2017-2018 Season Highlights Announced for Boosey & Hawkes Composers
This season ushers in a host of premieres by Boosey & Hawkes composers, including John Adams's new opera Girls of the Golden West in San Francisco, Sebastian Currier's RE-FORMATION in Minneapolis, Christopher Rouse's Berceuse Infinie in Baltimore, and a new orchestral work by Sean Shepherd in Boston.
Highlights include the launch of the Bernstein centennial at the Kennedy Center, major productions of operas by Michel van der Aa, Carlisle Floyd, and David T. Little; performances of Anna Clyne in Berkeley and Baltimore; and special features on Argento and Druckman in New York.
See below for composer-specific highlights in North, Central, and South America.
Michel van der Aa
The 2017-2018 season ushers in a major year of US premieres for Michel van der Aa. Blank Out, his chamber opera for soprano and interactive 3D film, receives its American premiere on September 21 at the intrepid Park Avenue Armory in New York City.
Later that fall, Lincoln Center presents the US premiere of van der Aa's new work for a cappella chorus, Shelter, as part of its annual White Lights Festival. The program features works by composers spanning 1,000 years who used the Psalms as inspiration for their works.
Van der Aa's Violin Concerto, championed by Janine Jansen since its 2014 world premiere in Amsterdam with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, travels to the US for its American premiere with the Philadelphia Orchestra at its home base at the Verizon Hall on March 8, followed by the New York premiere with the same orchestra at Carnegie Hall on March 13. De Trouw called the work "a real concerto; a musical duel between the soloist and the orchestra with challenging music for both partners."
To cap the season, van der Aa's occult-mystery film-opera Sunken Garden, which The New York Times called "a fantastical tale to set the ears and eyes popping," receives its US premiere at Dallas Opera in March.
> Sep 21-27: Blank Out (US Premiere) at the Park Avenue Armory in New York
> Nov 9: Shelter (US Premiere) with the Netherlands Chamber Choir at Lincoln Center's White Light Festival in New York
> Mar 8-10: Violin Concerto (US Premiere) with Janine Jansen, violin; Philadelphia Orchestra at Verizon Hall in Philadelphia
> Mar 9-17: Sunken Garden (US Premiere) at Dallas Opera
> Mar 13: Violin Concerto (NY Premiere) with Janine Jansen, violin; Philadelphia Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in New York
John Adams's opera Girls of the Golden West, set during California's Gold Rush in the 1850s, receives its much-anticipated world premiere at San Francisco Opera on November 21 (running through December 10). The opera, directed by Peter Sellars and conducted by Grant Gershon, arrives as the culmination of a year of 70th anniversary celebrations for Adams across the world. Preceding the world premiere, conductor Marin Alsop-renowned champion of Adams's music-leads the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in the East Coast premiere of Lola Montez Does the Spider Dance, music that is excerpted from an especially wild scene in the opera.
In the spring, The Gospel According to the Other Mary, Adams's celebrated Passion oratorio, is performed by the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC, on March 8. In July, Santa Fe Opera stages a production of Doctor Atomic, Adams's now-famous "CNN opera" about Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer and the creation of the atomic bomb. The production will be conducted by composer Matthew Aucoin and directed by Peter Sellars.
> Sep 14-16: Lola Montez Does the Spider Dance (East Coast Premiere) with Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Marin Alsop at Symphony Hall in Baltimore
> Nov 21-Dec 10: Girls of the Golden West (World Premiere) with San Francisco Opera and Grant Gershon
> March 8: The Gospel According to the Other Mary with National Symphony Orchestra and Gianandrea Noseda at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC
> Jul 14-Aug 16: Doctor Atomic with Santa Fe Opera and Matthew Aucoin
Dominick Argento, celebrated composer of operatic works, celebrates his 90th birthday with a special opera concert on November 9 at Carnegie Hall, performed by longtime champion New York City Opera. The evening features a double bill of two one-act operas: Miss Havisham's Wedding Night, adapted from his 1977 opera, Miss Havisham's Fire, which was commissioned by New York City Opera, and A Water Bird Talk, adapted from Chekhov's play On the Harmfulness of Tobacco and John James Audubon's Birds of America.
> Oct 5-6: The Dream of Valentino-Dances from Valentino with Minnesota Orchestra and Roderick Cox
> Nov 9: Dominick Argento's 90th Birthday Concert at Carnegie Hall, featuring A Water Bird Talk and Miss Havisham's Wedding Night with New York City Opera
The two-year 'Leonard Bernstein at 100' global celebration kicks off this season at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, September 22, followed by more than 1,000 events on six continents through the end of August 2019.
