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Carnegie Hall Announces Their 2011-2012 Season

Clive Gillinson, Executive and Artistic Director, today announced Carnegie Hall's 2011-2012 season, consisting of 180 performances and extensive education and community programs, featuring collaborations with many of the world's greatest musicians and ensembles from the worlds of classical, pop, jazz, and world music, and performances presented on Carnegie Hall's three stages and throughout New York City. Mr. Gillinson announced details of the new season-including plans to celebrate Carnegie Hall's 120th anniversary-at a press conference where he also unveiled design renderings for Carnegie Hall's Studio Towers Renovation Project, which will add inspirational spaces for music education within the historic building's existing upper floors and create fully refurbished backstage areas to support the Hall's performance venues.

Mr. Gillinson announced a number of programming highlights and residencies for 2011-2012, including American Mavericks, a citywide celebration of trailblazing American composers and artists, led by Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas and presented in partnership with the San Francisco Symphony in March 2012; two Perspectives series of artist-curated programs by pianist András Schiff and celebrated ensemble L'Arpeggiata with its Artistic Director Christina Pluhar; and the appointment of acclaimed Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho as holder of the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer's Chair at Carnegie Hall.

Five concerts by Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra launch Carnegie Hall's season in October, including a full Tchaikovsky symphony cycle and festive Opening Night Gala. These Mariinsky performances anchor Carnegie Hall's 120th anniversary celebrations, which include an extended focus on the music of Tchaikovsky and his influence on the culture of St. Petersburg and a look at New York City at the turn of century, exploring the world into which Carnegie Hall was born. Mr. Gillinson also announced that, starting in May 2011 and stretching throughout 2011-2012, twenty Carnegie Hall performances will be broadcast to a national radio audience, thanks to a new partnership with New York's WQXR 105.9 FM, New York's Classical Station, and American Public Media.

"At the heart of our 2011-2012 season is a celebration of Carnegie Hall's 120th anniversary and the magical point in history into which this remarkable Hall was born," said Clive Gillinson, Carnegie Hall's Executive and Artistic Director. "From the moment that Carnegie Hall's doors opened in 1891, it represented the best in music, creating an international standard for artistic excellence that we work to uphold to this day. Through exciting performances by the finest artists, partnerships with leading cultural institutions, meaningful education and community programs, and new developments in technology, we continue to reimagine what Carnegie Hall means for the twenty-first century. We want this to always be a dynamic, living place, one that makes an ever-growing contribution to music and people's lives through music for the next 120 years and beyond."

Highlights Overview
Carnegie Hall will launch its 2011-2012 season on October 5 with its Opening Night Gala concert featuring the Mariinsky Orchestra under the direction of Music Director Valery Gergiev. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma will join the orchestra for a program to include Shostakovich's Festive Overture, Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme, and Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade. Maestro Gergiev and the orchestra will present four additional concerts in October, performing a complete Tchaikovsky symphony cycle as well as music by some of Tchaikovsky's successors, paying tribute to the legendary Russian composer who made his American debut conducting at Carnegie Hall's inaugural Opening Night on May 5, 1891. As part of Carnegie Hall's season-long 120th anniversary celebration, these concerts will join performances by soprano Anna Netrebko and Ensemble ACJW, a Tchaikovsky-themed Discovery Day, and additional presentations at Carnegie Hall and partner institutions throughout New York City, exploring aspects of Tchaikovsky's influence on other St. Petersburg artists, from Balanchine to Fabergé.

In addition to the focus on Tchaikovsky and St. Petersburg, part of the special anniversary celebration will include Carnegie Hall and partner cultural organizations exploring New York City at the turn of the century, examining the rich historical period in which Carnegie Hall was conceived, built, and opened. Exhibits, lectures, and panel discussions, as well as concerts featuring music written during the era, all paint a picture of this important time in which industrial-era New York City started to emerge as the cultural capital of the United States.

Another major season highlight: In March 2012, Carnegie Hall in partnership with the San Francisco Symphony will present American Mavericks, a celebration of revolutionary American composers and artists who forged their own paths in order to establish their own unique musical voices. Led by Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas, this series has been developed by the San Francisco Symphony, which will present two weeks of American Mavericks concerts in San Francisco in early March as a follow-up to their original, highly successful American Mavericks festival, first presented in 2000. In New York City, a provocative and compelling series of performances, neighborhood concerts, and presentations by New York City partner institutions will pay tribute to musical visionaries, including John Adams, John Cage, Henry Cowell, Morton Feldman, Lou Harrison, Charles Ives, Harry Partch, Steve Reich, Carl Ruggles, and Edgard Varese, as well as new voices like Mason Bates who, like their predecessors, embody a distinctively American creative spirit. In addition to four concerts by the San Francisco Symphony and Mr. Tilson Thomas-two in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage and two in Zankel Hall-additional American Mavericks artists will include singers Jessye Norman, Meredith Monk, and Joan La Barbara; pianists Emanuel Ax and Lisa Moore; organist Paul Jacobs; and violinist Jennifer Koh; as well as the St. Lawrence String Quartet, So Percussion, Alarm Will Sound, and the JACK Quartet.

