Boston Symphony Orchestra Returns to Carnegie Hall for Two Back-To-Back Concerts in March
Andris Nelsons Leads the BSO in All-Richard Strauss Program with Soprano Renée Fleming on March 19
Thomas Adès Leads Orchestra on March 20, including New York Premiere of His Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, Performed by Kirill Gerstein
The Boston Symphony Orchestra returns to Carnegie Hall this March for two back-to-back programs in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage. In an all-Richard Strauss program on Tuesday, March 19 at 8:00 p.m., music director and conductor Andris Nelsons and the BSO are joined by world-renowned soprano Renée Fleming for the closing scene in the composer’s final opera, Capriccio, on a program also including the Sextet and Moonlight Music from that opera, as well as the tone poem Also sprach Zarathustra.
The next evening, on Wednesday, March 20 at 8:00 p.m., the BSO performs its final Carnegie Hall concert of the 2018–2019 season, led by composer, conductor, and BSO Artistic Partner, Thomas Adès. The program includes Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz No. 1 and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, as well as the New York premiere of Mr. Adès’s BSO-commissioned Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, performed by Kirill Gerstein. The idea for the piano concerto was inspired by a creative partnership that formed in 2012 when Mr. Gerstein was rehearsing Mr. Ades’s In Seven Days for piano and orchestra in preparation for concerts with the BSO. The two will appear in a duo piano recital together in Zankel Hall prior to this concert on Wednesday, March 13 at 7:30 p.m.
About the Artists
The 2018–2019 season is Andris Nelsons’s fifth as the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Ray and Maria Stata Music Director. Named Musical America’s 2018 Artist of the Year, Mr. Nelsons leads 14 of the BSO’s 26 subscription programs in 2018–2019, ranging from orchestral works by Haydn, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, and Copland to concerto collaborations with acclaimed soloists, as well as world and American premieres of pieces newly commissioned by the BSO from Sebastian Currier, Andris Dzenitis, and Mark-Anthony Turnage; the continuation of his complete Shostakovich symphony cycle with the orchestra, and concert performances of Puccini’s one-act opera Suor Angelica. In summer 2015, following his first season as music director, Andris Nelsons’s contract with the BSO was extended through the 2021–2022 season. In November 2017, he and the orchestra toured Japan together for the first time. In February 2018, he became Gewandhauskapellmeister of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, in which capacity he brings both orchestras together for a unique multi-dimensional alliance. Immediately following the 2018 Tanglewood season, Maestro Nelsons and the BSO made their third European tour together, playing concerts in London, Hamburg, Berlin, Leipzig, Vienna, Lucerne, Paris, and Amsterdam. Their first European tour, following the 2015 Tanglewood season, took them to major European capitals and the Lucerne, Salzburg, and Grafenegg festivals; the second, in May 2016, took them to eight cities in Germany, Austria, and Luxembourg.
The 15th music director in the history of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Andris Nelsons made his BSO debut at Carnegie Hall in March 2011, his Tanglewood debut in July 2012, and his BSO subscription series debut in January 2013. His recordings with the BSO, all made live in concert at Symphony Hall, include the complete Brahms symphonies on BSO Classics; Grammy-winning recordings on Deutsche Grammophon of Shostakovich’s symphonies 5, 8, 9, and 10, the initial releases in a complete Shostakovich symphony cycle for that label; a Grammy-winning two-disc set pairing Shostakovich’s symphonies 4 and 11, The Year 1905, released in 2018; and, released in February 2019, symphonies 6 and 7. Under an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon, Andris Nelsons is also recording the complete Bruckner symphonies with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and the complete Beethoven symphonies with the Vienna Philharmonic.
The 2018–2019 season is Maestro Nelsons’s final season as artist-in-residence at the Konzerthaus Dortmund and marks his first season as artist-in-residence at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie. In addition, he continues his regular collaborations with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Berliner Philharmoniker. Throughout his career, he has also established regular collaborations with Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Philharmonia Orchestra, and has been a regular guest at the Bayreuth Festival and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Born in Riga in 1978 into a family of musicians, Andris Nelsons began his career as a trumpeter in the Latvian National Opera Orchestra before studying conducting. He was music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra from 2008 to 2015, principal conductor of the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie in Herford, Germany, from 2006 to 2009, and music director of Latvian National Opera from 2003 to 2007.