Bernstein's breadth as a composer will be well represented in the wide variety of performances during the Centennial period. Starting in September, The Kennedy Center will offer a season's worth of presentations devoted to Bernstein's composing legacy, including an evening titled "Bernstein on Broadway" in September, and performances of Bernstein's concert works throughout the season. Later in the year, the New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theater will present several ballets choreographed to Bernstein's music.
In late October, the New York Philharmonic will begin its own centennial presentations with Bernstein's Serenade (after Plato's Symposium), featuring soloist Joshua Bell, as well as Bernstein's Symphony No.1,"Jeremiah." In the same month, Carnegie Hall will kick off its 127th season with Nézet Séguin conducting The Philadelphia Orchestra in Bernstein's Symphonic Suite from On the Waterfront and Symphonic Dances from West Side Story. In addition, the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, IL will celebrate Bernstein's compositions throughout its 2018 summer season.
Enrico Chapela's latest work for orchestra (title to be announced) receives its world premiere with the renowned Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor James Gaffigan on April 5.
In the fall, Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic present Chapela's raucous orchestral tone poem ínguesu on October 12 as part of its CDMX festival, which celebrates music from Mexico City. Written as his own contemporary version of "nationalist music," ínguesu depicts a famous soccer match (Mexico vs. Brazil, 1999 FIFA Confederation Cup) in the course of the music.
MAGNETAR, Chapela's high-powered concerto for electronic cello, has been championed by soloist Johannes Moser around the world; he now performs it with Nashville Symphony and Giancarlo Guerrero. Strings Magazine describes the work as "rich in jazz, rock, and Latin-American influences, and quotations that are seamlessly integrated."
> Oct 12: ínguesu with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel
> Apr 6: New Work (World Premiere) with Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and James Gaffigan
> May 18-19: MAGNETAR with Johannes Moser, cello; Nashville Symphony and Giancarlo Guerrero
Qigang Chen's new work for orchestra, Itineraire d'une illusion (Variations orchestrales), tours the world with China NCPA Orchestra and conductor Lü Jia. On October 30, the orchestra presents the US premiere of the work at Carnegie Hall in New York, followed by major performances to be announced across the US and in Europe.
During the 2017-2018 season, Anna Clyne continues her three-year residency with the Berkeley Symphony, as part of the League of American Orchestras / New Music USA's Music Alive composer program. Clyne will be centrally embedded within the Berkeley Symphony's operations, programming and curatorial decisions, and activities in its community.
Clyne is also the Artist-in-Residence at National Sawdust, the trailblazing new-music venue in Brooklyn, New York. During her 2017-2018 residency, Clyne will be workshopping her opera in progress, Eva, based on the life of artist Eva Hesse, as well as continuing her teaching work with young composers in the community through El Puente Arts.
Additional highlights include a performance of Abstractions by the Baltimore Symphony and Marin Alsop on February 22, as well performances of her new symphonic ballet RIFT with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and Texas Ballet Theater, conducted by Miguel Harth-Bedoya-first in Fort Worth, Texas (Apr 6), and later touring to The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC (Apr 10) for the work's East Coast premiere. RIFT features six dancers on stage with the orchestra, with choreography by Kitty McNamee.
> 2017-2018: Composer residency with the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra
> 2017-2018: Artist Residency with National Sawdust in Brooklyn
> Feb 22 & 25: Abstractions with Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Marin Alsop
> Apr 6: RIFT with Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Texas Ballet Theater, and Miguel Harth-Bedoya in Fort Worth, Texas
> Apr 10: RIFT (East Coast Premiere) with Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Texas Ballet Theater at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC
Sebastian Currier sees the world premiere of a significant new work for orchestra and chorus, RE-FORMATION, commissioned and premiered by the Minnesota Orchestra and Chorale with Osmo Vänskä on November 2. Currier embarked on the compositional process with the view of isolating fragments from Mendelssohn's famed "Reformation" Symphony within his work and juxtaposing these "artifacts" of an older world against the context of the present day. During the writing process, he also reflected upon the devastating effects that humankind has had on the environment, setting text by Sarah Manguso for a chorus that brings a complexity and depth to the message of the work.
Additionally, Currier's ongoing Etudes & Lullabies project-a collection of short, contrasting works for string quartets-receives important world premieres: On October 20, the Borromeo String Quartet performs Etude 6: Velocities and Lullaby 2: Dreaming at Carnegie Hall; on January 25, Orion String Quartet performs Etude 1: Dynamics and Lullaby 5: Lulling, presented by Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
> Oct 20: Etude 6: Velocities and Lullaby 2: Dreaming (World Premiere) with Borromeo String Quartet at Carnegie Hall in New York
> Nov 2-4: RE-FORMATION (World Premiere) with Minnesota Orchestra and Chorale, Osmo Vänskä in Minneapolis
> Jan 25: Etude 1: Dynamics and Lullaby 5: Lulling (World Premiere) with Orion String Quartet at Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York
Drawing from the world of his opera Hamlet (which enjoyed huge success at the Glyndebourne Festival this past July), Brett Dean's String Quartet No. 2 ("and once I played Ophelia") for soprano and string quartet will receive its New York premiere at Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center on January 25, performed by soprano Tony Arnold and the Orion String Quartet.
Additionally, Dean's Engelsflügel will be performed on May 25 by the San Francisco Symphony and renowned conductor and new music champion David Robertson.
> Jan 25: String Quartet No. 2 ("and once I played Ophelia") (NY Premiere) with Tony Arnold, soprano; Orion String Quartet at Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York
> May 25: Engelsflügel with San Francisco Symphony and David Robertson
David Del Tredici
David Del Tredici serves as the 2017-2018 mentor composer for the Albany Symphony Orchestra. Led by Del Tredici expert David Alan Miller, the orchestra gives a fall performance of Rip Van Winkle, a melodrama for narrator and orchestra that retells Washington Irving's classic tale. In the summer, the orchestra tackles Del Tredici's Adventures Underground for soprano, folk group, and orchestra, featuring soprano Hila Plittman. The large-scale composition is among Del Tredici's "Alice Works"-a series of compositions that were inspired by Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
The Juilliard School highlights works of Jacob Druckman this fall, with a concert showcasing his viola concert on October 26, as well as another on Oct 30 featuring a program of Druckman works, including Bo, String Quartet No.3, Come Round, and The Seven Deadly Sins.
> Oct 26: Viola Concerto with The Juilliard School at Alice Tully Hall in New York
> Oct 30: Bo, String Quartet No.3, Come Round, and The Seven Deadly Sins with Juilliard AXIOM and Jeffrey Milarsky at Alice Tully Hall in New York
This fall sees performances of Fleck's two major concert works, both featuring the composer as banjo soloist with orchestra: On September 23, The Impostor is performed by Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra; on October 26, Juno Concerto is performed by Chattanooga Symphony.
The 2017-2018 season is a special one for Carlisle Floyd, featuring productions of his first major opera, Susannah, and his newest work Prince of Players, which premiered in Houston in March. Adapted from Jeffrey Hatcher's play Compleat Female Stage Beauty, Prince of Players relays the tale of Edward Kynaston, an renowned actor of female roles during England's Restoration Era. Florentine Opera remounts Houston's original production, with an impressive cast which includes Anthony Dean Griffey as Charles II, Keith Phares as Kynaston, and Kate Royal as Margaret Hughes in her company debut.
In April, Nashville Opera performs one of American opera's most cherished works: Floyd's Susannah. Based loosely on the Apocryphal tale of Susannah and the Elders, the opera tells the tragic story of an innocent young girl who is falsely targeted by a whirlwind of rumor and lies. Nashville Opera Artistic Director John Hoomes directs.
The world premiere of Sing! The Music Was Given by Karl Jenkins features on the Carnegie Hall program on January 15, commissioned by Distinguished Concerts International New York to celebrate its 10th anniversary. The concert also includes Jenkins's The Armed Man-one of the world's most celebrated contemporary works for choir and orchestra, having been performed now over 2,000 times. A meditation on the terrible consequences of war, the powerful work is dedicated to the victims of the Kosovo crisis.
> Jan 15: Sing! The Music Was Given (World Premiere) and The Armed Man with Distinguished Concerts International New York at Carnegie Hall
David T. Little
This season sees productions of David T. Little's operas across North America. His acclaimed opera JFK, which delves into President John F. Kennedy's final hours before his tragic fate in Dallas, receives its Canadian premiere and second-ever production on January 27 with Opéra de Montréal, directed by Thaddeus Strassberger. Opera Saratoga presents a world premiere of a new chamber version of his one-act comedy Vinkensport or, The Finch Opera during its 2018 Summer Festival. Additionally, his dystopic Dog Days is performed at Louisiana State University on January 26, and the multimedia Soldier Songs is staged at Fargo-Moorhead Civic Opera in North Dakota in April.
