From Beethoven to Balanchine, the classic arts scene in New York is never quiet. Here is just a sampling of some of the classic arts events happening this week.
Carnegie Hall will begin its 2023-2024 season October 4 with an opening night gala featuring the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor Riccardo Muti. The orchestra will be joined by violinist Leonidas Kavakos for a performance of Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto, followed by Mussorgsky’s Pictures At An Exhibition, as orchestrated by Ravel.
Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra will return to Carnegie Hall the following night for a concert featuring the New York premiere of Philip Glass’ The Triumph of the Octagon. The piece is inspired by the Castel del Monte, a 13th century octagonal fortress constructed by King Frederick II in Southeast Italy. The Italian-themed program will also include Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony and Richard Strauss’ tone poem Aus Italien.
The New York Philharmonic, led by Jaap van Zweden, will be joined October 5-7 by pianist Leif Ove Andsnes for Beethoven’s Emperor concerto. The program will also include Schubert’s Unfinished symphony, as well as the world premiere of Steve Reich’s Jacob’s Ladder, for which the orchestra will be joined by the vocal group Synergy Vocals.
New York City Ballet’s all-Balanchine fall season continues with two more programs celebrating the company’s founding choreographer. All Balanchine III, opening October 4, will include Apollo, La Sonnambula, and Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2.
Apollo, which premiered in 1928, was the first of many collaborations between Balanchine and Igor Stravinsky. Apollo is the oldest Balanchine ballet in the company’s repertory, although Balanchine continued to revise the work over the years, notably stripping away its sets, costumes, and narrative content. La Sonnambula shares a title with an opera by Bellini, but the ballet tells an original story, choreographed to arrangements of themes from several Bellini operas, including La Sonnambula, Norma, and I Puritani. Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2 was originally performed in 1941 under the title Ballet Imperial with grand Russian-inspired sets and costumes. Balanchine revised the work in 1973, as with Apollo, removing the sets and costumes and letting the dance and the music stand on their own. If eager audiences want to compare the two versions, American Ballet Theatre will include Ballet Imperial in its upcoming fall season.
All Balanchine IV, opening October 7, includes Concerto Barocco, Prodigal Son, and Symphony in C. Concerto Barocco is choreographed to Bach’s Concerto in D minor for two violins. Sometimes simply known as the Double Violin Concerto, the concerto is one of Bach’s most famous works, featuring intricate counterpoint between the two virtuoso soloists. Prodigal Son, a collaboration between Balanchine and Sergei Prokofiev, relates the biblical parable of a son who squanders his inheritance in advance. Symphony in C, choreographed to the early orchestral work by George Bizet, the composer best known for the opera Carmen, is a “grand classical” work, featuring over 50 dancers costumed in designs created by Marc Happel in collaboration with Swarovski.
October 5 will be NYCB’s fall gala, featuring Balanchine’s Who Cares? and Jerome Robbins’ Glass Pieces. Who Cares?, choreographed to the songs of George and Ira Gershwin, will feature performances by Broadway stars Patti LuPone, Vanessa Williams, and Joshua Henry.
Completing the circuit of Lincoln Center Plaza, The Metropolitan Opera’s season continues with performances of Dead Man Walking through October 21 and Nabucco through October 14. Nabucco will return for a second run later in the season starting in December.
The Kaufman Music Center’s Tuesday Matinees series begins October 3 at 2 PM with the Terra String Quartet, performing works by Caroline Shaw, Beethoven, and Mendelssohn. On October 4, the Parlando chamber orchestra will give the first of four concerts at the Kaufman Music Center, performing works by Joey Roukens, Jimmy Lopez, and Tchaikovsky.
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