July 20, 2017

21C MEDIA GROUP’S CLASSICAL MUSIC PREVIEW

2017-18

CONCERTS, SPECIAL EVENTS, BROADCASTS, RECORDINGS

AUGUST 2017

Aug 14

Pianist INON BARNATAN makes his debut at the BBC Proms in London, joining the BBC Symphony Orchestra and conductor Kazushi Ono for Ravel’s jazz-influenced Piano Concerto in G major at Royal Albert Hall. Barnatan played the same piece for his subscription concert debut as the inaugural Artist-in-Association with the New York Philharmonic in 2015. [London]

Aug 31 – April 20

FABIO LUISI opens his second season as Principal Conductor of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra with a performance of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony. His first tour with the orchestra to the U.S. was this past spring, about which San Jose’s Mercury News declared, “He didn’t disappoint. Luisi … is a precise, energetic conductor, and he led his Danish players in vibrant, dynamic performances.” Also with the orchestra this season Luisi gives his first performance of Carl Nielsen’s Fifth Symphony, in a concert that also includes German violinist Julia Fischer playing Hans Werner Henze’s Second Violin Concerto. In addition, he leads Franz Schmidt’s mammoth apocalyptic oratorio Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln in December, as well as performances of Beethoven and Bruckner later in the season. Click here to see Luisi discuss the Schmidt, and here to hear the details of his love affair with Carl Nielsen. [Mahler: Aug 31, Sep 1; Nielsen: Sep 7, 8; Beethoven: Dec 14, 15, March 1, 2; Schmidt: Dec 21; Bruckner: April 20; Copenhagen]

SEPTEMBER 2017

Sep 1; Oct 23 – Nov 11   For his first album since his widely-acclaimed, multi-season “Beethoven Journey” tour and recording project, pianist LEIF OVE ANDSNES turns to the unjustly neglected solo piano music of Jean Sibelius, for a new CD on Sony Classical (Sep 1). Andsnes says he is “on a mission” to shed light on these mostly unknown gems. The album includes Sibelius’s own piano arrangement of his famous Valse triste, as well as excerpts from the popular Ten Pieces Op. 24 and early Six Impromptus Op. 5, and the piano score that is often considered Sibelius’s finest: the expressive Three Lyric Pieces Op. 41 subtitled Kyllikki. Sibelius is on the program of Andsnes’s European recital tour, which takes him to Bilbao, Spain (Oct 23), Madrid (Oct 24), Lugano, Switzerland (Oct 26), Vienna (Oct 30), London (Oct 31), Leipzig (Nov 8), Cologne (Nov 10), and Amsterdam (Nov 11).

Sep 5

INON BARNATAN returns to the Hollywood Bowl to perform Alan Fletcher’s new piano concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (which commissioned the piece), led by Ken-David Masur, after performing the world premiere of the piece in July at the Aspen Music Festival, of which Fletcher is President and CEO. [Los Angeles]

Sep 6-9

‘Myths and Legends’ is the theme of the 6th annual Collaborative Work Festival, presented by the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago, of which tenor NICHOLAS PHAN is Artistic Director and co-founder. Performing at the festival alongside Phan are singers Sarah Shafer, Douglas Williams and Susanna Phillips (who headlines the festival’s annual solo recital), and pianists Myra Huang and CAIC co-founder Shannon McGinnis. Among the recital programs are Schubert Lieder retelling the myths of ancient Greece as recounted by the great German Romantic poets Mayrhofer, Schiller and Goethe, as well as a program of fantastical legends by composers ranging from Schumann and Duparc to Jake Heggie. [Sep 6, 7, 8, 9; Chicago]

Sep 9

Grammy Award-winning mezzo SUSAN GRAHAM – “an artist to treasure” (New York Times) – headlines the Houston Symphony’s opening-night concert, singing favorite show tunes and arias from her signature stage roles, under the baton of Gustavo Gimeno. [Houston, TX]

Sep 9 – Oct 21

Tenor STEPHEN COSTELLO makes his Paris Opera debut as Camille in Lehár’s Merry Widow, a role he has sung to great acclaim at New York’s Met. As the New York Observer noted, “tenor Stephen Costello sang with big, full tone and a firm sense of the swooping, darting style of Lehár.” [Sep 9, 12, 16, 20, 22, 24, 28, 30, Oct 5, 9, 11, 15, 18, 21: Paris]

Sep 12-14; March 20-24

TRINITY CHURCH WALL STREET presents its annual “Time’s Arrow” festival in two parts this season, centered on the music of Austrian composer Anton Webern, whose relatively small output arguably did more to shape the direction of contemporary music than either his mentor Schoenberg or his fellow student Alban Berg. The complete catalog of Webern’s works will provide the focus for concerts that also juxtapose examples of his early music influences, Isaac, Tallis, Senfl and more, with many of the post-war composers he influenced in turn. [TC/SPC]

Sep 14-25

OPERA PHILADELPHIA presents O17, the inaugural edition of its game-changing new annual season-opening festival. A twelve-day immersion held at six venues across the city, this has already been welcomed as “a bold move aimed at making Philadelphia a compelling stop on the opera-lover circuit” (Philadelphia Inquirer) that promises to “blanket the city with opera” (Washington Post). Highlighting the festival are three world premieres: Elizabeth Cree, a chamber opera by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts and librettist Mark Campbell, produced in collaboration with London’s Hackney Empire; We Shall Not Be Moved, an interdisciplinary co-commission and co-production with Harlem’s Apollo Theater and the Hackney Empire from the creative team of Haitian-American composer Daniel Bernard Roumain, librettist and spoken word artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph, and director-choreographer-dramaturge Bill T. Jones; and The Wake World, a musical journey through the art collections of Philadelphia’s Barnes Foundation from composer-in-residence David Hertzberg. Complementing the new works are the exclusive East Coast presentation of Barrie Kosky’s take on Mozart’s The Magic Flute, and the Philadelphia premiere of War Stories, a site-specific and topical pairing at the Philadelphia Museum of Art of Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, Monteverdi’s prescient tale of Christian and Muslim warriors, with I Have No Stories To Tell You, a modern response to it by composer-in-residence program alumnus Lembit Beecher and librettist Hannah Moscovitch. To complete the O17 lineup, there will be a free HD video broadcast in Opera Philadelphia’s celebrated Opera on the Mall series, and inaugural Festival Artist, superstar soprano Sondra Radvanovsky, gives both a solo recital and a masterclass. [Sep 14, 16, 19, 21, 23: Elizabeth Cree; Sep 15, 17, 20, 22, 24: The Magic Flute; Sep 16, 17, 19, 21, 23: War Stories; Sep 16, 17, 18, 21, 23, 24: We Shall Not Be Moved; Sep 17, 18: Sondra Radvanovsky recital and masterclass; Sep 18, 19, 23, 24, 25: The Wake World]

