July 17, 2019

21C MEDIA GROUP’S CLASSICAL MUSIC PREVIEW
2019/2020

CONCERTS, SPECIAL EVENTS, & RECORDINGS

JULY/AUGUST 2019

July/August         TRINITY CHURCH WALL STREET’s music program releases five major recordings this summer, four conducted by Director of Music Julian Wachner. Philip Glass’s Orange Mountain label issues the 20th anniversary album of his Symphony No. 5, as performed by Trinity ensembles following their rapturously received performance of the work in Trinity Church in 2017. Members of The Choir of Trinity Wall Street perform under the baton of Daniela Candillari on Cantaloupe Music’s July release of Acquanetta by Michael Gordon, who co-founded and is the co-artistic director of Bang on a Can. A compilation on the Acis label follows in August, featuring Wachner’s Epistle, Inverted Sky, and Gaudé along with David Little’s Am I Born and shape-note selections. On Broadway Records Wachner conducts Edward Thomas’s new opera, Anna Christie, and August also sees the release of a highly anticipated recording featuring Julian Wachner, The Choir of Trinity Wall Street, and NOVUS NY.

SEPTEMBER

Sep                         Pianist ALESSIO BAX, renowned not only as a concerto soloist but also as a chamber musician and recitalist, and since 2017 Artistic Director of Tuscany’s Incontri in Terra di Siena festival, adds yet another role to the list when he joins the piano faculty of NEW ENGLAND CONSERVATORY.

Sep 4 – Nov 18     LEIF OVE ANDSNES performs Grieg’s Piano Concerto this season with orchestras around the world. In September he plays the piece with Sweden’s Gothenburg Symphony, where he will be Artist-in-Residence in 2019-20, and with the Chicago Symphony led by Riccardo Muti, who is celebrating his tenth season as Music Director. Next Andsnes takes the piece on a European tour with the Oslo Philharmonic under conductor Vasily Petrenko, culminating at Barbican Hall in London. He joins the Boston Symphony and Music Director Andris Nelsons for concerts in Boston’s Symphony Hall and New York’s Carnegie Hall in November, with other dates to be announced. [Sep 4, 5, 6: Gothenburg; Sep 19, 20, 21 (Symphony Ball): Chicago; Sep 27, 28, Oct 10, 11: Oslo; Oct 13: Cologne; Oct 14: Amsterdam; Oct 15: Hamburg; Oct 16: Vienna; Oct 18: Ljublana, Slovenia; Oct 19: Udine, Italy; Oct 20: Turin; Oct 22: London; Nov 14-16: Boston; Nov 18: CH*]

Sep 5                      Pianist INON BARNATAN joins conductor Nicholas McGegan and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl for a “Mozart Under the Stars” performance of the ebullient Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major. The Los Angeles Times found Barnatan’s 2016 performance of Mozart with the same orchestra, led by Gustavo Dudamel, “lively and wonderfully expressive.” [Los Angeles]

Sep 5–8                 As Artistic Director and co-founder of the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago (CAIC), American tenor NICHOLAS PHAN curates and performs in its 8th annual Collaborative Works Festival. Titled “The Living,” this is devoted to songs by contemporary composers local to Chicago, like Stacy Garrop, Lita Grier, Shulamit Ran, and Augusta Read Thomas; by such leading Americans as Gabriela Lena Frank, Jake Heggie, Nico Muhly, Ned Rorem, Caroline Shaw, and Sarah Kirkland Snider; and by international composers including Nicolas Bacri, Jonathan Dove, Kaija Saariaho, and Errollyn Wallen. As the Chicago Tribune observes, “With the Collaborative Works Festivals CAIC are presenting annually, Chicago is doing its bit to rescue art song performance from the endangered species list.” [Sep 5, 7, 8: Chicago]

Sep 6–29               ALAN GILBERT inaugurates his tenure as Chief Conductor of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra in the 2019-20 season with a four-week #KLINGTnachGILBERT (#SOUNDSlikeGILBERT) festival, the six programs of which combine traditional and new repertoire for a taste of the musical journey ahead. The Opening Night program kicks off with the First Symphony of Hamburg native Brahms, followed by the world premiere of Frontispiz für Orchester by South Korea’s Unsuk Chin, the NDR’s 2019-20 Composer-in-Residence. The program concludes with three emotionally charged 20th-century works from Gilbert’s American homeland: Bernstein’s First Symphony, “Jeremiah,” which is still rarely performed in Germany; Ives’s The Unanswered Question; and Varèse’s visionary Amériques. The festival’s remaining concerts continue to explore the tension between tradition and modernity. This is reflected even in the choice of venues, with the state-of-the-art new Elbphilharmonie hosting performances of Magnus Lindberg’s pathbreaking epic, Kraft, as well as two Shostakovich piano concertos played by Yuja Wang, while the orchestra’s former venue, the 1908 Laeiszhalle, hosts a performance of Haydn symphonies. Other festival programs include Gilbert as violist in a performance of the two Brahms sextets, joining members of the orchestra, and as moderator of a discussion about music and social issues with NDR host Susanne Stichler, in the orchestra’s new talk series, “IDEAS | On Music.” On the final program of the festival, Gilbert looks ahead to next year’s 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, contrasting his Symphony No. 7 and Egmont Overture with contemporary pieces by Jörg Widmann and Enno Poppe. [Sep 6, 7, 11 (talk), 12, 13, 19, 21, 26, 29: Hamburg]

Sep 7–22               The REACH, the unprecedented new expansion of the KENNEDY CENTER, opens with a free 16-day festival. From masterclasses and workshops to dance parties and DJ sets, the Opening Festival offers a first glimpse of the many varied and interactive ways that visitors will be able to experience art at the REACH. With more than 400 free events planned, the multi-genre, multidisciplinary festival features participatory performances, interactive installations, hands-on learning activities, and more, with local and national headliners including Arrested Development, Yalitza Aparicio, Bootsy Collins, Renée Fleming, Robert Glasper, Angélique Kidjo, Alan Menken, Tiler Peck, Mo Willems, the National Symphony Orchestra, The Second City, Thievery Corporation, and many others. [Washington, DC]

Sep 12–15              TRINITY CHURCH WALL STREET’s music program opens the season with a series of free performances celebrating a decade of innovation under the leadership of Julian Wachner. In the opening concert, The Choir of Trinity Wall Street and NOVUS NY offer a retrospective of some of the works Trinity has helped to incubate and develop over the last decade – among them three Pulitzer Prize-winners – dealing with topics that reflect Trinity’s core values and mission, from climate change and water justice to human trafficking and gender inequality. The opening weekend also sees the debut of Trinity’s new “Candlelight Baroque” series in St. Paul’s Chapel, featuring renowned early music artists Daniel Taylor and Sylvain Bergeron, and the season’s first meditative “Compline by Candlelight.” [Sep 12, 13, 15: SPC*]

Sep 12–15              Music Director Designate Fabio Luisi will lead the DALLAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA in five programs during the 2019-20 season. (He assumes full title of Music Director in 2020/21.) He will open the season with Richard Strauss’s monumental Alpine Symphony, and will welcome Cliburn prizewinner Beatrice Rana in a performance of Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto. Also on the program is the Dallas premiere of Augusta Read Thomas’s Aureole, part of the orchestra’s “Women in Classical Music” initiative announced in 2018, which highlights the role of women in classical music and creates opportunities for female representation in the field. Luisi’s plans for his own tenure include commissioning 20 new works over the next decade, at least half from female composers. [Sep 12, 13, 14, 15: Dallas]

Sep 14 – Oct 6       Marking the company’s first new staging of the Puccini opera in 25 years, LA OPERA presents La bohème in an innovative new production from Barrie Kosky, Artistic Director of the Komische Oper Berlin. Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions-winning soprano Marina Costa-Jackson makes her company debut in the title role, opposite Albanian tenor Saimir Pirgu under Music Director James Conlon’s leadership. [Sep 14, 22, 25, 28; Oct 2, 6: Los Angeles]

Sep 14–28;
March 22-28    Grammy Award-winning Russian pianist DANIIL TRIFONOV performs Rachmaninov’s Fourth Concerto with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony in San Francisco, before joining them on a spring tour of Europe in 2020. While on the West Coast in the fall the pianist also performs the piece with the Seattle Symphony conducted by Thomas Dausgaard, in his first appearance as Music Director, and the Vancouver Symphony led by Otto Tausk. [Sep 14: Seattle; Sep 19, 20, 21, 22: San Francisco; Sep 27, 28: Vancouver; March 22–28: European cities TBA]

Sep 14 – April 11

Between her acting appearances in Broadway’s Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune and the upcoming fourth season of CBS All Access’s The Good Fight, singer/actor AUDRA MCDONALD embarks on a national concert tour with a signature mix of favorites from Broadway and the Great American Songbook with pieces written for her by leading contemporary composers. 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. [Sep 14: Iowa City; Sep 21: Lansing, MI; Sep 28: Fairfax, VA; Oct 2: Worcester, MA; Oct 13: Augusta, GA; Jan 18: Morristown, NJ; April 11: Philadelphia]

