July 20, 2016

CONCERTS, SPECIAL EVENTS, BROADCASTS, RECORDINGS & FILMS

AUGUST 2016

Aug 22 – Sep 6  Pianist LEIF OVE ANDSNES heads to South America for a four-city tour. Having devoted several recent seasons to his hugely successful “Beethoven Journey,” Andsnes turns his attention during 2016-17 to Sibelius. Both composers are represented on the pianist’s South American program — including the former’s Piano Sonata No. 18, “The Hunt”, with Debussy and Chopin also on offer. [Aug 22: Rio de Janeiro, BR; Aug 23, 24: São Paulo, BR; Aug 27: Frutillar, CL; Sep 5, 6: Buenos Aires, AR]

SEPTEMBER 2016
Sep 1 – Nov 13  In the fall, the string quartet BROOKLYN RIDER releases an album with Anne Sofie von Otter titled So Many Things on Naïve Records, including music by Colin Jacobsen, Caroline Shaw, John Adams, Nico Muhly, Björk, Sting, Kate Bush and Elvis Costello, among others. Together, they tour material from the album and more in the U.S. and Europe, including stops at Carnegie Hall and the Opernhaus Zürich. [Sep 1: Copenhagen; Oct 7: Chapel Hill, NC; Oct 8: Washington, DC; Oct 13: NYC/CH; Nov 3: Stockholm; Nov 5: Utrecht, NL; Nov 8: Brussels; Nov 11: Saffron Walden, UK; Nov 12: Luxembourg; Nov 13: Zurich]

Sep 2 – Dec 10 On the heels of the release [Sep 2] of her new Deutsche Grammophon solo album, Verismo, ANNA NETREBKO returns to the Met in November to headline Puccini’s Manon Lescaut. Making her first North American appearances in the role that “seemed made to measure for her talents” (Opera News), the Russian soprano stars opposite Marcelo Álvarez under the baton of Marco Armiliato, in Richard Eyre’s noir-inspired production. [Nov 14, 18, 21, 25, 30, Dec 3, 7, 10: Met]

Sep 4 – Dec 4  In the fall and New Year, ALAN GILBERT makes guest conducting appearances with several of Europe’s foremost orchestras. After returning to the Lucerne Festival, where he last appeared two years ago with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, he resumes the podium of the Gewandhaus itself, now with a program pairing Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle with Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2, followed by a special “talk and performance” event for which he and piano soloist INON BARNATAN join German TV personality Malte Arkona. He leads the La Scala premiere of a production of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess that marks his first staged opera with the company. Finally, as a regular guest of the Berlin Philharmonic, he returns for a program of Tchaikovsky, Bartók, and John Adams. [Sep 4: Lucerne; Oct 20-22: Leipzig; Nov 13-23: Milan; Dec 2-4: Berlin. See also Feb 2 below.]

Sep 7  Mezzo-soprano SUSAN GRAHAM – “an artist to treasure” (New York Times) – joins Renée Fleming and Michael Tilson Thomas for songs by Rossini at the San Francisco Symphony’s opening-night gala. [San Francisco]

Sep 7 – 10 As Artistic Director and a co-founder of Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago, tenor NICHOLAS PHAN curates the organization’s 5th annual Collaborative Works Festival. This year, focusing on the influence Paul Verlaine’s poetry had on the realm of French mélodie, the festival will present performances throughout Chicago by soprano Sarah Shafer, mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor, Phan, and pianists Matthew Gemmill and Scott Allen Jarrett, as well as its headlining solo recital by 2016 Beverly Sills Award-winning soprano Ailyn Pérez and pianist Craig Terry. [Sep 7, 8, 9, 10: Chicago]

Sep 7 – 11  New York’s Spectrum celebrates the artistry of composer MICHAEL HERSCH – “one of the most fertile musical minds to emerge in the U.S. over the past generation” (Financial Times) – in a three-day Hersch Festival. Featured works include the world premiere of the weather and landscape are on our side (2016) and the New York premieres of Carrion-Miles to Purgatory (2014) and a tower in air: songs after poetry of Christopher Middleton (2015). Pianist Jacob Rhodebeck undertakes Hersch’s tour de force The Vanishing Pavilions (2005); other performers include soprano Ah Young Hong, violinist Miranda Cuckson, saxophonist Gary Louie, horn player Michael Atkinson, and the composer himself on piano. [Sep 7, 8, 11: Spectrum]

Sep 9 VIA RECORDS releases David T. Little’s first full-length opera, Dog Days. Composed to a libretto by Royce Vavrek and starring Marnie Breckenridge, James Bobick, and Tony nominee Lauren Worsham, it was Dog Days that convinced the New York Times “beyond any doubt that opera has both a relevant present and a bright future.”

Sep 10 – 17  Packing a season’s worth of opera productions into a week, CERISE JACOBS’s “Ouroboros” trilogy (Naga, Madame White Snake, and Gilgamesh) has its world premiere in Boston in three complete cycles that each begin with a different opera, reflecting the cyclical principle of the ouroboros, the ancient Greek symbol of a snake eating its tail. Madame White Snake was produced in 2010 in Boston and won the Pulitzer Prize for music; the others are seeing their first productions. Naga is composed by Boston favorite Scott Wheeler; Madame White Snake by Zhou Long; and Gilgamesh by PAOLA PRESTINI. Michael Counts directs and designs all three productions; Carolyn Kuan, Lan Shui, and JULIAN WACHNER conduct. The entire trilogy will also be recorded for release on VIA Records. [Sep 10: N, MWS, G; Sep 13: MWS; Sep 14: G; Sep 15: N; Sep 17: G, N, MWS: Boston]

Sep 15 Mandolinist AVI AVITAL makes his debut at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, performing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. The second of the four Vivaldi concertos, L’estate (Summer), appears on Avital’s recent ECHO Klassik Award-winning Deutsche Grammophon disc, Vivaldi. [Los Angeles]

