• Thursday, Sep 19, 2013

    Carnegie Hall Pays Tribute To Composer Benjamin Britten

    October 20, 2013–April 30, 2014
    Carnegie Hall Joins Cultural Partners Around the World in
    Celebrating the Anniversary of the Late Composer's 100th Birthday with
    Performances of Major Works, Including Peter Grimes, War Requiem, and Canticles
    Featured Artists Include the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra with Robert Spano, Ian Bostridge,
    Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Iestyn Davies, Julius Drake, Endellion String Quartet,
    Anthony Dean Griffey, Alan Held, Joshua Hopkins, Paul Kildea, Malcolm Martineau,
    Orchestra of St. Luke's with Pablo Heras-Casado, Susanna Phillips,
    and the St. Louis Symphony and Chorus with David Robertson
    Carnegie Hall Concerts are Part of Britten 100 Activities in New York City, which
    Includes Events at Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Metropolitan Opera,
    New York Philharmonic, The Paley Center for Media, and Trinity Wall Street
    Photo at the top of release: Britten by Nigel Luckhurst; Image reproduced courtesy of the Britten-Pears Foundation


    Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at 6:00 p.m.
    Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage

    •• Karla Donehew-Perez, Violin
    •• Jessie Montgomery, Violin
    •• Christopher Jenkins, Viola
    •• Karlos Rodriguez, Cello
    Adé Williams, Violin


    BENJAMIN BRITTEN Simple Symphony, Op. 4
    COLERIDGE-TAYLOR PERKINSON Louisiana Blues Strut: A Cakewalk, for Solo Violin
    JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH Selections from Goldberg Variations, BWV 988
    ANTONIO VIVALDI Concerto in G Minor for Two Cellos, Strings, and Continuo, RV 531

    Presented by The Sphinx Organization

    Tickets: $25

    Sunday, October 20, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.
    Zankel Hall
    , Tenor
    IESTYN DAVIES, Countertenor
    JOSHUA HOPKINS, Baritone
    Leelanee Sterrett, French Horn
    Bridget Kibbey, Harp


    HENRY PURCELL "If Music be the Food of Love" (arr. Britten)
    HENRY PURCELL "The Queen's Epicedium" (arr. Britten)
    HENRY PURCELL "Music for a While" (arr. Tippett)
    HENRY PURCELL "Sweeter than Roses" (arr. Britten)
    HENRY PURCELL "Full Fathom Five" (arr. Adès)
    HENRY PURCELL "Turn then Thine Eyes" (arr. Britten)
    HENRY PURCELL "I'll Sail Upon the Dog Star" (arr. Britten)
    HENRY PURCELL "Not all my Torments can your Pity Move" (arr. Britten)
    HENRY PURCELL "I Take No Pleasure in the Sun’s Bright Beams" (arr. Britten)
    HENRY PURCELL "Thou wakeful shepherd" (A morning hymn) (arr. Britten)
    BENJAMIN BRITTEN Canticles (complete)

    Tickets: $48, $60

    Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 8:00 p.m.
    Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage

    Pablo Heras-Casado, Conductor
    Ian Bostridge, Tenor
    Stewart Rose, French Horn

    FELIX MENDELSSOHN Overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op. 21
    BENJAMIN BRITTEN Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings, Op. 31
    DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 9 in E-flat Major, Op. 70

    Sponsored by DeWitt Stern Group, Inc.

    Tickets: $30–$86

    Friday, November 8, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.
    Weill Recital Hall

    •• Andrew Watkinson, Violin
    •• Ralph de Souza, Violin
    •• Garfield Jackson, Viola
    •• David Waterman, Cello

    BENJAMIN BRITTEN Three Divertimenti
    BENJAMIN BRITTEN String Quartet No. 1 in D Major, Op. 25
    FRANZ SCHUBERT String Quartet in D Minor, D. 810, "Death and the Maiden"

    Tickets: $58

    Sunday, November 17, 2013 at 1:00 p.m.
    Zankel Hall

    Brooklyn Youth Chorus
    Dianne Berkun-Menaker, Artistic Director


    Pre-concert activities will take place one hour before each performance and are free to all ticket holders.

