Tickets & Events

Giancarlo Guerrero conducts Tchaikovsky and Bernstein

Boston Symphony Orchestra

Symphony Hall - Boston, MA View Map

Continuing this season's centennial celebration of the great Leonard Bernstein, Costa Rican conductor Giancarlo Guerrero returns to lead the BSO in Bernstein's Symphony No. 3, Kaddish, which is dedicated to the memory of John F. Kennedy. The Jewish "Kaddish" is the prayer chanted for the dead, a hymn of praise to God's name. Originally commissioned by the BSO for its 75th anniversary in 1955-56 but only finished in November 1963, this emotional, almost theatrical score was premiered under Bernstein's direction by the Israel Philharmonic. The BSO gave its only performances of the full score in early 1964 under Charles Munch. Opening the program is Tchaikovsky's masterful Pathétique Symphony, one of the composer's last works, full of intensely beautiful music, ending with a slow, quiet, and poignant finale.

 

Soprano Mary Wilson will replace Tamara Wilson for the Boston Symphony Orchestra concerts March 15-17.  Soprano Tamara Wilson is regretfully unable to perform this week due to a back injury.

Featured Performers & Ensembles

Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor
View biography in full page >

Giancarlo Guerrero is the eight-time GRAMMY® award winning Music Director of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, a post he has held since 2009 and has committed to through the 2024-25 season. He was recently also named Music Director of the Wrocław Philharmonic at the National Forum of Music in Poland starting in the 2017-18 season.

A passionate proponent of new and contemporary music, Guerrero has championed the works of several of America's most respected composers. He has presented eight world premieres with the Nashville Symphony including the 2016 performance and recent GRAMMY®-winning recording of Michael Daugherty's cello concerto Tales of Hemingway. The 2016-17 season also saw the release of new albums with the Nashville Symphony dedicated to the music of Richard Danielpour and Jennifer Higdon. In addition, Guerrero developed and guided the creation of Nashville Symphony's Composer Lab & Workshop initiative, together with composer Aaron Jay Kernis, to further foster and promote new American orchestral music.

In the 2017-18 season, Guerrero's guest conducting engagements include the Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Queensland Symphony, Sydney Symphony, Brussels Philharmonic, Residentie Orchestra in Hague, and Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon, among others.

A natural and instinctive musician, Guerrero is a charismatic presence on the podium. Maestro Guerrero has appeared with many of the prominent North American orchestras, including those of Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Montreal, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. He has developed a strong guest conducting profile in Europe and has worked with great success 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.

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 to great acclaim.

Giancarlo 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).

Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor Mary Wilson, soprano
View biography in full page >

Soprano Mary Wilson is acknowledged as one of today's most exciting young artists.  Cultivating a wide-ranging career singing chamber music, oratorio and operatic repertoire, her "bright soprano seems to know no terrors, wrapping itself seductively around every phrase." (Dallas Morning News) Receiving consistent critical acclaim from coast to coast, "she proves why many in the opera world are heralding her as an emerging star. She is simply amazing, with a voice that induces goose bumps and a stage presence that is mesmerizing. She literally stole the spotlight…" (Arizona Daily Star)

In high demand on the concert stage, she has most-recently appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Detroit Symphony, Delaware Symphony Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Jacksonville Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic, VocalEssence, and at the Hollywood Bowl. She has worked with conductors including Nicholas McGegan, Bernard Labadie, Martin Pearlman, Martin Haselböck, JoAnn Falletta, Michael Stern, Anton Armstrong, Philip Brunelle and Leonard Slatkin. An exciting interpreter of Baroque repertoire, especially Handel, she has appeared with Philharmonia Baroque, Musica Angelica, American Bach Soloists, Boston Baroque, Grand Rapids Bach Festival, Bach Society of St. Louis, Baltimore Handel Choir, Florida Bach Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Casals Festival, and the Carmel Bach Festival. With the IRIS Chamber Orchestra, she sang the world premiere of the song cycle "Songs Old and New" written especially for her by Ned Rorem. She was named an Emerging Artist by Symphony Magazine in 2004 in the publication's first ever presentation of promising classical soloists on the rise

On the opera stage, she is especially noted for her portrayals of Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, Susannah in Le Nozze di Figaro, and Gilda in Rigoletto. She has created leading roles in North American and World premiere performances of Dove's Flight, Glass' Galileo Galilei, and Petitgirard's Joseph Merrick dit L'Elephant Man. She has appeared most recently with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Minnesota Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Dayton Opera, Arizona Opera, Tulsa Opera, Mississippi Opera, Southwest Opera, Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Goodman Theatre.

An accomplished pianist, Ms. Wilson holds performance degrees from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, and Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. . She currently resides in Memphis, Tennessee, with her husband and son.

Mary Wilson, soprano
Laila Robins, speaker
View biography in full page >

Laila Robins will next be seen as a regular on the ABC series Deception which will premiere on March 11th.  She was recently seen in season 2 of the TNT series Murder In the First and on Showtime's Homeland as Martha Boyd, the smart no-nonsense US ambassador to Pakistan. She has appeared in many films including Eye In the Sky, Side Effects, Blumenthal, Concussion, Multiple Sarcasms, The Good Shepherd, An Innocent Man, Welcome Home Roxy Carmichael, True Crime and Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

Laila's television credits include Quantico, the HBO pilot The Money opposite Brendan Gleeson, Person of Interest, Blue Bloods, Damages, Too Big to Fail, Bored To Death, God in America, In Treatment, The Sopranos, Law And Order, and the series lead in Gabriel's Fire opposite James Earl Jones. 