This busy season for Little also includes several world premieres. Accumulation of Purpose, a project undertaken with pianist Bruce Levingston, is a solo piano piece about the famed Freedom Riders, who protested racial segregation on buses in the south and were met with brutal violence. The piece will receive a preview performance in Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, followed by its premiere performance at Carnegie Hall in New York. Additionally, Little has composed 11 songs for unaccompanied baritone called Eleven Fragments for the Book of Dreams; as part of a special collaborative project, singer David Alan Moore has added electronic accompaniment to Little's songs for presentation at National Sawdust in Brooklyn in December.
> Dec 8: Accumulation of Purpose (Preview Event) with Bruce Levingston, piano, at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum
> Dec 17: Eleven Fragments for the Book of Dreams (World Premiere) with David Alan Moore/GLMMR at National Sawdust in Brooklyn
> Jan 26-28: Dog Days with Louisiana State University and Michael Borowitz
> Jan 27-Feb 3: JFK (Canadian Premiere) with Opéra de Montréal
> Apr 6-8: Soldier Songs with Fargo-Moorhead Civic Opera in North Dakota
> Apr 9: Accumulation of Purpose (World Premiere) with Bruce Levingston, piano, at Carnegie Hall in New York
> Summer 2018: Vinkensport or, The Finch Opera (World Premiere of Chamber Version) with Opera Saratoga
Tod Machover's crowd-sourced Philadelphia Voices receives its world premiere with the Philadelphia Orchestra on April 5, followed by its New York premiere at Carnegie Hall. The work was commissioned by the orchestra to reflect its community and city, and is infused with recorded sounds and voices contributed by the city's residents.
> Apr 5-7: Philadelphia Voices (World Premiere) with Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin at Verizon Hall in Philadelphia
> Apr 10: Philadelphia Voices (New York Premiere) with Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin at Carnegie Hall in New York
Steve Mackey's Through Your Fingers is a new sonata for cello and piano that was commissioned by Carnegie Hall and Wigmore Hall for cellist Alisa Weilerstein and pianist Inon Barnaton. The sonata, which will be premiered at Carnegie Hall on October 17, explores the themes of directness and elusiveness in its textures and harmonies.
Additionally, Mackey's recent orchestral work Mnemosyne's Pool receives performances by St. Louis Symphony with David Robertson and with New World Symphony with Jeffrey Milarsky. Mackey's score was hailed at its 2015 premiere as "the first great American symphony of the 21st century" (Musical America).
Oct 17: Through Your Fingers (World Premiere) with Alisa Weilerstein, cello, and Inon Barnaton, piano, at Carnegie Hall in New York
Oct 21-22: Mnemosyne's Pool with St. Louis Symphony and David Robertson
Dec 9: Mnemosyne's Pool with New World Symphony and Jeffrey Milarsky in Miami Beach
MacMillan's Trombone Concerto, which received its triumphant world premiere with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Dutch trombonist Jörgen van Rijen last spring, arrives in the US with the Dallas Symphony in February, with van Rijen as soloist. NRC Handelsblad noted the work's "magical orchestration" and De Trouw wrote, "The trombone sang, sang, sang ... It is a concerto for eternity."
In the fall, MacMillan's Larghetto for Orchestra, an orchestration of his a cappella Miserere from 2009, receives its world premiere, performed by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
Everyone Sang is a new piece for chorus and organ that sets Siegfried Sassoon's poem of the same title. The piece was commissioned by the American Guild of Organists for the Biennial American Guild of Organists National Convention, and will be premiered in Kansas City in July.
> Oct 27-29: Larghetto for Orchestra (World Premiere of Version) with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra / Manfred Honeck
> Feb 15-18: Trombone Concerto (US Premiere) with Jörgen van Rijen, trombone; Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Gustavo Gimeno
> Jul 2: Everyone Sang (World Premiere) with American Guild of Organists in Kansas City
Peter Maxwell Davies
An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise-Peter Maxwell Davies's 1985 work for orchestra with bagpipe soloist-will be performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra, Hartford Symphony, and Eureka Symphony Orchestra this season. The work depicts a wedding celebration on Orkney and famously closes with the entry of a bagpiper who parades to the stage in full Scottish regalia from the back of the hall.