Sep 15 – 18 Pianist INON BARNATAN makes his debut with the New Century Chamber Orchestra in the opening concerts of its 25th anniversary season, led by Music Director and Concertmaster Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg. They perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 13 in three California cities. [Sep 15: Berkeley; Sep 16, 17: San Francisco; Sep 18: San Rafael]

Sep 16, 17 The orchestra that first brought the music of Woody Allen’s Manhattan to life does so again. To preview a season dedicated to their native city, the New York Philharmonic and ALAN GILBERT accompany a screening of the film with the first live performance of its classic soundtrack, complete with such Gershwin favorites as Rhapsody in Blue and “Embraceable You.” [Sep 16, 17: DGH]

Sep 17 – Oct 16  LOS ANGELES OPERA launches the season with a striking new production of Macbeth from Tony Award-winning director Darko Tresnjak. General Director Plácido Domingo stars opposite Ekaterina Semenchuk, with Music Director James Conlon on the podium. [Sep 17, 22, 25, Oct 5, 8, 13, 16: Los Angeles]

Sep 21  The New York Philharmonic opens its 175th anniversary season with a gala concert that also marks the launch of ALAN GILBERT’s eighth and final season as music director. The season honors their shared hometown of New York City, and celebrates the many initiatives the Manhattan-born maestro has introduced during his tenure that have come to epitomize today’s Philharmonic. The gala program juxtaposes the New York premiere of John Corigliano’s Stomp (for Orchestra) with Gershwin’s Concerto in F and Dvorák’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World.” This last is the centerpiece of the orchestra’s season-long “New World Initiative,” which seeks to make the beloved symphony – which was originally written and premiered in the Big Apple – a cultural touchstone for as many New Yorkers as possible. [DGH]

Sep 22 – Oct 2  OPERA PHILADELPHIA presents the world premiere of Breaking the Waves, a chamber opera by composer Missy Mazzoli and librettist Royce Vavrek, based on the Oscar-nominated 1996 film by Lars von Trier. Staged in the Kimmel Center’s Perelman Theater, the opera stars soprano Kiera Duffy and baritone John Moore. In September and October, audiences can also enjoy Christine Goerke in the title role of Puccini’s Turandot at the Academy of Music, complete with an Opening Night Gala and a free “Opera on the Mall” HD broadcast; and the American premiere of an African-themed Macbeth from provocative South African director Brett Bailey and his company, Third World Bunfight. [Sep 22, 24, 27, 29, Oct 1 (Waves); Sep 23, 25, 28, 30, Oct 2 (Turandot); Sep 24, 25 (Macbeth): Philadelphia]

Sep 23  MacArthur “Genius” Fellow and exclusive Decca recording artist ALISA WEILERSTEIN releases her fifth album for the label, on which she plays Shostakovich’s two cello concertos with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Pablo Heras-Casado.

Sep 24   As the traveling arm of celebrated new Brooklyn arts center National Sawdust, VisionintoArt at NATIONAL SAWDUST presents Oceanic Verses by its Creative and Executive Director, composer PAOLA PRESTINI, at New York’s Watermill Center. Prestini has been named one of the “top 100 composers in the world under 40” (NPR). [Water Mill, NY]

Sep 27  DANIEL HOPE takes up his appointment as the new Music Director of the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, performing in the ensemble’s season-opening concert both as violinist – in Bach’s Violin Concerto in A minor, Weinberg’s Concertino for Violin and String Orchestra, and Mendelssohn’s Octet – and as conductor, leading Beethoven’s Second Symphony 0n the second half of the program. [Zurich]

Sep 29, Oct 1  SUSAN GRAHAM sings Octavian to Renée Fleming’s Marschallin in Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier at the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Led by music director Andris Nelsons, the concert performances also mark Tucker Award-winning tenor STEPHEN COSTELLO’s first appearances with the orchestra. [Sep 29, Oct 1: Boston]

Sep 29 – April 7 For the first time in the group’s career, the DOVER QUARTET undertakes complete Beethoven string quartet cycles, in six programs spread throughout the season in three cities: Buffalo, NY; Storrs, CT; and Montreal. The first takes place at the University of Buffalo, where the Dovers follow in the footsteps of the Budapest, Guarneri and Cleveland Quartets, performing Beethoven’s complete quartets in the university’s famous “Slee Cycle” series. [Sep 29, 30, March 8, 9, April 6, 7: Buffalo, NY. See also Nov 15 & May 26 below.]

OCTOBER 2016

Oct 8  Teddy Abrams, who made his inaugural appearance with the LOUISVILLE ORCHESTRA conducting Mahler’s First (“Titan”) Symphony, opens his third season as Music Director with a performance of the same composer’s monumental Symphony No. 2 in C minor, “Resurrection,” featuring Celena Shafer, soprano, and J’nai Bridges, mezzo-soprano, in her LO debut. [Louisville, KY]

Oct 9  NICHOLAS PHAN sings the title role in Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex for the first time, in a performance with the Philharmonia Orchestra of London led by Esa-Pekka Salonen as part of their residency at Cal Performances. [Berkeley, CA]

Oct 9 – March 25  Cellist and Senior TED fellow JOSHUA ROMAN plays Mason Bates’s Cello Concerto numerous times this season, with multiple performances in Portland (ME), Berkeley, Spokane, and Memphis. Roman premiered the concerto – written for him by Bates, one of the most frequently performed living composers – in December of 2014, and last performed it with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra this past April. [Oct 9, 10: Portland, ME; Jan 26: Berkeley, CA; Feb 11, 12: Spokane, WA; March 25: Memphis]

Oct 14  For its debut recording, the DOVER QUARTET – hailed as “the next Guarneri String Quartet” (Chicago Tribune) – plays three works by Mozart: his two final string quartets and the Quintet in C minor. Released on the Cedille label, this program recalls the 1965 album debut of the Guarneri Quartet, whose founding violist, Michael Tree, joins the Dovers on their quintet recording.

