The blend of old and new – but not too new – is a dream lineup for the veteran concertgoer. The orchestra may be without a permanent music director with James Levine having been sidelined, but the brilliant conductors and solid programs they have chosen is a delicious sampler of its most popular works. The offerings in 2012-13 can provide a new classical music fan with a solid grounding in the roots of the genre, and help those new to listening the ability to form passionate relationships with great music at an early age. Those love affairs last a lifetime. Some might complain it is a bit light on the Beethoven, Brahms and Mozart, but with the Mahler, Wagner, and Verdi, who can really complain. You can find the complete day by day breakdown Here….
The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s 2012-13 season, September 22-May 4, offers concertgoers an impressive array of programs featuring both familiar friends and new faces, in performances ranging from powerful, large-scale masterpieces for symphony orchestra, soloists, and chorus to distinctive works rarely performed by the BSO, as well as a conductor-less program focusing on the virtuosic individual sections of the orchestra. The BSO’s 132nd season continues the BSO’s proud tradition of extraordinary music-making and with eight works by the most prominent living composers of our time.
From the September 22 Opening Night all-Beethoven concert featuring Itzhak Perlman in his first Symphony Hall appearance as both conductor and soloist, to programs highlighting BSO signature works and the extraordinary talents of individualBSO players, and concerts focusing on some of the brilliant composers of our time, among them Thomas Adès, Henri Dutilleux, Oliver Knussen, James MacMillan,Kaija Saariaho, and Augusta Read Thomas, the BSO’s 2012-13 season spotlights some of the greatest music of the past along with fascinating new works of the 20th and 21st centuries.
One of the BSO’s most popular guest conductors since his debut with the orchestra in 1981, Charles Dutoit will be featured in three programs leading major works of the first half of the 20th century, including a sparkling operatic double bill of operas by Stravinsky and Ravel, as well as music by Debussy, Martin, Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, Hindemith, and Lizst. With these programs the BSO initiates a multi-year survey of the repertoire for which Maestro Dutoit is a foremost interpreter.
Also highlighting the BSO’s 2012-13 season are season-opening concert performances of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, led by Bramwell Tovey with Alfred Walker andLaquita Mitchell in the title roles; programs under the direction of Daniele Gatticelebrating the bicentennials of Wagner and Verdi, with performances of Verdi’s Requiem and excerpts from Wagner’s Lohengrin, Tristan und Isolde, Götterdämmerung, and Parsifal, featuring Michelle DeYoung; and Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 under Gatti and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with BSO Conductor Emeritus Bernard Haitink, who leads the BSO in the final two programs of the BSO’s 2012-13 season.
BS0 2012-13 SEASON TICKET INFORMATION IN BRIEF
The 132nd season of the Boston Symphony Orchestra takes place September 22, 2012–May 4, 2013. Subscriptions for the BSO’s 2012-2013 season are currently available by calling 888-266-7575 or visitingwww.bso.org. Single tickets for the BSO’s 2012-13 season, priced from $31 to $123, go on sale Monday, August 6, at 10 a.m. BSO concerts take place Thursday, Saturday, and Tuesday at 8 p.m. and Friday at 1:30 p.m. or 8 p.m. The BSO’s 2012-13 Opening Night concert on September 22—featuring Itzhak Perlman in an all-Beethoven program, begins at 7 p.m.; the evening begins with a pre-concert gala reception and ends with a post-concert celebratory dinner for benefactors. Regularly priced Opening Night tickets are priced from $75 to $250. The BSO’s <40=$20 program allows patrons under the age of 40 to purchase tickets for $20. The BSO College Card and High School Card are the best way for students and aspiring young musicians to experience the BSO on a regular basis. A limited number of Rush Tickets for Boston Symphony Orchestra subscription concerts on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Friday afternoons are set aside to be sold on the day of a performance. The Boston Symphony Orchestra offers groups advanced ticket reservations and flexible payment options for BSO concerts at Symphony Hall.
A complete day by day and week by week schedule can be found on our Special “BSO Year at a Glance” Page. Check it out here…
BSO 2012-13 SEASON OVERVIEW
ITZHAK PERLMAN LEADS ALL-BEETHOVEN OPENING NIGHT
Internationally renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman, who has appeared many times with the Boston Symphony Orchestra since his Symphony Hall and Tanglewood debuts in the mid-1960s, now makes his first Symphony Hall appearance on the BSO podium, as both conductor and soloist for an all-Beethoven BSO opening night program (September 22) featuring him as soloist-conductor in the composer’s lyrical Romances for violin and orchestra and as conductor for Beethoven’s perennially popular Seventh Symphony.
