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Brandon Jovanovich

Jakub Hrůša conducts Dvořák and Janáček

Boston Symphony Orchestra

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Czech conductor Jakub Hrůša is joined by the Tanglewood Festival Chorus in its first BSO concerts since February 2020 in Leoš Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass an affirmation of the composer’s deep-seated identity as a Czech composer and as a Slav. Its music style is colored by Slavic traditional and sacred music, and sounds both ancient and very modern. Opening the program is Janáček’s great Czech predecessor Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 6. One of the finest of Romantic symphonies, it was written for the prestigious Vienna Philharmonic and conductor Hans Richter.

Featured Performers & Ensembles

Jakub Hrůša, conductor
Jakub Hrůša, conductor View biography in full page >

Born in the Czech Republic and described by Gramophone as 'on the verge of greatness', Jakub Hrůša is Chief Conductor Designate of the Bamberg Symphony, Permanent Guest Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic, Principal Guest Conductor of Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra (TMSO), and served as Music Director and Chief Conductor of PKF-Prague Philharmonia from 2009 to 2015.  
 
He is a regular guest with many of the world's greatest orchestras, including the Philharmonia Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.

Recent highlights have included Bohemian Legends and The Mighty Five  - two major series specially devised for the Philharmonia Orchestra - and débuts with The Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, DSO Berlin, and Russian National Orchestra.

2015/16 will see him make eagerly-awaited debuts with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, and at the Vienna State Opera (a new production of The Makropulos Case directed by Peter Stein) and Frankfurt Opera (Il trittico).  He also returns to Glyndebourne Festival in 2016 to lead The Cunning Little Vixen.  

As a conductor of opera, he has been a regular guest with the Glyndebourne Festival since his début in 2008, conducting CarmenThe Turn of the ScrewDon Giovanni and La bohème,and serving as Music Director of Glyndebourne On Tour from 2010 to 2012. Elsewhere he has led productions for Opéra National de Paris (Rusalka), Finnish National Opera (Jenůfa), Royal Danish Theatre (Boris Godunov), and Prague National Theatre (The Cunning Little Vixen  and Rusalka).

As a recording artist, he has released six discs for Supraphon including a live recording of Smetana's Má vlast  from the Prague Spring Festival. Other recordings include the Tchaikovsky and Bruch violin concertos with Nicola Benedetti and the Czech Philharmonic (Universal); live recordings of Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique, Strauss's Eine Alpensinfonie and Suk's Asrael Symphony with TMSO for Octavia Records; and, as the first in a three-disc series for Pentatone with PKF-Prague Philharmonia, Dvořák and Lalo cello concertos with Johannes Moser.  He will also embark on a new partnership in the coming seasons with Tudor and Bamberg Symphony.

Originally from Brno, Jakub Hrůša studied conducting at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, where he now lives with his wife and daughter. He is currently President of the International Martinů Circle.

Jakub Hrůša, conductor Kateřina Kněžíková, soprano Kateřina Kněžíková, soprano
Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano
Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano View biography in full page >

Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke has been called a "luminous standout" (New York Times) and "equal parts poise, radiance and elegant directness" (Opera News).  Ms. Cooke appears frequently this season singing Mahler, whose works she has sung to great acclaim on four different continents. Sought after by the world's leading orchestras, opera companies, and chamber music ensembles for her versatile repertoire and commitment to new music, Ms. Cooke's season continues to bring world premiere performances and unique artistic collaborations. 

Ms. Cooke bookends her 2016-17 season with opera performances of Hänsel und Gretel at the Seattle Opera and a world-premiere by composer Mason Bates and librettist Mark Campbell titled The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs at The Santa Fe Opera. Throughout the season her orchestral engagements include the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Riccardo Muti leading Prokofiev's Ivan the Terrible, Bernstein's Symphony No. 1 "Jeremiah" with Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra as well as Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin at Carnegie Hall, and a staged version of Verdi's Requiem with Houston Grand Opera under Patrick Summers. Her season also features performances with Atlanta Symphony for Christopher Theofanidis' Creation/Creator conducted by Robert Spano, Milwaukee Symphony for Mahler's Symphony No. 3 with Edo de Waart, Duruflé's Requiem with Cleveland Orchestra conducted Matthew Halls and also with National Symphony Orchestra under Donald Runnicles, Minnesota Orchestra to sing and record Mahler's Symphony No. 2 conducted by Osmo Vänskä, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra singing a concert of Handel, Mahler, and Mozart, Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde with Krzysztof Urbański and the Indianapolis Symphony, Oregon Symphony for Mozart's Requiem under Jean-Marie Zeitouni, and Nashville Symphony for Harbison's Requiem that will also be recorded.

