Glass, Trifonov, Jansen and a blast from the ’60s in Carnegie Hall’s 2017-18 season
Carnegie Hall announced their 2017–18 season Wednesday, with nine months full of the balance of expected pleasures and surprises that have been a trademark of their programming under Executive and Artistic Director Clive Gillinson.
One expects a constant flow of the most distinguished and talented artists, and the upcoming season is replete with concerts from some of the world’s finest orchestras and most accomplished soloists, along with Perspectives series from pianist Daniil Trifonov and violinist Janine Jensen.
For the upcoming season, Philip Glass will be in the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair. Glass is a contemporary composer, of course, but his important early music ties in with Carnegie’s citywide festival, “The ‘60s: The Years that Changed America.”
While that festival mostly offers non-classical music, like David Crosby and the pairing of great jazz and improvising musicians (and composers) Matthew Shipp and Roscoe Mitchell, it connects to classical music through the February 16 concert from Glass and his Ensemble. Along with the San Francisco Girls Chorus (and additional artists who will be announced), they will perform Music with Changing Parts, still one of the composer’s most riveting works. The most salient classical concert will be March 24; in a program titled “The Vietnam War: At Home and Abroad,” the Friction Quartet will play Crumb’s Black Angels, and other music to be announced.
Audiences will hear new and recent pieces from Glass as well. December 8, the American Composers Orchestra will play the composer’s Violin Concerto No. 2, “The American Four Seasons,” with leading Glass interpreter Timothy Fain soloing. The intriguingly titled “Lesser Known” program is on tap for February 8; for this concert, Nico Muhly and musicians will play Muhly’s arrangements of Glass songs, all of which promise to be world premieres. The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra will play recent pieces during Winter, 2017 (more details below), and March 6 JACK Quartet will perform the American premiere of String Quartet No. 8 (along with music by Donnacha Dennehy and Dan Trueman, in collaboration with So Percussion). Last, but certainly not least, Carl St. Clair brings the Pacific Symphony to the hall on April 21, with Ravi Shankar’s Concerto No. 3 for Sitar, an excerpt from Glass’ Shankar-inspired Passages, and the local premiere of The Passion of Ramakrishna.
Of particular note is Trifonov’s Perspectives series. The project features a performing artist and their choice of programming, and Trifonov’s will set expected comforts against intriguing surprises. He will play Chopin, and related music, both solo (Oct. 28) and with the Kremerata Baltica (Apr. 25 & 26). He will accompany baritone Matthias Goerne singing Schumann, Berg, and Wolf (Feb. 6), play in a piano duo with Sergei Babayan (Mar. 1), and play the local premiere of his own Piano Concerto, with Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra (Nov. 15). Most intriguing is a program schedule for May 4, 2018; the pianist will present a concert of 20th century music, ranging from Berg through Copland, Messiaen, Ligeti, Stockhausen, Adams, Adès, and more.
The other Perspectives series comes courtesy of Jensen. She will lead a chamber ensemble in the Quartet for the End of Time, Bartók, and Szymanowski (Dec. 7); play trios from Shostakovich, Prokofiev, and Rachmaninoff (Dec. 9); solo in Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Concertgebouw Orchestra (Jan. 18); play in a duet with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Jan. 21); and perform the local premiere of a new Violin Concerto from Michel Van Der Aa (Mar. 13).
Old Carnegie and New York City friends the Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony, the Royal Concertgebouw, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the MET Orchestra, and Vienna Philharmonic will make their usual visits to the hall. Philadelphia, conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and pianist Lang Lang take the opening night honors, October 4. The gala concert will present the delights of Bernstein’s On the Waterfront Symphonic Suite, the Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.
Philly will return through the fall, winter, and spring, playing Sibelius’ Symphony No. 1, Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2, and Pictures at an Exhibition, along with music from Thomas Adès, Michel Van Der Aa, Tod Machover, and more Bernstein (Dec. 8, Mar. 13, Apr. 10).
Andris Nelsons brings the Boston Symphony April 11-13, with Bernstein’s “Age of Anxiety” Symphony, Act II from Tristan und Isolde—featuring tenor Jonas Kaufmann and soprano Camilla Nylund—Don Quixote, and a new work from Jörg Widmann. The Concertgebouw makes a two-night winter stop (Jan. 17 – 18), with Daniele Gatti joined by Jensen for Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1, along with Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 and the pairing of Prelude to Act III and Good Friday Music from Parsifal with Bruckner’s Symphony No. 9. Later that same month (Jan. 23 & 24), Franz Welser-Möst conducts the Cleveland musicians in new music from Johannes Maria Staud, Mahler’s Symphony No. 9, and Haydn’s The Seasons.
