February 25, 2021
BOSTON SYMPHONY ANNOUNCES NEWLY RECORDED CONCERT STREAMS TO BE RELEASED IN MARCH AND APRIL AT WWW.BSO.ORG/NOW, BRINGING THE ORCHESTRA’S 2020–21 BSO NOW ONLINE PERFORMANCE SEASON TO AN END
ANDRIS NELSONS LEADS FINAL CONCERT STREAMS OF THE SEASON, APRIL 15, 22, AND 29, UNDER THE THEME “PATHS OF ROMANTICISM,” FEATURING WORKS BY BRAHMS, MENDELSSOHN, SCHUMANN, STRAUSS, AND WEBER
BSO NOW CONCERT STREAMS RELEASING MARCH 11, 18, AND 25, UNDER THE THEME “A FRAGILE PEACE: BETWEEN THE WARS,” TO INCLUDE GIANCARLO GUERRERO CONDUCTING AN ALL-GERMAN PROGRAM; DAVID ROBERTSON CONDUCTING AN ALL-FRENCH PROGRAM, AND ANDRIS NELSONS CONDUCTING AN ALL-RUSSIAN PROGRAM
Giancarlo Guerrero, BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons, David Robertson
ALL NEW BSO NOW ONLINE CONCERTS—UNDER THE TITLE MUSIC IN CHANGING TIMES—LAUNCH ON THURSDAYS AT NOON, STARTING MARCH 11, 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
• 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
• 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 and all-Russian program to feature Stravinsky’s Symphonies of Wind Instruments and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 1 and Tahiti Trot; chamber music performances to feature American composer Eda Rapoport’s Poem, Op. 14, for viola and piano, with BSO violist Michael Zaretsky and pianist Randall Hodgkinson
BSO NOW VIDEO STREAMS LAUNCHING IN APRIL: CLOSING THE BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA’S 2020–21 BSO NOW CONCERT STREAMING SERIES, ANDRIS NELSONS LEADS THREE ONLINE PERFORMANCES WITH THE THEME “PATHWAYS OF ROMANTICISM,” AVAILABLE AT WWW.BSO.ORG/NOW
• Thursday, April 15, at noon; available through May 15: Andris Nelsons leads the Boston Symphony Orchestra and soloist Baiba Skride in Schumann’s Violin Concerto on a program with Brahms’ Serenade No. 2
• Thursday, April 22, at noon; available through May 22: Mr. Nelsons leads the orchestra in Mendelssohn’s String Symphony No. 10; Weber’s Clarinet Concertino with BSO Principal Clarinet William Hudgins as soloist, and Schumann’s Concertstück in F for four horns and orchestra, with BSO horn players Richard Sebring, Rachel Childers, Michael Winter, and Jason Snider
• Thursday, April 29, at noon; available through May 29: An all-Strauss program brings the BSO’s 2020-21 BSO NOW online streaming season to an end with the composer’s Wind Serenade, Op. 7, and Interludes from Intermezzo, under the direction of Mr. Nelsons
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.
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)
CLICK HERE TO VIEW DETAILS ABOUT BSO NOW ARCHIVAL PERFORMANCE STREAMS TO FEATURE WILLIAM STEINBERG LEADING “MERCURY” FROM HOLST’S THE PLANETS AND ELGAR’S SECOND SYMPHONY (MARCH 4); COLIN DAVIS CONDUCTING A PROGRAM OF WORKS BY WAGNER, SIBELIUS, AND ELGAR (APRIL 1); AND SEIJI OZAWA LEADING SELECTIONS FROM TCHAIKOVSKY’S SWAN LAKE (APRIL 8)
Seiji Ozawa, William Steinberg, Colin Davis
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
BSO NOW PROGRAMMING DETAILS FOR THE 2021 BOSTON POPS ONLINE CONCERT SEASON, MAY AND JUNE—INCLUDING NEWLY RECORDED PERFORMANCE STREAMS UNDER THE DIRECTION OF KEITH LOCKHART AND ICONIC CONCERT VIDEOS FROM THE ORCHESTRA’S ARCHIVAL TREASURE TROVE—WILL BE ANNOUNCED IN LATE WINTER/EARLY SPRING; THERE WILL BE NO LIVE PERFORMANCES WITH AUDIENCES AT SYMPHONY HALL IN MAY AND JUNE
FURTHER DETAILS ABOUT BSO NOW CONCERT STREAMS SCHEDULED FOR MARCH AND APRIL
The Boston Symphony Orchestra brings its first-ever all-online season—with near weekly concert streams distributed through its new streaming platform BSO NOW, November 2020-April 2021—to an end with four programs led by BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons, released each Thursday at noon, March 25–April 29, at www.bso.org/now. Additional BSO NOW concert streams in March and April will include special guest appearances by conductors Giancarlo Guerrero and David Robertson; the first-ever BSO Youth Concert and BSO Family Concert streams, featuring Thomas Wilkins; and three BSO archival streams of iconic performances led by conductors Seiji Ozawa, William Steinberg, and Colin Davis. Most BSO NOW concert streams are available for on-demand viewing for 30 days past their original launch dates through www.bso.org/now.
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.
Giancarlo Guerrero, David Robertson, and Andris Nelsons, Lead the BSO in Concert Streams Launching March 11, 18, and 25: “A Fragile Peace: Between the Wars”
David Robertson leads 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.
Andris Nelsons leads music of Stravinsky and Shostakovich in the final program of this series. 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.
Andris Nelsons Brings BSO’s 2020-21 Season of BSO NOW Concert Streams to a Close, With New Online Programming Launching April 15, 22, AND 29: “Pathways of Romanticism”
In the second episode of our final series, BSO members are center-stage in two Romantic concertos. BSO Principal Clarinet William Hudgins (left) is soloist in Carl Maria von Weber’s brief Concertino for Clarinet and Orchestra, which the BSO hasn’t performed since 1884. (The Pops played it most recently in 1983). This virtuosic theme-and-variations piece straddles the Classical and Romantic eras: written in 1811, it’s an early work in the catalog of the composer who virtually invented German Romantic opera. Four BSO horns perform Robert Schumann’s his unusual Conzertstück, which was premiered in Leipzig in 1850 and which Schumann called “one of my best pieces.” The soloists here are treated as a collective rather than four completely independent voices. The BSO’s string sections are highlighted in the opening work, Felix Mendelssohn’s String Symphony No. 10. Mendelssohn—whose childhood precocity rivaled Mozart’s—wrote this assured, stormy piece over five days in May 1823 at age fourteen. Closing this episode is William Grant Still’s Suite for violin and piano (1943), the three movements of which were each inspired by works by three great African American sculptors of the mid-20th century.
In the final program of our 2020–21 season, Andris Nelsons returns to a focus of his recent conducting activity: music by Richard Strauss. Strauss was only 18 when his Serenade for Winds, Op. 7, was premiered in Dresden. Its classical clarity is in stark contrast to the lush, almost cinematic orchestral Interludes from the composer’s 1923 opera Intermezzo, composed forty years later. Based on an episode in Strauss’ life, the plot of the libretto (written by the composer himself) revolves around a misunderstanding that drives the wife of a conductor to jealous extremes. Strauss called his opera a “bourgeois comedy with symphonic interludes,” indicating the importance of the purely orchestral music of the four interludes, which respectively tell of the bustle and joy of travel, an introspective scene by the fireside, a card-playing scene, and a brief happy ending touching on many of the opera’s main themes. The American composer Jennifer Higdon’s 1995 colorful, energetic wind quintet Autumn Music, which was in part inspired by Samuel Barber’s Summer Music.
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.
INFORMATION ABOUT ONLINE PROGRAMMING CREATED IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19 CONCERT CANCELLATIONS
BSO NOW—the BSO’s expanded digital content series to be 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 (click here for further details about BSO NOW). 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), available through November 19. 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, can be found here.
Working with 9 Foundations, Inc., the BSO’s reopening strategy for its BSO NOW online recording schedule at Symphony Hall will include 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 will 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 bad to Symphony Hall and its other venues. The timing of this process will not be known for at least several months. All official Boston Symphony Orchestra updates will be announced through press releases and postings on www.bso.org.
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