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Boston Symphony Orchestra
Giancarlo Guerrero conducts Schoenberg and Beethoven

Tanglewood

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With vocal soloists Nicole Cabell, J’Nai Bridges, Nicholas Phan, and Morris Robinson and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, returning guest conductor Giancarlo Guerrero leads the BSO in the orchestra’s traditional season-ending performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony on Sunday, August 25. The concert opens with Schoenberg’s Friede auf Erden (Peace on Earth) for unaccompanied chorus, also featuring the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. Schoenberg’s Friede auf Erden will be conducted by James Burton.

Featured Performers & Ensembles

Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor
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Giancarlo Guerrero is a six-time GRAMMY® Award-winning conductor now in his tenth season as Music Director of the Nashville Symphony. Guerrero is also Music Director of the Wrocław Philharmonic at the National Forum of Music in Poland and Principal Guest Conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon, Portugal. Guerrero is widely praised for his instinctive musicianship and for bringing to the podium “not only vitality and insight but also an appealing physical dynamism” (The Plain Dealer).

A passionate proponent of new music, Guerrero has championed the works of America's most respected composers through commissions, recordings, and world premieres. Guerrero’s advocacy has helped make Nashville a destination for contemporary orchestral music. He has presented nine world premieres with the Nashville Symphony, including the 2016 performance and recent GRAMMY®-winning recording of Jennifer Higdon’s All Things Majestic and the 2018 premiere and recording of Jonathan Leshnoff’s Symphony No. 4 “Heichalos,” written for the Nashville Symphony’s Violins of Hope initiative, which featured a collection of restored instruments that survived the Holocaust. As part of his commitment to fostering contemporary music, Guerrero developed and guided the creation of Nashville Symphony’s Composer Lab & Workshop initiative, together with composer Aaron Jay Kernis.

Fall of 2018 brings the Naxos release of John Harbison’s monumental Requiem with the Nashville Symphony and Chorus. The release marks both Guerrero’s first choral recording and the first time the work will be heard on record since its premiere by the Boston Symphony in 2003. In the spring of 2019, Naxos will release Guerrero and the Nashville Symphony’s recording of Leshnoff’s Symphony No. 4. Recent seasons have also seen the release of new albums with Guerrero and the Nashville Symphony dedicated to the music of Terry Riley, Michael Daugherty and Richard Danielpour, as well as a collection of wind concertos by Frank Ticheli, Brad Warnaar, and Behzad Ranjbaran. With the Harbison and Leshnoff releases, Guerrero’s rich discography with the Nashville Symphony will number 17.

Outside of Nashville, Wrocław and Lisbon, Guerrero enjoys relationships with orchestras around the world. His 2018/19 engagements will include the Dallas Symphony, Chicago Symphony, NDR in Hannover, OSESP São Paulo and Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia.

Maestro Guerrero has appeared with prominent North American orchestras, including those of Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Montréal, Philadelphia, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver, and the National Symphony Orchestra. He has developed a strong international guest-conducting profile and has worked in recent seasons with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Brussels Philharmonic, Deutsches Radio Philharmonie, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Netherlands Philharmonic, Residentie Orkest, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as the Queensland Symphony and Sydney Symphony in Australia.

Guerrero made his debut with Houston Grand Opera in 2015 conducting Puccini's Madama Butterfly. Early in his career, he worked regularly with the Costa Rican Lyric Opera and has conducted new productions of Carmen, La bohème, and Rigoletto. In 2008 he gave the Australian premiere of Osvaldo Golijov's one-act opera Ainadamar at the Adelaide Festival.

Guerrero previously held posts as the Principal Guest Conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra Miami (2011-2016), Music Director of the Eugene Symphony (2002-2009), and Associate Conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra (1999-2004).

