Press Room

21C Media Group’s 2022 Spring Preview


With the long COVID winter showing signs of thawing, 21C salutes its peerless artists as they spring back to life with live performances, recordings, tours and a wealth of the outstanding music with which they have become synonymous.

* Abbreviations for New York City concert venues follow below preview

MARCH 2022

March 3 & 5; June 16–19
Pianist PIERRE-LAURENT AIMARD, “a brilliant musician and extraordinary visionary,” plays Bartók concertos with two U.S. orchestras this spring. Bartók’s Second Piano Concerto is the vehicle for performances with the Seattle Symphony led by Finnish conductor Dalia Stasevska, making her debut with the orchestra, and the following month the pianist gives two performances each of the same composer’s First and Third Piano Concertos with the San Francisco Symphony conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen. [March 3 & 5: Seattle; June 16–19: San Francisco]

March 4–6; April 29
CAL PERFORMANCES continues two long-term partnerships this spring. Joffrey Ballet concludes its six-year Cal Performances residency with programs featuring three West Coast premieres, including a recent work by ballet master Nicolas Blanc (March 4–6). The Danish String Quartet, which began a four-part, three-season commissioning project with the presenter last fall, continues its Doppelgänger project, pairing a Schubert string quartet with a newly co-commissioned work inspired by it. The quartet gives the Bay Area premiere of a new piece – co-commissioned by Cal Performances – by Finnish composer Lotta Wennäkoski that was inspired by Schubert’s Death and the Maiden Quartet (April 29). [Berkeley]

March 5
The LOUISVILLE ORCHESTRA’s two-concert Festival of American Music looks south to Latin America. Joining the orchestra for the first of the two concerts will be the Cuban timba band People of Earth, performing the world premiere of the Concerto for People of Earth and String Orchestra by Grammy- and MacArthur Fellowship-winning Cuban composer Dafnis Prieto, co-commissioned by the Louisville Orchestra. Also on the bill is a world premiere commission from Puerto Rico native Angélica Negrón titled Fractal Isles, and those two new commissions are balanced by a Louisville Orchestra commission from almost 70 years ago: Villa-Lobos’s evocative overture Alvorada na floresta tropical. Latin American music as filtered through the imagination of Leonard Bernstein completes the program in the form of the Symphonic Dances from West Side Story. The same program minus the Villa-Lobos will be heard the previous day in the LO’s 11am “Coffee Series.” [Louisville]

March 5–13
THE ATLANTA OPERA presents Rossini’s perennially popular opera buffa The Barber of Seville, with a revival of the highly stylized staging by Michael Shell that impressed Opera News as “hilariously delightful with every random turn.” Inspired by the work of acclaimed Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar, this production transports audiences to a pop-culture world populated by outrageous characters and one pampered rooster. Starring “electrifying” (San Francisco Chronicle) mezzo-soprano Stephanie Lauricella as Rosina, Barber also features Giovanni Romeo—fresh from performing the same role at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater—as Bartolo, and David Crawford, a fixture at the Metropolitan Opera for almost a decade and a half, as Basilio. The production will be conducted by Music Director Arthur Fagen. [March 5, 8, 11, 13: Atlanta]

March 5–25
The KENNEDY CENTER presents the Washington National Opera’s (WNO) world premiere production of Written in Stone. A jewel in the crown of the center’s landmark 50th anniversary season, this evening-length experience comprises a prologue and three short one-act operas, inspired by some of Washington DC’s iconic monuments, to ask timely questions about the ways we memorialize history, the stories we tell, the voices we amplify, and what our choices tell us. Commissioned by WNO from the creative pairings of Alicia Hall Moran and Jason Moran, Kamala Sankaram and A.M. Homes, Carlos Simon and Marc Bamuthi Joseph, and Huang Ruo and David Henry Hwang, these compelling new works celebrate the diversity of contemporary America while confronting some of its most divisive fault lines and offering the hope of catharsis. [Washington DC]

March 6; April 3
CAL PERFORMANCES presents two outstanding vocalists this spring, beginning with American soprano Angel Blue, star of the Metropolitan Opera’s recent staging of Porgy and Bess, making her Cal Performances solo recital debut (March 6). The following month, celebrated mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, accompanied by longtime friend and collaborator Jake Heggie, sings selections from their new album together, as well as the West Coast premiere of Heggie’s new song cycle, What I Miss the Most (April 3). [Berkeley]

