Tuesday, March 3, 2009

National Symphony 2009-10

Washington’s National Symphony Orchestra has announced a 2009-10 season customarily studded with big names – pianists Evgeny Kissin and Lang Lang, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and tenor Ben Heppner in one-nighters; pianists Emanuel Ax, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Nelson Freire, Ingrid Fliter, Denis Matsuev and Yuja Wang; violinists Joshua Bell, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Leila Josefowicz, Vadim Repin and Jennifer Koh; cellists Mischa Maisky and Daniel Müller-Schott; and percussionist Evelyn Glennie in subscription programs – and large-scale repertory, including a rare revival of Eugene Goosens’ giant-sized arrangement of Handel’s "Messiah."

The season also will feature piano concertos by Jennifer Higdon (played by Wang) and Guillaume Connesson (played by Thibaudet), in their world and U.S. premieres, respectively; a two-week residency by composer-conductor John Adams; and 100th anniversary performances of Elgar’s Violin Concerto, conducted by the NSO’s former music director, Leonard Slatkin, with Nikolaj Znaider playing the same instrument, a 1741-vintage Guarnerius del Gesu, that Fritz Kreisler played in the concerto’s 1910 premiere

Christoph Eschenbach, the NSO’s music director-designate, will conduct Verdi’s Requiem. Iván Fischer, in his last season as the orchestra’s principal conductor, will lead the opening-night gala and five subscription programs, including performances of Bartók’s "The Wooden Prince," Stravinsky’s "The Rite of Spring" and Bach’s Mass in B minor. Guest conductors, in addition to Slatkin and Adams, include Lorin Maazel, Hans Graf, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Jeffrey Kahane, Kristjan Järvi, Michael Stern and two former NSO associate conductors, Andrew Litton and Hugh Wolff.

The NSO Pops series, conducted mainly by Marvin Hamlisch, will feature an 80th birthday tribute to Stephen Sondheim, a concert version of Meredith Wilson’s "The Music Man" and guest appearances by the vocal group Afro Blue and trumpeter Chris Botti.

The Kennedy Center Chamber Players, composed of NSO members, will present three programs in the Terrace Theater; and the orchestra will play three free holiday concerts on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.

Symphonic and pops concerts, in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, are mainly at 7 p.m. Thursdays and 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, with some matinees at 1:30 p.m. Fridays or Sundays.

For subscription and single-ticket information, call the Kennedy Center box office at (800) 444-1324 or visit www.kennedy-center.org

The NSO’s 2009-10 schedule:

Sept. 6 (8 p.m.) – conductor TBA. Labor Day Concert, on West Lawn of U.S. Capitol. Program TBA. (Free)

Sept. 26 (Season Opening Ball Concert, 7 p.m.) – Iván Fischer conducting. Glinka: "Russlan and Ludmilla" Overture; Kodály: "Dances of Galanta;" Sarasate: "Zigeunerweisen" (József Lendvay Jr., violin); Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 2 (Evgeny Kissin, piano); Richard Strauss: "Salome’s Dances" from "Salome;" Johann Strauss II: "On the Beautiful Blue Danube."

Oct. 1 (7 p.m.), 2-3 (8 p.m.) – Iván Fischer conducting. Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 ("Pastoral"); Bartók: "The Wooden Prince" (with English captions) (Cast TBA).

Oct. 8 (7 p.m.), 10 (8 p.m.), 11 (1:30 p.m.) – Ludovic Morlot conducting. Tchaikovsky: "Francesca da Rimini;" Martinů: “The Frescoes of Piero della Francesca;” Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1 (Nelson Freire, piano).

Oct. 15 (7 p.m.), 16-17 (8 p.m.) – Lorin Maazel conducting. Mussorgsky: "Night on Bald Mountain"; Barber: Violin Concerto (Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, violin); Maazel: "The Giving Tree" (Dietlinde Turban-Maazel, narrator); Franck: Symphony in D minor.

Oct. 22 (8 p.m.) – conductor TBA. Ben Heppner, tenor, in program TBA.

Oct. 29 (7 p.m.), 30-31 (8 p.m.) – NSO Pops, Marvin Hamlisch conducting. Chris Botti, trumpet.

