August 4, 2015 Article by Dave Read
BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons will lead the Boston Symphony Orchestra in thirteen extraordinarily wide-ranging programs in the 2015-16 BSO season, highlighted by new programming and recording initiatives around the music of Shostakovich, three weeks of thematic concerts honoring the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, concert performances of Strauss’s Elektra with Christine Goerke in the title role, and new works by Hans Abrahamsen, Sebastian Currier, Giya Kancheli, and George Tsontakis. Subscriptions for the BSO’s 2015-16 season are available now by calling 888-266-7575 or visiting www.bso.org; single tickets, $25-$145, go on sale August 3.
BSO and Deutsche Grammophon announce Dmitri Shostakovich live recording project
In conjunction with the BSO’s 2015-16 season announcement, the BSO and Deutsche Grammophon have announced a multi-year collaboration beginning with a series of live recordings of works by Dmitri Shostakovich. The project—five albums to be released in three installments between summer 2015 and summer 2017—will initially focus on music written by Shostakovich during the most intense period of his difficult relationship with Stalin and the Soviet regime—starting with his fall from favor in the mid-1930s, the composition and highly acclaimed premiere of his Fifth Symphony through Stalin’s death in 1953, and the premiere of the composer’s Tenth Symphony.
BSO’s 134th season opens October 1, 2015 with an all-Russian program
The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s 134th season will open on Thursday, October 1, with an all-Russian program featuring the incomparable Evgeny Kissin, who joins Mr. Nelsons and the orchestra for Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, on a program with works by Shostakovich and Rachmaninoff. Andris Nelsons, in his second full season with the orchestra, brings the BSO’s season to a close on April 23 with a program featuring soprano Kristine Opolais in the “Letter Scene” from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. The program opens with Dutilleux’s Métaboles, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth; it will also include music of Rachmaninoff, Ravel, and Debussy.
BSO celebrates Shakespeare on 400th anniversary of his death
To honor the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, Andris Nelsons leads three programs of Shakespeare-inspired music in January and February, to include not only such popular repertoire staples as Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream music, Weber’s Overture to Oberon, music from Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet, and Tchaikovsky’s overture-fantasy of that name, but also such rarities as Strauss’s Macbeth, Dvo?ák’s Othello Overture, and a suite from Shostakovich’s incidental music to Hamlet, as well as Hans Werner Henze’s BSO-commissioned, Midsummer-Night’s-Dream-inspired Symphony No. 8, premiered here in 1993. Also highlighting these weeks will be a series of related events, to encompass lecture, panel discussion, and film presentations.
The Shakespeare celebration also includes a new work by Danish composer Hans Abrahamsen—let me tell you, based on texts from Hamlet, featuring, in her BSO debut, Canadian soprano Barbara Hannigan; and the world premiere of American composer George Tsontakis’ Sonnets, a BSO commission written for BSO English horn player Robert Sheena. Other new works under the direction of Mr. Nelsons in 2015-16 include a BSO co-commission (with the Seattle Symphony) of American composer Sebastian Currier’s Divisions for orchestra andthe American premiere of Georgian composer Giya Kancheli’s Dixi for chorus and orchestra, featuring the Tanglewood Festival Chorus.
The prestigious list of guest artists and ensembles joining Mr. Nelsons and the BSO for the 2015-16 season includes pianists Yefim Bronfman (Bartók Piano Concerto No. 2), Paul Lewis (Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 3), and Nikolai Lugansky (Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini); mezzo-soprano Nadezhda Serdyuk (Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky); violinist Isabelle Faust (Berg Violin Concerto); BSO Concertmaster Malcolm Lowe and Principal Viola Steven Ansell (Mozart Sinfonia Concertante); and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus (choral works of Bach, Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky, Kancheli’s Dixi, and Strauss’s Elektra).
Throughout the 2015-16 season, Mr. Nelsons continues to spotlight the orchestra through performances of such major symphonic works as Brahms’s Symphony No. 2, Bruckner’s Symphony No. 3, Debussy’s La Mer, Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances, Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet, Ravel’s La Valse, Shostakovich’s Symphonies Nos. 5, 8, and 9, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 1, Winter Daydreams, as well as Mahler’s Ninth Symphony, the work Mr. Nelsons led the first time he ever conducted the BSO, in March 2011, before becoming its music director in fall 2014.
Following the BSO’s 2015-16 season at Symphony Hall, Andris Nelsons will lead the orchestra in a European tour, May 3-12, 2016 to eight cities in Germany, Austria, and Luxembourg. This will be Andris Nelsons’ second tour with the BSO; he leads his first tour as BSO music director in August/September 2015—an eight-city tour to major European capitals, including Berlin, Cologne, London, Milan, and Paris, as well as the Lucerne, Salzburg, and Grafenegg festivals.
- Tanglewood tickets:
- Box Office: 617-266-1200; 888-266-1200
- Website: tanglewood.org
The Boston Symphony Orchestra performs October through April in internationally-acclaimed Symphony Hall, which has been consistently ranked as one of the top three concert halls in the world since its opening as the BSO’s home in 1900; information about the BSO can be found at www.bso.org. During the 2015-16 season, the BSO and Andris Nelsons also perform a three-concert series at Carnegie Hall, October 20, 21, and 22; Carnegie Hall release available here. The orchestra’s summer season takes place at Tanglewood—this country’s preeminent summer music festival and the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra since 1937—located in the Berkshire Hills between Stockbridge and Lenox, MA; details about the 2015 Tanglewood season available at www.tanglewood.org.