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Andris Nelsons conducts Boulanger, Debussy and Puccini

Andris Nelsons conducts Boulanger, Debussy and Puccini

Boston Symphony Orchestra

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Andris Nelsons and the BSO continue their recent tradition of performing opera in concert with Giacomo Puccini's Suor Angelica ("Sister Angelica"), one of the three short operas composed in the 1910s and known collectively as Il trittico ("Triptych"). The story centers on the title character, who is living in a convent to repent a past sin, having a son out of wedlock. Acclaimed soprano Kristine Opolais sings the role of Sister Angelica in this concert performance. Opening the program is a work almost contemporary with Puccini's, Lili Boulanger's short tone poem D'un Soir triste ("A somber evening"), one of few purely orchestral works completed by this young genius before her untimely death in 1918 at age 24. Also on the program is Debussy's immensely colorful Nocturnes, an 1899 masterpiece of musical Impressionism.

Featured Performers & Ensembles

Andris Nelsons, conductor
Andris Nelsons, conductor View biography in full page >

The 2019-20 season, Andris Nelsons’ sixth as the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Ray and Maria Stata Music Director, marks his fifth anniversary in that position. Named Musical America’s 2018 Artist of the Year, Mr. Nelsons leads fifteen of the BSO’s twenty-six weeks of concerts this season, ranging from repertoire favorites by Beethoven, Dvoˇrák, Gershwin, Grieg, Mozart, Mahler, Rachmaninoff, Ravel, and Tchaikovsky to world and American premieres of BSO-commissioned works from Eric Nathan, Betsy Jolas, Arturs Maskats, and HK Gruber. The season also brings the continuation of his complete Shostakovich symphony cycle with the orchestra, and collaborations with an impressive array of guest artists, including a concert performance of Tristan und Isolde, Act III—one of three BSO programs he will also conduct at Carnegie Hall—with Jonas Kaufmann and Emily Magee in the title roles. In addition, February 2020 brings a major tour to Asia in which Maestro Nelsons and the BSO give their first concerts together in Seoul, Taipei, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.

In February 2018, Andris Nelsons became Gewandhauskapellmeister of the Gewandhausorchester (GHO) Leipzig, in which capacity he also brings the BSO and GHO together for a unique multi-dimensional alliance including a BSO/GHO Musician Exchange program and an exchange component within each orchestra’s acclaimed academy for advanced music studies. A major highlight of the BSO/GHO Alliance is a focus on complementary programming, through which the BSO celebrates “Leipzig Week in Boston” and the GHO celebrates “Boston Week in Leipzig,” thereby highlighting each other’s musical traditions through uniquely programmed concerts, chamber music performances, archival exhibits, and lecture series. For this season’s “Leipzig Week in Boston,” under Maestro Nelsons’ leadership in November, the entire Gewandhausorchester Leipzig comes to Symphony Hall for joint concerts with the BSO as well as two concerts of its own.

In summer 2015, following his first season as music director, Andris Nelsons’ contract with the BSO was extended through the 2021-22 season. In November 2017, he and the orchestra toured Japan together for the first time. They have so far made three European tours together: immediately following the 2018 Tanglewood season, when they played concerts in London, Hamburg, Berlin, Leipzig, Vienna, Lucerne, Paris, and Amsterdam; in May 2016, a tour that took them to eight cities in Germany, Austria, and Luxembourg; and, after the 2015 Tanglewood season, a tour that took them to major European capitals and the Lucerne, Salzburg, and Grafenegg festivals.

The fifteenth music director in the history of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Andris Nelsons made his BSO debut at Carnegie Hall in March 2011, his Tanglewood debut in July 2012, and his BSO subscription series debut in January 2013. His recordings with the BSO, all made live in concert at Symphony Hall, include the complete Brahms symphonies on BSO Classics; Grammy-winning recordings on Deutsche Grammophon of Shostakovich’s symphonies 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, and 11 (The Year 1905) as part of a complete Shostakovich symphony cycle for that label; and a recent two-disc set pairing Shostakovich’s symphonies 6 and 7 (Leningrad). This November, a new release on Naxos features Andris Nelsons and the orchestra in the world premieres of BSO-commissioned works by Timo Andres, Eric Nathan, Sean Shepherd, and George Tsontakis. Under an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon, Andris Nelsons is also recording the complete Bruckner symphonies with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and the complete Beethoven symphonies with the Vienna Philharmonic.

During the 2019-20 season, Andris Nelsons continues his ongoing collaborations with the Vienna Philharmonic. Throughout his career, he has also established regular collaborations with the Berlin Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, and has been a regular guest at the Bayreuth Festival and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

Born in Riga in 1978 into a family of musicians, Andris Nelsons began his career as a trumpeter in the Latvian National Opera Orchestra before studying conducting. He was music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra from 2008 to 2015, principal conductor of the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie in Herford, Germany, from 2006 to 2009, and music director of Latvian National Opera from 2003 to 2007.

