THE BIG BANDS
The New York Philharmonic will play a series of retrospective concerts at Avery Fisher Hall, beginning with three programs of works by Felix Mendelssohn, from September 21 to October 10, after a gala season opener on the 20th that will include Mendelssohn’s “Italian” Symphony No. 4, along with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa singing arias from The Magic Flute and Strauss’s Arabella. The tenth anniversary of Leonard Bernstein’s death is commemorated with four concerts, October 12 to 17, which will include his Jeremiah Symphony. The Philharmonic’s yearlong tribute to Johann Sebastian Bach on the 250th anniversary of his death concludes in December with performances of Cantatas 1 to 3 of the Christmas Oratorio by the Choir of St. Thomas Church, Leipzig, once directed by Bach himself, with conductor Georg Christoph Biller making his Philharmonic debut.
Lincoln Center’s Great Performers series begins October 4 with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, soprano Renée Fleming, and baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky in a program at Avery Fisher Hall that includes scenes from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. Joshua Bell returns November 12, performing Beethoven with the Camerata Academica Salzburg, also at Avery Fisher Hall. Great Performers continues with the American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leon Botstein, in a series at Avery Fisher examining the effects of history and memory on music. Mahler’s nostalgic Symphony No. 7 begins the program on October 20, followed by premieres of Harold Faberman’s Cello Concerto and a Timpani Concerto by Philip Glass on November 19. This series concludes the fall season on December 13 with works by Shostakovich, Prokofiev, and Miaskovsky. Performances are preceded by a discussion with composer-in-residence Richard Wilson.
Carnegie highlights Asian influences on American music with the two new works premiered this autumn. P. Q. Phan’s When the Worlds Mixed and Times Merged and Melissa Hui’s Common Ground are featured in a concert on October 15 by the American Composers Orchestra. Maurizio Pollini opens the Carnegie season on October 3 with Brahms’s Piano Concerto in B-flat Major with the Cleveland Orchestra. On October 10, Hilary Hahn performs Brahms’s Violin Concerto in D Major with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Their October 24 program pairs Brahms’s Symphony No. 2 with Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, played by guest superstar Kennedy. Another distinguished soloist this season is Midori, who joins the NDR Symphony Orchestra on October 16 to play Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Major.
Stravinsky is spotlighted on October 18 and 19 when the Orchestra of St. Louis presents two programs of his music, including The Rite of Spring and Petrouchka. This inaugurates a Carnegie series devoted to his work that will continue into 2001. Dirty thoughts of holy men make their comeback October 21, when Charles Dutoit leads the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal in Carl Orff’s exuberant Carmina Burana. On October 30, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 100th anniversary with a program including Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto in C Minor performed by Rudolf Buchbinder. From December 11 through 17, Daniel Barenboim will lead a Beethoven marathon, conducting the Staatskapelle Berlin in all nine symphonies and playing the five piano concertos.
The Brooklyn Philharmonic will perform the North American premiere of Philip Glass’s Symphony No. 5 on October 4 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The twelve movements feature texts from world religions, and the performance will be conducted by Dennis Russell Davies, who has led the premieres of all of Glass’s symphonies.