Sep 17, 19

Grammy Award-winner FABIO LUISI wears two hats as both conductor and composer when he leads the world premiere of his Saint Bonaventure Mass at New York’s St. Bonaventure University, followed two days later by its New York City premiere at the Met Cloisters Museum as part of the MetLiveArts series. The new work, which will be performed by members of the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus under the direction of Adam Luebke, commemorates the 800th anniversary of the birth of Saint Bonaventure of Bagnoregio, one of the most influential theologians of the Middle Ages. [Sep 17: Allegany, NY; Sep 19: Cloisters, NYC]

Sep 21-24

DANIEL HOPE starts his tenure as the Artistic Advisor of the New Century Chamber Orchestra. In three California cities he leads the world premiere of Alan Fletcher’s new Violin Concerto, Mendelssohn’s Octet, Wojciech Kilar’s Orawa, and Tchaikovsky’s Serenade. This is Hope’s second major appointment in the U.S., where he is also Associate Artistic Director at the Savannah Music Festival. [Sep 21: Berkeley; Sep 22, 23: San Francisco; Sep 24: San Rafael]

Sep 22

The first orchestra to issue its own recordings, the LOUISVILLE ORCHESTRA now makes its debut with Music Director Teddy Abrams on the Decca Gold label with an album titled All In. Exploring relationships between American popular styles, as well as the orchestra’s role in 21st-century American culture, the recording also showcases Abrams’s talents as composer, conductor and clarinetist. He conducts and plays the solo part in Copland’s Clarinet Concerto; teams up with chanteuse Storm Large, who performs songs by herself, Abrams and Cole Porter; and conducts his own ballet, Unified Field, a work he and the orchestra performed in a special collaboration last season with the Louisville Ballet. [Decca Gold]

Sep 22

New Brooklyn performance and recording space NATIONAL SAWDUST – a leading incubator of new work – launches its third season. Taking “Origins” as its theme, this season offers an in-depth exploration of the music of indigenous communities around the globe. As the Village Voice put it, “National Sawdust will change the way modern music is made. … Nothing quite like it exists in New York City, or anywhere else in the world.” [NS]

Sep 22

VIA RECORDS releases Angel’s Bone, the opera by Du Yun that won her the Pulitzer Prize for Music earlier this year. The Pulitzer jury described the piece as a bold work “that integrates vocal and instrumental elements and a wide range of styles into a harrowing allegory for human trafficking in the modern world.” With a libretto by Royce Vavrek (of Missy Mazzoli’s Breaking the Waves and David T. Little’s Dog Days fame), Angel’s Bone was commissioned by New York’s Prototype Festival and TRINITY WALL STREET, which staged the world premiere in January last year.

Sep 23

Galvanizing Music Director Teddy Abrams – “a true original … who in his short tenure … has rallied the city, improbably, around classical music” (Departures) – opens his fourth season with the LOUISVILLE ORCHESTRA with a program of Russian masterworks. Joining Abrams and the orchestra is pianist Yuja Wang, who lends her “brilliant, nonchalant keyboard virtuosity” (Los Angeles Times) to Rachmaninoff’s Fourth Piano Concerto. Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 shares the bill. [Louisville, KY]

Sep 29 – Oct 1

Creator and librettist CERISE JACOBS – whose Ouroboros Trilogy, produced last September, was “the most ambitious opera undertaking Boston has ever seen” (Berkshire Fine Arts) – presents the world premiere of her new opera, REV. 23, composed by Trinity Church Wall Street Director of Music JULIAN WACHNER, at Boston’s John Hancock Theater, as the centerpiece and opening show of the first Boston New Music Festival. The opera marks a first outing for Jacobs’s newly reconfigured production company, White Snake Projects, headed by Boston producer Georgia Lyman with Jacobs as Executive Producer. The opera will be directed by West Edge Opera Artistic Director Mark Streshinsky, and conducted by BNMF founder Lidiya Yankovskaya. [Sep 29, 30; Oct 1: Boston]

OCTOBER 2017

Oct 1 – April 14

Groundbreaking orchestral collective THE KNIGHTS – who “playfully combine early music with avant-garde, great classics with world music – constantly blowing away audiences because this mix is simply irresistibly refined” (Hamburger Abendblatt) – are in residence for a third season at Brooklyn’s BRIC, with family concerts, evening performances and a characteristically wide-ranging roster of guest artists. [Oct 1, 5, 9, 10; Dec 9, 10; Feb 3, 4; April 12, 14: BRIC]

Oct 4; Jan 26

The DOVER QUARTET launches the third and final leg of its prestigious three-year faculty residency at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, with performances in October and during the conservatory’s Winter Chamber Music Festival. [Oct 4; Jan 26: Evanston, IL]

