Schott | EAM 2017-2018 Season Preview
Sep. 11, 2017
The season ahead is brimming with thrilling premieres and innovative new productions of works both new and well-known. Some of the highlights include the US premieres of recent operas by Thomas Adès (The Exterminating Angel) and Andrew Norman (A Trip to the Moon), new concertos by Chaya Czernowin, Hannah Lash and Gerald Barry, as well as the world premieres of major new works by George Benjamin, Lei Liang and Jörg Widmann. Read on for a preview of this season's highlights:
Thomas Ades’s "inventive and audacious" third opera The Exterminating Angel has its American premiere at The Metropolitan Opera on October 26. The composer conducts, with a cast including Audrey Luna, Amanda Echalaz, Sally Matthews, Sophie Bevan, Alice Coote, Christine Rice, Iestyn Davies, Joseph Kaiser, Frédéric Antoun, and David Portillo. Tom Cairns, who composed the libretto, directs.
The BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus present a "Total Immersion" program exploring Julian Anderson's music for mass unaccompanied voices. The program, which revolves around Anderson's Bell Mass, also includes performances of My Beloved Spake, O Sing Unto the Lord, and Four American Choruses. The concert takes place October 21 at St Giles' Crippelgate, London.
Thomas Adès leads the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in the world premiere of Gerald Barry's Organ Concerto, March 7, 2018 with soloist Thomas Trotter. Further performances take place in London with the London Philharmonic Orchestra (April 11) and in Dublin with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra (May 4).
The Metropolitan Opera opens its 2017-2018 season on September 25 with a new production of Vincenzo Bellini’s Norma, using the recently completed critical edition published by Bärenreiter. The production, directed by Sir David McVicar and conducted by Carlo Rizzi, brings together an all-star cast, featuring Sondra Radvanovsky in the title role, along with Joyce DiDonato as Adalgisa, Joseph Calleja as Pollione, and Matthew Rose as Oroveso.
Sure to be the operatic event of the season, George Benjamin's greatly anticipated third opera Lessons in Love and Violence premieres at the Royal Opera House on May 10, 2018. The work reunites Benjamin with librettist Martin Crimp and director Katie Mitchell, in a production starring Stéphane Degout and Barbara Hannigan. Also this season, Opera Philadelphia debuts a new production of Benjamin's Written on Skin opening February 9.
Opera Theatre of Saint Louis presents a new production of Marc Blitzstein's Regina, directed by James Robinson and starring Susan Graham, James Morris and Ron Raines, running May 26-June 24, 2018. Stephen Lord conducts.
On September 20, Andrey Boreyko leads the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra in the world premiere of Victoria Borisova-Ollas’s Symphony No. 2 “Labyrinths of Time”.
Gavin Bryars sees the premiere of two new ballets this season commissioned by Flanders Ballet with choreographer Edouard Lock. Bryars's new chamber opera Billy the Kid, based on the novel The Collected Works of Billy the Kid by Michael Ondaatje, debuts with Percussions Clavier de Lyon.
Mezzo-soprano Rachel Calloway and Third Coast Percussion join forces in presenting a portrait concert of music by Christopher Cerrone on March 29, 2018, presented by Columbia University's Miller Theatre.
Columbia University's Miller Theatre presents a portrait concert dedicated to the music of Ann Cleare, featuring the International Contemporary Ensemble, on March 1, 2018. The concert, part of Miller Theatre's revered "Composer Portraits" series, includes the world premiere of Cleare's eyam iv (Pluto's Farthest Moons) as well as a new work for ensemble.
On May 29, 2018, the Arditti Quartet premiere a new work by Tom Coult at Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room in London.
Douglas J. Cuomo
Pittsburgh Opera presents the world premiere performances of Douglas J. Cuomo's Ashes and Snow—"A Winterreise Dream" based on the poems by Wilhelm Müller—opening February 17. Cuomo's new work for shakuhachi and cello debuts at the Tenri Institute in New York in November.
Following the widely hailed debut last season of her latest opera, Infinite now, Chaya Czernowin sees the premiere of her concerto for cello and orchestra, Guardian, featuring long-time collaborator Séverine Ballon as soloist. The premiere takes place as part of the concluding concert of the Donaueschingen Musiktage on October 22.
The Cave, a new music theatre work by Tansy Davies, opens at The Printworks in London in June, 2018. Lucy Bailey directs the production, with tenor Mark Padmore and contralto Elaine Mitchener joining the London Sinfonietta, conducted by Geoffrey Patterson.