March 9–13
After making his Israel Philharmonic debut with a ten-day residency two years ago, conductor ALAN GILBERT returns to Tel Aviv for a program combining music by French composers Ravel, Roussel and Lili Boulanger with Schumann’s sole Piano Concerto. For the latter, he and the orchestra will be joined by LEIF OVE ANDSNES. He and the Norwegian pianist have worked together many times, conjuring “pure magic” (Leipziger Volkskrant) in their performance of the same concerto with Germany’s Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. [March 9, 10, 12, 13: Tel Aviv]

March 9–April 21
In March and April, ORCHESTRE SYMPHONIQUE DE MONTRÉAL (OSM) features two celebrated Russian pianists playing Prokofiev concertos. First, OSM Artist-in-Residence Michael Tilson Thomas conducts the orchestra in Prokofiev’s Third Concerto with 21-year-old Alexander Malofeev as soloist, on a program that also includes Grieg and Schubert. The following month, OSM Music Director Designate RAFAEL PAYARE takes the helm for a concert of Russian concertos and French tone poems, with music of Dukas and Debussy bookending performances by Grammy-winning pianist DANIIL TRIFONOV of Prokofiev’s First Concerto and Schnittke’s Concerto for Piano and String Orchestra. [March 9, 10, 13; April 20 & 21: Montreal]

March 10–13; June 2–5
Grammy-winning Russian pianist DANIIL TRIFONOV, Musical America’s 2019 Artist of the Year, plays a series of performances of Mason Bates’s new Piano Concerto, composed for him, with both the New Jersey Symphony, led by Xian Zhang, and the San Francisco Symphony. The San Francisco performances will be conducted by rising young conductor and Alan Gilbert protégé Ruth Reinhardt. [March 10, 12: Newark, NJ; March 11: Princeton, NJ; March 13: New Brunswick, NJ; June 2–5: San Francisco]

From March 11
Celtic Dreams: Daniel Hope’s Hidden Irish History, a new TV documentary, follows violinist DANIEL HOPE as he gets behind the wheel to explore Ireland, Irish music and his own family roots. It was his great-grandfather, Danny McKenna, who left Ireland for South Africa at the beginning of the 20th century, and the trip’s emotional highlight is the violinist’s visit to McKenna’s former hometown of Waterford. Hope’s other destinations include medieval Kilkenny, where he meets Siobhán Armstrong, the “Queen of the Irish harp”; Galway, where he jams with fiddler Seán Smyth, a master of Irish folk music; and Dublin, where he premieres a piece by the long-forgotten Irish composer Ina Boyle with RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. Celtic Dreams airs on public television stations nationwide from March 11, with a screening on St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) on WORLD Channel (check local listings).

March 12
The second program in the LOUISVILLE ORCHESTRA’s Festival of Latin American Music includes two works by North Americans inspired by Latin sounds: Copland’s El Salón México, a tribute to a Mexican nightclub he experienced in the company of Mexican composer Carlos Chávez, and Gershwin’s Cuban Overture, written after a two-week stay in Havana. Three Mexican works are also on the program: Arturo Márquez’s Danzón No. 2; Daniel Catán’s Orchestral suite from Florencia en el Amazonas, his opera based on the novel Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez; and José Pablo Moncayo’s Cumbres, an early commission by the Louisville Orchestra. Rounding out the repertoire is Concertino Cusqueño by Gabriela Lena Frank, a 21st-century exponent of Latin American sounds who often draws inspiration from her mother’s Peruvian heritage. The same program, with the addition of Grammy-nominated Brazilian-American composer, pianist and vocalist Clarice Assad’s Nhanderú, can be heard the previous day in the LO’s 11am “Coffee Series.” [Louisville]

March 12; April 23
CAL PERFORMANCES launched the Illuminations series in 2020-21, combining arts and academia to explore the important issues of our time. This season’s Illuminations programming explores issues of “Place and Displacement,” the fraught and often devastating effects of migration, exile, dislocation, and separation. The series includes two West Coast premieres this spring: Ted Hearne and Saul Williams’s oratorio Place, a dialogue between the composer’s autobiographical reflections and a text by Williams that addresses displacement through the lenses of settler colonialism, police violence, and Afrofuturism (March 12); and the music theater work Yemandja: A Story of Africa by Angélique Kidjo, Cal Performances’ 2021-22 season artist-in-residence. Yemandja—co-commissioned by Cal Performances—explores the slave trade in 19th-century Dahomey, the West African kingdom that once occupied the land that is now the composer’s birthplace of Benin (April 23). [Berkeley]

March 14
CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA’s MusicNOW series continues with a “Night of Song” at the Harris Theater. Curated by CSO Mead Composer-in-Residence Jessie Montgomery, the program offers a celebration of art song today, with the world premiere of a new CSO MusicNOW commission from Damien Geter, a 2018 song cycle by Dale Trumbore and world premiere arrangements of works by Ayanna Woods and Shawn Okpebholo. Geter, also an acclaimed bass-baritone, joins soprano Joelle Lamarre and musicians from the orchestra for the performance. [Chicago]

March 15–16
As part of its 50th anniversary season, the KENNEDY CENTER presents The Cartography Project, a multi-year commissioning initiative that launches with live world premiere performances at the Kennedy Center’s new REACH expansion on March 15 and 16. Conceived by Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Kennedy Center’s VP & Artistic Director of Social Impact, this project asked artists from grieving communities across the nation to consider the broader context of race-based violence, with the aim of positioning Black dignity as the prevailing narrative of the African American experience, rather than Black trauma. The result is eight new chamber and vocal works, each of which serves as the basis for one episode of a complementary docuseries from filmmaker T.L. Benton. Episodes from the series roll out weekly on the center’s website and social channels in the weeks prior to the live event. The live world premiere performances of the works will feature musicians from the National Symphony Orchestra and Washington National Opera, and will be contextualized during the performance by excerpts from the docuseries. [Washington DC]

March 17–20
Conductor Nathalie Stutzmann – recently announced as the ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA’s Music Director beginning with the 2022-23 season, making her the second woman in history to lead a major American orchestra after Marin Alsop – conducts the orchestra and ASO Chorus in Mozart’s Requiem. Also featured are soprano Martina Janková, mezzo-soprano Sara Mingardo, tenor Kenneth Tarver, and bass Burak Bilgili. [March 17, 18, 20: Atlanta]

March 18
The GALILEE CHAMBER ORCHESTRA – Israel’s first professional orchestra of both Arab and Jewish musicians – makes its long-awaited U.S. debut at New York’s Carnegie Hall. The trailblazing ensemble and its Artistic Director, Saleem Ashkar, give the venue’s 2022 Isaac Stern Memorial Concert, with a program showcasing the New York premiere of Luctus Profugis: elegy for the displaced by award-winning Tunisian-born composer Karim Al-Zand, whose work is new to the venue. This shares the program with Bruch’s First Violin Concerto, featuring superstar violinist Joshua Bell, and Haydn and Beethoven symphonies. Scheduled to air on WQXR’s “Carnegie Hall Live” series, the performance highlights the achievements of the orchestra in harnessing the power of music to bring people together. [NYC: CH]

March 20
Pianist Michelle Cann – who made her orchestral debut at age fourteen – plays a recital in CARAMOOR’s Music Room. A champion of the music of Florence Price, Cann’s Caramoor debut includes two works by the composer: her Sonata in E minor and Fantasie nègre No. 1. Also on the program are works by Chopin, Brahms and Margaret Bonds. [Katonah, NY]

March 22–30
One of Musical America’s 2021 “Artists of the Year,” American classical singer JULIA BULLOCK has created roles in the world premiere productions of such important new operas as John Adams’s Girls of the Golden West and Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones. Most recently, at the Bregenz Festival and Dutch National Opera, she starred as the Daughter in the staged world and Dutch premieres of Grawemeyer Award-winner Michel van der Aa’s Upload, which addresses the implications for human relationships in our highly technological world. Hailed as “the work of an artist in absolute command of his toolkit, employing a restraint that makes for smooth shifts between acoustic and electric, live performance and film,” the multidisciplinary opera won praise from the New York Times for its “long, lyrical lines – lushly delivered by Bullock with rending emotion” and “subtle longing.” Bullock reprises her role in Upload for its U.S. premiere at New York’s Park Avenue Armory, once again in Van der Aa’s own production, which co-stars Roderick Williams as the Father, and with Germany’s Ensemble Musikfabrik under the leadership of Otto Tausk, Music Director of the Vancouver Symphony. [March 22, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30: NYC: PAA]

March 24–27
MUSIC ACADEMY OF THE WEST presents three programs under the leadership of London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) Music Director Sir Simon Rattle, marking the eminent conductor’s Music Academy debut. The first performance showcases the orchestra in music by Berlioz, Ravel, Sibelius, Bartók and Women of the Future Award-winner Hannah Kendall (March 24). Next follows “How to Build an Orchestra,” one of the LSO’s signature family concerts featuring music and arrangements by LSO Animateur Rachel Leach, who will be in attendance to present it (March 26). The final concert features 39 Academy alumni representing some of tomorrow’s finest orchestral musicians. These Academy “All-Stars” will perform alongside the full LSO in a festive 75th Anniversary Community Concert featuring more than 150 musicians in a pairing of works by Percy Grainger with Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony, “Romantic” (March 27). [Santa Barbara]