Nov. 5 (7 p.m.), 6-7 (8 p.m.) – Alexander Vedernikov conducting. Brahms: Violin Concerto (Vadim Repin, violin); Prokofiev: Symphony No. 5.

Nov. 13 (8 p.m.) – Andrew Litton conducting. Weber: "Euryanthe" Overture; Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 1 (Lang Lang, piano); Glinka: "Russlan and Ludmilla" Overture; Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 3 (Lang Lang, piano).

Nov. 19 (7 p.m.), 21 (8 p.m.), 22 (1:30 p.m.) – Hugh Wolff conducting. MacMillan: "Í (A Meditation on Iona);" Bruch: "Scottish Fantasy" (Joshua Bell, violin); Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3 ("Scottish").

Nov. 27 (1:30, 8 p.m.), 28 (8 p.m.) – NSO Pops, Marvin Hamlisch conducting. Meredith Wilson’s "The Music Man" in concert (cast TBA).

Dec. 3 (7 p.m.), 4 (1:30 p.m.), 5 (8 p.m.) – Andrew Litton conducting. Rimsky-Korsakov: "The Snow Maiden" Suite; Jennifer Higdon: Piano Concerto (premiere) (Yuja Wang, piano); Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 1 ("Winter Dreams").

Dec. 10 (7 p.m.), 18-19 (8 p.m.), 20 (1 p.m.) – NSO Pops, Marvin Hamlisch conducting. "Happy Holidays," with Afro Blue and Dan Alexander as Santa Claus.

Dec. 17 (7 p.m.), 18-19 (8 p.m.), 20 (1 p.m.) – Rossen Milanov conducting. Handel-Goosens: "Messiah" (Elza van den Heever, soprano; Meredith Arwady, contralto; Jason Collins, tenor; Eric Owens, bass-baritone; Washington Chorus, Julian Wachner directing).

Jan. 7 (7 p.m.), 8-9 (8 p.m.) – Leonard Slatkin conducting. Elgar: Violin Concerto (Nikolaj Znaider, violin); Holst: "The Planets" (Choral Arts Society, Norman Scribner directing).

Jan. 10 (2 p.m.) – National Symphony Chamber Players. Brahms: Sonata in E minor, Op. 38, for cello and piano; Sonata in E flat major, Op. 120, No. 2, for viola and piano; Sonata in D minor, Op. 108, for violin and piano (Nurit Bar-Josef, violin; Daniel Foster, viola; David Hardy, cello; Lambert Orkis, piano).

Jan. 14 (7 p.m.), 15 (1:30 p.m.), 16 (8 p.m.) – Michael Stern conducting. Barber: Symphony No. 1; Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 2 (Emanuel Ax, piano); Sibelius: Symphony No. 2.

Jan. 21 (7 p.m.), 22-23 (8 p.m.) – Iván Fischer conducting. Mozart: Symphony No. 38 ("Prague"); Mahler: "Das Lied von der Erde" (Christianne Stotijn, mezzo-soprano; Stig Andersen, tenor).

Jan. 28 (7 p.m.), 29-30 (8 p.m.) – Iván Fischer conducting. Bernstein: "Three Dances from ‘On the Town’;” Tchaikovsky: “Lensky’s Aria,” “Rococo Variations” (Mischa Maisky, cello); Dvořák: Symphony No. 8.

Feb. 11 (7 p.m.), 12-13 (8 p.m.) – NSO Pops, Bill Conti conducting. "Academy Awards."

Feb. 18 (7 p.m.), 19-20 (8 p.m.) – James Gaffigan conducting. Lera Auerbach: "Requiem for Icarus;" Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2 (Denis Matsuev, piano); Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4.

March 4 (7 p.m.), 5-6 (8 p.m.) – Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos conducting. Mozart: Serenade No. 6 ("Serenata Notturna"), Piano Concerto No. 23 (Ingrid Fliter, piano); Richard Strauss: "Symphonia domestica."

March 11 (7 p.m.), 12-13 (8 p.m.) – Christoph Eschenbach conducting. Verdi: Requiem (Twyla Robinson, soprano; Mihoko Fujimura, mezzo-soprano; Nikolai Schukoff, tenor; Evgeny Nikitin, bass-baritone; chorus TBA).

