Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival Opens - With Concerts, Dance and Even Digital Art

Classic Arts News   Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival Opens - With Concerts, Dance and Even Digital Art
It's a big year for the Mostly Mozart Festival: the 40th anniversary of Lincoln Center's summer concert series itself and the 250th anniversary of its namesake composer's birth. And the festival is getting a suitably majestic launch this evening, as Langr_e conducts the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra and the Concert Chorale of New York in a gala performance of the "Coronation" Concerto (featuring pianist Garrick Ohlsson) and the "Coronation" Mass (with soloists Hei-Kyung Hong, Susanne Mentzer, Matthew Polenzani and John Relyea).

That same program will be repeated tomorrow — and broadcast live nationwide on PBS's Live From Lincoln Center at tomorrow night at 8 pm Eastern time (check local listings).

For the second year in a row, Avery Fisher Hall will be reconfigured for Mostly Mozart. As in 2005, the stage will be extended into the audience, seating will be placed behind the orchestra, and an acoustic canopy containing lighting will be placed over the stage.

Among other highlights of this year's Mostly Mozart Festival:

_㢠The world premiere run of a new work commissioned by the festival from choreographer Mark Morris, Mozart Dances. In the pit will be Langr_e, the Festival Orchestra and piano soloists Emanuel Ax and Yoko Nozaki (August 17-19).

_㢠A new production by director Peter Sellars of Mozart's unfinished opera ZaÇde, with Langr_e conducting the German period-instrument orchestra Concerto K‹ln (August 9-12).

_㢠Another Festival commission in its world premiere: a violin concerto by Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg — performed by Lisa Batiashvili, whom Gramophone magazine just named one of the 20 "Classical Superstars of the Future" (August 22-23).

_㢠The New York debut of acclaimed young violinist Sergey Khachatryan, winner of the 2005 Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition in Brussels, playing Beethoven's Violin Concerto with Osmo V‹nsk‹, Musical America's 2004 Conductor of the Year (August 4-5).

_㢠Gidon Kremer and his chamber orchestra Kremerata Baltica performing all of Mozart's Violin Concertos (August 6-7).

_㢠The Tallis Scholars in a program of late Renaissance and early German Baroque sacred music titled "From Dresden to Innsbruck (and Back)" (Aug. 16).

_㢠Joshua Bell and Friends (including pianist Frederic Chiu and the Mir‹ Quartet) (Aug. 20).

_㢠The Emerson String Quartet, with colleagues including violinist Jaime Laredo and (now two-handed) pianist Leon Fleisher (Aug. 24).

_㢠William Christie and Les Arts Florissants in a semi-staged performance of Mozart's opera Idomeneo starring Paul Agnew, Tuva Semmingsen and Claire Debono (Aug. 23 and 25).

_㢠The Mostly Mozart grand finale: Langr_e conducting the Festival Orchestra in Mozart's final three symphonies (Aug. 25-26).

One of Mostly Mozart's best recent innovations is back this year: "A Little Night Music" — 10:30 pm concerts in the intimate Kaplan Penthouse. This year's late-night offerings include, among others, Gidon Kremer (Aug. 5), Christian Zacharias (Aug. 10) and Emanuel Ax (Aug. 15). In perhaps the most exotic of this year's offerings, Concerto K‹ln joins the ensemble Sarband for two "Little Night" programs juxtaposing the "alla turca" style of Mozart and his contemporaries with actual Turkish Ottoman music (August 11-12).

Mostly Mozart's commissions for this year's festival extend even to visual art. Throughout the festival, on the outward-facing columns of Avery Fisher Hall's fa‹ade, there will be a digital art installation called Enlightenment created especially for the occasion by the three-man collective called the OpenEnded Group. The artwork (see images below) will track the progress, through graphics and sound, of a powerful computer program as it repeatedly breaks down the coda of Mozart's "Jupiter" Symphony into its constituent elements, analyzes the relationships between its various themes, and reassembles it. Of Enlightenment, Mostly Mozart artistic director Jane Moss said earlier this year, "I have never fallen so deeply in love with an idea that I in no way understand."

Information about and tickets for the 2006 Mostly Mozart Festival are available at

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