Andris Nelsons, conductor Kristine Opolais, soprano (Sister Angelica)
Kristine Opolais, soprano (Sister Angelica) View biography in full page >

Kristine Opolais is one of the most sought after sopranos on the international scene today, appearing at the Metropolitan Opera New York, Wiener Staatsoper, Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, Bayerische Staatsoper, Teatro alla Scala, Opernhaus Zürich and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. She is working with such conductors as Daniel Barenboim, Antonio Pappano, Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Mark Elder, Daniel Harding, Andris Nelsons, Fabio Luisi, Kirill Petrenko and Semyon Bychkov.

In the 2017/18 season Opolais continues her notable collaboration with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, making her role debut as Elsa in "Lohengrin", in a new production by David Alden, starring opposite Klaus Florian Vogt. Previously in London, Opolais has particularly cemented her title as "the leading Puccini Soprano of today" (The Telegraph), appearing in Kent's 2014 production as Manon Lescaut, as well as starring as Cio-Cio San and Floria Tosca. This season Opolais also looks forward to making her debut at the Hamburg Staatsoper, in "Madama Butterfly", in two special performance as part of the Italian Opera Festival. She also returns for performances of this signature role at the Wiener Staatsoper.

Kristine Opolais is particularly known for her notable collaborations with the Metropolitan Opera, her performances frequently broadcast in HD worldwide. She recently starred as the title role in Zimmerman's 2017 production of "Rusalka", and she received the highest critical praise for her "vocally lustrous and achingly vulnerable performance" (NY Times). Opolais has maintained this strong relationship with the Met since her debut as Magda in "La Rondine" in 2013. Famously, in 2014 Opolais made history at the Met, with two role debuts in 18 hours. She gave a renowned performance in "Butterfly", only to step in for a matinee of "La bohème" the next day, which was additionally cinema broadcast worldwide and Opolais wowed audiences around the globe. She has also forged a strong relationship with the Bayerische Staatsoper, which began in 2010 when Opolais made her debut, to wide acclaim, as Rusalka. Since this time Opolais has appeared in numerous titles including "Manon Lescaut", "Madama Butterfly", Tatjana in "Onegin" and Margherita in "Mefistofele".

In recent seasons, Opolais' concert performances have included appearances at Salzburg Festival, BBC Proms and Tanglewood Festival, where Opolais is a regular guest - this season headlining closing weekend in opera gala, including Act II of "Tosca", with Sir Bryn Terfel. Opolais has appeared with orchestras including the Berliner Philharmoniker, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Concertgebouworkest, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and Filarmonica della Scala. Highlights of 2017/18 include Opolais' joining an all-star cast, with Piotr Beczała and Rene Papé in Dvorak's Stabat Mater, opening the Prague Festival. She also debuts with the Wiener Philharmoniker, which stands as her third consecutive season appearing at the prestigious Musikverein.

Opolais' forthcoming recording is a DVD of Tosca, from Himmelmann's 2017 production in Baden-Baden, with the Berliner Philharmoniker, conducted by Rattle. Further DVD recordings include Royal Opera House's "Manon Lescaut", in which Opolais sings the title role opposite Jonas Kaufmann, Prokofiev's "The Gambler" at the Deutsche Staatsoper under the baton of Barenboim and "Rusalka" from the Bayerische Staatsoper. CD recordings include those with WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln of "Suor Angelica", released with Orfeo and nominated for a BBC Music Magazine Award, "Simon Boccanegra" on the Decca label and collaborating with Jonas Kaufmann on his Grammy recognised Puccini disc with Sony.

Kristine Opolais, soprano (Sister Angelica)
Violeta Urmana, mezzo-soprano (The Princess) Violeta Urmana, mezzo-soprano (The Princess) Fatma Said, soprano (Sister Genovieffa)
Fatma Said, soprano (Sister Genovieffa) View biography in full page >

 

Eqyptian soprano, Fatma Said, is one of the most exciting young artists of her generation. Hailed by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung as “a discovery” – Fatma has not only distinguished herself in opera houses and on concert stages, but also in a humanitarian capacity, regularly representing her home country as an ambassador for culture and education.

In 2016, she made her sensational role debut at Teatro alla Scala as Pamina in Peter Stein’s critically-acclaimed new production of Die Zauberflöte, conducted by Adam Fischer. The production, in which Fatma was described as “luminous” “warm and mature” and full of “incredible depth”, was broadcast by ARTE and has since been released on DVD.

