2018-19 BSO Season

[Andris Nelsons]BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra Announce the 2018-19 Season!
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2018-19 BSO Performances

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Andris Nelsons Talks About the 2018-19 Season

BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons speaks with Brian Bell about the 2018-19 BSO season.


[Andris Nelsons]Very Dear Friends

In looking forward to our fifth season of making music together, I could not be happier about the sense of family that continues to deepen the connections between the BSO, our devoted audience, and myself. This shared musical journey is so meaningful to all of us, and so important for bringing our entire community together, including not just our devoted subscribers, but so many new concertgoers we're pleased to welcome to Symphony Hall.

The 2018-19 season has so much to look forward to, for example, Shostakovich's first and last symphonies as part of our recording project with Deutsche Grammophon, concert performances of Puccini's beautiful one-act opera Suor Angelica, Bruckner's unfinished Symphony No. 9 as part of our ongoing exploration of his symphonies, all-Strauss and all-Beethoven programs, Bach's Christmas Oratorio for our second "Leipzig Week in Boston," and several commissioned works. These include the world premiere of Sebastian Currier's Aether for violin and orchestra, co-commissioned by the BSO and Gewandhausorchester Leipzig as part of our BSO/GHO Alliance, and the American premieres of two other BSO commissions, Mark-Anthony Turnage's Remembering: In Memoriam Evan Scofield and Andris Dzenītis' Māra, which is one of two works by Latvian composers being played in the fall-the other is Maija Einfelde's Lux aeterna-to mark the 100th anniversary of Latvian independence.

We also look forward to having three members of our BSO family conduct subscription programs in 2018-19-Associate Conductor Ken-David Masur in October, Artistic Partner Thomas Adès in March, and Youth and Family Concerts Conductor Thomas Wilkins also in March-and to working with so many wonderful guest artists as part of what promises to be such an exciting season.

Thank you as always for your great devotion and support. We look forward to seeing you at Symphony Hall.

With warm wishes,

[Michael Winter]Andris Nelsons and the BSO

For his fifth season with the orchestra, BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons leads fourteen of the year's twenty-six subscription programs, ranging from orchestral works by Haydn, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, and Copland to compelling concerto collaborations with acclaimed soloists, as well as world and American premieres of pieces newly commissioned by the BSO. Continuing his multi-season explorations of concert and operatic works in particular areas of interest, Maestro Nelsons' programming includes Shostakovich's first and last symphonies, the First and Fifteenth, as part of the BSO's ongoing Shostakovich cycle for Deutsche Grammophon; Bruckner's Symphony No. 9; an all-Strauss program featuring Renée Fleming in the heartfelt final scene of the opera Capriccio; and concert performances of Puccini's moving one-act opera Suor Angelica with Kristine Opolais and Violeta Urmana. Concerto collaborations include Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 with Daniil Trifonov, Schumann's Piano Concerto with Yuja Wang, Szymanowski's Violin Concerto No. 1 with Lisa Batiashvili, Viennese composer HK Gruber's Aerial for trumpet and orchestra with Håkan Hardenberger, and the world premiere featuring violinist Baiba Skride of American composer Sebastian Currier's Aether, which was co-commissioned by the BSO and the Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig as part of the BSO/GHO Alliance initiated in February 2018.

Additional commissions include the American premieres of Latvian composer Andris Dzenītis' Māra and English composer Mark-Anthony Turnage's Remembering: In Memoriam Evan Scofield. Other works new to the BSO's repertoire include Latvian composer Maija Einfelde's Lux aeterna for unaccompanied chorus, Lili Boulanger's D'un Soir triste, and Wilson's Lumina. The works by Dzenītis and Einfelde are performed to mark the 100th anniversary of Latvian independence. Turnage's Remembering: In Memoriam Evan Scofield is part of an English-themed program also including Haydn's Symphony No. 93, the first of his dozen London symphonies, and Elgar's Enigma Variations. Boulanger's D'un Soir triste figures in a times-of-day-themed program, along with Britten's Friday Afternoons for children's chorus and orchestra, featuring the Boston Symphony Children's Choir, and Debussy's Nocturnes.

Major choral works to be led by Maestro Nelsons include Mahler's Symphony No. 2, Resurrection, with soloists Erin Morley and Bernarda Fink, on a program pairing it with Einfelde's Lux aeterna; Dvořák's Stabat Mater, with soloists Kristine Opolais, Violeta Urmana, Dmytro Popov, and Ain Anger, in its first BSO performances since 1980, the only previous time the orchestra played the complete work; and, for the BSO's second "Leipzig Week in Boston," J.S. Bach's complete Christmas Oratorio, with renowned Bach singers Carolyn Sampson, Christine Rice, SebastianKohlhepp, and AndrèSchuen. Also featured in these works is the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, James Burton, conductor, which, along with the Lorelei Ensemble, Beth Willer, artistic director, also joins Andris Nelsons and the BSO for the performances of Puccini's Suor Angelica.

