BSO EXPANDS ITS ONLINE PRESENCE WITH 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, UNDER THE NEW RUBRIC BSONOW
EACH VIDEO WILL LAUNCH AT WWW.BSO.ORG/NOW ON SELECT THURSDAYS, AT NOON ET, NOVEMBER 19 THROUGH APRIL 29; ALL BSONOW ONLINE VIDEOS WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR VIEWING FOR 30 DAYS AFTER EACH INITIAL RELEASE DATE
OVERVIEW OF BSONOW ONLINE PROGRAMMING FOR RELEASE IN NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER
DIGITAL SERIES TO FEATURE THE BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA IN VIDEO PERFORMANCES, MUSIC IN CHANGING TIMES, TO BE RECORDED AT SYMPHONY HALL BEGINNING WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28, MARKING THE FIRST TIME BSO MUSICIANS WILL BE RETURNING TO THE SYMPHONY HALL STAGE SINCE CONCERT CANCELLATIONS BEGAN ON MARCH 13 DUE TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC; THE FIRST OF 15 NEW BSO VIDEOS TO BE LAUNCHED ON NOVEMBER 19
Former BSO Associate Conductor Ken-David Masur leads the BSO in Dvorak’s “New World” Symphony, photographed today [October 28th] at Boston’s Symphony Hall. Click here for high-res version. (Photo credit: Aram Boghosian)
HOLIDAY POPS ONLINE OFFERINGS—UNDER THE DIRECTION OF KEITH LOCKHART—FEATURING FAVORITE SEASONAL CLASSICS NEWLY RECORDED FROM TWO ICONIC BOSTON VENUES—FENWAY PARK AND SYMPHONY HALL; TANGLEWOOD FESTIVAL CHORUS AND BOSTON SYMPHONY CHILDREN’S CHOIR TO JOIN THE HOLIDAY POPS ONLINE FESTIVITIES WITH VIRTUAL PERFORMANCES TO PIANO ACCOMPANIMENT, TO BE RELEASED ON DECEMBER 10
BOSTON-BASED HIP-HOP/SPOKEN WORD ARTISTS MOE POPEAND STL GLD, THOMAS WILKINS, AND BSO MUSICIANS COME TOGETHER FOR A UNIQUE COLLABORATION, US: SESSIONS—THE CULMINATION OF A TWO-YEAR PROJECT; THE FIRST OF SEVEN VIDEO PODCASTS WILL BE RELEASED IN ADVANCE OF OFFICIAL BSONOW LAUNCH, ON OCTOBER 29, WITH ALL VIDEOS AVAILABLE FREE OF CHARGE AT BSO.ORG/STLGLD
BSONOW VIDEO OFFERINGS TO CONTINUE JANUARY-APRIL WITH ADDITIONAL BSO PROGRAMS LED BY ANDRIS NELSONSAND GUEST CONDUCTORS, A BOSTON POPS CONCERT LED BY KEITH LOCKHART, A BSO YOUTH CONCERT UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THOMAS WILKINS, A SPECIAL FOCUS ON COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP AND EDUCATION INITIATIVES, AS WELL AS SPECIAL ACCESS PROGRAMS FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS AND ESSENTIAL WORKERS
CLICK HERE FOR JOINT STATEMENT FROM MARK VOLPE, ANDRIS NELSONS, KEITH LOCKHART, AND THOMAS WILKINS
CLICK HERE FOR STATEMENTS FROM THOMAS WILKINS AND MOE POPE ABOUT US: SESSIONS
ADDITIONAL BSONOW PROGRAMMING DETAILS, JANUARY-APRIL, TO BE ANNOUNCED ON A ROLLING BASIS IN ORDER FOR THE BSO TO RESPOND EFFECTIVELY TO ANY CHANGES IN RESTRICTIONS THAT MIGHT BE IMPLEMENTED AROUND OFFICIAL COVID-19 PROTOCOLS
WORKING WITH 9 FOUNDATIONS, INC., THE BSO’S REOPENING STRATEGY FOR ITS BSONOW 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)
WITH THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF EVERYONE INVOLVED THE HIGHEST PRIORITY, BSO TO 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; THE TIMING OF THIS PROCESS WILL NOT BE KNOWN FOR AT LEAST SEVERAL MONTHS
HIGHLIGHTS OF BSONOW NEWLY RECORDED VIDEOS LAUNCHING IN NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER
BSONOW PRESENTS THE BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: MUSIC IN CHANGING TIMES,WITH THE FIRST THREE 60-MINUTE EPISODES STREAMING ON NOVEMBER 19, 26, AND DECEMBER 3 THROUGH WWW.BSO.ORG/NOW
BSO Explores the Theme American Promise
• Thursday, November 26, at noon: Thomas Wilkins leads the BSO in Jessie Montgomery’s Starburst; William Grant Still’s Out of the Silence, and Duke Ellington’s New World A-Comin’, both featuring piano soloist Aaron Diehl; Ellington’s Come Sunday, with Charlotte Blake Alston as narrator, and the fourth movement from Still’s Symphony No. 4; BSO musicians to be featured in chamber music performance of Osvaldo Golijov’s Lullaby and Doina
• Thursday, December 3, at noon: Giancarlo Guerrero leads Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man and Appalachian Spring on a program with Joan Tower’s Fanfare for the Uncommon WomanNo. 1, and Barber’s Adagio for Strings; BSO musicians to be featured in chamber music performances
Please note: Each 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.
BSONOW PRESENTS BOSTON POPS 2020 HOLIDAY CELEBRATION CONCERT ON DECEMBER 10 AT WWW.BSO.ORG/NOW
• Thursday, December 10 at noon: Keith Lockhart leads the Boston Pops Orchestra in the online Holiday Pops program including the Pops’ classic “Sleigh Ride,” a Stan Kenton arrangement of “Good King Wenceslas” for brass and rhythm section, a Christmastime medley of seasonal favorites, “Home for the Holidays” with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus joining virtually, and local celebrity narrators reciting stanzas from “A Visit from Saint Nicholas” (“‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”).
Special highlights particularly for young audiences include “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” accompanied by a film by FableVision, “We Need a Little Christmas,” a “Christmas is for Children” sing-along, and “Christmas Time is Here,” featuring a special virtual performance by the Boston Symphony Children’s Choir; sensory supports will be available for families with children or adults diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder or sensory sensitivities.
Portions of this Holiday Pops program were filmed at Fenway Park, where team mascot Wally participated in the recording festivities with Mr. Lockhart and the Pops musicians (additional details in Holiday Pops section below)
Please note: The BSO’s streaming video platform will allow viewers to tailor their experience by advancing to or repeating the musical selections of their choosing, including those created especially for younger children.
• Wednesday, December 9, 6:30 p.m.: The annual corporate fundraiser A Company Christmas at Pops begins with a virtual pre-concert VIP Reception for lead sponsors and a simultaneous virtual children’s program, followed by the musical program, Home for the Holidays, and an exclusive live conversation with Keith Lockhart (additional details about this private fundraiser in Holiday Pops section below)
• Distributed throughout the holiday season: Keith Lockhart and the brass players of the Pops Orchestra perform a 30-minute video concert, featuring Keith Lockhart narrating “A Visit from Saint Nicholas” (“‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”), to be distributed to Boston’s Children’s Hospital and the Spaulding Rehabilitation Center, as well as other hospitals in the greater Boston area, through their closed-circuit TV networks.
BSONOW PRESENTS US: SESSIONS, A UNIQUE VIDEO COLLABORATION BETWEEN MOE POPE AND STL GLD, THOMAS WILKINS, AND MEMBERS OF THE BSO, OCTOBER 29 THROUGH NOVEMBER 13, FREE-OF-CHARGE AT WWW.BSO.ORG/STLGLD; PLEASE NOTE DIFFERENT RELEASE DATES COMPARED TO OTHER BSONOW CONTENT
• Thursday, October 29: Us: Session 1: “With Me” by STL GLD and Members of the BSO
• Monday, November 2: Us: Session 2: Moe Pope, Thomas Wilkins, and Janos Fulop
• Wednesday, November 4: Us: Session 3: Rachel Childers, Dzidzor, and Julia Easterlin
• Friday, November 6: Us: Session 4: Suzanne Nelsen, Christopher Talken, and Lawrence WolfeBSO bassoonist Suzanne Nelsen, STL GLD vocalist Christopher Talken, BSO Assistant Principal Bass Lawrence Wolfe, and host Tim Hall discuss the importance of amplifying marginalized voices and the influence of church music.
• Monday, November 9: Us: Session 5: Danny Kim and Cliff Notez
• Wednesday, November 11: Us: Session 6: Bonnie Bewick, Chris Klaxton, and Jonathan Ulman
• Friday, November 13: Us: Session 7: Cynthia Meyers and Najee Janey
INFORMATION ON HOW TO ACCESS BSONOW NEWLY RECORDED ONLINE VIDEO CONTENT TO BE DISTRIBUTED AT WWW.BSO.ORG/NOW, THURSDAYS AT NOON, NOVEMBER 19-APRIL 13
• THE COMPLETE SERIES OF BSO AND HOLIDAY POPS ONLINE PROGRAMMING IS AVAILABLE IN RECOGNITION OF DONATIONS OF $100 OR MORE BY VISITING WWW.BSO.ORG/GIVE; ALL DONATIONS MADE BY DECEMBER 31 WILL BE DOUBLED BY THE GROSS FAMILY CHALLENGE, UP TO $1 MILLION
• HOLIDAY POPS PROGRAM IS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE FOR A $30 FEE STARTING MONDAY, NOVEMBER 9, AT 10 A.M., BY VISITING WWW.BSO.ORG/NOW OR CALLING 888-266-1200, MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY, 10 A.M. to 4 P.M.