Renée Fleming is one of the most highly acclaimed singers of our time. In 2013, President Obama awarded her the National Medal of Arts, and in 2014 she became the first classical artist ever to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Super Bowl. Winner of four Grammy Awards, she has sung for momentous occasions from the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony to the Diamond Jubilee concert for Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.
Ms. Fleming was nominated for a Tony Award in 2018 for her performance on Broadway in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel. She was also named Female Artist of the Year at the 2018 Classic BRIT Awards. Her recent tour schedule has included concerts in London, Vienna, Paris, Madrid, Tokyo, and Beijing. She is heard on the soundtracks of the Best Picture Academy Award winner The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and provided the singing voice of Roxane, played by Julianne Moore, in the film of the best-selling novel Bel Canto. As artistic advisor to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Ms. Fleming spearheads a collaboration with the National Institutes of Health focused on music, health, and neuroscience.
Ms. Fleming’s new album, Renée Fleming: Broadway, was released in September 2018 by Decca. This year, she has the rare distinction of being nominated for Grammy Awards for both Best Opera Recording and Best Musical Theater Album. She has recorded everything from complete operas and song recitals to indie rock, jazz, and the soundtrack of The Lord of the Rings. Among her awards are the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, Germany’s Cross of the Order of Merit, and France’s Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.
Pianist Kirill Gerstein’s curiosity and versatility has led to a powerful engagement with a wide range of repertoire and styles. From Bach to Adès, his playing is distinguished by its clarity of expression, discerning intelligence, and virtuosity, and his energetic and imaginative musical personality has rapidly taken him to the top of his profession.
An American citizen based in Berlin, Mr. Gerstein balances his career between the US and Europe. Highlights of his 2018–2019 season in North America include re-engagements with the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, as well as with the Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, St. Louis, and Toronto Symphonies, and a tour with the Czech Philharmonic in California. His summer festival appearances include his debut at the Grand Teton Festival and a return to Chicago’s Grant Park Music Festival.
Mr. Gerstein is also a frequent guest with the Boston Symphony Orchestra during the 2018–2019 season. He was the Koussevitzky Artist at Tanglewood this past summer and appeared four different times throughout the festival, performing Rachmaninoff‘s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the BSO; Thomas Adès’s piano concerto In Seven Days with the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, conducted by the composer; a two-piano recital with Mr. Adès at Ozawa Hall; and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the Boston Pops during the Tanglewood on Parade festivities. In addition to performing Mr. Adès’s new piano concerto at Carnegie Hall and with Mr. Adès in a two-piano recital at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, he gives the world premiere of the concerto with the composer and orchestra at Boston’s Symphony Hall and performs a two-piano recital with Mr. Adès at the New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall.
Mr. Gerstein’s latest recording, The Gershwin Moment, released on myrios classics in 2018, features live recordings of the composer’s Piano Concerto in F and Rhapsody in Blue with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra conducted by David Robertson, selections from Earl Wild’s Virtuoso Etudes after Gershwin, and collaborations with vibraphonist Gary Burton and vocalist Storm Large. His next release on myrios is a live recording of Busoni’s Piano Concerto with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Brought up in the former Soviet Union studying both classical and jazz piano, Mr. Gerstein moved to the US where, at age 14, he was the youngest student to attend Boston’s Berklee College of Music. Shifting his focus to the classical repertoire, he studied with Solomon Mikowsky in New York, Dmitri Bashkirov in Madrid and Ferenc Rados in Budapest. Gerstein has received a series of prestigious accolades, including First Prize at the 10th Arthur Rubinstein Competition in 2001 and a Gilmore Young Artist Award in 2002. In 2010 he was awarded both an Avery Fisher Career Grant and the Gilmore Artist Award.
British composer Thomas Adès is one of the foremost musicians of his generation. His opera The Tempest has been produced at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Vienna Staatsoper; Metropolitan Opera; and many other theaters worldwide. His newest opera, The Exterminating Angel, debuted at the Salzburg Festival in 2016 with subsequent productions at Covent Garden and the Metropolitan Opera. Commissions for large-scale orchestral works such as In Seven Days, Polaris, Tevot, and Totentanz have come from the Berlin, Los Angeles, and New York Philharmonics as well as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Barbican Centre, and other major presenting institutions. In March 2019, the Boston Symphony Orchestra will premiere a new Concerto for Piano and Orchestra both in Boston and at Carnegie Hall; its European debut will follow shortly thereafter in Leipzig. In summer 2019 the Los Angeles Philharmonic, in collaboration with Royal Ballet Covent Garden, will premiere a new full-length ballet choreographed by Wayne McGregor. Mr. Adès has also composed numerous prize-winning works for chamber ensembles, solo piano, and chorus, which are performed regularly worldwide.
