BSO Music Director James Levine will open the Boston Symphony Orchestraís 127th season on Thursday, October 4, leading mezzo-soprano Susan Graham and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet in an all-Ravel program, and will close the 2007-08 season seven months later with rare concert performances of Berliozí epic opera, The Trojans. The BSOís 2007-08 season will feature some of the most colossal works for orchestra, including Smetanaís M· Vlast; Bachís St. Matthew Passion; Elgarís The Dream of Gerontius; Mussorgskyís Pictures at an Exhibition; Debussyís La Mer; Saint-SaÎnsí Symphony No. 3, Organ; three Mahler symphonies; and three Strauss tone poems, as well as performances of new and recent works by William Bolcom, Elliott Carter, Brett Dean, Henri Dutilleux, Michael Gandolfi, Osvaldo Golijov, and John Harbison. The new season also offers an impressive roster of many of the worldís best-known conductors, including BSO Conductor Emeritus Bernard Haitink, Sir Colin Davis, Christoph von Dohn·nyi, Charles Dutoit, Mark Elder, Rafael Fr¸hbeck de Burgos, Daniele Gatti, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, and Marek Janowski. Julian Kuerti and Markus Stenz make their debuts on the BSO podium.

HIGHLIGHTS OF JAMES LEVINEíS 2007-08 BSO SEASON
Highlights of Maestro Levineís fourth season as BSO Music Director include Debussyís La Mer, Smetanaís M· Vlast, and Mahlerís First and Ninth symphonies, as well as Mahlerís Das Lied von der Erde. Mr. Levine leads the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the world premieres of Elliott Carterís Horn Concerto, John Harbisonís Symphony No. 5 - both BSO commissions - and the world premiere of William Bolcomís Symphony No. 8, for chorus and orchestra, a BSO 125th Anniversary Commission, as well as the American premiere of Henri Dutilleuxís Le Temps líHorloge, for soprano and orchestra, a BSO 125th Anniversary Co-commission. In addition, he conducts back-to-back Brahms programs with pianist Evgeny Kissin performing the composerís Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2. Rounding out an ambitious and musically varied season, Maestro Levine also appears at the piano, in recital with German bass-baritone Thomas Quasthoff, performing Schubertís Winterreise.

ACCLAIMED GUEST ARTISTS AT SYMPHONY HALL
Next season also brings an exceptionally talented lineup of world-renowned pianists to perform with the BSO, including such artists as Leif Ove Andsnes, Leon Fleisher, Randall Hodgkinson, Evgeny Kissin, Garrick Ohlsson, Andr·s Schiff, Peter Serkin, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Mitsuko Uchida, and Lars Vogt. Additional featured artists include cellists Yo-Yo Ma and Truls M¯rk, BSO principal harpist Ann Hobson Pilot, harpsichordist Mark Kroll, BSO principal horn James Sommerville, and violinists Isabelle Faust, Vivian Hagner, Vadim Repin, Christian Tetzlaff, and Frank Peter Zimmermann. Many of classical musicís leading vocalists will also appear with the orchestra, including tenor Johan Botha, mezzo-soprano Jane Bunnell, mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly, baritone Dwayne Croft, tenor Eric Cutler, bass-baritone Gerald Finley, soprano RenÈe Fleming, tenor Marcello Giordani, mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey, mezzo-soprano Yvonne Naef, tenor Ronald Naldi, mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter, bass Eric Owens, bass-baritone Thomas Quasthoff, mezzo-soprano Wendy White, and bass Kwangchul Youn. In a special one-night-only event, the SimÛn BolÌvar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela and Gustavo Dudamel comes to Symphony Hall to perform BartÛkís Concerto for Orchestra, Bernsteinís Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, and a selection of South American works at 8 p.m. on November 7. The SimÛn BolÌvar Youth Orchestra is the flagship ensemble of Venezuelaís unique and inspiring system of music education and performance. For three decades, ìEl Sistemaî has been making classical musicians out of half a million young Venezuelans, transforming the lives of that nationís poorest youth. Among its most important alumni is the high-profile young conductor, Mr. Dudamel, who is building a strong international reputation and made his BSO debut at Tanglewood in August 2006 at age 25. This concert is presented by the New England Conservatory in association with the Celebrity Series and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

NEW WORKS FOR THE BSO
Continuing the Boston Symphony Orchestraís proud and longstanding tradition of introducing new music from the worldís most important composers, the 2007-08 season will feature the world premieres of three new works by Elliott Carter, John Harbison, and William Bolcom, all BSO commissions. The BSO also gives the American premieres of a new work by Henri Dutilleux, a BSO 125th Anniversary Co-commission, and Australian composer Brett Deanís The Lost Art of Letter Writing with violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann, for whom the work was written. Other contemporary works featured next season include Michael Gandolfiís The Garden of Cosmic Speculation and Osvaldo Golijovís Ausencia, for cello and strings, with Yo-Yo Ma.

MAJOR ORCHESTRAL WORKS TO BE PERFORMED AT SYMPHONY HALL
In what will surely be a high point of the season, BSO Conductor Emeritus Bernard Haitink leads three performances of J.S. Bachís St. Matthew Passion with a cast of vocalists that includes tenor Ian Bostridge (Evangelist), baritone Thomas Bauer (Jesus), soprano Marlis Petersen, mezzo-soprano Christianne Stotijn, and tenor Steven Davislim, as well as the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, John Oliver, conductor, and the PALS Childrenís Chorus, Jennifer Kane, artistic director. Sir Colin Davis leads Elgarís The Dream of Gerontius, a deeply moving work for which the BSO is joined by mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly, tenor Ben Heppner, bass-baritone Gerald Finley, and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, John Oliver, conductor. Rafael Fr¸hbeck de Burgos leads the Boston Symphony Orchestra in three of Straussí tone poems, Don Juan, Till Eulenspiegelís Merry Pranks, and An Alpine Symphony, as well as Mussorgskyís Pictures at an Exhibition and Rachmaninoffís Piano Concerto No. 2 with Leif Ove Andsnes. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma reprises his performance of Osvaldo Golijovís Azul, for cello and orchestra, the Symphony Hall premiere of a BSO 125th Anniversary Commission that received its world premiere last August at Tanglewood. This program will also include Golijovís Ausencia, for cello and strings, also with Yo-Yo Ma as soloist. Symphony Hallís 67-stop Aeolian-Skinner organ is spotlighted twice in next seasonís programming, with Simon Preston joining the BSO for Poulencís Concerto for Organ, Timpani, and Strings, and James David Christie joining the BSO for Saint-SaÎnsí Symphony No. 3, Organ.

JAMES LEVINEíS FULL SEASON WITH THE BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
The Opening Night at Symphony gala concert (October 4) features BSO Music Director James Levine leading mezzo-soprano Susan Graham as soloist with the BSO in the song cycle ShÈhÈrazade, as well as Jean-Yves Thibaudet in Ravelís Piano concerto in G. The program also includes Alborada del gracioso and Daphnis et ChloÈ, Suite No. 2. Mr. Thibaudet reprises Ravelís Piano Concerto in G for the first BSO subscription program of the 2007-08 season (October 5-6), on which the Tanglewood Festival Chorus joins the BSO for a complete performance of Daphnis et ChloÈ under the baton of James Levine. Alborada del gracioso and Pavane for a Dead Princess round out the all-Ravel program. Christian Tetzlaff joins Maestro Levine for Bergís Violin Concerto on a program that closes with Mahlerís Symphony No. 9, the first of three major Mahler pieces Levine leads this season (November 8-10). The November 13 program is solely Mahlerís Ninth Symphony, his final completed work in the genre. BSO principal horn James Sommerville performs the world premiere of Elliott Carterís Horn Concerto, a Boston Symphony Orchestra commission (November 15-20). Spanning more than two centuries of music, the program also includes Haydnís Symphony No. 104, London, and Mahlerís monumental Symphony No. 1 under the baton of Maestro Levine.