Oct 6

Pianist DANIIL TRIFONOV releases Chopin: Evocation, his fourth album as an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist. In addition to works by Chopin himself, like his Fantaisie-impromptu, Op. 66 (posth.), the disc also marks Trifonov’s first foray into a new repertoire: works of 20th-century composers who were greatly influenced by the Polish master, including Samuel Barber, Federico Mompou and others. The album sets the tone for Trifonov’s season, in which three of the seven concerts in his Perspectives series at Carnegie Hall are devoted to Chopin and his influence. [Deutsche Grammophon]

Oct 9, 10

A new duo for violin and cello by composer MICHAEL HERSCH, commissioned by Moldavian violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja – “one of classical music’s great risk takers (Bachtrack) – to perform with cellist Jay Campbell, receives its world premiere in a recital at New York City’s Park Avenue Armory on a program that showcases the duo’s wide-ranging repertoire and extreme styles of music-making. The rest of the program includes early music of Gibbons, classical works by Ravel, and contemporary compositions by Xenakis and Ligeti. [PAA]

Oct 12-21

Conductor SIR JOHN ELIOT GARDINER’s seven-month, 14-City “Monteverdi 450” world tour draws to a triumphant conclusion when he leads the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists in concert performances of all three of the Venetian master’s surviving operas – L’Orfeo, Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, and L’incoronazione di Poppea – at Chicago’s Harris Theater and New York’s Alice Tully Hall. Launched this past April in Aix-en-Provence, the tour marks the 450th anniversary of the birth of Claudio Monteverdi, long recognized as the father of opera. [Oct 12: L’Orfeo, Harris Theater; Oct 13: Ulisse, Harris Theater; Oct 15: Poppea, Harris Theater; Oct 18: L’Orfeo, ATH; Oct 19: Ulisse, ATH; Oct 21: Poppea, ATH]

Oct 12 – May 2

LEIF OVE ANDSNES will play concertos, chamber music, and a solo recital as part of his season-long tenure as Artist-in-Residence of the New York Philharmonic. Repertoire includes Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 4, Britten’s “Piano Concerto, Op. 13, Debussy’s Fantaisie for Piano and Orchestra, and he will play Beethoven and Schubert in a solo recital on May 2. Watch Andsnes discussing why he likes doing residencies here. [Oct 12, 13, 14, 17; Feb 8, 9, 10; April 26, 28; May 2: DGH; April 27: Tilles Center, NY]

Oct 13

With its second recording for Cedille, the DOVER QUARTET – “the young American string quartet of the moment” (New Yorker) – takes listeners on a powerful, often harrowing journey through three searing works written during World War II. Titled Voices of Defiance 1943 1944 1945, the album comprises Viktor Ullmann’s String Quartet No. 3 (1943), Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 2 (1944), and Simon Laks’s String Quartet No. 3 (1945). [Cedille]

Oct 14 – Nov 19

“A newly important force in American opera” (Los Angeles Times), LA OPERA launches the season with the company premiere of Verdi’s Nabucco, directed by 2016 Golden Mask-winner Thaddeus Strassberger. General Director Plácido Domingo stars alongside Liudmyla Monastyrska and Morris Robinson, with Music Director James Conlon on the podium. [Oct 14, Nov 2, 5, 8, 11, 19: Los Angeles]

Oct 15

Opening CARAMOOR’s 2017-18 fall/spring season in the Music Room of the Rosen House, the celebrated Takács Quartet – which London’s Sunday Times calls “arguably the world’s most versatile string quartet” – makes its Caramoor debut with a program of Haydn, Shostakovich and Brahms. [Katonah, NY]

Oct 16-21

MacArthur Award-winning cellist ALISA WEILERSTEIN and pianist INON BARNATAN enjoy a close musical rapport that prompted the Boston Globe to marvel: “Their interpretations were like a series of marvelously expressive close-ups: every note and phrase pinned to an exact emotion.” They embark on a duo recital tour, juxtaposing the world premiere of a Carnegie co-commission from Grammy Award-winner Steven Mackey with Mendelssohn’s impassioned Second Cello Sonata. At Carnegie Hall and in Texas, they complete the program with the sole cello sonatas of Britten and Rachmaninoff; at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, with those of Chopin and Debussy. [Oct 16: Philadelphia; Oct 17: ZH; Oct 19, 20: Fort Worth; Oct 21: Houston]

Oct 17

Pianist ALESSIO BAX, an alumnus of Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s “CMS Two” program and a frequent collaborator with CMS ever since, opens that organization’s season at Alice Tully Hall with two Mozart works: a four-hands sonata with his wife, Lucille Chung, and a violin sonata with 2017 Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award-winner Paul Huang. [ATH]

Oct 19, 20

BROOKLYN RIDER releases an album of new music, called Spontaneous Symbols, on violinist Johnny Gandelsman’s In a Circle Records (Oct 20). The disc includes music written for the group by composers Tyondai Braxton, Evan Ziporyn, Brooklyn Rider violinist Colin Jacobsen, 2014 Rome Prize recipient Paula Matthusen, and polymathic guitarist/ composer/producer Kyle Sanna. The day before the release, the quartet performs at Brooklyn’s Roulette, previewing some of the tracks from the album. [Oct 19: Roulette]

Oct 20 – Nov 10

ALESSIO BAX and frequent collaborator Joshua Bell – with whom he has toured Asia, the U.S., South America and Europe – set out on another U.S. tour together, with stops in nine states around the country plus Toronto, highlighted by a Washington Performing Arts concert at DC’s Strathmore Music Center. [Oct 20: Iowa City; Oct 21: Kansas City; Oct 22: Galveston, TX; Oct 29: SUNY Purchase, NY; Nov 1: Princeton, NJ; Nov 2: Provo, UT; Nov 4: Toronto; Nov 5: Washington, DC; Nov 9: Charleston, SC; Nov 10: Chicago]

Oct 25 – Nov 4

Fresh from a truly transformative eight-year tenure as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic that saw him make “an indelible mark on the orchestra’s history and that of the city itself” (New Yorker), ALAN GILBERT returns to lead two programs in the Philharmonic’s Centennial Festival for Leonard Bernstein. The first pairs Joshua Bell’s account of the composer’s Serenade with his First Symphony, featuring mezzo-soprano Kelly O’Connor, while the second couples Bernstein’s music with Rhapsody in Blue by fellow New Yorker Gershwin. [Oct 25, 26, 27, 28 & 31; Nov 2, 3 & 4: DGH]

