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(Cancelled) Thomas Adès conducts Stravinsky and Adès featuring cellist Steven Isserlis, tenor Edgaras Montvidas, and narrator Danielle de Niese

(Cancelled) Thomas Adès conducts Stravinsky and Adès featuring cellist Steven Isserlis, tenor Edgaras Montvidas, and narrator Danielle de Niese

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 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
Steven Isserlis, cello Steven Isserlis, cello Danielle de Niese, narrator
Danielle de Niese, narrator View biography in full page >

Danielle de Niese has been hailed as “opera’s coolest soprano” by New York Times Magazine and “not just a superb performer, but a phenomenal one” by Opera News. A multi-faceted artist, de Niese has gained wide recognition for her superb stagecraft, assured singing and her ability to communicate on every level. She regularly appears on the world’s most prestigious opera and concert stages and is a prolific recording artist, TV personality and philanthropist.

In the 2019/20 season de Niese makes a highly anticipated debut at Teatro alla Scala as Cleopatra in Robert Carsen’s new production of Giulio Cesare, one of her signature roles. She also returns home to Los Angeles, where she made her operatic debut at the age of 15 to sing the title role in the world premiere of Matthew Aucoin’s highly anticipated new opera Eurydice as well as making a hugely exciting role debut as Blanche in Barrie Kosky’s new production of Dialogues des Carmélites at Glyndebourne.

In the previous season she returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago, to sing Musetta La bohème in Richard Jones’ acclaimed production, a role for which she garnered huge acclaim at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. She also starred as Norina in Laurent Pelly’s production of Don Pasquale at La Monnaie and made her role debut as Cendrillon at Glyndebourne in a new production by Fiona Shaw. De Niese also made a hugely successful west end debut in as Aldonza and Dulcinea Man of La Mancha alongside Kelsey Grammer at the London Coliseum. On the recital platform she appeared at the Cheltenham Festival in their 75th anniversary season.

Recent highlights include a sensational debut as Hanna Glawari with Opera Australia in a new production of Merry Widow, first presented in Melbourne and reopening in Sydney with a gala performance on New Year’s Eve; a return to Royal Opera House where she sang her first Musetta to huge public and critical acclaim; Norina Don Pasquale at Wiener Staatsoper; the hugely successful Wonderful Town with Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra, which was subsequently released on CD and for which she was nominated for the Opus Klassik Female Artist of the Year. Other concert appearances include successful solo tours in the Middle East and in Asia; an opera gala with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra; headlining the BBC Biggest Weekend at Scone Palace in Perth; and a chamber music evening curated by De Niese, part of the reopening of the Queen Elisabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre where together with her guests Menahem Pressler, Sir James Galway, Mark Simpson and the Navarra String Quartet she performed music by Roussel, Schubert and Chausson.

Further successes include a double header for the BBC Proms, singing at the Last Night of the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall opposite Jonas Kaufmann, broadcast worldwide, and at Proms in the Park in Hyde Park as well as appearances at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago and gala concerts with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and in St Petersburg at ‘Classics at the Palace Square’. Audiences in the UK have heard her in recital with Julius Drake at the Barbican, the Snape Proms and at the Birmingham Conservatoire as part of the Celebrity Recital Series. Her operatic engagements included the world premiere of Jimmy López’s Bel Canto at Lyric Opera of Chicago conducted by Sir Andrew Davis, her role debut as Donna Elvira Don Giovanni with Semperoper Dresden, Norina Don Pasquale in her company debut with Wiener Staatsoper, Adina L’elisir d'amore at the Opera national du Rhin, Rodelinda and Poppea Agrippina at Theater an der Wien and the new production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia as Rosina at the Glyndebourne Festival and BBC Proms. Further operatic appearances include Concepción L’heure espagnole and L’Enfant L’Enfant et les Sortilèges, Norina Don Pasquale, Adina L’Elisir d’amore at Glyndebourne Festival Opera; Susanna Le nozze di Figaro, Ariel The Enchanted Island, and Despina Così fan tutte , all at the Metropolitan Opera New York; the title role L'incoronazione di Poppea at Teatro Real Madrid; Partenope and Susanna Le Nozze di Figaro at San Francisco Opera; the title role of Semele at Theâtre des Champs-Elysees; the title role of La Calisto at Bayerische Staatsoper; and Poppea Agrippina at Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona.

Born in Australia to parents of Sri Lankan and Dutch heritage, de Niese, became at the age of eighteen, the youngest ever singer to enter the Metropolitan Opera’s prestigious Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. One year later she made her Metropolitan Opera debut under James Levine, as Barbarina in Jonathan Miller’s acclaimed new production of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. On the strength of her performance, de Niese went on to make major debuts at the Opéra National de Paris, Saito Kinen Festival and Netherlands Opera. In 2005 de Niese made her Glyndebourne Festival debut as Cleopatra in Sir David McVicar’s production of Handel’s Giulio Cesare and was catapulted to international fame. She has since reprised the role in the 2009 Glyndebourne revival, and in 2013 at the Metropolitan Opera, always to critical praise.

A prolific recording artist, her debut recording for Decca, Handel Arias, was awarded the prestigious Orphée d'Or from and the much-coveted ECHO Klassik award, as well as earning her a Classical Brit Award nomination for Female Artist of the Year. The Mozart Album, Diva, and Beauty of the Baroque followed.

A TV and media personality, De Niese won her first Emmy at the age of 16, when hosting a weekly arts showcase for teenagers at a Los Angeles local television. Her many TV appearances received widespread attention whilst her BBC documentaries such as Diva Diaries, The Birth of an Opera and the most recent and highly praised Unsung Heroines attest her extraordinary passion for the artform she represents and tireless commitment to bringing new audiences to it.

Offstage, de Niese is an advocate for children’s rights and a passionate philanthropist and has been named by Marie Claire magazine on its influential list of “Women on Top”. She is an Ambassador for HRH The Prince of Wales’ Foundation for Children and the Arts, a patron of Future Talent, which assists young musicians and singers with financial support and guidance and is an Artist Member of the Mannes Board of Governors. For the past year, de Niese has also been serving as an official Ambassador Voice for the International Rescue Committee.


Danielle de Niese, narrator
Boston Symphony Children's Choir
Boston Symphony Children's Choir View biography in full page >

The BSCC performs with the BSO, Boston Pops and Tanglewood Festival Chorus at Symphony Hall, as well as at Tanglewood. After holding auditions for nearly 200 children in the fall of 2017, sixty-five singers grades 5-9 were selected by BSO Choral Director James Burton to take part in the BSO's January 2018 performances of Mahler's Symphony No. 3. These concerts featured the BSO, Women of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and the Mahler 3 Children's Choir under the baton of Maestro Andris Nelsons. Following the success of that project, the Boston Symphony Children's Choir (BSCC) was officially announced as a permanent ensemble of the BSO. The BSCC continues to perform with the BSO, Boston Pops and Tanglewood Festival Chorus in performances during the Winter Season in Symphony Hall, as well as during Holiday Pops, Spring Pops and at Tanglewood.

Boston Symphony Children's Choir
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

The Tanglewood Festival Chorus joins the BSO this season for performances of Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy and Poulenc’s Gloria led by Andris Nelsons (September 19-21, the opening program of the 2019-20 subscription season); Galina Grigorieva’s On Leaving and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 2, also under Maestro Nelsons (November 21-26); Duruflé’s Requiem under Giancarlo Guerrero (February 27-March 3), and Stravinsky’s Perséphone with Thomas Adès conducting (March 26-28). In addition, to mark the TFC’s fiftieth anniversary in April 2020, James Burton leads the ensemble in a post-concert Casual Friday performance of Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil (April 17). 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


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. In August 2019 he led the Boston Symphony Children’s Choir and Boston Symphony Orchestra in the world premiere of his The Lost Words, a BSO co-commission, as part of the summer’s gala Tanglewood on Parade concert. In April 2020 he will conduct the Tanglewood Festival Concert in a post-concert Casual Friday performance of Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil to celebrate the TFC’s fiftieth anniversary. Mr. Burton made his debut with the Boston Pops in December 2017, returned to the Pops podium last December—as he will again for Holiday Pops concerts in December 2019—and led the Pops this past June at Tanglewood in a program celebrating Queen with Marc Martel.

Born in London, James 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 Orchestra, the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, the Royal Northern Sinfonia, BBC Concert Orchestra, and Manchester Camerata. 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 Opera 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. From 2002 to 2017 he was music director of the Schola Cantorum of Oxford. Well known for his inspirational work with young musicians, he was director of the National Youth Choir of Japan in 2017 and founded the Boston Symphony Children’s Choir in 2018. 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 includes 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. 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 (24 min)
Thomas ADÈS - Lieux retrouvés, for cello and orchestra (16 min)
STRAVINSKY - Perséphone (45 min)
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