> Oct 6-7: An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise with Eureka Symphony Orchestra and Carol Jacobson
> Jan 18-20: An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin
> Jan 19-21: An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise with Hartford Symphony Orchestra
Edgar Meyer's New Piece for Orchestra, which premiered this past March with the Nashville Symphony, is performed by the Colorado Symphony and conductor Christopher Dragon. This is Meyer's first orchestral work without a featured soloist. An accomplished bass virtuoso, Meyer's previous compositions for orchestra have often featured himself as soloist with the orchestra, or with renowned collaborators such as cellist Yo-Yo Ma and violinist Joshua Bell. But in this piece, Meyer treats the entire orchestra as the protagonist.
Lincoln Center's White Light Festival presents the US premiere of Meredith Monk and Young People's Chorus Dancing Voices program. The program, in three parts, features a compilation of works from Monk's repertoire, including a choral arrangement of Three Heavens and Hells; ascent, from Songs of Ascension; as well as excerpts from ATLAS, Book of Days, and The Games, and more.
Major US highlights for Steve Reich include an all-Reich concert presented by Carnegie Hall on November 2, featuring Ensemble Signal and Brad Lubman. On the concert, Ensemble Signal will be performing the New York premiere of Reich's 2016 ensemble work Runner, alongside Clapping Music, Double Sextet, Quartet, Radio Rewrite, and Six Marimbas. In connection with this major presentation, the Guggenheim Museum will be presenting a preview of the concert on its Works & Process series on October 17. In between those two events, Carnegie Hall also presents Reich's Grammy-winning Different Trains, performed by its ensemble-in-residence, Ensemble Connect.
> Oct 17: Works & Process at Guggenheim Museum-Preview event of Carnegie Hall's 11/3 all-Reich program with Ensemble Signal and Brad Lubman in New York
> Oct 23: Different Trains with Ensemble Connect at Carnegie Hall in New York
> Nov 2: All-Reich concert ft. Runner (New York Premiere), Clapping Music, Double Sextet, Quartet, Radio Rewrite, and Six Marimbas with Ensemble Signal and Brad Lubman at Carnegie Hall in New York
On November 30, longtime Rouse champion Marin Alsop leads the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in the world premiere of the composer's Berceuse Infinie. The work (which means "Infinite Lullaby" in French) is contemplative in tone and is also available in a wind ensemble version dedicated by Rouse to the memory of fellow composer and Cornell alumnus Steven Stucky, "the dearest of friends, whose death came as a tragic and unexpected shock to so many."
In October, Rouse's latest symphony is performed by co-commissioner Nashville Symphony this fall, led by conductor Giancarlo Guerrero. Rouse's Symphony No. 5-taking its starting point from Beethoven's own Fifth Symphony-premiered in February to wide acclaim: Dallas News wrote, "Rarely does a brand-new piece of music really grab me and keep me completely engaged on first hearing. But the world premiere of Christopher Rouse's brilliant, exciting and at times hauntingly beautiful Fifth Symphony had that effect Friday night, at the Meyerson Symphony Center."
Commissioned by Cal Performances, Shepherd's Aquaria for cello and piano receives its world premiere this fall with two heroes of new music: Finish cellist Anssi Karttunen and British pianist Nicolas Hodges.
With conductor Andris Nelsons at the helm of both the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the two great orchestras join forces in a rare collaboration that includes co-commissions, musician exchanges, and tour performances in both cities. The partnership's first joint commission is a new orchestral work by Shepherd, which will be premiered in February by the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
> Oct 29: Aquaria (World Premiere) with Anssi Karttunen, cello; Nicolas Hodges, piano at Cal Performances in Berkeley
> Feb 8-10: New Work (World Premiere) with Boston Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons at Symphony Hall in Boston
In this new orchestral work, Symphonic Movements, Turnage pays tribute to his friend, composer, pianist and jazz musician Richard Rodney Bennett. Turnage chose to write the piece as a celebration of his friend's life, instead of as a somber memorial. Oregon Symphony performs the world premiere of the piece on October 28.
Soundstreams Canada is presenting the first-ever staged production Vivier's Musik für das Ende (Music of the End), performed by Choir 21 with music director John Hess, and directed by Chris Abraham. Written for 20 singers who also play percussion, the piece depicts-as described by Vivier-an "increasingly strange ceremony of beings fainting into forever and becoming 'an infinite moment' in eternal silence ... The Music of the End is where all is forever erased, where all becomes infinite silence."
> Oct 27-Nov 4: Musik für das Ende (World Stage Premiere) with Soundstreams Canada in Toronto