The New Year began with James Levine conducting The MET Orchestra and mezzo-soprano Michelle De Young in a performance of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde. February brought
two great American orchestras to the Hall. Early in the month, The Cleveland
Orchestra, conducted by Franz Welser-Möst, performed the New York
premiere of Toshio Hosokawa's Woven Dreams and was joined the following
evening by French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, who performed Schumann's
Piano Concerto. Following a triumphant performance of Sibelius's Kullervo
in 2010, Osmo
Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra returned to the Hall for a concert
of the Finnish giant's sixth and seventh symphonies and Beethoven's Violin
Concerto with Lisa Batiashvili.
March was yet another month of powerful orchestral concerts
at Carnegie Hall. Charles Dutoit and The Philadelphia Orchestra led
the month off with violinist Vadim Repin, performing the New York premiere of
Scottish composer James MacMillan's Violin Concerto. A few nights later, David Robertson
and the St. Louis Symphony were joined by Leila Josefowicz to
perform former Carnegie Hall composer-in-residence Thomas Adès's Violin Concerto,
Christian Tetzlaff was the soloist for all three
works on the program with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Marcelo
Lehninger, in its first of three consecutive concerts. The following night,
Bell was the soloist for Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor,
with Roberto Abbado on the podium. On the final night of the three, Andris Nelsons
conducted the BSO in a performance of Mahler's Ninth Symphony.
JapanNYC returned in March and April,
beginning with the NHK Symphony Orchestra. André Previn conducted Takemitsu's
Green, Prokofiev's Symphony No. 5, and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa sang
Strauss's Four Last Songs. Finally in March, Peter Oundjian
and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra were joined by violin virtuoso
Itzhak Perlman, who performed Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1 to a full house.
April began with the Orchestra of St. Luke's, conducted by
Iván Fischer—who returns in October with the Budapest Festival
Orchestra—and violinist Nikolaj Znaider in a performance of Tchaikovsky's
Violin Concerto. With a program of Schoenberg, Chopin, and Brahms, The MET
Orchestra, James Levine, and Evgeny Kissin were a powerful threesome
in mid-April. For the first of two concerts, the St. Petersburg
Philharmonic Orchestra, led by Yuri Temirkanov, performed and
all-Russian program that included Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with
Nikolai Lugansky. Cellist Alicia Weilerstein was the soloist for the
orchestra's second concert the following night.
Yuri Temirkanov conducts the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra and Alicia Weilerstein, cello perform Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 1. Photo by Chris Smith.
The very next evening saw the much-anticipated Carnegie Hall
debut of Riccardo Muti as Music Director and Conductor of the Chicago Symphony
Orchestra—with a concert performance of Verdi's Otello. The second
concert of three was an all-Berlioz event, while the final night saw the
CSO closing its three-night stay with a performance of Shostakovich's Fifth
Symphony, hailed today as the composer's most popular work.
The New York Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert returned on May 5
for the spectacular 120th Anniversary Gala. The orchestra was joined
by Gil Shaham, Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, and Audra McDonald. The Philadelphia
Orchestra's final concert of the season in May had a mythological theme
with Charles Dutoit leading the orchestra, soloists, and choir in Stravinsky's Apollo
(Apollon musagète) and Oedipus Rex. Principal Guest
Conductor Fabio Luisi conducted soprano Natalie Dessay and
The MET Orchestra con for a wide-ranging program that included Ravel’s spicy
habanera rhythms and, as a finale, two arias from operas by Poulenc and
Gil Shaham, violin, Emanuel Ax, piano, and Yo Yo Ma, cello perform Beethoven's Triple Concerto in C Major with the New York Philharmonic conducted by Alan Gilbert during Carnegie Hall's 120th Anniversary Gala. Photo by Steve J. Sherman.
The orchestral season concluded with the inaugural Spring for Music festival, which brought
seven North American orchestras and chamber orchestras to Carnegie Hall,
performing creative, stimulating, and adventurous programs. All of the concerts
were broadcast live by WQXR and can be relived here
Read all about the first half of the orchestral season at Carnegie Hall here.
For information about the world's greatest orchestras that will grace the Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage in 2011–2012, check out these pages:International Festival of Orchestras IInternational Festival of Orchestras IIInternational Festival of Orchestras IIIConcertos PlusCarnegie Hall ClassicsChoral ClassicsGreat American Orchestras IGreat American Orchestras IIThe Philadelphia OrchestraThe MET Orchestra