March 25
Deeply committed to championing the works of women composers, MARIN ALSOP conducts the American Composers Orchestra in an all-female program of premieres at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall. The evening’s centerpiece is the New York premiere of Lisa Bielawa’s Sanctuary, a Carnegie co-commission, with its dedicatee, violinist Jennifer Koh, as soloist. This shares the program with the world premiere of a new commission from Dai Wei, the U.S. premiere of Tuxedo: Vasco ‘de’ Gama by Hannah Kendall, and the New York premiere of Restless Oceans by Grammy nominee Anna Clyne, a defiant work in which the musicians stand and sing to embrace the power of women. [NYC: CH]

March 26, 27
ALAN GILBERT, after conducting Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony in a series of concerts at home and on tour with his NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, turns to Bruckner’s Seventh—which he and the NDR recorded to great acclaim for Sony Classical—for concerts in Tokyo with the Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra, where he serves as Principal Guest Conductor. Also on the program is the Japanese premiere of Metacosmos by “never less than fascinating” (Gramophone) Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdóttir. [Tokyo]

March 29 & 31
The ensembles of TRINITY CHURCH WALL STREET join forces with the Choir of Men and Boys of Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue and New York Baroque Incorporated to present Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. Soloists are tenor Thomas Cooley and bass Jonathan Woody, who are joined by the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, Trinity Youth Chorus, the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, and New York Baroque Incorporated. [March 29: NYC: STC; March 31: NYC: TCWS]

March 31–April 5; April 28–May 3; May 23
Music Director Riccardo Muti’s two-week spring residency with the CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA opens with a program featuring the world premiere of Missy Mazzoli’s new orchestral work, Orpheus Undone, commissioned by the CSO during her tenure as Mead Composer-in-Residence from 2018 to 2021. Also on the program, mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča makes her CSO debut as soloist in Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder, and Muti and the orchestra perform Bruckner’s Second Symphony (March 31, April 1 & 5). Later in April the conductor continues the focus on new music with the world premiere of the first CSO-commissioned work by Jessie Montgomery, recently appointed Mead Composer-in-Residence. The Double Bass Concerto No. 2 by 19th-century Italian composer Giovanni Bottesini, with CSO Principal Bass Alexander Hanna as soloist, and Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony complete the program (April 28–30, May 3). Montgomery, who is “pretty much changing the canon for American orchestras” (New York Times), returns to Chicago for CSO MusicNOW’s “Concerto,” a program of works for soloist and ensemble by contemporary composers Joan Tower, Alyssa Weinberg, James Moore and Montgomery herself (May 23). [Chicago]

APRIL 2022

April 1–5
Continuing his commitment to conducting an opera-in-concert each season, Music Director Fabio Luisi leads the DALLAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (DSO) and Dallas Symphony Chorus in a semi-staged production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, sung in the original Russian. Baritone Etienne Dupuis stars in the title role with Nicole Car as Tatyana and Pavol Breslik as Lensky. [April 1, 3, 5: Dallas]

April 1, 3, 7–12
Pianist LEIF OVE ANDSNES returns to the States for the first time since November 2019 for collaborations with two leading U.S. orchestras. The vehicle for both is Britten’s sole Piano Concerto, of which he gives two performances with the Pittsburgh Symphony and Music Director Manfred Honeck (April 1 & 3) followed by four more with the Chicago Symphony and Music Director Riccardo Muti (April 7–12). Since proving himself “a fearlessly secure advocate of the Britten” (Gramophone) when he recorded it with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in 1999, Andsnes has consistently championed the often-overlooked concerto. He recently reprised the work for appearances at London’s BBC Proms and with the New York Philharmonic, when the New York Times was moved to marvel: “The vibrant, insightful performance Mr. Andsnes gave with Mr. [Antonio] Pappano and the Philharmonic was a revelation.” [April 1, 3: Pittsburgh; April 7-12: Chicago]

April 3–10
CARAMOOR presents the Callisto Quartet, its 2021-22 Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence, in a free video broadcast spotlighting an emerging composer with a new work inspired by canonic classics. Opening and closing the program are Beethoven’s Quartet in A minor Op. 132 and Mendelssohn’s String Quartet No. 2, which shares with the Beethoven not only a key but a quality of introspection, suffering, and deliverance. These bookend the world premiere of a new work commissioned by the Callisto Quartet from young American composer Harriet Steinke, who was asked to reflect these pieces and themes in whatever way she felt inspired. []

April 7; May 5; June 2–22
ORCHESTRA OF ST. LUKE’S, led by Principal Conductor Bernard Labadie, centers its spring programming on the music of J.S. Bach. On April 7, Labadie, one of the world’s preeminent interpreters of 18th-century music, leads the ensemble in Bach’s towering St. Matthew Passion at Carnegie Hall with a roster of exceptional historically informed vocal soloists; La Chapelle de Québec, the chorus Labadie founded in 1985 as a counterpart to his orchestra Les Violons du Roy; and Boston’s 206-year-old Handel and Haydn Society. OSL returns to the venue on May 5 to perform Bach’s serene cantata Ich habe genug with Grammy-nominated countertenor Reginald Mobley, as well as Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4 “Italian” and Violin Concerto in E minor, featuring soloist Augustin Hadelich. Continuing this commitment to the composer, the ensemble presents the third annual OSL Bach Festival, with four concerts – three led by Labadie – at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall (June 2, 7 & 22) and Neidorff-Karpati Hall at the Manhattan School of Music (June 15). [April 7, May 5, June 2, 7 & 22: NYC: CH; June 15: NYC: MSM]

April 7–10
“A formidable musician and a powerful communicator” (New York Times), MacArthur Fellow MARIN ALSOP concludes her Baltimore Symphony Orchestra season by pairing the live world premiere of Reena Esmail’s BSO-commissioned See Me with Beethoven’s incomparable Ninth Symphony. Reimagined as a 21st-century call for unity, justice and empowerment, the “Choral” Symphony will now feature a new interpretation of Schiller’s text, tailored to Baltimore’s vibrant multicultural community by local rapper-musician Wordsmith. These concerts highlight Alsop’s live U.S. performances of “All Together: A Global Ode to Joy,” the yearlong Beethoven celebrations she was originally scheduled to present with ten orchestras on six continents in partnership with Carnegie Hall, to celebrate the composer’s landmark 250th anniversary last year. When the pandemic struck, she instead collaborated with Google Arts & Culture, YouTube and a host of key international arts organizations to launch the crowd-sourced video project #GlobalOdeToJoy. [April 7, 8, 9, 10: Baltimore]

April 7–16
ALAN GILBERT, Chief Conductor of Hamburg’s NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra and Music Director of the Royal Swedish Opera, returns to the U.S. this spring for guest conducting engagements with two of America’s finest orchestras: the Cleveland Orchestra and the Boston Symphony. The Cleveland program features music by Lili Boulanger and Unsuk Chin, with Emanuel Ax as concerto soloist on Chopin’s Second Piano Concerto (April 7–10), while the Boston concerts feature Joshua Bell as soloist in Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, along with the world premiere of a new BSO co-commission from Bernard Rands (April 14–16). With both orchestras boasting a reputation for excellence in French repertoire, Debussy’s La mer rounds out both programs. [April 7–10: Cleveland; April 14–16: Boston]

April 8
Continuing his exploration of one of the most creative and seminal periods of Mozart’s career, LEIF OVE ANDSNES releases a new double album, Mozart Momentum 1786, the second volume of the two-volume series. Once again featuring Andsnes leading the Mahler Chamber Orchestra from the keyboard – a team “you’d be hard-put to find … better matched” (The Guardian) – the double album was recorded live at the Vienna Musikverein, and combines Mozart’s Piano Concertos Nos. 23 & 24 with three of the composer’s contemporaneous works: the Piano Quartet in E-flat, Piano Trio in B-flat and concert aria “Ch’io mi scordi di te?” for which Andsnes and the orchestra are joined by Brahms Prize-winning German soprano Christiane Karg.

April 8
CAL PERFORMANCES presents Grawemeyer Award-winner Andrew Norman’s Difference, co-commissioned by the presenter. The work’s West Coast premiere is performed by chamber ensemble yMusic and marks the group’s in-person Berkeley debut after a warmly appreciated video presentation in the Cal Performances at Home series last spring. [Berkeley]

April 13
CHANTICLEER, “the world’s reigning male chorus” (New Yorker), sings the world premiere of composer Nico Muhly’s Beauty of the Day, a new collaborative work inspired by the transcendent power of nature, at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center Cultural Campus. Commissioned by Chanticleer, the work is also scored for a church pipe organ and large SATB chorus. The performance features Alan Morrison, head of the organ department at the Curtis Institute of Music, on the “King of Instruments,” as well as a local choir. [Philadelphia]

