July 16, 2018
21C MEDIA GROUP’S CLASSICAL MUSIC PREVIEW
CONCERTS, SPECIAL EVENTS, BROADCASTS, & RECORDINGS
Trumpeter Håkan Hardenberger and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra play Triceros by Grammy Award-winning composer STEVEN MACKEY at the Royal Albert Hall, marking the composer’s BBC Proms debut. [London]
ALISA WEILERSTEIN releases a new album on the Pentatone label, pairing Haydn’s First and Second Cello Concertos with Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night). The album marks the first release in her new exclusive multi-album contract with the label, which specializes in high-end, five-channel surround sound, and she is joined by the Trondheim Soloists, a Norwegian chamber ensemble with which she recently established a multi-year artistic partnership.
Aug 29 – Sep 8
Grammy Award-winning conductor ALAN GILBERT demonstrated “incredible chemistry” (Sächsische Zeitung Dresden) with the Staatskapelle Dresden last season. He returns to lead Mahler’s First Symphony and Prokofiev’s Second Violin Concerto in season-launching concerts at the orchestra’s home and on tour in Italy and Austria, with Lisa Batiashvili as soloist. [Aug 29, 30: Dresden; Sep 4: Merano, Italy; Sep 6: Verona; Sep 8: Grafenegg, Austria]
“A brilliant musician and an extraordinary visionary” (Wall Street Journal), Grammy Award-winning French pianist PIERRE-LAURENT AIMARD worked closely with German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen for many years. This fall, to mark the late composer’s 90th birthday, Aimard curates and performs in dedicated retrospectives at both the Lucerne Festival and Musikfest Berlin. As their centerpiece, he joins his frequent piano partner Tamara Stefanovich and sound designer Marco Stroppa for accounts of Stockhausen’s monumental rarity Mantra. The two festivals also see Aimard give solo recitals of the modernist master’s Klavierstücke I-XI and take part in his seminal Kontakte for piano, percussion, and electronics, besides reuniting with Stefanovich in Lucerne for Zimmermann’s Dialogue for Two Pianos and Orchestra under the baton of Matthias Pintscher. [Sep 1: Mantra, Lucerne; Sep 1: Zimmermann’s Dialogue, Lucerne; Sep 8: Kontakte, Lucerne; Sep 9: Klavierstücke I-XI, Lucerne; Sep 13: Klavierstücke I-XI, Berlin; Sep 15: Kontakte, Berlin; Sep 17: Mantra, Berlin]
Grammy Award-winning mezzo SUSAN GRAHAM – “an artist to treasure” (New York Times) – reunites with Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony to take their celebrated interpretation of Mahler’s monumental Third Symphony on a tour of Europe. After launching at London’s BBC Proms, this takes them to the Berlin Philharmonie, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Vienna Musikverein, Lucerne Culture & Congress Center, and Paris Philharmonie. [Sep 2: London; Sep 6: Berlin; Sep 8: Leipzig; Sep 10: Vienna; Sep 13: Lucerne; Sep 15: Paris]
“The Song as Drama” is the theme of the 7th annual Collaborative Work Festival, presented by the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago, of which tenor NICHOLAS PHAN is Artistic Director and co-founder. As well curating the festival, Phan will sing Janáček’s cycle The Diary of One Who Disappeared and give the Midwestern premiere of Missy Mazzoli’s Songs from the Operas, marking CAIC’s first co-commission of a new work. [Chicago, IL]
LEIF OVE ANDSNES, “an interpreter of enormous technical panache and poetic nuance” (San Francisco Chronicle), presents his new solo album, Chopin: Ballades & Nocturnes, on Sony Classics. Interspersing the Romantic master composer’s four Ballades – works immense in the range and power of their expression – with three of his nocturnes, the new album represents the celebrated Norwegian pianist’s first recording of Chopin’s music in more than a decade.