On October 10, Peter Eötvös leads the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in the world premiere of his own Multiversum, a concerto for organ, hammond organ and orchestra, at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg.
The long-awaited critical edition of George Gershwin's An American in Paris has its world premiere with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in Paris, followed by the US premiere with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. The edition restores Gershwin’s original tunings for the iconic car horn passages, as well as reviving the composer's original, jazz-influenced orchestration, among many other things.
Orson Welles's notorious 1939 radio play, The War of the Worlds, receives a staged treatment this season in the hands of composer Annie Gosfield, whose long-time exploration of radio sounds and signals makes her an ideal collaborator for such a work. The Los Angeles Philharmonic gives the premieres on November 18, with direction by Yuval Sharon.
Jonny Greenwood's Suite from ‘Inherent Vice’, based on his soundtrack to Paul Thomas Anderson's film adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel, debuts on December 8 at the Royal Festival Hall in London. Robert Ziegler conducts the BBC Concert Orchestra in the premiere.
Hans Werner Henze
The first scenic production of Hans Werner Henze's Das Floß der Medusa opens at the Dutch National Opera on March 13, 2018. Ingo Metzmacher conducts the orchestra, with direction by Romeo Castellucci.
Violionist James Ehnes gives the US premiere of Anders Hillborg’s Violin Concerto No. 2 with Osmo Vänskä leading the Minnesota Orchestra as part of its season opening concert on September 14.
Lunea, a new opera by Heinz Holliger, has its premiere production with Zurich Opera opening March 4, 2018.
Trio Tre Voci (Kim Kashkashian, viola; Marina Piccinini, flute; Sivan Magen, harp) debut Toshio Hosokawa's new work for flute, harp and viola on March 30, 2018 as part of the Festival del Centro Histórico de la Cuidad de Mexico, followed by the US premiere in Philadelphia on March 31, presented by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society.
Vijay Iyer's season kicks off with the release of a new ECM record, Far From Over, featuring the Vijay Iyer Sextet. The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra debuts Iyer's new orchestral work Asunder (October 26 in Carnegie Hall), and the composer sees the premiere of a new work for Sō Percussion (June 22, 2018) as well as a new piano quartet for the Lutoslawski String Quartet in Wroclaw, Poland, with the composer as pianist (November 18).
Louis Langrée leads the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in the world premiere performance of Pierre Jalbert's new orchestral work on April 14. Later this season, Jalbert's new work for piano and wind quintet has its debut at the Bennington Chamber Music Festival.
On September 23, director Yuval Sharon’s semi-staged digitally-animated production of Leoš Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen returns to The Cleveland Orchestra after its wildly successful premiere in 2014. Conducted by Franz Welser-Möst, the production runs for three performances and stars Martina Janková as Vixen, Alan Held as Forrester, Jennifer Johnson Cano as Fox and Andrew Foster-Williams as Harašta.
Nishat Khan performs the finale of his sitar concerto The Gate of the Moon with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra as part of their Celebrate Asia Festival on February 11, 2018.
Thomas Larcher's new orchestral work debuts with Andris Nelsons and the Gewandhausorchester on March 15, 2018, followed by an eight concert tour throughout Europe. Larcher's long awaited chamber opera, The Hunting Gun, has its premiere at the 2018 Bregenz Festival.
Pianist Jeremy Denk joins the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra for the world premiere of Hannah Lash's new concerto for piano and orchestra on May 25, 2018, led by Teddy Abrams. The Atlantic Classical Symphony also debut a new orchestral by Lash on April 4, 2018.
Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum presents a portrait concert of the music of Fred Lerdahl on October 5, featuring performances by the Daedalus Quartet, soprano Elizabeth Fischborn and bassist Edwin Barker (Boston Symphony Orchestra). Bridge Records releases Volume 5 of its Lerdahl Portrait album series, featuring recordings by Windscape, Quattro Mani and The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Choral directors will delight in knowing that British composer Alexander L'Estrange has penned a new Christmas-themed choral cycle Wassail! Carols of Comfort and Joy, which has its premiere in the UK this November. The work was commissioned by the educational charity United Learning.
Gil Rose leads the Boston Modern Orchestra Project in the world premiere of a major new orchestral work—A Thousand Mountains, A Million Streams—by Lei Liang. This season also includes the premiere of a new percussion and pipa duo for Steven Schick and Wu Man as part of the La Jolla Festival as well as a new work for piano four-hands debuted by the Zofo Piano Duo.