    Lead support for Carnegie Hall Family Concerts is provided by The Irene Diamond Fund.

    Carnegie Hall Family Concerts are also made possible, in part, by endowment gifts from The Irene Diamond Fund, Mr. and Mrs. Lester S. Morse Jr., and the Henry and Lucy Moses Fund.

    Tickets: $12, $18

    Friday, November 22, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
    Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage

    David Robertson, Music Director and Conductor
    Anthony Dean Griffey, Tenor (Peter Grimes)
    Susanna Phillips, Soprano (Ellen Orford)
    Alan Held, Bass-Baritone (Captain Balstrode)
    Ann Murray, Mezzo-Soprano (Auntie)
    Patrick Carfizzi, Baritone (Swallow)
    Nancy Maultsby, Mezzo-Soprano (Mrs. Sedley)
    David Pittsinger, Bass (Hobson)
    Thomas Cooley, Tenor (Robert Boles)
    Liam Bonner, Baritone (Ned Keene)
    Keith Boyer, Tenor (Horace Adams)
    St. Louis Symphony Chorus
    Amy Kaiser, Director

    BENJAMIN BRITTEN Peter Grimes (concert performance)

    Pre-concert talk starts at 6:00 p.m. in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage with Richard Burke, Professor of Music, Hunter College, the City University of New York.

    Tickets: $34–$100

    Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 1:00 p.m.
    Weill Recital Hall

    Paul Kildea, Keynote Speaker
    John Bridcut, Speaker
    Malcolm Martineau, Music Director and Pianist
    Joélle Harvey, Soprano
    Emalie Savoy, Soprano
    Paul Appleby, Tenor
    John Brancy, Baritone

    Discovery Day: Benjamin Britten is made possible, in part, by the Britten-Pears Foundation.

    Tickets: $20

    Wednesday, April 30, 2014 at 8:00 p.m.
    Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage

    Robert Spano, Music Director and Conductor
    Evelina Dobracheva, Soprano
    Anthony Dean Griffey, Tenor
    Stephen Powell, Baritone
    Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus
    Norman Mackenzie, Director
    Brooklyn Youth Chorus
    Dianne Berkun-Menaker, Artistic Director

    BENJAMIN BRITTEN War Requiem, Op. 66

    This concert is made possible, in part, by an endowment fund for choral music established by S. Donald Sussman in memory of Judith Arron and Robert Shaw.

    Tickets: $32–$95

    Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.


    Throughout its 2013–2014 season, Carnegie Hall pays tribute to composer Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) in celebration of the 100th anniversary of his birth. Born on November 22, 1913, Britten was one of the twentieth century’s most prominent composers of opera and vocal music. His vast musical output extended to orchestral and chamber works with compositions for performers of every skill level, from world-renowned ensembles and soloists—such as Britten’s muse and subsequent life partner, tenor Peter Pears—to children and amateur musicians. Carnegie Hall’s 100th anniversary programming is part of Britten 100, a global celebration of this prolific composer, organized by the Britten-Pears Foundation. Concerts and special events at Carnegie Hall join major Britten performances by cultural partners throughout New York City, including Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic, The Paley Center for Media, and Trinity Wall Street to form a season-long citywide tribute to this master composer.

    Carnegie Hall’s Britten celebration launches on Sunday, October 20 at 7:30 p.m. in Zankel Hall with a performance of the composer’s five Canticles by renowned interpreters of his music: tenor Ian Bostridge, countertenor Iestyn Davies, baritone Joshua Hopkins, and pianist Julius Drake. Three days later, on Wednesday, October 23 at 8:00 p.m. in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage, Mr. Bostridge joins French horn player Stewart Rose and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s led by Pablo Heras-Casado for Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings.