OPERA PHILADELPHIA presents O18, the second edition of its annual season-opening festival, which was welcomed as “one of the most enjoyable additions to the fall calendar in years” (Washington Post). O18 comprises five operatic happenings – two world premieres, two new productions, and a three-part cabaret event – at multiple venues across Philadelphia. At the Barnes Foundation, Anthony Roth Costanzo headlines the world premiere of Glass Handel, the immersive, multidisciplinary operatic installation he is creating with transmedia specialist Visionaire. Lembit Beecher and Hannah Moscovitch (the creative team behind O17’s I Have No Stories to Tell You) return with the world premiere of Sky on Swings, their new chamber opera starring Frederica von Stade and Marietta Simpson. Brenda Rae sings the title role in Laurent Pelly’s new mainstage production of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, and Edward Nelson partners Patricia Racette in Ne Quittez Pas, which offers a wider context for Poulenc’s La voix humaine in the cabaret setting of the Theatre of Living Arts. The venue also hosts Queens of the Night, a three-night cabaret takeover starring Opera News Award-winner Stephanie Blythe and self-described “drag queen king” Dito van Reigersberg. [Sep 21, 23, 26, 28, 30: Lucia di Lammermoor; Sep 20, 22, 25, 27, 29: Sky on Swings; Sep 22, 23, 30: Glass Handel; Sep 22, 23, 27, 29, 30: Ne Quittez Pas; Sep 24, 25, 28: Queens of the Night; Philadelphia]
Sep 20 – June 2
Grammy-winner DANIIL TRIFONOV – “without question the most astounding young pianist of our age” (The Times of London) – plays Ravel’s jazz-inflected Concerto in G for the inaugural appearance of Jaap van Zweden as the New York Philharmonic’s new Music Director, before turning to Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto with the same orchestra the next night. The Ravel gets a reprise as part of Trifonov’s residency at Vienna’s Musikverein, and on tour with the London Symphony Orchestra led by Sir Simon Rattle. Beethoven provides one of the frameworks for Trifonov’s season, after his homage to another towering Romantic, Franz Liszt, resulted in his first Grammy win last January. Trifonov plays the “Emperor” Concerto with Gianandrea Noseda and the National Symphony, on an Asian tour with Franz Welser-Möst and the Cleveland Orchestra, with the Cincinnati Symphony, and with Michael Tilson Thomas and the London Symphony. The pianist also gives recitals of Beethoven, Schumann and Prokofiev at Carnegie Hall and in Berlin. [Sep 20, 21, 22, 25: New York; Jan 31, Feb 1, 2: Washington, DC; Feb 9: CH; Feb 19: Vienna; Feb 21: Berlin (recital); March 28-Apr 13: Asian tour; May 3, 4: Cincinnati; June 2: London]
Sep 21 – 23
NICHOLAS PHAN, “an artist who must be heard” (NPR), sings the role of Eumolphe in Stravinsky’s Perséphone with the San Francisco Symphony and its music director Michael Tilson Thomas. Their account of the mélodrame takes place during the orchestra’s two-week festival dedicated to the Russian composer, whose innovations have dominated the past century of music. [San Francisco, CA]
Sep 22 – Oct 14; May 4-19
General Director Plácido Domingo undertakes two starring roles at LA OPERA this season. This fall, he joins forces with Music Director James Conlon for Verdi’s Don Carlo, singing Rodrigo alongside Ramón Vargas and Ana María Martínez in Ian Judge’s production. Next spring he revisits his star turn in the title role of Manuel Penella’s zarzuela masterpiece El Gato Montés: The Wildcat. The company premiere of José Carlos Plaza’s staging also stars Martínez and Arturo Chacón-Cruz, with Spain’s Jordi Bernàcer leading from the pit. [Sep 22, 29, Oct 4, 7, 11, 14: Don Carlo; May 4, 5, 8, 11, 16, 19: El Gato Montés; Los Angeles]
Sep 24 – Oct 20
Latvian mezzo-soprano ELĪNA GARANČA – “one of the most gratifying performers on the opera stage today” (Opera News) – headlines her first season-opening gala at the Metropolitan Opera, making her house title role debut in a new production of Saint-Saëns’s Samson et Dalila by Tony Award-winner Darko Tresnjak. Under Sir Mark Elder’s leadership, she rejoins her frequent co-star Roberto Alagna, with whom her final performance on October 20 will be transmitted “Live in HD” to cinemas worldwide. [Sep 24, 28; Oct 1, 5, 9, 13, 16, 20: Met]
Sep 26 – Oct 11; Dec 31 – Jan 19
ANNA NETREBKO makes two house title role debuts at the Metropolitan Opera this season. Under Nicola Luisotti’s leadership, she headlines Aida, a role she first sang at the 2017 Salzburg Festival. Then, under Gianandrea Noseda, she reprises the portrayal of Adriana Lecouvreur with which she recently drew raves in St. Petersburg and Vienna. Sir David McVicar’s production of the Cilea tragedy makes its Met premiere at the company’s annual New Year’s Eve gala, and the January 12 performance will be transmitted “Live in HD” to cinemas worldwide. [Sep 26, 29, Oct 2, 6, 11: Aida; Dec 31; Jan 4, 8, 12, 16, 19: Adriana Lecouvreur; Met]
The latest brainchild of creator and librettist CERISE JACOBS, the video game opera PermaDeath, premieres at Boston’s Cutler Majestic Theater. PermaDeath uses an intricate web of theater, music, and cutting-edge technology to tell the story of a gaming enthusiast named Sonny, who is grappling with the pain and motor control loss of the early stages of ALS. Blurring the boundaries between reality and the digital world, her avatar, Apollo, encourages her to enter a “Tournament of Death” for a $3 million prize that would allow her to pay for increasingly needed care, but which risks “permadeath” for him. The opera was co-written with Jacobs’s son Pirate Epstein, founder of the video game company SqueePlay and a former New England Halo champion, and composed by Dan Visconti, composer of Opera Philadelphia’s ANDY: A Popera. New York-based opera director Sam Helfrich directs, and the conductor is Daniela Candillari. [Boston]
