THIS WEEK: THE BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA’S ONLINE PERFORMANCE (WWW.BSO.ORG/NOW)
BSO NOW NEW ONLINE VIDEO STREAMS CONTINUE THURSDAY, MARCH 11, AT NOON, WITH THE RELEASE OF THE FIRST BSO PERFORMANCE OF THE SERIES A FRAGILE PEACE: BETWEEN THE WARS; GIANCARLO GUERRERO LEADS AN ALL-GERMAN PROGRAM OF HINDEMITH AND WEILL, AVAILABLE AT WWW.BSO.ORG/NOW
Click here to listen to an excerpt from Hindemith’s Concert Music and the “Mack the Knife” excerpt from Weill’s Kleine Dreigroschenmusik, performed by the BSO and led by Giancarlo Guerrero
ALL NEW BSO NOW ONLINE CONCERTS—UNDER THE TITLE MUSIC IN CHANGING TIMES—LAUNCH ON THURSDAYS AT NOON AT WWW.BSO.ORG/NOW; EACH VIDEO STREAM IS AVAILABLE FOR 30 DAYS BEYOND ITS ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE
BSO NOW ONLINE PRESENTATIONS—AVAILABLE STARTING THURSDAYS AT NOON, NOVEMBER 19 THROUGH APRIL 29—FEATURE NEWLY RECORDED HOUR-LONG VIDEO PERFORMANCES BY THE BOSTON SYMPHONY, BOSTON POPS, AND BSO MUSICIANS IN CHAMBER MUSIC, ALONG WITH BEHIND-THE-SCENES STORYTELLING WITH CONDUCTORS, COMPOSERS, AND MUSICIANS, PLUS MUCH MORE
BSO NOW VIDEO STREAMS LAUNCHING IN MARCH: THREE BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA PERFORMANCES WITH THE THEME “A FRAGILE PEACE: BETWEEN THE WARS,” AVAILABLE AT WWW.BSO.ORG/NOW
• Thursday, March 11, at noon; available through April 10: Giancarlo Guerrero leads the Boston Symphony Orchestra in an all-German program of Weill’s Kleine Dreigroschenmusik (Suite from The Threepenny Opera) and Hindemith’s Concert Music for strings and brass; chamber music performance to feature Florence Price’s Five Folksongs in Counterpoint, with BSO musiciansBonnie Bewick and Lisa Ji Eun Kim, violins; Daniel Getz, viola; and Alexandre Lecarme, cello
Giancarlo Guerrero, BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons, David Robertson
• Thursday, March 18, at noon; available through April 17: David Robertson leads the orchestra in an all-French program to include Milhaud’s La Création du monde, Honegger’s Pastorale d’été, and Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G with Inon Barnatan as soloist; chamber music performance to feature American composer Marion Bauer’s Forgotten Modes, Op. 29, for solo flute, with Elizabeth Klein, BSO Assistant Principal Flute
• Thursday, March 25, at noon; available through April 24: Andris Nelsons leads the BSO in an all-Russian program to feature Stravinsky’s Symphonies of Wind Instruments and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 1 and Tahiti Trot; chamber music performance to feature American composer Eda Rapoport’s Poem, Op. 14, for viola and piano, with BSO violist Michael Zaretsky and pianist Randall Hodgkinson
Please note: All of the BSO’s Music in Changing Times online video programs will include a magazine-style segment with musicians, composers, and conductors shedding light on the musical selections and themes associated with each program.