She appeared on Broadway in Heartbreak House, the Tony-nominated play Frozen, The Herbal Bed and The Real Thing. Off-Broadway credits include the quartet of Richard Nelson plays performed in repertory at The Public to rave reviews: Regular Singing, Sorry, Sweet & Sad, That Hopey Changey Thing; The Lady From Dubuque,  Antony And Cleopatra, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Sore Throats, Tiny Alice, Mrs. Klein and The Merchant Of Venice. Recently, Laila was seen starring in the Guthrie Theater production of The Lion In The Winter, the George Street Playhouse's production of The Second Mrs. Wilson where she received rave reviews and The Chinese Room at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.

Laila Robins, speaker
Tanglewood Festival Chorus
Tanglewood Festival Chorus
View biography in full page >

Tanglewood Festival Chorus
James Burton, BSO Choral Director and Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus
John Oliver, Founder and Conductor Laureate

This season at Symphony Hall, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus joins the Boston Symphony Orchestra for performances of Mahler's Symphony No. 3 (January 18-20) and Schumann's Nachtlied and Neujahrslied (February 8-10) under BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons; Grieg's incidental music to Peer Gynt under BSO Associate Conductor Ken-David Masur (October 19-24); Berlioz's The Damnation of Faust (October 26-28) and Ravel's complete Daphnis et Chloé (February 15-17) under Charles Dutoit, and Leonard Bernstein's Symphony No. 3, Kaddish, under Giancarlo Guerrero (March 15-17). Members of the chorus also participated in this season's all-Bernstein program on Opening Night. 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 John Oliver, who stepped down from his leadership position with the TFC at the end of the 2014 Tanglewood season. Awarded the Tanglewood Medal by the BSO to honor his forty-five years of service to the ensemble, Mr. Oliver now holds the lifetime title of Founder and Conductor Laureate and occupies the Donald and Laurie Peck Master Teacher Chair at the Tanglewood Music Center. In February 2017, 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 Choral Director.

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. Now numbering more than 300 members, the ensemble performs year-round with the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops. It has performed with Seiji Ozawa and the BSO in Hong Kong and Japan, and with the BSO in Europe under James Levine and Bernard Haitink, also giving a cappella  concerts of its own on the two latter occasions. The TFC made its debut in April 1970, in a BSO performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with Leonard Bernstein conducting. Its first recording with the orchestra, Berlioz's La Damnation of 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 James Levine, Seiji Ozawa, Bernard Haitink, Sir Colin Davis, Leonard Bernstein, 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 led by John Oliver and released to mark the TFC's 40th anniversary; and, with James Levine conducting, Ravel's complete Daphnis and 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). Besides their work with the BSO, TFC members have performed Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic; participated in a Saito Kinen Festival production of Britten's Peter Grimes  under Seiji Ozawa in Japan, and sang Verdi's Requiem with Charles Dutoit to help close a month-long International Choral Festival given in and around Toronto. 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, western Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine, and TFC alumni frequently return each summer from as far away as Florida and California to sing with the chorus at Tanglewood. Throughout its history, the TFC has established itself as a favorite of conductors, soloists, critics, and audiences alike.

James Burton
View biography in full page >

James Burton was appointed Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and to the new position of BSO Choral Director, in February 2017. Born in London, Mr. Burton began his training at the Choir of Westminster Abbey, where he became head chorister. He was a choral scholar at St. John's College, Cambridge, and holds a master's degree in orchestral conducting from the Peabody Conservatory, where he studied with Frederik Prausnitz and Gustav Meier. 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; in early 2016 he made his debut with the Orquestra Sinfònica Nacional with concerts in the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. Opera credits include Don Giovanni and La bohème at English National Opera, Così fan tutte at English Touring Opera, The Magic Flute at Garsington, and Gianni Schicchi and Suor Angelica at the Prague Summer Nights Festival. He has served on the music staff of the Metropolitan Opera, Opéra de Paris, English National Opera, Opera Rara, and Garsington Opera, where he was honored with the Leonard Ingrams Award in 2008. He has also conducted in London's West End and led a UK tour of Bernstein's Wonderful Town in 2012. His 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 at the Dubai Opera house in its inaugural season earlier this year. 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 returned to Manchester in 2014, preparing the choirs for a Grammy-nominated recording under Sir Mark Elder of Vaughan Williams's Sea Symphony. From 2002 to 2017 he was music director of the chamber choir Schola Cantorum of Oxford, touring all over the world and recording with Hyperion Records. He collaborates regularly with leading young musicians and in 2017 appeared as guest director of the National Youth Choir of Japan and the Princeton University Glee Club, as well as the Genesis Sixteen. He teaches conducting, and has given master classes at the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal Welsh College of Music. In 2011 he founded a conducting scholarship with Schola Cantorum of Oxford. His compositions and arrangements have been performed internationally, and his orchestral arrangements for Arlo Guthrie have been performed by the Boston Pops, by many other leading U.S. orchestras, and at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. His commissions have included the music for the 2010 World Equestrian Games opening ceremony, a setting for chorus and orchestra of Thomas Hardy's The Convergence of the Twain commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster, and a recent Christmas carol premiered by the Choir of St. John's College, Cambridge, live on BBC Radio 3. His choral 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.

The Choir of St. Paul's Harvard Square
Program Notes Audio
TCHAIKOVSKY - Symphony No. 6, Pathétique (48 min)
BERNSTEIN - Symphony No. 3, Kaddish (43 min)
Audio Concert Preview - Full Program Notes
Listen/Watch Related Media

The BSO Media Center offers program snapshots of upcoming performances as well as audio concert previews and video podcasts!