Sep 27-30; March 28-31
Now riding a wave of extraordinary creative and economic resurgence, THE ATLANTA OPERA celebrates jazz and tango in its award-winning Discoveries series, which takes new and innovative work to alternative city venues. Marking the opera’s Southern premiere, Daniel Schnyder’s Charlie Parker’s Yardbird (2015) makes its jazz-club debut at Lé Maison Rouge in Paris on Ponce, where Israeli director Omer Ben Seadia recreates Birdland, the saxophonist’s Manhattan club. The company returns to the same intimate midtown venue for a revival of last year’s sell-out staging of Astor Piazzolla’s tango operetta, Maria de Buenos Aires, by General and Artistic Director Tomer Zvulun. [Sep 27, 28, 29, 30: Yardbird; March 28, 29, 30, 31: Maria; Atlanta]
Teddy Abrams’s “gifts as an educator and sense of civic responsibility are reminiscent of his hero, Leonard Bernstein” (Departures magazine). The galvanizing young Music Director launches his fifth season at the helm of the LOUISVILLE ORCHESTRA with “Bernstein at 100,” a program dedicated to the composer’s work across multiple genres, featuring soprano Morgan James, Huffington Post’s “Brightest Breakout Artist of the Year.” [Louisville, KY]
Sep 29 – Oct 15; May 29 – June 17
ALAN GILBERT conducts rarely staged 20th-century operas by two very different Viennese composers this season. He makes his Dresden Semperoper debut with Calixto Bieito’s new production of Schoenberg’s Moses and Aaron, with Sir John Tomlinson and Lance Ryan in the title roles, before returning to La Scala for Korngold’s Die Tote Stadt. The conductor previously won a Grammy Award for his leadership of John Adams’s Doctor Atomic, captured live on DVD at the Metropolitan Opera. [Sep 29, Oct 3, 6, 10, 15: Dresden; May 29, June 1, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17: Milan]
Sep 30; Jan 6; June 20-23
Following residencies last season in Vienna and San Francisco and a season-long “Perspectives” series at Carnegie Hall, Grammy-winning pianist DANIIL TRIFONOV – whose playing “can only be described as a visceral experience” (Washington Post) – is in residence with the Berlin Philharmonic this season, performing in orchestral concerts, solo and chamber performances, and giving a recital with his frequent partner, German baritone Matthias Goerne. [Berlin]
Singer/actor AUDRA MCDONALD, soprano Renée Fleming, and Maestro Michael Tilson Thomas headline Carnegie Hall’s Opening Night Gala, joining the San Francisco Symphony for an evening of favorite songs, arias, and duets from musical theater and opera. The most decorated performer in American theater, McDonald has been recognized with a record six Tonys, two Grammys, an Emmy, and a National Medal of Arts. [CH]
Conductor SIR JOHN ELIOT GARDINER leads the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique on a transatlantic tour devoted to the music of Berlioz. In U.S. dates at Carnegie Hall and other venues, they pair the celebrated Symphonie Fantastique with Lélio, the far rarer work the composer considered its sequel, and perform Harold en Italie, La mort de Cléopâtre, excerpts from Les Troyens, and the Corsaire overture, with solo appearances by mezzo-soprano Lucile Richardot, tenor Michael Spyres, and violist Antoine Tamestit. Also taking Gardiner and the orchestra to London, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Paris, Versailles, and more, the 2018 Berlioz Series anticipates next year’s 150th anniversary of the composer’s death. [Oct 10: Cléopâtre, Harold, etc., Chapel Hill, NC; Oct 12: Symphonie fantastique, Lélio, Ann Arbor, MI; Oct 14: Cléopâtre, Harold, etc., CH; Oct 15: Symphonie fantastique, Lélio, CH]
“One of the most admired pianists of his generation” (New York Times), INON BARNATAN joins Hamburg’s NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra for Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto under the leadership of his longtime collaborator ALAN GILBERT. [Hamburg]
In a follow-up to his 2015 Rachmaninov: Variations, DANIIL TRIFONOV – whose second-to-last Deutsche Grammophon release won a Grammy this past January – releases a new album on DG called Destination Rachmaninov: Departure, again recorded with the Philadelphia Orchestra led by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. The album comprises two of the Russian master’s four piano concertos, the second and fourth.
Oct 18-20; April 25-30; June 14, 16
Always in demand as an interpreter of his native Russian repertoire, DANIIL TRIFONOV joins conductor Marin Alsop for three performances of Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto with the Chicago Symphony; plays four performances of Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto with the Boston Symphony and conductor Andris Nelsons; and joins the London Symphony Orchestra and Gianandrea Noseda for two performances, in Dublin and London, of Shostakovich’s Concerto No. 1 for Piano, Trumpet, and String Orchestra. [Oct 18-20: Chicago; April 25-30: Boston; June 14: Dublin; June 16: London]
Oct 19 – Nov 4
Tucker Award-winning tenor STEPHEN COSTELLO makes his role debut as Don José under the baton of Emmanuel Villaume in Bizet’s Carmen at the Dallas Opera, where he is a house favorite. [Oct 19, 21, 24, 27, Nov 2, 4: Dallas]
Oct 20 – Nov 11; March 2-24
