Press Room




The performing arts are back in business next season, when live music returns to concert halls and opera houses around the world. Here’s a sneak peek at what 21C’s artists and organizations will be doing in 2021-22, with special emphasis on the coming fall. Please note, though, that because of the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, all dates remain subject to change.


Aug 6
After launching his tenure as its Music Director in fall 2019, RAFAEL PAYARE—the Venezuelan conductor hailed as “electrifying in front of an orchestra” (Los Angeles Times)—reunites with the San Diego Symphony to inaugurate The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, their stunning new bayside open-air venue. Designed to showcase its state-of-the-art acoustics, their wide-ranging program features the world premiere of a new commission from Mason Bates and guest appearances by Ryan Speedo Green, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and the conductor’s wife, cellist ALISA WEILERSTEIN. [San Diego]

Aug 27
Cellist INBAL SEGEV, an established driving force in the creation of new cello repertoire for the 21st century, releases the digital second volume of her “20 for 2020” commissioning project on Avie Records. Galvanized by the unprecedented worldwide crises that characterized 2020 and encouraging creative recovery from them, the cellist launched this major new project last fall to capture something of that collective experience through the music of composers with strong and distinctive voices in a panorama of styles. Volume 2 features works of Christopher Cerrone, Viet Cuong, Avner Dorman, Vijay Iyer, and Angélica Negrón.


Sep 1
ALAN GILBERT opens his third—though first uninterrupted—season as Chief Conductor of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra with a concert of music reflecting on the interplay between the Old and New Worlds. Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story and Gershwin’s An American in Paris are paired with the world premiere of British composer Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Time Flies and Osvaldo Golijov’s Azul, featuring Gilbert’s long-time friend YO-YO MA, a pioneer in the promotion of international understanding through music. [Hamburg]

Sep 2
One of Musical America’s 2021 “Artists of the Year,” American classical singer JULIA BULLOCK performs songs by George Gershwin and Margaret Bonds, one of the first Black composers to gain recognition in the U.S., with Thomas Wilkins and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. [Los Angeles]

Sep 3
British violinist DANIEL HOPE releases Hope, a highly personal collection of timeless classics by Schubert, Elgar and Pärt, several beloved traditional songs in stunning new instrumental versions, and a brand-new arrangement of the inspiring Misa Criolla by Ariel Ramírez. “Music has a tremendous power,” he explains. “This album is my attempt to send out a ray of hope and to provide people, myself included, with a sense of support and perhaps even consolation.” Hope’s guests on the album include the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, amarcord, Katta, Patrick Messina, Jacques Ammon, Thomas Hampson, Julia Okruashvili, Marie-Pierre Langlamet, Colin Rich, and the Palau de la Música Vocal Quartet.

Sep 4
DANIEL HOPE opens the season by combining his roles as President of Beethoven House Bonn and Music Director of the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, leading the orchestra in a program titled “Beethoven and Broadway” in Bonn’s Beethovenfest. An arrangement for string orchestra by Dmitri Mitropoulos of Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 14 in C-sharp minor leads, via Hope’s inventive programming imagination, to Leonard Bernstein, a protégé of Mitropoulos, and to George Gershwin, whose music Bernstein championed and recorded. Both American composers are represented by suites arranged for violin and strings by versatile conductor, arranger and pianist Paul Bateman, with whom Hope began working in 2013. [Bonn]

Sep 10–Nov 7
Fall brings the world and Austrian premieres of Poppaea, a one-act opera about a woman, her boundless desires, and the ways she is systematically silenced, by American composer MICHAEL HERSCH, “a natural musical genius who continues to surpass himself” (Washington Post). Set to a libretto by Stephanie Fleischmann, the opera was commissioned by Vienna Modern in a co-production with ZeitRäume Basel and Gare du Nord Basel. Starring soprano Ah Young Hong, one of Hersch’s most trusted collaborators, it will premiere under Markus Bothe’s direction at Switzerland’s Festival ZeitRäume Basel, before receiving its first Austrian performances at the Vienna Modern Festival. [Sep 10 & 12: Basel; Nov 5–7: Vienna]

Sep 11
Pianist PIERRE-LAURENT AIMARD, “a brilliant musician and extraordinary visionary” (Wall Street Journal), gives a solo performance at Musikfest Berlin built around Mark Andre’s Contrapunctus. He contextualizes the work historically with the Fantasia Cromatica by Sweelinck—a composer Andre has studied in detail—while also juxtaposing it with new and unpublished compositions by idiosyncratic Hungarian composer György Kurtág. [Berlin]

Sep 13
After releasing a recording of Bach’s complete suites for unaccompanied cello in 2020, about which The Guardian declared: “The exceptional cellist’s music emerges with sunlit clarity in … a performance that unfolds at its own pace and in its own space, inward-looking yet confident,” cellist ALISA WEILERSTEIN returns to London’s Wigmore Hall for a solo recital featuring Bach’s Second Suite and Kodály’s Sonata for Solo Cello. [London]