    The following month, the Endellion String Quartet performs Britten’s String Quartet No. 1 in D Major, Op. 25, and Three Divertimenti in Weill Recital Hall on Friday, November 8 at 7:30 p.m., and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, under the direction of Dianne Berkun-Menaker, devotes a Carnegie Hall Family Concert to music Britten wrote for young people on Sunday, November 17 at 1:00 p.m. in Zankel Hall.

    On the exact date of Britten’s 100th birthday, Friday, November 22 at 7:00 p.m., tenor Anthony Dean Griffey sings the title role of the composer’s opera Peter Grimes with the St. Louis Symphony and Chorus conducted by David Robertson in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage.

    This is followed on Saturday, December 14 at 1:00 p.m. in Weill Recital Hall by a Carnegie Hall Discovery Day, an afternoon of discussion, film, and song exploring the life and music of Britten, with contributions from keynote speaker Paul Kildea, who has written extensively on Britten and twentieth-century music, and pianist Malcolm Martineau who will preside over a Britten song recital.

    Carnegie Hall’s Britten centenary celebration concludes on Wednesday, April 30 at 8:00 p.m. when Robert Spano leads the Atlanta Symphony Orchestraand Chorus in a stirring performance of Britten’s War Requiem in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage. This concert will be aired on WQXR 105.9 FM in New York and on stations nationwide as part of the annual Carnegie Hall Live broadcast and digital series, produced by WQXR and Carnegie Hall in collaboration with American Public Media and hosted by WQXR’s Jeff Spurgeon and American Public Media’s Fred Child. Concerts in the series are available for live streaming on wqxr.org and carnegiehall.org/wqxr. During every live broadcast, WQXR, Carnegie Hall, and digital partner NPR Music will host live web chats, including Twitter commentary by the broadcast team from backstage and in the control room, connecting national and international fans to the music and to each other.

    In a related Britten 100 event, Sphinx Virtuosi includes the composer’s Simple Symphony on its program on Tuesday, October 8 at 6:00 p.m. in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage. The concert, presented by The Sphinx Organization in partnership with Carnegie Hall, marks the 10th anniversary for Sphinx Virtuosi at Carnegie Hall.

    Further details on Britten performances at Carnegie Hall can be found below or by clicking carnegiehall.org/britten.

    Benjamin Britten at Carnegie Hall
    In 1939, as war in Europe headed toward inevitability, Benjamin Britten left his home to come to North America, traveling first to Canada and then to New York. Together with Peter Pears, he spent much of his time in Amityville on Long Island, about 40 miles from New York City. The 26-year-old Britten was in the audience at Carnegie Hall for the world premiere of his Violin Concerto on March 28, 1940, performed by violinist Antonio Brasa and the New York Philharmonic, conducted by John Barbirolli. “I felt I had to write and tell you how overjoyed I was with both your splendid shows of my concerto,” he remarked in a letter to Barbirolli.

    Britten returned to Carnegie Hall exactly one year later to hear the world premiere of his Sinfonia da Requiem, again performed by Barbirolli and the Philharmonic. In 1942, his homesickness having overridden other concerns, Britten returned to England. Nearly twenty more of his compositions eventually had world, U.S. or New York premieres at Carnegie Hall, including the U.S. premieres of his opera, Billy Budd, and the three Suites for Solo Cello, performed by Mstislav Rostropovich for whom they were written.


    October 20: Bostridge, Davies, Hopkins, and Drake Perform Britten: The Canticles
    In Zankel Hall, tenor Ian Bostridge is joined by countertenor Iestyn Davies, baritone Joshua Hopkins, and pianist Julius Drake to perform the entire sequence of Britten’s five Canticles, works that chart the personal and creative relationship between the composer and his most important muse, tenor Peter Pears. The Canticles draw upon varied subject matter, ranging from biblical stories to meditations on love and loss. On the first half of the program, the singers perform songs by the great Baroque-era English composer Henry Purcell, in arrangements by Britten, Michael Tippett, and Thomas Adès.