SPOTLIGHT ON THE BSO
Following upon the success of the BSO’s “members-only” concerts in January 2012, the individual sections of the Boston Symphony Orchestra again take the stage conductor-less to play music of Britten, Mozart, Dvořák, and Tippett, as part of a program in which the full ensemble joins forces for Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra(April 18-23).
A number of BSO members are also featured as soloists in 2012-13: the Hawthorne String Quartet (Ronan Lefkowitz, Si-Jing Huang, Mark Ludwig, and Sato Knudsen) in Ervin Schulhoff’s Concerto for String Quartet and Wind Orchestra with BSO Assistant Conductor Marcelo Lehninger on the podium (Oct. 9); and BSO principals Elizabeth Rowe, John Ferrillo, William R. Hudgins,Richard Svoboda, James Sommerville, Thomas Rolfs, and Toby Oft in Frank Martin’s Concerto for Seven Wind Instruments, Timpani, Percussion, and String Orchestra with Charles Dutoit conducting (Oct. 18-23).
In addition, frequent guest conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos leads two international repertoire staples representing the BSO’s rich commissioning history, to be performed as part of a single program (Feb. 28-March 2, and April 2)—Paul Hindemith’sKonzertmusik for Strings and Brass, a BSO 50th-anniversary commission premiered at Symphony Hall in April 1931, and Béla Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra, commissioned by Serge Koussevitzky and premiered by the BSO in December 1944.
SEVENTEEN ACCLAIMED GUEST CONDUCTORS LEAD BSO SUBSCRIPTION CONCERTS
Seventeen of the world’s best conductors lead the BSO at Symphony Hall in its 2012-13 subscription season. British conductor Bramwell Tovey opens the season with concert performances of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess (Sept. 27-29). BSO Conductor Emeritus Bernard Haitink closes it with music of Brahms, Schubert, and Mahler (April 25-30 and May 2-4). In between, Charles Dutoit, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, andDaniele Gatti lead three programs each, and Christoph von Dohnányi leads two programs. Vladimir Jurowski makes his BSO debut leading Mendelssohn and Shostakovich (Oct. 11-13), Andris Nelsons makes his subscription series debut withmusic of Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky (Jan. 31-Feb. 5), and Stéphane Denèvereturns to Symphony Hall for the third consecutive season (Nov. 29-Dec. 1). Composer-conductors Thomas Adès (Nov. 15-17) and Oliver Knussen (April 12-13) lead programs including music of their own, and pianist-conductor Christian Zacharias is showcased in music of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven (Nov. 23-27). Other returnees to the Symphony Hall podium include Christoph Eschenbach, Giancarlo Guerrero, andJuanjo Mena, as well as New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert and BSO Assistant Conductor Marcelo Lehninger.
INTERNATIONAL VIRTUOSO VIOLINISTS
Eight virtuosi of the violin appear with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in subscription programs during 2012-13: the American Joshua Bell, playing Bernstein’s Serenade (after Plato’s “Symposium”) (Oct. 4-6); the German Arabella Steinbacher, playing the Mendelssohn concerto (Oct. 11-13); American violinist Gil Shaham, performing Britten’s Violin Concerto (Nov. 1-6); Georgian violinist Lisa Batiashvili, playing the Tchaikovsky concerto (Jan. 10-15); Latvian violinist Baiba Skride, making her BSO debut with Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1 (Jan. 31-Feb. 5); French violinistRenaud Capuçon, making his subscription series debut with the Sibelius concerto (Feb. 7-12); the Israeli-American Pinchas Zukerman, playing Oliver Knussen’s Violin Concerto (April 12-13); and Danish violinist Nikolaj Znaider, who performs the Brahms concerto in the final program of the season (May 2-4).
KEYBOARD CHAMPIONS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Nine pianists appear with the orchestra in 2012-13. Four of them appear in November—the prizewinning young Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov, who makes his BSO debut with Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 (Nov. 8-10); the formidable Russian pianistKirill Gerstein, who makes his subscription series debut with Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 1 (Nov. 15-17); German pianist-conductor Christian Zacharias, who leads Mozart’s elegant Piano Concerto No. 18 in B-flat, K.456, from the keyboard, as part of a Haydn-Mozart-Beethoven program (Nov. 23-27); and French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, who is soloist in Saint-Saëns’ Piano Concerto No. 5, Egyptian (Nov. 29-Dec. 1).
Also featured this season are Russian pianist Nikolai Lugansky, making his BSO debut with Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 3 (Oct. 18-23); British pianist Stephen Hough, returning for Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 (Jan. 24-26); Romanian pianist Radu Lupu, returning for Mozart’s Concerto No. 23 in A, K.488 (Feb. 14-16); Chinese pianist Lang Lang, making his subscription series debut with Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 2 (Feb. 28-March 2); and American pianist Garrick Ohlsson, returning for Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (April 2).
The season also brings the BSO debut of French organist Olivier Latry, in Saint-Saëns’ Symphony No. 3, the so-called Organ Symphony (March 14-16).
COMPOSERS OF OUR TIME
Two of today’s most acclaimed British composers take the BSO podium in 2012-13.Thomas Adès leads his own In Seven Days for piano and orchestra as part of a wide-ranging program also including music of Prokofiev and Sibelius, with soprano Dawn Upshaw and pianist Kirill Gerstein in his subscription series debut (Nov. 15-17). Later in the season, Oliver Knussen leads his own Violin Concerto with soloist Pinchas Zukerman, and his own Whitman Settings with soprano Claire Booth in her BSO debut, as part of a program also including music of Miaskovsky and Mussorgsky’sPictures at an Exhibition as orchestrated by Leopold Stokowski (April 12-13).
In addition, two new BSO commissions enter the orchestra’s repertoire—Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho’s Circle Map for orchestra and electronics, a BSO co-commission receiving its American premiere under the direction of Juanjo Mena (Nov. 1-6), and American composer Augusta Read Thomas’s Cello Concerto No. 3, a world premiere featuring soloist Lynn Harrell with Christoph Eschenbach conducting (March 14-16).
The season also brings performances of Puerto Rican-born composer Roberto Sierra’sFandangos, with Giancarlo Guerrero conducting (Nov. 8-10); Three Interludes from Scottish composerJames MacMillan’s opera The Sacrifice, with Stéphane Denève on the podium (Nov. 29-Dec. 1), and senior French composer Henri Dutilleux’s masterful Métaboles, with Alan Gilbert conducting (Jan. 10-15).
CELEBRATING THE WAGNER AND VERDI BICENTENNIALS
The year 1813 was an important year for music-lovers, and particularly opera-lovers, witnessing the birth of both Richard Wagner and Giuseppe Verdi. The BSO marks the Verdi bicentennial with performances of Verdi’s Requiem under the direction of Daniele Gatti, with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and four vocal soloists all making their BSO debuts—Fiorenza Cedolins, Ekaterina Gubanova, Fabio Sartori, and Carlo Colombara (Jan. 17-19). To mark the Wagner bicentennial, Gatti, the BSO, and mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung join forces for an all-Wagner program of excerpts fromLohengrin, Tristan und Isolde, Götterdämmerung, and Parsifal, plus the Siegfried Idyll(March 21-26).
REPERTOIRE TRIED, TRUE, AND OFF THE BEATEN TRACK
Great symphonic works ranging from Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven through music of the 20th century figure prominently in the BSO’s 2012-13 programming—notably Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, Schubert’s Great C-major symphony, Brahms’s Haydn Variations, Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8, Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet and Symphony No. 5, Saint-Saëns’ Organ Symphony, Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4 (Romantic), Mahler’s Third and Fourth symphonies, Ravel’s La Valse, Sibelius’ Symphony No. 6, music from Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet, Stravinsky’s Symphony in Three Movements, and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 4.
In addition, the BSO plays its first complete performances of Beethoven’s ballet score The Creatures of Prometheus, and further expands its palette of expressive colors to include such less familiar French repertoire as Berlioz’s Overture to Les Francs-juges, music from Debussy’s The Martyrdom of St. Sebastian, and Roussel’s Bacchus et Ariane Suite No. 2.
FOCUS ON THE VOICE
Aficionados of the human voice will have plenty to choose from during the BSO’s 2012-13 season. The opening subscription program reprises the BSO’s August 2011 Tanglewood concert performance of George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess led by conductor Bramwell Tovey with Alfred Walker and Laquita Mitchell in the title roles (Sept. 27-29). Charles Dutoit leads a double bill of Stravinsky’s fairy-tale opera The Nightingale, inspired by the Hans Christian Andersen story, with Russian soprano Olga Peretyatko making her BSO debut in the title role, and Ravel’s one-act opera L’Enfant et les sortilèges (The Child and the Magic Spells), with French-Canadian mezzo-soprano Julie Boulianne making her BSO debut as the Child who is taught the meaning of love and kindness by the toys, animals, and articles of furniture he has treated badly (Oct. 25-27).