Guerrero was born in Nicaragua and immigrated during his childhood to Costa Rica, where he joined the local youth symphony. He quickly proved to be a promising young percussionist and came to the United States to study percussion and conducting at Baylor University in Texas and at Northwestern. Given his beginnings in civic youth orchestras, Guerrero is particularly engaged with conducting training orchestras and works regularly with the Curtis School of Music, Colburn School in Los Angeles, and Yale Philharmonia, as well as with the Nashville Symphony’s Accelerando program, which provides music education to promising young students from underrepresented ethnic communities. In recent years, he has developed a relationship with the National Youth Orchestra (NYO2) in New York, created and operated by the Weill Institute of Music at Carnegie Hall. 

Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor James Burton, conductor
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James Burton was appointed Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and to the newly created position of BSO Choral Director, in February 2017. He made his BSO subscription-series conducting debut in October 2018, leading the Tanglewood Festival Chorus in Maija Einfelde’s Lux aeterna. Born in London, Mr. Burton holds a master’s degree in orchestral conducting from the Peabody Conservatory, where he studied with Frederik Prausnitz and Gustav Meier. He began his training at the Choir of Westminster Abbey, where he became head chorister, and was a choral scholar at St. John’s College, Cambridge. He has conducted concerts with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Hallé, the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, Royal Northern Sinfonia, BBC Concert Orchestra, and Manchester Camerata. He made his debut with the Boston Pops in December 2017 and returns to the Pops podium this coming December. He is a regular guest of the Orquestra Sinfónica Nacional of Mexico and returns this season to lead performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. Opera credits include performances at English National Opera, English Touring Opera, Garsington Opera, and the Prague Summer Nights Festival, and he has served on the music staff of the Metropolitan Opera and Opéra de Paris. Mr. Burton’s extensive choral conducting has included guest invitations with professional choirs including the Gabrieli Consort, the Choir of the Enlightenment, Wrocław Philharmonic, and the BBC Singers, with whom he performed in the inaugural season of Dubai’s Opera House in 2017. From 2002 to 2009 he served as choral director at the Hallé Orchestra, where he was music director of the Hallé Choir and founding conductor of the Hallé Youth Choir, winning the Gramophone Choral Award in 2009. He was music director of Schola Cantorum of Oxford from 2002 to 2017. Mr. Burton is well known for his inspirational work with young musicians. In 2017 he was director of the National Youth Choir of Japan; he has recently conducted the Princeton University Glee Club, Yale Schola Cantorum, and University of Kentucky Symphony. In 2018 he founded the Boston Symphony Children’s Choir. Mr. Burton has given conducting master classes at the Royal Academy of Music in London and at the Tanglewood Music Center, and founded a scholarship for young conductors at Oxford. His growing composition portfolio contains works for commissioners including the National Portrait Gallery in London, the 2010 World Equestrian Games, the Choir of St. John’s College, Cambridge, and the Exon Festival, where he was composer-in-residence in 2015. In July 2019, Mr. Burton will conduct the Boston Symphony Children’s Choir and Boston Symphony Orchestra in the world premiere of his The Lost Words, as part of next summer’s gala Tanglewood on Parade concert. His works are published by Edition Peters. As BSO Choral Director and Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, James Burton occupies the Alan J. and Suzanne W. Dworsky chair, endowed in perpetuity.

 

James Burton, conductor
Nicole Cabell, soprano
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Nicole Cabell, the 2005 Winner of the BBC Singer of the World Competition in Cardiff and Decca recording artist, is one of the most sought-after lyric sopranos of today.  Her solo debut album, “Soprano” was named “Editor’s Choice” by Gramophone and has received an incredible amount of critical acclaim and several prestigious awards, including the 2007 Georg Solti Orphée d’Or from the French Académie du Disque Lyrique.

Nicole Cabell opens the new season with her first stage performances of Bess in Porgy and Bess with the English National Opera.  She will also make her Pittsburgh Opera debut as Mimi in La Bohème before returning to the Minnesota Opera for Violetta in La Traviata and to the Cincinnati Opera for Juliette in Roméo et Juliette.  In concert, Ms. Cabell will perform a set of songs on texts by Langston Hughes at the Metropolitan Museum, will sing the Mozart Requiem with the Cincinnati Symphony and David Robertson before joining Master Voices and Ted Sperling at New York’s Alice Tully Hall.  Future engagements include returns to Atlanta, Japan, Montreal and Detroit.

