Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Announces 2013-14 Season
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra announces the highly anticipated inaugural season of Louis Langrée, the Orchestra's 13th Music Director. Mr. Langrée will take up the baton at historic Music Hall for six of 20 thrilling subscription concert weekends for the 118 year-old Orchestra. The season lineup honors the CSO's rich traditions of presenting classic orchestral repertoire and exploring new musical territory. Groundbreaking collaborations and a diverse array of repertoire set the stage for a vibrant new beginning for the CSO and Mr. Langrée, drawn together by a passion and vision to transform the live concert experience and create inspiring performances. The 2013-14 season is packed with over 67 works of music through the Masterworks, Ascent and Boundless series, and includes two world premiere commissions and visits from four acclaimed composers.
"There are so many exciting things happening this coming season in Cincinnati," said Mr. Langrée. "Our audiences will experience the passion of the Orchestra that they have come to know and love, while engaging in new and exciting collaborations."
Inaugural weekend in November
Mr. Langrée's first concerts as Music Director on November 8-10 open with an iconic work that was premiered by the CSO at Music Hall in 1942, Aaron Copland's Lincoln Portrait. Dr. Maya Angelou, award-winning author, poet, historian, civil rights activist, actress, playwright and director, narrates the text by Abraham Lincoln in this poignant piece of music accompanied by images of the Civil War and President Lincoln. November of 2013 marks the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, from which much of the text is derived. The program also features Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon's theatrical On a Wire, a recent work co-commissioned by the Orchestra, and performed with the Grammy-winning ensemble eighth blackbird in its CSO debut. Beethoven's gripping Fifth Symphony closes this inaugural program. Arguably the most popular symphony ever composed, this iconic work was featured during the CSO's first season in 1895.
"My first concerts as Music Director honor the great traditions of the CSO," said Mr. Langrée. "We celebrate the tradition of performing great masterworks in Cincinnati with Beethoven. We celebrate the introduction of exciting new works that have become mainstays of the orchestral repertoire in Lincoln Portrait, and we continue that tradition by performing the Cincinnati premiere of a CSO co- commission with On a Wire. This exciting program represents the CSO's incredible legacy and ongoing journey."
Dr. Angelou's narration of Lincoln Portrait is part of a "Freedom Week" collaboration with The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and Cincinnati Museum Center. Freedom Week details will be announced at a later date.
Mr. Langrée's inaugural concert weekend with the CSO is made possible by the Harold C. Schott Foundation, Francie and Tom Hiltz.
One City, One Symphony returns
The Orchestra embarked on the inaugural One City, One Symphony program in fall 2012, capturing the imagination of thousands from throughout the region through an unprecedented combination of listening parties, concert performances, a live video feed to 14 different locations, digital downloads, discussion guides, and radio and television broadcasts. The Cincinnati community met the project with boundless enthusiasm.
One City, One Symphony will return in fall 2013, this time exploring themes of fate and redemption in the popular Symphony No. 4 by Tchaikovsky and a nearly forgotten work by Mozart, Davide penitente, based on the Psalms of David.
"Mozart was Tchaikovsky's musical idol," said Mr. Langrée. "There is a real connection in the themes of fate and redemption in these distinct masterpieces. Many people are familiar with the Tchaikovsky-it has engaged and enthralled millions over the past 135 years. Mozart's Davide penitente is lesser-known and often misunderstood, but it is beautiful and transcendent. Audiences will recognize some of the music from Mozart's popular C Minor Mass. You'll fall in love with this piece."
The May Festival Chorus and vocal soloists will join Mr. Langrée and the CSO for Masterworks Series performances on November 14 and 16, and the Orchestra will again collaborate with dozens of community partners in the months leading up to the concerts.
"Music brings people together," said Mr. Langrée. "I was so pleased with the reception to this program last year when I was Music Director Designate, and I'm looking forward to a vibrant dialogue around our One City, One Symphony project again this coming season. We'll discover or rediscover these masterpieces together as a community, building upon our understanding of the music through a shared experience."
CSO launches new collaboration with MusicNOW Festival
Mr. Langrée and the CSO will embark on a groundbreaking artistic collaboration on March 21 and 22, 2014 with Cincinnati's premier new music festival, MusicNOW, and Artistic Director Bryce Dessner of the rock band The National. This unique collaboration is part of the CSO's Boundless Series, and features two unique concert programs over two nights.