Oct 26-28

After winning acclaim in the Boston Symphony’s Der Rosenkavalier last season, SUSAN GRAHAM returns to the orchestra in the signature role of Marguerite in Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust, with Charles Dutoit on the podium. The mezzo’s expertise in French music has been recognized with a “Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur” from the French government. [Oct 26, 27, 28: Boston]

Oct 27-29; Feb 1 – 3

Having impressed The Guardian with her “thrilling realized” interpretation of Schumann’s sole cello concerto, ALISA WEILERSTEIN reprises the work with the Pittsburgh Symphony and its Music Director, Manfred Honeck, as well as for her return to the Philadelphia Orchestra under Christoph Eschenbach. [Oct 27-29: Pittsburgh; Feb 1-3: Philadelphia]

Oct 28 – May 4

Pianist DANIIL TRIFONOV curates this season’s Perspectives series at Carnegie Hall, devoting three of his seven concerts to Chopin’s music and influence. Included are a solo recital of works by the Polish master and composers from Schumann to Barber who either quoted his themes or wrote tributes to him; two all-Chopin programs with the Kremerata Baltica chamber orchestra and cellist Gautier Capuçon; collaborations with baritone Matthias Goerne and Trifonov’s teacher and mentor Sergei Babayan, the latter capping a U.S. tour that includes the world premiere of a Carnegie-commissioned work for two pianos by Mauro Lanza; a performance of his own Piano Concerto with Valery Gergiev leading the Mariinsky Orchestra, again culminating a U.S. tour; and finally a solo recital in Zankel Hall that includes a seminal piece from each decade of the 20th century. [Oct 28, Nov 15, Feb 6, March 1, April 25 & 26: CH; May 4: ZH]

Oct 28 – June 8  

STEPHEN COSTELLO embarks on a busy season in Germany that includes two further debuts: he sings for the first time at Dresden Opera, as Rodolfo in La bohème (Oct/Nov), and makes his first appearance with the Munich Philharmonic, in Dvorak’s Stabat Mater (April). He returns to Dresden Opera and Deutsche Opera Berlin in the spring, portraying Rigoletto’s Duke of Mantua in both houses. [Oct 28, 30, Nov 4: Dresden; April 12, 13, 15: Munich; March 30, April 3, May 25, 30, June 8: Dresden; May 3, 7, 11: Berlin]

NOVEMBER 2017

Nov 2-15

DANIIL TRIFONOV reunites with Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra for a U.S. tour of Trifonov’s own Piano Concerto, with stops at the Mondavi Center at the University of California, Davis; in Washington, DC; and culminating with a concert in Carnegie Hall’s Perspectives series, which Trifonov curates this season. He also performs the concerto in Detroit, with the Detroit Symphony led by Giancarlo Guerrero. [Nov 2: Davis, CA; Nov 9-11: Detroit; Nov 12: Washington, DC; Nov 15: CH]

Nov 4

Gifted young Music Director Teddy Abrams – a prolific and award-winning composer – leads the LOUISVILLE ORCHESTRA in the world premiere of his one-act opera, The Greatest: Muhammad Ali. With local hip-hop artist Jecorey “1200” Arthur among the soloists, this musical celebration and tribute to the extraordinary life and impact of the legendary athlete, humanitarian and Louisville native was presented in excerpts at the second annual Festival of American Music in April 2017, and is here heard for the first time in its entirety. [Louisville, KY]

Nov 5-24

In his sixth season as General Director of Zurich Opera, FABIO LUISI leads a new production of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny, with Finnish soprano Karita Mattila making her house debut as the Widow Begbick, and German soprano Annette Dasch in her role debut as Jenny. [Nov 5, 9, 12, 14, 17, 19, 22, 24: Zurich]

Nov 8-15

Brooklyn-based orchestral collective THE KNIGHTS embarks on a U.S. tour with genre-defying Israeli mandolinist Avi Avital and Syrian clarinetist and composer Kinan Azmeh. Tour repertoire comes from around the world, with much of it being arranged and transcribed by the artists, and includes Azmeh’s Triple Concerto for Clarinet, Mandolin, Violin and Orchestra. [Nov 8: Santa Monica, CA; Nov 9, 10: Santa Barbara, CA; Nov 12: Ann Arbor, MI; Nov 14: Goshen, IN; Nov 15: Bloomington, IN]

Nov 9-18

Having recorded excerpts from Cilea’s tragedy on her 2016 solo release Verismo, hailed as “a landmark in [her] remarkable growth” (Associated Press), ANNA NETREBKO makes her company role debut in David McVicar’s sumptuous treatment of Adriana Lecouvreur at the Vienna State Opera. She was recently named a Kammersängerin, Austria’s highest honor for opera singers. [Nov 9, 12, 15, 18: Vienna]

Nov 10-19

Enjoying close relationships with all Germany’s leading orchestras, ALAN GILBERT returns to the Staatskapelle Dresden for Strauss’s Sinfonia Domestica and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 in A, with piano soloist Yundi, in concerts at the orchestra’s home and on a four-city tour of China. [Nov 10–12: Dresden, Germany; Nov 15: Shanghai China; Nov 16: Hangzhou, China; Nov 17: Wuhan, China; Nov 19: Beijing, China]

Nov 29 – Dec 9

After a coast-to-coast U.S. tour together this past spring, BROOKLYN RIDER rejoins former New York City Ballet prima ballerina Wendy Whelan and choreographer Brian Brooks for a second North American tour of Some of a Thousand Words, an intimate series of duets and solos in which the ensemble’s live onstage music is a central creative component. The piece includes music by John Luther Adams, Tyondai Braxton, Philip Glass, and Brooklyn Rider violinist Colin Jacobsen. [Nov 29, 30: San Francisco; Dec 2: La Jolla, CA; Dec 9: College Park, MD]

