, and Elektra’s obsessive quest for revenge against his murderer, her mother, Klytämnestra. 
 

MEMBERS OF THE BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA PERFORM ALL-DVOŘÁK PROGRAM WITHOUT CONDUCTOR, OCTOBER 24
[BSO Musicians]Members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra perform a conductor-less program exclusively devoted to the music of great Czech composer Antonín Dvořák on October 24. The Wind Serenade opens the program, followed by the simplistic, calm Nocturne for strings, originally written as the slow movement of the composer’s String Quartet in E minor. The composer’s mild and genial Serenade for Strings, one of his most popular orchestral works, closes the program.

 

PINCHAS ZUKERMAN LEADS THE ORCHESTRA AS CONDUCTOR AND VIOLINIST OCTOBER 29-31
[Pinchas Zukerman]World-renowned violinist Pinchas Zukerman, one of the greatest string players of our time, joins the orchestra October 29-31 as conductor and soloist for two works by Tchaikovsky, including Mélodie for violin and orchestra and the Andante cantabile for violin and strings. Mr. Zukerman will also lead the BSO in Tchaikovsky’s warm and engaging Serenade for Strings, Elgar’s Chanson de la nuit, and Schubert’s bracingly youthful Symphony No. 5, written while the composer was still a teenager.


 

BSO ASSISTANT CONDUCTOR KEN-DAVID MASUR LEADS THE BSO IN THE AMERICAN PREMIERE OF UNSUK CHIN’S MANNEQUIN, AS WELL AS SCHUMANN’S SYMPHONY NO. 3 AND LISZT’S TOTENTANZWITH PIANIST LOUIS LORTIE IN HIS BSO SUBSCRIPTION DEBUT, NOVEMBER 5-10
[Ken-David Masur]BSO Assistant Conductor Ken-David Masur will lead the BSO in a program with a focus on works with extra-musical inspirations, November 5-10. Pianist Louis Lortiejoins orchestra in his BSO subscription debut for Liszt’s devilishly difficult Totentanz, or “Dance of the Dead,” based on the Gregorian plainchant Dies Irae and one of the showiest works in the repertoire. Then Mr. Masur will lead the American premiere of Unsuk Chin’s Mannequin, a piece written as an imaginary choreography. Mannequin, according to Chin, is inspired by “the great choreographers’ and dancers’ pursuit of making the impossible appear possible, of defying natural physical laws, as it were; in short: their ability to challenge perceptions of time and space.” The work is loosely based on The Sandman, a short story by German writer and composer E.T.A. Hoffmann, one of Robert Schumann’s most important influences. Mr. Masur will close the program with Schumann’s Symphony No. 3,Rhenish, a musical portrait of  the great Rhine River.

GERMAN MAESTRO CHRISTOPH VON DOHNÁNYI CONDUCTS THE WORLD PREMIERE OF JEAN-FREDERIC NEUBURGER’S AUBE ON A PROGRAM FEATURING MARTIN HELMCHEN IN BEETHOVEN’S PIANO CONCERTO NO. 5, EMPEROR, NOVEMBER 12-14
[Jean-Frederic Neuburger]One of the BSO’s favorite guest conductors, Christoph von Dohnányi, brings to the BSO two young talents whom he’s championed. Martin Helmchen, who made his BSO debut with Maestro von Dohnányi at Tanglewood in 2011, makes his BSO subscription series debut November 12-14 in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5,Emperor, the last and most monumental of Beethoven’s concertos. The program will open with the world premiere of French composer and virtuoso pianist Jean-Frederic Neuburger’s Aube (a BSO commission). Also on the program is Bartók’s mysterious Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta.

ANDRIS NELSONS, JOINED BY VIOLINIST ISABELLE FAUST AND THE TANGLEWOOD FESTIVAL CHORUS, RETURNS TO SYMPHONY HALL FOR MUSIC OF BACH, BERG, AND SHOSTAKOVICH, NOVEMBER 19-21
[Isabelle Faust]Andris Nelsons returns to Symphony Hall, November 19-28, for two weeks of programs with the BSO. For the first program, November 19-21, Isabelle Faust joins Maestro Nelsons and the orchestra for Berg’s Violin Concerto. The composer wrote this, his last completed work, “in memory of an angel,” Manon Gropius, the daughter of Alma Mahler and Walter Gropius, who died of polio at 18. The second movement of the concerto seamlessly incorporates the melody from the Bach chorale Es ist genug.To open the program, Maestro Nelsons will lead the Tanglewood Festival Chorus in Bach’s motet, Komm, Jesu, komm!, and Berg’s inspiration, the chorale Es ist genugfrom Cantata No. 60. Shostakovich’s riveting Symphony No. 5, one of the composer’s most accessible and popular works, restored him to Soviet favor after censorship of his opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk.