Sep 17                    Highlighting this year’s Berlin Musikfest, Grammy Award-winning mezzo SUSAN GRAHAM – “an artist to treasure” (New York Times) – sings excerpts from Berlioz’s La mort de Cléopâtre and Les Troyens with the orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin under Donald Runnicles. The Associated Press has called Graham’s “the ideal voice for Berlioz – a mezzo with a dark richness that blossoms into lush soprano-like tones.” [Berlin]

Sep 18–29             OPERA PHILADELPHIA presents O19, the third edition of its game-changing annual season-opening festival, hailed as “one of the most enjoyable additions to the fall calendar in years” (Washington Post). Festival O19 comprises the world premieres of two new commissions, two company premieres, and other special presentations at multiple venues across Philadelphia. An immersive multimedia chamber opera inspired by the tragic true story of two 15-year-old Russian runaways, Philip Venables and Ted Huffman’s Denis & Katya – winner of the Fedora Generali Prize for Opera – debuts at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre. At FringeArts, Joseph Keckler headlines the world premiere of his new performance piece, Let Me Die, which intersperses famous operatic death scenes with video and his own signature comedic storytelling. The festival also features two operas new to Opera Philadelphia: Prokofiev’s comedic gem The Love for Three Oranges bows in Alessandro Talevi’s hit production at the Academy of Music, and Handel’s Semele receives a new treatment from Breaking the Waves’s James Darrah at the Perelman Theater. Four recitals in the Field Concert Hall showcase emerging young singers from Philadelphia’s prestigious Curtis Institute of Music, and the Festival O19 Celebration, featuring a solo recital by soprano Brenda Rae, honors Jack Mulroney Music Director Corrado Rovaris on his 20th anniversary with the company. [Sep 18, 19, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, 28, 29: Denis & Katya; Sep 21, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28: Let Me Die; Sep 19, 21, 24, 26, 28: Semele; Sep 20, 22, 27, 29: The Love for Three Oranges; Sep 21: Festival O19 Celebration; Sep 21, 22, 28, 29: Curtis in Concert; Philadelphia]

Sep 20–22            Creator and librettist CERISE JACOBS premieres her new opera, I Am a Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams, at Boston’s Emerson Paramount Theater on the Robert J. Orchard stage. Composed by Jorge Sosa, the opera explores immigration, dislocation, and transformation in America, subjects of personal importance to both Jacobs, who immigrated to the U.S. from Singapore, and Sosa, a Mexican native residing in New York. The cast features mezzo-soprano Carla López-Speziale and soprano Helen Zhibing Huang, with Isis Contreras Perez and Amy Li portraying their younger selves, and soprano Kirsten Chambers, along with the Boston Children’s Chorus and Juventas New Music Ensemble. Elena Araoz directs, and the conductor is Maria Sensi Sellner. [Sep 20, 21, 22: Boston]

Sep 25 – Oct 12     After making a sensational role debut as Verdi’s Lady Macbeth at the Met in 2014, ANNA NETREBKO – “a soprano with star power in the best sense, a charismatic expressivity that pervades every element of her performance” (New York Times) – sings the role opposite Plácido Domingo’s title character, marking the first time the two have shared the Met stage. The production also stars baritone Željko Lučić, who shares the title role with Domingo, tenor Matthew Polenzani as Macduff, and bass Ildar Abdrazakov as Banquo. Marco Armiliato leads the Met orchestra. [Sep 25, 28, Oct 4, 8, 12: Met]

Sep 26 – Nov 19

The MCO’s MONTEVERDI CHOIR, ENGLISH BAROQUE SOLOISTS, and JOHN ELIOT GARDINER embark on an international tour of choral masterpieces by “Monteverdi | Carissimi | Scarlatti.” Marking the MCO’s long-overdue Russian debut, the tour launches with concerts in Moscow and St. Petersburg that highlight the UK-Russia Year of Music, a new binational program supported by the British Council. With performances in a succession of storied venues, the tour also features the ensembles’ national debuts in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Slovakia, and Uruguay. [Sep 26: Moscow; Sep 27: St. Petersburg; Oct 1: Bratislava, Slovakia; Nov 7: Rio de Janeiro; Nov 9: São Paulo; Nov 11: Montevideo, Uruguay; Nov 13; Buenos Aires; Nov 15: Santiago, Chile; Nov 16: Frutillar, Chile; Nov 19: Curitiba, Brazil]

Sep 26–29; Nov 7–10;
Dec 18–20; Jan 23–25;
May 13–17          On the heels of their recent European tour – the first in the orchestra’s history – British violinist DANIEL HOPE and San Francisco’s New Century Chamber Orchestra embark on his second season as Music Director. In their first program, Hope, who has been hailed by Classic FM as “one of the most charismatic violinists in the world,” joins teen piano sensation Maxim Lando for Chausson’s Concerto for Violin, Piano and Strings. Subsequent collaborations see Artist-in-Residence Simone Dinnerstein lead an all-Bach program of keyboard concertos, mezzo Anne Sofie von Otter sing selections from Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and other holiday favorites, and a celebration of Beethoven’s 250th anniversary with performances of the master composer’s Triple Concerto and Piano Trio with Dinnerstein and cellist Lynn Harrell. To conclude the season, Hope and the Grammy-winning San Francisco Girls Chorus take audiences on an exploration of space and time featuring music from his bestselling Spheres album. [All concerts in California: Sep 26: Berkeley; Sep 28: SF; Sep 29: San Rafael; Nov 7: Berkeley, Nov 8: Palo Alto; Nov 9: SF; Nov 10: San Rafael; Dec 18: Palo Alto; Dec 19: SF; Dec 20: Berkeley; Jan 23: Berkeley; Jan 24, 25: SF; May 13: Stanford; May 14: Berkeley; May 16: SF; May 17: San Rafael]

Sep 27, 28             The LOUISVILLE ORCHESTRA opens its sixth season on September 28 under the direction of Music Director Teddy Abrams. Focusing, as Abrams says, on “cutting-edge projects with storytelling that connects with our shared human (and local) experiences,” the opening-night concert features Dvořák’s Ninth Symphony (“From the New World”), which was inspired by an article on African-American spirituals written by Louisville musicologist Mildred Hill. Also on the program are Adam Schoenberg’s Orchard in Fog, selections from Bizet’s Carmen featuring soprano J’Nai Bridges, and Ravel’s Tzigane, Rhapsody for Violin and Orchestra, featuring violinist Anne Akiko Meyers. Violinist Elena Urioste is also a featured soloist on the program. Abrams and the three soloists, Bridges, Meyers and Urioste, have all been singled out by New York’s WQXR on its list of “19 for 19” artists to watch in 2019. A special preview the day before in the “Coffee Series” will feature the Dvořák along with three rarities from the orchestra’s archives: Witold Lutosławski’s Louisville Fanfare, Jacques Ibert’s Louisville Concerto, and the Concertino for Orchestra by Robert Whitney, the Louisville Orchestra’s co-founder and first conductor. [Louisville]

Sep 30 – Nov 13    DANIIL TRIFONOV tours with his mentor Sergei Babayan with a program of Prokofiev, Rachmaninov and Ravel to four locations in New York, including a stop at Cornell University, the Eastman School of Music, and culminating at Carnegie Hall. In November they reprise the program once again in Dortmund, Germany. [Sep 30: Ithaca; Oct 2: Rochester; Oct 6: Troy; Oct 16: CH*; Nov 13: Dortmund]

OCTOBER

Oct 3–6;
March 27           “A musician who delights in making her own rules” (New Yorker), American vocalist JULIA BULLOCK headlines Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 twice this season, first with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Music Director Gustavo Dudamel, to launch the orchestra’s new season, and then with the Knoxville Symphony at Washington’s Kennedy Center, during “SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras.” When Bullock sang the same work in season-opening concerts with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra last fall, Twin Cities observed: “The beauty of Barber emerged in her exceptionally executed interpretation, the vivid recollections never succumbing to sepia, both words and music fiercely, defiantly alive.” [Oct 3, 4, 5, 6: Los Angeles; March 27: Washington, DC]

Oct 5–13;
May 21–24         Riding a wave of extraordinary creative and economic resurgence, THE ATLANTA OPERA bookends its 40th anniversary season with two company premieres in the award-winning Discoveries series, which stages new and innovative work in alternative city venues. Set to a blend of tango, zarzuela, ragtime, vaudeville, and 1930s jazz, Robert Xavier Rodriguez’s Frida (1991) paints a “raw, wonderfully dangerous” portrait (USA Today) of Frida Kahlo, for which Colombian-born soprano Catalina Cuervo consistently proves herself “ideal” (Opera News). To close out the season, Tom Cipullo’s Glory Denied (2007) stars Michael Mayes – last seen headlining Atlanta’s Dead Man Walking – as America’s longest-held prisoner-of-war. Drawing on interviews with returning veterans to follow his transition home from the Southeast Asian jungle, the opera has been hailed as “mesmerizing” (Opera Today). Its staging demonstrates The Atlanta Opera’s deepening commitment to military servicemen and women, all of whom receive complimentary tickets to company productions through the award-winning Veterans Program. [Oct 5, 9, 11, 13; May 21, 22, 23, 24: Atlanta]