Other guest vocalists include Fiorenza Cedolins, Ekaterina Gubanova, Fabio Sartori, and Carlo Colombara, all making their BSO debuts in Verdi’s Requiem (Jan. 17-19); Alexandra Coku, Karen Cargill, Matthew Polenzani, and, making his BSO debut, Ildebrando D’Arcangelo, in a program of Stravinsky’s complete Pulcinella and Haydn’s Mass in Time of War (Feb. 21-26); Dawn Upshaw in Sibelius’s mystical tone poem for soprano and orchestra, Luonnotar (Nov. 15-17); Anne Sofie von Otter in Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 (March 28-30); Michelle DeYoung in an all-Wagner program marking the bicentennial of the composer’s birth (March 21-26); British soprano Claire Booth making her BSO debut in Oliver Knussen’s Whitman Settings (April 12-13); and Swedish sopranoCamilla Tilling in Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 (April 25-30).
The Tanglewood Festival Chorus, John Oliver, conductor, joins the BSO for Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess(Sept. 27-29), the Stravinsky-Ravel double bill (Oct. 25-27), Verdi’s Requiem (Jan. 17-19), Haydn’s Mass in Time of War (Feb. 21-26), and Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 (March 28-30). Also joining the BSO for the latter work are the boys of the PALS Children’s Chorus, Andy Icochea, conductor.
WEEK-BY-WEEK PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS OF THE BSO’S 2012-13 SEASON
ITZHAK PERLMAN LEADS THE BSO AS CONDUCTOR AND SOLOIST IN ALL-BEETHOVEN PROGRAM SEPTEMBER 22
Legendary Israeli-born violinist Itzhak Perlman joins the Boston Symphony Orchestra as both soloist and conductor on September 22 to begin the 2012-13 season with an all-Beethoven Opening Night at Symphony. The program begins with the composer’s lyrical early Romances No. 1 and 2 for violin and orchestra, dating from 1798-1802, and concludes with the dance-infused Symphony No. 7—dating from about a decade after the Romances—which the composer himself acknowledged as one of his finest works.
BRAMWELL TOVEY CONDUCTS CONCERT PERFORMANCES OF GERSHWIN’S PORGY AND BESS
Reprising one of the highlights of Tanglewood 2011, English conductor Bramwell Tovey, the BSO, a distinguished cast of soloists—headlined by Alfred Walker andLaquita Mitchell in the title roles—and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus present concert performances of George Gershwin’s great American masterpiece, the blues-and-jazz-inflected Porgy and Bess, a view of African-American life in the South Carolina fishing community of Catfish Row during the 1920s. Described by the composer as an “American folk opera,” Porgy and Bess premiered on Broadway in 1935 and only slowly gained traction in the traditional world of opera. Three quarters of a century later, it has assumed its rightful place among the greatest works of America’s music.
JOSHUA BELL JOINS BSO AND CONDUCTOR MARCELO LEHNINGER FOR BERNSTEIN’S SERENADE (AFTER PLATO’S “SYMPOSIUM”) OCTOBER 4-6
Acclaimed for his previous Boston Symphony performances at both Symphony Hall and Carnegie Hall, the young BSO assistant conductor Marcelo Lehninger leads an October 4-6 program pairing the Romantic with the ruminative. American violinistJoshua Bell is soloist in Bernstein’s five-movement Serenade—a violin concerto in all but name—inspired by Plato’s immortal dialogue on the nature and value of love,Symposium. Also on the program are two audience favorites: Tchaikovsky’s emotionally charged fantasy-overture Romeo and Juliet, and Dvořák’s bucolic Symphony No. 8, written a few years before the composer’s famous visit to the United States. On October 9, in place of Joshua Bell, the Hawthorne String Quartet, made up of four BSO members, is featured in the multi-faceted Concerto for String Quartet and Wind Orchestra (1930) of Ervin Schulhoff, a gifted Czech composer-pianist whose music reflects influences ranging from Baroque and dance-based- musical forms to blues and jazz, and whose life was cut short during World War II.
IN HIS BSO DEBUT, VLADIMIR JUROWSKI LEADS SHOSTAKOVICH’S SYMPHONY NO. 4 AND MENDELSSOHN’S VIOLIN CONCERTO FEATURING ARABELLA STEINBACHER OCTOBER 11-13
Making his Boston Symphony debut, Vladimir Jurowski, principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, leads the BSO October 11-13 with German violinistArabella Steinbacher as soloist in Mendelssohn’s sparkling Violin Concerto. Though the concerto is now a familiar repertoire staple, its solo-violin opening and three movements flowing together without pause were quite unusual for their time. The program concludes with Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 4, a dark but powerfully majestic work the composer finished in 1936. He withdrew the work prior to its premiere due to fears of official condemnation, writing instead the universally acclaimed, heroic Fifth the following year. The Fourth waited another quarter-century for its first performance.
