THIS WEEK: THE BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA’S ONLINE PERFORMANCE (WWW.BSO.ORG/NOW)
BSO NOW STREAMING PLATFORM PRESENTS FOUR GBH ARCHIVAL EVENING AT SYMPHONY PROGRAMS BEGINNING WITH AN ELECTRIFYING, SEIJI OZAWA-LED 1975 BSO PERFORMANCE OF MAHLER’S SYMPHONY NO. 2 (RESURRECTION), AVAILABLE STARTING ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 4, AT NOON AT WWW.BSO.ORG/NOW
BSO NOW ARCHIVAL STREAMS CONTINUE IN MARCH AND APRIL WITH CONDUCTORS WILLIAM STEINBERG, COLIN DAVIS, AND OZAWA LEADING THE BSO IN WORKS BY ELGAR, HOLST, SIBELIUS, TCHAIKOVSKY, AND WAGNER
EACH BSO NOW VIDEO LAUNCHES AT WWW.BSO.ORG/NOW ON SELECT THURSDAYS, AT NOON, ET, NOVEMBER 19 THROUGH APRIL 29; ALL BSO NOWONLINE VIDEOS WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR VIEWING FOR 30 DAYS AFTER EACH INITIAL RELEASE DATE
OVERVIEW OF BSO NOW ARCHIVAL AND NEWLY RECORDED ONLINE PROGRAMMING FOR RELEASE IN FEBRUARY THROUGH APRIL
• Thursday, February 4, at noon: Originally recorded on April 26, 1975, Seiji Ozawa (BSO Music Director, 1973–2002) conducts the Boston Symphony Orchestra and New England Conservatory Chorus in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (Resurrection) with soprano soloist Susan Davenny Wynerand contralto soloist Maureen Forrester; available for viewing through March 6 at www.bso.org/now
• Thursday, March 4, at noon: William Steinberg (BSO Music Director, 1969–72) conducts the Boston Symphony Orchestra in “Mercury” from Holst’s The Planets, originally recorded on October 7, 1969, and Elgar’s Symphony No. 2, originally recorded on October 6, 1970; available for viewing through April 3 at www.bso.org/now
• Thursday, April 1, at noon: Colin Davis (BSO Principal Guest Conductor, 1972–84) leads the Boston Symphony Orchestra in “Siegfried’s Rhine Journey” from Wagner’s Götterdämmerung, originally recorded on April 3, 1976; Sibelius’ Symphony No. 6, originally recorded on November 29, 1975; and Elgar’s Cockaigne Overture (In London Town), originally recorded on January 7, 1978; available for viewing through May 3 at www.bso.org/now
• Thursday, April 8, at noon: Originally recorded on October 25, 1978, then-BSO Music Director Seiji Ozawa conducts the Boston Symphony Orchestra in excerpts from Acts II and III of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake; available for viewing through May 10 at www.bso.org/now.
BSO NOW STREAMS PREVIOUSLY RELEASED IN JANUARY, INCLUDING THREE BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA ONLINE PERFORMANCES, THEMED “NEW BEGINNINGS,” ARE STILL AVAILABLE THROUGH THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY AT WWW.BSO.ORG/NOW
• Available for viewing through February 13: Stefan Asbury leads a Boston Symphony Orchestra program including Thomas Adès’ Dawn, Debussy’s Printemps, Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending with violin soloist Elena Urioste, and Smetana’s The Moldau; the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, with guest conductor Jorge Soto, perform Elena Langer’s Five Reflections on Water
• Available for viewing through February 20: Thomas Wilkins leads a BSO program with selections from Kareem Roustom’s Aleppo Songs, Piazzolla’s Aconcagua, Concerto for Bandoneón and Orchestra, with soloist Hector Del Curto, and Hindemith’s Symphony, Mathis der Maler; chamber music performance of Carlos Simon’s Warmth from Other Suns, featuring BSO musicians Victor Romanul and Wendy Putnam, violins; Mary Ferrillo, viola; and Adam Esbensen, cello
• Available for viewing through February 27: Making her BSO debut, Anna Rakitina leads a BSO program featuring Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 1, Classical, Arvo Pärt’s Fratres, with violin soloist Gil Shaham, and Stravinsky’s The Firebird Suite; chamber music performance of Missy Mazzoli’s Set That on Fire, including BSO musicians Elizabeth Klein, flute; Thomas Martin, clarinet; Thomas Siders, trumpet; and Valeria Vilker Kuchment, violin; with guest pianist Vytas Baksys
Please note: Each of the BSO’s Music in Changing Times online video programs include a magazine-style segment with musicians, composers, and conductors shedding light on the musical selections and themes associated with each program.
UPCOMING ONLINE PERFORMANCES IN FEBRUARY: ANDRIS NELSONS TO LEAD BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA IN THREE NEW CONCERT STREAMS WITH A SPECIAL FOCUS ON BEETHOVEN—IN CELEBRATION OF THE 250TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE COMPOSER’S BIRTH—FOR INITIAL RELEASE ON FEBRUARY 11, 18, AND 25 AT WWW.BSO.ORG/NOW; RECENT WORKS BY THREE YOUNG COMPOSERS NEW TO THE BSO—IMAN HABIBI, HANNAH KENDALL, AND CARLOS SIMON—WILL BE FEATURED ALONGSIDE THE MUSIC OF BEETHOVEN, INCLUDING SYMPHONIES NOS. 3, 5, 6, AND 7; CLICK HERE FOR A PROGRAM LISTING AND DESCRIPTION
ADDITIONAL BSO NOW PROGRAMMING DETAILS, MARCH AND APRIL, TO BE ANNOUNCED AT A LATER DATE IN ORDER FOR THE BSO TO RESPOND EFFECTIVELY TO ANY CHANGES IN RESTRICTIONS THAT MIGHT BE IMPLEMENTED AROUND OFFICIAL COVID-19 PROTOCOLS
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
• DETAILS ABOUT THE ESSENTIAL WORKERS TICKET 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: BSO ARCHIVAL STREAMS OF ICONIC EVENING AT SYMPHONY PERFORMANCES, AVAILABLE IN FEBRUARY, MARCH, AND APRIL
On Thursday, February 4, at noon, at www.bso.org/now, the BSO NOW concert streaming platform will launch the first of four archival programs, featuring artists who enjoyed especially close relationships with the orchestra. All four programs were originally produced and distributed by Boston public broadcaster GBH for the iconic Evening at Symphony television series. Longtime CRB announcer Brian McCreath will serve as host for the archival BSO NOW streams.