In the first of two major company premieres, LA OPERA presents Philip Glass’s Satyagraha in the “hypnotically beautiful staging” (Financial Times) that wowed London audiences last winter. The creation of Phelim McDermott, who also directed LA Opera’s hit 2016 presentation of the composer’s Akhnaten, the production stars Sean Panikkar as Gandhi under Grant Gershon’s leadership. Then Music Director James Conlon takes the podium for Mozart’s The Clemency of Titus, with Russell Thomas in the title role. LA Opera’s new production is directed and designed by 2016 Golden Mask Award-winner Thaddeus Strassberger, who previously staged The Two Foscari and Nabucco at the house. [Oct 20, 27, Nov 1, 4, 8, 11: Satyagraha; March 2, 7, 10, 13, 16, 24: Titus; Los Angeles]
Returning to Carnegie Hall for the third year running, the RICHARD TUCKER MUSIC FOUNDATION presents its annual gala, always a highlight of New York’s opera season. The concert features 2018 Richard Tucker Award winner Christian Van Horn, as well as a lineup of opera luminaries including Stephanie Blythe, Christine Goerke, Angela Meade and ANNA NETREBKO. A post-concert gala dinner will be held at the Plaza Hotel. [CH]
ELĪNA GARANČA returns to the main stage of Carnegie Hall for a recital of lieder by Wagner and others with pianist Malcolm Martineau. As the UK’s Independent put it, “the Latvian mezzo … delivers her recitals with statuesque grace, dominating as much by her regal physical presence as by the power and beauty of her voice; her artistry … is informed by an acute intellectual command of her material.” [CH]
SUSAN GRAHAM returns to Carnegie Hall to sing Mozart’s Requiem and Haydn’s “Nelson Mass” with Bernard Labadie and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. The mezzo’s last appearance there with the orchestra prompted the New York Times to marvel: “Her performance will surely be remembered by all who heard it.” [CH]
Oct 25 – Nov 1
PIERRE-LAURENT AIMARD returns to the States for a tour of modern four-hands piano masterpieces with his regular recital partner, Tamara Stefanovich. Kicking off at Carnegie Hall and taking them to Chicago, Chapel Hill, and Berkeley, the tour showcases the U.S. premiere of Keyboard Engine, a new work written for the duo by Harrison Birtwistle, and Visions de l’Amen by Messiaen, another of the modern masters with whom Aimard enjoyed especially close ties. [Oct 25: ZH; Oct 28: Chicago; Oct 30, Chapel Hill, NC; Nov 1, Berkeley, CA]
Oct 25 – Nov 3
Violinist DANIEL HOPE tours his “AIR” program throughout North America this fall, including a stop at Carnegie Hall. He’s joined by friends to play a program of Baroque music that he recorded for a DG album in 2010, whose performances Gramophone called “impeccably stylish.” [Oct 25: Urbana, IL; Oct 27: San Francisco; Oct 28: Carmel, CA; Oct 30: CH, NYC; Oct 31: Atlanta, GA; Nov 1: Thomasville, GA; Nov 2: Fairfax, VA; Nov 3: Toronto, ON]
Oct 25 – Nov 11
Cellist ALISA WEILERSTEIN – “the most outstanding cellist to emerge in America since Yo-Yo Ma” (Classical Voice North America) – tours the U.S. playing Dvořák’s Cello Concerto with the Czech Philharmonic, led by Music Director and Chief Conductor Semyon Bychkov. The same orchestra served as her partner for a 2014 recording of Dvořák’s masterpiece on the Decca label, led by its late conductor, Jiří Bělohlávek. Beginning in London, the tour immediately jumps the Atlantic, with stops at Carnegie Hall, Washington, DC’s Kennedy Center, Chicago’s Symphony Hall, and more, culminating at San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall. [Oct 25: London; Oct 27: New York; Oct 29: Washington, DC; Oct 30: East Lansing, MI; Nov 1: Ann Arbor, MI; Nov 2: Champaign, IL; Nov 4: Chicago; Nov 7: Costa Mesa, CA; Nov 11: San Francisco]
Oct 28 – Nov 8
ALAN GILBERT, who looks forward to inaugurating his tenure with the orchestra in the 2019-20 season, embarks on his first tour as Chief Conductor Designate of Hamburg’s NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra. At concerts in Shanghai and multiple cities across Japan, he leads programs built around Brahms’s Fourth Symphony and Bruckner’s Seventh, respectively, with Hélène Grimaud as concerto soloist in Beethoven and Ravel. [Oct 28, 29: Shanghai; Nov 1: Kyoto; Nov 2, 4, 8: Tokyo; Nov 3: Kamakura-city, Japan; Nov 7: Nagoya, Japan]
Widely praised for his versatility and the impeccable taste he brings to every project, whether as an orchestral soloist, chamber musician, or recitalist, INON BARNATAN makes his International Piano Series debut, at London’s Southbank Centre, with a recital that includes Ravel’s virtuosic tour-de-force La Valse in its rarely performed one-piano transcription, as well as Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. [London]
The AMERICAN MODERN OPERA COMPANY (AMOC) makes its West Coast debut with the world premiere of With Care, an evening-length dance piece featuring newly commissioned music by AMOC Artistic Director MATTHEW AUCOIN, before returning to Boston’s American Repertory Theater for the second annual Run AMOC! festival in December (details TBA). Launched last winter by Aucoin and his fellow Artistic Director, Zack Winokur, AMOC is at once a traveling theater troupe, new-music ensemble, and collective, combining the artistry of traditional opera with the intimacy and camaraderie of a band. [Oakland, CA]
To kick off its mainstage season, THE ATLANTA OPERA commemorates this year’s Bernstein centennial with a major new production of West Side Story. Co-commissioned with Houston Grand Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the Glimmerglass Festival, Francesca Zambello’s new staging preserves Jerome Robbins’s original choreography. [Nov 3, 6, 9, 11; Atlanta]