Maestro Levine next leads the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Smetanaís complete M· Vlast, a cycle of six tone poems inspired by the Bohemian countryside and rarely performed complete. These will be the first BSO performances of the complete work at Symphony Hall in 35 years. In an all-French program reinforcing the BSOís proud tradition of performing French orchestral music, the Boston Symphony Orchestra led by James Levine gives the American premiere of Henri Dutilleuxís Le Temps líHorloge, a BSO 125th Anniversary Co-commission with the Saito Kinen Festival and Radio France (November 29-December 1). Soprano RenÈe Fleming joins Maestro Levine and the BSO for a set of orchestral Duparc songs on this same program, which also includes orchestral excerpts from Berliozí RomÈo et Juliette and Debussyís La Mer. Violinist Isabelle Faust makes her BSO debut with pianist Peter Serkin in Bergís Chamber Concerto for piano and violin with thirteen wind instruments (February 20-26). Maestro Levine and the orchestra bookend the concerto with Mozartís Symphony No. 29 and Brahmsí Serenade No. 2. Maestro Levine leads the BSO in two all-Brahms programs, both featuring Evgeny Kissin as soloist in both of Brahmsí piano concertos, paired in each case with the composerís Symphony No. 3. Mr. Kissin performs Brahmsí Piano Concerto No. 2 on the first program (April 8-9) and Piano Concerto No. 1 on the second (April 11-12). The Boston Symphony Orchestra will give the world premiere of John Harbisonís Symphony No. 5, a BSO commission, with mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey and baritone Nathan Gunn under the baton of Maestro Levine (April 17-18). The program closes with the BSOís third Mahler work of the season, the composerís ìsong-symphonyî Das Lied von der Erde, with mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter and tenor Johan Botha. Maestro Levine also leads the Boston Symphony Orchestra in its final program of the 2007-08 season, ambitious concert performances of Berliozí Les Troyens (The Trojans), inspired by Virgilís Aeneid. This marks the first time the BSO has presented a complete performance of this epic, five-act opera, which was never performed in its entirety during Berliozí lifetime. It is also the only major Berlioz work the BSO has never previously performed. Berliozí four-and-a-half hour Romantic work will be sung in French with English supertitles and presented in two parts - Part I, The Capture of Troy (April 22-26), and Part II, The Trojans at Carthage (April 30-May 2) - and then in its entirety on Sunday, May 4, with Part I at 3 p.m. and Part II at 6:30 p.m. An illustrious cast of vocalists joins the BSO in this mammoth undertaking, including tenor Marcello Giordani (Aeneas), mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter (Dido), mezzo-soprano Yvonne Naef (Cassandra and Ghost of Cassandra), baritone Dwayne Croft (Chorebus and Ghost of Chorebus), bass Kwangchul Youn (Narbal), bass-baritone Clayton Brainerd (Pantheus), mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey (Ascanius), mezzo-soprano Wendy White (Anna), mezzo-soprano Jane Bunnell (Hecuba), tenor Eric Cutler (Iopas), tenor Kenneth Tarver (Hylas), tenor Ronald Naldi (Helenus), bass Eric Owens (Ghost of Hector), and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, John Oliver, conductor.

MAESTRO LEVINE PERFORMS WITH THOMAS QUASTHOFF
For what is sure to be a memorable performance of the 2007-08 season at Symphony Hall, bass-baritone Thomas Quasthoff sings Schubertís powerful song cycle Winterreise, with James Levine at the piano (February 24). Later the same week, Mr. Quasthoff appears with Maestro Levine and the BSO to sing five Schubert songs orchestrated by various composers: Tr‰nenregen (orch. Webern), Prometheus (orch. Reger), Der Wegweiser (orch. Webern), St‰ndchen (orch. Offenbach), and Erlkˆnig (orch. Reger). This program also includes the world premiere of William Bolcomís Symphony No. 8 with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, a BSO 125th Anniversary Commission, and Schubertís Symphony No. 4, Tragic (February 28-March 1).

CONDUCTOR EMERITUS BERNARD HAITINK
In a 2007-08 season highlight, BSO Conductor Emeritus Bernard Haitink leads J.S. Bachís Baroque masterpiece St. Matthew Passion (March 20-22). The Boston Symphony Orchestra will be joined in these performances by tenor Ian Bostridge (Evangelist), baritone Thomas Bauer (Jesus), soprano Marlis Petersen, mezzo-soprano Christianne Stotijn, tenor Steven Davislim, bass-baritone Peter Harvey, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, John Oliver, conductor, and the PALS Childrenís Chorus, Jennifer Kane, artistic director. Maestro Haitink returns the following week to conduct the BSO and Andr·s Schiff in BartÛkís Piano Concerto No. 3 on a program that closes with Schubertís Symphony in C, The Great (March 27-29).

