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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Carnegie Hall 2011-2012 Season Preview

View from the top. Photo from the balcony of Carnegie Hall by Melissa Kunz.
Trying to pack eight months of Carnegie Hall programming into one preview article is like trying to write instant bios of every character to ever appear on The Simpsons. There's too many concerts, too many events, and too much exciting programming to cram into one article. So this is just an overview, mentioning some of the most exciting programs on the slate for the 2011-2012 season. It's broken down according to the subscription brochure.

The Heavy Hitters: International Orchestras
The Berlin Philharmonic returns to New York under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle, offering a weighty program that pairs Mahler's massive Resurrection Symphony with works by Hugo Wolf. If that's not enough, he's leading the unfinished Bruckner Ninth Symphony, in a rarely-heard completion by Benjamin-Gunnar Cohrs.

Valery Gergiev brings St. Petersburg's Mariinsky Orchestra back for a run of Tchaikovsky symphonies, and Lorin Maazel offers his Ring Without Words, an orchestral version of the Wagner epic, as played by the Vienna Philharmonic. Other concerts include appearances by the London Philharmonic and the acclaimed Budapest Festival Orchestra.

The Home Teams: American Orchestras
The Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Minnesota Orchestras are coming to the Hall this year. The Boston Symphony Orchestra is scheduled as well, although there's some question as to whether James Levine (who steps down as music director this September) will conduct the performances. However, Mr. Levine will lead three programs with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

Michael Tilson Thomas brings the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra to town for a slate of 'American Mavericks' featuring the music of Charles Ives, John Cage, and other modernists. The New York Philharmonic will also make a rare appearance at Carnegie Hall, playing the Mahler Sixth under the baton of music director Alan Gilbert.
Recital Debut: Anna Netrebko. Photo by Clive Arrowsmith © 2010 Camera Press

Across the Stage: Piano and Vocal Recitals
Lovers of piano music have reason to celebrate this year. In addition to veteran keyboard wizards Maurizio Pollini, Leif Ove Andsnes, Andras Schiff, Evgeny Kissin and Mitsuko Uchida, next season features the first Hall recitals by Yuja Wang and Christian Zacharias. Downstairs at Zankel Hall, pianists Juho Pohjonen and Simon Trpčeski will offer the music of Debussy and Liszt. Vocal recitals include appearances by Susan Graham, Matthias Goerne, Ian Bostridge, and for the first time in a New York recital, Anna Netrebko.

From the Baroque to the Modern Age
Carnegie Hall continues to offer a balance of baroque music and modern works with performances at the smaller Zankel Hall and the still more intimate Weill Recital Hall. The American Composers Orchestra will pay tribute to the music of Philip Glass and Arvo Pärt.

The Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique offers their unique interpretations of Beethoven symphonies under the baton of Sir John Eliot Gardiner. And baroque groups like Tafelmusik and The English Concert explore the continuing fascination with early instruments and the sounds of the 17th and 18th centuries.

These little paragraphs barely scratch the surface of next year's season at the Hall. The Orchestra of St. Luke's, the American Symphony Orchestra, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and other independent organizations rent the Hall on a regular basis, creating a rich tapestry of concert programming. For more information, keep an eye on the Carnegie Hall Official Website.

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