Classical Preview


Avery Fisher Hall
The New York Philharmonic’s fall season offers both a retrospective of the century that was and a look ahead to the future of orchestral music. The season opens September 23 with the great cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, who will perform Dvorák’s Cello Concerto as part of a program that also includes Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony, under maestro Kurt Masur.

The Completely Copland Festival (November 24-December 12) promises the most comprehensive retrospective of Copland’s work ever undertaken. The Philharmonic will perform most of the composer’s chamber, orchestral, operatic, stage, and film works, augmented by lectures, panel discussions, and an exhibit examining his life and times.

Disney’s Millennium Symphonies (October 8, 9, and 12) includes two new works – Garden of Light, by Aaron Jay Kernis, and Four Seasons, by Michael Torke – commissioned by the Walt Disney Company and performed by the Philharmonic with soprano Margaret Lloyd, mezzo Mary Phillips, tenor Anthony Dean Griffey, and other guests. Also honoring the fin de siècle is the Messages for the Millennium series (November 11-20). Conceived by Masur and commissioned by the Philharmonic, the series consists of new medium-length works by an international group of composers: Thomas Adès, John Corigliano, Hans Werner Henze, Giya Kancheli, Kaija Saariaho, and Somei Satoh (see sidebar).

Lincoln Center’s Great Performers will devote this year’s Bard Festival in New York to the life and work of Arnold Schoenberg. The daylong festival will include lectures and symposia on the composer and a re-creation by the American Symphony Orchestra of 1913’s infamous Skandalkonzert, in which fisticuffs broke out between supporters and detractors of what was then revolutionary music.

The collaboration between Masur and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra’s Wynton Marsalis continues when the two groups premiere Marsalis’s All Rise December 29 and 30.

Carnegie Hall
Conductor Lorin Maazel and the Vienna Philharmonic launch the season on September 29 with Richard Strauss’s Also Sprach Zarathustra, Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche, and Der Rosenkavalier. On the following nights, the Viennese will play works by Bruckner, Brahms, Ravel, Stravinsky, and Mahler.

Wolfgang Sawallisch and the Philadelphia Orchestra will perform October 5 and 19 and November 8, with guest soloists Gil Shaham and Ivo Pogorelich, among others. Mahler figures big-time in Carnegie’s fall lineup, not only on the Vienna and Philadelphia programs. On October 24, the Berlin Philharmonic, under Claudio Abbado, will perform his Ninth Symphony, along with works by Bruckner, Schumann, and Schoenberg on October 25 and 26. The Saint Louis Symphony will perform Mahler’s Third on October 28, and the Oslo Philharmonic will follow two weeks later, playing Mahler’s First on the first of two nights in New York, November 9 and 10.

On October 1 the Brooklyn Philharmonic will play “Strings of War,” a program of three composers’ responses to World War II: Bartók’s Divertimento for String Orchestra, Richard Strauss’s Metamorphosen for 23 solo strings, and the Barshay arrangement of Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony. Music director Robert Spano’s history-themed season also includes concert performances of John Adams’s Nixon in China December 3 and 4 as part of BAM’s Next Wave Festival.


Lincoln Center
The New York Chamber Symphony opens its season November 28, with Austrian mezzo Angelika Kirchschlager performing Mahler songs and principal clarinetist Jon Manasse playing Busoni’s Concertino for Clarinet. On December 18 and 19, Bach authority Anthony Newman steps in to conduct his arrangements of Water Music Suites by Handel and Telemann. Newman will also play, on Alice Tully Hall’s Kuhn organ, works by Handel, Purcell, and others, and will close out the program with Mozart’s Organ Sonatas Nos. 12 and 14.

The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center launches its season by showcasing the talents of artistic director and clarinetist David Shifrin, performing works by Mozart. Lincoln Center regular Gidon Kremer and members of his Kremerata Baltica ensemble come to Alice Tully on November 23, performing works by Vasks, Morricone, Kancheli, and other twentieth-century composers. The Guarneri String Quartet will play works by Dvorák, Mendelssohn, and Brahms on December 1, with guest soloist Ida Kavafian. The CMS wraps up its fall season with the traditional evening of the complete “Brandenburg” concertos.