GUEST CONDUCTORS AND SOLOISTS
Robert Spano, music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and a former BSO assistant conductor, leads the orchestra and Simon Preston in Poulencís Concerto for Organ, Timpani, and Strings, offering listeners their first chance in two seasons to hear Symphony Hallís famous, recently refurbished pipe organ (October 11-16). The program also includes Tchaikovskyís Symphony No. 6, PathÈtique, and Michael Gandolfiís The Garden of Cosmic Speculation, inspired by a Scottish garden designed by architect Charles Jencks. Pianist Lars Vogt makes his BSO subscription series debut performing Beethovenís Piano Concerto No. 3 under the baton of Christoph von Dohn·nyi (October 18-20). Lutosławskiís Musique funËbre and Beethovenís Symphony No. 5 round out the program. Frequent BSO guest conductor Marek Janowski takes the podium to lead Truls M¯rk in Shostakovichís Cello Concerto No. 2 on a program that closes with Brucknerís Symphony No. 9 (October 24-30). Markus Stenz, a former Tanglewood Music Center Fellow and now a frequent figure on podiums from Cologne to Chicago, makes his Boston Symphony Orchestra debut leading Mozartís Symphony No. 1 and Schumannís Symphony No. 2 (November 1-3). Frank Peter Zimmermann joins the orchestra in this program for Mozartís Violin Concerto No. 2 and the American premiere of Australian composer Brett Deanís violin concerto The Lost Art of Letter Writing, which was written for Mr. Zimmermann. Miguel Harth-Bedoya makes his BSO subscription series debut conducting the orchestra and Yo-Yo Ma in the Symphony Hall premiere of Osvaldo Golijovís kaleidoscopic Azul (December 6-8), heard here in a revised version of this BSO 125th Anniversary Commission that was premiered last August at Tanglewood. Mr. Ma also performs Golijovís Ausencia, for cello and strings, a work conceived in homage to the Argentine tango tradition. The program closes with Dvoř·kís Symphony No. 8. A welcome figure on the Boston Symphony Orchestra podium, Rafael Fr¸hbeck de Burgos returns to lead the first two programs of 2008, conducting two of Richard Straussí most beloved tone poems, Don Juan and Till Eulenspiegelís Merry Pranks, and Mussorgskyís Pictures at an Exhibition (orch. Ravel) on his first program (January 3-8). He returns the following week for Rachmaninoffís Piano Concerto No. 2 with Leif Ove Andsnes and Straussí An Alpine Symphony. The esteemed Sir Colin Davis conducts the BSO in Mozartís Symphony No. 36, Linz, and Piano Concerto No. 23 in A with Mitsuko Uchida, on a program closing with Schubertís Symphony No. 2 (January 16-22). For his second program of 2007-08, Sir Colin returns to the podium for Elgarís moving choral masterpiece The Dream of Gerontius (January 24-26), which was previously performed by the BSO only in Sir Colinís performances here in 1982. These 2007-08 performances feature mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly, tenor Ben Heppner, bass-baritone Gerald Finley, and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, John Oliver, conductor. Charles Dutoit leads the BSO in a concertante-style program culminating in Saint-SaÎnsí Symphony No. 3, Organ, with James David Christie (February 6-12). Vivian Hagner makes her BSO debut in Prokofievís Violin Concerto on this program, which opens with Martinís neoclassical Petite symphonie concertante for harp, piano, harpsichord, and double string orchestra, featuring harpist Ann Hobson Pilot, pianist Randall Hodgkinson, and harpsichordist Mark Kroll. In his BSO subscription series debut, British conductor Mark Elder conducts Shostakovichís Symphony No. 4 and Sibeliusí Violin Concerto with Vadim Repin (February 14-16). Newly appointed BSO Assistant Conductor Julian Kuerti, a former Tanglewood Music Center Conducting Fellow and currently assistant conductor of the Budapest Festival Orchestra, makes his Boston Symphony Orchestra debut leading Knussenís lively curtain-raiser The Way to Castle Yonder and Dvoř·kís Symphony No. 7 (March 6-11). Marking his 80th birthday year, Leon Fleisher returns to Symphony Hall to perform Beethovenís Piano Concerto No. 5, Emperor, his first performance of a Beethoven concerto with the BSO since 1960. In a rare United States appearance, acclaimed Italian conductor Daniele Gatti leads the orchestra and the acclaimed American pianist Garrick Ohlsson in Schumannís Piano Concerto on a program that closes with Shostakovichís Symphony No. 5 (March 13-15).

CHAMBER MUSIC TEAS, PRELUDE CONCERTS, AND PRE-CONCERT TALKS
The Boston Symphony will continue its series of Chamber Music offerings in 2007-08, including Chamber Music Prelude Concerts and Friday-afternoon Chamber Teas. The BSO will also continue its series of Pre-Concert and Open Rehearsal Talks next season, offering free, informative talks, including recorded musical examples, prior to every Boston Symphony subscription concert and Open Rehearsal throughout the 2007-08 season.

 

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