Bruckner, Venice, and Steve Reich—together again for the first time in Carnegie Hall’s 2016-17 season

Tue Jan 26, 2016 at 11:30 am
Daniel Barenboim will lead the Staatskapelle Berlin in a complete cycle of Bruckner symphonies in Carnegie Hall's 2016-17 season.

Daniel Barenboim will lead the Staatskapelle Berlin in a complete cycle of Bruckner symphonies in Carnegie Hall’s 2016-17 season.

The beautiful, dream-like city of Venice will be at the center of Carnegie Hall’s 2016–17 season, announced Tuesday morning by executive and artistic director Clive Gillinson.

Special Series

“La Serenissima: Music and Arts from the Venetian Republic” is a city-wide festival that arrives in February, 2017, with programming that does—yes—include Vivaldi, but ranges far afield. A city-state whose independent existence lasted 1,000 years will be celebrated by music spanning more than 500.

The thirteen-concert series begins when Jordi Savall leads Hesperion XXI in a Feb. 3 concert that will reflect Venice’s history as a center of global trade, with music from the Dark Ages to the baroque, from around the Mediterranean and through to Persia. Other highlights include the Venice Baroque Orchestra and TENET performing Vivaldi’s Juditha triumphans (Feb. 7); Il Pomo D’Oro will deliver arias, duets, and instrumental music by Cavalli, Cesti, Sartorio, Rossi, and others Feb. 14; Ensemble ACJW will bring a new Carnegie commission from Caroline Shaw, along with Vivaldi and Marcello (Feb. 20); and the festival concludes with Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea in concert, from the Concerto Italiano and Rinaldo Alessandrini, heard Feb. 21.

In other thematic series, Daniel Barenboim will conduct the Staatskapelle Berlin in a cycle of Bruckner’s complete symphonies (minus “0” and “00”)—a first for Carnegie. Across nine concerts, starting January 19, the orchestra will traverse the symphonies in ascending numerical order, and all but Symphony No. 8 will be paired with a Mozart piano concerto, Barenboim soloing and conducting from the piano.

Another leading conductor, Sir Simon Rattle, will be concluding the second season of his current Perspectives series at the Hall. Sir Simon will lead the Berliner Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and Ensemble ACJW in programs of Mahler’s Symphony No. 6 (October 10); Hans Zender’s “reimagining” of Schubert’s Winterreise—with tenor Mark Padmore—Oct. 16; and concerts of Mahler, Boulez, Brahms, and the Second Viennese School (November 9–10).

Carnegie also announced that Steve Reich will hold the upcoming season’s Deb’s Composer’s Chair. Reich, who was fêted by Carnegie for his 70 birthday, will celebrate his 80th on November 1, in a Stern Hall concert that will feature his video opera Three Tales and the world premiere of a new piece, Pulse. David Robertson will conduct ICE, So Percussion, and Synergy Vocals.

The following spring, Reich will curate a four-concert series in Zankel, “Three Generations: Changing the Direction of Concert Music.” The opener will be March 30, with Brad Lubman and Ensemble Signal playing John Adams’ Shaker Loops and Terry Riley’s In C. The series will continue with music from Arvo Pärt, Philip Glass, and Reich (April 6); Bang on a Can composers David Lang, Julia Wolfe, and Michael Gordon (Apr. 19); and chamber music from Bryce Dessner and Nico Mulhy (Apr. 26).

Along with new music from Reich and Shaw, Carnegie’s ongoing 125 Commissions Project will be represented via new music from such composers as Donnacha Dennehy—played by the Doric String Quartet, along with Haydn and Beethoven—in Weill Recital Hall, Feb. 27; Andris Nelsons will lead the Boston Symphony Orchestra in a new work from Sofia Gubaidulina, along with Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7, Feb. 28; the phenomenal young pianist Igor Levit will play the US premiere of Fred Rzewski’s Dreams Part II, along with Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, Feb. 10.