Nov 30

Academy-, Grammy- and Grawemeyer Award-winning composer-conductor TAN DUN leads the London Symphony Orchestra in suites from his award-winning scores to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hero, and The Banquet. These are the three films that form his “Martial Arts Trilogy,” and visuals from them will accompany the performance. As Tan Dun explains, “The film and music is one big drama. … Melting together it becomes something very powerful.” [London]

DECEMBER 2017

Dec 6-9

ALAN GILBERT reunites with the New York Philharmonic to celebrate the orchestra’s 175th birthday with performances of Weber’s Oberon Overture, Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante for Four Winds, and Beethoven’s iconic Fifth Symphony. [Dec 6, 7, 8, 9: DGH]

Dec 7-12

At the Chicago Symphony last year, ALISA WEILERSTEIN gave Pascal Dusapin’s new concerto “the kind of debut most composers can only dream of achieving” (Chicago Tribune). Now she rejoins the orchestra for Barber’s Cello Concerto, which she describes as “a very emotional piece … with fireworks and aching lyricism.” [Dec 7, 8, 9, 12: Chicago]

Dec 7 – Jan 5

ANNA NETREBKO headlines her second La Scala season-opening by making her role debut as Maddalena opposite her husband, Yusif Eyvazov, as the title character in Giordano’s Andrea Chénier. The new production by Mario Martone is led by Riccardo Chailly on the podium. [Dec 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22; Jan 2, 5: Milan]

Dec 10

Returning to Carnegie Hall for a second year, the RICHARD TUCKER MUSIC FOUNDATION presents its annual gala, always a highlight of New York’s opera season.  The concert features 2017 Tucker Award-winner, soprano Nadine Sierra, alongside a lineup of opera luminaries such as Bryn Terfel, Javier Camarena, and Stephanie Blythe. A post-concert gala dinner will be held at the Plaza Hotel. [CH]

Dec 11 – Feb 23

STEPHEN COSTELLO’s winter season takes him back over the Atlantic to Spain, where he sings Rodolfo in Puccini’s La bohème at Madrid’s Teatro Real (Dec/Jan), and then to the Canadian Opera Company, where he portrays Verdi’s Duke of Mantua in Toronto (Jan/Feb). [Dec 11, 14, 17, 19, 23, 26, 29, Jan 2, 4, 7: Madrid; Jan 20, 27, Feb 1, 4, 6, 9, 21, 23: Toronto]

Dec 14 – Jan 11

SUSAN GRAHAM reprises her “vivacious and creamy-voiced” (New York Times) account of the title role in Susan Stroman’s take on Lehár’s The Merry Widow at the Metropolitan Opera. [Dec 14, 16, 20, 23, 27, 30; Jan 2, 5, 11: Met]

Dec 15-18

TRINITY CHURCH WALL STREET – whose annual “revivifying holiday performances of Handel’s ‘Messiah’ … set the New York standard” (New York Times)reprises its critically acclaimed, historically informed, period-instrument rendition of Handel’s most beloved oratorio. After two performances at Trinity Church, The Choir of Trinity Wall Street and Trinity Baroque Orchestra, led by Director of Music Julian Wachner, perform the work uptown at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, in what has, in recent years, become a new holiday tradition. [Dec 15, 17: TCW; Dec 18: ATH]

Dec 16

Popular New York-based early music ensemble TENET, led by soprano Jolle Greenleaf, restarts a CARAMOOR holiday concert tradition, making its debut at the Westchester estate with a program of traditional Christmas music. Tours of the Rosen House will be available prior to the concert, as well as other holiday treats and festivities. [Katonah, NY]

Dec 31 – Jan 28

After the critical success of his debut with the Minnesota Orchestra playing Rachmaninoff’s First Piano Concerto in the spring of 2016, INON BARNATAN rings in the New Year with a return engagement, this time performing Tchaikovsky’s First Concerto under the baton of Osmo Vänskä. Additional dates follow later that month as they tour the same program to two cities in Illinois. [Dec 31, Jan 1: Minneapolis; Jan 25: Champaign-Urbana, IL; Jan 28: Chicago]

JANUARY 2018

Jan 4-9

ALISA WEILERSTEIN reprises Tchaikovsky’s “Rococo” Variations with Jeffrey Kahane and the New York Philharmonic. It was with the same work that she made her professional debut with the Cleveland Orchestra at just 13. [Jan 4, 5, 6, 9: DGH]

Jan 11-13

PIERRE-LAURENT AIMARD – the French pianist hailed as “a brilliant musician and an extraordinary visionary” (Wall Street Journal) – joins the Boston Symphony Orchestra under François-Xavier Roth for Bartok’s First Piano Concerto. The pianist scored a fifth Grammy nomination for his Deutsche Grammophon recording of the Hungarian composer’s Concerto for Two Pianos. [Jan 11, 12, 13: Boston]

Jan 17

The DOVER QUARTET makes its debut at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw with a program of Haydn, Zemlinsky, and Mozart. Released last season, the group’s all-Mozart album debut, Tribute, scored five-star reviews from Audiophile Audition and Fanfare’s Jerry Dubins, who heralded it as “music-making not of the highest order but of the next order.” [Amsterdam]

Jan 18, 20

MICHAEL HERSCH – who composes “masterly modernist music of implacable seriousness” (New Yorker) – takes his monodrama On the Threshold of Winter to a new production in Chicago, with Ensemble Dal Niente and soprano Ah Young Hong reprising her role as the work’s “blazing, lone star” (New York Times). [Chicago]

Jan 21

Following its auspicious debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall last season, the DOVER QUARTET makes its first mainstage appearance in the venue’s Stern Auditorium, joining Janine Jansen and Jean-Yves Thibaudet for Chausson’s haunting Concerto in D for violin, piano, and string quartet. [CH]