During the 2015-16 season, Ms. Cooke sang performances of Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde with the San Francisco Symphony and New World Symphony, both under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas, and with the Tucson Symphony, Mahler's Symphony No. 2 with the Louisiana Philharmonic, Mahler's Symphony No. 3 with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Handel's Messiah with Trevor Pinnock and the National Arts Centre Orchestra, as well as with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Nashville and Seattle Symphonies. A frequent performer of contemporary works, Ms. Cooke's season featured the world premiere of Marc Neikrug's Canta-Concerto with the New York Philharmonic conducted by Alan Gilbert.

Her operatic engagements during the 2015-16 season included her role debut as Magdalena in Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg with San Francisco Opera under the baton of Sir Mark Elder. Ms. Cooke also joined Harry Bicket and The English Concert in her role debut as Medoro in Handel's Orlando on tour to Vienna's Theater an der Wien, Birmingham's Town Hall, Valencia's Palau de la Música, Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw, London's Barbican Centre, and New York's Carnegie Hall.

Ms. Cooke's past seasons have included performances with such wide-ranging conductors as Sir Andrew Davis, Pinchas Zukerman, Leonard Slatkin, Gerard Schwarz, Riccardo Frizza, Jeffrey Kahane, Jaap van Zweden, Robert Spano, Tugan Sokhiev, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Tugan Sokhiev, Jean-Marie Zeitouni, Matthew Halls, and Ludovic Morlot. Previous orchestral engagements have brought her to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Hong Kong Philharmonic, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Houston Symphony, New Zealand Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, MDR Orchestra, I Musici de Montreal, Colorado Symphony, Tokyo Symphony, Orchestre National de Lyon, Berkeley Symphony, Chautauqua Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, and Columbus Symphony. Ms. Cooke has performed with opera companies around the world in the past including Metropolitan Opera, Houston Grand Opera, English National Opera, Opéra National de Bordeaux, Dallas Opera, The Israeli Opera and Chicago Opera Theater. Previous festival appearances have included Spoleto Festival USA, Caramoor International Music Festival, Lucerne Festival, Mostly Mozart Festival, New York Festival of Song, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Seattle Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. Ms. Cooke has performed at such prestigious venues as the Hollywood Bowl, Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Carnegie's Zankel Hall and Weill Recital Hall, Wigmore Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and Brooklyn Academy of Music. On DVD, Ms. Cooke can be seen in a new production of Hansel and Gretel at the Metropolitan Opera and the Grammy Award-winning production of Doctor Atomic under conductor Alan Gilbert. Ms. Cooke's recordings can be found on the Hyperion, Naxos, Bridge Records, Yarlung, GPR Records, and Sono Luminus labels.

A graduate of Rice University and The Juilliard School, Sasha Cooke also attended the Music Academy of the West, the Aspen Music Festival, the Ravinia Festival's Steans Music Institute, the Wolf Trap Foundation, the Marlboro Music Festival, the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, and Seattle Opera and Central City Opera's Young Artist Training Programs.

Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano Brandon Jovanovich, tenor
Brandon Jovanovich, tenor View biography in full page >

Praised by The Wall Street Journal for his “ardent, heroic tenor and strong acting,” Brandon Jovanovich is sought after by the world’s finest opera companies for his passionate stage portrayals of leading roles in French, Italian, German, and Slavic opera.

In the 2018/19 season, Brandon Jovanovich sings the roles of Enée in Sir David McVicar’s new production of Les Troyens, Florestan in Fidelio, and the Prince in Rusalka at the Wiener Staatsoper. He will also sing Dick Johnson in Andreas Dresen’s new production of La Fanciulla del West at the Bayerische Staatsoper, and will make his role debut in the title role of Parsifal at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. He concludes the season as the Prince in Rusalka at San Francisco Opera.

In this current season, Brandon Jovanovich sang the title role of Lohengrin at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Siegmund in David Pountney’s new production of Die Walküre at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Don José in Carmen at Los Angeles Opera. He made his role debut as Dick Johnson in La Fanciulla del West at the Opernhaus Zürich, Sergei in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk in his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden debut, and both Froh and Siegmund in The Ring Cycle with San Francisco Opera. Closing out the 2017/18 season Jovanovich will sing Hermann in Pique Dame at the Salzburger Festspiele under the baton of Mariss Jansons.

The 2016/17 performance season saw Brandon make his house debut at the Wiener Staatsoper as Don Jose in Carmen, and return to the Lyric Opera of Chicago (Les troyens and Carmen) and The Metropolitan Opera (Rusalka). On the concert platform Mr. Jovanovich made his debut with the Hallé Orchestra, singing Schoenberg's Gurre-lieder under the baton of Sir Mark Elder. In July 2017 Brandon returned to Opernhaus Zürich in the title role of Wagner's Lohengrin. In August 2017 Brandon closed the 2016/17 season with an exciting house debut with The Salzburg Festival as Sergei in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk.