    October 23: Orchestra of St. Luke’s Plays Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings.
    Mr. Bostridge, along with French horn player Stewart Rose, join conductor Pablo Heras-Casado and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s for Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings. Also on the program is Mendelssohn’s Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9 in E-flat Major in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage.

    November 8: Endellion String Quartet
    The Great Britain-based Endellion String Quartet celebrates the centenary of the birth of Britten by performing one of the composer’s string quartets and Three Divertimenti. Also on the program is Schubert’s “Death and the Maiden” Quartet in Weill Recital Hall.

    November 17: Brooklyn Youth Chorus: Britten’s Young Voices
    The Brooklyn Youth Chorus performs in Zankel Hall under the direction of Dianne Berkun-Menaker. These inspiring young singers honor the composer in his centenary year with a program that features some of his most charming choral music for young voices as well as a Britten-inspired world premiere by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw.

    November 22: Peter Grimes with David Robertson and St. Louis Symphony and Chorus
    Music Director David Robertson leads the St. Louis Symphony and Chorus in a concert performance of Britten’s Peter Grimes, regarded as one of the most popular operatic masterpieces of the twentieth century. Performed on the exact 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth, the concert features tenor Anthony Dean Griffey singing the title role alongside soprano Susanna Phillips (Ellen Orford), bass-baritone Alan Held (Captain Balstrode), mezzo-soprano Ann Murray (Auntie), baritone Patrick Carfizzi (Swallow), mezzo-soprano Nancy Maultsby (Mrs. Sedley), bass David Pittsinger (Hobson), tenor Thomas Cooley (Robert Boles), baritone Liam Bonner (Ned Keene), and tenor Keith Boyer (Horace Adams).

    December 14: Discovery Day
    An afternoon of discussion, film, and music in Weill Recital Hall features keynote speaker Paul Kildea (author of this year’s Benjamin Britten: A Life in the Twentieth Century) and English filmmaker and writer John Bridcut, who will introduce excerpts from his new documentary on the composer. The afternoon will conclude with a full-length song recital organized by acclaimed pianist Malcolm Martineau with sopranos Joélle Harvey and Emalie Savoy, tenor Paul Appleby, and baritone John Brancy.

    April 30: War Requiem with Robert Spano and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus
    Music Director Robert Spano leads the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, and a trio of eminent soloists—soprano Evelina Dobracheva, tenor Anthony Dean Griffey, and baritone Stephen Powell—in Britten’s War Requiem. Written for the inauguration of Coventry’s new cathedral in 1962, Britten’s War Requiem is a deeply felt expression of the composer’s pacifism. By juxtaposing Latin texts from the Mass for the Dead with shocking depictions of battle by British poet Wilfred Owen (who died in World War I), Britten created a gripping musical statement about man’s inhumanity to man.


    The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) presents the Glyndebourne Festival Opera production of Britten’s 1951 opera Billy Budd in the Howard Gilman Opera House from February 7–13, 2014. This lauded production, directed by Michael Grandage and featuring Mark Padmore (Captain Vere), Jacques Imbrailo (Billy Budd), and Brindley Sherratt (Claggart) with the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Sir Mark Elder, will be seen in its US premiere as part of BAM’s 2014 winter/spring season.

    In October 2013, The Metropolitan Opera presents a revival of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which had its Met premiere in 1996. James Conlon conducts an ensemble that includes Iestyn Davies and Kathleen Kim as Oberon and Tytania, king and queen of the fairies; Erin Wall (Helena), Elizabeth DeShong (Hermia), Joseph Kaiser (Lysander), and Michael Todd Simpson (Demetrius) as the quartet of mismatched lovers; and Matthew Rose as the weaver-turned-amateur-actor Bottom. A Midsummer Night’s Dream will open October 11 with later performances on October 15, 19, 23, 26, and 31.

