This spring’s short list of essential premieres and composer spotlights includes new works from John Adams, Unsuk Chin, Steven Mackey, and Steve Reich; a David T. Little Miller Theatre Composer Portrait; a rare staging of Peter Maxwell Davies's Eight Songs for a Mad King; and a revival of Meredith Monk's stunning musical theatre piece ATLAS.
Michel van der Aa
Fans of Van der Aa’s captivating 2014 Violin Concerto for Janine Jansen will be thrilled to hear that the composer is back at it again, having written a new Double Concerto for violin, cello, and orchestra set to receive its North American premiere in June with the Vancouver Symphony led by Otto Tausk, featuring violinist Nicholas Wright and cellist Harriet Krijgh as soloists.
Jun 7-8: Double Concerto (North American Premiere) with Nicholas Wright, violin; Harriet Krijgh, cello; Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Otto Tausk
Superstar pianist Yuja Wang premieres John Adams’s new piano concerto Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes? with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, led by Gustavo Dudamel. Following the March premiere, the orchestra tours the new concerto to Asia.
Mar 7-10: Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes? (World Premiere) with Yuja Wang, piano; Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel
Just one month before Andriessen’s 80th birthday, Esa-Pekka Salonen leads mezzo-soprano Nora Fisher and members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the world premiere of The only one for jazz singer and large ensemble.
May 2-5: The only one (World Premiere) with Nora Fischer, vocals; Los Angeles Philharmonic and Esa-Pekka Salonen
Atlanta Symphony continues centennial celebrations throughout its spring season, including performances of Chichester Psalms, Three Meditations from MASS, and Symphonic Dances from West Side Story. Additional centennial programming is taking place at Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and The Philadelphia Orchestra, who presents an orchestral staging of Candide as its capstone celebration of the centennial.
Feb 8 / Feb 14-15 / Feb 21-22: Bernstein at 100 programming at Detroit
Mar 14-16: Chichester Psalms with Baltimore Symphony Orchestra & University of Maryland Concert Choir and Marin Alsop
Apr 11-14 / May 30-Jun 2: Bernstein at 100 programming at Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Jun 20-22: Candide with The Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin
In April, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla premiere a new orchestra work by Chin, which the composer has described as a “concerto for orchestra.”
Apr 5-7: new work (World Premiere) with Los Angeles Philharmonic and Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla
April sees the US premiere of Three Sisters, Clyne’s “exquisite mandolin concerto” (LA Times) written for Avi Avital, performed with Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Nicholas McGegan.
Clyne’s This Midnight Hour is the Berkeley Symphony’s season finale; the piece is accompanied by dancers onstage with original choreography by KT Nelson of ODC/Dance.
Apr 25-27: Three Sisters (US Premiere) with Avi Avital, mandolin; Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Nicholas McGegan
May 2: This Midnight Hour with Berkeley Symphony with Christian Reif
Jun 15-16: Masquerade with The Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Currier has triple world premieres this spring: Eleven Moons, commissioned for the 50th anniversary of Boston Musica Viva, features texts drawn from Sylvia Plath’s diaries and is written for soprano and small ensemble. This is followed by Anne-Sophie Mutter’s Carnegie Hall recital with pianist Lambert Orkis and cellist Daniel Müller-Schott; they premiere Ghost Trio, which weaves in fragments from trios by Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, and Brahms. In May, Currier’s skill for string writing and orchestration further shine in the world premiere of his violin concerto Aether featuring soloist Baibe Skride, co-commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra under Andris Nelsons's leadership.
Feb 2: Eleven Moons (World Premiere) with Zorana Sadiq, soprano, at Boston Musica Viva
Mar 12: Ghost Trio (World Premiere) with Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin; Lambert Orkis, piano; Daniel Müller-Schott, cello at Carnegie Hall
Mar 17: Ghost Trio with Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin; Lambert Orkis, piano; Daniel Müller-Schott, cello at Chicago Symphony Center
Apr 12-14: Divisions with Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Ludovic Morlot
May 2-4: Aether (World Premiere) with Baiba Skride, violin; Boston Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons
A fixture at Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York, Brett Dean is featured this April with a world premiere of a new work for clarinet, violin, cello and piano: Seven Signals.
Apr 5: Seven Signals (World Premiere) with Tommaso Lonquich, clarinet; Arnaud Sussmann, violin; Nicholas Canellakis, cello; Wu Qian, piano at Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
David Del Tredici
March sees the world premiere of MONSTERS, a substantial new solo piano work in two independent parts. The premiere at Columbia University’s Casa Italiana will feature two pianists—Eric Moe and Rob Frankenberry—each performing one of the parts. Additionally, the Albany Symphony, longtime champion of Del Tredici’s work, performs his large-scale Pop-Pourri for soprano solo, chorus, and orchestra, and records the work for future release.
Mar 27: MONSTERS (World Premiere) with Eric Moe and Rob Frankenberry, piano, at Columbia University’s Casa Italiana
Jun 1: Pop-Pourri with Albany Symphony Orchestra and David Alan Miller
Bernd Richard Deutsch
As The Cleveland Orchestra’s Daniel R. Lewis Young Composer Fellow, Bernd Richard Deutsch features in March, when the orchestra gives the US premiere of Okeanos, his 2015 organ concerto, featuring renowned organist Paul Jacobs as soloist.