Flutist Emmanuel Pahud will play with the Chamber Music Society for the first time November 7, performing Debussy and Jolivet. On November 4, he will visit the 92nd Street Y, celebrating the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of its chamber-music program, to perform Debussy’s Prélude à l’Après-midi d’un Faune, Syrinx, and Chansons de Bilitis, along with works by Poulenc, Boulez, and Franck with pianist Eric LeSage as part of the Y’s “Discoveries and Debuts” series. The Y will also host the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, Pinchas Zukerman, Michael Tree, Les Violons du Roy, and the Tokyo String Quartet this fall.

Lincoln Center’s Great Performers will include Itzhak Perlman with pianist Rohan De Silva, performing a special millennium program (November 3) at Avery Fisher, and mezzo Susanne Mentzer giving an “Art of the Song” concert (November 14). André Watts will perform works by Bach, Schubert, Beethoven, Liszt, and Chopin on December 5 at Avery Fisher.

At Carnegie Hall, Russian violinist Vadim Repin will play Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Saint Louis Symphony on October 29. Yo-Yo Ma will give a solo recital on October 15; Midori will perform in a duo recital with pianist Robert McDonald on October 22; and Emanuel Ax arrives on December 6. James Levine and the musicians from the Met will play a series of concerts, with pianist Evgeny Kissin (November 7) and mezzo Olga Borodina (December 5). Kissin will also give a solo recital on December 4, playing the music of his mother Russia by Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, and Balakirev.


Metropolitan Opera
On September 27 Plácido Domingo, playing Canio in Pagliacci, kicks off the Met season for a record eighteenth time. Pagliacci will be paired, per convention, with Cavalleria Rusticana. The Met’s fall season also includes Moses und Aron and Lucia di Lammermoor, in an original version never before seen at the Met. Domingo returns on October 2 to sing the title role in Otello; Barbara Frittoli is Desdemona, and James Morris is Iago. Aida begins October 8, with Deborah Voigt in the title role. Tosca begins October 14, with Elizabeth Holleque, Eva Marton, and Carol Vaness splitting the title role opposite Luciano Pavarotti, Kristján Jóhannsson, and Richard Leech as Cavaradossi. The Jonathan Miller staging of Le Nozze di Figaro returns the following week (October 21).

Mefistofele, which hasn’t been seen on the Met stage since 1926, opens November 5 with Samuel Ramey as the Devil, Maria Guleghina playing dual roles as Margherita and Elena, and Richard Leech as Faust. A new production of Tristan und Isolde follows on November 22 with Jane Eaglen and Ben Heppner in the title roles. The Met closes out the fall season with Rigoletto (December 24).

New York City Opera
City Opera opens its season on September 11 with the Mark Lamos production of Madama Butterfly, with a cast including Camilla Tilling, Oksana Krovytska, Rafael Rojas, and James Maddalena. On September 14, Rossini’s seldom-seen Il Viaggio a Reims opens with Jeffrey Francis, Barry Banks, and Roberto Scaltriti, all making their City Opera debuts. September 26 brings a new production of Ariodante. Falstaff, conducted by Leon Major, opens October 26, with Mark Delazan in the title role. Among the other new productions are two that premiered this summer at Glimmerglass: The Abduction From the Seraglio opens October 31; Central Park, a trio of contemporary one-acts, opens on November 12. Also this fall: a revival of Carmen on October 10, and the Lotfi Mansouri production of The Magic Flute.


The New York Philharmonic will be performing the Young People’s Concerts on October 16 and November 20 at Avery Fisher Hall, hosted by André Previn and Bobby McFerrin. The Philharmonic will also offer performances of Act Two of The Nutcracker with guest conductor André Previn and Alicia de Larrocha on piano (December 16-18).

In addition to the annual Peter Schickele/P.D.Q. Bach concert December 29, Carnegie Hall will present the Orchestra of St. Luke’s on October 9 and the Saint Louis Symphony October 30.

On October 23, the Little Orchestra Society will throw a costume party at Avery Fisher Hall; kids ages 6 to 12 are invited to hear performances of songs from The Wizard of Oz. On December 4, the orchestra will play Gian Carlo Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors.

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