Ms. Cabell’s last season included performances of the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro with the Grand Théâtre de Genève, Flavia in Eliogabalo with the Dutch National Opera, the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro with Michigan Opera Theatre, and Micaela in Carmen with the Atlanta Opera. Ms. Cabell was also heard in recital at the Frankfurt Opera, Carnegie Hall, the Harris Theater for Music in Dance in Chicago, the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, and in Louisville, Kentucky.  In concert, Nicole Cabell performed with the Lake Forest Symphony (Sisters in Song, a joint program with Alyson Cambridge, which was just commercially released by Cedille Records), the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, and in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra.

Ms. Cabell’s 2016-2017 season featured her debut as Bess in Porgy in Bess with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, as well as performances of Mimi in La Bohème with the Minnesota Opera and the Cincinnati Opera and of the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro with Angers Nantes Opera in France. In concert, she sang Shéhérazade with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Nashville Symphony and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Oregon Bach Festival.

The 2015-2016 season included Ms. Cabell’s debut at the Grand Théâtre de Genève in the title role of Handel’s Alcina and returns to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Violetta in La Traviata, to the Atlanta Opera as Juliette in Roméo et Juliette, to the Michigan Opera Theatre as Mimi in La Bohème and to the Cincinnati Opera in a new role: Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus. On the concert stage, Ms. Cabell performed Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and a solo recital in Baltimore.

Nicole Cabell’s 2014-2015 season included semi-staged concerts of Don Giovanni with Edo de Waart and the Milwaukee Symphony, her Opéra National de Paris debut (and role debut) as Mimi in La Bohème and Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore with the Minnesota Opera as well as a return to Washington Concert Opera as Giulietta in I Capuleti ed i Montecchi.  In concert, she was heard with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras no. 5, with the Orchestre National de Lille in Poulenc’s Stabat Mater, with the San Diego Symphony in Strauss’ Four Last Songs, with the London Symphony Orchestra in Debussy’s La Damoiselle Elue, in a Puccini-Strauss gala concert in Hong-Kong, as Bess in an abridged version of Porgy and Bess at Ravinia with Bobby McFerrin, at the Oregon Bach Festival in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, at Bard’s Music Festival in Villa-Lobos’ Forest of the Amazon and at SUNY Potsdam in Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem

In the previous season Nicole Cabell made some exciting role debuts: first as Violetta in La Traviata with Michigan Opera Theatre (seen again later in the season at the San Francisco Opera), then as Medora in Il Corsaro with Washington Concert Opera.  She reprised the role of her triumphant San Francisco Opera debut: Giulietta in I Capuleti e i Montecchi with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City.  In concert, Ms. Cabell made her Paris debut in Poulenc’s Stabat Mater, appeared several times in Spain, first with the Orquesta de Galicia in a Barber/Mahler program, then on tour with the RPO and Charles Dutoit in Poulenc’s Gloria.  In London, she was heard with the RPO in the same Poulenc piece as well as with the BBC Orchestra, first in Barber’s Knoxville, Summer of 1915 with Keith Lockhart and later in Elgar’s The Apostles with Sir Andrew Davis.  Further concert appearances included duke Ellington’s Sacred Music at Carnegie Hall, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Boston Symphony and Charles Dutoit at Tanglewood, and finally in a Barber/Brahms program in Nashville with GianCarlo Guerrero.  Nicole Cabell also appeared in recital in Chicago. 

Awards include first place in both the Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition and the Women's Board of Chicago Vocal Competition.  Nicole Cabell was a semi-finalist in the 2005 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and earned first place in the American Opera Society competition in Chicago.  She is the 2002 winner of the Union League's Rose M. Grundman Scholarship, and the 2002 Farwell Award with the Woman's Board of Chicago.  Nicole Cabell holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance from the Eastman School of Music.  

Nicole Cabell, soprano J'Nai Bridges, mezzo-soprano
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American mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges, known for her “rich, dark, exciting sound” (Opera News) is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after talents of her generation.

In the 2018-19 season, Ms. Bridges returns to San Francisco Opera for her first performances in the title role of Carmen, and makes her role debut as Katsurbai in Philip Glass’ Satyagraha in a return to Los Angeles Opera. She sings the chamber version premiere of John Adams’ El Niño with the American Modern Opera Company and makes her debut with Dutch National Opera, reprising the role of Josefa Segovia in John Adams’ highly acclaimed Girls of the Golden West, which she created in 2017. Of this performance, the Wall Street Journal said she “brought a lush mezzo and a defiant ferocity.”

On the concert stage, Ms. Bridges makes her Carnegie Hall solo recital debut alongside pianist Mark Markham, featuring a program of traditional repertoire mixed with African-American songs and spirituals. This is followed by a recital performance entitled “Still We Rise: A Spirituals Celebration” at Charleston’s Gaillard Center. Additional concert engagements include Mozart’s Requiem with the Los Angeles Master Chorale and Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder with the Amarillo Symphony.

Last season, J’Nai Bridges made role and house debuts as Preziosilla in La forza del destino with Opernhaus Zürich under the baton of Fabio Luisi. In a return to San Francisco Opera, she created the role of Josefa Segovia in the world premiere of John Adams’ Girls of the Golden West, directed by Peter Sellars. Concert engagements included works by Mozart with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel in at Walt Disney Hall; holiday concerts with the Philadelphia Orchestra; and Bernstein centennial celebrations with both the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra.

Debuts with San Francisco Opera and the Bavarian State Opera as Bersi in Andrea Chénier bookended Ms. Bridges’ 2016-2017 season. She joined Los Angeles Opera as Nefertiti in Philip Glass’s Akhnaten and Vancouver Opera as Sister Helen Prejean in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking. Concert performances included the Marilyn Horne Song Celebration at Carnegie Hall; concerts with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Gustavo Dudamel at the Hollywood Bowl; Farewell to Christoph Eschenbach with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center; Gershwin selections with the New York Philharmonic at the Bravo! Vail Festival led by Bramwell Tovey; and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection” with the Louisville Orchestra and the Ft. Wayne Symphony Orchestra.

Operatic highlights of recent seasons include a return to Lyric Opera of Chicago to sing the role of Carmen in the world premiere of Bel Canto, an opera by Jimmy Lopez, based on the novel by Ann Patchett, the title role in The Rape of Lucretia at Wolf Trap Opera, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly with San Diego Opera and Wolf Trap Opera, and Adalgisa in Norma with Knoxville Opera.

Ms. Bridges’ numerous concert engagements have spanned Ravel’s Chansons Medécasses with Yo-Yo Ma and members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Ravel’s Shéhérezade with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the NDR Symphony Orchestra in Hamburg; the mezzo-soprano solo in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Gustavo Dudamel and the L.A. Philharmonic, the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela in Berkeley, and in Caracas, Venezuela, and with the Oregon Symphony; in concert with Festival de Torroella de Montgrí in Spain; as a featured soloist in the GRAMMY Salute to Music Legends concert at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles; works by Mozart and Schubert with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago; the role of Mademoiselle Dangeville in Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur with the Opera Orchestra of New York; the mezzo-soprano solo in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection” with the Lexington Philharmonic; chamber works with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Art Institute of Chicago; and other soloist engagements with the Apollo Chorus of Chicago, the New Jersey Symphonic Orchestra, as part of WFMT 98.7’s recital series, and with the Conservatory Project at The Kennedy Center.

In 2015, J’Nai Bridges completed a three-year residency with the distinguished Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Highlights of her tenure at the Lyric include Inez in Il trovatore under the baton of Asher Fisch, Vlasta in Mieczysław Weinberg’s The Passenger led by Sir Andrew Davis, Flora in La traviata, and two student matinee performances of Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia. As a young artist with the Glimmerglass Music Festival, Ms. Bridges covered Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro and Mrs. Jenks in Copland’s The Tender Land.

Ms. Bridges represented the United States at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition in 2015. She was the recipient of a 2016 Richard Tucker Career Grant, a first prize winner at the 2016 Francisco Viñas International Competition, a first prize winner at the 2015 Gerda Lissner Competition, a recipient of the 2013 Sullivan Foundation Award, a 2012 Marian Anderson award winner, the recipient of the 2011 Sara Tucker Study Grant, the recipient of the 2009 Richard F. Gold Grant as the singer with a promising operatic career, and the winner of the 2008 Leontyne Price Foundation Competition. J’Nai demonstrated her versatile artistry providing vocals for the historic DVD documentary Bishop Richard Allen: Apostle of Freedom as well as at the 2009 Presidential Inauguration and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with Chorale Le Chateau.

A native of Lakewood, Washington, J’Nai Bridges earned her Master’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, where her operatic credits included Carolina Kirchstetten in Henze’s Elegy for Young Lovers, Idamante in Idomeneo, Carmen in Le tragedie de Carmen, Teresa in La sonnambula, Iras in Barber’s Antony and Cleopatra and Baba the Turk in The Rake’s Progress. While at Curtis, Ms. Bridges also appeared as the Madrigalist in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut with the Opera Company of Philadelphia. She received her Bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from the Manhattan School of Music, where she appeared in the U.S. premiere of Xenakis’s Oresteia, and as Polly in The Beggar’s Opera to rave reviews from The New York Times.

 

J'Nai Bridges, mezzo-soprano
Nicholas Phan, tenor
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Described by the Boston Globe as “one of the world’s most remarkable singers,” American tenor Nicholas Phan is increasingly recognized as an artist of distinction. Praised for his keen intelligence, captivating stage presence and natural musicianship, he performs regularly with the world’s leading orchestras and opera companies. Also an avid recitalist, in 2010 he co-founded the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago (CAIC) to promote art song and vocal chamber music, where he serves as Artistic Director.

Phan once again launches his new season in Chicago, curating CAIC’s seventh annual Collaborative Arts Festival. This year’s three-day festival (Sep 5 - 8), “The Song as Drama,” will examine the narrative power of the song cycle and the ability of song to tell epic stories with minimal forces. Other highlights of his 2018-19 season are two role debuts: Eumolpus in Stravinsky’s Perséphone, with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony; and the title role in Handel’s Jephtha, with Boston Baroque and Martin Pearlman. The title role in Bernstein’s Candide, with Marin Alsop and the Israel Philharmonic, will mark his debut in Israel. In addition to three programs with the San Francisco Symphony, he will return to major orchestras across the country including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, and Colorado Symphony. In November he will sing the first of many outings of Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin this season, as he gives the world premiere of Antoine Plante’s arrangement of the cycle for full orchestra, with Mercury, the Houston-based orchestra of which Plante is the founder. A celebrated recording artist, Phan will be heard on two forthcoming recordings: Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette with Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony, (recorded in June 2017); and Handel’s Joseph and His Brethren (recorded in December 2017) with Philharmonia Baroque and Nicholas McGegan, singing the roles of Simeon and Judah.

Phan's most recent solo album, Illuminations, was released on Avie Records in April 2018. His previous solo album, Gods and Monsters, was nominated for the 2017 Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Solo Album. His other previous solo albums, A Painted Tale, Still Fall the Rain and Winter Words, made many "best of" lists, including those of the New York Times, New Yorker, Chicago Tribune and Boston Globe. Phan's growing discography also includes a Grammy-nominated recording of Stravinsky's Pulcinella with Pierre Boulez and the Chicago Symphony, the opera L'Olimpiade with the Venice Baroque Orchestra, Scarlatti's La gloria di primavera with Philharmonia Baroque, an album of Bach’s secular cantatas with Masaaki Suzuki and Bach Collegium Japan, Bach's St. John Passion (in which he sings both the Evangelist and the tenor arias) with Apollo's Fire, and the world premiere recordings of two orchestral song cycles: The Old Burying Ground by Evan Chambers and Elliott Carter's A Sunbeam's Architecture.

Phan has appeared with many of the leading orchestras in the North America and Europe, including the Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke's, Philharmonia Baroque, Boston Baroque, Les Violons du Roy, BBC Symphony, English Chamber Orchestra, Strasbourg Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra of London, and the Lucerne Symphony. He has toured extensively throughout the major concert halls of Europe with Il Complesso Barocco, and has appeared with the Oregon Bach, Ravinia, Marlboro, Edinburgh, Rheingau, Saint-Denis, and Tanglewood festivals, as well as the BBC Proms. Among the conductors he has worked with are Marin Alsop, Harry Bicket, Pierre Boulez, James Conlon, Alan Curtis, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Charles Dutoit, James Gaffigan, Jane Glover, Manfred Honeck, Bernard Labadie, Louis Langrée, Nicholas McGegan, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, John Nelson, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Helmuth Rilling, David Robertson, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Masaaki Suzuki, Michael Tilson Thomas, Bramwell Tovey and Franz Welser-Möst.

An avid proponent of vocal chamber music, he has collaborated with many chamber musicians, including pianists Mitsuko Uchida, Richard Goode, Jeremy Denk, Graham Johnson, Roger Vignoles, Inon Barnatan, Myra Huang and Alessio Bax; violinist James Ehnes; guitarist Eliot Fisk; harpist Sivan Magen; and horn players Jennifer Montone, Radovan Vlatkovic and Gail Williams. In both recital and chamber concerts, he has been presented by Carnegie Hall, London's Wigmore Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Atlanta's Spivey Hall, Boston's Celebrity Series, and the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.

Phan's many opera credits include appearances with the Los Angeles Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Glimmerglass Festival, Chicago Opera Theater, Seattle Opera, Portland Opera, Glyndebourne Opera, Maggio Musicale in Florence, Deutsche Oper am Rhein, and Frankfurt Opera. His growing repertoire includes the title roles in Bernstein's Candide, Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex and Handel's Acis and Galatea, Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Nemorino in L'elisir d'amore, Fenton in Falstaff, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, and Lurcanio in Ariodante.

A graduate of the University of Michigan, Phan is the 2012 recipient of the Paul C Boylan Distinguished Alumni Award. He also studied at the Manhattan School of Music and the Aspen Music Festival and School, and is an alumnus of the Houston Grand Opera Studio. He was the recipient of a 2006 Sullivan Foundation Award and 2004 Richard F. Gold Career Grant from the Shoshana Foundation. In 2018, Phan was appointed to the faculty of DePaul University, where he serves as an adjunct member of the voice faculty.

Nicholas Phan, tenor Morris Robinson, bass
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Morris Robinson is considered one the most interesting and sought after basses performing today.

Mr. Robinson regularly appears at the Metropolitan Opera, where he is a graduate of the Lindemann Young Artist Program. He his debut there in a production of Fidelio and has since appeared as Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte (both in the original production and in the children's English version), Ferrando in Il Trovatore, the King in Aida, and in roles in NabuccoTannhäuser, and the new productions of Les Troyens and Salome. He has also appeared at the San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Dallas Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Seattle Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Teatro alla Scala, Opera Australia, and the Aix-en-Provence Festival. His many roles include the title role in Porgy and Bess, Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Ramfis in Aida, Zaccaria in Nabucco, Sparafucile in Rigoletto, Commendatore in Don Giovanni, Grand Inquisitor in Don Carlos, Timur in Turandot, the Bonze in Madama Butterfly, Padre Guardiano in La Forza del Destino, Ferrando in Il Trovatore, and Fasolt in Das Rheingold. 

Also a prolific concert singer, Mr. Robinson's many concert engagements have included appearances with the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (where he was the 2015-2016 Artist in Residence), San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony, L'Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, Met Chamber Orchestra, Nashville Symphony Orchestra, São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, New England String Ensemble, and at the BBC Proms and the Ravinia, Mostly Mozart, Tanglewood, Cincinnati May, Verbier, and Aspen Music Festivals. He also appeared in Carnegie Hall as part of Jessye Norman's HONOR! Festival. In recital he has been presented by Spivey Hall in Atlanta, the Savannah Music Festival, the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.  

Mr. Robinson's first album, Going Home, was released on the Decca label. He also appears as Joe in the newly released DVD of the San Francisco Opera production of Show Boat, and in the DVDs of the Metropolitan Opera's production of Salome and the Aix-en-Provence Festival's production of Mozart's Zaide. 

This season, Mr. Robinson makes his debut at the Volksoper Wien in concert performances of Porgy and Bess, returns to the Los Angeles Opera for Don Carlo and Satyagraha, the Metropolitan Opera in The Magic Flute, and the Cincinnati Opera in Porgy and Bess, and appears in concert with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony and the Madison Symphony Orchestra. 

An Atlanta native, Mr. Robinson is a graduate of The Citadel and received his musical training from the Boston University Opera Institute. He was recently named Artistic Advisor to the Cincinnati Opera

 

Morris Robinson, bass
Tanglewood Festival Chorus
Tanglewood Festival Chorus
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Tanglewood Festival Chorus
James Burton, BSO Choral Director and Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus
John Oliver (1939-2018), Founder

Originally formed under the joint sponsorship of Boston University and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the all-volunteer Tanglewood Festival Chorus was established in 1970 by its founding conductor, the late John Oliver, who stepped down from his leadership position with the TFC at the end of the 2015 Tanglewood season. In February 2017, following appearances as guest chorus conductor at Symphony Hall and Tanglewood, and having prepared the chorus for that month’s BSO performances of Bach’s B minor Mass led by Andris Nelsons, the British-born James Burton was named the new Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, also being appointed to the newly created position of BSO Ch

The Tanglewood Festival Chorus joins the BSO this season for performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (October 25-30), Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (November 29-December 1), Puccini’s Suor Angelica (February 21 and 22), and Dvořák’s Stabat Mater (February 28-March 2) all under Andris Nelsons, and Estévez’s Cantata Criolla (April 11-13) with guest conductor Gustavo Dudamel. Also in October, the TFC performed Maija Einfelde’s Lux aeterna with James Burton, BSO Choral Director and Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, making his subscription-series conducting debut. Originally formed under the joint sponsorship of Boston University and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the all-volunteer Tanglewood Festival Chorus was established in 1970 by its founding conductor, the late John Oliver, who stepped down from his leadership position with the TFC at the end of the 2015 Tanglewood season. In February 2017, following appearances as guest chorus conductor at Symphony Hall and Tanglewood, and having prepared the chorus for that month’s BSO performances of Bach’s B minor Massled by Andris Nelsons, James Burton was named the new Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, also being appointed to the newly created position of BSO Choral Director. Mr. Burton occupies the Alan J. and Suzanne W. Dworsky Chair on the Boston Symphony Orchestra roster.

Though first established for performances at the BSO’s summer home, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus was soon playing a major role in the BSO’s subscription season as well as BSO concerts at Carnegie Hall; the ensemble now performs year-round with the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops. It has performed with the BSO on tour in Hong Kong and Japan, and on two European tours, also giving a cappella concerts of its own on those two occasions. The TFC made its debut in April 1970 at Symphony Hall, in a BSO performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Leonard Bernstein conducting. Its first recording with the orchestra, Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust with Seiji Ozawa, received a Grammy nomination for Best Choral Performance of 1975. The TFC has since made dozens of recordings with the BSO and Boston Pops, with Seiji Ozawa, Bernard Haitink, James Levine, Leonard Bernstein, Sir Colin Davis, Keith Lockhart, and John Williams. In August 2011, with John Oliver conducting and soloist Stephanie Blythe, the TFC gave the world premiere of Alan Smith’s An Unknown Sphere for mezzo-soprano and chorus, commissioned by the BSO for the ensemble’s 40th anniversary. Its most recent recordings on BSO Classics, all drawn from live performances, include a disc of a cappella music marking the TFC’s 40th anniversary; Ravel’s complete Daphnis et Chloé (a 2009 Grammy-winner for Best Orchestral Performance), Brahms’s German Requiem, and William Bolcom’s Eighth Symphony for chorus and orchestra (a BSO 125th Anniversary Commission). On July 4, 2018, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus joined Keith Lockhart for the “Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular” on the Charles River Esplanade.