Mar 14-17: Okeanos (US Premiere) with Paul Jacobs, organ; The Cleveland Orchestra and Franz Welser-Möst
Glanert’s Weites Land, which is subtitled "Music with Brahms" and draws thematic material from Brahms’s Fourth Symphony, receives more than 20 performances around the world this season with top orchestras led by Semyon Bychkov (Cleveland Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Berlin Philharmoniker, Munich Philharmoniker, Czech Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra) and Michael Sanderling, who leads the Dresdner Philharmonie on tour with the work in South America, with premieres in Argentina and Chile.
May 9-11: Weites Land with Cleveland Symphony Orchestra and Semyon Bychkov
David T. Little
A major spring highlight for the new music scene in New York City will be David T. Little’s Miller Theatre Composer Portrait, which features companion pieces AGENCY (New York premiere, performed by ACME) and haunt of last nightfall (performed by Third Coast Percussion).
Apr 18: Composer Portrait, featuring AGENCY (NY Premiere) with ACME and haunt of last nightfall with Third Coast Percussion at Miller Theatre
Steven Mackey fetes Michael Tilson Thomas’s 75th birthday and 25th anniversary as music director of the San Francisco Symphony with Portals, Scenes and Celebrations, a colorful, energetic work that receives its world premiere on February 7.
In April, Gustavo Dudamel leads the musicians from the Berlin Philharmonic in the world premiere of Mackey’s Measuring as part of the conductor’s residency at Princeton University.
Feb 7-9: Portals, Scenes and Celebrations (World Premiere) with San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas
Apr 23: Measuring (World Premiere) with musicians from the Berlin Philharmonic at Princeton University Concerts
Peter Maxwell Davies
In February, the New World Symphony presents a rare staging of Maxwell Davies’s Eight Songs for a Mad King (1969), a dark theatrical work for male voice and ensemble that portrays George III of England’s disturbing descent into madness. The performance features renowned Welsh baritone Kelvin Thomas, who has performed the role more than 100 times around the globe.
Feb 10: Eight Songs for a Mad King with Kelvin Thomas, baritone; musicians of the New World Symphony in Miami
The Los Angeles Philharmonic revives Meredith Monk 1991 opera ATLAS in a new production conceived and directed by Yuval Sharon and performed by LA Phil New Music Group. Inspired by the life of explorer Alexandra David-Néel, Monk’s landmark three-act opera meditates on the loss and rediscovery of our inherent wonder.
Jun 11-12: ATLAS (West Coast Premiere) with LA Phil New Music Group; Yuval Sharon, director; Paolo Bortolameolli, conductor
Reich/Richter is a collaborative art piece created by Steve Reich and artist Gerhard Richter for the opening of The Shed, a new multi-arts center in New York City opening in April. The installation explores the shared sensory language of visual art and music, and features live performance of a brand new Reich composition for large ensemble.
Additionally, following great success in Los Angeles and London in November, Music for Ensemble and Orchestra tours this spring to London, Australia, and San Francisco.
Apr 6-Jun 2: Reich/Richter (World Premiere) with Ensemble Signal and International Contemporary Ensemble at The Shed
Jun 20-22: Music for Ensemble and Orchestra with San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas
Nashville Symphony Orchestra performs (and records) a concert of Rouse works, including his acclaimed Concerto for Orchestra in April. The live recording of the performance will be made available for future release.
Apr 11-13: Concerto for Orchestra with Nashville Symphony and Giancarlo Guerrero
When Mark Simpson’s The Immortal premiered in 2015 with the BBC Philharmonic, The Guardian called it a “blazingly original oratorio.” It travels to the Cincinnati May Festival for its US Premiere, performed by standout baritone Rod Gilfry and dynamic new music group Roomful of Teeth alongside the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and May Festival Chorus, conducted by Juanjo Mena.
May 17: The Immortal (US Premiere) with Rod Gilfry, baritone; Roomful of Teeth; May Festival Chorus; Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; Juanjo Mena at the Cincinnati May Festival
Martland Memorial, featuring Colin Currie as percussion soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra in March, receives its US premiere in March. It was written as a tribute to composer and close friend Steve Martland.
In May, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center presents the world premiere of Massarosa, written for bassoon and string quartet.
Mar 14-16: Martland Memorial (US Premiere) with Colin Currie, percussion; Minnesota Orchestra and Osmo Vänskä
May 16: Massarosa (World Premiere) with Peter Kolkay, Bassoon; Calidore String Quartet at Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
Los Angeles Master Chorale give the world premiere of resident artist Eric Whitacre’s Sacred Veil. Whitacre collaborates with poet Charles Anthony Silvestri to create this choral concert work that explores the fragile line between love and loss.
In April, Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) presents "The Music of Eric Whitacre." The composer takes to the stage of Carnegie Hall, leading the choir of singers from around the world in a program of his choral works.
Feb 16-17: Sacred Veil (World Premiere) with Los Angeles Master Chorale
Apr 28: “The Music of Eric Whitacre” with DCINY and Eric Whitacre at Carnegie Hall
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