• Available for viewing through March 13: Andris Nelsons leads the BSO in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, Eroica, and Hannah Kendall’s Disillusioned Dreamer; chamber music performance of Caroline Shaw’s Blueprint, featuring BSO musicians Catherine French and Xin Ding, violins; Mary Ferrillo, viola; and Mickey Katz, cello
• Available for viewing through March 20: Andris Nelsons leads the BSO in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, Pastoral, and Iman Habibi’s Jeder Baum spricht; chamber music performance of Debussy’s Sonata for Flute, Viola, and Harp, featuring BSO musicians Cynthia Meyers, flute; Danny Kim, viola; and Jessica Zhou, harp
• Available for viewing through March 27: Andris Nelsons leads the BSO in Beethoven’s Symphonies Nos. 5 and 7 and Carlos Simon’s Fate Now Conquers; chamber music performance of Schoenberg’s Phantasy for violin and piano, featuring BSO violinist Haldan Martinson and guest pianist Max Levinson
• Available for viewing through April 3: Archival GBH Evening at Symphony program of William Steinberg (BSO Music Director, 1969–72) conducting the BSO in “Mercury” from Holst’s The Planets, originally recorded on October 6, 1970, and Elgar’s Symphony No. 2, originally recorded on October 7, 1969
BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons, Iman Habibi, Hannah Kendall, Carlos Simon
CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ABOUT THE FIRST-EVER STREAMING BSO YOUTH CONCERT (RELEASED MARCH 5) AND ARCHIVAL BSO FAMILY CONCERT VIDEOS (RELEASED APRIL 30)—BOTH FEATURING THOMAS WILKINS—AS WELL AS INFORMATION ABOUT A NEW PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN THE BSO AND BOSTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS
BSO FAMILY CONCERT STREAM TO BE RELEASED TO GENERAL PUBLIC FREE OF CHARGE ON MAY 13, AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND THROUGH JUNE 30 AT WWW.BSO.ORG/NOW
Thomas Wilkins speaking at a Family Concert (photo credit: Hilary Scott)
INFORMATION ON HOW TO ACCESS BSO NOW NEWLY RECORDED ONLINE VIDEO CONTENT TO BE DISTRIBUTED AT WWW.BSO.ORG/NOW, THURSDAYS AT NOON, THROUGH APRIL 29
• THE COMPLETE SERIES OF BSO NOW PROGRAMMING IS AVAILABLE IN RECOGNITION OF DONATIONS OF $100 OR MORE BY VISITING WWW.BSO.ORG/NOW; PRICING STRUCTURE FOR BSO NOW ONLINE STREAMS TO CHANGE STARTING IN FEBRUARY, WITH FURTHER DETAILS TO BE ANNOUNCED AT A LATER DATE
• DETAILS ABOUT THE ESSENTIAL WORKERS ACCESS PROGRAM AND COMPLIMENTARY ACCESS FOR BSO SUBSCRIBERS, COLLEGE CARD HOLDERS, CORPORATE PARTNERS, AND CURRENT BSO, POPS, AND TANGLEWOOD DONORS OF $100 OR MORE, AS WELL AS INFORMATION ABOUT A COMPLIMENTARY 24-HOUR TRIAL ACCESS PROGRAM FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC, ARE AVAILABLE THROUGH WWW.BSO.ORG/NOW
FURTHER DETAILS ABOUT BSO NOW CONCERT STREAMS SCHEDULED FOR MARCH
The Boston Symphony Orchestra continues its first-ever all-online season—with near weekly concert streams distributed through its streaming platform BSO NOW, November 2020-April 2021—with a new series in this season’s “Music in Changing Times” theme. Entitled “A Fragile Peace: Between the Wars,” the Boston Symphony Orchestra performs music from the unsettled but vibrant period between the first and second world wars. Each of the three programs focuses on a particular region, but with American connections.
Beginning with a German-centered program, releasing on Thursday, March 11 at noon at bso.org/now, Giancarlo Guerrero (right) leads the BSO in Kurt Weill’s Suite from The Threepenny Opera, the composer’s celebrated satirical collaboration with Bertolt Brecht about the struggles of London’s criminal class. Also on the program is the more abstract Concert Piece for Strings and Brass by Paul Hindemith, which was commissioned for the BSO’s 50th anniversary. Both composers came to the U.S. prior to World War II. Like Weill’s piece, American composer Florence Price’s Five Folksongs in Counterpoint treats popular music idioms in sophisticated, individual ways. The chamber work concludes the concert stream and will be performed by BSO musicians Bonnie Bewick and Lisa Ji Eun Kim, violins; Daniel Getz, viola; and Alexandre Lecarme, cello.