Oct 10–26             Abraham Inc. – comprising groundbreaking multi-genre clarinetist and klezmer champion DAVID KRAKAUER, legendary R&B trombonist Fred Wesley, Canadian rapper Socalled and a seven-piece band – releases  Together We Stand on Label Bleu (on October 15), while on a two-week tour in Germany and France. Conceived as a meeting ground for Jewish and African-American traditions, Abraham Inc. strives to erode boundaries while honoring and even amplifying the traditions on which it builds. Jazz Times raves: “This endlessly surprising yet highly successful hybrid of klezmer, funk and hip-hop had the enthusiastic crowd – young and old, Jews and gentiles, whites and blacks – dancing ecstatically in the aisles like it was a Jewish wedding.” [Oct 10: Amiens; Oct 11: Montigny-le-Bretonneux; Oct 12: Le Havre; Oct 15: Paris; Oct 16: Clermont-Ferrand; Oct 17: Besançon; Oct 18: Coutances; Oct 19: Lieusaint; Oct 20: Ramonville-st-Agne; Oct 23: Singen, Germany; Oct 26: Aix-en-Provence]

Oct 11, 12               ALAN GILBERT returns to the Cleveland Orchestra for a concert of Bach, Brahms, and Thomas Adès’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra with soloist Kirill Gerstein. When he conducted a program in Cleveland this past spring, Cleveland.com raved that “the Cleveland Orchestra with Gilbert displayed nothing but brilliance from front to back.” [Cleveland]

Oct 11, 12               The LOUISVILLE ORCHESTRA’s thematic program “From the Sea” on October 12 combines two beloved ocean-themed classics – Sibelius’s The Oceanides and Debussy’s La Mer – with two 21st-century evocations of the natural world. Become River by John Luther Adams is one of a series of landscape-themed pieces that also includes the 2014 Pulitzer Prize-winning Become Ocean. Seaborne, a work by the young Emmy Award-winning TV and film composer Garth Neustadter, was originally written for the celebrated percussion ensemble the Percussion Collective, which will be featured in this concert along with the stunning film shot in Hawaii that the piece was written to accompany. This will be the first performance of Seaborne in its fully-orchestrated version. Each of these works, with the exception of the Adams, can be heard in a sneak preview in the LO’s “Coffee Series” at 11am the previous day. [Louisville]

Oct 12–20             One of the most beloved performers of our time, Tony nominee and four-time Grammy laureate Renée Fleming headlines The Light in the Piazza at LA OPERA. The winner of six Tony Awards, including those for Best Original Score and Best Orchestrations, Adam Guettel’s Broadway musical comes to LA in a semi-staged touring production from Olivier Award-winner Daniel Evans. [Oct 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20: Los Angeles]

Oct 12, 13;
Nov 27 – Dec 3

Last season DANIIL TRIFONOV played Ravel in Jaap van Zweden’s debut concert as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic; now Artist-in-Residence with the orchestra, Trifonov joins the conductor for performances of Scriabin’s Piano Concerto in New York. Earlier in the fall, he performs the same piece in Miami Beach with the New World Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. [Oct 12, 13: Miami Beach; Nov 27, 29, 30; Dec 1, 3: DGH*]

Oct 13, 16               Last season, cellist ALISA WEILERSTEIN inaugurated her new role as Artistic Partner of Norway’s Trondheim Soloists with a release on the Pentatone label that paired Haydn’s First and Second Cello Concertos with the string orchestra version of Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht. In October she and the group perform in Trondheim, Norway, and at London’s Southbank Center. Their all-sextet program includes Verklärte Nacht in its original sextet setting, as well as Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence and the Prelude from Richard Strauss’s opera Capriccio. [Oct 13: Trondheim; Oct 16: London]

Oct 15 – May 20    JULIA BULLOCK joins pianist Cédric Tiberghien for the American, British, Belgian and Russian premieres of Zauberland (Magic Land) on an eight-stop transatlantic tour that takes in London’s Royal Opera House (Linbury Theatre), New York’s Lincoln Center, and more. The new work juxtaposes Schumann’s Dichterliebe with original songs by Bernard Foccroulle and Martin Crimp in a dramatic dialogue between “Fortress Europe” and its Eastern Mediterranean origins. As at Bullock’s recent world premiere performances of the work in Paris, Katie Mitchell directs. [Oct 15, 16, 18: London; Oct 24, 25: Ann Arbor, MI; Oct 29, 30: New York (JJC*); Dec 6, 7: Lille, France; Dec 12: St. Petersburg; Dec 15, 16: Moscow; Feb 11, 13, 15: Brussels; May 19, 20: Rouen, France]

Oct 17, 18               Having taken part in a “fervent, sensitive reading” (Chicago Tribune) of Schubert’s Mass in E-flat with Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony last spring, now NICHOLAS PHAN reprises the work for his Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra debut, in collaboration with the same conductor. [Munich]

Oct 18                     Pianist INON BARNATAN – who served as the inaugural Artist-in-Association with the New York Philharmonic during the last three years of ALAN GILBERT’s tenure with the orchestra – releases the first half of his Beethoven Piano Concerto cycle on the Pentatone label, with Gilbert conducting the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. The second half will be released in spring 2020. The complete set includes all five concertos, plus the triple concerto with cellist ALISA WEILERSTEIN and violinist Stefan Jackiw and a piano transcription of the violin concerto.

Oct 18–26             STEPHEN COSTELLO – “the best American operatic tenor the world has right now” (Toronto Star) – opens the 2019-20 season with a role debut as the Prince in Dvořák’s Rusalka at Strasbourg’s Opéra national du Rhin, opposite rising-star South African soprano Pumeza Matshikiza in the title role. [Oct 18, 20, 22, 24, 26: Strasbourg, France]

Oct 21 – Nov 3       Cellist ALISA WEILERSTEIN joins her frequent recital partner, pianist INON BARNATAN, for a tour in Europe and Russia, including a date at London’s Wigmore Hall. The program comprises Brahms’s Cello Sonata in D and Shostakovich’s Sonata Op. 147 (arr. D. Shafran). The duo’s previous collaborations have received critical raves, with Voix des Arts declaring them to have “a level of musical symbiosis that transcends casual partnership.” [Oct 21: Minsk, Belarus; Oct 23: Moscow; Oct 27: Bristol, UK; Oct 28: London; Oct 30: Milan; Nov 3: Amsterdam]

Oct 23–26             In a limited, week-long engagement, trailblazing orchestral collective THE KNIGHTS – “one of Brooklyn’s sterling cultural products” (New Yorker) – joins Troy Schumacher’s BalletCollective for the world premiere performances of two new ballets. Choreographed by Schumacher and his fellow NYCB member Preston Chamblee to new music by Judd Greenstein and Pulitzer Prize-winner Paul Moravec, both ballets draw inspiration from visual works – by visual artist Zaria Forman and photographer George Steinmetz respectively – that explore the Earth’s landscapes and their inevitable transformation. [Oct 23, 24, 25, 26: GKA*]

Oct 25, 26            The LOUISVILLE ORCHESTRA plays a special program on October 26 themed to “Violins of Hope,” a traveling exhibition of instruments that were played by Jewish violinists before and during the Holocaust and that have been painstakingly restored by Israeli violin maker Amnon Weinstein as a tribute to those who were lost, including hundreds of his own relatives. Louisville Orchestra musicians will give voice to these beautiful instruments, with concertmaster Gabriel Lefkowitz as soloist. The program is highlighted by William Schuman’s Judith (A Choreographic Poem for Orchestra), which was commissioned by the LO and will be performed in collaboration with the Louisville Ballet. Also included are Paul Schoenfield’s Klezmer Rondos No. 2, three pieces by John Williams from the score to Schindler’s List, and From the Diary of Anne Frank by Music Director Teddy Abrams’s mentor, Michael Tilson Thomas. The Schoenfield, Williams and Tilson Thomas pieces can be heard in a sneak preview in the LO’s “Coffee Series” at 11am the previous day. [Louisville]

Oct 25 – Nov 9;
Feb 19 – March 2

ANNA NETREBKO continues an international string of concert performances with her husband, Azerbaijani tenor Yusif Eyvazov. Following summer performances in Denmark, Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie and Moscow’s 6000-seat State Kremlin Palace, the duo makes a large sweep across Eurasia with concerts in Minsk, St. Petersburg, Madrid, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Prague, Vienna, Hamburg, Liège and Berlin. [Oct 25: Minsk, Belarus; Oct 27: St. Petersburg; Nov 1: Madrid; Nov 4: Barcelona; Nov 7: Prague; Nov 9: Copenhagen; Feb 19: Vienna; Feb 25: Hamburg; Feb 28: Liège, Belgium; March 2: Berlin]