PIANIST YEFIM BRONFMAN JOINS ANDRIS NELSONS AND THE BSO FOR BARTÓK’S PIANO CONCERTO NO 2; NELSONS ALSO LEADS HAYDN SYMPHONY NO. 30 AND TCHAIKOVSKY SYMPHONY NO. 1, NOVEMBER 24-28
[Yefim Bronfman]Andris Nelsons and the BSO are joined by Israeli-American pianist Yefim Bronfman, November 24-28, for Bartók’s brilliant and virtuosic Piano Concerto No. 2. Maestro Nelsons will also lead the BSO in Haydn’s Symphony No. 30, Alleluja, written in 1765 and performed by the BSO on only one other occasion, in 1977. Closing the program is Tchaikovsky’s romantic and thoroughly Russian Symphony No. 1, Winter Daydreams, the composer’s earliest notable work, written while he was in his twenties and a new professor at Moscow Conservatory.

 

BSO PRINCIPALS ELIZABETH ROWE AND JESSICA ZHOU FEATURE IN MOZART’S DOUBLE CONCERTO FOR FLUTE AND HARP ON THE FIRST OF TWO PROGRAMS LED BY FRANÇOIS-XAVIER ROTH, JANUARY 7-12
[Elizabeth Rowe]François-Xavier Roth, who made his spectacular BSO debut in April 2014 filling in for conductor Daniele Gatti, returns to the Symphony Hall stage for two programs focused on music with French connections. His first program, January 7-12, opens with a work by a composer whose music the BSO has never performed: Belgian-born composer François-Joseph Gossec’s Symphonie à 17 parties (“Symphony for 17 parts,”[Jessica Zhou] referring to its orchestration). A central figure in the musical life of Revolution-era Paris, Gossec (1734-1829), a Haydn contemporary, wrote a score of operas and nearly fifty symphonies. The 1809 Symphonie à 17 parties is one of only two major works he composed after 1800.  BSO principals Elizabeth Rowe andJessica Zhou are soloists for Mozart’s Concerto for Flute and Harp, during Mozart’s 1778 journey to Paris, a major event in his life. The program closes with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, Eroica, originally dedicated to Napoleon Bonaparte, and one of the greatest and most historically significant works in the entire repertoire. The Third Symphony signifies the beginning of Beethoven’s “heroic” middle period and embodies the dramatic, ambitious philosophy that heralded the dawn of the Romantic era.

FRANÇOIS-XAVIER LEADS HIS SECOND FRENCH-INSPIRED PROGRAM WITH WORLD FAMOUS SOPRANO RENÉE FLEMING AS SOLOIST, JANUARY 14 & 16
[Renee Fleming (photo by Andrew Eccles)]François-Xavier Roth is joined by world famous soprano Renée Fleming, January 14 & 16, for an all-French program including music by Debussy, Dutilleux, Canteloube, and Stravinsky. As part of the BSO’s celebration of Henri Dutilleux’s centenary, Ms. Fleming sings the revised and extended version of the composer’s Le Temps l’Horloge, a BSO-co-commission written for Ms. Fleming, who gave its American premiere with the orchestra in 2007. Ms. Fleming also sings a selection of Canteloube’s Songs of the Auvergne, that composer’s famous collection of songs from his native region of France. The program opens with two works written within a few years of each other for the Ballets Russes: Debussy’s Jeux, a ballet about an imaginary tennis game and one of the composer’s most influential and innovative pieces; and Stravinsky’sPetrushka,a brilliant and miraculous leap of confidence and technique following his breakthrough work, The Firebird..

The program on Friday, February 15, will feature BSO principals Elizabeth Rowe and Jessica Zhou in Mozart’s Concerto for Flute and Harp along with Stravinsky’s Petrushka.

JIŘI BELOHLÁVEK LEADS AN ALL-CZECH PROGRAM FEATURING CELLIST JOHANNES MOSER IN DVOŘÁK’S CELLO CONCERTO, JANUARY 21-23
[Jiri Belohlavek]Czech conductor Jiři Belohlávek, leads the BSO January 21-23 in music by Czech composers. Smetana’s The Moldau (“Vltava”), a portrait of the major river of the Czech region and the composer’s most famous work, comes from his much longer cycle of symphonic poems, Má Vlast (“My Country”). Martinů’s Symphony No. 6, Fantaisies symphoniques, was a BSO 75th anniversary commission, dedicated to Charles Munch and premiered by the orchestra in 1955. Young German-Canadian cellist Johannes Moser closes the program with Dvořák’s romantic Cello Concerto, arguably the greatest cello concerto in the repertoire, and a work infused with Dvořák’s signature Slavic style.

ANDRIS NELSONS LEADS THE BSO IN THREE PROGRAMS HONORING SHAKESPEARE, HONORING THE 400TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BARD’S DEATH; JANUARY 28-FEBRUARY 2 PROGRAM DEDICATED TO WORKS INSPIRED BY A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM
[Andris Nelsons (photo by Marco Borggreve)]Andris Nelsons and the BSO devote three weeks of programs, January 28-February 13, to performances honoring the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.  The first program, January 28-February 2, features three works relating to A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Weber’s opera Oberon, although not based directly on Shakespeare, takes its title from the Fairy King at the center of the play; the opera is actually based on a German poem by Christoph Martin Wieland. The Overture is a popular repertoire staple. Next up is Henze’s effervescent Symphony No. 8, a BSO commission premiered by the BSO in 1993 and inspired by three short selections from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The program ends with one of the most well-known musical works inspired by Shakespeare—the complete incidental music to Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream

FEBRUARY 4-6 PROGRAM FEATURES WORKS INSPIRED BY HAMLET AND ROMEO AND JULIET
[Barbara Hannigan (photo by Raphael Brand)]Andris Nelsons opens the February 4-6 program with Shostakovich’s suite from the incidental music to Hamlet, an early work and a program rarity. The program also includes Prokofiev’s Suite from Romeo and Juliet, one of the composer’s most familiar and popular pieces. The highly acclaimed Canadian soprano Barbara Hannigan, in her BSO debut, is featured Hans Abrahamsens’s let me tell you, based on Paul Griffith’s novel of the internal monologue of Hamlet’s Ophelia. Andris Nelsons led the world premiere of this work on December 20, 2013, with the Berlin Philharmonic, with Ms. Hannigan as soloist

BSO ENGLISH HORN ROBERT SHEENA IS SOLOIST IN THE WORLD PREMIERE OF GEORGE TSONTAKIS’S SONNETS, FEBRUARY 11-13, ON A PROGRAM WITH MUSIC INSPIRED BY MACBETH,OTHELLO, AND ROMEO AND JULIET
[Robert Sheena (photo by Michael J. Lutch)]For the final BSO program honoring the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, Andris Nelsons and the orchestra will give the world premiere of George Tsontakis’s Sonnets, a Shakespeare-inspired concerto for English horn and orchestra commissioned by the BSO and featuring BSO English horn player Robert Sheena. Strauss’s very early and rarely heard tone poem Macbeth has not been performed by the BSO at Symphony Hall in over 100 years, since 1911. The program also includes Dvorak’s Othello Overture (February 11 & 13 only) and Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet, which features one of the most famous love themes in classical music.

RUSSIAN CONDUCTOR VLADIMIR JUROWSKI RETURNS TO THE BSO PODIUM FEBRUARY 18-20 WITH VIOLINIST ALINA IBRAGIMOVA (IN HER BSO DEBUT) FEATURED IN TWO RARELY PERFORMED WORKS
[Vladimir Jurowski]Russian-born conductor Vladimir Jurowski is joined by violinist Alina Ibragimova in her BSO debut on a program featuring two rarely performed works for violin and orchestra. The great, staunchly anti-Fascist Karl Amadeus Hartmann, composed hisConcerto funèbre for violin and strings in 1939 as a lament for the state of the world at the start of World War II. He revised it substantially in 1959; the work, one of Hartmann’s best known, has never been performed by the BSO. The final chorale is based on the popular German revolutionary song Unsterbliche Opfer (“Immortal victims”)Ms. Ibragimova also plays Haydn’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in C, performed by the BSO only twice before, in 1982 and 1983. Opening the program is Haydn’s Symphony No. 26, Lamentatione, which quotes an old Gregorian chant. Beethoven’s delightful Symphony No. 2, clearly influenced by Haydn, one of Beethoven’s teachers, closes the program. The symphony begins to mark Beethoven’s move from the classical style, in the spirit of Mozart and Haydn, to a highly individual voice.

CHARLES DUTOIT LEADS BERLIOZ’S TE DEUM FEATURING TENOR PAUL GROVES, THE TANGLEWOOD FESTIVAL CHORUS, AND VOICES BOSTON, FEBRUARY 25-27
[Charles Dutoit (photo by Hilary Scott)]Guest conductor Charles Dutoit—who continues his multi-year survey of French repertoire and key works of the early 20th century—returns February 25-27 to lead the BSO in Berlioz’s monumental Te Deum. Tenor Paul Groves, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and Voices Boston join Maestro Dutoit and the BSO for these performances. Dutilleux’s symphonic-like Timbres, espace, mouvement, inspired by Van Gogh’s famous The Starry Night, is also featured as part of the BSO’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of Dutilleux’s birth. The program will open with Berlioz’sResurrexit.

MAESTRO DUTOIT LEADS A PROGRAM OF SPANISH-FLAVORED MUSIC BY RAVEL AND FALLA, MARCH 3-5
[Javier Perianes]Charles Dutoit leads his second week of programs with the BSO, March 3-5, with music by Ravel and Falla. Spanish pianist Javier Perianes makes his BSO debut in Falla’s scintillating Nights in the Gardens of Spain for piano and orchestra, one of the composer’s most popular works, in which each movement describes a different Spanish ga[Daniela Mack]rden. Ravel’s colorful one-act comedic opera,L’Heure espagnole, relates a woman’s attempts to get her watchmaker husband out of the way so she can juggle her other lovers. The March 3-5 performances will feature the BSO debuts of mezzo-soprano Daniela Mack as Concepción; tenor François Piolino as her husband, Torquemada; tenor Benjamin Hulett as the poet Gonzalve, and baritone Jean-Luc Ballestra as one of her lovers, Ramiro. Bass-baritone David Wilson-Johnson sings the role of Don Iñigo, another of Concepción’s lovers. Opening the program is Ravel’s Rapsodie espagnole, another piece demonstrating the composer’s love for Spanish culture.

HERBERT BLOMSTEDT IS JOINED BY PIANIST GARRICK OHLSSON FOR AN ALL-BEETHOVEN PROGRAM, MARCH 10-15
[Herbert Blomstedt (photo by Martin UK Lengemann)]Swedish conductor Herbert Blomstedt leads the BSO in an all-Beethoven program, March 10-15, featuring pianist Garrick Ohlsson in Beethoven’s classical Piano Concerto No. 1, which, despite its number, was actually written after the Piano Concerto No. 2. The concerto was one of the pieces with which Beethoven began to make his public reputation in Vienna in the late 1790’s. The program will also feature the Symphony No. 7, one of Beethoven’s most popular works.

 

FRENCH CONDUCTOR STÉPHANE DENÈVE JOINS THE BSO MARCH 17-19 FOR MUSIC OF HIGDON, WILLIAMS, AND SAINT-SAËNS, WITH GUEST VIOLINIST GIL SHAHAM
[Stephane Deneve]Frequent BSO guest, French conductor Stéphane Denève, leads the BSO March 17-19 in John Williams’s soaring and romantic Violin Concerto, dedicated to the composer’s late wife Barbara Ruick and premiered originally in 1981. Williams revised the concerto in 1998, and Gil Shaham—soloist for this program—recorded it with the BSO. The program also features Jennifer Higdon’s Blue Cathedral, written in response to the death of her younger brother, and one of the most performed contemporary pieces of our time. The piece features solo passages for the flute and clarinet, the instruments she and her brother played. Saint-Saëns’s dramatic and sonorous Symphony No. 3—the Organ Symphony—closes the program. Along with the famous extensive use of organ, the Third Symphony further displays the composer’s love for keyboard instruments with passages for piano, both two and four hands.

ANDRIS NELSONS LEADS THE AMERICAN PREMIERE OF GIYA KANCHELI’S DIXI ON A PROGRAM INCLUDING MUSIC BY RACHMANINOFF AND SHOSTAKOVICH, MARCH 24-29
[Nikolai Lugansky]The American premiere of Georgian composer Giya Kancheli’s Dixi, for chorus and orchestra, featuring the Tanglewood Festival Chorus

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