As with the season’s other BSO NOW offerings, this month’s three online video streams are accompanied by magazine segments that explore aspects of 1920s and ’30s history and the BSO’s unique associations with the various composers represented. The segments also contain some film/video clips of historic archival performances. Specifically, this week’s short video explores connections between Weill’s Threepenny Opera and the vibrant, unbridled cabaret scene of Berlin’s Roaring Twenties.
Click here to view this week’s magazine segment exploring the connection between Weill’s Threepenny Opera and Weimar Germany’s burgeoning cabaret scene
For the concert stream that releases on Thursday, March 12 at noon at bso.org/now, David Robertson conducts the BSO in Parisian music from the 1920s and early ’30s. Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G, one of his most beloved works, was also one of his last. The brilliant Israeli/American pianist Inon Barnatan (left) makes his Symphony Hall debut in this performance. Arthur Honegger’s Pastorale d’été (“Summer Pastoral”) is a perfectly lovely, brief symphonic poem, languid, calm music interrupted by a burst of dancing joy. Darius Milhaud’s famed 1923 ballet score The Creation of the World is one of the earliest “classical” pieces to show the strong influence of jazz. The chamber music work on this program is a solo flute piece by Marion Bauer, who through her music and teaching influenced a generation of American composers. She herself was the first American student of the legendary Nadia Boulanger—who later taught American composers from Aaron Copland to Philip Glass. BSO Assistant Principal Flute Elizabeth Klein is the soloist in Bauer’s Forgotten Modes.
Andris Nelsons leads music by Stravinsky and Shostakovich in the final program of this series, which debuts at bso.org/now on Thursday, March 18 at noon. When he wrote Symphonies of Wind Instruments, Stravinsky had been away from his native Russia for a decade and was based primarily in Paris. Conceived originally as a memorial tribute to Claude Debussy, this austere, ritualistic work was premiered by future BSO Music Director Serge Koussevitzky in London in 1921. Dmitri Shostakovich was still a student at the Leningrad Conservatory when his bold, dynamic Symphony No. 1 was premiered in 1926, launching him into the forefront of Russian music. His little arrangement Tahiti Trot, from 1927, may come as a surprise to many: it’s an arrangement of the American Broadway composer Vincent Youman’s delightful “Tea for Two” from the show No, No, Nanette. Poem for viola and piano (1939) by the Latvian-born American composer Eda Rapoport closes the program, featuring BSO violist Michael Zaretsky and pianist Randall Hodgkinson.
The BSO NOW concert streaming platform launched in November and was created in response to the live performance hiatus in place since March 2020, due to the restrictions around the COVID-19 pandemic. Most BSO NOW concert streams are available for on-demand viewing for 30 days past their original launch dates through bso.org/now. Formal BSO titles for conductors referenced in this release: Andris Nelsons is the Ray and Maria Stata BSO Music Director and Thomas Wilkins is the BSO’s Artistic Advisor, Education and Community Engagement, and Germeshausen Youth and Family Concerts Conductor. The director for the concert portions of the BSO NOW series is Habib Azar; click here for a recent biography.
WEEKLY ENCORE BSO CONCERT BROADCASTS ON CRB CLASSICAL 99.5 FM AND WWW.CLASSICALWCRB.ORG
CRB Classical 99.5 FM and www.classicalwcrb.org continue to feature encore Boston Symphony Orchestra concerts on Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. The program for Saturday, March 13 features soprano Kristine Opolais singing Rachmaninoff’s Zdes’ khorosho (“How fair this place”) and the Letter Scene from Tchaikovsky’s opera Eugene Onegin, and BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons conducting three French masterpieces: Debussy’s La Mer, Ravel’s La Valse, and Dutilleux’s Métaboles. This performance originally took place on April 23, 2016.