February 9 & 10, the Chicago Symphony will be in town, with Riccardo Muti leading colorful music from Stravinsky, Chausson, Verdi, Brahms, Britten, Jennifer Higdon and Samuel Adams (a new work). Two weeks after that (Feb. 23 – 25), the VPO makes it’s annual visit, with Gustavo Dudamel, bringing an all-Brahms program, the pairing of Mahler with Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, and what will be a highly anticipated reading of Ives’ Symphony No. 2, along with Symphony No. 4 from Tchaikovsky.
Near the end of the season (May 5, 18 and June 5), the MET Orchestra will play Debussy, Mussorgsky, and Tchaikovsky under conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, Mozart with Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 (Gianandrea Noseda conducting), and a world premiere for Charles Wuorinen, along with Brahms’ Symphony No. 4, under James Levine, There will also be unexpected guests from all over the country and the globe.
Audiences will get a chance to hear orchestras they would not normally be exposed to. In October, the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia comes in from Rome with music director Sir Antonio Pappano and pianist Martha Argerich. On the 20th, they will play Verdi, Respighi’s Fountains and Pines of Rome, and the Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3. The following night the program will be Salvatore Sciarrino’s La nuova Euridice secondo Rilke and Mahler’s Symphony No. 6.
At the end of that month, the China NCPA Orchestra and conductor Lü Jia will accompany Lang Lang in the Yellow River Concerto by Ying Chengzong and Chu Wanghua, and also play a new work from Qigang Chen, and Symphony No. 2 by Sibelius (Oct. 30).
The Israeli Philharmonic will play three consecutive nights in November (7-9); Zubin Mehta will lead concertos from Beethoven and Tchaikovsky (Yefim Bronfman and Gil Shaham soloing, respectively), and Ein Heldenleben, Mahler’s Symphony No. 3, and Schubert’s “Great” Symphony No. 9. The night before they perform with Trifonov, the Mariinsky Orchestra will back Denis Matsuev in Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2, and Gergiev will conductor Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9, Scriabin’s Symphony No. 3, and Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 6.
In February, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra will play La noche de los Mayas by Silvestre Revueltas, and two pieces by Glass; Days and Nights in Rocinha and the Concerto Fantasy for Two Timpanists and Orchestra. Carolos Miguel Prieto will conduct, and Jim Atwood and Paul Yancich will be the timpani soloists.
Small-scale music, old, new, and intimate, will be delivered by such ensembles and musicians as the Takács Quartet, which will play music from the classical and romantic eras, Shostakovich, and a new work from Carl Vine (Oct. 12 & 14); the Borromeo String Quartet will premiere Sebastian Currier’s Lullaby and Etude, October 20; Ensemble Signal plays an all-Steve Reich concert on November 2; pianist Paul Lewis has a recital of music from Haydn, Beethoven, and Brahms scheduled for November 15; the vocal group Roomful of Teeth will sing Caroline Shaw’s Pulitzer winning Partita January 11, and premiere new music from Tigran Hamasyan and jazz trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire; the Kronos Quartet plays Terry Riley, John Cage, Janis Joplin, and new works from Stacy Garrop and Zachary J. Watkins (Jan. 18); Mitsuko Uchida brings her masterful Schubert interpretations on March 2; Pierre-Laurent Aimard will play the “Hammerklavier” sonata March 8; the early music orchestra Apollo’s Fire, with conductor and harpsichordist Jeanette Sorrell, will play Telemann, Handel, Vivaldi, and two “Brandenburg” concertos, March 22; and across two nights in April (3 & 5), Sir András Schiff will play Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, and Schumann.
Headlining the vocal arts will be the eagerly awaited return of Harry Bicket and the English Concert. On March 25, they will give a concert performance of Handel’s great Rinaldo, with countertenor Iestyn Davies, soprano Jane Archibald, mezzo Sasha Cooke, and bass Luca Pisaroni. Renée Fleming (who will be taking over stewardship of the “Song Continues” vocal festival from Marilyn Horne starting with the 2018-19 season) will sing October 23, and premiere a new work from Shaw; baritone Andrei Bondarenko will sing French and Russian music December 8; mezzo Jamie Barton will sing the premiere of Iain Bell’s Of You, December 18; tenor Jonas Kaufman returns January 20—get your tickets ASAP; soprano Julia Bullock will sing Barber’s Hermit Songs, April 20; and tenor Lawrence Brownlee will deliver a new work from the exceptional jazz drummer and contemporary composer Tyshawn Sorey, April 24. And there will be a “Sing Along: Music of Stevie Wonder” concert December 13. Not classical, perhaps, but classic in the extreme.