CHARLES DUTOIT, NIKOLAI LUGANSKY, AND SOLOISTS FROM THE ORCHESTRA IN DEBUSSY, MARTIN, AND RACHMANINOFF OCTOBER 18-23
Acclaimed conductor Charles Dutoit leads the orchestra October 18-23 in a program overflowing with virtuosity. Soloist Nikolai Lugansky makes his BSO debut in Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3, a massive and daunting work that tests every aspect of a pianist’s skill. Not to be outdone, the orchestra’s first-chair wind players step to the front of the stage to demonstrate the BSO’s own resident virtuosity in Frank Martin’s mid-20th-century Concerto for Seven Wind Instruments, Timpani, Percussion, and String Orchestra. Rounding out the program are Debussy’s Fanfares and Symphonic Fragments from The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian, from the composer’s incidental music to Gabriele d’Annunzio’s mystery play of the same name.
CONDUCTOR DUTOIT RETURNS OCTOBER 25-27 FOR OPERATIC DOUBLE-BILL OF STRAVINSKY AND RAVEL
Charles Dutoit takes the podium for a second week October 25-27, leading the BSO, an international cast of vocal soloists, and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus in a compelling operatic double bill pairing Stravinsky’s The Nightingale and Ravel’s L’Enfant et les sortileges (The Child and the Magic Spells). Stravinsky’s 1914 opera The Nightingale—begun before but completed after his famous trio of ballets for Sergei Diaghilev—is based on a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale about a Chinese emperor and two nightingales—one real, the other mechanical. Completed in 1925, Ravel’s one-act opera L’Enfant et les sortilèges—the story of a child movingly taught the meaning of love and affection—is infused with whimsy and magic.
JUANJO MENA LEADS AMERICAN PREMIERE OF SAARIAHO’S CIRCLE MAP NOVEMBER 1-6
Spanish conductor Juanjo Mena, chief conductor of the BBC Philharmonic, leads the BSO’s November 1-6 program, including the American premiere of influential Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho’s Circle Map, for orchestra and electronics, a BSO co-commission here receiving its American premiere. Violinist Gil Shaham, a frequent guest with the orchestra, joins the BSO for Benjamin Britten’s rarely performed Violin Concerto, and the program concludes with Dvořák’s darkly majestic Symphony No. 7, which bespeaks both his love for his native Bohemia and the influence of his mentor, Johannes Brahms.
CONDUCTOR GIANCARLO GUERRERO AND PIANIST DANIIL TRIVONOV COLLABORATE NOVEMBER 8-10 IN TCHAIKOVSKY’S PIANO CONCERTO NO. 1, ON A PROGRAM WITH MUSIC OF PROKOFIEV AND SIERRA
At the heart of the BSO’s November 8-10 program—led by Costa Rican conductorGiancarlo Guerrero, music director of the Nashville Symphony, and featuring Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov in his BSO debut—are two powerhouse Russian works: Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, a fan-favorite and repertoire staple, and Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5, described as a “hymn to free and happy Man,” which the composer wrote in 1944 amidst the chaos of World War II. Puerto Rican-born composer Roberto Sierra’s colorful Fandangos for orchestra (2000) opens the program.
COMPOSER/CONDUCTOR THOMAS ADÈS, SOPRANO DAWN UPSHAW, AND PIANIST KIRILL GERSTEIN JOIN BSO NOVEMBER 15-17
English conductor Thomas Adès, who is also renowned as a composer and pianist, takes the podium November 15-17 to lead the BSO in a program including his own composition In Seven Days, for piano and orchestra, featuring soloist Kirill Gerstein. Gerstein also performs Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 1, a brief yet brilliant early work dating from the composer’s student years at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. Framing the program are two works by Sibelius—his mystical tone poem for soprano and orchestra Luonnotar, a musical take on the Finnish creation story, featuring American soprano Dawn Upshaw, and his poetic, fantasia-like Symphony No. 6.
CHRISTIAN ZACHARIAS LEADS HAYDN, MOZART, AND BEETHOVEN NOVEMBER 23-27
Christian Zacharias displays both his podium and keyboard skills in an all-Classical program November 23-27. Featuring the three great masters of the Austro-German Classical style, the concerts begin with Haydn’s Symphony No. 76, a typically inventive work from 1782. The program continues with Mr. Zacharias at the keyboard for Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 18, from 1784, the year he became friends with Haydn in Vienna. For the second half of the program, the BSO plays its first-ever performances of Beethoven’s complete ballet score to The Creatures of Prometheus, dating from 1801.