Jan 24-26; March 8-11

Returning to the U.S. after performances of his Saint Bonaventure Mass in September, FABIO LUISI conducts two Beethoven piano concertos in Philadelphia and Dallas. Yefim Bronfman is the soloist for Beethoven’s Third Concerto with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and Luisi’s frequent collaborator Lise de la Salle joins him for Beethoven’s Fourth with the Dallas Symphony. Strauss’s tone poem Ein Heldenleben completes the Dallas program, and in Philadelphia Luisi also conducts Haydn’s Symphony No. 104 and Wagner’s Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde. [Jan 24, 25, 26: Philadelphia; March 8-11: Dallas]

Jan 25-27

Global Academy Fellows from the Santa Barbara-based summer festival and school MUSIC ACADEMY OF THE WEST travel to New York to train and perform with the New York Philharmonic and guest conductor Stéphane Denève in a program featuring the music of Sergei Prokofiev. [Jan 25, 26, 27: DGH]

Jan 25-28

DANIEL HOPE celebrates Mozart’s birthday with the New Century Chamber Orchestra, marking his second outing with the orchestra in his new role as its Artistic Advisor. Leading the Symphony No. 29, Adagio and Fugue, Concerto for Violin No. 3, and the Piano Concerto KV 488, Hope is joined by two pianists: his regular collaborator Sebastian Knauer, and his dear friend and colleague, the legendary Menahem Pressler, with whom Hope played in the final years of the Beaux Arts Trio. [Jan 25: Berkeley, CA; Jan 26: Palo Alto, CA; Jan 27: San Francisco; Jan 28: San Rafael, CA]

Jan 29 – Feb 1

NOVA Chamber Music Series, in collaboration with other arts organizations in Salt Lake City, presents “American Visionary,” a week-long festival devoted to the music of the extraordinary American composer MICHAEL HERSCH. Hailed as “a natural musical genius who continues to surpass himself” (Washington Post), Hersch will be in Utah serving as the Maurice Abravanel Distinguished Visiting Composer at the University of Utah School of Music, where he will present lectures and teach composition students. Works to be performed in the festival include his two-and-a-half hour solo piano piece The Vanishing Pavilions, Last Autumn for horn and cello, and his monodrama On the Threshold of Winter, which also makes its Chicago debut earlier in January. [Jan 29, 30, 31, Feb 1: Salt Lake City, UT]

FEBRUARY 2018

Feb 3

A program titled “War + Peace” shows the range and creativity of the LOUISVILLE ORCHESTRA’s programming, as dynamic Music Director Teddy Abrams leads a concert ranging from Monteverdi’s Madrigals of War and Love to Schoenberg’s dramatic cantata A Survivor from Warsaw for men’s chorus, narrator and orchestra. Works by Barber, Ravel, Vaughan Williams, Mahler, Ives, Prokofiev, Arvo Pärt and Kurt Weill fill out the program, as well as a world premiere by Sebastian Chang. [Louisville, KY]

Feb 9-11               

NICHOLAS PHAN is the first singer to serve as the guest artistic director of the Laguna Beach Music Festival; his predecessors include Edgar Meyer, Joshua Bell, Jennifer Koh and Johannes Moser. In the first of three concerts, Phan explores one of the most fruitful musical relationships of all time – that between Robert and Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms. The following night’s program features the world premiere of a multimedia event built around Leoš Janácek’s powerful Diary of One Who Disappeared. For the third and final concert Phan is joined by special guests for a musical road-trip through the great American songbook, including songs from Bernstein and Copland to Broadway, Joan Baez, and Lennon & McCartney. [Feb 9, 10, 11: Laguna Beach, CA]

Feb 9-18

TAN DUN, who serves as Artistic Director of China’s National Symphony Orchestra, leads the ensemble on a six-stop U.S. tour to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Their program pairs the music of Stravinsky and Guan Xia with works by Tan Dun himself, including Concerto Grosso: Martial Arts Trilogy, a series of multimedia concertos drawn from his scores to Hero and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Passacaglia: Secret of Wind and Birds, a Carnegie Hall commission that features smartphones to create “a poetical forest of digital birds;” and Percussion Concerto “The Tears of Nature,” which will be performed with its dedicatee, virtuoso percussionist Martin Grubinger, at Washington’s Kennedy Center. [Feb 9: Carmel, IN; Feb 11: Greenvale, NY; Feb 14: Richmond, VA; Feb 15: Washington, DC; Feb 16: Blacksburg, VA; Feb 18: Atlanta, GA]

Feb 9-18; April 27 – May 6

Recognized as “the very model of a modern opera company” (Washington Post), OPERA PHILADELPHIA rounds out its season of firsts with back-to-back new productions from a pair of award-winning directors. Will Kerley helms the Philadelphia premiere of George Benjamin’s critical sensation Written on Skin, starring Anthony Roth Costanzo; and Scotland’s Paul Curran offers an original treatment of Bizet’s beloved Carmen, with Elizabeth Cree’s Daniela Mack in the title role. [Written on Skin: Feb 9, 11, 16, 18; Carmen: April 27, 29, May 2, 4, 6; Philadelphia]

Feb 14-21

In his second U.S. tour of the season, ALESSIO BAX joins superstar flutist and Berlin Philharmonic principal Emmanuel Pahud for a program of Poulenc, Schubert, Schumann and Mendelssohn on a six-stop tour that includes performances at the Kennedy Center and New York’s 92nd Street Y. [Feb 14: Ann Arbor, MI; Feb 15: Hartford, CT; Feb 16: Washington, DC; Feb 17: 92Y; Feb 18: Atlanta, GA; Feb 21: San Francisco]

Feb 19 – May 25

To inaugurate the new Noack organ in St. Paul’s Chapel, TRINITY CHURCH WALL STREET hosts the annual American Guild of Organist’s President’s Day Conference on February 19, followed by a week of organ recitals and concerti. The finale concert, featuring The Choir of Trinity Wall Street and NOVUS NY led by Director of Music Julian Wachner, will be a program of Psalm-based works by Wachner, Leonard Bernstein, and Lukas Foss. The new organ will be further showcased by Friday “Pipes at One” concerts throughout the spring, and Trinity’s beloved Monday “Bach at One” performances will likewise resume, beginning February 26. [SPC]

Feb 21-28

On the heels of her triumph as Verdi’s Violetta at La Scala last season, ANNA NETREBKO brings the one-time signature role out of retirement to star opposite Charles Castronovo and Plácido Domingo in Benoît Jacquot’s treatment of La traviata at the Paris Opera. [Feb 21, 25, 28: Paris]

MARCH 2018

March 1-18

ALAN GILBERT looks forward to two high-profile U.S. winter guest engagements. Having premiered John Adams’s Scheherazade.2 with Leila Josefowicz at the New York Philharmonic, he reunites with the violinist to reprise their “dazzling and inspired” (New York Times) account with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Next, he returns to the Cleveland Orchestra, where his recent collaboration succeeded in “evincing levels of comfort and mutual understanding enjoyed only by the initiated” (Cleveland Plain-Dealer), for Barber’s Cello Concerto with ALISA WEILERSTEIN as soloist, bookended by Dvorák’s Eighth Symphony and Carnival Overture. [March 1 – 3: Boston; March 15 – 18: Cleveland]

March 3

INON BARNATAN, known as a unique and insightful programmer of recital repertoire, returns to New York’s 92nd Street Y for a performance of three pieces from three different eras all titled Moments Musicaux, by Schubert, Rachmaninoff and celebrated young Israeli composer and conductor Avner Dorman. [92Y]

March 4-13

Pianist PIERRE-LAURENT AIMARD returns to Carnegie Hall and other venues on a five-city U.S. recital tour. Comprising Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 29 in B-flat, Chopin’s Piano Sonata in B-flat minor (“Funeral March”), selected Ligeti Etudes, and Obukhov’s Revelation, his program demonstrates his “ingenious knack for juxtaposing old and new works to tease out fascinating resonances” (New York Times). [March 4: Schenectady, NY; March 6: Chicago; March 8: CH; March 11: Baltimore; March 13: Philadelphia]

March 6-16

The KENNEDY CENTER launches “DIRECT CURRENT,” a new annual ten-day celebration of contemporary culture. Highlights of the inaugural season include a performance by Taylor Mac; works by John Adams; the Kennedy Center debut of the Philip Glass Ensemble playing Koyaanisqatsi; a live performance of The Colorado; the DC premiere of Julia Wolfe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Anthracite Fields; Sō Percussion’s East Coast premiere of Nathaniel Stookey’s Junkestra, played on instruments created for the occasion from locally sourced garbage; and much more. [Washington, DC]

March 10-25

A living legend in the dance world, John Neumeier directs, choreographs and designs Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice for LA OPERA. Showcasing the virtuoso dancers of the Joffrey Ballet, his new production stars Maxim Mironov and Lisette Oropesa under the leadership of James Conlon. [March 10, 15, 18, 21, 24, 25: Los Angeles]

March 22-24

Soprano DEBORAH VOIGT returns to Vero Beach for the third Deborah Voigt/VBO Foundation International Vocal Competition. Named last year as the new Artistic Advisor to Vero Beach Opera, Voigt offers the company advice and expertise related to repertoire, casting and production. Also, in addition to being a judge for her eponymous vocal competition, she gives masterclasses and performances and lends creative support to the foundation’s fundraising initiatives. [March 22, 23, 24: Vero Beach; FL)

March 24

The first program in the LOUISVILLE ORCHESTRA’s two-part Festival of American Music focuses on home-grown talent, which has been a significant emphasis of Music Director Teddy Abrams’s tenure. “Kentucky Classics” includes Copland’s Four Dance Episodes from the ballet Rodeo, and features Michael Cleveland, the International Bluegrass Music Association’s most awarded fiddler, with other Kentucky artists and repertoire to be announced. [Louisville, KY]

March 25 -April 7

When ANNA NETREBKO sang Lady Macbeth at the Metropolitan Opera, “you knew the role was hers” (New York Times). Now Verdi’s anti-heroine is the vehicle for her return to London’s Royal Opera House, where she stars in Phyllida Lloyd’s staging of Macbeth under the baton of Antonio Pappano. The penultimate performance will be transmitted live to select cinemas in the UK and Europe. [March 25, 28, 31; April 4, 7: London]

March 29 – April 14

DANIEL HOPE returns as Associate Artistic Director of the Savannah Music Festival, overseeing its classical programming. [Savannah, GA]

APRIL 2018

April 5 – June 2

In celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s centennial, TRINITY CHURCH WALL STREET devotes its Thursday Concerts at One series in April and May to “Bernstein 100,” followed by a three-day, five-concert series finale. The Choir of Trinity Wall Street and NOVUS NY, under the baton of Julian Wachner, present a range of works by Bernstein, many of them vocal, contextualized by works of other New York composer-conductors: Gustav Mahler, Lukas Foss, Pierre Boulez, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Wachner himself. [SPC, TC]

April 6, 7

For his first performances as Chief Conductor Designate of Hamburg’s NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, ALAN GILBERT leads two already sold-out accounts of Mahler’s Third Symphony at the Elbphilharmonie, its iconic new home. He previously served for more than a decade as Principal Guest Conductor of the orchestra (formerly known as the NDR Symphony Orchestra Hamburg), and looks forward to inaugurating his tenure as Chief Conductor in the 2019-20 season. [Hamburg, Germany]

