BSO Opens 2013-14 Season with Scheherazade & 1812 Overture, Sept. 20-22
Music Director Marin Alsop will lead the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) in Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade and Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture on Friday, September 20 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, September 22 at 3 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, andSaturday, September 21 at 8 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore. Also on the program is the United States' premiere of the BSO co-commission of John Adams' Saxophone Concerto, performed by Tim McAllister. BSO opens the subscription season with a performance of the national anthem, arranged by James Lee III. Please see below for complete program details.
The collection of West and South Asian stories knows as The Arabian Night's Entertainments inspired Rimsky-Korsakov to write, "an orchestral suite in four movements, closely knit by the community of its themes and motives, yet representing, as it were, a kaleidoscope of fairy-tale images and designs of Oriental character." The end result was Scheherazade, Rimsky-Korsakov's seductive and most popular work. The first movement highlights the cello and violas through flowing arpeggios. The second draws highly on Middle Eastern-style melodies, while the third slows and relaxes to simple form melodic content. The finale is a combination of three tales from The Arabian Nights.
In 1880, Russian composer Tchaikovsky was commissioned to compose a score to celebrate Napoleon's retreat from Russia in 1812. Beginning with a solemn mood set at the opening, 1812 Overture quickly explodes into a climax that highlights the brass and percussion sections of the orchestra. The piece was quickly adapted by the United States and is known as a joyful and patriotic composition used at many Independence Day celebrations across America. The BSO performance of this well-known classic will feature the U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters Chorus.
Tim McAllister will also make the United States premiere of John Adams' Saxophone Concerto. As a premier concert saxophonist, McAllister will perform the Saxophone Concerto at the worldwide debut in Sydney, Australia in August. In 2009, McAllister performed in the premiere of Adams' City Noir at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, gaining astounding reviews. Adams, a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, is characterized by his signature minimalist style featuring a steady pulse that controls and defines his music.
In keeping with BSO tradition, the subscription season-opening concerts will begin with a performance of the Star-Spangled Banner. The arrangement of the national anthem is by James Lee III. The BSO has performed several of Mr. Lee's past works, including a movement from Beyond Rivers of Vision, as well as the BSO-commissioned workChuphshah! Harriet's Drive to Canaan about the life of Harriet Tubman. Mr. Lee was commissioned for his arrangement of the national anthem by the BSO as the second of a five-season series of original versions of the national anthem by contemporary composers, leading up to the BSO's centennial season in 2016-2017. Maestra Alsop-ever the champion of living composers and new music-developed the initiative and curates a similar effort for the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, where she also serves as music director.
Marin Alsop, conductor
Hailed as one of the world's leading conductors for her artistic vision and commitment to accessibility in classical music, Marin Alsop made history with her appointment as the 12thmusic director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. With her inaugural concerts in September 2007, she became the first woman to head a major American orchestra. She also holds the title of conductor emeritus at the Bournemouth Symphony in the United Kingdom, where she served as the principal conductor from 2002-2008, and is music director of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in California.
In 2005, Ms. Alsop was named a MacArthur Fellow, the first conductor ever to receive this prestigious award. In 2007, she was honored with a European Women of Achievement Award, in 2008 she was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2009 Musical America named her "Conductor of the Year." In November 2010, she was inducted into the Classical Music Hall of Fame. In February 2011, Marin Alsop was named the music director of the Orquestra Sinfônica do estado de São Paulo (OSESP), or the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, effective for the 2012-13 season. Ms. Alsop was named to Guardian's Top 100 Women list in March 2011. In the spring of 2011, Marin Alsop was named an Artist-in-Residence at the Southbank Centre in London, England.