April 18–24
Founded in 1993, the GATEWAYS MUSIC FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA celebrates the contributions of classical musicians of African descent, bringing young professionals from across the country together with established musicians from leading orchestras to perform and to inspire communities through the power of music. During the 2022 Festival, after a week of events at Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the 92nd Street Y, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and other key NYC cultural spots, the orchestra makes its Carnegie Hall debut. On the program is the world premiere of a new commission from The Late Show’s Jon Batiste alongside works by Florence Price and George Walker, the first African American winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music, whose centennial falls this year. New York City’s WQXR and Rochester’s WXXI Public Media will serve as media sponsors for the seven-day festival. [NYC: CH and other venues]

April 19; June 28
This spring, ORCHESTRA OF ST. LUKE’S continues its “Sounds & Stories” streamed concert series, about which the New York Times noted that when it came to making new, original art and entertainment during the pandemic, OSL “responded robustly and creatively to the constraints of streamed performance.” Conceived expressly for online viewing, the series is recorded at the orchestra’s home, New York’s DiMenna Center, and is directed by four-time Emmy winner Tristan Cook. The series resumes on April 19 with a stream centering on Syrian composer-clarinetist Kinan Azmeh. A member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silkroad collective, Azmeh performs three of his own chamber works exploring the concept of “home” through three locations of personal significance. The series draws to a close on June 28 with an account of Femenine, an improvisatory tour de force by the late Julius Eastman, who strove to be “Black to the fullest, a musician to the fullest, [and] a homosexual to the fullest,” and whose take on minimalism was called “idiosyncratic and perhaps ahead of its time,” by the New York Times in 2016. []

April 22
CARAMOOR presents the Grammy-nominated Danish String Quartet – “one of the best quartets before the public today” (Washington Post). The wide-ranging program begins with Britten and ends with Schubert, moving from one to the other by way of a “curated suite of dances” in which a traditional Nordic Polska rubs shoulders with music of Charpentier, John Adams, and Felix Blumenfeld. [Katonah, NY]

April 24 – May 3
DANIIL TRIFONOV returns to the US with a solo recital program that combines the experimental miniatures of Prokofiev’s Sarcasms and Debussy’s suite Pour le piano with the symphonic-scale expressivity of the third piano sonatas of both Szymanowski and Brahms. He will perform the program in Kansas City, Scottsdale, Berkeley, Los Angeles, and other cities yet to be announced. [April 24: Kansas City, MO; April 26: Scottsdale, AZ; April 28: Berkeley; May 3: Los Angeles]

April 28–May 22
ALAN GILBERT and the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra open the sixth annual Hamburg International Music Festival with an account of Haydn’s oratorio The Creation with the NDR Vocal Ensemble, WDR Rundfunkchor, soprano Christina Landshamer, and baritone Benjamin Appl (April 28 & 29). A four-week spring immersion in music inspired by nature, as well as current debates about the environment and climate change, the festival also sees Gilbert conduct Dvořák’s opera Rusalka (May 6 & 8) and the world premiere of Marc Neikrug’s Fourth Symphony, a new NDR commission (May 19–22). [April 28, 29; May 6, 8, 19, 22: Hamburg; May 20: Kiel, Germany]

April 30
Music Director Teddy Abrams and the LOUISVILLE ORCHESTRA give a performance called “Reclaimed Treasures” that explores the commonalities between Black and Jewish music, the first in a projected multi-season series that was born of institutional introspection following the killing of Breonna Taylor in Louisville. Featured on the concert is violinist Julia Noone, the orchestra’s assistant concertmaster, performing Korngold’s D-major Violin Concerto. Also on the program is the Louisville Orchestra-commissioned Notturno by Ernst Toch, who, like Korngold, fled his native Austria after the rise of the Nazis but whose fame did not survive his transplantation to the U.S. Crowning the program, the Louisville Chamber Choir and soloists (to be announced) perform the spectacular oratorio The Ordering of Moses by R. Nathaniel Dett, one of the first conservatory-trained Black musicians in the U.S. Descended from escaped slaves, he studied at Oberlin Conservatory and with Nadia Boulanger at the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau, France, before earning his Master of Music degree from Eastman and becoming a touring pianist and renowned choir director. The oratorio, considered his greatest work, was premiered by the Cincinnati Symphony during the May Festival in 1937 and broadcast nationwide, which may have marked the first network broadcast of a major work by a Black composer; unfortunately, the broadcast was interrupted two-thirds of the way through for an unknown reason, speculated to be listener complaints. [Louisville]

April 30–May 8
THE ATLANTA OPERA’s mainstage season concludes with the much-anticipated Southeast premiere of General and Artistic Director Tomer Zvulun’s brand new production of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, winner of the 2019 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording. Written by Kennedy Center Composer-in-Residence Mason Bates to a libretto by Silent Night’s Mark Campbell, (R)evolution follows the visionary Apple co-founder as he looks back on his life and career and confronts his own mortality. Baritone John Moore performs the role of Jobs, and is joined by mezzo-soprano Sarah Larsen as Jobs’s wife, Laurene Powell Jobs; soprano Elizabeth Sutphen as Chrisann Brennan, the ex-girlfriend with whom he fathered a child; tenor Bille Bruley as Apple co-founder and lead developer Steve Wozniak; and bass Adam Lau as Jobs’s spiritual advisor. New West Symphony Music Director Michael Christie conducts the production, which features sets and costumes by Jacob Climer and projections by S. Katy Tucker—the creative team behind The Atlanta Opera’s memorable The Flying Dutchman(R)evolution is co-produced with Lyric Opera of Kansas City and Austin Opera. [April 30; May 3, 6, 8: Atlanta]

MAY 2022

May 6
Cellist ALISA WEILERSTEIN releases a recording of Beethoven’s complete Cello Sonatas on Pentatone with frequent collaborator and recital partner Inon Barnatan on the piano.

May 12–15
The DALLAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (DSO) and Music Director Fabio Luisi draw their season to a close with the Dallas premiere of Bruce Adolphe’s Diesen Kuss der ganzen Welt! (“This Kiss to the Whole World!”) coupled with Beethoven’s incomparable Ninth Symphony. This will feature the Dallas Symphony Chorus and a quartet of soloists: soprano Angel Blue, mezzo-soprano Taylor Raven, tenor Issachah Savage and bass Soloman Howard, all making their DSO debuts. [Dallas]

May 14
The LOUISVILLE ORCHESTRA’s season finale features STATiC, a Louisville Orchestra-commissioned world premiere by KiMani Bridges, a freshman at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music and “. Also on the program is the world premiere of Automation by Adam Schoenberg, an Emmy-winning and Grammy-nominated composer who has twice ranked among the top 10 most performed living composers in the U.S. Automation is a double concerto for orchestra, cello, and halldorophone – an electronic self-playing cello being custom built for the occasion – that also incorporates multimedia visuals. The soloist is cellist Yves Dhar, praised for his “primer of technical feats” (New York Sun), and a warm, lush tone “that might be described as something akin to rich old wood” (Boston Musical Intelligencer). The season finale program is completed by Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique. The same program, minus the Bridges premiere, will be performed the previous day in the orchestra’s 11am “Coffee Series.” [Louisville]

May 19
TRINITY CHURCH WALL STREET presents The Choir of Trinity Wall Street and Bang on a Can All-Stars in Carnegie’s Zankel Hall for a performance of Julia Wolfe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning oratorio, Anthracite Fields. Inspired by the lives of Pennsylvania coal miners, Wolfe uses oral histories, interviews with miners and their families, speeches, and children’s stories in moving musical tableaux depicting their plight. [NYC: CH]

May 19–21
After giving the world premiere at the co-commissioning Colorado Music Festival last July, cellist ALISA WEILERSTEIN continues her series of performances of the new Cello Concerto that Joan Tower wrote for her with the co-commissioning National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Louis Langrée. In a five-star review for the work’s world premiere, Bachtrack reported: “On the issue of what is playable by a virtuoso cellist, the team seem mostly to have come down on the side of very, very difficult but possible if played with fierce, desperate passion and a prodigious appetite for insanely fast, highly entertaining passagework.” [Washington DC]

May 21–28
After launching his tenure as its Music Director in the fall of 2019, RAFAEL PAYARE – the Venezuelan conductor hailed as “electrifying in front of an orchestra” (Los Angeles Times) – conducts the San Diego Symphony for two programs in their stunning new bayside open-air venue, The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park. The first features Prokofiev’s First Violin Concerto – with soloist Veronika Eberle – and conductor/composer Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Nyx, alongside music of Debussy and Ravel (May 21 & 22). The second program features MacArthur Fellowship-winning cellist ALISA WEILERSTEIN – who is also married to the conductor – performing one of her signature pieces, Elgar’s Cello Concerto, on a program with Beethoven’s monumental Ninth Symphony (May 27 & 28). [San Diego]

May 28 & 30
Following their Grammy-nominated Stravinsky recording, LEIF OVE ANDSNES reunites with Marc-André Hamelin for two-piano recitals of Schumann, Debussy, Stravinsky and John Adams at Amsterdam’s Muziekgebouw, London’s Wigmore Hall and other key European venues, still to be announced. [May 28: Amsterdam; May 30: London]

