Boston Symphony Orchestra announces 2017-18 season
The Boston Symphony Orchestra continues to build on its strengths.
Following last month’s announcement of extensive physical additions to the Tanglewood campus, the BSO is announcing today its 2017-18 season, with continued commitments to opera, to the Shostakovich recording cycle, and with yet another new member in its family of musicians—its first-ever artist-in-residence, pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet.
Famed mezzo Frederica von Stade joins music director Andris Nelsons on opening night, Sept. 22, for a one night tribute to Leonard Bernstein, the beginning of the conductor/composer’s centennial celebration. Nelsons conducts twelve weeks of programs all together, leads the orchestra on a tour of Japan in November, and conducts its annual appearances at Carnegie Hall in April as well.
Apart from opening night, Nelsons’ programs include performances for recording of Shostakovich’s symphonies 11, 14 (featuring soprano Kristine Opolais and bass Bryn Terfel), and 4; premieres of co-commissions by Jörg Widmann and Sean Shepherd; and an all-Wagner program that includes Act 2 of Tristan und Isolde with tenor Jonas Kaufmann.
Thibaudet’s appearances as artist-in-residence include subscription series performances of Bernstein’s “Age of Anxiety” symphony, Ravel’s left-hand concerto, and a collaboration with Thomas Adès and Kirill Gerstein for Bach’s D minor concerto for three pianos. Thibaudet also joins the Boston Symphony chamber players for a performance, and travels with the orchestra to Carnegie Hall, performing the “Age of Anxiety” program.
Adès's affiliation as artistic partner continues. Besides his appearance as one of the trio of Bach pianists, he conducts a fascinating program in January that includes the Ligeti violin concerto (Augustin Hadelich, soloist), Adès’s own suite from Powder Her Face, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8. He also appears again with the chamber players, performing Beethoven, Schubert and Janacek.
The first ever Leipzig Week in Boston in February centers around the music of Mendelssohn, Bach, and Schumann, along with the premiere of the Shepherd co-commission. The Gewandhaus-Quartett will also make a Boston appearance that week, and multiple lectures and programs will accompany the performances.
Guest conductors during the season include Herbert Blomstedt, celebrating his 90th birthday, Bernard Haitink, Charles Dutoit, Christoph von Dohnányi, Alan Gilbert, François-Xavier Roth, and Tugan Sokhiev. BSO associate and assistant conductors Ken-David Masur and Moritz Gnann will each lead a subscription performance as well.
Guest artists include violinists Hilary Hahn, Gil Shaham, Leonidas Kavakos, Leila Josefowicz, and Hadelich. Visiting pianists include Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Emanuel Ax, Paul Lewis, Benjamin Grosvenor, Rudolf Buchbinder and Jan Lisiecki. Yo-Yo Ma and BSO principal violist team up as soloists for Strauss’ “Don Quixote.” The newly named director of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, James Burton, prepares that ensemble for multiple appearances.