“Ravishingly visceral” (New York Times) soprano Julia Bullock visits CARAMOOR’s Rosen House Music Room for a song recital with pianist John Arida. The concert features a complete performance of Samuel Barber’s song cycle Hermit Songs, along with selected songs by Schubert, excerpts from Fauré’s cycle La chanson d’Ève, and jazz selections by Alberta Hunter, Billie Holiday and Nina Simone. [Katonah, NY]
Nov 9; Feb 15; May 1
Since undertaking her first public performances of all six of Bach’s unaccompanied cello suites in 2016, cellist ALISA WEILERSTEIN has made the performances a regular feature of her schedule. Praised by The Telegraph (UK) as “truly a phenomenon,” she gives three more in the coming season: at the Bram Goldsmith Theater in Beverly Hills, California; in the Celebrity Series of Boston at Jordan Hall; and in Berkeley, California at the historic First Congregational Church. [Nov 9: Beverly Hills; Feb 15: Boston; May 1: Berkeley]
Nov 11 – Dec 9
In 2016, ANNA NETREBKO became one of only a few artists ever to perform a sold-out solo recital at the Metropolitan Opera. Now the soprano reunites with pianist Malcolm Martineau for a transatlantic recital tour of songs by her compatriots Rachmaninoff, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Tchaikovsky, with U.S. appearances on the main stages of Lyric Opera of Chicago and Carnegie Hall. [Nov 11: Graz, Austria; Nov 15: Prague; Dec 2: Chicago; Dec 9: CH]
In the first of many outings of Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin this season, NICHOLAS PHAN gives the world premiere of Antoine Plante’s arrangement of the cycle for full orchestra, with Mercury, a Houston-based orchestra of which Plante is the founder. [Houston, TX]
Nov 17 – Dec 15
SUSAN GRAHAM makes her role debut as Humperdinck’s Witch under James Conlon in Doug Fitch’s dreamlike production of Hansel and Gretel at LA OPERA. Her Decca Classics recording of the opera’s famous “Evening Hymn” was pronounced “velvety and gorgeous” (Opera News). [Nov 17, 25, Dec 6, 9, 12, 15: Los Angeles]
INON BARNATAN, known as an especially inventive and thoughtful programmer of recital repertoire, plays a wide-ranging program stretching from the Baroque to the 21st century in Boston’s Celebrity Series at Jordan Hall, where he has been appearing in various chamber and solo configurations since 2008. [Boston]
Nov 29 – Dec 2; Feb 22, 23
LA OPERA continues to showcase new and experimental work in the innovative “Off Grand” series. In the fifth season of its partnership with Beth Morrison Productions and alternative performance space REDCAT, the company presents the world premiere of Prism, a new opera about trauma and memory from Ellen Reid, whose music has been called “ineffably moving” (Los Angeles Times). Set to a libretto by Roxie Perkins, Prism is directed by James Darrah and conducted by Julian Wachner. Next in the series is the West Coast premiere of the loser, a monodrama about Glenn Gould and broken dreams from Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lang. Rod Gilfry reprises his “tour-de-force performance” (New York Times) for the composer’s own staging of the work at the gorgeously restored Theatre at Ace Hotel. [Nov 29, 30, Dec 1, 2: Prism; Feb 22, 23: the loser; Los Angeles]
CARAMOOR’s Rosen House Music Room hosts a performance by famed period-instrument Baroque orchestra The English Concert, led by harpsichordist Harry Bicket, Artistic Director since 2007. Founded in 1972 by Trevor Pinnock, the orchestra was one of the first to be devoted to playing Baroque and early Classical music on period instruments. [Katonah, NY]
Members of THE KNIGHTS participated in the world premiere of William Kentridge’s The Head and the Load in July at London’s Tate Modern, and they reprise the piece in August in northwest Germany’s Ruhrtriennale. In December they join a week-and-a-half run of the work at New York’s Park Avenue Armory, playing the music of Kentridge’s longtime collaborator and leading South African composer Philip Miller, who has created an original score drawing on a wide range of traditions. Borrowing its title from a traditional Ghanaian proverb, “The head and the load are a trouble for the neck,” this major new work by Kentridge, known for his critical examination of society in his native South Africa and the aftermath of apartheid, tells the story of the hundreds of thousands of African porters and carriers who served in British, French and German forces during the First World War. The Knights are joined in this processional musical journey – as much an installation as a performance piece – by an international ensemble cast of singers, dancers, and performers; a chorus of mechanized gramophones; and film projections and shadow play, all creating an imaginative landscape on an epic scale. [PAA]
Dec 31 – Jan 19
ANNA NETREBKO makes her house title role debut in Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur at the Metropolitan Opera: see Sep 26 – Oct 11 above for details.
Jan 3, 4
NICHOLAS PHAN takes another outing in the title role of Bernstein’s Candide, with Marin Alsop and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, marking Phan’s debut in Israel and with the orchestra. After his performance in Tanglewood’s first presentation of Bernstein’s operetta, in 2014, the Philadelphia Enquirer wrote: “[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.” [Tel Aviv, Israel]
DANIIL TRIFONOV continues his residency with the Berlin Philharmonic, giving a recital with his frequent partner, German baritone Matthias Goerne; see Sep 30 above for details.
