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Three Guest Conductors Open the New Year of Boston Symphony Subscription Concerts, January 5–21, at Symphony Hall

Omer Meir Wellber portrait

Israeli conductor Omer Meir Wellber makes his bso debut in music by Tchaikovsky, Ella Milch-Sheriff, and Beethoven, joined by famed violinist Midori, January 5–7

Alan Gilbert returns to lead the BSO in Justin Dello Joio's new piano concerto featuring distinguished soloist Garrick Ohlsson, on a program with music by Boulanger, Stenhammer, and Dvořák, January 12–14

For her subscription series debut, Karina Canellakis is joined by Nicola Benedetti, in her BSO debut, as soloist in Szymanowski's violin concerto no. 2; works by Dvořák and Lutosławski complete the program, January 19–21

Details at


Thursday, January 5, 7:30 p.m.; Friday, January 6, 1:30 p.m.; and Saturday, January 7, 8 p.m.: Midori makes a welcome return to BSO subscription concerts-her first since 2003-performing Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto under the direction of Omer Meir Wellber, who leads the BSO for the first time. Also on the program is the American premiere of The Eternal Stranger by Israeli composer Ella Milch-Sheriff -featuring Israeli actor Eli Danker as narrator-a work that links thematically to the two Beethoven works on the program (funeral march from the Eroica Symphony and Leonore Overture No. 3), and to the season-long exploration of musical perspectives on the tragedies of war and conflict.

Thursday, January 12, 7:30 p.m.; Friday, January 13, 1:30 p.m.; and Saturday, January 14, 8 p.m.: Returning guest conductor Alan Gilbert is joined by frequent BSO guest Garrick Ohlsson for the world premiere of Justin Dello Joio's piano concerto Oceans Apart. Swedish composer Wilhelm Stenhammar's wide-ranging Serenade has a satisfyingly symphonic scope. French composer Lili Boulanger's D'un Matin de printemps, her impressionistic 1918 depiction of a spring morning, and Czech composer Antonín Dvořák's celebratory Carnival Overture round out the program.

Thursday, January 19, 7:30 p.m.; Friday, January 20, 1:30 p.m.; and Saturday, January 21, 8 p.m.: Conducting the BSO at Symphony Hall for the first time, Karina Canellakis leads Polish composer Karol Szymanowski's scintillating Violin Concerto No. 2, featuring soloist Nicola Benedetti in her BSO debut, on a program with Witold Lutosławski’s folk music-influenced Concerto for Orchestra, which helped establish his international reputation, and Dvořák's nature-inspired tone poem, Wood Dove, which has not been played by the BSO since 1905.

Photos, Videos and Bios for the 2022-23 BSO Season

Further Details About BSO Concerts, January 5-21

Thursday, January 5, 7:30 p.m.; Friday, January 6, 1:30 p.m.; Saturday, January 7, 8 p.m.
Appearing in BSO subscription concerts at Symphony Hall for the first time in twenty years, famed violinist Midori-who most recently appeared with the orchestra in 2018 for the Bernstein Centennial Celebration at Tanglewood-opens the program led by Omer Weir Wellber with Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, one of the most beloved works in the repertoire. This is the first of four BSO 2022 season programs that focus on the themes of wartime and tragedy, creating a common thread to provoke thought and reflection. Ella Milch-Sheriff's The Eternal Stranger, for narrator and orchestra, relates Beethoven's difficulty in society due to his personality and deafness to the hostility and rejection experienced by refugees and other "strangers." Eli Danker, who served as narrator for the world premiere of the work, reprises his role. The funeral march from the Symphony No. 3, Eroica, and the overture from Beethoven's opera about a political imprisonment serve as potent reminders of the composer's abiding universal humanity.

Thursday, January 12, 7:30 p.m.; Friday, January 13, 1:30 p.m.; Saturday, January 14, 8 p.m. Since his BSO debut in 1999 at Tanglewood, Alan Gilbert has led the orchestra on multiple occasions, both at Symphony Hall and Tanglewood; he led the Boston Pops for the concert marking the 25th reunion of his Harvard class. The symphonic version of D'un matin de printemps was the last orchestral work of French composer Lili Boulanger, who only lived to age 24. Swedish composer Wilhelm Stenhammar wrote vocal, piano, and chamber music, as well as operas and orchestral works, including the Serenade (1911). New York-born Justin Dello Joio is descended from seven generations of composers and wrote his new concerto, Oceans Apart, for pianist Garrick Ohlsson, whose appearances with the BSO span six decades and a variety of repertoire. Dvořák's Carnival Overture ends the concert on an exuberant note.

Thursday, January 19, 7:30 p.m.; Friday, January 20, 1:30 p.m.; Saturday, January 21, 8 p.m.
Having led highly praised BSO concerts at Tanglewood in 2021 and 2022, Karina Canellakis takes the Symphony Hall podium for the first time, joined by award-winning violinist Nicola Benedetti making her Boston Symphony debut performing Karol Szymanowski's Violin Concerto No. 2. Comprising four sections played without pause and linked by a substantial cadenza at the midpoint, this was his final work. Dvořák's Wood Dove, a tone poem based on a story about a deceptive and murderous wife, opens the program. Closing it is music from another Polish composer, Witold Lutosławski's Concerto for Orchestra, a work that represents the apex of his folk-influenced output.

The morning of January 19 brings the second Open Rehearsal of the season. BSO Thursday-morning Open Rehearsals give patrons the opportunity to experience the creative dynamic between conductor and orchestra as they refine their performance in the final rehearsal before the concert. Remaining Open Rehearsal dates for 2022–23 are February 16 and April 13.

Please note that all Thursday-evening performances will now start at 7:30 p.m., in response to patron feedback and preferences.

Links to Additional Information

Updated New Health and Safety Protocols for Concertgoers

PDF Brochure of the 2022–23 Season, September 22–May 6

Season Overview

Thursday, January 5, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, January 6, 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, January 7, 8 p.m.
Omar Meir Wellber, conductor
Midori, violin
Eli Danker, narrator
TCHAIKOVSKY Violin Concerto
Ella MILCH-SHERIFF The Eternal Stranger, for narrator and orchestra (American premiere)
BEETHOVEN Marcia funebre from Symphony No. 3, Eroica
BEETHOVEN Leonore Overture No. 3

Thursday, January 12, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, January 13, 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, January 14, 8 p.m.
Alan Gilbert, conductor
Garrick Ohlsson, piano

BOULANGER D'un Matin de printemps
Justin DELLO JOIO Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, Oceans Apart (world premiere; BSO commission)
DVORÁK Carnival Overture

Thursday, January 19, 10:30 a.m. (Open rehearsal)
Thursday, January 19, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, January 20, 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, January 21, 8 p.m.
Karina Canellakis, conductor
Nicola Benedetti, violi­n
DVORÁK Wood Dove
SZYMANOWSKI Violin Concerto No. 2
LUTOSŁAWSKI Concerto for Orchestra

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