Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival 2016 Opens Next Month
Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival, one of the world's major music festivals and a beloved summer New York tradition, opens its milestone 50th anniversary season with a series of events, including concerts featuring some of the world's greatest artists. The opening week is the first of five weeks that make up the 2016 festival, which will present more than 50 exceptional performances and events featuring a special focus on Mozart's operas, major new commissions and premieres of over 50 new works, symphonic concerts, visiting ensembles, late-night recitals, a dance revival, and a wide range of free events.
Continuing a favorite festival tradition, the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra and Renée and Robert Belfer Music Director Louis Langrée will offer its annual gift to New York City with a free performance on Friday, July 22 at 7:30 pm. This year, the concert will be held outside at Damrosch Park, in a co-presentation with Lincoln Center Out of Doors. The all-Mozart concert will feature the festival debut of 19-year-old Simone Porter (a 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant winner and an "engaging new violin star" according to the Cincinnati Enquirer) performing Violin Concerto No. 3 in G major, K.216, and one of the composer's most beloved works, Symphony No. 41 in C major, K.551 ("Jupiter"). This free preview concert of the Mostly Mozart Festival is made possible in part by the Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Foundation. This event is FREE. Space is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The official opening night of the 2016 festival takes place on Monday, July 25 at 8:00 pm with a special event that will transform David Geffen Hall into a theatrical environment for a specially commissioned evening with selections from Mozart's operas. Conceived by the visionary British director and video artist Netia Jones, The Illuminated Heart will feature a white-box theater, which frames the action and serves as backdrop for a series of imaginative projections and visual imagery. Louis Langrée will conduct the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra in this opening program that traverses the many dimensions of Mozart's opera oeuvre. The Illuminated Heart features an impressive range of singers, including sopranos Kiera Duffy (Mostly Mozart debut), Christine Goerke, Ana María Martínez (Mostly Mozart debut), and Nadine Sierra (Mostly Mozart debut); mezzo-sopranos Sasha Cooke and Marianne Crebassa (Mostly Mozart debut); tenor Matthew Polenzani; and baritones Christopher Maltman (Mostly Mozart debut) and Peter Mattei (Mostly Mozart debut). The Illuminated Heart is repeated on Tuesday, July 26 at 7:30 pm.
Later in the week, the Festival Orchestra gives three performances at Alice Tully Hall, July 28-30, as Renée and Robert Belfer Music Director Louis Langrée leads vibrant Mozart masterpieces paired with Bach. The orchestra will perform the New York premiere of George Benjamin's 2007 arrangement of Bach's Canon and Fugue from Art of Fugue, in addition to Webern's 1935 arrangement of Bach's Ricercare, from The Musical Offering, BWV 1079, and Mozart's Symphony No. 38 in D major, K.504 ("Prague"). Soloist Leif Ove Andsnes will perform Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K. 466. Prior to the July 29 and 30 concerts, Andsnes will join Festival Orchestra members Ruggero Allifranchini (Concertmaster), Shmuel Katz (PrincipAl Viola), and Ilya Finkelshteyn (Principal Cello) for pre-concert recitals, performing Mozart's Piano Quartet in E-flat major, K.493.
Throughout the opening week, members of the International Contemporary Ensemble-returning for a sixth summer as artists-in-residence-will perform new music as part of their 50 for 50 series, including 50 local, U.S. and world premieres performed at micro-concerts at Lincoln Center's Hearst Plaza and other Festival events. The opening week micro-concert performances, lasting approximately 15 minutes, feature a wide range of new and emerging voices, including composers Rand Steiger, Okkyung Lee, Ken Ueno, among others, as well as performers from a string orchestra from PS316 in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Each of these micro-concerts are co-presented by the Mostly Mozart Festival and Lincoln Center Out of Doors. A schedule of ICE micro-concerts from July 27-31 follows below, including updates from the previously announced schedule in March 2016.