March 25 (7 p.m.), 27 (8 p.m.), 28 (1:30 p.m.) – Jakub Hrűša conducting. Dvořák: Cello Concerto (Daniel Müller-Schott, cello); Schubert: Symphony No. 8 (“Unfinished”); Janáček: “Taras Bulba.”

April 1 (7 p.m.), 2-3 (8 p.m.) – Iván Fischer conducting. Bach: Mass in B minor (Dominique Labelle, soprano; Marie-Nicole Lemieux, alto; Michael Slattery, tenor; Thomas Bauer, baritone; University of Maryland Concert Choir, Edward Maclary directing).

April 24 (8 p.m.) – conductor TBA. "Gospel Across America" (guest artists TBA).

April 25 (2 p.m.) – Kennedy Center Chamber Players. Ravel: Introduction and Allegro; Dutilleuz: "Ainsi la nuit” (string quartet); Dvořák: String Sextet, Op. 48 (Nurit Bar-Josef & Heather Ledoux Green, violins; Daniel Foster & Abigail Evans, violas); David Hardy & Rachel Young, cellos; Toshiko Kohno, flute; Loren Kitt, clarinet; Dotian Levalier, harp).

April 29 (7 p.m.), April 30-May 1 (8 p.m.) – Hans Graf conducting. Debussy: "Images;" Guillaume Connesson: new work TBA for piano and orchestra, Ravel: Piano Concerto for the left hand (Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano); Ravel: "Daphnis et Chloé" Suite No. 2.

May 6 (7 p.m.), 7-8 (8 p.m.) – NSO Pops, Marvin Hamlisch conducting. "Stephen Sondheim 80th Birthday Tribute" (guest artists TBA).

May 13 (7 p.m.), 14-15 (8 p.m.) – John Adams conducting. Copland: "Billy the Kid" Suite; Adams: "The Wound-Dresser" (Eric Owens, baritone); Barber: Adagio for strings; Elgar: "Enigma Variations."

May 20 (7 p.m.), 21 (1:30 p.m.), 22 (8 p.m.) – John Adams conducting. Britten: "Four Sea Interludes" from "Peter Grimes;" Adams: "The Dharma at Big Sur" (Leila Josefowicz, electric violin); Stravinsky: "Feu d’Artifice;" Adams: "City Noir" Symphony.

May 30 (8 p.m.) – conductor TBA. Capitol Concert, on West Lawn of U.S. Capitol. Program TBA. (Free)

June 3 (7 p.m.), 4 (1:30 p.m.), 5 (8 p.m.) – Iván Fischer conducting. Rimsky-Korsakov: "Scheherazade;" Stravinsky: "The Rite of Spring."

June 6 (2 p.m.) – Kennedy Center Chamber Players. Walter Gieseking: Quintet for piano and winds; Szymanowski: "Mythes" for violin and piano; Schubert: String Quintet in C major (Nurit Bar-Josef & Marissa Regni, violins; Daniel Foster, viola; David Hardy & Steven Honigberg, cellos; Nicholas Stovall, oboe; Loren Kitt, clarinet; Sue Heineman, bassoon; Martin Hackleman, horn; Lambert Orkis, piano).

June 10 (7 p.m.), 11-12 (8 p.m.) – Kristjan Järvi conducting. Grieg: "Lyric Suite;" Erkki-Sven Tüür: Symphony No. 4 ("Magma") (Evelyn Glennie, percussion); Bernstein: "Candide" Overture and Suite; Ellington: "Harlem."

June 17 (7 p.m.), 18-19 (8 p.m.) – Juraj Valčuha conducting. Haydn: Symphony No. 85 (“La Reine”); Szymanowski: Violin Concerto No. 1 (Jennifer Koh, violin); Mahler: Symphony No. 1.

June 29 (8 p.m.) – Jeffrey Kahane conducting. Yo-Yo Ma, cello. Program TBA.

July 4 (8 p.m.) – conductor TBA. Capitol Concert, on West Lawn of U.S. Capitol. Program TBA. (Free)