Besides their work with the BSO, TFC members have also performed with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic and in a Saito Kinen Festival production of Britten’s Peter Grimes under Seiji Ozawa in Japan. The ensemble had the honor of singing at Sen. Edward Kennedy’s funeral; has performed with the Boston Pops for the Boston Red Sox and Boston Celtics; and can be heard on the soundtracks of Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River, John Sayles’s Silver City, and Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan. TFC members regularly commute from the greater Boston area and beyond to sing with the chorus in Boston and at Tanglewood. For more information about the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and upcoming auditions, please visit www.bso.org/tfc.

 

 

James Burton
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James Burton was appointed Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and to the newly created position of BSO Choral Director, in February 2017. He made his BSO subscription-series conducting debut in October 2018, leading the Tanglewood Festival Chorus in Maija Einfelde’s Lux aeterna. Born in London, Mr. Burton holds a master’s degree in orchestral conducting from the Peabody Conservatory, where he studied with Frederik Prausnitz and Gustav Meier. He began his training at the Choir of Westminster Abbey, where he became head chorister, and was a choral scholar at St. John’s College, Cambridge. He has conducted concerts with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Hallé, the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, Royal Northern Sinfonia, BBC Concert Orchestra, and Manchester Camerata. He made his debut with the Boston Pops in December 2017 and returns to the Pops podium this coming December. He is a regular guest of the Orquestra Sinfónica Nacional of Mexico and returns this season to lead performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. Opera credits include performances at English National Opera, English Touring Opera, Garsington Opera, and the Prague Summer Nights Festival, and he has served on the music staff of the Metropolitan Opera and Opéra de Paris. Mr. Burton’s extensive choral conducting has included guest invitations with professional choirs including the Gabrieli Consort, the Choir of the Enlightenment, Wrocław Philharmonic, and the BBC Singers, with whom he performed in the inaugural season of Dubai’s Opera House in 2017. From 2002 to 2009 he served as choral director at the Hallé Orchestra, where he was music director of the Hallé Choir and founding conductor of the Hallé Youth Choir, winning the Gramophone Choral Award in 2009. He was music director of Schola Cantorum of Oxford from 2002 to 2017. Mr. Burton is well known for his inspirational work with young musicians. In 2017 he was director of the National Youth Choir of Japan; he has recently conducted the Princeton University Glee Club, Yale Schola Cantorum, and University of Kentucky Symphony. In 2018 he founded the Boston Symphony Children’s Choir. Mr. Burton has given conducting master classes at the Royal Academy of Music in London and at the Tanglewood Music Center, and founded a scholarship for young conductors at Oxford. His growing composition portfolio contains works for commissioners including the National Portrait Gallery in London, the 2010 World Equestrian Games, the Choir of St. John’s College, Cambridge, and the Exon Festival, where he was composer-in-residence in 2015. In July 2019, Mr. Burton will conduct the Boston Symphony Children’s Choir and Boston Symphony Orchestra in the world premiere of his The Lost Words, as part of next summer’s gala Tanglewood on Parade concert. His works are published by Edition Peters. As BSO Choral Director and Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, James Burton occupies the Alan J. and Suzanne W. Dworsky chair, endowed in perpetuity.

 

Program Notes Audio
SCHOENBERG - Friede auf Erde (Peace on Earth), for unaccompanied chorus
BEETHOVEN - Symphony No. 9 (65 min)