• BOSTON-BASED HIP-HOP/SPOKEN WORD ARTISTS MOE POPE AND STL GLD ONLINE MULTI-VIDEO PROJECT WITH THOMAS WILKINS AND BSO MUSICIANS TO BE RELEASED FREE-OF-CHARGE IN ADVANCE OF OFFICIAL BSONOW LAUNCH, ON OCTOBER 29, THROUGH WWW.BSO.ORG/STLGLD
• FURTHER DETAILS ABOUT THE LAUNCH OF AN 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
FOR FURTHER DETAILS ABOUT ACCESSING PROGRAMS, CLICK HERE
Over the next six months, November through April, the BSO is committing to its online video presence on a whole new level, highlighting newly recorded performances by its beloved ensembles—the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops orchestras—while also shining a spotlight on individual BSO musicians in chamber music works, its BSO Youth and Family Concerts, and its unique educational and community partnerships. Now under the new rubric BSONOW, this newly recorded online video content, as well as related performances from the BSO Archives, will be released at www.bso.org/now on select Thursdays, at noon, November 19-April 29, and will remain available for 30 days after each 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. The first recording for the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s BSONOW online content will take place on Wednesday, October 28, representing the first time the musicians of the BSO will perform together at Symphony Hall since the pandemic forced the orchestra to close its doors to the public on March 13.
In advance of the official November 19 launch date, the BSO will begin online distribution of a unique multi-video collaboration between Thomas Wilkins, BSO musicians, and Boston-based hip-hop/spoken word artists Moe Pope and STL GLD, which will launch on Thursday, October 29, at www.bso.org/stlgld. The culmination of a two-year collaboration, the project’s initial short release will be followed by six long-form video releases, all available free of charge through www.bso.org/now.
In appreciation for the support of essential workers in our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, in partnership with Bank of America, is pleased to offer complimentary access to select online concerts and other programs. For additional information about the Essential Workers Program, visit www.bso.org/essential. The BSO also is proud to continue offering access to college students via the newly-revised online College Card program, in partnership with the Arbella Insurance Foundation. For additional information visit www.bso.org/collegecard.
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, currently, 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 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.
Today, the BSO is announcing the details of its newly recorded BSONOW November and December online offerings, with plans to announce future programming on an incremental basis due to the need for the organization to be flexible in connection with possible changes in restrictions and recommendations around COVID-19 protocols.
Mark Volpe is the Eunice and Julian Cohen BSO President and CEO. Andris Nelsons is the Ray and Maria Stata BSO Music Director, and Keith Lockhart is the Julian and Eunice Cohen Boston Pops Conductor. Thomas Wilkins is the Germeshausen BSO Youth and Family Concerts Conductor and the BSO’s Artistic Advisor for Education and Community Engagement.
FURTHER DETAILS: BSONOW NEWLY RECORDED VIDEO RELEASES IN NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER
Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Online Offerings: Music in Changing Times, with first three program installments available November 19, 26, and December 3
Under the banner title of Music in Changing Times, the BSO will stream 15 newly recorded BSO programs, each approximately 60 minutes in length, to be released on select Thursdays at noon, November 19-April 29, at www.bso.org/now. Within this broad banner theme, each of the BSONOWofferings will be grouped into packages of three thematically focused programs. The common elements for all 15 programs will be performances by the Boston Symphony Orchestra; chamber music performances by BSO musicians; and a magazine-format component that will feature musicians and experts exploring the connections between the individual works on each program, the programming themes and their relationship to the music being performed, and the guest artists and composers featured in the programming. At the start of each online video, the conductors for each program will welcome the viewers and introduce the works to be performed. The BSO’s Music in Changing Times online offerings will also put a special focus on traditionally unheard and underrepresented voices in classical music.
The first series “American Promise,” under the direction of Ken-David Masur (November 19), Thomas Wilkins (November 26), and Giancarlo Guerrero (December 3), explores the emergence of distinctively American musical voices, from Charles Ives to composers of today. Ives’ innovative compositions symbolize the American spirit of independent thinking rooted in the New England Transcendentalists. His The Unanswered Question opens the BSO’s season in the spirit of speculation and striving for truth that underlies artistic endeavor. Drawing on Black spirituals learned from his assistant Harry Burleigh, Antonín Dvořák’s New World Symphony was an inspiration to later generations of American composers. Musical stories of struggle, belonging, and triumph resonate in works by such varied voices as those of Aaron Copland—whose Appalachian Springillustrates life on the early American frontier—and Duke Ellington, the consummate narrator of Harlem’s vibrant streets and people. The richness of the American musical vernacular, from spirituals and hymn tunes to the blues, jazz, and rock music, continues to be, a creative and spiritual wellspring for composers of today, including the New York-born Jessie Montgomery and the Argentine-American Osvaldo Golijov.
BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons will return to Boston in the new year to record a future episode of Music in Changing Times that will focus on Beethoven symphonies. The three-program theme for Mr. Nelsons’ programs will be Sounds of Revolution: Beethoven and Musical Revolutionaries. Mr. Nelsons had been scheduled to conduct all nine Beethoven seasons during the first portion of the 2020-21 BSO season before the season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
BSO SEASON SPONSORS:
Boston Pops 2020 Holiday Celebration Online Offerings Available at bso.org/now December 10, with A Company Christmas Fundraiser Taking Place on December 9
Classic Holiday Pops Program Available for Streaming on Thursday, December 10, at noon, at www.bso.org/now
Keith Lockhart and members of the brass and rhythm sections of the Boston Pops are filming their Boston Pops 2020 Holiday Celebration online programming at two of Boston’s most iconic locations: Symphony Hall and Fenway Park. At Fenway Park, the orchestra was recorded playing in left field in front of the iconic Green Monster, with additional classic locations including the Red Sox dugout, in center field, and in the grandstands. They recorded such holiday favorites as “Must Be Santa” (joined by Wally in the title role—in full Santa Claus suit), “Frosty All the Way,” “Good King Wenceslas,” “A Merry Christmas Sing-Along,” and “A Christmas Festival,” Leroy Anderson’s uplifting compilation of some of the most beloved music of the holiday season.
This year, the musical selections take special advantage of the digital format for festive effect, including the appearances by local celebrity narrators who will recite different stanzas from “A Visit from Saint Nicholas” (“‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”). The Boston Pops 2020 Holiday Celebration program will feature illustrations by local elementary school students that depict their ideas of peace to accompany the selection “Let There Be Peace on Earth.” No Holiday Pops program, of course, would take place without a visit from Santa Claus who this year will arrive with his own special supply of digital surprises.
Click here for a brief history of Boston Pops.
The Boston Pops Presents Sensory-Friendly Supports for Holiday Pops Concert
Holiday Pops Virtual Program for Boston Children’s Hospital and Spaulding Rehabilitation Center and other hospitals throughout the Greater Boston area
37th Annual A Company Christmas at Pops, a private corporate fundraiser, streams on Wednesday, December 9, starting at 6:30 p.m.
A Company Christmas at Pops – Home for the Holidays is a virtual reimagining of a long-time annual corporate event in which the business community comes together to celebrate a beloved Boston Pops holiday tradition. Now in its 37th year, A Company Christmas at Pops highlights the extraordinary partnership between the Greater Boston business community and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Each year, A Company Christmas at Pops offers leaders from every industry the opportunity to entertain their valued clients, employees, and friends in the company of Boston’s top-level corporations, capped off with a special Holiday Pops performance by Keith Lockhart and the renowned Boston Pops Orchestra. This year’s virtual gala will retain this same spirit, complete with new surprises. A Company Christmas at Pops – Home for the Holidays provides a unique opportunity for companies and guests to come together through a festive shared experience, enjoyed from the comfort of home.
HOLIDAY POPS SEASON SPONSORS:
Thomas Wilkins, BSO Musicians, and Moe Pope and STL GLD in Multi-Video Collaboration, Us: Sessions, October 29 through November 13
In what is being described as a celebration of community, the BSO and Thomas Wilkins are delighted to present Us: Sessions, a collaborative video series with Boston-based hip-hop artist Moe Pope and the award-winning band STL GLD, marking the first public manifestation of a partnership, which began in 2018 during the BSO’s three-year residency in Jamaica Plain. The series kicks off on Thursday, October 29, with the release of a powerful music video by STL GLD and eight members of the BSO string section, all playing on camera at home, in a special arrangement of STL GLD’s 2019 song “With Me.” Six conversations follow over the next two weeks, one released each Monday (11/2 & 11/9), Wednesday (11/4 & 11/11), and Friday (11/6 & 11/13). The videos, along with bios and supplementary materials, will be made available at bso.org/stlgld.
Us: Sessions is a wide-ranging series of conversations, recorded on Zoom, between musicians of different backgrounds, including Moe Pope and STL GLD, several BSO musicians, Germeshausen Youth and Family Concerts Conductor and Artistic Advisor for Education and Community Engagement Thomas Wilkins, and a lineup of well-known musicians and spoken word artists from around the East Coast. The videos showcase the power of music as a common ground for dialogue and illustrate how artistry and passion transcend the narrow notions of genre.