Fatma has established a reputation as an extraordinarily gifted recitalist and is currently a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist.

This season, as well as her New Generation Artist commitments, Fatma will perform Die Schöpfung at Tonhalle Düsseldorf and in Budapest; Strauss lieder with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in Birmingham; and will give recitals in Perth, Leeds, Dresden, Bonn, Mallorca, and at Wigmore Hall. Fatma will make her debut at the Salzburg MozartWoche a production of Mozart’s T.H.A.M.O.S by La Fura del Baus, and will give gala concerts at The United Nations in Geneva, and in Muscat with Juan Diego Flórez.

Recent highlights include L’Amour in the new John Fulljame/Hofesh Schechter Orphée et Eurydice at Teatro alla Scala, concerts in Lucerne, Vienna and Salzburg with Rolando Villazón, and performances and recording of Mahler 8 at Tonhalle Düsseldorf with Adam Fischer.

Fatma is an alumna of the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler and the prestigious Accademia del Teatro alla Scala in Milan, where she the first Eqyptian to ever have debuted at the house. Fatma represented Egypt twice at the United Nations to highlight children’s right to education and dignity through music and this year was part of the “Silk Road Concert” at the Temple of Luxor.

In 2016, Fatma Said received an honorary award from Egypt's National Council for Women and was singled out for one of Egypt’s highest accolades during the first National Youth Convention: she became the first opera singer ever to be awarded the state’s Creativity Award for her outstanding artistic achievement on an international level.

Fatma Said, soprano (Sister Genovieffa)
Dana Beth Miller, mezzo-soprano (The Abbess)
Dana Beth Miller, mezzo-soprano (The Abbess) View biography in full page >

 During the 2018-2019 season, Ms. Miller joins the Metropolitan Opera for their acclaimed Ring Cycle production in Die Walküre to cover the role of Grimgerde and returns to Boston Lyric Opera as Offred’s Mother in The Handmaid’s Tale . Ms. Miller opened her 2017-2018 season as Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana with New Orleans Opera.  She then made her debut in the United Kingdom with English National Opera as Amneris in a new production of Aïda at the London Coliseum. Her season continued with Erda in Das Rheingold at Arizona Opera, the mezzo-soprano soloist in the Verdi Requiem with the Oregon Symphony,  and Dame Quickly in Falstaff with Opera Colorado.  Ms. Miller began her 2016-2017 season with the National Taiwan Symphony as the contralto soloist in Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde.  She then made a critically acclaimed  debut with Washington Concert Opera, in Washington, DC, in the title role of Massenet's Hérodiade.  Other engagments during the season  included Amneris in Aïda at Pensacola Opera, Margret in the David McVicar production of Wozzeck for her return to the Grand Théâtre de Genève, the mezzo-soprano soloist in the Verdi Requiem with the Český Krumlov International Music Festival in the Czech Republic, and Ulrica in Un Ballo in Maschera for her return to Florida Grand Opera.

She opened her 2015-2016 season at the Grand Théâtre de Genève as Anna in Les Troyens with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Charles Dutoit and as Hippolyta in a new production of Britten's  A Midsummer Night's Dream.  She then joined Florida Grand Opera as Adalgisa in Norma, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra as the alto soloist in Handel's Messiah, Tulsa Opera  as Dalila in Samson et Dalila, and both Arizona Opera and the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe as Dame Quickly in new productions of Falstaff.  In addition, she returned to Deutsche Oper Berlin for Mrs. Sedley in Peter Grimes and Azucena in Il Trovatore

Ms. Miller opened her 2014-2015 season with the German premiere of Hans Krasa's Die Verlobung im Traum at Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe in the role of Marja Alexandrowna.  She returned to Deutsche Oper Berlin as a guest artist in a reprise of her acclaimed Dame Quickly in the Christoph Loy production of Falstaff,  Annina in Der Rosenkavalier,  Sonyetka in a new production of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk,  Erste Magd in Elektra, and Princess Clarissa in L'amour des Trois Oranges.   Additionally in the United States, Ms. Miller joined  Washington National Opera for Mary in Der Fliegende Holländer and made her role debut as Azucena in  Il Trovatore  with Knoxville Opera.  

From 2012 -2014, Ms. Miller was a principal soloist and member of the prestigious ensemble at the Deutsche Oper Berlin.  Highlights included  her first Erda in two complete Ring Cycles with both Sir Simon Rattle and Donald Runnicles,  Dame Quickly in a new Falstaff directed by Christoph Loy,  La Cieca in La Gioconda,  Mrs. Sedley in David Alden's Peter Grimes from English National Opera, and Ulrica in Un Ballo in Maschera.  Additional engagements during those two seasons included  a return to Opera Colorado for Maddalena in Rigoletto,  the alto soloist in Mahler’s Third Symphony with the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra,  Mary in Der Fliegende Holländer for her debut with both the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and the Princeton Festival,  and Amneris in Aïda with Tulsa Opera.