STÉPHANE DENÈVE AND JEAN-YVES THIBAUDET JOIN BSO IN A PROGRAM FOR FRANCOPHILES NOVEMBER 29 – DECEMBER 1
Returning to the BSO podium for the third consecutive season, French conductorStéphane Denève, chief conductor designate of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, leads the BSO in a trio of works by composers from his native country: Berlioz’s dynamic overture to the unfinished early opera Les Francs-juges, Albert Roussel’s Suite No. 2 from his 1930 ballet Bacchus et Ariane, and Saint-Saëns’s Piano Concerto No. 5, Egyptian, with fellow Frenchman Jean-Yves Thibaudet as soloist. Also on the program are the Three Interludes from The Sacrifice, Scottish contemporary composer James MacMillan’s 2006 opera on a story from The Mabinogion, an ancient collection of Welsh folktales.
ALAN GILBERT AND VIOLINIST LISA BATIASHVILI BEGIN THE NEW YEAR JANUARY 10-15
In-demand young violinist Lisa Batiashvili is featured in Tchaikovsky’s ultra-Romantic Violin Concerto at the heart of a January 10-15 program conducted by New York Philharmonic music director Alan Gilbert, who also also leads the BSO in three 20th-century works: Dutilleux’s Métaboles for Orchestra, in which the composer endeavors to “present one or several ideas in a different order and from different angles, until, by successive stages, they are made to change character completely”; Stravinsky’s Symphony in Three Movements, the first major work the composer wrote after moving to the United States in 1939; and Ravel’s remarkable musical deconstruction of dance,La Valse.
DANIELE GATTI MARKS VERDI BICENTENNIAL WITH THE COMPOSER’S REQUIEM JANUARY 17-19
To mark the bicentennial of the composer’s birth in 1813, the Italian conductor Daniele Gatti, music director of the Orchestre National de France, leads the BSO in three performances of Verdi’s Requiem January 17-19 with the Tanglewood Festival Chorusand four vocal soloists all making their BSO debuts: soprano Fiorenza Cedolins, mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Gubanova, tenor Fabio Sartori, and bass Carlo Colombara. One of the greatest of all works for orchestra, soloists, and chorus, Verdi’s massive, theatrical Requiem was completed in 1874, dedicated to the memory of the great Italian poet and novelist Alessandro Manzoni—a personal hero of Verdi’s—and premiered on the first anniversary of Manzoni’s death.
CHARLES DUTOIT RETURNS JANUARY 24-26, JOINED BY PIANIST STEPHEN HOUGH
Conductor Charles Dutoit returns for his third week of concerts of the season January 24-26 leading a program featuring virtuoso English pianist Stephen Hough in Liszt’s pyrotechnic Piano Concerto No. 1. The program begins with Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphoses on Themes of Weber—which translates material from works by Carl Maria von Weber into a virtuoso showpiece for orchestra—and concludes with music from Prokofiev’s sweeping and colorful ballet score Romeo and Juliet.
ANDRIS NELSONS AND BAIBA SKRIDE JOIN THE BSO FOR SHOSTAKOVICH AND TCHAIKOVSKY JANUARY 31-FEBRUARY 5
Latvian conductor and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra music director Andris Nelsons, who has conducted the BSO at Carnegie Hall, makes his subscription series debut January 13-February 5, joined by the exciting young Latvian violinist Baiba Skride. Ms. Skride makes her BSO debut as soloist in Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1, written in the late 1940s but only premiered in 1955 after Stalin’s death helped relax the constraints on artistic expression in the USSR. The second half of the program is devoted to Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5, the second of his well-known last three symphonies, all representing musical takes by the composer on the subject of fate.
CHRISTOPH VON DOHNÁNYI LEADS THREE REPERTOIRE STAPLES FEBRUARY 7-12
The eminent German conductor Christoph von Dohnányi leads three masterpieces from the heart of the orchestral repertoire February 7-12. The program begins with Brahms’s Variations on a Theme by Haydn, a prime example of theme-and-variations form that happens also to be Brahms’s earliest orchestral masterpiece. French violinistRenaud Capuçon, in his BSO subscription series debut, then joins the orchestra for Sibelius’s Violin Concerto, a pinnacle of the concerto repertoire, and uniquely Sibelian in atmosphere. The program concludes with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, a work needing no introduction.