Oct 31                    TRINITY CHURCH WALL STREET’s new “Candlelight Baroque” series presents solo and chamber performances by international Baroque artists in an intimate, candlelit setting in St. Paul’s Chapel. In a free performance on October 31, Czech soprano Hana Blažíková joins international early-music star Bruce Dickey on the cornetto, an instrument dating from medieval times that is noted for its ability to imitate the human voice. The program begins with music from the turn of the 17th century, when singers and cornettists were consummate improvisers, and ends 100 years later with opera and oratorio excerpts by Alessandro Scarlatti and Giovanni Battista Bassani. Also included is a modern setting of the Nigra sum text by Greek composer Calliope Tsoupaki, showcasing both performers. [SPC*]

NOVEMBER

Nov (date TBA);
April (date TBA)

The MCO’s MONTEVERDI CHOIR, ENGLISH BAROQUE SOLOISTS and JOHN ELIOT GARDINER release two new titles on their SDG label this season. The first features the English Baroque Soloists in four concertos by Bach: his First and Second Violin Concertos and violin arrangements of his D-minor Keyboard Concerto and F-major Oboe Concerto. The MCO’s soloist is ensemble leader Kati Debretzeni, as on their recording of the Baroque master’s Brandenburg Concertos, which prompted the BBC to marvel, “What more could anyone ask for?” The second release captures the ensembles’ recent live account of Handel’s Semele at London’s newly restored Alexandra Palace, where, with International Opera Award-winner Louise Alder in the title role, they brought “a touch of the sublime” (Telegraph, UK) to the work that Gardiner – the winner of more Gramophone Awards than any other living artist – considers “Handel’s sexiest opera.”

Nov 2–10              THE ATLANTA OPERA inaugurates its 40th-anniversary mainstage season with the company premiere of Joan Font’s iconic treatment of Rossini’s La Cenerentola. A co-production of Houston Grand Opera, Welsh National Opera, Liceu Opera Barcelona and Grand Théâtre de Genève, the Spanish director’s “enchanting” faux-Rococo staging (Opera News) features Grammy-nominated mezzo Emily Fons and Argentinian tenor Santiago Ballerini, the Atlanta Opera Studio alumnus who recently starred in the company’s hit production of The Daughter of the Regiment. [Nov 2, 5, 8, 10: Atlanta]

Nov 2–22              SUSAN GRAHAM stars in the company premiere of Jake Heggie and Terrence McNally’s Dead Man Walking at Lyric Opera of Chicago, under the direction of Leonard Foglia. Having originally created the role of Sister Helen Prejean in the opera’s world premiere production, now the mezzo reprises her portrayal of Mrs. Patrick De Rocher, mother of the convicted murderer. When she debuted this role at Washington National Opera, DC Theater Scene was moved to note: “She brings deep emotional understanding to the entire work. … Her voice holds great beauty, one of those on the stage that make people sigh and then leap to their feet and ‘holler’ opera style.” [Nov 2, 6, 10, 13, 16, 22: Chicago]

Nov 7–10              Music Director DANIEL HOPE and the New Century Chamber Orchestra join Artist-in-Residence Simone Dinnerstein for an all-Bach program of keyboard concertos: see Sep 26–29 above for details.

Nov 9                     The Wien Modern Festival presents the world premiere of MICHAEL HERSCH’s Sew Me Into a Shroud of Leaves, a trilogy of his long-form instrumental works being presented together for the first time in their entirety. Featuring pianists Jason Hardink and Jacob Rhodebeck, along with horn player Jamie Hersch and cellist Mariel Roberts, the three pieces will be performed over the course of a single day, from five o’clock in the morning until eight o’clock in the evening. Part I of the performance is the three-hour The Vanishing Pavilions for solo piano (2005), and Part II is the two-hour Last Autumn for horn and violoncello (2008). In the afternoon and evening, Rhodebeck performs Part III: the solo piano piece one day may become menace, composed in 2016 and lasting approximately six hours. Austrian composer Georg Friedrich Haas explains of these pieces: “In his extended duration works … Hersch is creating music in a way which never has been done before in this style. Here he is working against all conventions, against all practical realities of today’s concert life.” [Vienna]

Nov 10                   NICHOLAS PHAN makes his London Symphony Orchestra debut at the Barbican, singing in Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas. The tenor’s recent live recording of the work with Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony impressed San Francisco Classical Voice as being “all that Berlioz could ask for.” [London]

Nov 14                    INON BARNATAN – “one of the most admired pianists of his generation” (New York Times) – makes his solo recital debut in Carnegie’s Zankel Hall with a program of Mendelssohn, Thomas Adès and Gershwin. [ZH*]

Nov 15                   A free concert pairing two influential 20th-century compositional voices, Arvo Pärt and Francis Poulenc, features two of TRINITY CHURCH WALL STREET’s choirs: the semi-professional Downtown Voices and The Choir of Trinity Church Wall Street, along with Trinity’s contemporary orchestra NOVUS NY, all led by Downtown Voices conductor Stephen Sands and Associate Director of Music and the Arts Melissa Attebury. Pärt’s monumental Passio, a meditative setting of texts from the Passion according to St. John, shares the program with Poulenc’s masterpiece Figure Humaine, written in Nazi-occupied Paris in 1943 to poems by Paul Éluard and dedicated to Pablo Picasso. [SPC*]

Nov 17, 23             Renowned klezmer virtuoso and genre-bending clarinetist DAVID KRAKAUER gives the European premiere of Mathew Rosenblum’s clarinet concerto, Lament/Witches’ Sabbath, at the Eufonie Festival in Warsaw with the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, before joining conductor Gil Rose and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) for a performance in Boston. Tailor-made for Krakauer’s sound and approach, the work was premiered last season at Pittsburgh’s Beyond Festival, and performed at the ASEAN new music festival in Nanning, China this past spring. Krakauer and the BMOP also recorded it for the composer’s 2018 album of the same name on New Focus Recordings. It combines microtones, a “field recording” of Rosenblum’s grandmother singing in Yiddish, and snippets of the “Witches’ Sabbath” from Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique. In its review of the album, Stereophile called Krakauer’s playing “astounding” and raved about the work itself as “extraordinary.” As it continued: “The music itself is so powerful, and the singing and playing so atypically eloquent that they simply must be heard.” [Nov 17: Warsaw; Nov 23: Boston]

Nov 20                  ALESSIO BAX makes his solo recital debut at New York’s 92nd Street Y with repertoire from his latest Signum Classics release, Italian Inspirations. Works by Dallapiccola and Marcello (as arranged by Bach) are juxtaposed with Italian-themed pieces by Rachmaninov and Liszt (see February entry for repertoire details). [92Y*]

Nov 21–23            Cellist and MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Fellow ALISA WEILERSTEIN – described by the Daily Telegraph as “truly a phenomenon” – plays Saint-Saëns’s Cello Concerto No. 1 with the New York Philharmonic, led by conductor Jakub Hrůša at New York’s David Geffen Hall. [Nov 21, 22, 23: DGH*]

Nov 22–24;
Dec 12–15        DANIIL TRIFONOV performs Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto with the Houston Symphony led by Krzysztof Urbański, before taking the piece to LA for performances at Walt Disney Concert Hall with the Los Angeles Philharmonic led by Michael Tilson Thomas. [Nov 22, 23, 24: Houston; Dec 12, 13, 14, 15: Los Angeles]

Nov 22–24; Jan 10–18;
Feb 7, 9; April 22–24;
June 3, 4           LEIF OVE ANDSNES gives high-profile performances on both sides of the Atlantic of the three concertos he will record with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in May as part of his Mozart Momentum 1785/1786 project (see Feb 15-23). In the U.S., he performs Concerto No. 22 in E-flat with the San Francisco Symphony led by Manfred Honeck, and plays Nos. 21 & 22 in Minnesota with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. In Europe he joins Herbert Blomstedt (Conductor Laureate of the San Francisco Symphony) and the Berlin Philharmonic for performances of No. 22 in Berlin and Baden-Baden; he plays Nos. 20 & 21 with the Oslo Philharmonic in Norway’s Bergen Festival, along with Mozart’s First Piano Quartet; and he plays all three concertos spread over two programs with Sweden’s Gothenburg Symphony led by Klaus Mäkelä, the newly appointed Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Oslo Philharmonic. [Nov 22, 23, 24: San Francisco; Jan 10, 11: Gothenburg, Sweden; Jan 16, 17, 18: Berlin; Feb 7, 9: St. Paul, MN; April 12: Baden-Baden, Germany; April 22, 23, 24: Gothenburg; June 3: Bergen, Norway; June 4: Bodø, Norway]