In addition to the concert events which open the festival there are a number of free pre-festival events, welcoming audiences to celebrate the milestone season. Pianist Emanuel Ax hosts a special listening party, sharing his favorite recordings on Thursday, June 30 at the Bruno Walter Auditorium at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. On Wednesday, July 13, Mostly Mozart hosts a screening of the 2006 documentary In Search of Mozart by Phil Grabsky, presented in association with the Film Society of Lincoln Center, exploring the life and work of the grand master through interviews with musicologists and musicians. One week later, on July 20, members of the Festival Orchestra join Lincoln Center's Ehrenkranz Artistic Director Jane Moss for a discussion and chamber music performance at the David Rubenstein Atrium. Additionally, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts presents Mozart Forever: Fifty Years of the Mostly Mozart Festival, which traces the history of Lincoln Center's annual summer festival through artwork, photographs, memorabilia, interviews, concert excerpts, and more, illuminating the path from its all-Mozart roots to its current ambitious, visionary place in the cultural landscape. Mozart Forever: Fifty Years of the Mostly Mozart Festival is on display through August 27.
Louis Langrée, Music Director of the Mostly Mozart Festival since December 2002, was named Renée and Robert Belfer Music Director in August 2006. Under his musical leadership, the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra has received extensive critical acclaim, and its performances are an annual summertime highlight for classical music lovers in New York City.
Mr. Langrée is also music director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. During the 2016-17 season their musical journey will include a continued exploration of the Pelléas Trilogy and Brahms Fest, as well as the orchestra's first tour under Mr. Langrée's baton, to Asia. He will make his debut the Philadelphia Orchestra in the fall and in February, returns to the Metropolitan Opera for performances of Carmen. In Europe he will conduct the Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig, and the Orchestre National de France in orchestral repertoire as well as performances of Pelléas et Mélisande.
Mr. Langrée was chief conductor of Camerata Salzburg until this summer and frequently appears as guest conductor with the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, Budapest Festival Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, and NHK Symphony Orchestra, as well as with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. His opera engagements include appearances with La Scala, Opéra Bastille, Vienna State Opera, and Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Mr. Langrée was appointed Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in 2006 and Chevalier de l'Ordre National de la Légion in 2014.
Mr. Langrée's first recording with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra features commissioned works by Nico Muhly and David Lang, as well as Copland's Lincoln Portrait narrated by Maya Angelou. His DVD of Verdi's La traviata from the Aix-en-Provence Festival featuring Natalie Dessay and the London Symphony Orchestra was awarded a Diapason d'Or. His discography also includes recordings on the Accord, Naïve, Universal, and Virgin Classics labels.
Jane Moss is the Ehrenkranz Artistic Director of Lincoln Center, a position that includes her role as Artistic Director of the Mostly Mozart Festival. In that capacity, she has initiated and led the transformation and expansion of the festival into a multidisciplinary, multilayered, and far-reaching exploration of its namesake genius and his influence on succeeding generations. Ms. Moss also created several major new initiatives at Lincoln Center, including the international, multigenre Lincoln Center Festival, the New Visions series-which linked the worlds of the theater, dance, visual arts, and classical music-and Lincoln Center's American Songbook series, which focuses on classic and contemporary expressions of American song. In 2010 she launched the multidisciplinary White Light Festival, focused on exploring how the performing arts illuminate our interior lives as expressed by a dynamic, international spectrum of distinctive musical, dance, and theater artists. The programming she has introduced and directs represents a continuing contribution to the vitality of New York's cultural landscape. Ms. Moss also oversees Great Performers, Lincoln Center's major season-long classical music series; Midsummer Night Swing; and the free Lincoln Center Out of Doors summer series. Ms. Moss has played an important role as an innovator in musical and music-based presentation and is a recipient of the French Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur.