Oct 15  DANIIL TRIFONOV plays Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto in the gala finale of the Chicago Symphony’s 125th anniversary celebration. Riccardo Muti leads the performance, which is a re-creation of the very first concert of the orchestra’s history performed on October 16 and 17, 1891. [Chicago]

Oct 15 – Feb 8  For the first time in her career, ALISA WEILERSTEIN performs Bach’s complete suites for unaccompanied cello in public, at three key international venues. The first is CARAMOOR, the Westchester arts center where she served as the inaugural Artist-in-Residence in 2014, followed by dates in Washington, DC, and at London’s St. John’s Smith Square. [Oct 15: Katonah, NY; Oct 16: Washington, DC; Feb 8: London]

Oct 18 – Nov 12  FABIO LUISI, after opening his season at the Metropolitan Opera conducting Don Giovanni in alternation with Plácido Domingo, leads a new production of Rossini’s last opera and crowning achievement, Guillaume Tell, which returns to the Met stage after an 80-year absence. Directed by Pierre Audi, the production stars Gerald Finley (in a signature role) as Tell, the revolutionary on a quest for freedom; Marina Rebeka as Mathilde; and Bryan Hymel as her suitor, Arnold. [Oct 18, 21, 25, 29, Nov 2, 5, 9, 12: Met]

Oct 19 – 23 LOS ANGELES OPERA’s Off Grand series presents the West Coast premiere of The Source by Ted Hearne, directed by Daniel Fish. Welcomed as “a beautiful, sad, altogether crucial reflection on our time” (New York Times), the new music-theater piece investigates media hysteria and the many faces of Chelsea Manning, the army private who released hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks. [Oct 19, 20, 21, 22, 23: Los Angeles]

Oct 20, 21 INON BARNATAN makes his debut with the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2, conducted by ALAN GILBERT. Barnatan and Gilbert also recently joined forces to record the complete Beethoven concertos with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. [Oct 20, 21: Leipzig]

Oct 21 – 30 The DOVER QUARTET embarks on a five-city U.S. tour with bassist Edgar Meyer, playing Mozart, Rossini, Dvorák, and Meyer’s own Quintet for Strings. [Oct 21: Philadelphia; Oct 23: Pittsburgh; Oct 25: Portland, OR; Oct 26: Tucson, AZ; Oct 30: San Francisco]

Oct 28  Representing Rice University’s SHEPHERD SCHOOL, the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra and music director Larry Rachleff return to Carnegie Hall, where they made their triumphant debut two years ago. Their present program showcases the world premiere of a new work by faculty composer Pierre Jalbert alongside Lutosławski’s Concerto for Orchestra, Stravinsky’s Fireworks, and Barber’s Piano Concerto with faculty soloist Jon Kimura Parker. [CH]

Oct 28 – Nov 5  Pianist ALESSIO BAX joins his frequent recital partner, violinist Joshua Bell, for a tour of the U.S. Past tours of this “perfect” musical partnership (DrehPunktKultur) have included South America in 2013, an extensive tour of the U.S. and Europe in 2014, and Asia this past April. As the Santa Barbara Independent said of the pairing: “The balance and communication were the hallmarks of the evening, by two young masters.” [Oct 28: Great Barrington, MA; Oct 29: Worcester, MA; Oct 30: Purchase, NY; Nov 2: NYC/ATH; Nov 3: Tampa, FL; Nov 4: Kohler, WI; Nov 5: Madison, WI]

Oct 28 – Nov 20 STEPHEN COSTELLO returns to the Dallas Opera in two productions. In his seventh mainstage appearance with the company, the tenor makes his role debut as Lensky in a classic period production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin that opens the company’s season. He also reprises his role as Ishmael/Greenhorn in Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s Moby-Dick – the role he inaugurated in Dallas Opera’s world premiere production in 2010. Opera magazine hailed Costello then as “a tenor of ineffable sensitivity, with unfailing elegance in singing and a disconcerting ease in producing notes in head-voice”; when he reprised his Moby-Dick role at San Francisco Opera, in a production that was subsequently televised and issued on DVD, Gramophone magazine recognized that he “project[ed] a sense of profound personal revelation.” [Onegin: Oct 28, Oct 30, Nov 2, 5; Moby-Dick: Nov 4, 6, 9, 12, 18, 20: Dallas, TX]

Oct 29, 31 In its Off Grand series, LOS ANGELES OPERA screens F.W. Murnau’s 1922 silent classic, Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror, with live music at the restored Theatre at Ace Hotel, a 1927 Spanish Gothic movie palace in the heart of downtown. Incoming Artist in Residence Matthew Aucoin creates and conducts a new score for chamber orchestra that combines his own original music with that of Murnau’s contemporaries: Schreker, Zemlinsky, Korngold, Berg, and Webern. [Oct 29, 31: Los Angeles]

Oct 30  The RICHARD TUCKER MUSIC FOUNDATION presents its annual gala, always a highlight of New York’s opera season. This year the concert moves from Lincoln Center to Carnegie Hall, where the first Tucker Gala was held in 1975. The starry line-up includes sopranos ANNA NETREBKO, Renée Fleming and 2016 Tucker Award-winner Tamara Wilson; mezzo-sopranos Joyce DiDonato and Jamie Barton; tenors Yusif Eyvazov and Javier Camarena; and bass-baritone Bryn Terfel, all singing popular arias and ensembles with members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, conducted by Asher Fisch. [CH]

NOVEMBER 2016

Nov 3 – April 9 In demand around the world particularly for his interpretations of the Russian piano repertoire, Tchaikovsky and Rubinstein competition-winner DANIIL TRIFONOV mixes it up this season by playing three different Mozart concertos, with the New York Philharmonic under Vladimir Jurowski (No. 25), the Cleveland Orchestra under Jaap van Zweden (No. 23), and the Philadelphia Orchestra with Yannick Nézet-Séguin (No. 9). He also plays the Schumann concerto with the Houston Symphony, and Rachmaninoff’s Third with Gustavo Dudamel leading the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Disney Hall. [Nov 3-6: Houston; Nov 9-12: DGH; Nov 25-27: Cleveland; Dec 1-4: Los Angeles; April 6-9: Philadelphia]

Nov 5 – 27 LOS ANGELES OPERA presents Philip Glass’s Akhnaten, marking the company premiere of a “sumptuous” (Guardian) new co-production with English National Opera. Phelim McDermott directs, with new Artist in Residence Matthew Aucoin leading from the pit. [Nov 5, 10, 13, 17, 19, 27: Los Angeles]

Nov 15 – April 27   The DOVER QUARTET launches the second of its three complete Beethoven string quartet cycles, this time at the University of Connecticut. [Nov 15, 17, Feb 27, March 2, April 25, 27: Storrs, CT. See also Sep 29 above and May 26 below.]