Jan 10-12; March 21 – April 4
For his first appearances with three major orchestras, ALESSIO BAX –“among the most remarkable young pianists now before the public” (Gramophone) – revisits the two concertos heard on Alessio Bax Plays Mozart. He makes his Boston Symphony Orchestra debut playing Mozart’s C-minor concerto (K.491) in New Year concerts with Sir Andrew Davis. Then, on a spring tour of Australia and New Zealand, he reunites with the eminent conductor to reprise the same work for his Melbourne Symphony debut, and leads Mozart’s B-flat major concerto (K.595) from the keyboard in his first performances with the Sydney Symphony. To complete the tour, Bax gives a series of solo recitals and makes his Auckland Philharmonia debut playing Grieg under Tadaaki Otaka. [Jan 10-12: Boston; March 21-24: Sydney, Australia; March 29–April 1: Melbourne, Australia; April 4: Auckland, NZ]
Returning to the Vienna Symphony for the first time in ten years, ALAN GILBERT leads three all-Czech programs, highlighted by Martinů’s Fourth Symphony and Dvořák’s Piano Concerto with Stephen Hough as soloist. [Jan 11, 13, 15: Vienna]
LEIF OVE ANDSNES takes his colorful recital program – Schumann’s Blumenstück and Carnaval, Janáček’s On an Overgrown Path, and Bartók’s Three Burlesque, Sz. 47 – on a tour of North America during the second half of January, including a stop at Carnegie Hall. [Jan 18: Boston; Jan 20: La Jolla; Jan 22: San Francisco; Jan 23: Philadelphia; Jan 24: CH, NYC; Jan 26: Montreal; Jan 27: Chicago]
In a wide-ranging exploration of “Art + Music,” Teddy Abrams and the LOUISVILLE ORCHESTRA join forces with artists from the Kentucky Center of Art and Design at Spalding University to offer a multi-sensory exploration of the relationship between the two art forms. The artists’ music-inspired work will accompany music inspired by the visual arts, from Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition to selections by Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, Stravinsky, Sibelius, Bartók, and Ives. [Louisville, KY]
Jan 25, 27
“One of the most sought-after young voices in classical music” (Wall Street Journal), MATTHEW AUCOIN curates and conducts “Matt’s Playlist: Echoes of the Future” at the San Diego Symphony. Finding resonances between past and present, this personal program includes music by Beethoven, Schubert, Stravinsky, Lili Boulanger, Andrew Norman, and Thomas Adès, as well as excerpts from Aucoin’s own Walt Whitman-inspired opera, Crossing (2015). [San Diego, CA]
Jan 31 – Feb 2
DANIIL TRIFONOV performs Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto with Gianandrea Noseda and the National Symphony; see Sep 20 – June 2 above for details.
Feb 2-10; March 2-10
General and Artistic Director Tomer Zvulun, a prime mover behind THE ATLANTA OPERA’s recent triumphant turnaround, directs the company’s two back-to-back new mainstage productions this winter. Created in collaboration with the Israeli Opera, the Southeast premiere of Jake Heggie and Terrence McNally’s Dead Man Walking (2000) stars Jamie Barton in her role debut as Sister Helen, with Michael Mayes reprising his celebrated portrayal of condemned murderer Joseph De Rocher. Next, David Adam Moore headlines Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin in a new co-production with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Hawaii Opera Theatre, Seattle Opera, and Michigan Opera Theatre, under the leadership of Stephen Lord. [Feb 2, 5, 8, 10: Dead Man Walking; March 2, 5, 8, 10: Eugene Onegin; Atlanta]
Feb 7, 9
Marking his only U.S. appearances of the season, ALAN GILBERT joins the Cleveland Orchestra for Haydn’s “Military” Symphony and Busoni’s Piano Concerto, a monumental rarity that will feature Garrick Ohlsson and a male choir. Since serving as its Assistant Conductor in the mid-1990s, Gilbert has shared a rapport with the orchestra that “evince[s] levels of comfort and mutual understanding enjoyed only by the initiated” (Cleveland Plain-Dealer). [Cleveland]
A new orchestral work by STEVEN MACKEY is given its world premiere by the commissioning San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas, whose 75th birthday it celebrates. Comprising a series of contrasting but connecting miniatures, the piece was inspired by the conductor’s hope that it would be “joyous in spite of everything.” [San Francisco]
In the first of three season appearances with the New Century Chamber Orchestra, DANIEL HOPE, hailed by Classic FM as “one of the most charismatic violinists in the world,” kicks off his tenure as Music Director of the ensemble, leading concerts in four California cities. Leading from the violin, he’s the soloist in the second movement of Schumann’s Violin Concerto, as well as in Max Richter’s Recomposed: Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (which he recorded for DG in 2012), and he serves as concertmaster as he rounds out the program with works by Purcell, Vaughan Williams and Warlock. Hope returns to California with the orchestra in March and again in May. [Feb 7: Berkeley; Feb 8: Palo Alto; Feb 9: San Francisco; Feb 10: San Rafael; see also March 21-24 below.]
After touring the world for more than 25 years, Robert Carsen’s classic production of Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream finally makes its U.S. premiere at OPERA PHILADELPHIA. Tim Mead, Anna Christy, and Matthew Rose star, with Game of Thrones’s Miltos Yerolemou as Puck and Music Director Corrado Rovaris on the podium. [Feb 8, 10, 15, 17; Philadelphia]
Feb 8, 11; May 6-10
Superstar cellist ALISA WEILERSTEIN joins frequent recital partner INON BARNATAN, Armenian violinist Sergey Khachatryan, and Scottish percussionist Colin Currie for a tour called “Transfigured Nights.” With a program comprising Beethoven’s “Ghost” Trio, Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht (arr. Steuermann), and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 15 in an arrangement for piano trio and percussion by Victor Derevianko, they begin with performances in Amsterdam’s Muziekgebouw and London’s Wigmore Hall, before continuing in the U.S. at Chicago’s Harris Theater, the Virginia Arts Festival, Washington, DC’s Kennedy Center, and Kansas City’s Folly Theater. [Feb 8: Amsterdam; Feb 11: London; May 6: Chicago; May 8: Norfolk, VA; May 9: Washington, DC; May 10: Kansas City, MO]
Grammy-winner DANIIL TRIFONOV gives a recital of Beethoven, Schumann and Prokofiev at Carnegie Hall; see Sep 20 – June 2 above for details. [CH]
ALISA WEILERSTEIN performs Bach’s unaccompanied cello suites in the Celebrity Series of Boston at Jordan Hall; see Nov 9 above for details.
Feb 19, 21
DANIIL TRIFONOV performs Ravel’s jazz-inflected Concerto in G as part of his residency at Vienna’s Musikverein. Two days later he gives a recital of Beethoven, Schumann and Prokofiev in Berlin; see Sep 20 – June 2 above for details.
Feb 22, 23
LA OPERA presents the West Coast premiere of the loser in its innovative “Off Grand” series: see Nov 29 – Dec 2 above for details.
The LOUISVILLE ORCHESTRA’s annual Festival of American Music returns for a fourth pioneering season with two programs led by Music Director Teddy Abrams. Part 1, “Bourbon Spring,” opens with a fully staged performance of Copland’s Appalachian Spring that represents the orchestra’s second full co-presentation with the Louisville Ballet. This shares the program with the world premiere of a new work depicting the colorful history of Kentucky’s distilled spirit industry, commissioned from the versatile Abrams, whose music has been called “mesmerizing” (The Guardian). [Louisville, KY]
LA OPERA presents the company premiere of Thaddeus Strassberger’s new production of Mozart’s The Clemency of Titus; see Oct 20 – Nov 11 above for details.
March 7-10; May 2-5
OPERA PHILADELPHIA partners with the Curtis Institute of Music and Kimmel Center to present two productions at the intimate Perelman Theater. Curtis alumna Karina Canellakis conducts Mozart’s Don Giovanni in a new staging by R.B. Schlather, the “edgy and imaginative young director” (New Yorker) behind O17’s The Wake World. Empty the House (2016), an opera about the complex nature of forgiveness from Opera Philadelphia Composer-in-Residence Rene Orth and librettist Mark Campbell, has been newly orchestrated for the brand-new production. [March 7, 8, 9, 10: Don Giovanni; May 2, 4, 5: Empty the House; Philadelphia]
To mark the 150th anniversary of the composer’s death, SUSAN GRAHAM reprises her signature interpretation of Berlioz’s Les nuits d’été with the Houston Symphony and Ludovic Morlot. The mezzo’s expertise in French music has been recognized with a “Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur” from the French government. [March 8, 9, 10: Houston, TX]
March 8, 10
NICHOLAS PHAN, “one of the most beautiful young lyric voices around” (Opera News), returns to the Boston Baroque orchestra to make his role debut in the title role of Handel’s final masterpiece, Jephtha. [Boston, MA]
“The Jazz Influence,” the second installment in the LOUISVILLE ORCHESTRA’s popular Festival of American Music, explores the intersection of classical music and jazz. Award-winning violinist-composer Johannes Dickbauer is the soloist in the world premiere of his own Jazz Violin Concerto, a new Louisville commission, and Grammy-nominated soprano Measha Brueggergosman joins the orchestra for jazz song selections and the Louisville premiere of Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind, a work written for her by Michael Tilson Thomas. [Louisville, KY]
Last season, Grammy-winning pianist DANIIL TRIFONOV included recitals with German baritone Matthias Goerne in two long-term residencies: at the Vienna Konzerthaus and for the “Perspectives” series at Carnegie Hall. This season, after reuniting for a January recital at the Berlin Philharmonic, the two give a U.S. performance at New York’s 92nd Street Y, presented by the New York Philharmonic. [92Y]
March 21 – April 4
ALESSIO BAX makes debuts with the Melbourne Symphony, Sydney Symphony, and Auckland Philharmonia on a spring tour of Australia and New Zealand; see Jan 10-12 above for details.
March 21 – April 5
ANNA NETREBKO returns to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, for her role debut as Leonora in Verdi’s La forza del destino. She is joined by Jonas Kaufmann and Christopher Maltman under the baton of Antonio Pappano in Christof Loy’s new production, which is scheduled to air worldwide in the company’s “Cinema Live” series on April 2. [March 21, 24, 29, April 2, 5: London]
March 21-24; May 9-12
Returning to California with the New Century Chamber Orchestra, of which he is the new Music Director, the British violinist DANIEL HOPE is joined by pianist Vanessa Perez for a program of works by Mendelssohn, Krása, Schulhoff and Shostakovich. In May, Hope finishes up his season with the ensemble when he leads an “American Masters” program, showcasing pieces by Barber, Bernstein, and Gershwin (for which he and the orchestra are joined by the Marcus Roberts Trio). [March 21: Berkeley; March 22: Palo Alto; March 23: San Francisco; March 24: San Rafael; May 9: Berkeley; May 10: Palo Alto; May 11: San Francisco; May 12: San Rafael]
THE ATLANTA OPERA presents Astor Piazzolla’s tango operetta, Maria de Buenos Aires, in the award-winning Discoveries series; see Sep 27-30 above for details.