Sep 15–21
Celebrated Norwegian pianist LEIF OVE ANDSNES—“one of the most gifted musicians of his generation” (Wall Street Journal)—reunites with violinist Christian Tetzlaff for a duo recital tour of Europe with a program of Dvořák, Bartók and, depending on the venue, either Lutosławski or Grieg. After kicking off at London’s Wigmore Hall, this takes them to Berlin’s Pierre Boulez Saal, Paris’s Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Antwerp’s deSingel and the Moscow State Philharmonic Society. [Sep 15: London; Sep 16: Berlin; Sep 17: Paris; Sep 19: Antwerp; Sep 21: Moscow]

Sep 16–25
ALAN GILBERT, known as an outstanding interpreter of both traditional and new music, is joined by kindred spirit Kirill Gerstein, the Russian-American pianist who has been lauded for performances ranging from Bach to Thomas Adès. In Hamburg, Gerstein joins the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra for a pairing of Hungarian composer György Kurtág’s …quasi una fantasia…for piano and instrument groups distributed in the room with Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto. Next Gilbert and Gerstein collaborate with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra for concerts in Amsterdam and Bucharest, in which Carl Nielsen’s Helios Overture and Fifth Symphony bookend performances by Gerstein of Strauss’s Burleske for piano and orchestra and Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. [Sep 16, 17: Hamburg; Sep 22, 23: Amsterdam; Sep 25: Bucharest]

Sep 16–26
Grammy-winning conductor Fabio Luisi begins his second season as Music Director of the DALLAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (DSO) with two weeks of concerts. Their opening programs both juxtapose German Romantic works with 20th-century American ones; the first combines Brahms’s First Symphony with Frederick Converse’s The Mystic Trumpeter and Copland’s Organ Symphony (Sep 16–19), while the second bookends the DSO premiere of Joan Tower’s Flute Concerto with works by Weber and Richard Strauss (Sep 23 & 26). Next, marking the first DSO Gala of his tenure, Luisi leads a festive program coupling Strauss’s Don Juan with the Dallas premiere of John Williams’s Second Violin Concerto, with its dedicatee, Anne-Sophie Mutter, as soloist (Sep 25). [Dallas]

Sep 17
Pianist PIERRE-LAURENT AIMARD plays a program titled “Love of Messiaen” with Tamara Stefanovich at Amsterdam’s Muziekgebouw. The duo pianists perform Messiaen’s Visions de l’Amen, which the composer wrote for himself and his student Yvonne Loriod, later to become his wife and Aimard’s teacher. The two also perform Harrison Birtwistle’s Keyboard Engine, composed for them in 2018; Bartók’s Seven Pieces from Mikrokosmos; and Ravel’s Sites auriculaires. [Amsterdam]

Sep 17–19
Superstar Russian pianist DANIIL TRIFONOV joins the New York Philharmonic for three performances of Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto conducted by Music Director Jaap van Zweden, in a season during which he performs all five Beethoven concertos around the world. [Sep 17, 18, 19: NYC: ATH]

Sep 18
The reigning prima donna of the 21st century, ANNA NETREBKO celebrates her 50th birthday with a star-studded gala at the Kremlin Palace. Titled “Anna Netrebko Inviting,” this sees the Russian soprano perform arias and other operatic favorites with a host of special guests, including bass Ildar Abdrazakov and tenors Piotr Beczala and Yusif Eyvazov. [Moscow]

Sep 18, 24–26
Cellist ALISA WEILERSTEIN performs Haydn’s First Cello Concerto, along with the Latvian composer Pēteris Vasks’s Concerto No. 2 for Cello and String Orchestra, “Klabutne/Presence,” with the Radio Romania Chamber Orchestra and conductor Horia Andreescu at the George Enescu Festival in Bucharest. In 2018, Weilerstein inaugurated her then-new role as Artistic Partner of Norway’s Trondheim Soloists with the Pentatone release Transfigured Nights, which included Haydn’s first two Cello Concertos and earned raves from Gramophone for its “mix of stylistic sensitivity, verve and spontaneous delight in discovery.” Following her performance in Romania, she goes to Ascona, Italy for three performances in pianist Francesco Piemontesi’s Settimane Musicali Ascona festival, playing Schubert’s Piano Trio No. 2, Messiaen’s Louange for cello and piano, Chopin’s Cello Sonata and Osvaldo Golijov’s Omaramor. [Sep 18: Bucharest; Sep 24–26: Ascona, Italy]

Sep 23, 24
“A formidable musician and a powerful communicator” (New York Times), MacArthur Fellow MARIN ALSOP returns to the Danish National Symphony, where the American conductor leads Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade and Brahms’s First Piano Concerto, with Polish-Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki as soloist. [Copenhagen]

Sep 24–28
Creator and librettist CERISE JACOBS and her activist opera company White Snake Projects present the third live virtual world premiere opera in their Pandemic Trilogy, which began with Alice in the Pandemic and Death by Life. A Survivor’s Odyssey: The Journey of Penelope and Circe uses characters from Homer’s Odyssey to explore the ongoing crisis of intimate partner violence (IPV), which includes domestic violence and rape, especially as exacerbated by the pandemic lockdown. With music by New York composer and interdisciplinary artist Mary Prescott and a libretto by Jacobs, the opera will feature a cast of four remote singers—soprano Marsha Thompson, mezzo-soprano Amanda Crider, countertenor Patrick Dailey, and bass-baritone Nathan Stark—and the cutting-edge audio and visual technological innovations that have become White Snake’s hallmark. [Sep 24, 26, 28: digital platforms]

Sep 25
Violinist DANIEL HOPE performs his “East meets West” project—featuring texts from Frankfurt favorite son Goethe, after whose collection of poems the program is named—in Frankfurt’s Alte Oper, in celebration of the power of international dialogue. Hope is joined by actress Katja Riemann, who was a guest on Hope’s wildly successful streaming series Hope@Home during the early months of the pandemic; sitar player Gaurav Mazumdar and pianist Sebastian Knauer, both of whom played on the violinist’s similarly themed 2004 album East Meets West; and tabla player Shahbaz Hussain. The program includes music of Falla, Ravel, Takemitsu, Mazumdar and Bartók. [Frankfurt]

Sep 25, Oct 17
Cellist INBAL SEGEV released a “hugely impressive” (The Guardian) recording of Anna Clyne’s DANCE—written for her—on the Avie label in 2020. This fall she performs the work with the St. Louis Symphony (Sep 25) and the Badische Philharmonie Pforzheim (Oct 17), as well as other dates and locations to be announced. [Sep 25: St. Louis; Oct 17: Pforzheim, Germany]

Sep 30–Oct 30
MARIN ALSOP launches her third season as Chief Conductor of the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra at the International Bruckner Festival in Linz, where she leads works by Bruckner’s contemporaries Mahler, Wolf and Rott. The same program is also the vehicle for their first subscription concert at Vienna’s Musikverein. By contrast, at the Vienna Konzerthaus she and the orchestra present two more forward-looking programs. The first combines Bernstein’s Third Symphony, “Kaddish,” with the Austrian premiere of In Seven Days by Thomas Adès and the world premiere of a new work by the winner of the “Spheres of a Genius” jazz composition competition. Marking the opening night of the Vienna Modern festival, the second features the world premieres of new works by Thomas Wally and by Christian Ofenbauer, whose Das Satyrspiel 2019/20 was commissioned by the festival in collaboration with the orchestra. [Sep 30: Linz; Oct 1, 8 & 30: Vienna]


Early Oct (date TBD)
DANIIL TRIFONOV releases Bach: The Art of Life on Deutsche Grammophon, featuring The Art of Fugue, selections from the Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach and music by Bach’s children.

Oct 1–8
JULIA BULLOCK stars opposite British baritone Roderick Williams in the world premiere production of Michel Van der Aa’s opera Upload at the Dutch National Opera. Otto Tausk conducts. [Amsterdam]

Oct 2
With a season built around the theme of inclusion and highlighting music by women and composers of color, the LOUISVILLE ORCHESTRA and Music Director Teddy Abrams open their season with “A Concert for Unity,” featuring Valerie Coleman’s celebrated UMOJA, Anthem for Unity. A roster of local guest artists also joins the concert, performing world premiere songs that reflect on the past year. Rounding out the program is Tchaikovsky’s “Pathetique” Symphony. Coleman, a native of Louisville, was named Performance Today’s “Classical Woman of the Year” for 2020, and UMOJA was named one of the “Top 101 Great American Ensemble Works” by Chamber Music America. [Louisville]

Oct 2–early June
SCHMIDT VOCAL ARTS inaugurates the 25th-anniversary season of the Schmidt Vocal Competition with the first of 16 day-long regional competitions, leading to what will be its first national competition early next summer. This annual event, funded by the William E. Schmidt Foundation, sees 400+ singers from U.S. high schools compete each year—this season for more than $625K in cash awards and scholarships—just at the critical point in their early careers when they begin to look toward training on a professional level. The regional competitions take place throughout the 2021-22 season, in destinations from New York, Boston and Philadelphia to Las Vegas, Nashville and Atlanta, before the national competition in Sarasota, Florida in early June 2022. [Oct 2–early June (date TBA): various U.S. cities]

Oct 6-9
Tenor NICHOLAS PHAN curates and performs in Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago (CAIC)’s ninth annual Collaborative Works Festival: Strangers in a Strange Land. The 2021 iteration of the festival explores themes of migration and immigration through song, featuring works by a wide range of composers including Ian Cusson, Mohammed Fairouz, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Jorge Sosa, Rebecca Clarke, Errollyn Wallen, Robert Owens, Missy Mazzoli, Ruth Crawford Seeger, Percy Grainger, Florence Price, and Béla Bartók. Among the festival highlights is Phan’s Midwestern premiere of Nico Muhly’s song cycle Stranger. [Chicago]

Oct 7
The DALLAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (DSO) premieres a new work by Pulitzer Prize laureate Ellen Taaffe Zwilich to celebrate the life and commemorate the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Led by Lidiya Yankovskaya, the orchestra’s world premiere performance of the work features mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves and pianist Jeffrey Biegel. [Dallas]

Oct 7–March 13
Schumann’s Piano Concerto is the vehicle for LEIF OVE ANDSNES’s first performances with France’s Orchestre National de Montpellier and for his returns to the Dresden Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, and Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. After appearing together at its Berlin home, he tours with the German orchestra to Friedrichshafen, Dortmund, Budapest, Eindhoven, Amsterdam and Paris, as well as to Cologne, where they play Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 22. [Oct 7 & 8: Montpellier, France; Dec 18 & 19: Dresden; Jan 29 & 30: Berlin; Feb 5: Friedrichshafen; Feb 6: Dortmund; Feb 7: Cologne; Feb 9: Budapest; Feb 10: Eindhoven, Netherlands; Feb 11: Amsterdam; Feb 12: Boulogne-Billancourt, Paris; March 9–13: Tel Aviv]

Oct 8–Nov 6
Music Director RAFAEL PAYARE leads the San Diego Symphony in four fall programs at The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, their stunning new open-air venue. Against its waterfront backdrop, they perform Siempre Lunes, Siempre Marzo by the conductor’s compatriot Reinaldo Moya, Mahler’s First Symphony, and Ravel’s Piano Concerto with Inon Barnatan (Oct 8); Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony and Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen featuring mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung (Oct 16 & 17); Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony and Fate Now Conquers by 2021 Sphinx Medal of Excellence winner Carlos Simon (Oct 29 & 30); and, flanked by works by Bartók and Smetana, Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto with pianist Jonathan Biss (Nov 5 & 6). [San Diego]

Oct 10; Nov 7; March 4–6; April 29
Three long-term CAL PERFORMANCES partnerships either begin or are completed this season. The Danish String Quartet inaugurates a new four-part, three-season commissioning partnership with its Doppelgänger project, pairing a Schubert string quartet with a newly co-commissioned work inspired by it. In October the new work is a U.S. premiere by Grawemeyer Award-winning composer Bent Sørenson (Oct 10), paired with Schubert’s G-major Quartet, and in the spring Finnish composer Lotta Wennäkoski’s new piece, inspired by Schubert’s Death and the Maiden Quartet, has its Bay Area premiere (April 29). Both new works are co-commissioned by Cal Performances. The presenter also launches a new multi-season Handel opera/oratorio project in the fall with a concert performance of Alcina by early-music ensemble The English Concert and its artistic director Harry Bicket (Nov 7). In the spring, the 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). [Berkeley]

Oct 14–16
A frequent collaborator with the New York Philharmonic who served as its 2017-18 Artist-in-Residence, LEIF OVE ANDSNES rejoins the orchestra for a Romantic program. This pairs his solo performance of Clara Schumann’s Romance in A minor with an account of her husband’s sole Piano Concerto, led by Music Director Jaap von Zweden. [NYC: RT]

Oct 14, 17; March 11–13; May 19–21
After giving the world premiere at the co-commissioning Colorado Music Festival in July, cellist ALISA WEILERSTEIN continues her series of performances of the new Cello Concerto that Joan Tower wrote for her with three other co-commissioners: first, the Cleveland Orchestra under the direction of Franz Welser-Möst, and, later in the season, with the Detroit and National Symphony Orchestras. [Oct 14, 17: Cleveland; March 11, 12, 13: Detroit; May 19, 20, 21: Washington DC]

Oct 14–26
ALAN GILBERT and the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra perform Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony—nicknamed the “Romantic” by the composer—as part of their European tour in the fall. Leading up to the tour, it will be paired with performances in Hamburg by two superstars: soprano Renée Fleming and violinist Joshua Bell. Fleming performs Messiaen’s song cycle Poèmes pour Mi (Oct 14 & 17), which he wrote for his first wife Claire Delbos, affectionately known as “Mi,” while Bell plays Bruch’s evocative Scottish Fantasy (Oct 21 & 26), inspired by the composer’s reading of the poems of Sir Walter Scott. After the Elbphilharmonie performance with Bell, the same program will be performed in Madrid during the European tour. [Oct 14, 17, 21: Hamburg; Oct 26: Madrid]

Oct 14–Dec 5
MARIN ALSOP returns to the podiums of two great German orchestras this fall. With the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, she reprises In Seven Days by Thomas Adès on a program with Brahms’s Second Symphony and Barber’s First. Barber’s symphony also takes her back to the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, where she combines it with Ravel’s Second “Daphnis et Chloé” Suite and the Elgar Cello Concerto, with Sheku Kanneh-Mason as soloist. [Oct 14 & 15: Frankfurt; Dec 5: Berlin]

Oct 21
Tenor NICHOLAS PHAN joins Brooklyn Rider for the West Coast premiere in San Francisco’s Herbst Theater of Nico Muhly’s new song cycle, Stranger. In the piece, Muhly juxtaposes settings of accounts of immigration through Ellis Island with settings of texts protesting the United States’ Chinese Exclusion policies of the late 19th century, which persisted through the years of World War II. The same forces premiered the work in Philadelphia in January 2020, and will precede the West Coast premiere with a New York performance in September. [San Francisco]

Oct 21, 22
PIERRE-LAURENT AIMARD performs Messiaen’s Turangalila with the Munich Philharmonic at the opening of its spectacular new hall, the Isarphilharmonie, under the direction of Kent Nagano. [Munich]

Oct 23, 24
After concluding her transformative 14-year tenure with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in June, MARIN ALSOP returns to give her first performances as its Music Director Laureate. Their program features Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto with Czech pianist Lukáš Vondráček and the world premiere of Color Field by Anna Clyne, who drew inspiration from the paintings of Mark Rothko. Made with INBAL SEGEV and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Alsop’s acclaimed recording of Clyne’s cello concerto, DANCE, was released last year. [Baltimore]

Oct 24; March 6; April 3
CAL PERFORMANCES presents three outstanding vocalists this season, beginning with German superstar tenor Jonas Kaufmann, making his first Berkeley appearance since his four-encore Bay Area debut a decade ago. He sings a program of German lieder mixed with French and Italian repertoire, joined by pianist Helmut Deutsch (Oct 24). In the spring American soprano Angel Blue, star of the Metropolitan Opera’s recent staging of Porgy and Bess, makes her Cal Performances solo recital debut (March 6); and 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]

Oct 28
Pianist PIERRE-LAURENT AIMARD joins the London Philharmonia led by Pablo Heras-Casado to perform Ravel’s Miroirs, along with one of Messiaen’s first pieces after he devoted himself entirely to birdsong: Le Reveil des Oiseaux. [London]


Nov 1–9
At the peak of her powers, ANNA NETREBKO makes her role debut as Abigaille in Verdi’s Nabucco. She stars opposite Mongolian baritone Enkhbat Amartuvshin in Günter Krämer’s production at the Vienna State Opera, with Paolo Carignani leading from the pit. [Nov 1, 6, 9: Vienna]

Nov 4, 6
Music Director Fabio Luisi leads the DALLAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (DSO) in performances of Richard Strauss’s Metamorphosen and Mozart’s Requiem. Featuring a stellar quartet of vocal soloists, their accounts of the latter will mark their first post-pandemic appearances with the Dallas Symphony Chorus. [Dallas]

Nov 4, 6
ALISA WEILERSTEIN joins conductor James Gaffigan and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Osvaldo Golijov’s Azul, a concerto the cellist has performed to acclaim with orchestras around the world for nearly a decade and a half. [Atlanta]

Nov 6
AUDRA McDONALD sings favorite songs from Broadway, the Great American Songbook and beyond in “An Evening with Audra McDonald” at Charleston’s Gaillard Center. 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. [Charleston, SC]

Nov 6–14
Galvanized by the enthusiastic reception of its innovative programming solutions during the past season, THE ATLANTA OPERA—”one of the few American companies to perform live for in-person audiences during the COVID-19 pandemic” (Wall Street Journal)—makes a long-awaited return to its home in the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. It launches its mainstage season with the U.S. premiere of General and Artistic Director Tomer Zvulun’s staging of Handel’s Baroque masterpiece Julius Caesar in Egypt, which the director first created in the outdoor setting of a 12th-century crusader’s fortress for the Israeli Opera. Collaborating with Zvulun on the production are renowned choreographer Donald Byrd and set and costume designers Alexander Lisianski and Mattie Ullrich. Loosely based on events during the Roman Civil War of 49-45 BC, the story of power, intrigue, sex, love and violence traces Caesar’s love affair with Cleopatra as she struggles to become the ruler of Egypt. Conducted by Baroque specialist Gary Wedow making his Atlanta debut, the opera features Jasmine Habersham and Meg Marino, both stars of the company’s recent production of The Threepenny Carmen, with the rest of the cast still to be announced. [Nov 6, 9, 12, 14: Atlanta]

Nov 6–21
In the next leg of “Mozart Momentum 1785/1786,” his second multi-season project as the ensemble’s inaugural Artistic Partner, LEIF OVE ANDSNES heads on a European tour with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. At mini-residencies in Hamburg, Vienna and Brussels, he leads the orchestra from the keyboard in performances of Mozart’s Piano Concertos Nos. 20, 21, 23 and 24, as well as playing the latter two concertos at concerts in Lisbon, Lugano and Berlin. [Nov 6: Lisbon; Nov 8–10: Hamburg; Nov 12: Lugano; Nov 13: Berlin; Nov 15–17: Vienna; Nov 19–21: Brussels]

Nov 7; April 3
CARAMOOR presents the Callisto Quartet, its 2021-22 Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence, in two performances this season, both spotlighting emerging composers and new works inspired by canonic classics. On November 7 the quartet performs the world premiere of a new work by Nathaniel Heyder, bookended by Mozart’s B-flat major “Hunt” quartet and Brahms’s Third String Quartet in B-flat, which was modeled on the Mozart in terms of key, time signature, pastoral qualities and a feeling of joy in life and nature. The Callistos commissioned Heyder to write his work as a new addition to this lineage. Then on April 3 the quartet performs another world premiere, commissioned by them from young American composer Harriet Steinke. On the same program are Beethoven’s Op. 132 quartet in A minor and Mendelssohn’s String Quartet No. 2, which shares with the Beethoven quartet not only a key but a quality of introspection, suffering, and deliverance. Steinke was likewise commissioned to reflect these pieces and themes in whatever way she felt inspired in her new work. [Katonah, NY]

Nov 7–10
The DALLAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (DSO) hosts its third annual Women in Classical Music Symposium. Bringing industry leaders and up-and-coming arts professionals together to discuss careers, equity, motherhood, wellness and more, this year’s symposium honors soprano Renée Fleming, who leads her celebrated “Music and the Mind” presentation. [Dallas]

Nov 12–14
For his eagerly anticipated Philadelphia Orchestra debut, RAFAEL PAYARE couples Dvořák’s Seventh Symphony—perhaps his favorite of the composer’s nine—with the world premiere of Jacob Bancks’s Clarinet Concerto, which was co-commissioned by the orchestra for principal clarinetist Ricardo Morales. [Philadelphia]

Nov 12, 17
Russian pianist DANIIL TRIFONOV performs a recital program of Weber, Szymanowski, Debussy and Brahms in Chicago, reprising the program a few days later in Carnegie Hall with Prokofiev’s Sarcasms in place of Weber. [Nov 12: Chicago; Nov 17: NYC: CH]

Nov 14
CARAMOOR presents legendary pianist Stephen Hough—“a virtuoso who begins where others leave off” (Washington Post)—in recital in the Music Room. His program includes Chopin’s Nocturne in F-sharp and Scherzo in B-flat minor, Schumann’s Kreisleriana, the Bagatelles by 20th-century British composer Alan Rawsthorne, and Hough’s own Partita. [Katonah, NY]

Nov 19
CARAMOOR presents “dazzling” (The Guardian) period instrument ensemble The English Concert led from the harpsichord by Artistic Director Harry Bicket, performing an all-Vivaldi program from the composer’s string concerti collection L’estro armonico. [Katonah, NY]

Nov 19
INBAL SEGEV releases the digital third volume of her “20 for 2020” commissioning project on Avie Records, featuring works by John Luther Adams, Gloria Coates, Stewart Goodyear, Christopher Tyler Nickel, and Agata Zubel.


Dec 4–23
After a silent holiday season in 2020 due to the pandemic, NICHOLAS PHAN returns to performing Handel’s beloved Messiah with multiple orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, and San Francisco Symphony, as well as University Musical Society (UMS) in Ann Arbor, MI. [Dec 4, 5: Ann Arbor; 10, 11: San Francisco; 14, 15, 17, 18: NYC: RC; 22, 23: Philadelphia]

Dec 5
ALISA WEILERSTEIN appears at the famed Bozar Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels, joining conductor Hugh Wolff and the Belgian National Orchestra for a performance of Prokofiev’s Sinfonia Concertante. A reworking of the composer’s unsuccessful Op. 58 Cello Concerto, the work was nevertheless inspired by a performance of that concerto by legendary cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, who went on to premiere the Sinfonia Concertante in 1952. [Brussels]

Dec 7–22
Marking the fifth time she has opened La Scala’s season, ANNA NETREBKO reprises her celebrated portrayal of Lady Macbeth in Verdi’s Macbeth, with Luca Salsi in the title role, Ildar Abdrazakov as Banco and Riccardo Chailly on the podium in David Livermore’s production. [Dec 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22: Milan]

Dec 10–12
MARIN ALSOP returns to the New World Symphony to conduct Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade and the U.S. premiere of a new edition of Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F, with jazz virtuoso Aaron Diehl as soloist. [Miami]

Dec 15
DANIIL TRIFONOV participates, with five other vocal and instrumental soloists, in a concert at Paris’s Théâtre des Champs-Élysées organized by Diapason magazine. Conductor Louis Langrée leads the Orchestre des Champs-Élysées, and each artist performs 15 to 20 minutes of music. Trifonov contributes the first movement of Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto. [Paris]

Dec 17–21
Cellist INBAL SEGEV performs Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York. [NYC: ATH]


Early 2022
INBAL SEGEV releases the digital fourth volume of her “20 for 2020” commissioning project on Avie Records. Volume 4, in addition to a work composed by Segev herself, features composers Camille El Bacha, Adolphus Hailstork, Molly Joyce, and Immanuel Wilkins. A physical release of all four volumes of the ambitious undertaking is also scheduled for this date.

Jan 8
Superstar pianist Yuja Wang joins the LOUISVILLE ORCHESTRA to perform the world premiere of Music Director Teddy Abrams’s new Piano Concerto, written for her, on a program that also includes Rachmaninoff’s Tchaikovsky-inspired Symphony No. 2. Formerly a classmate of Abrams at the Curtis Institute of Music, Wang appeared with the orchestra in 2017—the same year she was named “Artist of the Year” by Musical America—to celebrate its 80th anniversary with a rapturously received performance of Rachmaninoff’s Fourth Piano Concerto. The same program will be heard the previous day in the LO’s 11am “Coffee Series.” [Louisville]

Jan 13–Feb 17
Tenor NICHOLAS PHAN gives a series of recitals as both performer and curator in San Francisco Performances’ Salon Series in the Herbst Theater. [Jan 13, 20; Feb 10, 17: San Francisco]

Jan 20–23
Music Director Fabio Luisi leads the DALLAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (DSO) in performances of the Fourth Symphony by Viennese post-Romantic Franz Schmidt, whose music the conductor has recorded and consistently championed. They complete the program with Brahms’s First Piano Concerto, featuring Grammy-winning DANIIL TRIFONOV. [Dallas]

Jan 22–30
THE ATLANTA OPERA takes to the high seas with Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera The Pirates of Penzance. Seán Curran’s rollicking staging features a host of return engagements: Santiago Ballerini, familiar from The Atlanta Opera’s 2018 production of La fille du régiment and 2019’s La Cenerentola, sings Frederic, with 2020-21 Atlanta Opera Studio member Susanne Burgess—who sang the role of Lucy in the recent Threepenny Opera—as his love-at-first-sight Mabel; and Craig Irvin, last seen in Kevin Puts’s Silent Night, sings the Pirate King. Francesco Milioto, Music Director of Opera San Antonio and conductor of the Threepenny Opera, leads the production. [Jan 22, 25, 28, 30: Atlanta]

Jan 30; Feb 26
Following up on his virtual collaboration last year with composer Aaron Jay Kernis for the Seattle Chamber Music Society, tenor NICHOLAS PHAN performs the world premiere of Kernis’s Earth with the group in Seattle, followed by the premiere of an orchestral version of the piece in Houston with the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra conducted by Sarah Hicks. [Jan 30: Seattle; Feb 26: Houston]


Feb 9, 12
British violinist DANIEL HOPE, who succeeded Roger Norrington in 2016 as Music Director of the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, performs with the ensemble in Hamburg, at the famed Elbphilharmonie, and at Frankfurt’s Alte Oper. The almost all-American program, with the honorary inclusion of transplanted Broadway composer Kurt Weill, also includes music of Florence Price, Bernstein, Ellington, Copland and Gershwin. [Feb 9: Hamburg; Feb 12: Frankfurt]

Feb 12, 13; April 8
CAL PERFORMANCES presents three new works next spring that were all co-commissioned by the presenter. The new opera Iphigenia by 11-time Grammy winner Wayne Shorter and librettist esperanza spalding, who also performs in the piece, receives its West Coast premiere in February. Featuring the members of the Wayne Shorter Quartet as the foundation of a 28-piece ensemble, a cast of nine vocalists and a chorus of ten singers, set designs by Frank Gehry, and direction by Lileana Blain-Cruz, the fully-staged work is a radical new take on Euripedes’s Iphigenia in Aulis (Feb 12). Also premiering in the spring of 2022 are Current by Samuel Adams, given its world premiere by the critical favorite Spektral Quartet in its Berkeley debut (Feb 13); and Grawemeyer Award-winner Andrew Norman’s Difference, a West Coast premiere performed by yMusic, with the group also making its in-person Berkeley debut after a much-lauded video presentation in the Cal Performances at Home series this past spring (April 8). [Berkeley]

Feb 17; 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 is anchored by three West Coast premieres, beginning with Two Wings: The Music of Black America in Migration, produced and performed by pianist and MacArthur Fellow Jason Moran and mezzo-soprano Alicia Hall Moran, conducted by Tania León and featuring Imani Winds. The two trace their family histories through music, from Harlem Renaissance-era jazz tunes, gospel hymns, bebop standards, and Broadway show tunes to classical and chamber music and the Morans’ own compositions (Feb 17). Also having their West Coast premieres in the series are 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 lens 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]

Feb 18–20
DANIEL HOPE joins Romanian conductor Cristian Măcelaru and the WDR Sinfonieorchester for performances of Elgar’s Violin Concerto in Cologne, where the radio orchestra makes its home, and the nearby North Rhine-Westphalia city of Essen. [Feb 18, 19: Cologne; Feb 20: Essen]

Feb 27
ALAN GILBERT inaugurated his tenure as Chief Conductor of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra in 2019 with a four-week #KLINGTnachGILBERT (#SOUNDSlikeGILBERT) festival, one program of which featured pianist Yuja Wang performing both Shostakovich piano concertos. The pianist returns to Hamburg to play Liszt’s First Piano Concerto, on a program with Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and Leonore Overture. [Hamburg]

Feb 28; 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 Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Amsterdam’s Muziekgebouw, London’s Wigmore Hall and other key European venues, still to be announced. [Feb 28: Vienna; May 28: Amsterdam; May 30: London]

