The Boston Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Andris Nelsons are delighted to welcome audiences for the 2021-22 season opener on September 30, giving the first BSO concert for a live audience at Symphony Hall since March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated the closure of the Room.
Along with the orchestra’s commitment to return to performing with the public comes an equally strong commitment to the health and safety of everyone associated with the BSO 2021-2022 season, including patrons, staff. and musicians. Please click here for the BSO’s most recent announcement (8/31/21) on Pandemic Protocols at Symphony Hall this fall; details of the protocols are also available at bso.org/safety.
Opening concert of the BSO 2021-22 season on September 30 at 8 p.m.
For the opening concert, BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons shares the podium with John Williams. Superstar violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter serves as the soloist as Maestro Williams conducts the Boston premiere of his Violin Concerto No. 2, a new four-movement work that the two performed with the BSO during the 2021 Tanglewood season. . Maestro Nelsons conducts the Overture Consecration of Beethoven’s House and a landmark work by BSO, Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra. This program will be repeated on Saturday October 2 at 8 p.m.
The timing of Beethoven’s overture is important for several reasons: it was the first work ever performed by the BSO in 1881; it gives a sense of renewal and revitalization as the orchestra and audience come together in a shared space; and that was the music used to mark the opening credits of the BSO NOW streaming programs offered during the orchestra’s break from performances for a live audience. The work Bartók, commissioned by Serge Koussevitzky and premiered by the BSO in 1944, gives each section of the orchestra a chance to show off its virtuosity and has rightfully earned its position as the touchstone of 20th century music.
For the Orchestra’s 141st season, Andris Nelsons, in his eighth season as BSO Music Director, will conduct 13 of the season’s 24 programs at Symphony Hall. To read a statement from Music Director Andris Nelsons, click here
Update to the original 2021-22 BSO season announcement in June: All performances for the season will include an intermission, with the exception of the 4-concert Casual Friday series, which will not include an intermission.
The BSO 2021-22 season will continue to offer BSO NOW online concert streams (bso.org/now), which were enthusiastically received in November 2020 in response to the disruption of live performances due to the pandemic. . This year’s concert streams will launch in October with about one new schedule per month, a mix of live streams and on-demand viewing including both newly released lineup and archives. Viewers online will see the BSO led by Andris Nelsons and Guest Conductors and Boston Pops led by Keith Lockhart, as well as Thomas Wilkins lead both a BSO concert and a BSO Youth and Family program. Details on the orchestra’s streaming schedule for the 2021-2022 BSO season will be announced at a later date.
Boston Symphony Orchestra programs conducted by Andris Nelsons include concerts by Berg’s Wozzeck with Bo Skovhus and Christine Goerke; creations and performances of works by important composers of our time, including Julia Adolphe, Unsuk Chin, HK Gruber, Sofia Gubaidulina, Arvo Pärt, Kaija Saariaho and Jörg Widmann; a Richard Strauss cycle of six major works; a new cycle of Beethoven’s piano concerto with Mitsuko Uchida; and orchestral works by Berlioz, Brahms, Ives, Mahler, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, Still and Stravinsky. Mr. Nelsons will collaborate with such renowned artists as Lisa Batiashvili, Lise Davidsen, Hilary Hahn, Håkan Hardenberger, Lucas and Arthur Jussen, Leonidas Kavakos, Anu Komsi, Marlis Petersen and Baiba Skride.
The expansion of BSO / Deutsche Grammophon Prize-winning Shostakovich’s recording project – which now extends beyond symphonies – continues in the 2021-22 season with performances and recording of the Concerto for violin n ° 1 with Baiba Skride, a frequent collaborator with Andris Nelsons and the BSO, as soloist.
Also this season, BSO conductors Thomas Wilkins (works by Ellington, Coleridge-Taylor, Victor Wooten), Anna Rakitina (Ellen Reid, Sibelius, Tchaikovsky) and Thomas Adès (Adès, Berg, Ravel) conduct programs subscription. Conductors Elim Chan (Brahms, Brian Raphael Nabors) and Phillippe Jordan (Borodin, Prokofiev, Rachmaninov) make their BSO debuts. Returning guest conductors include Herbert Blomstedt (Bruckner, Mozart), Alan Gilbert (Beethoven, Rands), Jakub Hruša (Janácek Glagolitic Mass), Ton Koopman (Beethoven, Mozart), Sir Antonio Pappano (Britten War Requiem) and Dima Slobokeniouk ( Dvorák and Tchaikovsky). Other notable guest artists appearing with the BSO in 2021-2022 include Joshua Bell, Yefim Bronfman, Kirill Gerstein, Martin Helmchen, Igor Levit and Victor Wooten.
The Tanglewood Festival Chorus, conducted by James Burton, returns in concert with two 20th century masterpieces: Janácek’s Glagolitic Mass and Britten’s War Requiem.
The BSO Youth and Family Concert Series will feature six youth concert programs and two family concerts during the 2021-22 season, including a sensory concert. Both will be chaired by Thomas Wilkins. The Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras will also present two family concert programs, including a performance of Peter and the Wolf by Prokofiev with conductor Adrian Slywotzky and a music and magic program conducted by conductor Marta Zurad and featuring starring magician Matt Roberts. The BSO’s free community chamber music programs will return in the 2021-2022 season. More information on these programs will be announced at a later date.
In addition to its 2021-2022 season at Symphony Hall, from September 30 to April 30, the BSO is looking forward to resuming its annual concert series at Carnegie Hall in New York City and going on tour. Andris Nelsons will lead a major European tour (and recording project), in partnership with the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester (GHO), details of which will be announced later in the fall.
Official BSO titles for the conductors referenced in this version: Andris Nelsons is the musical director of Ray and Maria Stata BSO; Keith Lockhart is the conductor of Julian and Eunice Cohen Boston Pops; Thomas Adès is the artistic partner of Deborah and Philip Edmundson; Thomas Wilkins is BSO’s artistic advisor, education and community engagement, and conductor of the Germeshausen Youth and Family Concerts; and John Williams is the recipient of conductor George and Roberta Berry Boston Pops.
Click here to see part of the BSO’s November 2017 performance of Strauss’s Alpine Symphony Final.