April 7

The second installment in the LOUISVILLE ORCHESTRA’s popular Festival of American Music is named after a work by Andrew Norman, Play, that was awarded the 2017 Grawemeyer Award from the University of Louisville. Norman himself was named “Composer of the Year” for 2017 by Musical America, and critic and musicologist William Robin created a sensation on social media by expressing the opinion that Play “might be the best orchestral work that the twenty-first century has seen thus far.” Also on the program is Mason Bates’s Anthology of Fantastic Zoology, the composer’s longest work to date, which was premiered by the Chicago Symphony under Riccardo Muti during Bates’s final season as composer-in-residence. The Chicago Tribune called it “great, audience-pleasing fun.” [Louisville, KY]

April 12

NICHOLAS PHAN, who serves as artist-in-residence with San Francisco Performances this season, gives a recital with pianist Myra Huang. His program will explore music of the Belle Époque, including Fauré’s La bonne chanson and Debussy’s Ariettes oubliées, which Phan will record for release on Avie Records in the first half of 2018. [San Francisco]

April 15

Richard Goode – “one of the finest pianists in the world” (Washington Post) – plays a rare intimate recital in the Music Room of the Rosen House at CARAMOOR. The program includes Renaissance dances by William Byrd, Bach’s English Suite No. 6, Beethoven’s Sonata No. 28 in A, and Book II of Debussy’s Préludes. [Katonah, NY]

April 20-27

FABIO LUISI is Jury Chairman for the Danish National Symphony Orchestra’s Malko Competition for Young Conductors, which has been held every three years since 1965. The competition is named after Nicolai Malko, who in 1930 was named the DNSO’s first permanent conductor. Other members of the jury are Seiji Ozawa, JoAnn Falletta and musicians from the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonics. As a prelude to the competition, Luisi conducts the DNSO in Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony on April 20. [Copenhagen]

April 21 -July 13

ANNA NETREBKO makes her title role debut opposite Marcelo Álvarez in David McVicar’s new production of Tosca at the Metropolitan Opera House, before joining Joseph Calleja and Thomas Hampson for a revival of Luc Bondy’s treatment of the Puccini masterpiece at the Bavarian State Opera. [April 21, 26, 30, May 4, 8, 12: Met; July 9, 13: Munich]

April 26, 28

NICHOLAS PHAN – “an artist who must be heard” (NPR) – sings the title role in Leonard Bernstein’s Candide, the work that inspired Phan to pursue a career in opera. When Phan starred in Tanglewood’s first performance of Bernstein’s enchanting operetta, in 2014, the Philadelphia Enquirer reported that he “sang the title role as art song, intelligently mining the words to achieve great depth of feeling while never robbing the music of its sparkle. A seasoned Candide-ologist, I’ve never heard such a comprehensive characterization. … Phan gave the show an anchor and a soul.” Phan joins the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for this concert performance led by Bramwell Tovey. [Toronto]

MAY 2018

May (date tba)

ALESSIO BAX releases a recording of Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto with the Southbank Sinfonia, along with rarely heard solo works, on Signum Classics. He released the critically lauded 2013 disc Alessio Bax Plays Mozart with the same ensemble, and together they performed Beethoven’s beloved concerto at Italy’s 2016 Incontri in Terra di Siena, before Bax began a three-season appointment as the Artistic Director of that festival in the summer of 2017. [Signum Classics]

May 1, 20

After making her West End debut in London this summer, singer/actress AUDRA MCDONALD – the most decorated performer in American theater, with a record six Tonys, two Grammys, an Emmy, and a National Medal of Arts – returns to headline the New York Philharmonic’s spring gala. This starry event highlights a U.S. concert tour that also takes the singer to Boston’s Symphony Hall (April 13), Washington’s Kennedy Center (June 19), and LA OPERA (May 20), where she sings favorite show tunes, classic songs, and original pieces written especially for her with the LA Opera Orchestra. [May 1, DGH; May 20: Los Angeles]

May 26

LA OPERA presents the West Coast premiere of Crossing by Artist-in-Residence Matthew Aucoin, “the young composer taking classical music by storm” (NPR). A haunting and compassionate response to Walt Whitman’s experiences in the Civil War, this will be mounted in a special concert performance starring baritone Rod Gilfry – “the singer of choice for new American operas” (New York Times) – under the composer’s direction. [Los Angeles]

May 27 – June 28

Zurich Opera General Director FABIO LUISI leads his second new production of the season with Verdi’s La forza del destino. Zurich Opera General Manager Andreas Homoki, whose many collaborations with Luisi have given them the reputation of being “almost a ‘dream team’” (Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen), directs the production, and Abkhazian-Russian soprano Hibla Gerzmava makes her house role debut as Leonora. [May 27, 30; June 2, 7, 13, 17, 20, 28: Zurich]

JUNE 2018

June 8–22

The Ojai Festival will present the world premiere of a dramatic cantata for two sopranos and eight instrumentalists by featured composer MICHAEL HERSCH. The piece will then be performed at Cal Performances’ “Ojai at Berkeley” and the Aldeburgh Festival. The new work is a co-commission by the Ojai Music Festival, Cal Performances Berkeley, the Aldeburgh Festival, and PN Review, the prominent British poetry magazine at which Hersch is artist-in-residence. [June 8: Ojai, CA; June 15: Berkeley, CA; June 22: Aldeburgh, UK]

June 22, 24

LA OPERA stages a ghostly double bill from Gordon Getty, “one of the sanest composers on the planet” (American Record Guide). Starring Dominic Armstrong and Keith Phares, this pairs the West Coast premiere of The Canterville Ghost, a comic spin on Oscar Wilde’s classic novella, with the company premiere of Usher House, an adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe’s chilling Gothic tale. [Los Angeles]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Abbreviations for New York City concert venues are as follows:

92Y = 92nd Street Y

ATH = Alice Tully Hall

BRIC = BRIC House, Brooklyn

CH = Carnegie Hall

Cloisters = Met Cloisters Museum

DGH = David Geffen Hall

Met = Metropolitan Opera

NS = National Sawdust

PAA = Park Avenue Armory

SPC = St Paul’s Chapel

TC = Trinity Church

ZH = Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall

* * * * *