May 31; June 1–2
Fresh from his performance of the same work with the San Diego Symphony, of which he is also Music Director, Venezuelan conductor and ORCHESTRE SYMPHONIQUE DE MONTRÉAL (OSM) Music Director Designate RAFAEL PAYARE conducts the orchestra in Beethoven’s towering Ninth Symphony, paired with Brahms’s choral-orchestral Schicksalslied. Soloists for the Beethoven are soprano Karina Gauvin, mezzo Michèle Losier, tenor Frédéric Antoun and bass Ryan Speedo Green, with the OSM Chorus prepared by chorusmaster Andrew Megill featured on both works. [Montreal]

JUNE 2022

June (date tbc)
Celebrated for his expressive voice and passionate commitment to the song recital, NICHOLAS PHAN releases Stranger: Works for Tenor by Nico Muhly on Avie Records. Composed for Phan and Brooklyn Rider, the album’s title track is a song cycle that examines the experience of immigration to the U.S., juxtaposing accounts of immigration through Ellis Island with texts protesting the United States’ Chinese Exclusion policies of the late 19th century. The other two featured works, Impossible Things and Lorne Ys My Likinge, are both inspired by the music of Benjamin Britten, whose music Phan has also explored in a series of acclaimed albums for Avie. When Strangers received its world premiere at the Kimmel Center, the Philadelphia Inquirer observed, “the new Muhly song cycle showed the art-song medium at its agile best. … Muhly is usually impressive, but this is a piece you can take to your heart, especially in the well-studied, beautifully polished performance by Brooklyn Rider and Phan at his articulate best.”

June 2–19
THE ATLANTA OPERA’s Discoveries Series, dedicated to mounting adventurous productions in alternative spaces, returns to the Big Tent for the “Come as You Are” Festival, presenting a new production of Cabaret – adapted from the 1998 Broadway revival – in repertory with the Atlanta premiere of the chamber opera As OneCabaret is directed by The Atlanta Opera General & Artistic Director Tomer Zvulun and conducted by Francesco Milioto. As One by Laura Kaminsky, “one of the top 35 female composers in classical music” (Washington Post), is a critically acclaimed chamber opera in which two voices – Hannah After and Hannah Before – share the part of a sole transgender protagonist. Baritone Lucia Lucas sings the role of Hannah Before, becoming the first transgender singer to perform the role, with mezzo-soprano Blythe Gaissert as Hannah After. The “Come as You Are” Festival takes place during Pride Month and will include panel discussions, talkbacks, and other related events. [Cabaret: June 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 12, 16, 17, 18 & 19; As One: June 9 & 11; Atlanta]

June 3–5
SCHMIDT VOCAL ARTS (SVA) will confer its first national prize in the history of the Schmidt Vocal Competition, in celebration of its 25th anniversary season. Hosted by Sarasota Opera in the company’s William E. Schmidt Opera Theatre, the competition’s celebrity judges will be bass-baritone Eric Owens, Sarasota Opera General Director Richard Russell, and soprano Tamara Wilson. By the end of this season, SVA will have given more than $1M in awards and scholarships to support young singers aged 1523 since the onset of the pandemic. [Sarasota, FL]

June 4–16
After presiding over the world-premiere of Mats Larsson Gothe’s Löftet (“The Promise”), ALAN GILBERT returns to the Royal Swedish Opera – where he began his tenure as Music Director this season – to conduct Christof Loy’s Wild West staging of Puccini’s La fanciulla del West. Premiered in 2011, the production features soprano Malin Byström, winner of the International Opera Award in 2018, in the title role of Minnie. [Stockholm]

June 23–28
In one of the hallmarks of his tenure as music director of the CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, Riccardo Muti conducts his fifth Verdi opera – Un ballo in maschera – in concert with the orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Chorus and a distinguished roster of international soloists. The cast includes tenor Francesco Meli as Riccardo, soprano Joyce El-Khoury as Amelia in her CSO debut, baritone Luca Salsi as Renato, and the CSO debuts of mezzo-soprano Yulia Matochkina as Ulrica and soprano Damiana Mizzi as Oscar. [June 23, 25 & 28: Chicago]


Abbreviations for New York City concert venues are as follows:

CH = Carnegie Hall
Met = Metropolitan Opera
MSM = Manhattan School of Music
PAA = Park Avenue Armory
STC = St. Thomas Church
TCWS = Trinity Church Wall Street


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