DECEMBER

Dec 3                     After releasing an album of Schumann song cycles together this past May, LEIF OVE ANDSNES and baritone Matthias Goerne perform an all-Schumann recital at La Scala that includes the cycles Liederkreis and Kerner-Lieder from the album, as well as three other songs on poems by Liederkreis poet Heinrich Heine. Reviewing the recording, the Sunday Times praised the duo as “artists who are performing together in complete harmony.” [Milan]

Dec 4–23              Soprano ANNA NETREBKO opens the La Scala season for the fourth time, singing the title role in Puccini’s Tosca. When she debuted the role at the Metropolitan Opera in 2018, the Observer found her performance “breathtaking,” while OperaWire called it “Anna Netrebko’s masterpiece.” [Dec 4 (preview), 7, 10, 13, 17, 20, 23: Milan]

Dec 8–16               ALAN GILBERT returns to Tokyo to conduct the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony in two sets of concerts. On the first program is Liszt’s The Black Gondola arranged by John Adams, Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 1 featuring Metropolitan Symphony concertmaster Yabe Tatsuya, the Japanese premiere of Thomas Adès’s Three Studies from Couperin, and Haydn’s Symphony No. 90 in C. For the second program Gilbert conducts Mahler’s Symphony No. 6. [Dec 8, 9, 14, 16: Tokyo]

Dec 18–20            Music Director DANIEL HOPE and the New Century Chamber Orchestra join mezzo Anne Sofie von Otter for selections from Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and other holiday favorites: see Sep 26-29 above for details.

Dec 19;
March 23, 24      ALISA WEILERSTEIN joins the London Symphony Orchestra led by François-Xavier Roth for Elgar’s Cello Concerto, first at London’s Barbican Hall and then on tour in France. The cellist’s 2012 recording with Daniel Barenboim leading the Staatskapelle Berlin was released to rave reviews, with NPR declaring that Weilerstein “imbues every phrase … with plush, dark beauty.” [Dec 19: London; March 23: Paris; March 24: Lyon]

Dec 20–22            TRINITY CHURCH WALL STREET’s perennially popular rendition of Handel’s Messiah will be presented three times in St. Paul’s Chapel. Trinity was one of North America’s first presenters of the work in 1770, and The Choir of Trinity Wall Street and Trinity Baroque Orchestra are widely regarded as two of its greatest interpreters. Calling Trinity’s performance “perhaps the essential New York Messiah,” the New York Times wrote last year: “With the church’s choir and the Trinity Baroque Orchestra, Mr. Wachner provides gritty, gutsy, edge-of-the-seat performances.” [Dec 20, 21, 22: SPC*]

Dec 30 – Jan 1      In his first season as Chief Conductor of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, ALAN GILBERT rings in the New Year with three semi-staged performances in German of one of his favorite scores: Lerner and Loewe’s My Fair Lady. The New Year’s Eve performance will be broadcast live on NDR Kultur TV in Germany, with the New Year’s Day performance webcast live on the NDR Kultur website. [Dec 30, 31, Jan 1: Hamburg]

Dec 31                    ANNA NETREBKO returns to New York to star in the Met’s New Year’s Eve Gala, singing arias from a trio of beloved Puccini characters: Mimì, Turandot and Tosca. The concert comes on the heels of the soprano’s Tosca at La Scala, and the Turandot arias represent a preview of her role debut in the opera later in the spring in Munich. She returns to the Met beginning in March to sing Tosca once again. [Met]

JANUARY 2020

Jan 3–5                 INON BARNATAN joins conductor Xian Zhang and the New Jersey Symphony on a three-stop tour of its home state, performing Clara Schumann’s Piano Concerto, written while she was still in her teens. [Jan 3: Newark; Jan 4: Red Bank; Jan 5: Morristown]

Jan 9–12               Fabio Luisi returns to the DALLAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA to conduct the Dallas premiere of Fountain of Youth, the new orchestral work by Julia Wolfe. Wolfe was named DSO Composer-in-Residence in October 2018, and the work is a co-commission by the DSO, New World Symphony and Carnegie Hall. The program will also include Copland’s Quiet City, Barber’s rarely performed Andromache’s Farewell sung by soprano Lise Lindstrom, and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade. [Jan 9, 10, 11, 12: Dallas]

Jan 10–18;
Feb 7, 9               LEIF OVE ANDSNES gives high-profile performances on both sides of the Atlantic of the three concertos he will record with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in May as part of his Mozart Momentum 1785/1786 project (See Feb 15-23). He gives two performances of Concerto No. 22, first with Sweden’s Gothenburg Symphony led by Klaus Mäkelä, and then in Berlin with the Berlin Philharmonic and Herbert Blomstedt. In the U.S., he performs Concertos Nos. 21 & 22 in Minnesota with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra: see Nov 22-24 above for details.

Jan 13–24             In collaboration with the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, NICHOLAS PHAN curates and performs in “Emerging Voices: Art Song & Social Connection.” One hundred years after the Treaty of Versailles, this series of concerts, salons and panel discussions celebrates Paris and art song’s role as a powerful medium for understanding identity and forging connections during times of great social, political and cultural change. [Jan 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 22, 24: Philadelphia]

Jan 17, 18              This season, TRINITY CHURCH WALL STREET’s long-term relationship with the Prototype Festival and Beth Morrison Projects yields a new production of Music Director Julian Wachner’s REV. 23. Hailed as an “endlessly creative score” (Classical Voice North America), this was composed to a libretto by CERISE JACOBS that adds a satirical twist to an imagined final chapter of the biblical Book of Revelation. Conducted by Daniela Candillari, the new production is by James Darrah, who also directed Ellen Reid’s Pulitzer Prize-winning p r i s m, a Trinity collaboration that premiered at REDCAT in Los Angeles last season before receiving its East Coast premiere at the Prototype Festival. [JJC*]

Jan 17, 18              The LOUISVILLE ORCHESTRA presents “Teddy Talks Mahler,” on January 18, in which Music Director Teddy Abrams entertainingly deconstructs Mahler’s Fifth Symphony for the audience before giving a full performance of the work. The “Teddy Talks…” series, now entering its third season, is a natural development of Abrams’s engagement with the Louisville community and his insistence on making the orchestra and its music accessible to all. The concerts are reminiscent of Leonard Bernstein’s wildly successful Omnibus programs in the 1950s, which earned him a reputation as the quintessential advocate for classical music, and in fact Bernstein was in large part responsible for raising the profile of Mahler’s symphonies through his many performances and recordings. Mahler’s Fifth Symphony can also be heard, minus Abrams’s commentary, in the previous day’s 11am “Coffee Series” concert. [Louisville]

Jan 23–25             Music Director DANIEL HOPE and the New Century Chamber Orchestra celebrate Beethoven’s 250th anniversary with performances of the master composer’s Triple Concerto and Piano Trio. Artist-in-Residence Simone Dinnerstein and cellist Lynn Harrell are Hope’s fellow soloists: see Sep 26-29 above for details.

Jan 25 – Feb 2      Marking one of THE ATLANTA OPERA’s most ambitious undertakings to date, General & Artistic Director Tomer Zvulun brings his “signature cinematic vision” (Opera News) to Richard Strauss’s psychological thriller Salome. The production’s world premiere stars soprano Jennifer Holloway, following her triumphs in the same role at Semperoper Dresden, Bilbao Opera, Leipzig Opera, and England’s Opera North, where she gave “an outstanding central performance” (The Times of London). Joining Holloway are Canadian bass-baritone Nathan Berg and Grammy-winning mezzo Jennifer Larmore, an Atlanta native, under the baton of Music Director Arthur Fagen. [Jan 25, 28, 31, Feb 2: Atlanta]

Jan 26 – March 27

LEIF OVE ANDSNES tours a recital program in Europe comprising Dvořák’s Poetic Tone Poems, Bartók’s Three Burlesques and Schumann’s Carnaval. Included is a date in Gothenburg, Sweden, where, as Artist-in-Residence, the pianist performs a variety of chamber and orchestral concerts throughout the season. More dates will be announced soon. [Jan 26: Vågan, Norway; March 11: Gothenburg, Sweden; March 12: Vienna; March 27: Amsterdam]

Jan 28 – Feb 3;
May 23 – June 1 ANNA NETREBKO makes two notable role debuts this season, both opposite tenor Yusif Eyvazov. Her first engagement in the new year will be in the title role of Puccini’s Turandot at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, and in May, the soprano takes on the role of Elisabetta in Verdi’s Don Carlo at the Semperoper Dresden. [Jan 28, 31, Feb 3: Munich; May 23, 26, 29, June 1: Dresden]

Jan 30 – Feb 2      After giving a host of Beethoven performances with orchestras around the world last season, DANIIL TRIFONOV plays Beethoven’s First and Fifth Piano Concertos with the Philadelphia Orchestra led by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, his partners for last season’s Deutsche Grammophon release Rachmaninov: Destination and for Rachmaninov: Variations, released in 2015. [Jan 30, 31, Feb 1, 2: Philadelphia]

