MUSIC DIRECTOR ANDRIS NELSONS CONDUCTS THREE WEEKS OF PROGRAMS WITH THE BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA AT SYMPHONY HALL, FEBRUARY 24–MARCH 12; BSO.ORG
Andris Nelsons, Anu Komsi, Leonidas Kavakos, Baiba Skride
Andris Nelsons Leads the World Premiere of the Orchestral Version of Kaija Saariaho’s Saarikoski Songs, with Soprano Anu Komsi in her BSO Debut, on a Program with Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with Violinist Baiba Skride, Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite, and Arvo Pärt’s Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten
Thursday and Saturday, February 24 and 26, at 8 p.m.; Friday, February 25, at 8 p.m. (Casual Friday), Tuesday, March 1, at 8 p.m.
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Violinist Leonidas Kavakos Joins the BSO for the U.S. Premiere of Unsuk Chin‘s Violin Concerto No. 2 on a Program that Includes Ives’ The Unanswered Question and Berlioz’s Sweeping Symphonie fantastique, under the Direction of Mr. Nelsons
Thursday and Saturday, March 3 and 5, at 8 p.m.; Friday, March 4, at 1:30 p.m.; Friday, March 11, at 8 p.m. (Casual Friday)
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Opera Works in Concert Return to the BSO with an Andris Nelsons-Led Performance of Berg’s 20th-Century Masterpiece Wozzeck, Featuring Danish Baritone Bo Skovhus in the Title Role and Soprano Christine Goerke as Marie
Thursday and Saturday, March 10 and 12, at 8 p.m.
Andris Nelsons, Christine Goerke, Bo Skovhus
BSO EVENTS TAKING PLACE IN FEBRUARY AND MARCH, FREE ADMISSION
• As part of the BSO’s concert stream releases over the next few weeks, available at bso.org/now, the BSO will present a Family Concert led by Thomas Wilkins and featuring composer and electric bass virtuoso Victor Wooten performing his own concerto La Lección Tres, on a program with works by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Duke Ellington, free for viewing February 17–March 19
• Celebrating the five-year-old alliance between the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Leipzig Week returns with concerts and events at the Goethe-Institut and Symphony Hall, February 28–March 5; details about Leipzig Week, taking place in connection with the U.S. premiere of Unsuk Chin’s Violin Concerto No. 2 (co-commissioned by the BSO, GHO, and London Symphony), appear at the end of this press release
• A BSO Community Chamber Concert at the Fenway Center (77 St. Stephen St., Boston) on February 25 features music by Clara and Robert Schumann and Mendelssohn; a program listing appears at the end of this press release
Thomas Wilkins, Victor Wooten, Unsuk Chin
TICKETS FOR THE 2021–22 BSO SEASON, STARTING AT $25, ARE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE THROUGH BSO.ORG OR BY CALLING 888-266-1200
Program Details for BSO Concerts with Andris Nelsons, Baiba Skride, and Anu Komsi, February 24–March 1
BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons is joined by his compatriot, Latvian violinist Baiba Skride (right), for Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1, which was written in the late 1940s but only premiered in 1955, after Stalin’s death helped relax the constraints on artistic expression in the USSR. Composed for and dedicated to David Oistrakh, the concerto contains a version of the composer’s musical "signature," suggesting that was a work of powerful personal importance. Opening the program is the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt’s poignant homage to Shostakovich’s great friend, the English composer Benjamin Britten.
Finnish soprano Anu Komsi makes her BSO debut in the world premiere of (left) Kaija Saariaho’s own orchestrations of her song cycle on poems of the great 20th-century Finnish poet Pentti Saarikoski. Saariaho wrote the original piano and voice versions of these songs for Anu Komsi. The Suite from Stravinsky’s 1909 ballet score The Firebird closes the program. The composer’s astonishingly imaginative orchestration perfectly captured the magical atmosphere of this Russian legend, and the Ballets Russes premiere in Paris swept the composer to worldwide fame. The February 25 performance is part of our Casual Fridays series, which offers audiences a more informal concert experience, including a post-performance conversation with Baiba Skride and introductory remarks by BSO double bassist Benjamin Levy. Please note that the concert program, played without intermission, will include only performances of the Pärt, Shostakovich, and Stravinsky.
Program Details for BSO Concerts with Andris Nelsons and Leonidas Kavakos, March 3–5 & 11
Music Director Andris Nelsons is joined by one of his frequent collaborators, violinist Leonidas Kavakos, for the American premiere of celebrated Korean-German composer Unsuk Chin’s Violin Concerto No. 2, Scherben der Stille ("Shards of Silence"). Co-commissioned for Mr. Kavakos by the BSO, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, and the London Symphony Orchestra, where it received its world premiere on January 6, the concerto receives its U.S. premiere with these Symphony Hall performances. Chin won the prestigious Grawemeyer Award in 2004 for her first violin concerto. To mark the occasion of this collaboration between the BSO and GHO, the performances will be preceded by Leipzig Week events at the Goethe-Institut Boston (complete schedule at the end of the release).
