The Cleveland Orchestra, Fall Festival, The Cunning Little Vixen, Benjamin Britten
The Cleveland Orchestra has announced its 2013-14 season. Music Director Franz Welser-Möst will introduce a Fall Festival, pairing symphonies by Beethoven and Shostakovich, and an all-Brahms weekend with two programs featuring Brahms's Violin Concerto and his Second and Fourth Symphonies. Mr. Welser-Möst brings opera back to Severance Hall, with a semi-staged production of Janácek's The Cunning Little Vixen. Guest artists returning to Severance Hall include Leon Fleisher, Mitsuko Uchida, Radu Lupu, and conductors Christoph von Dohnányi, Pierre Boulez, and Herbert Blomstedt. The Orchestra celebrates the 100th anniversary of the birth of Benjamin Britten with performances of his Spring Symphony, Violin Concerto, and Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings.
FRANZ WELSER-MÖST CONDUCTS
In his twelfth season as Music Director, Franz Welser-Möst introduces a Fall Festival in October featuring symphonies by Beethoven and Shostakovich in three programs. The first program is Beethoven Symphony No. 3 ("Eroica") and Shostakovich Symphony No. 6. The second program is Beethoven Symphony No. 4 and Shostakovich Symphony No. 8. The final program pairs Beethoven Symphony No. 5 and Shostakovich Symphony No. 10. In addition to conducting the performances at Severance Hall, Mr. Welser-Möst will speak about the program pairings in a special festival preview. He commented, "The dream of freedom inspired the founding of our society. Political and social freedom is presented so emotionally and clearly in Beethoven's music. By listening to the music of Beethoven and Shostakovich in juxtaposition, we experience their ideas of freedom from different eras, yet from today's perspective."
Franz Welser-Möst continues an emphasis on operatic and choral repertoire in the 2013-14 season, with the Cleveland premiere performances of Janá?ek's opera The Cunning Little Vixen and performances of Beethoven's Mass in C major and Britten's Spring Symphony. Soprano Martina Janková will return to perform the title role in The Cunning Little Vixen. The cast also includes bass-baritone Alan Held and mezzo-sopranos Jennifer Johnson Cano and Julie Boulianne.
Mr. Welser-Möst will conduct Beethoven's Mass in C major with Luba Orgonášová, soprano, Kelly O'Connor, mezzo-soprano, Herbert Lippert, tenor, Ruben Drole, baritone, and the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus. The program also includes Beethoven's Grosse Fuge arranged for string orchestra and Messiaen's Trois petites liturgies de la Présence Divine, with Joela Jones, piano, Cynthia Millar, ondes martenot, and Women of the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus. Messiaen wrote the text for the piece, and composed the work during World War II. In his own words, he described his intent: "It proclaims theological truths using terms borrowed, in all humility, from the Holy Scriptures. The principal idea is that of the Divine Presence, with each section dedicated to a different kind of presence."
The music of Brahms will be featured in two programs in January 2014. The first program begins with the Academic Festival Overture and the second begins with the Tragic Overture; each is followed by the Violin Concerto with Julia Fischer. The first program concludes with Symphony No. 2 and the second with Symphony No. 4.
COMPLETE BEETHOVEN PIANO CONCERTO CYCLE
Leon Fleisher, the Orchestra's new Artist-in-Residence for the 2013-14 season, returns to appear with the Orchestra for the first time since 2003, making his Severance Hall conducting debut. He will lead a program including Beethoven's Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 3 with Mitsuko Uchida as soloist. Mr. Fleisher has appeared with the Orchestra in 70 concerts, beginning with his Cleveland Orchestra debut in October 1946. He made his conducting debut with the Orchestra at a concert in Lakewood, Ohio, in 1978. Mr. Fleisher recorded the complete Beethoven Piano Concerto cycle with George Szell and The Cleveland Orchestra in the 1950s and ?60s. Originally recorded for Columbia Masterworks, the recordings were re-issued in 1990 and 2006 by Sony. As Artist-in-Residence, Mr. Fleisher will present a piano masterclass during the 2013-14 season. The position of Artist-in-Residence is made possible by the Malcolm E. Kenney Artist-in-Residence Fund.
