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On the Aisle



Carnegie Hall 's 2001-2002 Season Announced

By Philip Anson /January 9, 2001
On the Aisle

On January 9, 2001, Carnegie Hall held its annual press conference to announce the coming 2001-2002 season. The luncheon event was attended by more journalists than usual, since it was the first time the media had access to Carnegie Hall personnel in the wake of the sudden resignation of executive director Franz Xavier Ohnesorg. In a prepared statement, Ohnesorg wrote: "Although it is too early to summarize my experience at Carnegie Hall since my appointment in January 1999, I am proud to say that the upcoming 2001-2002 season reflects the highest calibre of artistic programming."

A reporter asked about the officially commissioned internal report on the Ohnesorg Crisis, but Carnegie Hall president Isaac Stern described the document as a private, internal memo which would not be made public. Then he firmly stated that today's conference was to announce next season, not to discuss Ohnesorg. Stern had similarly stifled the New York Times reporter's inquiry a week previously in a manner that Britain's financial Post described as "snippy and condescending. (Stern said: "That's our business, my dear. I'm not going to discuss it with you. Healing is what we do, and that will be seen by our actions.") The three dozen journalists present sheepishly remained silent, though privately there were complaints that Carnegie Hall had conducted Ohnesorg's trial, verdict, and sentence in private, leaving the media and the public in the dark about what he had done to deserve dismissal. The fact that Carnegie Hall is owned by the city of New York, and is in some ways a public entity, made this lack of transparency problematic.

The good news is that next year's musical season (the first and last year that Ohnesorg programmed) is more star-studded than ever, with an abundance of interesting programming. Commissions and world premieres include new works by John Adams, Krzysztof Penderecki, William Bolcom, Marc-André Dalbavie, Francis Thorne, Tod Machover, and Philip Glass, whose Symphony No. 6, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall and the Bruckner Orchestra, Linz in honor of his 65th birthday, will be performed by the American Composers Orchestra.

Carnegie Hall's Perspectives series of artist collaborations, launched in the 1999-2000 season, will continue in 2001-2002 with pianist Martha Argerich, violinist Gidon Kremer, conductor James Levine, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble. Daniel Barenboim, who dominated the current season with his own underwhelming Perspectives series, returns just twice next year conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Ms. Argerich will perform in seven concerts as part of her Perspectives series. They will include duo recitals with pianist Nelson Freire and with cellist Mischa Maisky; an evening of chamber music with some of her closest musical associates; a trio evening with violinist Gidon Kremer and cellist Mischa Maisky; two concerts with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal; and one with The Philadelphia Orchestra. All three orchestral concerts will be conducted by Charles Dutoit.

As part of the two-year Perspectives: James Levine Series, the conductor will bring the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra in its only U.S. appearances this season and for what will be its first visit to the U.S. since Maestro Levine was named its Music Director. In addition, he will perform in concerts with The MET Orchestra, The MET Chamber Ensemble, and in an open rehearsal with the UBS Verbier (Switzerland) Festival Youth Orchestra for what will be the first of an ongoing series of teaching events. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma will perform in a series of concerts and events involving his Silk Road Project, a far-reaching program exploring musical and cultural traditions along the ancient trade route.

Violinist Gidon Kremer's Perspectives series begins a multi-year series with four concerts during the 2001-2002 season, which will include two with the KREMERata Baltica, a trio concert with pianist Martha Argerich and cellist Mischa Maisky, and a performance by members of the Kremerata Musica ensemble of Haydn's Seven Last Words of Christ in St. Paul's Chapel at Columbia University, presented in association with Columbia's Miller Theatre.

As part of his Silk Road Project, which promotes research and communication between Eastern and Western cultures, cellist Yo-Yo Ma appears in a Perspectives series of performances with the Silk Road Ensemble – a handpicked group of musicians brought together from Asia, the Middle East, and the United States – exploring the indigenous musical traditions of such countries as China, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, and Persia. The programs will feature newly created works for indigenous instruments and Western chamber ensembles, commissioned from some of the best present-day composers living along the Silk Road.

Great Orchestras Series

Claudio Abbado, in his last Carnegie Hall concerts as Music Director and Conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra before Sir Simon Rattle takes over, will conduct the ensemble in three performances. The Philadelphia Orchestra will perform 7 concerts. Programs include Béla Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle (12/04/01); an all-Beethoven program with pianist Murray Perahia (1/22/02); Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto with Vadim Repin; Mahler's Symphony No. 5 (3/19/02); Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1 with Martha Argerich; a new work by Penderecki performed by Emanuel Ax; and Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 27 with Maurizio Pollini.

The Kirov Orchestra led by Music Director and Conductor Valery Gergiev, performs three times. Christoph von Dohnányi conducts The Cleveland Orchestra in his farewell concerts (1/24, 1/25, 1/26/02). The MET Orchestra welcomes guest artists include soprano Renée Fleming (1/27/02), soprano Hei-Kyung Hong, tenor Ian Bostridge, and bass René Pape (5/5/02), and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet (5/19/02). Christoph Eschenbach, in his new role as Music Director and Conductor of the Orchestre de Paris, conducts two concerts with the ensemble, featuring the French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard (1/29-30/02). The Munich Philharmonic Orchestra plays three concerts with James Levine (2/15-16-17/02). Other orchestras include the West German Radio Orchestra Cologne, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra; National Orchestra of Catalonia ; Israel Philharmonic Orchestra; Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra; ; Royal Concertgebouw; Sydney Symphony Orchestra; Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; National Symphony Orchestra; New York String Orchestra; Orchestra of St. Luke's; Orpheus; Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra; San Francisco Symphony; and The American Composers Orchestra.

Solo recitals will be given by: soprano Barbara Bonney (2/20/02); baritones Thomas Hampson (10/10/01), Dmitri Hvorostovsky (12/16/01), Matthias Goerne (4/19/02), and Bryn Terfel (3/3/02). Vocalists appearing as part of the Great Artists in Recital series this season are bass-baritone Bryn Terfel and tenor José Carreras, who will be performing with the Orchestra of St. Luke's in a program that includes songs by Verdi and Falla as arranged by Luciano Berio. Sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar will play his Carnegie Hall farewell concert.

Among the keyboard artists performing Carnegie Hall recitals are pianists Evgeny Kissin (10/31/01), Ivan Moravec (11/27/01), Pierre-Laurent Aimard (12/3/01), Radu Lupu (1/23/02), Garrick Ohlsson (2/25/02), András Schiff (3/5/02), Murray Perahia (4/21/02), Alfred Brendel (4/24/02), Krystian Zimerman (4/28/02), and Maurizio Pollini (5/12/02).

Choral highlights include James Conlon conducting the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati May Festival Chorus in Benjamin Britten's War Requiem, Op. 66 (10/9/01); Sir André Previn will conduct the Orchestra of St. Luke's, with soprano Barbara Bonney and bass-baritone David Wilson Johnson, in a performance of Brahms' A German Requiem, Op. 45; Riccardo Chailly leads the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Mahler's Symphony No. 2 (Resurrection) (2/6/02); Mariss Jansons, Music Director and Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, will lead performances of Christopher Rouse's Rapture and Michael Hersch's Symphony No. 2 (both in their New York premieres), and Mozart's Requiem, K.626. The soloists will be Hei-Kyung Hong, soprano, Susanne Mentzer, mezzo-soprano, Christian Elsner, tenor, John Relyea, bass-baritone, with The Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh (4/30/02).

Canadian artists appearing next season include: soprano Isabel Baykardian making her Weill Recital Hall debut (12/14/01); Russell Braun, baritone, in his Weill Recital Hall debut with his wife pianist Carolyn Maule (4/26/02); tenor Ben Heppner solo recital (2/11/02); baritone John Relyea soloing with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in Christopher Rouse's Rapture and Michael Hersch's Symphony No. 2 and Mozart's Requiem. Charles Dutoit and the Montreal Symphony make their annual visit (10/27, 28/01). Tenor Michael Schade joins the San Francisco Symphony and Thomas Hampson February 13, 2002, for the baritone/ tenor version of Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde.

The complete season schedule is available online at the Carnegie Hall web site, Tickets are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street. They also may be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at (212) 247-7800, or purchased online. In addition, by a new policy started last year, 72 tickets in the Rear Balcony and Dress Circle, priced at $10, will be available every Saturday at 11:00 AM for all Carnegie Hall Corporation presentations taking place in Isaac Stern Auditorium the following Sunday through Saturday. The exceptions are Carnegie Hall Family Concerts and gala events. These $10 tickets are available to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis at the Carnegie Hall Box Office only. There is a two-ticket limit per customer.

Copyright by Philip Anson


(c) La Scena Musicale 2000