Jan 31, Feb 2        DALLAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA’s Music Director Designate, Fabio Luisi, will lead the orchestra in a full opera-in-concert each season; this season’s offering will be Richard Strauss’s Salome. Internationally celebrated Lithuanian soprano Ausrine Stundyte sings the title role, with Mark Delavan as Jochanaan. [Dallas]

Jan 31, Feb 2        Celebrating his 20th anniversary with the company, OPERA PHILADELPHIA’s Jack Mulroney Music Director Corrado Rovaris leads the Opera Philadelphia Orchestra and Chorus in two dramatic concert performances of Verdi’s Requiem – a work long dear to his heart – on the Academy of Music stage. They will be joined by a stellar quartet of soloists: soprano Leah Crocetto, mezzo Daniela Mack, tenor Evan LeRoy Johnson, and bass In-Sung Sim. [Philadelphia]

FEBRUARY

Feb (date TBA)    ALESSIO BAX – “among the most remarkable young pianists now before the public” (Gramophone) – releases Italian Inspirations, his eleventh recording for Signum Classics, comprising works inspired by or originating in his homeland. Included are Bach’s transcription of Marcello’s Oboe Concerto; Rachmaninoff’s Variations on a Theme of Corelli; Quaderno musicale di Annalibera, a gift from Luigi Dallapiccola to his daughter; and two pieces by Franz Liszt: his musical depiction of St. Francis of Assisi preaching to birds, St. François d’Assise: La prédication aux oiseaux, and his virtuosic Après une lecture du Dante: Fantasia quasi Sonata.

Feb 1–23               Composer, conductor, writer, pianist, and 2018 MacArthur Fellow MATTHEW AUCOIN – “one of the most sought-after young voices in classical music” (Wall Street Journal) – conducts the world premiere production of his third opera, Eurydice, at LA OPERA, where he has served since 2016 as the inaugural Artist-in-Residence. A retelling of the Orpheus story from its heroine’s perspective, Eurydice is based on a play by librettist Sarah Ruhl. Soprano Danielle de Niese stars in Mary Zimmerman’s production, which will subsequently travel to the co-commissioning Metropolitan Opera. [Feb 1, 8, 14, 16, 20, 23: Los Angeles]

Feb 4–13               SUSAN GRAHAM reunites with her longtime recital partner, pianist Malcolm Martineau, for appearances at Lincoln Center and in Berkeley’s Cal Performances and Fort Worth’s Cliburn Concerts with a program combining Mahler’s tender Rückert-Lieder with art songs by French-Venezuelan composer Reynaldo Hahn and Jake Heggie’s Iconic Legacies: First Ladies at the Smithsonian. It was a recent recital with the pianist that prompted The Guardian to admire “the beauty of Graham’s voice, her exceptional range as a performer, and the power and brilliance of Martineau’s playing.” [Feb 4: ATH*; Feb 9: Berkeley, CA; Feb 13: Fort Worth, TX]

Feb 6                      DANIEL HOPE returns to Carnegie Hall to perform Vivaldi’s A-major Violin Concerto with Bernard Labadie and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Of the violinist’s album Daniel Hope Plays Vivaldi, Gramophone writes: “This is a disc made with love and intelligence – a powerful combination.”

Feb 9–24               Following a focus on Mozart concertos last season, and a spring 2019 tour that contrasted Mozart with Elliott Carter, PIERRE-LAURENT AIMARD turns to Beethoven in the composer’s 250th-anniversary year, joining forces with François-Xavier Roth and Cologne’s Gürzenich-Orchester on tour in Germany and France, with a stop at London’s Royal Festival Hall. Their unusual program combines Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto and “Moonlight” Sonata with a newly commissioned work by Francesco Filidei, and John Cage’s Concert for Piano and Orchestra. [Feb 9-11: Cologne; Feb 16: Munich; Feb 17: Lyon; Feb 21: London; Feb 24: Hamburg]

Feb 9 – June 27   The MCO’s ORCHESTRE RÉVOLUTIONNAIRE ET ROMANTIQUE and JOHN ELIOT GARDINER undertake complete Beethoven symphonic cycles on period instruments at high-profile destinations on both sides of the Atlantic: London’s Barbican Hall, Barcelona’s Palau de la Música, Chicago’s Harris Theater, and New York’s Carnegie Hall, where Gardiner is a featured 2019-20 Perspectives artist. When their Carnegie Hall performance of Beethoven’s Fifth and Seventh Symphonies was captured live on disc, the UK’s Observer concluded, “This is the most exciting Beethoven release you are likely to hear this year.” [Feb 9, 10, 11, 13, 14: Barcelona; Feb 19, 20, 21, 23, 24: NYC (CH*); Feb 27, 28, 29, March 2, 3: Chicago; May 11, 12, 14, 15, 16: London; June 22–27: European city TBA]

Feb 13;
March 28, 29;
April 2, 4            PIERRE-LAURENT AIMARD plays recitals juxtaposing Beethoven with contemporary repertoire in Paris, Boston and New York. In Paris at the Cité de la Musique he plays Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” Sonata, along with George Benjamin’s Shadowlines, Berg’s Op. 1 Piano Sonata, and a Fantasia by the early Baroque Dutch composer Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck. He performs similar programs in Boston’s Celebrity Series and at New York’s 92nd Street Y, and gives a second concert in both cities combining Beethoven sonatas with works of Schoenberg and Stockhausen. [Feb 13: Paris; March 28, 29: Boston; April 2, 4: 92Y*]

Feb 15–23             Following their widely acclaimed “Beethoven Journey,” LEIF OVE ANDSNES and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra join forces once again to explore two especially remarkable years in the history of classical music with Mozart Momentum 1785/1786, a new performing and recording project spanning four years (2019-2022) that will involve multi-year concert tours, residencies in cities including London, New York and Tokyo, recordings for Sony Classical, and much more. In February 2020, Andsnes and members of the orchestra tour a program of Mozart’s chamber music to Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and London’s Wigmore Hall, before going into the studio in May to record three piano concertos, Nos. 20-22. [Feb 15, 16: Elmau, Germany; Feb 18: Antwerp, Belgium; Feb 19: Eindhoven, Netherlands; Feb 20: London; Feb 23: Bremen, Germany]

Feb 19, 28;
March 2         ANNA NETREBKO continues an international string of performances with tenor Yusif Eyvazov, with concerts in Vienna, Liège and Berlin: see Oct 25 – Nov 9 above for details.

Feb 20–22;
April 24, 25;
June TBA           As 2019-20 Artist-in-Residence of the San Francisco Symphony (SFS), JULIA BULLOCK joins the orchestra under Music Director Designate Esa-Pekka Salonen for two orchestral song cycles inspired by French symbolist poets – Ravel’s Three Poems of Stéphane Mallarmé and Britten’s Rimbaud setting, Les Illuminations – before giving an expanded version of her concert program “History’s Persistent Voice.” Combining traditional slave songs with new music by American women of color, this not only features the West Coast premieres of works by Tania León, Jessie Montgomery and Allison Loggins-Hull, but also the world premieres of new SFS commissions from Rhiannon Giddens, Camille Norment, Cécile McLorin Salvant and Pamela Z. The year-long residency also sees Bullock curate a program at the experimental SoundBox performance space and serve as a collaborative partner to Salonen as he prepares to launch his directorship next fall. [Feb 20, 21, 22, Ravel & Britten; April 24, 25, SoundBox; June TBA, “History’s Persistent Voice”: San Francisco]

Feb 21, June 28    MICHAEL HERSCH is composer-in-residence for the 2019-20 season with Camerata Bern, which gives the world premiere of his Agatha for soprano, violin, and clarinet soloists as well as bass clarinet, bassoon, piano and string ensemble in February. Two of Hersch’s frequent collaborators and champions, violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja and soprano Ah Young Hong, are joined by Reto Bieri – one of Kopatchinskaja’s regular chamber music partners – on the clarinet for the performance. Later in the spring, Kopatchinskaja – also in residence with the ensemble in the coming season – performs Hersch’s violin concerto. [Bern, Switzerland]

Feb 22, March 14

Part 1 of the LOUISVILLE ORCHESTRA’s two-part Festival of American Music, “Gospel at the Symphony,” features performances by the St. Stephen Baptist Church Choir and a program including Duke Ellington’s final work, Three Black Kings (Feb 22). Details for Part 2 (on March 14) will be announced in the coming months. [Louisville]

Feb 22 – March 14

LA OPERA makes company history with its first presentation of Donizetti’s Shakespearean tragedy Roberto Devereux. This stars Grammy-winning Mexican tenor Ramón Vargas in the title role, Spanish soprano Davinia Rodríguez in her house debut as Elizabeth I, and General Director Plácido Domingo in his role debut as the Duke of Nottingham, under the baton of Eun Sun Kim. With a set inspired by Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Stephen Lawless’s staging has already won accolades in Toronto, Dallas, and San Francisco. [Feb 22, 27, March 1, 5, 8, 14: Los Angeles]

Feb 29, March 1   INON BARNATAN joins conductor Louis Langrée and the Cincinnati Symphony for a performance that recreates Beethoven’s legendary 1808 Akademie concert, his last public performance as a concert pianist. The program included the premieres of his Fifth and Sixth Symphonies, while the nearly deaf composer himself played the premieres of his Fourth Piano Concerto and Choral Fantasy. [Cincinnati]

MARCH

March (date TBA)

Grammy-nominated, boundary-breaking clarinetist DAVID KRAKAUER and multi-genre pianist, composer and creator KATHLEEN TAGG release Breath & Hammer on their own label, Table Pounding Music, to be followed by a European tour of material from the album. Breath & Hammer is an electro-acoustic project showcasing the duo’s innovative and idiosyncratic approaches to their respective instruments, as well as the indefinable alchemy that melds the diverse influences and experience each brings to the table into a seamless and novel unity. A texture of extended techniques, loops and samples is galvanized by an immersive video feed designed by Jesse Gilbert, bringing the audience an intimate view of the musicians and performance space. One component of the program consists of the pair’s arrangements of works by artists for whom they have the greatest admiration and who also happen to be close friends and associates, including composer John Zorn, Syrian clarinetist Kinan Azmeh, and Cuban percussionist Roberto Rodriguez. Added to that are their original compositions, derived from influences as diverse as interlocking drum patterns, romantic symphonic music, minimalism, and klezmer.

March 1–15,
May 7, 9               DANIIL TRIFONOV tours with a recital of Bach transcriptions and The Art of Fugue to Orchestra Hall in Chicago, Alice Tully Hall in New York, and at Boston’s Celebrity Series, before playing the same program on tour in Europe. [March 1: Chicago; March 3: ATH*; March 15: Boston; May 7: Lyon; May 9: Stockholm]

March 7–15           Continuing its new annual commitment to showcasing great operatic voices in musical theater, THE ATLANTA OPERA presents George and Ira Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess in the company premiere of Francesca Zambello’s celebrated staging. Atlanta native Morris Robinson shares the male lead – the vehicle for his 2016 La Scala debut, which drew a five-star review in the Financial Times – with Musa Ngqungwana, the South African bass-baritone known for his “rich, glowing voice and elegant legato” (New York Times). [March 7, 10, 13, 15: Atlanta]

March 7–28;
June 19 – July 13

STEPHEN COSTELLO returns to the Paris Opera, following his 2017 debut in Franz Lehár’s The Merry Widow, to sing des Grieux in Massenet’s Manon, opposite Sofia Fomina in the title role. Later in the season, he makes his role debut as Ferrando in Mozart’s Così fan tutte, marking the first time he will have performed a Mozart role professionally. [March 7, 13, 22, 28 (Manon); June 19, 22, 25, 28, July 1, 4, 7, 10, 13 (Così): Paris]

March 12–17         Versatile pianist INON BARNATAN joins conductor André de Ridder and the Chicago Symphony for performances of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Ravel’s jazz-inflected Piano Concerto in G. The Ottawa Citizen, after a performance of the Ravel in 2015, declared that “the crisp, urbane sophistication of Barnatan’s musicality suits the music perfectly.” [March 12, 14, 17: Chicago]

March 22–28       Grammy Award-winning Russian pianist DANIIL TRIFONOV joins Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony on tour in Europe, performing Rachmaninov’s Fourth Piano Concerto: see Sep 14-28 above for details.

March 23, 24        ALISA WEILERSTEIN joins the London Symphony Orchestra led by François-Xavier Roth on tour in France, performing Elgar’s Cello Concerto: see Dec 19 above for details. 

March 26 – April 6

In the year that marks the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, ALISA WEILERSTEIN and INON BARNATAN tour a program comprising all five of the master’s cello sonatas – spanning all three of his stylistic periods – in one evening. [March 26: Cincinnati; March 28: Beverly Hills, MI; March 29: St. Louis; April 1: Denver; April 3: Scottsdale, AZ; April 5: San Francisco; April 6: Palo Alto, CA]

March 26 – April 11;
July 6–15           ANNA NETREBKO returns to the Met once again to sing the title role in Sir David McVicar’s production of Puccini’s Tosca. The New York Times hailed the soprano as “magnificent” when she made her role debut as the opera’s title character on the same stage in 2018. She will reprise the role and production at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in July. [March 26, 29, April 2, 5, 11: Met; July 6, 9, 12, 15: London]

March 27               JULIA BULLOCK headlines Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Knoxville Symphony at Washington’s Kennedy Center, during “SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras”: see Oct 3–6 above for details.

March 28, 29;
April 2, 4            PIERRE-LAURENT AIMARD plays recitals juxtaposing Beethoven sonatas with George Benjamin’s Shadowlines, Berg’s Op. 1 Piano Sonata, and a Fantasia by the early Baroque Dutch composer Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, in Boston’s Celebrity Series and at New York’s 92nd Street Y. He also gives a second concert in both cities combining Beethoven sonatas with works of Schoenberg and Stockhausen: see Feb 13 above for details.

APRIL

April (date TBA)  On their own SDG label, the MCO’s MONTEVERDI CHOIR, ENGLISH BAROQUE SOLOISTS and JOHN ELIOT GARDINER release their recent live account of Handel’s opera Semele: see Nov (date TBA) above for details.

April 3–5               Under the baton of Fabio Luisi, the DALLAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA performs Franz Schmidt’s The Book with Seven Seals (Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln) for the first time as part of the Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family SOLUNA International Music & Arts Festival. Luisi is a champion of the Austrian composer’s oratorio, and recorded it in 2006 with the MDR Sinfonieorchester Leipzig. The Dallas Symphony Chorus joins the DSO for the performance, with the interludes played on the Lay Family Concert Organ by distinguished German organist Michael Schönheit. Explains Luisi: “For me, Franz Schmidt is one of the most important symphony composers of the twentieth century, and Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln is one of my favorite pieces.” [April 3, 4, 5: Dallas]

April 9–11             The DALLAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA will perform Brahms’s Second Symphony under the baton of Music Director Designate Fabio Luisi, with the performance recorded for a future release on the DSO’s record label, DSO Live. Luisi and the DSO will record all of Brahms’s symphonies throughout his Music Directorship to create a full recorded Brahms cycle. Also on the program is Elgar’s Violin Concerto, played by DSO Artist-in-Residence James Ehnes. [April 9, 10, 11: Dallas]

April 11–17            At the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, JULIA BULLOCK reprises her account of Perle Noire: Meditations for Joséphine. A New York Times Critics’ Pick, this musical portrait of Josephine Baker was conceived by the American vocalist in collaboration with Peter Sellars and written for her by MacArthur Fellows Tyshawn Sorey and Claudia Rankine. As San Francisco Classical Voice counsels, “If Bullock ever presents it near you, see it if you possibly can.” [April 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17: Paris]

April 12–24          LEIF OVE ANDSNES performs Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 22 in Baden-Baden with Herbert Blomstedt leading the Berlin Philharmonic, before turning to Nos. 20 and 21 with Sweden’s Gothenburg Symphony led by Klaus Mäkelä: see Nov 22-24 above for details.

April 15–21;
April 30 – May 12

DANIIL TRIFONOV – this season’s Artist-in-Residence with the New York Philharmonic – performs Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25 with Jaap van Zweden leading the orchestra, before joining them for further performances on their European tour, including at London’s Barbican. In New York he also plays at the Leonard Bernstein Society’s New York Philharmonic dinner. [April 15, 16, 18, 20 (LB Society), 21: DGH*; April 30: London; May 2–12: European cities TBA]

April 15–26           Long recognized as a byword for “magical and memorable Monteverdi” (The Guardian), the MCO’s MONTEVERDI CHOIR, ENGLISH BAROQUE SOLOISTS and JOHN ELIOT GARDINER tour “Monteverdi: Sacred and Secular,” a program combining three of the composer’s madrigal books with selections from his Selva morale e spirituale, to eight prominent destinations in Europe. These include the Paris Philharmonie, Zurich Tonhalle and Vienna Musikverein. [April 15: Aix-en-Provence; April 16: Paris; April 18: Zurich; April 19: Bologna; April 21: Turin; April 23: Budapest; April 24: Vienna; April 26: Hamburg]

April 16, 18           MICHAEL HERSCH’s two-act monodrama On the Threshold of Winter, based on the final works of Romanian poet and cancer victim Marin Sorescu and praised by the Baltimore Sun as “a work of great originality, daring, and disturbing power,” receives a new production in New York, this time directed by “the opera’s blazing, lone star” (New York Times), soprano Ah Young Hong. [IC*]

April 17 – May 1    SUSAN GRAHAM makes her role debut as Herodias in Francisco Negrin’s hit production of Salome at Houston Grand Opera. This marks the first time in 20 years that Richard Strauss’s opera has been mounted at the house, where the mezzo is a former Lynn Wyatt Great Artist. [April 17, 19, 25, May 1: Houston]

April 19 – May 9   STEPHEN COSTELLO reunites with soprano Diana Damrau at the Met in Sir David McVicar’s staging of Donizetti’s historical opera Maria Stuarda, singing the role of Leicester. The performance will also be broadcast in the Met’s Live in HD series. [April 19, 23, 27, 30, May 3, 9: Met]

April 24, 25           As 2019-20 Artist-in-Residence of the San Francisco Symphony (SFS), JULIA BULLOCK curates a program at the experimental SoundBox performance space: see Feb 20–22 above for details.