Thomas Adès also maintains international careers as both conductor and pianist. He has conducted many of the world's leading orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. He conducted the premiere of The Exterminating Angel at Salzburg, Covent Garden, and the Metropolitan Opera (following earlier successes leading The Tempest at the latter two companies). During 2017–2018 he led concerts with the London and Czech Philharmonics and the City of Birmingham and Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestras. He currently serves as the first-ever Artistic Partner to the Boston Symphony Orchestra; in addition to conducting he appears with the BSO Chamber Players, curates contemporary music programs, and teaches both in Boston and at Tanglewood. He frequently performs and records as pianist in solo recital or with colleagues such as tenor Ian Bostridge, cellist Steven Isserlis, and pianist Kirill Gerstein.
His many awards include the Grawemeyer Award for Asyla (1999); Royal Philharmonic Society large-scale composition awards for Asyla, The Tempest, and Tevot; the Ernst von Siemens Composers' Prize for Arcadiana; and the British Composer Award for The Four Quarters. His CD recording of The Tempest from the Royal Opera House (EMI) won the Contemporary category of the 2010 Gramophone Awards; and his DVD of the production from the Metropolitan Opera was awarded the Diapason d'Or de l'année (2013), a Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording (2014), and an ECHO Klassik Award for Music DVD Recording of the Year (2014). In 2015 he was awarded Denmark’s prestigious Léonie Sonning Music Prize.
Today the Boston Symphony Orchestra reaches millions of listeners, not only through its concert performances in Boston and at Tanglewood, but also via the internet, radio, television, educational programs, recordings, and tours. It commissions works from today's most important composers; its summer season at Tanglewood is among the world's most important music festivals; it helps develop future audiences through BSO Youth Concerts and educational outreach programs involving the entire Boston community; and, during the Tanglewood season, it operates the Tanglewood Music Center, one of the world's most important training grounds for young professional-caliber musicians. The Boston Symphony Chamber Players, made up of BSO principals, are known worldwide, and the Boston Pops Orchestra sets an international standard for performances of lighter music.
In May 2013, a new chapter in the history of the Boston Symphony Orchestra was initiated when the internationally acclaimed young Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons was announced as the BSO's next music director, a position he took up in the 2014–2015 season, following a year as music director designate.
In the 2016–2017 season, Thomas Adès was appointed as the BSO's first-ever Artistic Partner, a position he will hold through the summer of 2019. He was holder of Carnegie Hall’s Richard and Barbara Deb’s Composer Chair throughout the 2007–2008 season with programs that highlighted Mr. Adès’s work as composer, conductor, and pianist.
Wednesday, March 13, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.
THOMAS ADÈS, Piano
KIRILL GERSTEIN, Piano
CLAUDE DEBUSSY En blanc et noir
IGOR STRAVINSKY Symphony of Psalms (transcr. Shostakovich)
WITOLD LUTOSLAWSKI Variations on a Theme by Paganini
CLAUDE DEBUSSY Lindaraja
THOMAS ADÈS Concert Paraphrase on Powder Her Face for Two Pianos (NY Premiere)
MAURICE RAVEL La valse for Two Pianos
Pre-concert talk at 6:30 p.m.: Kirill Gerstein in conversation with Jeremy Geffen, Senior Director and Artistic Adviser, Carnegie Hall.
Tickets: $54, $65.
Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at 8:00 p.m.
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Andris Nelsons, Music Director and Conductor
Renée Fleming, Soprano
RICHARD STRAUSS Sextet, Moonlight Music, and Final Scene from Capriccio
RICHARD STRAUSS Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30
Sponsored by Deloitte LLP
Wednesday, March 20, 2019 at 8:00 p.m.
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Thomas Adès, Conductor
Kirill Gerstein, Piano
FRANZ LISZT Mephisto Waltz No. 1, S. 514
THOMAS ADÈS Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (NY Premiere)
PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 4 in F Minor, Op. 36
Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.
Photo at top by Steve J. Sherman.
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