Mitsuko Uchida has appeared annually with the Orchestra since 2002, and five times prior to that from 1990 to 2002. Her 2009 recording of Mozart's Piano Concertos Nos. 23 and 24 with The Cleveland Orchestra won a Grammy Award for Instrumental Soloist Performance with Orchestra.
Radu Lupu will perform Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 under the direction of Franz Welser-Möst in a program with Mozart's Symphony No. 38 ("Prague"). The program also includes Jörg Widmann's Teufel Amor - Sinfonischer Hymnos nach Schiller.
In the opening concert of the season, Hélène Grimaud will perform Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 ("Emperor") with the Orchestra under the direction of guest conductor Fabio Luisi. The program concludes with Mahler's Fourth Symphony, featuring soprano Maureen McKay.
Beethoven's First Piano Concerto will be performed by Imogen Cooper with guest conductor Jane Glover. C.P.E. Bach's Sinfonia No. 2 opens the program and, following the Concerto, the program concludes with Vanhal's Sinfonia in G minor and Haydn's Symphony No. 103 ("Drum Roll").
BOULEZ, DOHNÁNYI, AND BLOMSTEDT
Pierre Boulez returns to conduct two programs in 2014. Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night) opens the first program, followed by his Accompaniment to a Cinematographic Scene. The program concludes with Bartók's Violin Concerto No. 2 with Nikolaj Znaider. The second program includes Debussy's La Mer and Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun. Music Director Laureate Christoph von Dohnányi returns to conduct an all Schumann program with Symphonies Nos. 2 and 4. Herbert Blomstedt makes his sixth set of appearances at Severance Hall in performances of the Dvo?ák Cello Concerto with Cleveland Orchestra principal cello Mark Kosower and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 ("Pathétique").
Benjamin Britten COMMEMORATION
The 2013-14 season marks the 100th anniversary commemoration of Benjamin Britten's birth. Born November 22, 1913, Britten is one of the most celebrated and often performed British composers. The Cleveland Orchestra commemorates his birth in three programs. Franz Welser-Möst conducts Britten's Spring Symphony with soprano Kate Royal, mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, tenor John Tessier, and the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus and Children's Chorus. Britten described the Spring Symphony as "a symphony not only dealing with the Spring itself but with the progress of Winter to Spring and the reawakening of the earth and life which that means."
Marek Janowski will conduct Britten's Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings with tenor Matthew Polenzani and Richard King, Cleveland Orchestra principal horn. The Serenade is a song cycle about night, sleep, and death, with texts by six British poets. An evocative horn solo is followed by the six songs, and then reprised off-stage.
Janine Jansen will perform Britten's Violin Concerto under the direction of Vladimir Jurowski. Ms. Jansen, who recorded the piece with the London Symphony Orchestra said, "It is written so well, it's really an amazing piece to play....The whole coda - this is the most impressive moment. It starts like a prayer, but it ends in a kind of scream - it's incredible. Every time one plays it, one can't move afterwards, physically and emotionally."
Principal Guest Conductor of Cleveland Orchestra Miami Giancarlo Guerrero will conduct a program at Severance Hall featuring guest artist Yuja Wang in Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3. The program begins with Prokofiev's Classical Symphony and concludes with Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade. In his memoir, Rimsky-Korsakov called the work inspired by the Arabian Nights folk tales "a kaleidoscope of fairy-tale images."
DANIEL R. LEWIS YOUNG COMPOSER FELLOW
Ryan Wigglesworth begins a two-year tenure as The Cleveland Orchestra's seventh Daniel R. Lewis Young Composer Fellow in September 2013. Mr. Wigglesworth has been commissioned to create a new work to be premiered by the Orchestra in the 2014-15 season. The United States premiere of Mr. Wigglesworth's Sternenfall will be conducted by Franz Welser-Möst in March 2014. Mr. Wigglesworth will also participate in rehearsals, masterclasses, and educational activities serving the Northeast Ohio community. The Daniel R. Lewis Young Composer Fellow program began in 1998. Works by the composers are commissioned by The Cleveland Orchestra through the Young Composers Endowment Fund, which was established in 1997 by a $1 million gift from Jan R. and Daniel R. Lewis, who reside in Florida. Mr. Lewis is the Chairman of the Miami Music Association, which supports Cleveland Orchestra Miami.