Celebrated violinist Itzhak Perlman opened the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s 132nd season with an all-Beethoven concert, making his first Symphony Hall appearance in the dual role of conductor and soloist. The Israeli-born violinist has appeared many times with the BSO since his Symphony Hall and Tanglewood debuts in the mid-1960s. Mr. Perlman will appear as soloist in Beethoven’s Romances Nos. 1 and 2 and conduct the orchestra in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7.
The anticipated Opening Night at Symphony concert also introduced Wesley Collins, BSO viola, and Michael Winter, BSO horn, two of the five new members to join the orchestra family in the 2012-13 season. Read our full report on the new members in our earlier story.
BSO OPENING NIGHT PROGRAM DETAILS
The program began with Beethoven’s relatively early Romances No. 1 and 2 for violin and orchestra, dating from 1798–1802 when the composer was beginning to be recognized—on the strength of his early piano sonatas and first pairs of symphonies and piano concertos—as a leading composer of the generation following the great masters Mozart and Haydn. The two Romances reflect a transitional style between Beethoven’s early Classical period and the “heroic” middle period.
The program concluded with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, which was composed about a decade after the Romances, by which time Beethoven was firmly established as the greatest composer of his day despite having to end his performing career as a pianist and improviser due to his increasing deafness. Enshrined among the greatest of all symphonies, Beethoven’s Seventh—which the composer himself acknowledged as one of his finest pieces—whirls and leaps, saunters and skips through its four raucous, rhythmically charged movements like some sort of crazed dancer, hovering in a space between playful and furious that is unique to Beethoven’s monumental middle-period works.
Undeniably the reigning virtuoso of the violin, Itzhak Perlman enjoys superstar status rarely afforded a classical musician. Beloved for his charm and humanity as well as his talent, he is treasured by audiences throughout the world who respond not only to his remarkable artistry, but also to the irrepressible joy of making music, which he communicates. In January 2009, Mr. Perlman was honored to take part in the Inauguration of President Barack Obama, premiering a piece written for the occasion by John Williams and performing with clarinetist Anthony McGill, pianist Gabriela Montero, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. In December 2003 the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts granted Mr. Perlman a Kennedy Center Honor celebrating his distinguished achievements and contributions to the cultural and educational life of our nation. In May 2007, he performed at the State Dinner for Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, hosted by President George W. Bush and Mrs. Bush at the White House. In addition to his many orchestral and recital appearances throughout the world, Mr. Perlman performs as conductor with leading orchestras. He was Music Advisor of the St. Louis Symphony from 2002 to 2004, and he was Principal Guest Conductor of the Detroit Symphony from 2001 to 2005. He has performed as conductor with the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony, National Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the symphony orchestras of San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Montreal, Atlanta and Toronto, as well as at the Ravinia and OK Mozart festivals.
Internationally, Mr. Perlman has conducted the Berlin Philharmonic, Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Philharmonic, the English Chamber Orchestra, and the Israel Philharmonic. He proudly possesses four Emmy Awards and fifteen Grammy awards. He performed at the 2006 Academy Awards and at the Juilliard School Centennial gala, broadcast nationally on “Live from Lincoln Center.” One of Mr. Perlman’s proudest achievements is his collaboration with film score composer John Williams in Steven Spielberg’s Academy Award winning film Schindler’s List, in which he performed the violin solos.
The BSO’s YOUNG ORCHESTRA
Also, as the BSO opens its 2012-13 season, the orchestra announces a new relationship with the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra (BYSO) that will form an important new partnership for classical music in Boston. By joining forces, the two organizations will develop new training programs and offer joint performance opportunities for young musicians, audiences, and the wider community, while exploring innovative ways to continue to foster the future of classical music. In honor of this occasion, BYSO cellists will join BSO cellists for a special performance at the opening night celebratory dinner following the 7 p.m. concert.
“This new association between the BSO and BYSO represents a shared commitment to presenting great orchestral music, to training the next generation of orchestral players, and to reinforcing the primacy of music as one of the fundamental disciplines,” said BSO Managing Director Mark Volpe.
TICKETS MORE AFFORDABLE THROUGH VARIOUS PROGRAMS
The Boston Symphony Orchestra offers various affordable ticket options for patrons in every age group for the 2012-13 season. Ticket options designed to encourage young concert-goers to enjoy BSO concerts at Symphony Hall include the orchestra’s highly successful $20 concert tickets for patrons under the age of 40; the College Card ($25), and the High School Card ($10), programs that invite students to attend virtually any concert of their choosing throughout the BSO season, with the exception of a few pre-designated dates. Patrons of all ages can also take advantage of BSO Rush Tickets, costing $9 each. In addition, the orchestra continues to offer the Massachusetts Teachers Association a thirty percent discount on all single tickets and subscriptions, as well as a fifteen percent discount on all single tickets and subscriptions to members of the military.
Tickets may be purchased through the BSO’s website (www.bso.org), by phone through SymphonyCharge (617-266-1200 or 888-266-1200), or in person at the Symphony Hall Box Office (301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston).