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BSO to Celebrate Trailblazing Composer Sofia Gubaidulina's 90th Birthday With Upcoming Concerts

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Since 1988, the BSO and its chamber ensembles have been major proponents of Ms. Gubaidulina’s music, having presented more than 40 performances of her works.

BSO to Celebrate Trailblazing Composer Sofia Gubaidulina's 90th Birthday With Upcoming Concerts

The Boston Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Andris Nelsons will mark the 90th birthday of distinguished Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina with performances of her 2003 work The Light of the End, October 21-23.The piece was commissioned by the BSO and premiered by the ensemble under Kurt Masur's direction in 2003.

Since 1988, the BSO and its chamber ensembles have been major proponents of Ms. Gubaidulina's music, having presented more than 40 performances of her works, including the world premiere of the BSO co-commision of the Triple Concerto for violin, cello, and bayan (February 2017, with Andris Nelsons conducting) and many performances of the seminal Offertorium, Concerto for violin and orchestra, which the BSO recorded with soloist Gidon Kremer (Deutsche Grammophon, 1989).

The orchestra remains strongly committed to the health and safety of audience members, musicians, and staff. Mask-wearing and proof of either vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test are required for entry to the hall. Details outlining updated pandemic protocols at Symphony Hall are available here or at bso.org/safety.

The title of Sofia Gubaidulina's The Light of the End refers to the bright sound of antique cymbals at the conclusion of the piece, a BSO-commissioned work premiered by the orchestra under Kurt Masur. The work's unique harmonies and instrumental colors create its expressive drama, providing a fitting tribute for Ms. Gubaidulina's 90th birthday, which falls on October 24.

To listen to an audio recording of the BSO's 2003 world premiere of The Light of the End, click here

A generation younger than Dmitri Shostakovich, Sofia Gubaidulina was among many composers influenced by the music of the elder master. Now recognized as a great composer in her own right, Ms. Gubaidulina was virtually unknown in the West until the early 1980s, but her reputation flourished once her music was championed by such renowned musicians as Gidon Kremer and Mstislav Rostropovich.

Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 3 dates from 1936, falling between the Paganini Rhapsody for piano and orchestra and Symphonic Dances. Like those works, the symphony is characterized by scintillating orchestration and Rachmaninoff's noted gift for long-spun melody and compelling musical narrative. The three-movement symphony displays Rachmaninoff's characteristic use of a "motto" theme recurring throughout and of the Dies irae melody from the plainsong Mass for the Dead.

For the orchestra's 141st season, Andris Nelsons, in his eighth season as BSO Music Director, will lead 13 of the season's 24 programs at Symphony Hall. To read a statement from Music Director Andris Nelsons, click here.

Ticket Information and Discounted Programs
Tickets for the 2021-22 BSO season, starting at $25, are available for purchase through bso.org or by calling 888-266-1200. Click here for additional ticketing information, including details on the BSO's discounted ticket programs-the High School and College Cards, $25 tickets for patrons under 40, Rush Tickets, EBT Card to Culture, and Group Sales-as well as access information for patrons with disabilities.


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