This weekend's performances begin a season that will include concert performances of Dvoršk's opera Rusalka, a focus on Bart‹k, four United States premieres, and symphonies by Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner, Dvoršk, Mahler, Mozart and Tchaikovsky.
The orchestra's first performances of Rusalka, led by Welser-M‹st, will close the season in June 2008. The program is their annual presentation of an opera-in-concert, an event started by Welser-M‹st in 2002; works previously performed include Richard Strauss's Elektra and Verdi's Don Carlo.
Six major works by B_la Bart‹k are programmed this season: Bluebeard's Castle, conducted by Pierre Boulez; the Piano Concerto No. 2 (with soloist Pierre-Laurent Aimard) and Concerto for Orchestra, both led by Peter E‹tv‹s (himself a prominent composer in Europe); and the Piano Concerto No. 3 (with Mitsuko Uchida), The Miraculous Mandarin and the Viola Concerto (with Kim Kashkashian), all three conducted by Welser-M‹st.
In February, Welser-M‹st presents the U.S. premiere of Johannes Maria Staud's Apeiron. The 32-year-old Staud was named the orchestra's Daniel R. Lewis Young Composer Fellow for the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons; the latter season will see the world premiere of a new work by Staud. (Matthias Pintscher, whose Five Orchestral Pieces have their U.S. premiere this weekend, was the Lewis Young Composer Fellow from 2000 to 2002.)
In April, E‹tv‹s will conduct the orchestra in the first U.S. performances of his own work CAP-KO.
Also receiving its U.S. premiere, under Welser-M‹st, is an orchestral suite by Thomas Ads arranged from his opera Powder Her Face. The new score is a co-commission from the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra (London) and the Aldeburgh Festival (U.K.).
Vladimir Ashkenazy will lead the Cleveland Orchestra premiere of Grieg's complete incidental music to Peer Gynt with actor John de Lancie as narrator. Ilan Volkov will conduct the orchestra's first performances of Eino Tamberg's Trumpet Concerto, with principal trumpeter Michael Sachs as soloist.
Returning conductors and soloists include Herbert Blomstedt, Alfred Brendel, James Conlon, Andrew Davis, Hans Graf, Giancarlo Guerrero, Janine Jansen, Radu Lupu, Midori, Jon Kimura Parker, Pinchas Steinberg and Osmo V‹nsk‹. Vocalists on the Cleveland schedule include sopranos Measha Brueggergosman, Malin Hartelius and Emily Magee; mezzo-sopranos Michelle deYoung and Bernarda Fink; tenors Piotr Beczala and Jonas Kaufmann; and bass-baritones Alan Held and John Relyea.
An engagement at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., three concerts at Carnegie Hall, and a ten-concert European tour will include John Adams's Guide to Strange Places, Beethoven's Symphony No. 7, Bruckner's Symphony No. 9, Debussy's Ib_ria, Mahler's Symphony No. 2, Mozart's Symphony No. 28 and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6. The Cleveland Orchestra also continues its three weeks of annual residency at the Carnival Center in Miami, with one week each in January, February and March.
Visit www.clevelandorchestra.com for more information.