[Cathy Basrak]Intriguing Explorations

The BSO's 2018-19 season is distinguished by an unparalleled breadth of music by composers both familiar and not, some of them new to the orchestra's repertoire. The orchestra marks the 80th birthday of Boston-based John Harbison with performances of his Remembering Gatsby led by BSO Associate Conductor Ken-David Masur in October; Harbison's Symphony No. 2 under Sir Andrew Davis in January, and a celebratory Boston Symphony Chamber Players program at Jordan Hall also in January. In addition to Andris Nelsons' performances of the works by Maija Einfelde, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Andris Dzenītis, HK Gruber, and Wilson, BSO Artistic Partner Thomas Adès leads the world premiere of his own BSO-commissioned Piano Concerto with soloist Kirill Gerstein in March, in a program also including music of Liszt and Tchaikovsky. Also in March, BSO Youth and Family Concerts Conductor Thomas Wilkins, in his subscription series debut, leads music by African-American composers Adolphus Hailstork, Florence Price, and Duke Ellington, plus Puerto Rican- born composer Roberto Sierra's Concerto for Saxophones and Orchestra featuring soloist James Carter.

Making his first BSO appearances since his 2006 Tanglewood debut with the orchestra, the dynamic Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel leads two subscription programs in April-the first pairing Schumann's Spring Symphony with Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, the second featuring the BSO debut of Caracas-born Argentine pianist Sergio Tiempo  in Ginastera's Piano Concerto No. 1, bookended by music of two Venezuelan composers: Paul Desenne's El Caimán and Antonio Estévez's Cantata Criolla, the latter featuring tenor Aquiles Machado, baritone Gustavo Castillo, and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus.

The season opens with a program spotlighting the strings, winds, brass, and percussion of the BSO, and also featuring the BSO debut of distinguished Finnish conductor Hannu Lintu. South Korean conductor Shi-Yeon Sung, who was a BSO assistant conductor from 2007 to 2010, returns to Symphony Hall in January for a program including Fanny Mendelssohn-
Hensel's Overture in C. Also in January, for his subscription series debut, Finnish conductor John Storgårds leads Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho's Ciel d'hiver. In March, the Boston Symphony Chamber Players give the world premiere of a BSO-commissioned work from Russian-born British composer Elena Langer. In April, English conductor Andrew Manze opens his BSO debut program with Polish composer Grażyna Bacewicz's 1948 Concerto
for String Orchestra. 

[Garrick Ohlsson]Family Matters

The BSO's Associate Conductor, Artistic Partner, and Youth and Family Concerts Conductor all lead subscription concerts this season. BSO Associate Conductor Ken-David Masur pairs with pianist Garrick Ohlsson for Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 1 in an October program also including John Harbison's Remembering Gatsby and excerpts from Prokofiev's ballet Romeo and Juliet. In March, BSO Artistic Partner Thomas Adès pairs with soloist Kirill Gerstein for the world premiere of Adès' BSO-commissioned Piano Concerto. Adès and Gerstein then join forces the following week at Jordan Hall, for a special evening of two- piano music presented in association with the Celebrity Series of Boston. Also in March, BSO Youth and Family Concerts Conductor Thomas Wilkins makes his subscription series debut leading jazz-inflected works by African-American composers Adolphus Hailstork and Duke Ellington on a program with Puerto Rican- born composer Roberto Sierra's Concerto for Saxophones and Orchestra featuring James Carter, and "Symphonic Reflections" from the Symphony No. 3 of African-American composer Florence Price, who in 1933 became the first African-American woman ever to have a piece played by a major U.S. orchestra.

[Ingrid Fliter] Compelling Collaborations

Besides those mentioned elsewhere, numerous other guest conductors and soloists add luster to the BSO's 2018-19 season. In January, Argentinian pianist Ingrid Fliter makes her subscription series debut playing Mendelssohn with Shi-Yeon Sung on the podium in a program also including Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel's Overture in C and Dvořák's Symphony No. 8; Italian pianist Alessio Bax makes his BSO debut playing Mozart with Sir Andrew Davis conducting a program also including John Harbison's Symphony No. 2 and Vaughan Williams' Symphony No. 5; German pianist Martin Helmchen plays Mozart with John Storgårds on the podium for a program also including music of Kaija Saariaho and Sibelius; cellist Truls Mørk performs Haydn with Herbert Blomstedt, who also conducts Brahms' Symphony No. 1; and Lithuanian-born violinist Julian Rachlin plays Mendelssohn under Juanjo Mena in a program also including works by Haydn and Janáček. In April, Swiss pianist Francesco Piemontesi makes his BSO debut playing Mozart with Andrew Manze, who also leads Grażyna Bacewicz's Concerto for String Orchestra and the original version of Mendelssohn's Reformation Symphony.