Visiting Orchestras

The season opens October 6 with notable visitors: conductor Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolivar Symphony Orchestra. For opening night, the program is Stravinsky ballets: Pétrouchka and Le sacre du printemps.  On the subsequent two nights, the musicians will play music from composers Juan Carlos Nunez, Paul Desenne, Villa-Lobos, and Ravel, then conclude their visit with Messiaen’s Turangalîla-symphonie, for which Jean-Yves Thibaudet will be the pianist, and Cynthia Millar will play the ondes Martenot.

The Philadelphia Orchestra will also appear three additional times with their music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin. November 15, they will play Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1, with soloist Benjamin Bellman, and music from Ravel; mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung and bass-baritone John Relyea are the leads in a concert performance of Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle (March 7); and in a May 9 concert, the Philadelphians will play Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24, with Radu Lupu, Bernstein’s “Jeremiah Symphony”—Sasha Cooke will be the mezzo-soprano—and Schumann’s Symphony No. 2.

The Vienna Philharmonic will make their annual appearance Feb. 24–26, under Franz Welser-Möst. Their concerts will include late Schubert symphonies; music by Strauss, Brahms, Bartók, and Schoenberg; and the U.S. premiere of Time Recycling, composed by René Staar.

Other visiting orchestras will be the St. Louis Symphony, leading interpreters of John Adams; they and the St. Louis Symphony Chorus celebrate Adams’ 70th birthday through his The Gospel According to the Other Mary on March 31—singers will include mezzo-sopranos Kelly O’Connor and Michaela Martens, tenor Jay Hunter Morris, and countertenors Daniel Bubeck, Brian Cummings, and Nathan Medley.

The San Francisco Symphony, under Michael Tilson Thomas, will play Cage’s The Seasons, Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra, and Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1—Gautier Capuçon, soloist, April 7; the next night will be an all-Mahler concert. James Levine brings the MET Orchestra in May 31, then June 3 and 6, with Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn, sung by mezzo-soprano Susan Graham and tenor Matthew Polenzani; an all-Brahms concert with Maurizio Pollini playing the Piano Concerto No. 1; and violinist Christian Tetzlaff playing the Violin Concerto as part of an all-Sibelius program.

Chamber Music and Recitals

Ensemble ACJW, a co-creation of Carnegie, Juilliard, and the Weill Institute, will celebrate its 10th anniversary in the coming season. In addition to the concerts with Sir Simon and in the Venice series, the ensemble plays Shostakovich’s Piano Quartet in G minor, Op. 57, December 6 in Weill Recital Hall.

Other chamber ensembles that will be heard in the 2016–17 season will be the Danish String Quartet, rapidly becoming a local favorite, playing Shostakovich and Schubert in Zankel, October 26. The Emerson String Quartet will play Brahms’ Piano Quintet, with Maurizio Pollini, and the Ravel and Berg String Quartets, May 7. In their first appearance at Carnegie, the Hagen Quartet plays Beethoven, Bartók, and also the Brahms Piano Quintet, with Kirill Gerstein, March 1 in Zankel. In two concerts, pianist Jonathan Biss and the Brentano String Quartet will explore the late styles of Bach, Kurtág, Britten, Beethoven, Schumann, Gesualdo, Brahms, and Mozart (Feb 15 and 23). On March 10, Biss accompanies Mark Padmore in an all-Schubert program.

Tenor Ian Bostridge will sing Winterreise accompanied by Thomas Adès, on October 16; the same piece will be sung by mezzo-soprano Alice Coote, with pianist Julius Drake, February 4. Soprano Susanna Phillips and bass-baritone Eric Owens will sing more Schubert, with pianist Myra Huang and clarinetist Alicia Lee, November 6. December 15, prior to “La Serrenissima,” Il Pomo D’Oro will back mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato in arias from Monteverdi, Purcell, Handel, and Jommelli.

Not to be overshadowed, Schumann makes an appearance in a concert from soprano Miah Persson and baritone Florian Boesch, accompanied by Malcolm Martineau, on March 22. But Schubert will indeed by heard last: bass Matthew Rose sings Schwanengesang with pianist Vlad Itfinca, Mar. 25, then soprano Natalie Dessay returns for what will be a highly anticipated concert on April 24—accompanied by Philippe Cassard, she will sing Mendelssohn, Duparc, Liszt, Fauré, Bizet, and, yes, Schubert.