April 24 – May 3   Crowning his 20th-anniversary celebrations with the company, OPERA PHILADELPHIA’s Jack Mulroney Music Director Corrado Rovaris takes the Academy of Music podium for Puccini’s beloved Madame Butterfly, in the recent Ted Huffman production that Opera News calls “a treasure that will provide fond memories for a long time.” Bryan Hymel stars as Pinkerton opposite Japanese soprano Eri Nakamura, who makes her company and title role debuts after wowing audiences in leading roles at the Vienna State Opera and Covent Garden. [April 24, 26, 29, May 1, May 3; Philadelphia]

April 25                 The LOUISVILLE ORCHESTRA season finale features a milestone group composition titled Blue Hour. Based on the poem “On Earth” from American poet Carolyn Forché’s acclaimed poetry collection Blue Hour, the work is composed by a Who’s Who of today’s female composers and some of the LO’s favorite past collaborators: Rachel Grimes, Angélica Negrón, Shara Nova (also featured as vocal soloist), Caroline Shaw, and Sarah Kirkland Snider. Rounding out the program is Bartók’s virtuosic Concerto for Orchestra. [Louisville]

April 26                 In San Francisco Performances’ 40th Anniversary Concert, NICHOLAS PHAN – “one of the world’s most remarkable singers” (Boston Globe) – gives the world premiere performance of a new song cycle commissioned for the occasion from Gabriel Kahane, who joins the tenor at the piano. [San Francisco]

April 27 – May 6   ANNA NETREBKO stars opposite husband Yusif Eyvazov in Sir David McVicar’s production of Adriana Lecouvreur at the Opéra Bastille in Paris. Reviewing her performance in the role at the Met last season, the New York Times raved about her “glamorous presence and her plush, intensely beautiful singing.” [April 27, 30, May 3, 6: Paris]

MAY

May 1, 3                 LA OPERA’s multi-season collaboration with Beth Morrison Projects continues at the Broad Stage with the West Coast premiere of Angel’s Bone, winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize. Set to a libretto by Royce Vavrek, Du Yun’s opera is a hard-hitting contemporary parable about human trafficking that the New York Times calls “appallingly good.” [Los Angeles]

May 2–10              To conclude the mainstage season, THE ATLANTA OPERA presents General & Artistic Director Tomer Zvulun’s acclaimed take on Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, a co-production with the Castleton Festival. Japanese soprano Yasko Sato sings the title role, having previously headlined the opera in cities including Tokyo, Florence and Seattle; as the Seattle Times notes: “A lyrical singer and an affecting actress, she can convey vivid emotion in a single gesture or expression.” [May 2, 5, 8, 10: Atlanta]

May 11 – June 27

The MCO’s ORCHESTRE RÉVOLUTIONNAIRE ET ROMANTIQUE and JOHN ELIOT GARDINER undertake complete Beethoven symphonic cycles on period instruments at high-profile destinations on both sides of the Atlantic, including London’s Barbican (May 11-16) and a European city TBA; see Feb 9 above for details.

May 13–17            Music Director DANIEL HOPE and the New Century Chamber Orchestra join forces with the San Francisco Girls Chorus for music from his Spheres album: see Sep 26-29 above for details.

May 21–24            THE ATLANTA OPERA presents the company premiere of Tom Cipullo’s Glory Denied (2007) in the Discoveries series: see Oct 5–13 above for details.

May 22 – June 7   In the midst of his first season as Chief Conductor of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, ALAN GILBERT returns to the Royal Swedish Opera – where he helmed Der Rosenkavalier last season – to lead a production of Puccini’s La fanciulla del West, starring acclaimed Swedish soprano Malin Byström. The conductor has also led opera productions at such leading companies as the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Los Angeles Opera, Zurich Opera, Vienna State Opera, and Santa Fe Opera, where he served as the inaugural Music Director. Italy’s Il Sole 24 Ore called his recent production of Korngold’s Die tote Stadt at La Scala “the number one show of the La Scala season.” [May 22, 26, 29, June 1, 4, 7: Stockholm]

May 23 – June 1    Soprano ANNA NETREBKO makes her role debut as Elisabetta in Verdi’s Don Carlo at the Semperoper Dresden opposite tenor Yusif Eyvazov: see Jan 28 – Feb 3 above for details.

May 29, 30           DANIIL TRIFONOV plays the First Piano Concerto by the early Soviet composer Alexander Mosolov, with Giancarlo Guerrero leading the Nashville Philharmonic. [Nashville, TN]

JUNE

June (date TBA)  As 2019-20 Artist-in-Residence of the San Francisco Symphony (SFS), JULIA BULLOCK gives an expanded version of her recital program “History’s Persistent Voice,” which combines traditional slave songs with new music by American women of color: see Feb 20–22 above for details.

June 3, 4               LEIF OVE ANDSNES plays Mozart’s Piano Concertos Nos. 20 & 21 with the Oslo Philharmonic in Norway’s Bergen Festival, along with the same composer’s First Piano Quartet: see Nov 22-24 above for details.

June 5, 6                ALESSIO BAX marks the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth in his Milwaukee Symphony debut, performing the “Emperor” Concerto under Korean conductor Han-Na Chang, the Artistic Leader and Chief Conductor of Norway’s Trondheim Symfoniorkester. Bax’s Signum Classics recording of the work, released in 2018, was praised by Gramophone as “an immensely solid performance” that “invites comparison with the best on disc.” [Milwaukee]

June 5, 6                SUSAN GRAHAM reprises her signature interpretation of Berlioz’s Les nuits d’été with the Vancouver Symphony and its Music Director Otto Tausk. The mezzo’s expertise in French music has been recognized with a “Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur” from the French government. [Vancouver]

June 6–28             Music Director James Conlon takes the podium for The Marriage of Figaro in LA OPERA’s new co-production with the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées. Created by filmmaker James Gray with costumes by iconic French designer Christian Lacroix and scenery by Tony Award-winner Santo Loquasto, this features bass-baritone Craig Colclough in the title role and award-winning Chinese soprano Ying Fang in her house debut as Susanna, with renowned English baritone Christopher Maltman as the Count. [June 6, 14, 17, 20, 25, 28: Los Angeles]

June 12, 13            TRINITY CHURCH WALL STREET ensembles The Choir of Trinity Wall Street and Trinity Baroque Orchestra, under the baton of Julian Wachner, travel to Germany to present three of Bach’s cantatas in the renowned Leipzig Bach Festival, where they join more than 30 Bach ensembles from six continents to perform the composer’s entire cantata cycle. After a performance in Leipzig’s St. Thomas Church, where Bach served as Kapellmeister for the last 27 years of his life, the Trinity ensembles reprise their program at Wartburg Castle in Eisenach. [June 12: Leipzig; June 13: Eisenach]

June 17–28           With a nod to the success of its former early-music Twelfth Night Festival, TRINITY CHURCH WALL STREET launches a new project, the “12 Nights Festival,” to take place annually each June. Exemplifying Trinity’s reputation for cutting-edge performances of both new and old music, the 12 Nights Festival programming will alternate between the two each year. Beginning with early music in 2020, the inaugural season features Jean-Philippe Rameau’s five-act opera Dardanus, in a production directed by James Darrah; a complete performance over three concerts of Handel’s Deborah; a complete cycle of Beethoven string quartets over six concerts by the Attacca Quartet, celebrating the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth; and much more. [June 17–27: TC*, SPC*; June 28: Katonah, NY]

June 19 – July 13  STEPHEN COSTELLO returns to the Paris Opera to make his role debut as Ferrando in Mozart’s Così fan tutte: see March 7–28 above for details.

June 28                 Composer MICHAEL HERSCH is composer-in-residence for the 2019-20 season with Camerata Bern, which performs his violin concerto with his frequent collaborator and champion Patricia Kopatchinskaja as soloist: see Feb 21 above for details.

JULY 2020

July 6–15              ANNA NETREBKO reprises the title role in Sir David McVicar’s production of Puccini’s Tosca at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden: see March 26-April 11 above for details.

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Abbreviations for New York City concert venues are as follows:

92Y = 92nd Street Y
ATH = Alice Tully Hall
CH = Carnegie Hall
DGH = David Geffen Hall
GKA = GKA ArtsCenter, Brooklyn
IC = Irondale Center, Brooklyn
JJC = Gerald W. Lynch Theater, John Jay College
Met = Metropolitan Opera
SPC = St. Paul’s Chapel
TC = Trinity Church
ZH = Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall

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