Nov 18, 19 In honor of the display of Shakespeare’s First Folio of 1623 at Louisville’s Frazier History Museum – commemorating this year’s 400th anniversary of the playwright’s death – the LOUISVILLE ORCHESTRA presents a “Shakespeare in Music” concert with excerpts from Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet, Berlioz’s “symphonie dramatique” Roméo et Juliette, and Debussy’s incidental music to Le roi Lear. Also on the program is the Grawemeyer Award-winning new song cycle, Let Me Tell You, from Denmark’s Hans Abrahamsen, with celebrated new-music exponent Susan Narucki as soprano soloist. Based on Paul Griffiths’s novel of the same name, the cycle explores the troubled soul of Shakespeare’s Ophelia through a first-person narrative that uses only the few words she speaks in Hamlet, resulting in a collage of recurring words in constantly shifting contexts, which in Abrahamsen’s setting “causes thousands of people to stop breathing for a long moment” (New Yorker). [Nov 18, 19: Louisville, KY]

Nov 27 – 29  The Choir of TRINITY WALL STREET and Trinity Baroque Orchestra, led by Director of Music and the Arts Julian Wachner, present Bach’s monumental Mass in B minor on tour in Montreal. Trinity’s popular Bach at One series has just completed a years-long process of presenting the entire voluminous output of J.S. Bach’s sacred vocal music, in performances praised by the New York Times for “dramatic vigor,” “buoyant, elegantly shaped orchestral sound” and the “lithe, immaculate and colorful singing” of the chorus.” [Nov 27, 28 & 29: Montreal]

Nov 30 – Dec 19 TRINITY WALL STREET expands the reach of its lauded annual holiday performances of Handel’s Messiah, beginning at the State Theater in New Brunswick, NJ and then touring to three California cities. As has become customary in recent seasons, The Choir of Trinity Wall Street and Trinity Baroque Orchestra also present Handel’s immortal oratorio at Alice Tully Hall in addition to performances at Trinity Church. [Nov 30: New Brunswick, NJ; Dec 7: Northridge, CA; Dec 9: Folsom, CA; Dec 10: Berkeley, CA; Dec 15, 18: TC; Dec 19: NYC/ATH]

DECEMBER 2016

Dec 1, 3 AVI AVITAL makes his debut with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, playing Avner Dorman’s Concerto for Mandolin and Strings and a Vivaldi concerto. Avital commissioned the Dorman concerto in 2006, and his recording of it with New York’s Metropolis Ensemble and conductor Andrew Cyr was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2010, making him the first mandolin soloist in Grammy history to be nominated in a classical category (“Best Classical Instrumental Soloist”). [Dec 1, 3: Atlanta]

Dec 6 – Jan 13  FABIO LUISI leads his Philharmonia Zurich and the Zurich Opera Chorus in a lavish collaborative co-production of Verdi’s Requiem that also includes the Zurich Ballet and Junior Ballet, with world premiere choreography by Christian Spuck. [Dec 6, 8, 13, 16, 20, 23, Jan 1, 8, 13: Zurich]

Dec 7  Soprano Ah Young Hong and Ensemble Klang give the world premiere performance of cortex and ankle: songs after texts of Christopher Middleton, in which composer MICHAEL HERSCH pays tribute to the late British poet. [Rotterdam, NL]

Dec 7 – April 2   DANIIL TRIFONOV, whose debut recital in Carnegie Hall displayed “a dazzling talent and phenomenal level of accomplishment” (Sinfini Music), returns to the venue for a recital comprising Schumann’s tender Kinderszenen, his virtuosic Toccata (Op. 7), and the inventive Kreisleriana; selections from Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes and Fugues; and Stravinsky’s Three Movements from Pétrouchka. Trifonov repeats the program on March 24 at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, presented by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. [Dec 7: NYC/CH; March 24: Philadelphia; April 2: Baltimore]

Dec 28 – Jan 3 ALAN GILBERT conducts the New York Philharmonic and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and other soloists in the world premiere of a New York Philharmonic commission from the great trumpeter himself. Rounding out the program are Copland’s Quiet City and William Bolcom’s Trombone Concerto, of which Gilbert and the orchestra recently gave the “electrifying” (New York Times) world premiere performance. [Dec 28, 29, 30, Jan 3: DGH]

JANUARY 2017

Jan 1 – 12   TRINITY WALL STREET’s annual “Time’s Arrow” festival (formerly known as the Twelfth Night Festival) is an “indispensable and unmissable” (New York Times) highlight of New York’s winter season, celebrating early and contemporary music with a full program of events juxtaposing the two. This year the festival celebrates the 250th anniversary of St. Paul’s Chapel, the oldest surviving church building in Manhattan, which was completed on October 30, 1766. Music of the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Baroque rubs shoulders with works by living composers (including many premieres), with guest artists and ensembles featured alongside Trinity’s renowned choir and orchestra. Enlightenment-themed repertoire will include Haydn’s Creation and music from the Americana tradition. The festival will also feature PAOLA PRESTINI’s contribution to Trinity’s long-term commissioning project, “Mass Reimaginings”; and the world premiere of Zachary Wadsworth’s Spire and Shadow, commissioned for Trinity’s new semi-professional chorus, Downtown Voices. [SPC, other venues TBA]

Jan 5 – 7  ALAN GILBERT conducts the New York Philharmonic and Emanuel Ax in the world premiere of HK Gruber’s Piano Concerto, which was co-commissioned by the orchestra in collaboration with the Berlin Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, and Royal Stockholm Philharmonic orchestras. Piano soloist Ax is a former Artist-in-Residence and honorary member of the New York Philharmonic. [Jan 5, 6, 7: DGH]

Jan 5 – 8 VisionintoArt at National Sawdust presents the fourth annual FERUS Festival. A four-day extravaganza of new music, visuals, and dance, FERUS offers a snapshot of the innovative interdisciplinary collaboration for which the Brooklyn arts center is justly celebrated. [Jan 5, 6, 7, 8: NS]

Jan 12 – 14   One of the foremost exponents of French vocal music, SUSAN GRAHAM sings selections from Canteloube’s Songs of the Auvergne in a Parisian-themed program with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. [Jan 12, 13, 14: Philadelphia]

Jan 18, 20 Soprano Ah Young Hong and Ensemble Dal Niente perform MICHAEL HERSCH’s On the Threshold of Winter (2014), the harrowing two-act monodrama hailed as “a work of great originality, daring, and disturbing power” (Baltimore Sun). [Jan 18, 20: Chicago]

Jan 18 – 29 Frequent recital partners ALISA WEILERSTEIN and INON BARNATAN embark on a nine-city U.S. tour with clarinetist Anthony McGill. Their program juxtaposes Beethoven’s Piano Trio in B-flat (Op. 11) and Brahms’s Clarinet Trio in A minor (Op. 114) with the world premiere of a new work by young American composer Joseph Hallman. [Jan 18: Princeton, NJ; Jan 19: Washington, DC; Jan 21: Durham, NC; Jan 22: Baltimore; Jan 23: University Park, PA; Jan 24: NYC/ATH; Jan 26: Urbana, IL; Jan 27: Kalamazoo, MI; Jan 29: Ann Arbor, MI]

Jan 20 – Feb 4  STEPHEN COSTELLO returns to the Met to reprise his role as the Duke of Mantua in Michael Mayer’s hit production of Rigoletto set in Las Vegas in 1960. Joining him again is Olga Peretyatko as Gilda, and Željko Lučić in the title role. The New York Times praised Costello’s “bright tenor that…was perfectly suited to [the] character,” while the New York Classical Review observed: “Costello is a fine Verdian tenor, with an ideal range and a rounded, colorful sound. … [He] sang the character, who must be attractive and repellent at the same time, beautifully.” (Jan 20, 26, 30, Feb 4: Met)

FEBRUARY 2017

Feb 2 – 4   FABIO LUISI joins the Philadelphia Orchestra to conduct “André Watts’s 60-Year Legacy.” On the program are Carl Maria von Weber’s Overture to Oberon, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 with Watts as soloist, and Franck’s Symphony in D minor. Watts debuted with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1957 when he was just 10 years old, after winning the orchestra’s Children’s Student Competition, and has since appeared with it over 100 times. Luisi makes his third appearance with the ensemble, after a widely hailed 2011 debut. [Feb 2, 3, 4: Philadelphia]

Feb 2 – 18  ALAN GILBERT returns to Europe for further high-profile guest conducting engagements at the Munich Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, and Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia orchestras. [Feb 2-5: Munich; Feb 8-11: Amsterdam; Feb 16-18: Rome]

Feb 4  The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra gives the world premiere performance of End Stages, a new large-ensemble piece by MICHAEL HERSCH, at Carnegie Hall. [CH]

Feb 10 – 19  Star mezzo Stephanie Blythe makes her title role debut in Rossini’s Tancredi at OPERA PHILADELPHIA. The American premiere of a new staging by Emilio Sagi, the production also features the company debut of soprano Brenda Rae. [Feb 10, 12, 15, 17, 19: Philadelphia]

Feb 11 – March 6  In his first U.S. performances as Don José, Maltese tenor JOSEPH CALLEJA stars in Lyric Opera’s Carmen, in a “passionate” production last seen in Houston in 2014 and coming for the first time to Chicago. [Feb 11, 15, 19, 22, 28, March 3, 6: Chicago]

Feb 13, 18 Soprano DEBORAH VOIGT takes her one-woman show, Voigt Lessons, directed by Richard Jay-Alexander with music direction by Kevin Stites, to Colorado. As Broadway World wrote when it came to New York last year: “There was a seismic event and emotional roller coaster onstage. … She is immediately likable and is funny and heartbreaking, all at once. This show is a thoroughly engaging hybrid of entertainment and an extraordinary opportunity to see a big star in an intimate setting.” [Feb 13: Beaver Creek, CO; Feb 18: Boulder, CO]

Feb 15 – 18  INON BARNATAN performs Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto (conducted by Manfred Honeck) in his third and final season as the New York Philharmonic’s inaugural Artist-in-Association. When ALAN GILBERT announced the appointment – which has seen the pianist appear as soloist in subscription concerts, take part in regular chamber performances, and act as ambassador for the orchestra – he called Barnatan “the complete artist: a wonderful pianist, a probing intellect, passionately committed, and a capable contemporary-music pianist as well.” [Feb 15, 16, 17, 18: DGH]

Feb 15 – 19  The DOVER QUARTET tours the West Coast with mandolinist AVI AVITAL, playing music by Bach, Smetana, Tsintsadze, and David Bruce. [Feb 15: Portland, OR; Feb 16, 17: San Diego, CA; Feb 18: Eugene, OR; Feb 19: Vancouver]

Feb 19 – May 7  Grammy Award-winning French pianist PIERRE-LAURENT AIMARD joins Esa-Pekka Salonen and London’s Philharmonia Orchestra for a series titled “Salonen/Aimard: Inspirations.” Programs at London’s Royal Festival Hall and on tour in Basingstoke, Cardiff, and Madrid include works for piano and orchestra by Beethoven, Debussy, Bartók, and Ligeti, as well as Boulez’s Notations for solo piano. [Feb 19: London; Feb 21: Basingstoke, UK; Feb 22: Cardiff, UK; Feb 23: London; Feb 24, 25: Madrid; May 4, 7: London, UK]

Feb 21 – March 18   After performances together at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Massachusetts in July 2016, BROOKLYN RIDER, choreographer Brian Brooks, and former New York City Ballet prima ballerina Wendy Whelan will tour the U.S. performing Some of a Thousand Words. Using music from composers John Luther Adams, Tyondai Braxton, Philip Glass, Evan Ziporyn, and a new composition from Brooklyn Rider’s Colin Jacobsen, the intimate series of duets and solos featuring Brooks and Whelan foregrounds the live onstage music of the quartet as a dynamic and central creative component. [Feb 21: Los Angeles; Feb 24: Chicago; Feb 27: New York; March 8: Louisville, KY; March 11: Denver; March 15, 16: Richmond, VA; March 18: TBA]

Feb 23 On ALAN GILBERT’s 50th birthday, he leads the New York Philharmonic in a festive program featuring a starry line-up of guest artists that includes soprano Renée Fleming, pianists Emanuel Ax and Yefim Bronfman, and violinists Lisa Batiashvili, Joshua Bell, Pamela Frank and Frank Huang. [DGH]

Feb 25 – March 11  SUSAN GRAHAM stars in Washington National Opera’s revival of Jake Heggie and Terrence McNally’s Dead Man Walking. Having created the role of Sister Helen Prejean in the world premiere production, now she makes her role debut as Mrs. De Rocher, the convict’s mother. [Feb 25, 27, March 3, 5, 8, 11: Washington, DC]

Feb 26  In his London recital debut, NICHOLAS PHAN performs for the first time at Wigmore Hall, with pianist Myra Huang. The concert’s program is that of his next solo album, Gods & Monsters: a collection of German Lieder by Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Mahler and Wolf focusing on various fairy tales, myths and legends. The album will be released on Avie Records in early 2017. [London]

MARCH 2017

March 2 – 7  After serving as a last-minute replacement for an ailing Lorin Maazel with the Munich Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall in 2014, FABIO LUISI reunites with the orchestra for the first time to conduct concerts pairing Webern’s dense and succinct Six Pieces for Orchestra with Mahler’s expansive Ninth Symphony, followed by performances of Schumann and Brahms. [March 2, 4, 6, 7: Munich]

March 2 – May 18  This season, TRINITY WALL STREET’s renowned Concerts at One series features water-themed programming to amplify the topics of both the 2017 Trinity Institute Conference, which focuses on climate change and water conservation (date TBD), and World Water Day on March 22. The Concerts at One series closes on May 18 – a “Third Thursday” with NOVUS NY – with a watery world premiere by Jessica Meyer. (See May 18 – 20 below for more details.) [March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, April 6, 13, 20, 27, May 4, 11, 18: TC]

March 3 – 12  VisionintoArt at National Sawdust makes its first appearance on Broadway with Aging Magician – “a painstakingly-crafted small universe that is as immersive for the audience as it is for the performers” (Berkshire Eagle) – at the New Victory Theater. A meditation on time, youth, and the peculiar magic of ordinary life, this new music-theater piece weaves together a score by PAOLA PRESTINI with a libretto and title-role performance from Pulitzer Prize-finalist Rinde Eckert, projections by Josh Higgason, and the support of the ACME and Brooklyn Youth Chorus under the direction of Drama Desk Award-winner Julian Crouch. [March 3, 4, 5, 11, 12: New Victory Theater]

March 3 – 18 STEPHEN COSTELLO stars in the title role of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette for the first time at the Met. The Bartlett Sher production won acclaim for its vivid 18th-century setting and stunning costumes when it ran in Salzburg in 2008 and at La Scala three years later. Singing opposite Costello is Pretty Yende as Juliette. (March 3, 8, 11, 15, 18: Met)

March 6 – 25  After making “a beguiling Met debut” (New York Classical Review) last season, soprano NADINE SIERRA returns to the house for her role debut as Ilia in Mozart’s Idomeneo. Matthew Polenzani sings the title role under the baton of Music Director Emeritus James Levine in this rare revival of Jean-Pierre Ponnelle’s classic production. The final performance will be transmitted live to movie theaters around the world, marking the soprano’s first appearance in the Met’s celebrated “Live in HD” series. [March 6, 10, 13, 21, 25: Met]

March 8 – May 3 TRINITY WALL STREET’s annual Messiah performances have long been critical favorites, praised by WQXR as “one of the best performances of its kind to be found in the city.” Digging deeper into the Baroque master’s sacred vocal repertoire, Trinity presents “The Handel Project,” which includes four complete Handel oratorios, Jephtha among them, to be performed one act at a time during the hour-long concerts over the course of nine Wednesdays at 1 pm. [March 8, 15, 22, 29, April 5, 12, 19, 26, May 3: SPC]

March 11 – 27  The DOVER QUARTET tours Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, making debuts in every city with a program of Beethoven, Schubert, Smetana, Britten, Barber, and Caroline Shaw. [March 11: Lippstadt, DE; March 12: Wuppertal, DE; March 14: Salzburg, AT; March 18: Schwäbisch Hall, DE; March 19: Göttingen, DE; March 21: Heidelberg, DE; March 22: Stuttgart, DE; March 23: Aschaffenburg, DE; March 24: Dillingen, DE; March 26: Biel, CH; March 27: Bern, CH]

March 16, 19  FABIO LUISI returns for his second and third engagements with the London Symphony Orchestra this season, first conducting Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 (“Emperor”), with Igor Levit as soloist, along with Brahms’s Symphony No. 2. Three days later he leads the orchestra in Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony and Brahms’s towering German Requiem, joined by the London Symphony Chorus under the direction of Simon Halsey. [March 16, 19: London]

March 17  The winner of a record six Tonys, two Grammys, and an Emmy, AUDRA MCDONALD joins an all-star ensemble cast for Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast. Also featuring Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, and Emma Thompson, the new film offers a musical retelling of the animated fairy-tale classic.

March 18 ALISA WEILERSTEIN returns to Carnegie Hall, joining the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra for Schumann’s Cello Concerto, in which she recently impressed The Guardian with her “thrillingly realised” interpretation. [CH]

March 18 – April 2  INON BARNATAN joins the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields for a 10-city tour of the U.S. He leads the orchestra from the keyboard, performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 9 and a new concerto by British composer Alasdair Nicolson. Barnatan and ALAN GILBERT are recording the complete Beethoven Concertos with the same orchestra. [March 18: Miami, FL; March 19: West Palm Beach, FL; March 23: Joplin, MO; March 25: Huntsville, AL; March 26: Athens, GA; March 28: Tucson, AZ; March 29: Scottsdale, AZ; March 31: Santa Monica, CA; April 1: Aliso Viejo, CA; April 2: Stanford, CA]

March 23  In his first season as Principal Conductor of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, FABIO LUISI conducts a Late Romantic program of Nielsen’s Helios Overture; Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder with beloved soprano DEBORAH VOIGT as soloist; and Mahler’s Symphony No. 1. His first U.S. tour with the orchestra follows, as Voigt joins them for the same program in five California cities. [Copenhagen; see also March 28 below]

March 23 – 25 ALISA WEILERSTEIN gives the world premiere of Matthias Pintscher’s Cello Concerto with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Co-commissioned for her by the orchestra, Pintscher’s is the second new concerto written for the cellist in the past two seasons by a major European composer. [March 23, 24, 25: Boston]

March 23 – April 7  ALAN GILBERT leads the New York Philharmonic on their fifth and final European tour together, with stops in Luxembourg, Düsseldorf, Essen, Budapest, Vienna, Hamburg, and Copenhagen, crowned by the orchestra’s third residency at London’s Barbican. Their repertoire showcases highlights of the Philharmonic’s season, including Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Cello Concerto with Yo-Yo Ma; Prokofiev’s First Violin Concerto with Frank Peter Zimmermann; Mahler’s Fourth Symphony; Bartók’s Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta; and John Adams’s Harmonielehre, Absolute Jest, and The Chairman Dances. [March 23-April 7, dates tba: Europe]

March 25 – April 15  Diana Damrau makes her LOS ANGELES OPERA debut playing all four heroines opposite Vittorio Grigolo in The Tales of Hoffman. Marta Domingo’s staging captures the half-remembered, half-fantasy dream world of Offenbach’s final masterpiece. [March 25, 30, April 2, 6, 9, 15: Los Angeles]

March 27 – April 3   PIERRE-LAURENT AIMARD, whose Ravel interpretations have been called “utterly sublime” (BBC Music), plays his compatriot’s two piano concertos with Valery Gergiev and the Munich Philharmonic, first at the orchestra’s home and then in New Jersey and at Carnegie Hall. [March 27, 28: Munich (G major); March 29: Munich (D major/left hand); April 2: Newark, NJ (D major/left hand); April 3: CH (G major)]

March 28 – April 2   Following a performance together in January in Copenhagen, DEBORAH VOIGT and the Danish National Symphony under FABIO LUISI, who takes over as the orchestra’s Principal Conductor in the fall, head over the Atlantic for a Californian tour, performing Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder in five cities. [March 28: Santa Barbara; 29: Palm Desert; 30: San Diego; 31: Costa Mesa; April 2: San Francisco; see also March 23 above]

APRIL 2017

April 1 After collaborating with composer Lisa Bielawa and the San Francisco Girls Chorus in the NY PHIL BIENNIAL, the Brooklyn-based orchestra THE KNIGHTS gives a performance with the same forces in Washington, DC as part of SHIFT, a week-long spotlight on North American orchestras of all sizes. Presented by the Kennedy Center and Washington Performing Arts, the festival is composed of mini-residencies, with each participating orchestra presenting education and community events as well as symposia in venues around the capital, along with full-orchestra performances at the Kennedy Center. Also on the program are Vivaldi, Brahms, Aaron Jay Kernis, and an original composition by the orchestra. [Washington, DC]

April 10 – Oct 21  To celebrate the 450th anniversary of Monteverdi’s birth, SIR JOHN ELIOT GARDINER, the Monteverdi Choir, and the English Baroque Soloists embark on an international tour with concert performances of the composer’s three sole surviving operas: L’Orfeo, Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, and L’incoronazione di Poppea. The tour launches in Aix-en-Provence, where Gardiner – the winner of more Gramophone Awards than any other living artist – leads Ulisse for the first time in his career. Other highlights include complete trilogies in Paris and Bristol, at the Berliner Festspiele, Lucerne Festival and Venice’s La Fenice, and in America. [April 10: Aix-en-Provence, FR; April 12: Bristol, UK; May 3: Barcelona; May 8: Bristol, UK; May 28: Bristol, UK; June 16, 17, 18, 20, 21: Venice; Aug 23, 25, 26: Lucerne, CH; Sep 2, 3, 5: Berlin; Sep 16, 17, 18: Paris; Oct 12, 13, 15: Chicago; plus summer/fall dates through Oct 21 in Europe and the U.S. at other venues to be announced]

April 15  The LOUISVILLE ORCHESTRA presents its “Festival of American Music 1: American Journey.” While the program is TBA, Music Director Teddy Abrams will lead half of the concert, and his mentor Michael Tilson Thomas will guest conduct the other half. [Louisville, KY]

April 17  VisionintoArt at National Sawdust presents the West Coast premiere of The Colorado in Stanford University’s “Stanford Live” series. A music-driven eco-documentary that premiered to acclaim last season in Houston and New York, The Colorado is the first in a series of multimedia VIA-NS projects designed to foster better understanding and stewardship of the environment. With music by William Brittelle, Glenn Kotche, PAOLA PRESTINI, Shara Nova (formerly Worden), and Pulitzer Prize laureate John Luther Adams, it takes its audience on a 1,500-mile journey from the peaks of the Rocky Mountains, through the red cliffs of Grand Canyon, to drought-plagued California. [Stanford, CA]

April 17, May 5, July 22  ALESSIO BAX gives his debut solo recital at Wigmore Hall, performing Schubert, Scriabin and Ravel. He returns to the hall a few weeks later as part of a tour with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and then again in the summer with violinist Daishin Kashimoto following their tour of Japan. [April 17, May 5, July 22: London]