On November 19, the Boston Symphony Orchestra launched BSO NOW, an expanded online presence with newly recorded hour-long video streams by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Andris Nelsons and guest conductors; the Boston Pops, under the direction of Keith Lockhart; and BSO musicians in chamber music, as well as BSO Youth and Family Concerts, under the direction of Thomas Wilkins, and special projects featuring the orchestra’s educational and community partnerships. Most BSO NOW video streams feature a magazine-type segment, with behind-the-scenes storytelling with conductors, composers, and musicians, plus much more. All BSO NOW newly recorded programs are released on select Thursdays at noon through April 29, at www.bso.org/now, with each program remaining available for 30 days after its initial posting. The BSO, Pops, and youth-focused video performances are recorded from the stage of Symphony Hall—widely considered one of the top three acoustic concert halls in the world—which is featured for all its beautiful detail and historic significance.
On January 6, 2021, Andris Nelsons returned for the first time to Symphony Hall in nearly a year.
(Photo credit: Aram Boghosian)
INFORMATION ABOUT ONLINE PROGRAMMING CREATED IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19 CONCERT CANCELLATIONS
BSO NOW—the BSO’s expanded digital content series recorded at Symphony Hall and made available through bso.org/now beginning on November 19—is part of the BSO’s continuing series of online offerings created in response to the live performance hiatus imposed by regulations around the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing health crisis. In response to this hiatus from live performances, the BSO launched its expanded digital offerings on March 26, 2020 with BSO at Home and BSO HomeSchool, followed by Boston Pops at Home (all available at www.bso.org), the Tanglewood 2020 Online Festival (www.tanglewood.org), and Encore BSO Recitals (www.bso.org). The success of these programs, which have generated millions of interactions—both directly with the actual online content and indirectly through posts on the orchestra’s social media channels about that content—has been an inspiration for the orchestra to continue to explore new ways of reaching its music community and beyond with new, innovative, and compelling programming during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of March 13, 2020, and continuing on through April 2021 and possibly beyond, the orchestra has been forced to cancel the remainder of its 2019-20 BSO Youth Concert Series and 2019-20 BSO season and the entire 2020 Boston Pops, 2020 Tanglewood, 2020 Holiday Pops, and 2020-21 BSO seasons. The series of announcements detailing the full slate of cancellations by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, beginning on March 13, 2020, can be found here.
INFORMATION ON THE BSO’S REOPENING STRATEGY FOR ITS BSO NOWONLINE RECORDING SCHEDULE AT SYMPHONY HALL
Working with 9 Foundations, Inc., the BSO’s reopening strategy for its BSO NOW online recording schedule at Symphony Hall includes a robust testing schedule, two layers of daily screening, social distancing, universal masking, engineering controls, and enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols. (Click here for additional details.) In addition, BSO musicians sit on a 35.5-foot stage extension—more than doubling the size of the stage—especially built to accommodate official social distancing requirements between orchestra members.
With the health and safety of everyone involved the highest priority, the BSO will continually monitor updates from the Centers for Disease Control, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the City of Boston, as well as its own team of experts, to determine when it can gradually start inviting audiences back to Symphony Hall and its other venues. All official Boston Symphony Orchestra updates will be announced through press releases and postings on www.bso.org.
BSO SEASON SPONSORS:
Bank of America is the Lead BSO Season Sponsor for the 2020-21 season, supporting the Music in Changing Times programming and other BSO digital offerings, including the launch of the essential workers ticket program. Arbella Insurance Foundation, a longtime sponsor, is continuing its major sponsorship for the 15th season as the “Music for All” sponsor, supporting our education and outreach programs so that everyone has access to great classical music in our community. Fairmont Copley Plaza, Official Hotel of the BSO, and Commonwealth Worldwide Executive Transportation, the Official Chauffeured Transportation of the BSO, will support our artists and recording crew’s travel needs for the newly recorded online video content.