Originally recorded on April 26, 1975, the stream available on Thursday, February 4, at noon includes Seiji Ozawa (right), who was just two years into his tenure as BSO Music Director (1973–2002), leading the Boston Symphony Orchestra and New England Conservatory Chorus in Mahler’s monumental Symphony No. 2 (Resurrection) with soprano soloist Susan Davenny Wyner and contralto soloist Maureen Forrester. This historic performance marks the first of more than 40 occasions on which Ozawa conducted the BSO in Mahler’s Second, which he also recorded in the 1980s as part of a complete Mahler symphony cycle for the Philips label. The piece became one of the orchestra’s signature works with Ozawa. Conducting the entire piece with no score, Ozawa exhibits in this concert stream his trademark fluidity and elegance. Joining the ensemble is the great Canadian alto Maureen Forrester and soprano Susan Davenny Wyner, who went on to forge her own career as a conductor and is still a cherished member of Boston’s music community today. The New England Conservatory Chorus was prepared by the venerable Lorna Cooke DeVaron, who was the founding director of choral activities at New England Conservatory and a pioneering teacher of several generations of American choral directors. Also on view are many of the symphony players who defined the sound of the BSO in that era, such as flutist Doriot Anthony Dwyer, oboist Ralph Gomberg, trumpeter Armando Ghitalla, and timpanist Everett Firth.
The next BSO NOW archival stream, launching on March 4, includes William Steinberg (BSO Music Director, 1969–72) conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra in “Mercury” from Holst’s The Planets(originally recorded on October 7, 1969) and Elgar’s Symphony No. 2 (originally recorded on October 6, 1970). Steinberg was renowned for his interpretations of classics from his native Germany, but he also felt a strong affinity with English music, including works by Elgar and Holst. Among the works he recorded with the BSO for Deutsche Grammophon was Gustav Holst’s The Planets—a release that continues to stand out after all this time as an unsurpassed benchmark in a field of numerous recordings of that piece.
On April 1, BSO NOW will release an archival concert stream featuring Colin Davis (BSO Principal Guest Conductor, 1972–84) leading the Boston Symphony Orchestra in “Siegfried’s Rhine Journey” from Wagner’s Götterdämmerung (originally recorded on April 3, 1976); Sibelius’ Symphony No. 6 (originally recorded on November 29, 1975); and Elgar’s Cockaigne Overture, from “In London Town” (originally recorded on January 7, 1978). Davis’ relationship with the Boston Symphony stretched across more than four decades. He made many recordings with the BSO—including a complete set of Sibelius symphonies and selected tone poems released on the Philips label and he was a regular presence at Tanglewood as well.
The final BSO NOW archival release of the orchestra’s 2020–21 online season launches on April 8. Beginning in the late 1970s, the BSO and Seiji Ozawa recorded Tchaikovsky’s three great ballet scores: The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, and Swan Lake. The April 8 Ozawa-led program includes excerpts from Acts 2 and 3 of Swan Lake, recorded on October 25, 1978. It features many musicians who are still in the BSO, as well as legendary players from the past, such as wind principals Harold Wright and Sherman Walt, harpist Ann Hobson Pilot, and string players Joseph Silverstein, Harry Ellis Dickson, Jules Eskin, and Mary Lou Speaker.
The first telecast of a BSO performance took place in 1956, when WGBH Television and WGBH-FM simulcast a concert at Kresge Auditorium, on the campus of MIT. And in 1974, WGBH Television launched its award-winning series, Evening at Symphony, in which this premier BSO NOW archival stream of Mahler’s Second Symphony originally aired in April 1975. The complete series of BSO NOW archival programs is also in their original format with Evening at Symphony opening credits and the resonant voice of its fabled announcer, William Pierce.
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, February 6, under the direction of Stéphane Denève, features Gil Shaham as the soloist in John Williams’ Violin Concerto, on a program with Jennifer Higdon’s blue cathedral and Saint-Saëns’ Symphony No. 3 (Organ). This performance originally took place on March 19, 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 will also feature a magazine-type segment, with behind-the-scenes storytelling with conductors, composers, and musicians, plus much more. All BSO NOW newly recorded programs will be 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 will be recorded from the stage of Symphony Hall—widely considered one of the top three acoustic concert halls in the world—which will also be featured for all its beautiful detail and historic significance.
Additional BSO NOW programming details, March-April, will be announced at a later date in order for the BSO to respond effectively to any changes in restrictions that might be implemented around official COVID-19 protocols. Previously released BSO NOW streams, no longer available, include Ken-David Masur leading the BSO in Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 and Ives’ The Unanswered Question; Thomas Wilkins conducting the BSO in works by Jessie Montgomery, Ellington, and Still; Marcelo Lehninger leading the orchestra in works by Copland, Barber, and Joan Tower; and Keith Lockhart leading a Holiday Pops concert stream.
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. In response to this hiatus from live performances, the BSO launched its expanded digital offerings on March 26 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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