Carnegie Hall Opens 2007-08 Season with U.S. Debut of Lucerne Festival Orchestra

Classic Arts News   Carnegie Hall Opens 2007-08 Season with U.S. Debut of Lucerne Festival Orchestra
The North American debut of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, an elite group of soloists, chamber players and symphonic musicians selected and led by conductor Claudio Abbado, opens Carnegie Hall's 2007-08 season tonight. The all-Beethoven program features Murray Perahia as soloist in the Piano Concerto No. 4 and the Westminster Symphonic Choir and four soloists in the Ninth Symphony.

Unfortunately, Abbado won't be there: he has withdrawn from his autumn engagements for health reasons. David Robertson will be on the podium for tonight's gala and tomorrow evening's performance of the Beethoven Ninth; for the LFO's October 6 concert featuring Mahler's Symphony No. 3, Pierre Boulez will fill in for Abbado.

These three concerts are part of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra's five-day Carnegie residency (October 3-7), which also includes three chamber programs and a performance as the Mahler Chamber Orchestra (whose players form the nucleus of the LFO) with Pierre-Laurent Aimard as conductor and piano soloist.

Among other features of the coming season at Carnegie are a Berlin Philharmonic/Simon Rattle residency which anchors an entire festival devoted to Berlin, a Perspectives series curated by whirlwind maestro Valery Gergiev, Thomas Ads as composer in residence, and recitals by legendary sopranos Kiri Te Kanawa and Jessye Norman.

"Berlin in Lights," Carnegie Hall's first major festival, runs November 2-18. The event will culminate in a residency by the Berlin Philharmonic and its music director, Simon Rattle, from November 11 _18; they will perform three concerts, including Mahler's last three major works and the U.S. premiere of Thomas Ads's Tevot. Also taking part in the festival will be the Sim‹n Bol‹var Youth Orchestra of Venezuela with conductor Gustavo Dudamel (Rattle will conduct half of one of their programs). Other "Berlin in Lights" performances will be given by the 12 Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic and the Berliner Barock Solisten.

There will also be a series of Berlin-related events in the week proceeding the Philharmonic residency, with a performance of cabaret music by Max Raabe and the Palast Orchester, techno music concerts, a performance by musicians from the German capital's Turkish and Kurdish communities, film screenings, and literary, political and architecture panels and exhibitions.

Carnegie continues its artist-curated Perspectives series; there will be three in 2007-08, featuring Valery Gergiev, Bobby McFerrin and Yefim Bronfman.

During his nine-event series, Gergiev will lead the Kirov Orchestra and Chorus, the Vienna Philharmonic and the MET Orchestra. The Kirov musicians (from St. Petersburg's Mariinsky Theater, of which Gergiev is artistic director) and soloists will perform Act I of Glinka's Ruslan and Ludmila, Rimsky-Korsakov's The Snow Maiden, and Act II of Borodin's Prince Igor. As part of his Perspectives, Gergiev will also conduct Prokofiev's War and Peace and The Gambler at the Metropolitan Opera.

Vocalist and educator Bobby McFerrinwill host seven Perspectives events, conducting and performing with artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Alison Krauss, Chick Core, and Jack DeJohnette. A highlight will be a concert by Voicestra, McFerrin's 12-member vocal ensemble, which draws on everything from rhythm-and-blues to opera to world music traditions.

Bronfman will offer seven Perspectives concerts, including performances with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under Mariss Jansons, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra under Gergiev, the MET Chamber Ensemble with James Levine at the piano, the New York String Orchestra conducted by Jaime Laredo, and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra; repertoire will range from Mozart to Webern to Prokofiev. Bronfman's series also includes a solo recital featuring the premiere of a new Carnegie Hall commission by J‹rg Widmann and a chamber music concert featuring the world premiere of a new work for piano trio by Marc-Andr_ Dalbavie, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall.

The new Dalbavie work is among the 11 world premieres, 5 U.S. premieres, and 21 New York premieres offered this season, among them Carnegie Hall commissions or co-commissions from composers Steve Reich, John Adams and David Lang. The American Composers Orchestra will give seven world premieres by composers including saxophonist Steve Coleman, Balinese gamelan specialist Michael Tenzer, and pianist Uri Caine.

Thomas Ads will hold Carnegie's Composer's Chair this season. (The position, previously a four-year commitment, has been reduced to one year.) One highlight of his residency will be the U.S. premiere of Tevot under Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic; another will be Ads's New York solo recital debut as a pianist, given in Zankel Hall.

Making Music, Carnegie's series in which composers appear on stage for concerts where their works are discussed as well as performed, will feature Ads, Boulez and Frederic Rzewski this season.

Jazz offerings at Carnegie during 2007-08 include tenor saxophonist and composer David Sšnchez performing the New York premiere of Melaza, his new work for jazz sextet, and pianist Chick Corea and drummer Jack DeJohnette playing with Bobby McFerrin (as part of his Perspectives). Other artists include The Bad Plus, Manhattan Trinity with Cyrus Chestnut, and SFJAZZ Collective, featuring saxophonist Joe Lovano, Dave Douglas on trumpet, and Stefon Harris on vibraphone and marimba.

Conductors making Carnegie Hall debut appearances as music directors of their orchestras include Kent Nagano with the Orchestre symphonique de Montr_al, Marin Alsop with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and Bernard Haitink as principal conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

The vocal recital lineup includes Te Kanawa, Norman, the New York recital debut of mezzo-soprano Kelley O'Connor, and a joint, all-Schubert recital with soprano Dorothea R‹schmann, tenor Ian Bostridge and bass-baritone Thomas Quasthoff.

There is a strong roster of pianists as well. Andršs Schiff inaugurates a two-year performance project of the complete Beethoven sonatas; also appearing are Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Leif Ove Andsnes, Emanuel Ax, Alfred Brendel, Till Fellner, Angela Hewitt, Stephen Hough, Lang Lang, Radu Lupu, Mitsuko Uchida and Krystian Zimerman.

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