Prior to joining Lincoln Center, Ms. Moss worked as an arts consultant, designing and developing projects and programming initiatives for a variety of foundations and arts organizations, including the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund and the Pew Charitable Trusts. As Executive Director of Meet the Composer, a national organization serving American composers, Ms. Moss created the country's largest composer commissioning program, as well as a program supporting collaborations between composers and choreographers. In addition, she served as Executive Director of New York's leading off-Broadway theater company, Playwrights Horizons, and Executive Director of the Alliance of Resident Theaters/New York.
About the Mostly Mozart Festival
Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival-America's first indoor summer music festival-was launched as an experiment in 1966. Called "Midsummer Serenades: A Mozart Festival," its first two seasons were devoted exclusively to the music of Mozart. The official title of Mostly Mozart was coined in 1970, and the festival has evolved over time to become a New York institution and a highlight of the city's summer classical music season. Over time, and through the leadership of Ehrenkranz Artistic Director Jane Moss and Renée and Robert Belfer Music Director Louis Langrée, Mostly Mozart has broadened its focus beyond the music of Mozart to include works by his predecessors, contemporaries, and successors. In addition to concerts by the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, Mostly Mozart now includes performances by the world's outstanding period-instrument ensembles, chamber orchestras, and acclaimed soloists, as well as opera productions, dance, film, and late-night concerts. Contemporary music has become an essential part of the festival, embodied in annual artist and composer residencies that have included Osvaldo Golijov, John Adams, Kaija Saariaho, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, George Benjamin, and the International Contemporary Ensemble. Among the many artists and ensembles who have had long associations with the festival are Joshua Bell, Christian Tetzlaff, Itzhak Perlman, Emanuel Ax, Garrick Ohlsson, Stephen Hough, Osmo Vänskä, the Budapest Festival Orchestra, Emerson String Quartet, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and the Mark Morris Dance Group. The festival's popularity has been reflected in several cultural touchstones, including an Al Hirschfeld illustration, a Peanuts cartoon strip, beer cans, and a cover of The New Yorker magazine.
The Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra is the resident orchestra of the Mostly Mozart Festival, and is the only chamber orchestra in the U.S. dedicated to the music of the Classical period. Since 2002 Louis Langrée has been the Orchestra's music director, and since 2005 the Orchestra's David Geffen Hall home has been transformed each summer into an appropriately intimate venue for its performances. Over the years, the Orchestra has been the festival's ambassador, touring to such notable festivals and venues as Ravinia, Great Woods, Tanglewood, Bunkamura in Tokyo, the Kennedy Center, and The White House. Conductors who made their New York debuts leading the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra include Michael Tilson Thomas, David Zinman, Jérémie Rhorer, Edward Gardner, Lionel Bringuier, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Charles Dutoit, Leonard Slatkin,Susanna Mälkki, and Edo de Waart. Mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli, flutist James Galway, soprano Elly Ameling, and pianist Mitsuko Uchida all made their U.S. debuts with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra.
ABOUT LINCOLN CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (LCPA) serves three primary roles: presenter of artistic programming, national leader in arts and education and community engagement, and manager of the Lincoln Center campus. A presenter of more than 3,000 free and ticketed events, performances, tours, and educational activities annually, LCPA offers 16 series, festivals, and programs, including American Songbook, Avery Fisher Career Grants and Artist program, David Rubenstein Atrium programming, Great Performers, Legends at Lincoln Center: The Performing Arts Hall of Fame, Lincoln Center at the Movies, Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Awards, Lincoln Center Festival, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Lincoln Center Vera List Art Project, Midsummer Night Swing, Mostly Mozart Festival, White Light Festival, the Emmy Award-winning Live From Lincoln Center, which airs nationally on PBS, and Lincoln Center Education, which is celebrating 40 years enriching the lives of students, educators, and lifelong learners. As manager of the Lincoln Center campus, LCPA provides support and services for the Lincoln Center complex and the 11 resident organizations: The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Juilliard School, Lincoln Center Theater, The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, New York Philharmonic, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, School of American Ballet, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. For more information, visit LincolnCenter.org.
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Visit MostlyMozart.org for information about the festival and other updates.