Also on the program and a staple of the BSO’s repertoire for generations, Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique virtually defined the emotional intensity of musical Romanticism while also vastly expanding orchestral virtuosity. Opening the program is the American composer Charles Ives’ mysterious, innovative tone poem The Unanswered Question (1908), which features a striking solo trumpet part. The March 11 performance is part of our Casual Fridays series and will include only performances of the Ives and Berlioz.
Program Details for BSO Concerts with Andris Nelsons, Bo Skovhus, and Christine Goerke, March 10 & 12
Andris Nelsons and the BSO continue the orchestra’s tradition of presenting great operatic works in concert with Alban Berg’s modernist masterpiece Wozzeck, which follows recent performances of early 20th-century operas by Richard Strauss and Puccini as well as complete acts from Wagner’s music dramas. First performed in 1925 and based on Georg Büchner’s mid-19th century play, Wozzeck uses a kaleidoscopic variety of musical means to relate the story a lowly soldier whose anxious, introspective humanity conflicts tragically with the circumstances of his life. The title role is sung by an acknowledged champion of the role, Danish baritone Bo Skovhus (right). The outstanding cast also includes soprano Christine Goerke in her role debut as Marie (complete cast in listing at the end of the release). This concert performance is sung in German with English supertitles.
COVID-19 pandemic protocols for Symphony Hall performances and events are available at bso.org/safety.
BSO NOW Concert Streaming in 2021–22 Season
The Andris Nelsons and Leonidas Kavakos BSO program will be available as a BSO NOW livestream on Saturday, March 4 at 8 p.m., and for video-on-demand viewing, March 17–April 16, at bso.org/now. Current BSO NOW concert streams available include January 15’s BSO concert with BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, available through February 26; December 12’s Tanglewood Learning Institute chamber music program with violinist Yevgeny Kutik, BSO principal bass Edwin Barker, and pianist Anna Polonsky, available through March 5; and an archival January 1978 performance of Colin Davis leading the BSO in Michael Tippett’s A Child of Our Time, available through March 12.
In addition, the BSO will present for free viewing February 17–March 19 a Family Concert that was originally broadcast as a BSO NOW livestream on October 30, 2021: BSO Germeshausen Youth and Family Concerts Conductor Thomas Wilkins joined by composer and electric bass virtuoso Victor Wooten for Wooten’s concerto La Lección Tres. The program also includes Wilkins conducting the BSO in Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Suite from the ballet Hiawatha and Duke Ellington’s Suite from The River.
Click here for further details about the 2021–22 BSO NOW online performance series.
Please note that as of January 6, the season pass price for BSO NOW access is reduced to $50 for the remainder of season (through the April 21 release which expires on May 21). Donors and subscribers will still receive 15% off ($42.50). For more information or to purchase a BSO NOW pass, please go to bso.org/bso-now.
In addition, CRB Classical 99.5, a GBH station—celebrating their 70th anniversary of presenting Boston Symphony Orchestra concerts—will feature live BSO radio broadcasts and online audio streams (classicalwcrb.org) of Saturday-evening concerts from Symphony Hall at 8 p.m., October 2-April 30.
BSO Conductor Titles and Artist Websites:
Andris Nelsons is the Ray and Maria Stata BSO Music Director; Thomas Wilkins is the Artistic Advisor, Education and Community Engagement, Boston Symphony Orchestra and Germeshausen Youth and Family Concerts Conductor. Links to artist websites:
Andris Nelsons, Baiba Skride, Anu Komsi, Leonidas Kavakos, Bo Skovhus, Christine Goerke, Boston Symphony Orchestra
Ticket Information, Discounted Programs, and the BSO’s Website and Social Media Channels
Tickets for the 2021–22 BSO season, starting at $25, are available for purchase through bso.org or by calling 888-266-1200. Click here for additional ticketing information, including details on the BSO’s discounted ticket programs—the High School and College Cards, $25 tickets for patrons under 40, Rush Tickets, EBT Card to Culture, and Group Sales—as well as access information for patrons with disabilities.
Further details about the BSO’s many activities and ticketing options are available at bso.org. Patrons can also interact with the Boston Symphony Orchestra on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/bostonsymphony); Twitter (https://twitter.com/BostonSymphony); Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/bostonsymphony/); and LinkedIn (https://linkedin.com/company/boston-symphony-orchestra/mycompany).
Longstanding major corporate partner Bank of America returns as the BSO Lead Season Sponsor for the 2021–22 season.
The BSO is proud to announce that the Arbella Insurance Foundation, a longtime sponsor, is continuing its major sponsorship for the 16th season with its support of new audience development initiatives. The BSO is also delighted to have Fairmont Copley Plaza in its 20th season as the Official Hotel of the BSO.
LINKS TO ADDITIONAL PROGRAM INFORMATION ABOUT THE 2021–22 BSO SEASON:
Complete 2021-22 Season Listing
Andris Nelsons-Led Programs in 2021-22 season