    On November 21–23 and 26, 2013, Alan Gilbert leads the New York Philharmonic in a celebration of the centennial of Britten. The program begins with the 1943 Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings performed by tenor Paul Appleby and Philharmonic Principal Horn Philip Myers. The concert also includes Britten’s 1949 Spring Symphony, with soprano Kate Royal, mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, tenor Paul Appleby, New York Choral Artists directed by Joseph Flummerfelt, and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus directed by Dianne Berkun-Menaker. In addition, The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra will be performed on a Young Person’s Concert in January 2014.

    On December 15, The Paley Center for Media presents the American premiere of director John Bridcut’s documentary, Britten’s Endgame. The new film explores Britten’s creativity in the face of death. Those closest to him watched anxiously as he raced to complete Death in Venice in defiance of medical advice, tackling a challenging subject with resonances in his own life. His heart operation left him incapacitated, prematurely old and frail, yet he rediscovered his creative urge to produce two late masterpieces. This is a rich and poignant film about Britten’s final years, and the impact of what Peter Pears called “an evil opera.” The director will introduce the screening.

    Trinity Wall Street ’s extensive Celebrating Britten programming encompasses more than 40 free concerts on Monday and Thursday afternoons and Sunday evenings through January 5, 2014. Concerts feature performances by The Choir of Trinity Wall Street, Trinity Youth Chorus and Novus NY (led by Julian Wachner), as well as by such guest artists as tenor Nicholas Phan, chamber group Decoda, the JACK Quartet, and the piano duo of Grace Cho & Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez. Many of the concerts will present Britten’s work alongside that of such contemporaries as Berg, Gershwin, Rachmaninoff, and Poulenc. Cellist Matt Haimovitz will perform two recitals as part of the festival, on October 17 and November 21, contextualizing two of Britten’s suites for solo cello with solo works by Ligeti, John Tavener, and Jennifer Higdon, among others. In addition to the Celebrating Britten events, there will be special Britten festival concerts on November 18 (The Choir of Trinity Wall Street in Britten’s Sacred and Profane and other choral works) and December 9 (cellist Elinor Frey in Bach and Britten, on both Baroque and modern cello). The final Celebrating Britten concert, on January 5, will be part of Trinity’s Twelfth Night Festival, with the several ensembles of Trinity Wall Street performing Britten’s St. Nicholas and A Boy Was Born.

    About Britten 100
    Encompassing over 1,500 performances in more than 140 cities around the world from September 2012 to August 2014, Britten 100 is coordinated by the Britten-Pears Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting the music of Benjamin Britten and his work with tenor Peter Pears from the home that they shared, The Red House, in the coastal town of Aldeburgh, England. This worldwide celebration is formed through extensive collaboration by leading organizations from the worlds of the performing arts, broadcast, film, academia, and heritage. It includes music, books, recordings, radio and television programming, exhibitions, online initiatives for children, and more. For more information, including other Britten 100 performances held throughout the United States, visit britten100.org.

    Ticket Information
    Tickets are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, as well as through calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website, carnegiehall.org.

    For Carnegie Hall Corporation presentations taking place in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, a limited number of seats, priced at $10, will be available day-of-concert beginning at 11:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 12:00 noon on Sunday until one hour before the performance or until supply lasts. The exceptions are Carnegie Hall Family Concerts and gala events. These $10 tickets are available to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis at the Carnegie Hall Box Office only. There is a two-ticket limit per customer.

    In addition, for all Carnegie Hall presentations in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage a limited number of partial view (seats with obstructed or limited sight lines or restricted leg room) will be sold for 50% of the full price. For more information on this and other discount ticket programs, including those for students, Notables members, and Bank of America customers, visit carnegiehall.org/discounts. Artists, programs, and prices are subject to change.
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