New York Philharmonic Begins 2007-08 Season; Beethoven/Berio, Neikrug and Tan Dun Premieres, Three Weeks of Muti Among Highlights

Classic Arts News   New York Philharmonic Begins 2007-08 Season; Beethoven/Berio, Neikrug and Tan Dun Premieres, Three Weeks of Muti Among Highlights
 
Following last night's season-opening gala with Lorin Maazel and Yo-Yo Ma — and the very popular free dress rehearsal yesterday, the free simulcast of the concert outside Avery Fisher Hall last night, and the live telecast on PBS — the New York Philharmonic begins its 2007-08 subscription season this week. Tonight and for the next two evenings, Maazel conducts a program featuring Beethoven's Violin Concerto (with the acclaimed young musician Lisa Batiashvili as soloist) and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 2 (the "Little Russian").

That Little Russian forms a lead-in to The Tchaikovsky Experience, a six-concert festival between September 26 and October 16: Maazel conducts all six of the composer's symphonies as well as the Piano Concerto No. 1 with soloist Simon Trpceski, the Violin Concerto with Janine Jansen (in her Philharmonic debut), and cellist Johannes Moser in the Rococo Variations.

The Philharmonic will explore affinities between the music of Beethoven and that of Berio in four programs spread over the coming season. This week's program includes, alongside Beethoven's Violin Concerto, Berio's four adaptations of Luigi Boccherini's Ritirata notturna di Madrid (with soloist Lisa Batiashvili). A program in January and February, also led by Maazel, offers Beethoven's Coriolan Overture alongside Berio's Sinfonia, a work commissioned and premiered by the New York Philharmonic in 1968. In March, Alan Gilbert, the Philharmonic's music director designate, will conduct Berio's Folksongs, with Audra McDonald as vocalist, together with Beethoven's Fourth Symphony. A program in late May will feature Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 (the "Emperor"), with soloist Emanuel Ax, and Rendering, Berio's realization of the sketches Schubert made for his never-completed 10th Symphony.

In addition, the orchestra will offer an entire day of concerts, lectures, discussions and other activities focusing on Berio — including performances of all of the composer's Sequenzas — on February 2 at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Theater.

Two Philharmonic commissions receive their world premieres next season. On March 13 and 15, Gilbert will conduct the first performances of Marc Neikrug's Quintessence: Symphony No. 2; April 9-12 will see the debut of a new piano concerto composed by Tan Dun for the Philharmonic and pianist Lang Lang. Both works will also be featured in the Philharmonic's Hear and Now series of discussion/concerts, as will the Berio Sinfonia.

Two guest conductors to whom the Philharmonic is close will spend multiple weeks with the orchestra next season. Riccardo Muti, who now has an informal "principal guest conductor" relationship with the orchestra, will lead three programs, two in January and one in March, including Brahms's Second Piano Concerto (with Leif Ove Andsnes), Scriabin's Poem of Ecstasy, Schumann's Piano Concerto (with Radu Lupu), Bruckner's Sixth Symphony, Elgar's Violin Concerto (with Pinchas Zukerman), and Copland's Third Symphony. David Robertson takes the podium for two weeks in May, leading the Beethoven "Emperor"/Schubert-Berio Rendering concerts; a program offering Schubert's "Unfinished" Symphony, Korngold's Violin Concerto (with Philharmonic concertmaster Glenn Dicterow), and Sibelius's First Symphony; and the orchestra's annual free Memorial Day performance at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

Three fast-rising young conductors make their Philharmonic debuts next season: Los Angeles Philharmonic music director designate Gustavo Dudamel (November 29-December 4), Philippe Jordan (December 6-8), and Andrey Boreyko (December 12-15). Among the returning guest conductors are Colin Davis, Christoph von Dohnšnyi, Semyon Bychkov, Charles Dutoit, Nicholas McGegan, Ludovic Morlot, and Leonard Slatkin. Also scheduled, of course, is Xian Zhang, the first holder of the Philharmonic's Arturo Toscanini Associate Conductor Chair.

Other highlights of the Philharmonic's 2007-08 season include Music Director Emeritus Kurt Masur conducting Bach's St. Matthew Passion (March), mezzo-soprano Susan Graham singing Berlioz's La Mort de Cl_opê¢tre (January), James Conlon leading a concert performance of Zemlinsky's opera A Florentine Tragedy (October), and Broadway and cabaret legend Barbara Cook in a performance to celebrate her 80th birthday (November 19).

Maestro Maazel closes the season with three major works over three weeks in June: Mahler's Ninth Symphony, Puccini's Tosca (featuring soprano Hui He, tenor Walter Fraccaro and baritone George Gagnidze), and Bruckner's Symphony No. 8.

The orchestra undertakes two major international voyages next season, both under Maazel's baton — to China (February 9-26) and to several late-summer European festivals (August 28-September 10, 2008). In addition, the Philharmonic will present its beloved series of Concerts in the Park in July, followed by its sixth annual two-week residency at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival in Colorado.

As with this season, four of the New York Philharmonic's 2007-08 concert programs will be made available for download on iTunes through DG concerts, and the DG label will release one CD recorded during Philharmonic concerts.

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