Mr. Dessner will perform solo electric guitar with the Orchestra in his own composition, St. Carolyn by the Sea, with his brother and fellow band member Aaron Dessner also playing electric guitar. The festival additionally features two world premiere commissions by acclaimed composers: the first by Nico Muhly, who was also recently commissioned to write a full-scale opera for the Metropolitan Opera, has worked with former CSO Creative Director Philip Glass for several years and established himself as one of the most exciting personalities in classical music today; and the second by Musical America's 2013 Composer of the Year, Pulitzer Prize-winner and the holder of Carnegie Hall's 2013-14 Richard and Barbara Debs Composer's Chair, David Lang. The festival will also feature an orchestral work by Jonny Greenwood of the rock band Radiohead, and performance by Grammy-winning ensemble, eighth blackbird.
"These MusicNOW programs fall well outside the realm of traditional symphonic music," said Mr. Langrée. "This is an exciting collaboration and an opportunity for the Orchestra and our audiences to explore new music together, and also to introduce the CSO to new audiences."
The MusicNOW Festival began in 2006 to present musicians and music that takes risks and doesn't fit neatly into any category and has garnered national attention. Recent festival performances have included such diverse artists as Philip Glass, Sufjan Stevens, The National, Grizzly Bear, Awadagin Pratt and Kronos Quartet.
Anne-Sophie Mutter makes long-awaited Cincinnati debut
Continuing a tradition of welcoming the world's greatest classical superstars, this year violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter makes her Cincinnati debut in a one-night-only concert and gala event on September 28. A welcome addition to the 20 subscription concerts, this additional concert features two popular violin works by Dvo?ák, the Romance for Violin and Orchestra, and the Violin Concerto. The music is in fine hands with Ms. Mutter, hailed as "the undisputed queen of violin-playing" by The Times (London) and "...a deeply serious and thoughtful artist...she is eminently engaging and even amusing" by The New York Times. Ms. Mutter has graced the covers of respected music magazines all over the world, is celebrated for an extensive Grammy-winning ?? discography, and in her decades-long career has performed hundreds of unforgettable live concerts. Under the direction of guest conductor Michael Francis (praised by critics and audiences during his last performance with the CSO), the concert also includes Elgar's Enigma Variations and Purcell's Chacony in G minor.
"For me that is what music making is all about: bringing the depth and intensity of the composer back to the stage," Ms. Mutter recently told The New York Times.
The CSO is bringing back its immensely popular subscription incentive. Patrons purchasing ten or more concerts may receive a ticket to experience Anne-Sophie Mutter for free. This is similar to the offer in previous seasons (which extended free tickets to concerts Starring Renée Fleming, Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman to subscribers).
The Anne-Sophie Mutter concert will be accompanied by a gala celebrating the start to Cincinnati's fall arts season. Gala details will be announced at a later date.
Artists-in-Residence and ensemble-in-residence to deepen community engagement
Following the accomplishments of the highly successful Creative Director model employed by the Orchestra during its search for a music director, the CSO is engaging two Artists-in-Residence and one Ensemble-in-Residence during the 2013-14 season. Cellist Alisa Weilerstein joins the CSO for a performance/residence week in October 2013 and a residence-only week in January 2014. In October she performs Haydn's Cello Concerto No. 1 under guest conductor Asher Fisch. During both weeks, she will participate in such residency activities as workshops and masterclasses, Classical Conversations and other engagements designed to bring world-class artistry to the Cincinnati community. Hailed as a star who "performs with soulful expression and physical abandon" by the New York Times, Ms. Weilerstein is known as an artist whose "cello becom[es] an extension of her ??heart" (Classic FM).
Similarly, violinist Augustin Hadelich joins the CSO in February 2014 for a residence-only week and returns in April 2014 for a performance/residence week. He performs Mendelssohn's beloved Violin Concerto under guest conductor Juanjo Mena in a program that also includes Ginastera's Panambí (a work known as the "Latin Rite of Spring"). "The essence of Hadelich's playing is beauty...thereby revealing something from a plane beyond ours" hails the Washington Post. In a former performance with the CSO, "he stole the audience's heart" (Music in Cincinnati), and is sure to do so again.