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Thomas Adès conducts Stravinsky and Adès featuring cellist Steven Isserlis and tenor Edgaras Montvidas

Thomas Adès conducts Stravinsky and Adès featuring cellist Steven Isserlis and tenor Edgaras Montvidas

Boston Symphony Orchestra

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BSO Artistic Partner Thomas Adès leads his own Lieux retrouvés (“Rediscovered places”) with English cellist Steven Isserlis, for whom it was written, as soloist. The piece is in four movements, evoking a series of contrasting landscapes. Two Stravinsky works bracket the Adès work. The Pulcinella Suite is from the composer’s 1921 ballet, written for Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. Stravinsky drew from pieces of the Baroque and other earlier eras to compose the score, giving it a simultaneously modern and archaic sound. His Perséphone for speaker, tenor soloist, chorus, and orchestra retells the ancient myth of the origin of the seasons. With a text in French, Perséphone contains some of Stravinsky’s most haunting music.

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Thomas Adès, conductor
Thomas Adès, conductor View biography in full page >

Now in his third year as the BSO’s Deborah and Philip Edmundson Artistic Partner, a position created specifically for him and just recently extended through the BSO’s 2020-21 season, composer-conductor-pianist Thomas Adès was born in London in 1971. Renowned as both a composer and a performer, he works regularly with the world’s leading orchestras, opera companies, and festivals, and was made a CBE in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours. Mr. Adès’s most recent opera, The Exterminating Angel, premiered at the 2016 Salzburg Festival and has also been performed at the Metropolitan Opera and at London’s Royal Opera House. His opera The Tempest was commissioned by and first performed at the Royal Opera House in 2004, with a new production at the Metropolitan Opera in 2012. His first opera, Powder Her Face (1995), was written for the Cheltenham Festival and the Almeida Theatre, London. Orchestral commissions include those from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall, the New World Symphony, Berliner Festspiele, BBC Proms, Los Angeles Philharmonic, London’s Royal Festival Hall, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. His catalog also includes numerous celebrated chamber and solo works. As the BSO’s artistic partner, he leads the orchestra in Boston and at Tanglewood, performs chamber music with the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, and directs the Festival of Contemporary Music at Tanglewood.

 

Thomas Adès coaches piano and chamber music annually at the International Musicians Seminar, Prussia Cove. As a conductor, he appears regularly with the Los Angeles, New York, and London philharmonic orchestras, the Boston, London, BBC, City of Birmingham, Melbourne, and Sydney symphony orchestras, and the Royal Concertgebouworkest. This season he leads the Orchestre de Paris, Britten Sinfonia, and Leipzig Gewandhausorchester. In addition to his own works, he has conducted such operas as The Rake’s Progress and the world and European premieres of Gerald Barry’s Alice’s Adventures Under Ground. Recent piano engagements include solo recitals at Carnegie Hall and London’s Wigmore Hall and concerto appearances with the New York Philharmonic. This season includes a solo Janáček program in London, Paris, Lisbon, and the Czech Republic, Schubert’s Winterreise at Wigmore Hall with Ian Bostridge, and duo-recitals with Kirill Gerstein at Carnegie Hall and Boston’s Jordan Hall. Mr. Adès’s honors include the Grawemeyer Award for Asyla (1999), the Ernst von Siemens Prize for Arcadiana, and the British Composer Award for The Four Quarters. His recording of The Tempest (EMI) won a Gramophone award; the DVD of the Metropolitan Opera’s production was awarded the Diapason d’Or de l’année, Best Opera Grammy Award, and ECHO Klassik Music DVD Recording of the Year. The Exterminating Angel won the World Premiere of the Year at the International Opera Awards. In 2015 Mr. Adès was awarded the prestigious Léonie Sonning Music Prize.

 

Thomas Adès, conductor Steven Isserlis, cello Steven Isserlis, cello
Edgaras Montvidas, tenor
Edgaras Montvidas, tenor View biography in full page >

Opera plans this season and beyond include the title role in Werther for Bergen National Opera; Boris in Katya Kabanova for Hamburg Opera; Pinkerton Madama Butterfly for Opéra Nationale de Lorraine, Nancy as well as debuts at Zurich Opera and La Scala.

Upcoming concert highlights include Verdi Requiem on tour with the Monteverdi Choir and John Eliot Gardiner; Berlioz La Damnation de Faust with the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra and Szymanowski Harnasie for the London Symphony Orchestra and Simon Rattle.

Past opera appearances include the title role in Werther for the Opéra Nationale de Lorraine, Nancy; Anatol in Barber Vanessa at Glyndebourne; Les Contes d’Hoffman in a new production by Barrie Kosky for Komische Oper Berlin; Flamand Capriccio for La Monnaie, Brussels; Edgardo Lucia di Lammermoor for Semperoper Dresden and Ruggero La Rondine and Alfredo for Leipzig Opera as well as roles including Lensky Eugene Onegin and Belmonte for Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich and Glyndebourne Festival Opera. He has also sung at English National Opera; Royal Opera Covent Garden; Cincinnati Opera; Santa Fe Opera; Dutch National Opera and Opera Comique Paris

Concert highlights have included Fisherman Le Rossignol with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Pierre Boulez; Szymanowski King Roger, Fisherman and Ravel L’Enfant et les sortilèges with the Boston Symphony Orchestra; Benjamin Godard Dante and Robert in Lalo La Jacquerie for Radio France; Szymanowski King Roger with Pappano for the Santa Cecilia Orchestra in Rome and Gounod Le Tribut de Zamora with the Munich Radio Orchestra (recorded for CD).

Recordings include Helios in Félicien David Herculaneum with the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra and Hervé Niquet; Marcomir in Saint-Saëns Les Barbares and Godard Dante.

Edgaras has been awarded the Lithuanian Order of Merit medal by President Dalia Grybauskaite; the Badge of Honour – ‘Carry You Light and Believe’ by the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture and in 2009 was awarded the Theatre Award ‘The Gold Cross of the Stage’ in Lithuania for his performances as Werther.

 

Edgaras Montvidas, tenor
Tanglewood Festival Chorus
Tanglewood Festival Chorus
Tanglewood Festival Chorus, (TFC) View biography in full page >

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
James Burton, conductor View biography in full page >

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
STRAVINSKY - Pulcinella Suite
Thomas ADÈS - Lieux retrouvés, for cello and orchestra
STRAVINSKY - Perséphone