Solo instrumentalists appearing at Carnegie will include pianist Daniil Trifonov, who will play Schumann, Shostakovich, and Stravinsky (Dec. 7); pianist Khatia Buniatishvili, who will play a demanding program of Pictures at an Exhibition and Lizst’s Réminiscences de Don Juan (Dec. 10); pianists Leif Ove Andsnes and Marc-André Hamelin will play two-piano music from Mozart, Stravinsky, and Debussy, April 22. Kristian Bezuidenhout will play a fortepiano recital, October 24, and there will be further concerts from Sir András Schiff (Mar. 9), Richard Goode (Mar. 15), Piotr Anderszewski (Feb. 17), Murray Perahia (May 19), among others.

The great violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter will appear in recital this season, accompanied by pianist Lambert Orkis. On April 2, she will play music by Sebastian Currier, Mozart, Resphighi, and Saint-Saëns. The violinist Simone Lamsma will make her local debut March 30 in Weill Hall; with pianist Robert Kulek, she will play a Carnegie commission from James MacMillan, and Prokofiev and Strauss Sonatas. More new music for violin will be coming from Michael Torke, played by Tessa Lark, February 2. Cellist István Várdai will play November 3; cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras brings the world premiere of music by Yves Chauris—and Schumann, Beethoven, Webern, and Chopin—on January 26; and pianist Mitsuko Uchida and clarinetist Jürg Widmann will collaborate in two concerts: Uchida plays the local premiere of a new Widmann work March 30, then the two play more Widmann, and Brahms, Berg, Schubert, and Schumann, March 30.

Early Music/New Music

“La Serenissima” brings together the old and new, the two ends of the continuum of classical music. And there is more of each on the 2016–17 schedule.

Carnegie has hosted a series of terrific performances of Handel operas and oratorios over the past few seasons, and the new one brings the return of some of the current stars of this repertoire: Joyce DiDonato, the English Concert, and conductor Harry Bicket. On April 30, joined by sopranos Christiane King and Joélle Harvey, contralto Sonia Prina, tenor David Portillo, and bass-baritone Matthew Brook, they will give a concert performance of Handel’s Ariodante.

On a smaller scale, the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin bring “Foreign Affairs: Characters of the Baroque,” March 23; Ottavio Dantone leads the Accademia Bizantina in an all-Bach program, with violin soloist Viktoria Mullova (Nov. 15); Richard Egarr gives a harpsichord recital Jan. 12, playing Sweelinck, Morley, Byrd, Purcell, and Blow; and Trio Mediaeval sings Aquilonis, “a musical journey from Iceland to the Mediterranean” (Oct. 20).

There will be further local and world premieres through the 125 Commissions Project, scattered across numerous programs. Notable concerts start with mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter and string quartet Brooklyn Rider, with new pieces from Colin Jacobsen and Caroline Shaw, a piece from Nico Muhly, and arrangements by Evan Ziporyn and Rob Mathes of John Adams and Björk, and Sting and Elvis Costello, respectively (Oct. 13).

On October 28, the American Composers Orchestra, conducted by George Manahan, brings a program named “Contempo-Scary”; Bernard Herrmann’s Psycho Suite, David Del Tredici’s Dracula, and world premieres from Paul Moravec and Judith Shatin. March 24, the ACO plays “Fast Forward”; world premieres by David Hertzberg and Trevor Weston, along with Reich’s Tehillim.

There will be more new music from Shaw, and also Chris Thile, played by yMusic at Zankel, December 2; and the Kronos Quartet plays Zankel on February 11, with a kaldeiscopic program of Reich’s Triple Quartet, Garth Knox’s Satellites, and new pieces from Rhiannon Giddons, Tanya Tagaq, and Fodé Lassana Diabaté’s Sunjata Time, with the composer joining Kronos on the balafon.

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