April 20  Grammy, Academy, and Grawemeyer Award-winning composer-conductor TAN DUN leads the Singapore Symphony in a program pairing Bartók suites with the Singapore premieres of two of Tan Dun’s most recent works. Peking Opera meets classical piano in his symphonic poem Farewell My Concubine (2015), while Passacaglia: Secret of Wind and Birds (2015) draws on nature and technology alike, using smartphones to create “a poetical forest of digital birds.” [Singapore]

April 24 – May 7  LEIF OVE ANDSNES joins fellow pianist Marc-André Hamelin for a six-city U.S. tour, including a stop at Carnegie Hall, performing works by Mozart (Larghetto and Allegro in E flat), Stravinsky (Concerto for Two Pianos and the Rite of Spring), and Debussy (En blanc et noir). [April 24: Seattle; April 25: San Francisco; April 26: Los Angeles; April 28: NYC/CH; April 30: Chicago; May 1: Washington, DC]. Andsnes stays on the East Coast after the duo tour to join Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony for performances of Rachmaninoff’s Fourth Piano Concerto as well as an all-Russian program with the orchestra’s Chamber Players. [May 4, 5, 6, 7: Boston]

April 28, 29   Two weeks after their “Festival of American Music 1” (featuring an appearance by guest conductor Michael Tilson Thomas), the LOUISVILLE ORCHESTRA’s “Festival of American Music 2: All Concertos” presents Andrew Norman’s Split with pianist Andrew Hsu, as well as the world premieres of Teddy Abrams’s Muhammad Ali Portrait (in tribute to the late boxer) and his arrangement of Louisville Concerto II. The first installment of the group-composed Louisville Concerto project last season featured original material in genres ranging from hip-hop to indie folk by four of the city’s most compelling artists, as combined and orchestrated by Abrams. [April 28, 29: Louisville, KY. See also April 15 above]

MAY 2017

May 7  SUSAN GRAHAM graces the Metropolitan Opera’s star-studded 50th Anniversary Gala alongside Piotr Beczala, Javier Camarena, Plácido Domingo, Elina Garanca, ANNA NETREBKO, and Rolando Villazón, as the company celebrates 50 years in its current home. [Met]

May 18 – 20 PIERRE-LAURENT AIMARD returns to the Cleveland Orchestra under Franz Welser-Möst to perform Ligeti’s Piano Concerto. The French pianist enjoys a long history with the orchestra through his close association with its first principal guest conductor, the late Pierre Boulez, with whom he and the orchestra received Victoires de la Musique Classique’s 2011 “Record of the Year” award for their Deutsche Grammophon recording of Ravel’s piano concertos. [May 18, 19, 20: Cleveland, OH]

May 18 – 20 The final concert in TRINITY WALL STREET’s water-themed Concerts at One series also heralds the beginning of a three-day Stravinsky festival, when NOVUS NY performs Stravinsky’s 1928 ballet Apollo musagète. The Russian composer’s complete pagan works will be performed during the festival, four years after Trinity’s presentation of his complete sacred choral music in 2013. In the second of three concerts, NOVUS NY plays three more ballets: Orpheus, Agon and the Rite of Spring. The festival closes with the two large-scale choral works Persephone and Oedipus Rex, as the Washington Chorus and Trinity Youth Chorus join The Choir of Trinity Wall Street and NOVUS NY. [May 18 (Concerts at One/Stravinsky), May 19 (Stravinsky), May 20 (Stravinsky): TC]

May 26 – June 11  The DOVER QUARTET launches its third and final complete Beethoven string quartet cycle of the season, this time at the Montreal Chamber Music Festival. During the residency, the Dovers also play Mendelssohn’s Octet with the winners of the 2016 Banff International String Quartet Competition, at which they themselves took the Grand Prize and all three Special Prizes in 2013. [May 26, 28, June 2, 4, 8, 9, 11: Montreal. See also Sep 29 and Nov 15 above.]

May 31 Known for her “magical Mahler” (San Francisco Classical Voice), SUSAN GRAHAM joins tenor Matthew Polenzani, the MET Orchestra, and Esa-Pekka Salonen for selections from the composer’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn at Carnegie Hall. [CH]

JUNE 2017

June 1 – 10 ALAN GILBERT leads the New York Philharmonic in a concert performance of Wagner’s Das Rheingold, with a cast that includes Eric Owens, Jamie Barton, Christopher Purves, Russell Thomas, Kelley O’Connor, Morris Robinson, Rachel Willis-Sørensen, Jennifer Johnson Cano, and Tamara Mumford. Two days later, Gilbert conducts the orchestra and guest artists from around the world in performances designed to highlight important international issues and foster the idea of global community. [June 1, 3, 6 (Rheingold); June 8, 9, 10 (“global” program): DGH]

June 15 – 18  Continuing its Off Grand series, LOS ANGELES OPERA presents the West Coast premiere of Thumbprint, hailed as “a streamlined and powerful music drama” (New York Classical Review). A true story of courage and triumph, this chamber opera explores the deep family ties and tribal traditions that empowered Mukhtar Mai as Pakistan’s first female victim of gang rape to bring her attackers to justice. A series of interviews with Mai herself forms the basis of Susan Yankowitz’s libretto, and Kamala Sankaram’s score is imbued with the contrasting influences of Hindustani and European opera. [June 15, 16, 17, 18: Los Angeles]

June 18 – July 13  FABIO LUISI leads a new production of Lehár’s Das Land Des Lächelns at Zurich Opera, starring Piotr Beczala and directed by Zurich Opera General Manager and Luisi’s longtime collaborator Andreas Homoki, with whom the conductor has been described as “almost a ‘dream team” (Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen). [June 18, 21, 25, 29; July 2, 6, 9, 13: Zurich]

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Abbreviations for New York City concert venues are as follows:

ATH = Alice Tully Hall
CH = Carnegie Hall
DGH = David Geffen Hall
Met = Metropolitan Opera
NS = National Sawdust
SPC = St Paul’s Chapel
TC = Trinity Church

Country abbreviations/codes at this link:

http://abbreviations.yourdictionary.com/articles/country-abbreviations.html