The 2011-2012 season saw her as Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana with Edmonton Opera, Dame Quickly in Falstaff with Deutsche Oper Berlin for her European operatic debut, Maddalena in Rigoletto with Florida Grand Opera, and Amneris in Aïda for Arizona Opera.

Highlights of earlier seasons include  her first Carmen at Boston Lyric Opera, the Foreign Princess in Rusalka  at Opera Colorado, Margared in Lalo's rarely performed opera, Le roi d'Ys, with the American Symphony Orchestra at Avery Fisher Hall,  Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana with Pensacola Opera, Dulcinee in Massenet's Don Quichotte, with Tulsa Opera,  Maddalena in Rigoletto with San Antonio Opera, the mezzo-soprano soloist in the Verdi Requiem with the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra and Oratorio Chorus,  both the Mother and Witch in Hansel and Gretel with Cleveland Opera and Tulsa Opera, the mezzo-soprano soloist in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Austin Symphony, Mère Marie in Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites with Austin Lyric Opera, and the mezzo-soprano soloist in Stravinsky's Les Noces with the New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center.

Ms. Miller won first place in both the 2006 Classical Singer National Vocal Competition and the 2004 Jensen Foundation Voice Competition, was awarded second prize and the Leonie Rysanek Award at the 2006 Elardo International Opera Competition, took third place in the 2003 Opera Index Career Grant Competition, the 2003 Loren L. Zachary National Vocal Competition and the 2004 Eleanor Lieber Awards at Portland Opera, and was a finalist in the 2005 and 2006 Richard Tucker Career Grant Competition. She has also won first place in the National Opera Association Competition, received Career Development Grants from both the Dallas Opera and the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, and has won several district and regional awards in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Ms. Miller holds a bachelor's degree in Vocal Performance from the University of North Texas College of Music. She continued her education with Master of Music studies at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and post-graduate work at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia.

Dana Beth Miller, mezzo-soprano (The Abbess) MaryAnn McCormick, mezzo-soprano (The Monitress)
MaryAnn McCormick, mezzo-soprano (The Monitress) View biography in full page >

Internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano MaryAnn McCormickhas been hailed in the press as “charismatic”, “spell-binding”, and “elegant”. Her international operatic credits include Isabella inL’italiana in Algeri at La Scala in Milan, Azucena in Il Trovatore at the Teatro Regio di Torino, the title role of Carmen at the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, Maddalena in Rigoletto under Daniele Gatti at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Gluck’s Alceste under Bruno Bartoletti at the Teatro Regio di Parma, and First Maid in Elektrawith Christoph von Dohnanyi at the Opéra National de Paris. A frequent interpreter of the role of Carmen, her performances include Theater St. Gallen, Switzerland of which the critics wrote “She acts and sings a wonderful Carmen”, along with Teatro Regio di Torino and the Staatsoper Stuttgart among others. Ms. McCormick is also a recipient of the Grammy award for Best Opera Recording (2012) for her participation in Wagner’s Ring Cycle with the Metropolitan Opera in Die Walküre in the role of Grimgerde for the premiere of the Robert LaPage production.  Her most recent operatic engagements include performances as Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro with the Metropolitan Opera, Enrichetta in I Puritani with the Metropolitan Opera, Erda in Das Rheingold with North Carolina Opera, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly at Lyric Opera of Chicago, the North American premiere of Huang Ruo’s opera Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, sung in Mandarin, in the role of Ni Gui-Zhen for Santa Fe Opera, and Ricky Ian Gordon’s newly revised opera The Grapes of Wrath at Opera Theatre of St. Louis in the role of Grandma Joad. Recent orchestral engagements include performances at the Astoria Music Festival and the Portland SummerFest in Oregon singing the role of Azucena in Il Trovatoreopposite Angela Meade as Leonora; as the alto soloist in Mahler’s 3rd  symphony with the Spokane Symphony; a concert of select Bach arias with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Bach's St. Matthew Passion with the NY Metamorphoses Orchestra, and Mahler’s Rückert lieder and selected lieder by Richard Strauss with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. 

MaryAnn McCormick, mezzo-soprano (The Monitress)
Lorelei Ensemble, Beth Willer, artistic director Lorelei Ensemble, Beth Willer, artistic director 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

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. 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
BOULANGER - D’un Soir triste (12 min)
DEBUSSY - Nocturnes (24 min)
PUCCINI - Suor Angelica* (55 min)

*Concert performance; sung in Italian with English subtitles
Audio Concert Preview - Full Program Notes
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