DOHNÁNYI RETURNS WITH PIANIST RADU LUPU FOR MOZART AND BRUCKNER FEBRUARY 14-16
In three concerts February 14-16, revered Romanian pianist Radu Lupu—known for his individual interpretations of the great masterpieces of the piano repertoire—joinsChristoph von Dohnányi and the orchestra for Mozart’s elegantly soft-spoken Piano Concerto No. 23, completed in 1786 when Mozart was at the height of his popularity in Vienna. Also on the program—Bruckner’s expansive Symphony No. 4, Romantic, marked by the soaring grandeur and long-breathed melodies so characteristic of that composer.
RAFAEL FRÜHBECK DE BURGOS LEADS MUSIC FOR VOICES AND ORCHESTRA BY STRAVINSKY AND HAYDN FEBRUARY 21-26
Veteran BSO conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos joins the BSO February 21-26 for two very different works for orchestra and voices: the complete music from Stravinsky’s 1919 ballet Pulcinella—an early example, reinterpreting Baroque music, of the composer’s neoclassical style, and named for a character from Italian commedia dell’arte—and Haydn’s Mass in Time of War, composed in 1796 during the series of European wars following the French Revolution. These concerts feature theTanglewood Festival Chorus, soprano Alexandra Coku, mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill, tenor Matthew Polenzani, and, in his BSO debut, bass Ildebrando D’Arcangelo.
LANG LANG JOINS FRÜHBECK DE BURGOS FOR RACHMANINOFF’S PIANO CONCERTO NO. 2 FEBRUARY 28-MARCH 2
Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos again takes the podium February 28-March 2 for a program featuring the sensational Chinese pianist Lang Lang, making his BSO subscription series debut in Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, a prime example of the composer’s Russian-tinged Romanticism. Kicking off the program is Hindemith’sKonzertmusik for Strings and Brass, commissioned by Serge Koussevitzky and the BSO on the occasion of its 50th anniversary in 1931. Bartók’s ingeniously kaleidoscopic Concerto for Orchestra, a Koussevitzky commission premiered by the BSO in 1944, brings the concert to a close. On April 2, Frühbeck de Burgos and the orchestra repeat the works by Hindemith and Bartók, but this time in a program featuring American pianistGarrick Ohlsson in Rachmaninoff’s ever-popular Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.
CHRISTOPH ESCHENBACH, LYNN HARRELL, AND BSO COLLABORATE IN WORLD PREMIERE OF AUGUSTA READ THOMAS’S CELLO CONCERTO NO. 3 MARCH 14-16
A new BSO-commissioned work receives its world premiere performances March 14-16 when Lynn Harrell is the featured soloist in American composer Augusta Read Thomas’s Cello Concerto No. 3. Conducted by National Symphony Orchestra music director Christoph Eschenbach, the program also includes Saint-Saëns’s sonorous Symphony No. 3, his so-called Organ Symphony, featuring French organist Olivier Latry in his BSO debut, as well as Mozart’s Symphony No. 41, Jupiter, the composer’s final work in the genre and a pinnacle of the Classical style.
DANIELE GATTI, MICHELLE DEYOUNG, AND THE BSO MARK WAGNER BICENTENNIAL MARCH 21-26
Daniele Gatti, mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung, and the BSO celebrate the bicentennial of Wagner’s birth with music from four of the composer’s operas—the ethereal Prelude to Act I of Lohengrin; the Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde, a twenty-minute distillation of Wagner’s four-hour paean to love; orchestral excerpts from Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods), the final opera of Wagner’s gargantuan Ring cycle; and vocal and orchestral excerpts from his great final opera,Parsifal, whose title character attains spiritual transcendence as a Knight of the Holy Grail. Also on the program is Wagner’s chamber-musical Siegfried Idyll, composed as an intimate birthday present for his wife Cosima in 1869.
GATTI LEADS MAHLER’S SYMPHONY NO. 3 MARCH 28-30
For his third program of the season, March 28-30, Daniele Gatti conducts Mahler’s multi-faceted and emotionally wide-ranging Symphony No. 3, a work notable for its length, difficulty, and overwhelming cumulative impact. For this performance, the expanded ranks of the BSO are joined by the eminent Swedish mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and the boys of the PALS Children’s Chorus. Across its nearly 100-minute length, the broad musical canvas of Mahler’s Third Symphony incorporates a full range musical and emotional expression, moving through rousing fanfares, tender lyricism, and melancholy to the height of exaltation.
COMPOSER/CONDUCTOR OLIVER KNUSSEN LEADS PROGRAM FEATURING HIS OWN WORKS
The distinguished British composer/conductor Oliver Knussen leads music of his own in two concerts April 12 and 13. For his Violin Concerto (2002)—of which Knussen writes that “At times the violinist resembles a tightrope walker progressing along a (decidedly unstable) high wire strung across the span that separates the opening and closing sounds of the piece”—he and the BSO are joined by veteran virtuoso Pinchas Zukerman as soloist, for whom the piece was written. Then, making her BSO debut, English soprano Claire Booth takes center stage for Knussen’s 1992 Whitman Settings, for soprano and orchestra. The program opens with the Symphony No. 10 by the little-known Russian composer Nikolai Miaskovsky (who wrote twenty-six symphonies in all), and closes with Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition in a rarely heard orchestration by Leopold Stokowski.
WORKS FOR INDIVIDUAL SECTIONS OF THE ORCHESTRA ALLOW BSO MUSICIANS TO SHINE
Following the great success of the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s “members-only” concerts in January 2012, the individual sections of the orchestra again take the stage conductor-less, April 18-23, to play Britten’s Fanfare for St. Edmundsbury, Mozart’s Serenade No. 11 in E-flat for winds, K.375, Dvořák’s Serenade for Strings, and Tippett’sPraeludium for brass, bells, and percussion. The full ensemble then joins forces for Britten’s well-known Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, which—in keeping with the program’s overall spirit—shines a spotlight on each section of the orchestra in turn.
BSO CONDUCTOR EMERITUS BERNARD HAITINK LEADS SCHUBERT AND MAHLER APRIL 25-30
BSO Conductor Emeritus Bernard Haitink —who was the Boston Symphony’s principal guest conductor from 1995 to 2004—takes the helm for the last two weeks of the season, beginning April 25-30 with symphonies of Schubert and Mahler. First comes the teenaged Schubert’s Symphony No. 5, a bracingly youthful work suggestive of Haydn and Mozart, composed in just a few weeks in the summer of 1816. After intermission, Swedish soprano Camilla Tilling joins Haitink and the orchestra for Mahler’s mellifluous Symphony No. 4, a musical journey from earth to heaven that’s also the last of Mahler’s symphonies to use words from the folk poetry collection Des Knaben Wunderhorn (Youth’s Magic Horn).
BSO BRINGS SEASON TO A CLOSE WITH BRAHMS AND SCHUBERT MAY 2-4
Bernard Haitink returns to the podium May 2-4 to lead the BSO’s final concerts of its 2012-13 subscription season. To start the program, the compelling Danish violinist Nikolaj Znaider is featured in Brahms’s soaring Violin Concerto. Mr. Haitink and the orchestra then end the season in grand fashion with Schubert’s Symphony in C, The Great—the composer’s ultimate symphony (in both senses of the word: it is his biggest and last word in the genre)—famously praised for its “heavenly length” by Robert Schumann, who observed also that it “transports us into a world we cannot recall ever having been before.”
TICKET, SPONSORSHIP, AND OTHER PATRON INFORMATION
Subscriptions for the BSO’s 2012-2013 season are available by calling the BSO Subscription Office at 888-266-7575 or online through the BSO’s website (www.bso.org). Single tickets, priced from $31 to $123, go on sale Monday, August 6, at 10 a.m. Regular-season Boston Symphony Orchestra concerts on Tuesday and Thursday evenings are priced from $31 to $113; Friday afternoons are priced from $30 to $108; concerts on Friday and Saturday evenings are priced from $33 to $123. Tickets may be purchased by phone throughSymphonyCharge (617-266-1200 or 888-266-1200), online through the BSO’s website (www.bso.org), or in person at the Symphony Hall Box Office (301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston). There is a $6.25 service fee for all tickets purchased online or by phone through SymphonyCharge.
A limited number of Rush Tickets for Boston Symphony Orchestra subscription concerts on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Friday afternoons are set aside to be sold on the day of a performance. These tickets are sold at $9 each, one to a customer, at the Symphony Hall Box Office on Fridays beginning at 10 a.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning at 5 p.m.
The BSO’s <40=$20 program allows patrons under the age of 40 to purchase tickets for $20. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis on both the orchestra and balcony levels. There is a limit of one pair per performance, but patrons may attend as many performances as desired.
The Boston Symphony Orchestra offers groups advanced ticket reservations and flexible payment options for BSO concerts at Symphony Hall. Groups of 20 or more may take advantage of ticket discounts, backstage tours, clinics, and master classes. Pre- and post-concert dining options and private function space are available. More information is available through the group sales office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The BSO College Card and High School Card are the best way for students and aspiring young musicians to experience the BSO on a regular basis. For only $25 (College Card) or $10 (High School Card) students can attend most BSO concerts at no additional cost by registering the card online to receive text and email notifications of real-time ticket availability.