The Boston Symphony Orchestra is home. And, more importantly, you are invited to join the BSO in this homecoming.
Fortunately, during the height of the pandemic, the BSO continued to make music through its BSO NOW virtual performance series. Last summer the orchestra spent the summer, as it traditionally does, in Tanglewood. Finally, the BSO returns to a symphony hall full of its faithful.
The 2021-22 season comes with extensive health and safety measures (see bso.org for details) and a cheerful and unique lineup. Our season preview takes a look at a few highlights of what you’re looking forward to with plenty of surprises.
John Williams Violin Concerto No.2, Sept. 30 and Oct. 2
Since its premiere at Tanglewood last summer, Williams’ new concerto has caused a stir. For those who only know his work on “Star Wars” or “Jaws”, the play features a dark and ambitious composer at the height of his powers. Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter is featured in a program that will feature Andris Nelsons on the podium alongside Williams and works by Beethoven and Bartok. Can’t attend the concert? PBS will air Williams’ debut concert at Tanglewood on November 12.
Concert for our city: gathered at Symphony Hall, October 3
The BSO season opening weekend features a free performance celebrating the reopening of Symphony Hall after 18 months of closed doors to the public. With the hand of the Boston Pops, this community concert will be conducted by four maestros: Keith Lockhart, Andris Nelsons, Thomas Wilkins and the legendary John Williams. Once again: it’s free! (Reserve your tickets on bso.org and watch the show for free online starting October 14).
“La Leccion Tres” by Victor Wooten, from October 28 to 31
Victor Wooten is possibly the greatest electric bass player of all time. It’s a bold and somewhat ridiculous claim, and yet… it’s probably dead. Known for his long association with banjo master Bela Fleck, Wooten becomes grandiose with his concerto. Thomas Wilkins, BSO’s artistic advisor for education and community engagement, leads Wooten and the orchestra through “La Leccion Tres” and works by Coleridge-Taylor and Ellington.
Mitsuko Uchida and a world premiere by Julia Adolphe, January 13-16
Pianist and conductor Mitsuko Uchida is the Billie Holiday and Eddie Van Halen of the classical world. Madly expressive performer and absolute virtuoso, Uchida will enter the Symphony Hall at the age of 73 to celebrate Beethoven’s piano concertos nos. 2 and 4. Also on the program, which will be conducted by Andris Nelson, is the world premiere by a co-commissioned by Julia Adolphe, one of America’s fastest growing female composers.
“When the World As You Have Known It Doesn’t Exist” by Ellen Reid, April 7-9
Not yet 40, Ellen Reid is already a giant. Her opera “Prism” won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Music. She wrote “When the World As You Have Known It Didn’t Exist” for the New York Philharmonic as a commission honoring the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment . Assistant conductor BSO Anna Rakitina will conduct the program which also includes soloist Alexander Kantorow and selections from Sibelius and Tchaikovsky.
For more details and tickets, visit bso.org.