Carnegie Hall 2015–2016 Classical Music Preview

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Carnegie Hall’s 125th anniversary season is fast approaching, and we are looking forward to an exciting variety of new projects and exceptional programming! Listed below are classical music highlights at Carnegie Hall for the 2015–2016 season.

Carnegie Hall’s season begins on October 7 with the Opening Night Gala concert featuring the New York Philharmonic and Music Director Alan Gilbert, joined by renowned pianist and season-long Perspectives artist Evgeny Kissin. Mr. Kissin continues his Perspectives series appearing five more times in 2015-2016 as orchestra soloist, chamber musician, and recitalist, celebrating 25 years since his Carnegie Hall debut. Also on the Opening Night program: a world premiere from composer Magnus Lindberg, the first work in Carnegie Hall’s 125 Commissions Project, in which 125-plus new works will be commissioned over the next five seasons.

Also a Perspectives artist for the 2015–2016 season is conductor Sir Simon Rattle. Mr. Rattle’s Perspectives series spans two Carnegie Hall seasons beginning in November 2015 as he leads the Berliner Philharmoniker through Beethoven’s nine symphonies in five concerts over five consecutive days. (In addition, the season’s third Perspectives artist—singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash—curates her own series with a four-concert celebration of Southern roots music with appearances by special guests.)

Major programming initiatives in the new season include a residency by the Kronos Quartet as holder of the 2015–2016 Richard and Barbara Debs Creative Chair. The quartet’s residency includes a Carnegie Hall concert and a week-long workshop for young musicians. As part of Carnegie Hall’s 125 Commissions Project, Kronos launches its own Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire initiative.

Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute presents The Somewhere Project, a citywide creative learning project exploring West Side Story that culminates in a large-scale production of the famed musical at the Knockdown Center, a restored factory in Queens, in March 2016, conducted by Marin Alsop and directed by Amanda Dehnert.

On May 5, 2016, Carnegie Hall officially celebrates its 125th anniversary, 125 years to the day that Carnegie Hall first opened its doors, with an all-star gala featuring performances by Carnegie Hall’s Artist Trustees Martina Arroyo, Emanuel Ax, Renée Fleming, Marilyn Horne, Lang Lang, Yo-Yo Ma, Jessye Norman, and James Taylor.

Single tickets for Carnegie Hall presentations go on sale Monday, August 24 at 8 a.m. (with an early on-sale date of Monday, August 17 at 8 a.m. for subscribers and donors). Tickets can be purchased at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, by phone at CarnegieCharge (212-247-7800), or online at Subscription packages are currently available.

All performances take place in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage unless otherwise noted.
Click the date of a performance for complete program information.

  • Carnegie Hall launches its 2015–2016 season on October 7 with an Opening Night Gala concert featuring the New York Philharmonic and Music Director Alan Gilbert. The program includes Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with Perspectives artist Evgeny Kissin as well the world premiere of Vivo by Magnus Lindberg commissioned by Carnegie Hall, and Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé Suite No. 2. The Lindberg commission kicks off the Hall’s ambitious 125 Commissions Project, resulting in 125 or more new works by established and emerging composers to be premiered at the Hall between the 2015–2016 and 2019–2020 seasons.
  • The Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin appear at Carnegie Hall throughout the season beginning on October 13 for a concert featuring Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 2 with Gil Shaham. They return on January 14 with Jan Lisiecki as soloist in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58, and again on January 26 with symphonies by Haydn and Bruckner. On May 11, The Philadelphia Orchestra and Mr. Nézet-Séguin perform Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with Lang Lang, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 10 (Deryck Cooke performing edition).
  • Ensemble ACJW begins their season with a concert in Weill Recital Hall on October 19 that includes Schumann’s Märchenerzählungen, Op. 132, Timo Andres’s Piano Quartet, and Brahms’s Clarinet Quintet in B Minor, Op. 115. On December 1 the group returns to perform a program of works by Mozart, Schumann, and Mendelssohn, and, later in the season on February 15, the musicians perform the New York premiere of a new work by Ted Hearne, commissioned by Carnegie Hall, alongside works by Mozart, Beethoven, and Hummel.
  • Andris Nelsons leads the Boston Symphony Orchestra in three concerts from October 20–22 that include the New York premiere of Sebastian Currier’s Divisions; Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with Paul Lewis; a concert performance of Richard Strauss’s Elektra with soprano Christine Goerke in the title role; and Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky with mezzo-soprano Nadezhda Serdyuk and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus.
  • American Composers Orchestra returns to Carnegie Hall this season with two Orchestra Underground concerts in Zankel Hall led by George Manahan. The first, on October 23, features harpist Hannah Lash performing the world premiere of her own piece The Monster Harp, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall. The program also features baritone David Tinervia and includes world premieres by Nina C. Young, Conrad Winslow, and Melody Eötvös. The concert on April 1 features music inspired by Eastern culture with guest vocalist and ud player Mehmet Ali Sanlikol and bass-baritone Evan Hughes.
  • Pianist Lang Lang makes several appearances at Carnegie Hall this season, beginning with a solo recital program of works by Tchaikovsky, Bach, and Chopin on October 23. He also appears in Carnegie Hall’s 125th anniversary gala on May 5, and again with The Philadelphia Orchestra on May 11.
  • Violinist Gil Shaham performs a special program on October 25 in Zankel Hall entitled Bach Six Solos, featuring Bach’s complete solo Sonatas and Partitas, presented with new, original films by artist David Michalek, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall.
  • The Orchestra of St. Luke’s kicks off its three concert series on October 29 with Principal Conductor Pablo Heras-Casado leading Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64 with Christian Tetzlaff along with works by Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky. Their March 10 concert, also led by Heras-Casado, brings an all-Spanish program that highlights the talents of pianist Javier Perianes and flamenco singer Marina Heredia with works by Eduardo Toldrà, Manuel de Falla, and Joaquín Turina. Nicholas McGegan conducts the orchestra in its final concert of the season with guest mezzo-soprano Susan Graham in a program of works by Haydn and Purcell on April 7. The orchestra also performs a special Carnegie Hall Family Concert on April 10 with a new work by Caroline Shaw, The Mountain That Loved a Bird, musically illustrating two beloved children’s stories.
  • Evgeny Kissin’s season-long Perspectives series continues with a recital on November 3, which he will repeat for the first time in his career, with a second concert three nights later on November 6. The repertoire for Mr. Kissin’s recital will feature sonatas by Mozart and Beethoven, intermezzos by Brahms, and works by Albéniz and Larregla. Mr. Kissin is joined on December 3 by distinguished performers violinist Itzhak Perlman and cellist Mischa Maisky for piano trios by Schubert and Tchaikovsky. On December 16, Mr. Kissin performs in a special event celebrating Jewish artistic traditions, reciting some of his favorite Yiddish poetry by Polish author and playwright Yitzhak-Leybush Peretz and performing little-known solo piano works by notable Jewish composers. He completes his Carnegie Hall series playing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with James Levine and The MET Orchestra on May 19.
  • Pianist Yefim Bronfman performs the complete Prokofiev sonatas over three concerts at Carnegie Hall with the first two in Zankel Hall on November 13 and March 9, including violin sonatas with Guy Braunstein and the solo final recital in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage on May 7.
  • Perspectives artist Sir Simon Rattle leads the Berliner Philharmoniker in Beethoven’s nine symphonies in five concerts over five consecutive days beginning with Symphonies No. 1 and No. 3, “Eroica” on November 17. The orchestra’s residency concludes with a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with soprano Annette Dasch, mezzo-soprano Eva Vogel, tenor Christian Elsner, bass Dimitry Ivashchenko, and the Westminster Symphonic Choir on November 21. Visit for more information about the residency (November 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21).