March 28 – April 13
DANIIL TRIFONOV performs Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto on an Asian tour with Franz Welser-Möst and the Cleveland Orchestra; see Sep 20 – June 2 above for details.
March 28 – April 13
DANIEL HOPE returns for his 15th season as Associate Artistic Director of the Savannah Music Festival, where he overseas its classical programming. [Savannah, GA]
THE KNIGHTS bring their signature “voracious musical appetite” (Chicago Classical Review) to Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, along with Syrian clarinetist Kinan Azmeh, with whom the group toured the U.S. last season. They perform a Vivaldi sinfonia; a chamber symphony by Thomas Adès; Pulitzer Prize-winner Caroline Shaw’s Entr’acte; the U.S. premiere of a work by Donnacha Dennehy and the New York premiere of Azmeh’s Concertino Grosso, both co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall; and daring new takes on music from Middle Eastern, Balkan, and klezmer sources.
STEPHEN COSTELLO returns to the Metropolitan Opera for a new production of Verdi’s La traviata by Michael Mayer, who previously directed him in the company’s hit Rigoletto. Singing opposite Anita Hartig under the baton of Nicola Luisotti, the tenor reprises his portrayal of Alfredo, the signature role that confirmed his “place among the world’s best tenors” (Daily Express, UK). [April 5, 10, 13, 17, 20, 24, 27: Met]
INON BARNATAN – a pianist whose “breathtaking charisma … comes from gorgeously turned out technique, a masterly sense of color, and an expressiveness that can question, weep, or shout joy from the rooftops” (Philadelphia Inquirer) – joins the Australian Chamber Orchestra at New York’s Lincoln Center for a program of fugues from Bach to Beethoven. [ATH]
DANIIL TRIFONOV plays four performances of Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto with the Boston Symphony and conductor Andris Nelsons; see Oct 18-20 above for details.
ALISA WEILERSTEIN performs all six of Bach’s unaccompanied cello suites at the historic First Congregational Church in Berkeley, California; see Nov 9 above for details.
OPERA PHILADELPHIA presents Empty the House at the Perelman Center: see March 7-10 above for details.
May 3, 4
DANIIL TRIFONOV joins the Cincinnati Symphony for Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto; see Sep 20 – June 2 above for details.
Plácido Domingo stars in Manuel Penella’s El Gato Montés: The Wildcat at LA OPERA; see Sep 22 – Oct 14 above for details.
May 5, 6; June 6
DANIIL TRIFONOV gives two performances of his own compositions this season. In a rare chamber music concert, he joins the Ariel Quartet in Cincinnati for a performance of his Piano Quintet in the Linton Chamber Music Series, and the following month, as part of his residency at Vienna’s Musikverein, he plays his Piano Concerto. When he debuted the latter piece in 2015 with Manfred Honeck leading the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, observing that the piece’s mood “shifted often between ghostly and lullaby-like, folkloric and cinematic, jazzy and witty, a la Shostakovich,” called Trifonov’s performance of it “spellbinding.” [May 5, 6: Cincinnati; June 6: Vienna]
ALISA WEILERSTEIN continues her “Transfigured Nights” tour with frequent recital partner INON BARNATAN, Armenian violinist Sergey Khachatryan, and Scottish percussionist Colin Currie in the U.S.; see Feb 8, 11 above for details.
DANIEL HOPE leads an “American Masters” program with the New Century Chamber Orchestra in California; see March 21-24 above for details.
ALAN GILBERT’s leadership of Le Grand Macabre at the New York Philharmonic was named “Best Classical Performance of 2010” (New York magazine), and is still remembered as a landmark of his eight seasons with the orchestra. Now he reprises György Ligeti’s surrealist opera with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, where he looks forward to launching his tenure as Chief Conductor in the 2019-20 season. [May 10, 12, 13: Hamburg]
DANIIL TRIFONOV returns to Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium for a performance of the Schumann Piano Concerto with the Met Orchestra, led by longtime collaborator Valery Gergiev. [CH]
May 29 – June 21
ALAN GILBERT leads Korngold’s Die Tote Stadt at La Scala; see Sep 29 – Oct 15 above for details.
Marking both his role and Japanese operatic debuts, STEPHEN COSTELLO sings his first Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly at the New National Theatre, Tokyo, where Donato Renzetti leads the Tokyo Philharmonic in Tamiya Kuriyama’s production. [June 1, 4, 7, 9: Tokyo]
DANIIL TRIFONOV performs Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto with Michael Tilson Thomas and the London Symphony on June 2; see Sep 20 – June 2 above for details. On June 6, as part of his residency at Vienna’s Musikverein, he gives a rendition of his own Piano Concerto; see May 5, 6 above for details. A week later, on June 14 & 16, he joins the London Symphony Orchestra and Gianandrea Noseda for two performances, in Dublin and London, of Shostakovich’s Concerto No. 1 for Piano, Trumpet, and String Orchestra; see Oct 18-20 above for details. And on June 20-23, he wraps up his season-long residency with the Berlin Philharmonic with a set of orchestral concerts and chamber performances; see Sep 30 above for details.
Abbreviations for New York City concert venues are as follows:
92Y = 92nd Street Y
ATH = Alice Tully Hall
CH = Carnegie Hall
Met = Metropolitan Opera
PAA = Park Avenue Armory
ZH = Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall