Carnegie Hall to fete Beethoven at 250 in the 2019-2020 season

Wed Jan 30, 2019 at 11:30 am


Carnegie Hall’s 2019-2020 season, announced Wednesday morning, features celebrations of two major anniversaries—2020 will be the centennial of Isaac Stern’s birth, and the 250th year since that of Beethoven.

Stern, one of the great violinists of the 20th century, is inextricably and historically linked to Carnegie. The main hall itself, the Stern Auditorium, is named in honor of Stern’s tireless efforts to save Carnegie from demolition. The entire season is dedicated to his memory.

The season will include performances of Beethoven’s complete symphonies, and more, starting with the October 3 opening night gala. That evening, the Cleveland Orchestra, conducted by Franz Welser-Möst and with violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, cellist Lynn Harrell, and pianist Yefim Bronfmam, will play the composer’s Triple Concerto, Op. 56, and his Romance for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 40. That concert will be filled out with the Overture to The Merry Wives of Windsor, by Otto Nicolai, and Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier Suite.

Sir John Eliot Gardiner will hold one of Carnegie’s three classical Perspectives series for the new season, and it is he and his Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique who will be playing the Beethoven cycle, in concerts February 18, 20, 21, 23, and 24. The orchestra will play the symphonies in order, and for the opening concert Symphony No. 1 will be paired with a rare performance of the music from the ballet, The Creatures of Prometheus. The Monteverdi Choir will join the orchestra for Symphony No. 9, vocal soloists will be soprano Lucy Crowe, contralto Jess Dandy, tenor Michael Spyres, and bass Tareq Nazmi.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, will helm a Perspectives series that will have the Met music director leading three of the orchestras with which he is most closely associated, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the MET Orchestra, and the Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal. He will be joined by pianist Hélène Grimaud, playing Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 3 (October 15); mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato will sing Mozart with the Montréal ensemble on a program that includes Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4 (November 22); and on March 13 the Philadelphia Orchestra contributes its own Beethoven program, playing Symphonies 5 and 6.

DiDonato will be accompanied by Nézet-Séguin in Schubert’s Winterreise December 15, one of the concerts in her own Perspectives series. She will also sing Berlioz’ La mort de Cleopatre November 15 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and conductor Riccardo Muti; deliver a program of French music with a chamber ensemble in Zankel Hall April 13; and sing music from Monteverdi, Gluck, Handel, and Purcell, with Il Pomo d’Oro, May 26.

The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra will make its annual appearance, this time wrapping up Carnegie’s season, under conductor Daniel Barenboim, with three straight concerts June 19-21 that will feature Gustav Mahler’s Symphonies Nos. 5, 7, and 9. Other visiting orchestras will include the Munich Philharmonic, with Valery Gergiev conducting (Oct. 25-26), Mariss Jansons leading the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (Nov. 8-9), and the San Francisco Symphony with Michael Tilson Thomas (Mar. 17-18).

Clarinetist and composer Jörg Widmann will hold the Debs Composer’s Chair. His compositions will appear on concerts throughout the season. The Cleveland Orchestra will play his Trauermarsch October 4, he will conduct and play his pieces with the Irish Chamber Orchestra November 19, and will do the same with the International Contemporary Ensemble January 28. New York will hear a new string quartet of his January 30, in a concert led by Sophie-Mutter who, with pianist Lambert Orkis, will play Beethoven’s “Spring” and “Kreutzer” violin sonatas, and the Op. 70, No. 1 “Ghost” Piano Trio.

There will be two chances to enjoy Winterreise in 2019-2020, the second sung by baritone Peter Mattei, accompanied by Lars David Nilsson, January 31. Pianist Marc-André Hamelin will play Scriabin, Prokofiev, Samuil Feinberg, and Schubert October 22; the next night tenor Ian Bostridge will collaborate with jazz pianist Brad Mehldau in Schumann’s Dichterliebe and a new composition by Mehldau. Pianist and composer Conrad Tao will perform Bach, Schumann, Rachmaninoff, David Lang, Julia Wolfe, Elliott Carter, and Jason Eckardt in Weill Recital Hall, November 20. Sō Percussion and Friends will play classic and new percussion works including Varèse’s Ionisation, and Steve Reich’s Music for Pieces of Wood, with a new work from Wolfe, December 7.

Kronos Quartet will play a concert that will include George Crumb’s Black Angels January 25, and soprano Sally Matthews, with pianist Simon Lepper, will sing Sibelius, Strauss, and others, February 4. Bryn Terfel will be accompanied in recital by Polina Osetinsaya, February 9; pianist Yuja Wang appears February 28, and the piano trio of Emanuel Ax, Leonidas Kavakos, and Yo-Yo Ma will play Beethoven on a series of concerts, March 4, 6, and 8.

In notable local premieres, The Crossing vocal ensemble, conducted by Donald Nally and joined by cellist Maya Beiser, will perform Michael Gordon’s new Travel Guide to Nicaragua, March 25. The American Composers Orchestra brings John Luther Adams’ Become River, April 2. On March 28 pianist Mitsuko Uchida and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra will play Mozart’s Piano Concertos 17 and 22, and the New York premiere of Widmann’s Choralquartett.

Beethoven’s piano music will be played in both early and modern styles, by fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenhout March 31, and András Schiff;Schiff will play five sonatas, including “Les Adieux,” Op. 81a, April 2, then four more sonatas April 5, including the “Moonlight” and “Pastoral.” On April 7, Uchida will play the Op. 126 Bagatelles and the Op. 120 Diabelli Variations. Yefim Bronfman and Igor Levit contribute more sonata playing April 21 and May 5, and through April and early May, Quatuor Ébène will traverse the String Quartets in Zankel Hall.

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