  • The Cleveland Orchestra returns to Carnegie Hall for two concerts. The first, on January 17, led by Music Director Franz Welser-Möst, features Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 4 and the New York premiere of Hans Abrahamsen’s let me tell you with soloist Barbara Hannigan. The second on February 14 concert features two Mozart piano concertos with Mitsuko Uchida as both soloist and conductor.
  • The Song Continues, founded by mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne, is a series of master classes and performances dedicated to the art of the vocal recital. The series begins on January 19 with a recital by mezzo-soprano Sarah Nelson Craft and pianist Warren Jones in Weill Recital Hall and a master class with lyric baritone Sir Thomas Allen. Mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe hosts a master class in Zankel Hall on January 20, and on January 21 soprano Clarissa Lyons, tenor Miles Mykkanen, and pianist Ken Noda give a recital in Weill Recital Hall followed by a master class from Marilyn Horne. The week culminates with the Marilyn Horne Song Celebration on January 23, which includes arias performed by up-and-coming singers whom she has mentored, including soprano Julia Bullock, mezzo-soprano Daniela Mack, tenor Andrew Haji, bass-baritone Evan Hughes, pianists Keun-A Lee and Renate Rohlfing, and special guest soprano Nina Stemme in Zankel Hall.
  • On January 23, mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe invites the audience to sing along in Stephanie Blythe: Sing America! an interactive concert event that features beloved popular American songs from the turn of the 20th century.
  • Valery Gergiev conducts the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in three concerts commencing on February 26 with Wagner’s Overture to Der fliegende Holländer, Debussy’s La mer, and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. On February 27, soprano Heidi Melton is featured in selections from Wagner’s Götterdämmerung on a program that also includes the New York premiere of Olga Neuwirth’s Masaot / Clocks Without Hands, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall. The February 28 concert features Wagner’s Prelude and Good Friday Music from Parsifal and Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony.
  • On March 3, Music Director Osmo Vänskä leads the Minnesota Orchestra—Grammy Award winners for their recording of Sibelius symphonies—in a program featuring Sibelius’s symphonies nos. 1 and 3, plus the composer’s Violin Concerto with soloist Hilary Hahn.
  • As part of its multi-year project presenting Handel operas and oratorios in concert at Carnegie Hall, The English Concert and Artistic Director Harry Bicket offer a performance of Handel’s Orlando on March 13 with Iestyn Davies singing the title role, joined by Erin Morley as Angelica, Carolyn Sampson as Dorinda, Sasha Cooke as Medoro, and Kyle Ketelsen as Zoroastro.
  • A major highlight of the extensive education and community programs presented by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, The Somewhere Project, a citywide creative learning project and exploration of West Side Story that will engage students and community members through events in all five New York City boroughs, anchored by a large-scale professional-level production of the iconic musical March 4, 5, and 6 at the Knockdown Center, a restored factory in Queens, conducted by Marin Alsop and directed by Amanda Denhert.
  • Pianist Emanuel Ax makes several recital appearances at Carnegie Hall this season, the first on March 15 in Zankel Hall when he partners with violinist Pamela Frank for an all-Mozart program. He returns for two concerts in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage, first with celebrated cellist Yo-Yo Ma on April 15 for a performance of Beethoven’s complete cello sonatas, and second for a solo recital on April 27 with music by Beethoven, C.P.E. Bach, and Dussek.
  • After joining the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America on its inaugural tour to China in summer 2015, pianist YUNDI returns to Carnegie Hall for an all-Chopin solo recital on March 23.
  • On April 2, Kronos Quartet, holder of this season’s Richard and Barbara Debs Creative Chair, presents premieres of new works by Aleksandra Vrebalov, Yotam Haber, and Fodé Lassana Diabaté, part of Carnegie Hall’s 125 Commissions Project and Kronos’s Fifty for the Future. The concert also features the US premiere of Karin Rehnqvist’s All Those Strings! with guest kantele player Ritva Koistinen. Kronos also leads a week-long workshop for student and young professional quartets, presented by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, capped by a public performance in Zankel Hall on April 15.
  • As part of Carnegie Hall’s 125 Commissions Project, cutting-edge composer-performers Timo Andres and Gabriel Kahane each perform the New York premieres of their own works, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall, on April 7 in Zankel Hall. The artists partner for arrangements of songs and four-hand piano music by Bach, Britten, Ives, Thomas Adès, Andrew Norman, Kern, and others.
  • On April 30 Conductor Robert Spano leads the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in the New York premiere of Jonathan Leshnoff’s Zohar, a work co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of celebrated choral giant Robert Shaw. Soprano Jessica Rivera and baritone Nmon Ford, together with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus, join the orchestra for Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem.
  • Carnegie Hall’s 125th anniversary celebration reaches its pinnacle on Thursday, May 5, 2016—exactly 125 years to the day that the Hall first opened its doors—with an all-star gala featuring appearances by Carnegie Hall’s esteemed artist trustees: Martina Arroyo, Emanuel Ax, Renée Fleming, Marilyn Horne, Lang Lang, Yo-Yo Ma, Jessye Norman, and James Taylor.
  • The MET Orchestra returns with James Levine for three concerts over eight days starting on May 19, including programs featuring Perspectives artist Evgeny Kissin playing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2; soprano Renée Fleming, singing an all-Richard Strauss program on May 22; and soprano Christine Goerke and tenor Johan Botha performing excerpts from Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen on May 26.

Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.


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