Carnegie Hall's Perspectives series of artist-curated programs will continue in the new season, with pianist András Schiff and celebrated ensemble L'Arpeggiata offering concerts and residencies exploring compelling themes. In his eleven-event Perspectives, titled In the Steps of Bartók, Mr. Schiff will largely explore the music and legacy of twentieth-century Hungarian pianist and composer Béla Bartók, while showcasing his exceptional abilities as a recitalist, soloist, and chamber musician. Mr. Schiff will perform with fellow Hungarian musicians, offer premieres by György Kurtág and Jörg Widmann, and lead a Professional Training Workshop for young musicians on the music of Bach and Bartók. Following its sold out New York debut in October 2010, L'Arpeggiata will present its Perspectives series in March 2012-Carnegie Hall's first Perspectives focusing on an early music ensemble. Under the leadership of Christina Pluhar, the ensemble will perform four imaginative concerts and lead two master classes that embody its work and philosophy, which involves a fresh take on music from the seventeenth century, often spontaneously improvised and influenced by contemporary musical genres from folk music to jazz.

Acclaimed Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho will hold the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer's Chair at Carnegie Hall for the 2011-2012 season, with concerts featuring a number of her best known established works interspersed with premieres of new music, performed by such artists as the Avanti! Chamber Orchestra, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and David Robertson with Karita Mattila, and The Cleveland Orchestra and Franz-Welser Möst.

In other season highlights: Sir Simon Rattle will conduct the Berliner Philharmoniker in three concerts, including Bruckner's Symphony No. 9 and Mahler's Symphony No. 2 "Resurrection;" the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Lorin Maazel celebrate 50 years of collaboration in three programs; James Levine will conduct six performances, three with The MET Orchestra and three with the Boston Symphony Orchestra; soprano Anna Netrebko and pianists Yuja Wang and Nobuyuki Tsujii make their New York recital debuts in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage; the Brentano String Quartet will perform three programs, two of which feature the premiere of Fragments, collections of miniature works by a variety of contemporary and classical composers; and jazz guitarist Bill Frisell and filmmaker Bill Morrison premiere their new collaborative work The Great Flood. Both Fragments and The Great Flood are two of Carnegie Hall's nine commissioned works receiving premieres in the new season. In total, 28 new works will have their world, US, or local premiere at Carnegie Hall.

Conductors David Robertson and Pablo Heras-Casado will be among the leading artists working with Ensemble ACJW (comprised of the fellows of the Academy), as part of its fresh and innovative mix of concerts offered throughout New York City. Mr. Robertson will also lead a creative learning project for hundreds of New York City high school singers, developed by Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute and exploring Orff's Carmina Burana. WMI Professional Training Workshops and master classes will be led by András Schiff; Kaijia Saarhiaho and Anssii Karttunen; Christina Pluhar and L'Arpeggiata; brass and wind players from the Berliner Philharmoniker; and, as part of The Song Continues..., Marilyn Horne, Renée Fleming, and Graham Johnson.

New this season: Starting this spring and throughout the 2011-2012 season, twenty Carnegie Hall performances will be broadcast to a national radio audience, thanks to a new partnership with WQXR 105.9, New York's Classical Station, and American Public Media. WQXR and APM will broadcast twelve live concerts from the three stages of Carnegie Hall's 2011-2012 season on stations across the country. This broadcast collaboration will allow millions throughout the US and the world to hear leading artists as they make music in the unique acoustics of Carnegie Hall. As a special preview, Carnegie Hall's 120th Anniversary Gala with the New York Philharmonic on May 5, 2011 will be taped to air on May 31 on WQXR, with a live audio webstream at In addition, as the official broadcast partners of the Spring for Music festival, WQXR and APM will broadcast all seven Spring for Music orchestral concerts, live from Carnegie Hall from May 6-14, 2011, to be heard on public radio stations across the country.

For the seventh consecutive year, Bank of America will be Carnegie Hall's season sponsor. "We are enormously grateful to Bank of America for their strong commitment to both the arts and Carnegie Hall and we deeply value our long-time partnership" said Mr. Gillinson. "Bank of America's visionary support of programs that improve the quality of life in society, of which the arts are central, ensures that we are able to create this vibrant season in collaboration with the world's greatest artists, and expand our extensive education and community programs, increasingly providing meaningful access to music across the city of New York and nationwide."


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