Following acclaimed performances in Berlin and London, Andrew Norman's family opera A Trip to the Moon has its US premiere on March 2, 2018 with Teddy Abrams leading the Los Angeles Philharmonic, directed by Yuval Sharon. Norman also sees the world premiere a new orchestral work for the Berlin Philharmonic (June 14, 2018) and the debut of his Cello Concerto with cellist Johannes Moser and Ludovic Morlot leading the Seattle Symphony (June 21, 2018).
Tobias Picker's most recent opera, Dolores Claiborne, commissioned and premiered by the San Francisco Opera in 2013, has its New York premiere in a new version for 14 players with the New York City Opera on October 22. Pacien Mazzagatti conducts with direction by Michael Capasso. This new version of Dolores Claiborne is a joint commission from the New York City Opera and the Opera Institute at Boston University.
Matthias Pintscher receives performances of his mar'eh with the Gulbenkian Orchestra (November 16), Los Angeles Philharmonic (January 5, 2018) and Concertgebouw Orchestra (February 1, 2018), as well as his bereshit with the Berlin Philharmonic (May 25, 2018).
This season, Bernard Rands receives the UK premiere of his recent Concerto for English Horn and Orchestra with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, and the PRISM Saxophone Quartet release the premiere recording of Rands's PRISM (Memo 6b) on the ensemble's own label XAS Records.
Aribert Reimann's latest opera, L'invisible, has its debut on October 8 at the Deutsche oper Berlin. The "Trilogie lyrique" is based on three plays by Maurice Maeterlinck and features direction by Vasily Barkhatov and conducted by Donald Runnicles.
The Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra debuts Kenji Sakai's new orchestral work, Symphony No. 1 "Spiritus", on November 17, as part of the composer's residency with the orchestra.
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra premieres Howard Shore's L'Aube, a new song cycle for mezzo-soprano and orchestra on October 19, featuring mezzo-soprano Susan Platts and conducted by Peter Oundjian.
September 30 marks the 80th birthday of Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov, who remains one of the world’s most revered and active contemporary composers. Notable performances of his work this season include pianist Jenny Lin's recital on November 12, part of Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival, which celebrates the composer’s own meditations on works by Mozart, Schubert, Chopin and others, as well as the world premiere of his Violin Concerto in Weimar, featuring the young celebrated violinist Valeriy Sokolov.
The Sochi Winter International Arts Festival (Russia) gives the world premiere of a new orchestral work by Alvin Singleton in February, 2018, conducted by Yuri Bashmet. Singleton joins the Festival as a guest composer to lead a series of master classes and lectures.
Fellow Travelers, Gregory Spears's "near perfect" and "seductively beautiful" opera based on the novel by Thomas Mallon, is given repeat performances this season at New York's Prototype Festival (January 12, 2018), Chicago Lyric Opera (March 17, 2018), and Minnesota Opera (June 16, 2018). Also this year, Spears's new work for baritone and piano debuts with Vocal Arts DC on April 28, 2018.
Huw Watkins sees the world premiere of a new orchestral work with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, conducted by Xian Zhang on January 19, 2018. The premiere of Watkins's ECHO, for soprano and piano, takes place at Carnegie Hall with soprano Ruby Hughes and pianist Julius Drake on October 13.
Major performances of works by Kurt Weill abound this season. Of note are productions of Aufstief und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny with Opera Zürich (November 5-24), Street Scene with Teatro Real in Madrid (February 13-June 1) and The Threepenny Opera with Boston Lyric Opera (March 16-25). Weill's Violin Concerto receives performances with soloist Erin Keefe and Osmo Vänskä leading the Minnesota Orchestra on March 15-17.
Andris Nelsons leads the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the world premeire of a new orchestral work by Jörg Widmann, March 29, 2018.
Ryan Wigglesworth serves as Artist-in-Residence with the 2018 Grafenegg Festival. The festival features two new works by the composer: a fanfare and a work for soprano and orchestra.
Christoph Eschenbach leads the Vienna Philharmonic in the world premiere of Herbert Willi's DSONG, for orchestra, on May 26, 2018.
The chamber version of Alexander Zemlinsky's one act opera, The Dwarf, receives its French premiere in a new production at Opéra de Lille opening November 16, directed by Daniel Jeanneteau and conducted by Franck Ollu.
Bernd Alois Zimmermann
2018 marks the centenary of the birth of Bernd Alois Zimmermann. Numerous performances celebrate the occasion, including the US premiere of the composer's Concerto for Cello and Orchestra "en forme de pas de trois" with the Los Angeles Philharmonic on January 19, 2018. Susanna Mälkki conducts with soloist Robert deMaine.