MARCH 2022

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 salsa 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, 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 12
The second program in the LOUISVILLE ORCHESTRA’s Festival of American Music includes two Latin American-inspired works by North Americans: 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. Two Mexican works, Arturo Márquez’s Danzón No. 2 and José Pablo Moncayo’s Cumbres, the latter an early commission by the Louisville Orchestra, are also on the program, along with 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 Brazilian-American composer Clarice Assad’s Nhanderú, can be heard the previous day in the LO’s 11am “Coffee Series.” [Louisville]

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 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]

APRIL 2022

April 1, 3
LEIF OVE ANDSNES returns to the Pittsburgh Symphony under Manfred Honeck’s leadership to revisit Britten’s Piano Concerto, which previously took him to the New York Philharmonic and London’s BBC Proms. [April 1, 3: Pittsburgh]

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 7
ORCHESTRA OF ST. LUKE’S, led by Principal Conductor Bernard Labadie, one of the world’s preeminent interpreters of 18th-century music, performs Bach’s towering St. Matthew Passion in Carnegie Hall. The roster of exceptional historically informed vocal soloists comprises soprano Carolyn Sampson, contralto Avery Amereau, tenors Julian Prégardien and Andrew Staples, baritone Philippe Sly, and bass-baritone Matthew Brook, and they are joined by 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, making its Carnegie Hall debut. [NYC: CH]

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
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 inspire communities through the power of music. Led by Music Director Michael Morgan, the orchestra makes its Carnegie Hall debut with a performance of works by Brahms, George Walker and Florence Price, along with James V. Cockerham’s vibrant Fantasia on “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Carnegie Hall’s 2021-22 Perspectives artist Jon Batiste joins them on piano for the world premiere of his new work. [NYC: CH]

April 24–May 3
DANIIL TRIFONOV returns to the U.S. to perform his recital program of Weber, Szymanowski, Debussy and Brahms across the country, including 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 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. 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. 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. Featuring 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. Most of the cast is still to be announced, but rising mezzo-soprano Sarah Larsen will be featured in the role of Laurene Powell Jobs. [April 30; May 3, 6, 8: Atlanta]

MAY 2022

Early May (date TBC)
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 5
ORCHESTRA OF ST. LUKE’S, led by Principal Conductor Bernard Labadie, performs its second program of the spring in Carnegie Hall, juxtaposing works by Bach and Felix Mendelssohn, who revived both Bach’s reputation and the St. Matthew Passion in 1829 when he was just 20. Grammy-winning violinist and frequent OSL collaborator Augustin Hadelich’s “rich, full tone and uncanny accuracy” (Seattle Times) is featured in Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor, a touchstone of the repertoire since its composition. Bach’s serene cantata Ich habe genug is performed by Grammy-nominated countertenor Reginald Mobley, in his first appearance with OSL and his Carnegie Hall debut. The program is rounded out with Mendelssohn’s “Italian” Symphony, inspired by a two-year tour of Europe the composer undertook soon after reviving the St. Matthew Passion. [NYC: CH]

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 a Louisville Orchestra-commissioned world premiere by KiMani Bridges, a freshman at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. Winner of several young composer competitions, including the 2020 G. Schirmer Prize, established to recognize students in Missy Mazzoli and Ellen Reid’s Luna Composition Lab, Bridges will also have her work performed in the “Celebrating Young Talent” concert in the Music Without Borders series on Jan 20-22, 2022. Also on the program for the season finale 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. and whose work Orchard in Fog was featured in the LO’s 2019 season-opening concert. Featuring cellist Yves Dharamraj, Automation is a double concerto for cello, pre-recorded digital cello and orchestra that also incorporates multimedia visuals. Rounding out the season finale program is 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 25–June 5
Russian pianist DANIIL TRIFONOV plays Beethoven’s Fifth Piano Concerto for three performances with the Toronto Symphony led by chief conductor Gustavo Gimeno (May 25, 27, 28), before joining the San Francisco Symphony for a series of performances of Mason Bates’s new Piano Concerto, composed for the pianist. The San Francisco performances will be conducted by rising young conductor and Alan Gilbert protégé Ruth Reinhardt. [May 25, 27, 28: Toronto; June 2–5: San Francisco]

JUNE 2022

June 2–19
THE ATLANTA OPERA presents two productions in its Discoveries series during Pride Month in June. First up is Cabaret, directed by General and Artistic Director Tomer Zvulun, and with James Lower, Alexander Dodge and Erik Teague rounding out the creative team. In the midst of that ten-performance run will be two performances of Laura Kaminsky’s As One, with a libretto by Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed. A coming-of-age story about a transgender woman, the production stars American transgender baritone Lucia Lucas. [Cabaret: June 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 12, 16, 17, 18 & 19; As One: June 9 & 11]


Abbreviations for New York City concert venues are as follows:
ATH = Alice Tully Hall
CH = Carnegie Hall
RC = Riverside Church
RT = Rose Theater, Lincoln Center


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