Schedule highlights in Brandon Jovanovich's 2015/16 season included two roles debuts -- Tambourmajor in Wozzeck at Opernhaus Zürich and Walther in Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg at San Francisco Opera under the baton of Sir Mark Elder, plus a much-anticipated house debut with L'Opéra National de Paris in the same role under the baton of Philippe Jordan. The singer also returned to the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich as the Chevalier des Grieux in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut conducted by Asher Fisch, and as Don José in Bizet’s Carmen under the baton of Dan Ettinger. Mr. Jovanovich concluded the season with his house debut at Opera Australia as Don José in a new production of Carmen.

Mr. Jovanovich opened the 2014/15 season at San Francisco Opera as Sam in Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah in a new production by Michael Cavanagh, followed by his return to the Metropolitan Opera as Sergei in Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk under the baton of James Conlon. Other operatic highlights of Mr. Jovanovich’s season included Walter in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s highly-anticipated production of Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s The Passenger and a reprise of his acclaimed Florestan in Beethoven’s Fidelio at Opernhaus Zürich under the baton of Fabio Luisi. Orchestral engagements included Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony, both under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas, and in his Vienna debut performing Janacek’s Glagolitic Mass with the Czech Philarmonic Orchestra. Additionally he appear in concert performances of Fidelio with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony and made his New York Philharmonic debut in Verdi’s Requiem under the baton of Alan Gilbert.

Additional highlights of Mr. Jovanovich’s other recent seasons include the Prince in Sir David McVicar’s new production of Rusalka at Lyric Opera of Chicago; Don José in Carmen at LA Opera conducted by Plácido Domingo, The Dallas Opera conducted by Emmanuel Villaume, Opernhaus Zürich conducted by Vasily Petrenko, and in a new production at Houston Grand Opera; the title role of Lohengrin at San Francisco Opera conducted by Nicola Luisotti; Florestan in a new production of Fidelio by Andreas Homoki at Opernhaus Zürich, conducted by Fabio Luisi, and at the Verbier Festival under the baton of Marc Minkowski; Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly at LA Opera; the Chevalier des Grieux in Manon Lescaut at La Monnaie in Brussels; and Sergei in a new production of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk with Opernhaus Zürich.

Recent concert work includes appearances with the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln under the baton of Markus Stenz, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Millennium Park series, and the title role in a concert production of Lohengrin at Festival International de Lanaudière conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Mr. Jovanovich made role debuts in Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen as Froh (Rheingold) and Siegmund (Die Walküre) with the San Francisco Opera in 2011 in the highly acclaimed production by Francesca Zambello, under the baton of Donald Runnicles, and his U.K. debut at the Glyndebourne Festival as Don José in David McVicar’s production of Carmen, conducted by Stéphane Denève. He later returned to Glyndebourne to sing the Prince in Dvořák’s Rusalka which was released as a live recording on Glyndebourne’s independent label.

Other career highlights include Les Contes d’Hoffmann at Teatro alla Scala; Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos with the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Boston Lyric Opera; Don José in Carmen with Deutsche Oper Berlin, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Bayerische Staatsoper, and the Metropolitan Opera; the title role in Don Carlos with Houston Grand Opera; the title role in Peter Grimes at Teatro di San Carlo in Naples; and Cavaradossi in Tosca with the Canadian Opera Company, Oper Köln, Seattle Opera, l’Opéra National de Bordeaux, de Vlaamse Opera, and the Bregenz Festival, which was featured in the James Bond film Quantum of Solace. Mr. Jovanovich’s Pinkerton has been seen at Santa Fe Opera, The Dallas Opera, New York City Opera, LA Opera, and San Francisco Opera, where it was broadcast in high-definition in movie theatres across the United States.

A native of Billings, MT, Brandon Jovanovich received his training at Northern Arizona University and Manhattan School of Music. He was the recipient of the 2007 Richard Tucker Award and was twice a New York City district winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. He was a founding member of the Seattle Young Artists program and was a member of the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice program, where he was given the Anna Case Mackay award Award. He won the Crawley Award from the Young Patronesses of the Opera/Florida Grand Opera Voice Competition and in 2004 he was given the prestigious ARIA Award.

Brandon Jovanovich, tenor
Adam Plachetka, bass Adam Plachetka, bass Paul Jacobs, organ Paul Jacobs, organ
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 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. 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
DVOŘÁK - Symphony No. 6
JANÁČEK - Glagolitic Mass
Full Program Notes - Coming Soon