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Giancarlo Guerrero conducts Grime, Walton, and Duruflé featuring cellist Johannes Moser

Boston Symphony Orchestra

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Costa Rican conductor and frequent BSO guest Giancarlo Guerrero returns to lead soloist Johannes Moser in the first BSO performances since 1997 of English composer William Walton’s Cello Concerto, which Gregor Piatigorsky premiered with the orchestra in 1957 under Charles Munch. Opening the concert is the young British composer Helen Grime’s Limina, a BSO commission to be premiered at Tanglewood in 2019. Although French composer Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem is frequently performed in Europe and the U.S., its only previous complete BSO performances were in November 1983. Duruflé was one of Paris’s great church organists of the 20th century. His lovely and often powerful Requiem setting, which features organ, is based firmly on the tradition of Catholic liturgical music.

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 Johannes Moser, cello
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Praised for his rich, gorgeous tone and playing that can range from lovely and elegant, to vigorous with head-banging, rock star energy, German-Canadian cellist Johannes Moser has been hailed by Gramophone Magazine as "one of the finest among the astonishing gallery of young virtuoso cellists." Johannes has performed with the world's leading orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, London Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Concertgebouw Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Bayerische Rundfunk Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Tokyo Symphony and Israel Philharmonic. He works regularly with conductors of the highest level including Riccardo Muti, Lorin Maazel, Mariss Jansons, Valery Gergiev, Zubin Mehta, Vladimir Jurowski, Franz Welser-Möst, Manfred Honeck, Christian Thielemann, Pierre Boulez, Paavo Jarvi and Semyon Bychkov.

The 2013-14 season includes debuts with the London Philharmonic, Baltimore Symphony, Oregon Symphony and Houston Symphony as well as returns to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony, Deutsche-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, WDR Cologne and Essen Philharmonic.

Johannes has gained a reputation for his exquisite performances and wide ranging repertoire, much of it recorded on his extensive award-winning discography.His affinity for new music has brought him much attention from leading conductors such as Pierre Boulez, who invited him to make his U.S. debut with the Chicago Symphony on the Rands Concerto.  Johannes is an enthusiastic advocate for the electric cello which he uses to explore new possibilities in sound as well as for improvisation. In  October 2012 he premiered " Magnetar", a concerto for electric cello by Enrico Chapela, which Johannes performed with Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Gustavo Dudamel and in the 2013-14 season Johannes will continue this relationship with the Los Angeles Philharmonic by performing Michel van der Aa's cello concerto "Up-close".

Johannes is committed to reaching out to young audiences, from kindergarten to college and beyond. From his 2010 American tour with toy pianist Phyllis Chen "Sounding Off: A Fresh Look at Classical Music", to outreach activities on campuses and performances in alternative venues, Johannes aims to present classical music in terms with which listeners of all ages can connect.

A dedicated chamber musician, Johannes has played with: Joshua Bell, Emanuel Ax, Leonidas Kavakos, Menahem Pressler, James Ehnes, Midori and Jonathan Biss. He has also performed at many festivals including the Verbier, Schleswig-Holstein, Gstaad and Kissinger festivals, the Mehta Chamber Music Festival and the Colorado, Seattle and Brevard music festivals.

Johannes has received two ECHO Klassik awards and the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik for his recordings on Hänssler Classics. His concerto debut disc, which features the complete works of Saint-Saëns for cello and orchestra with the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, was honoured as one of Classics Today's Top 10 CDs of 2008. Following an album of works by Britten, Bridge and Bax, a disc of Martinu, Hindemith and Honegger concerti received great acclaim and was listed for the prestigious "Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik". The latest concerto album of the Britten Cello Symphony and the Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 1 with WDR Cologne and Pietari Inkinen was released in January 2012.

Born into a musical family in 1979 as a dual citizen of Germany and Canada, Johannes began studying the cello at the age of eight and became a student of Professor David Geringas in 1997. He was the top prize winner at the 2002 Tchaikovsky Competition, in addition to being awarded the Special Prize for his interpretation of the Rococo Variations.

A voracious reader of everything from Kafka to Collins, and an avid outdoorsman, Johannes Moser is a keen hiker and mountain biker in what little spare time he has.

Johannes Moser, cello
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
Helen GRIME - Limina (BSO commission)
WALTON - Cello Concerto
DURUFLÉ - Requiem