06. September 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: Opera, Press Releases

… in New York in any case. In other places Luisi has had to cancel. A lot. (Including San Francisco.)

News
New Injury Forces James Levine To Cancel Fall Performances

Fabio Luisi Is Named Met Principal Conductor; Will Lead New Production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Initial Performances of Wagner’s Siegfried

September 6, 2011

New York, NY (September 6, 2011) – After a fall last week that damaged one of his vertebrae, James Levine underwent emergency surgery on Thursday in New York, forcing him to withdraw from his performances at the Metropolitan Opera this fall. Levine was scheduled to begin orchestra rehearsals for the new season today. According to his doctors, he was successfully recuperating from another back surgery when the accident happened while he was on vacation in Vermont.

While Levine will continue in his position as Music Director, Fabio Luisi has been named the Met’s Principal Conductor, with the new appointment taking effect immediately. In April 2010, Luisi was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Met. He will replace Levine for most of the fall performances, conducting the new productions of Don Giovanni (premiering October 13) and Siegfried (premiering October 27), as well as the MET Orchestra concert at Carnegie Hall on October 16.

“While Jim’s latest setback is hugely disappointing for all of us, he joins me in welcoming Fabio’s larger role,” said Peter Gelb, the Met’s General Manager. “I am very pleased that Fabio was able to rearrange his fall schedule, and I appreciate the understanding of those companies with whom he was scheduled to conduct.”

In order to replace Levine, Luisi had to cancel performances with the Rome Opera, the Genoa Opera, the Vienna Symphony, and the San Francisco Symphony.

“I am honored to have been asked to take on these additional responsibilities, but my thoughts are also with Maestro Levine,” said Luisi.

RTWT

11. July 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: Opera, Press Releases

Performances of Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung have been recorded for the San Francisco Opera International Radio Broadcast, available locally on Classical KDFC (90.3 in San Francisco, 89.9 in the North/East Bay, 89.7 in Eureka, 92.5 in Lakeport/Ukiah) on the following dates: Das Rheingold (September 4), Die Walküre (October 2), Siegfried (November 6) and Götterdämmerung (December 4). The Ring operas will also be broadcast both nationally and internationally through the WFMT Radio Network. At this time, there are no immediate plans to release this new San Francisco Opera Ring cycle on DVD or to remount this production in the near future.

It’s this last part that causes disappointment. I SO hoped that videos would be made of the San Francisco Opera production. I know I would have purchased them immediately!

It’s great to read the entire press release and note what a success the Ring Cycle was. I know it’s something that will stay with me forever.

02. March 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: Announcements, Press Releases

I just received this press release:

BSO Managing Director Mark Volpe announced today that as of September 1, 2011, James Levine will step down from his current role as Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, a position he has held since 2004. Discussions between the BSO and Maestro Levine are underway to define an ongoing new role for Mr. Levine. Mr. Volpe has also announced that the BSO will immediately form a search committee to begin the process of appointing the next Boston Symphony Music Director.

“The BSO has been incredibly fortunate to have had one of the greatest conductors of our time at its helm since 2004,” said BSO Managing Director Mark Volpe. “That being said, given Maestro Levine’s health issues, this has been a challenging time for all of us in the Boston Symphony Orchestra family, especially our beloved orchestra and devoted audiences.”

“We wish Maestro Levine the absolute best as he steps down from his role as BSO Music Director to tend to the health issues that have forced him to be away from the music-making he so profoundly loves,” continues Mr. Volpe. “We look forward to continuing our conversation with Jim about defining a new role where he can focus solely on the music and defining artistically stimulating projects that would be meaningful to him and the orchestra, building upon his BSO legacy thus far. As we begin the search to appoint the next BSO Music Director, it is imperative that we take this time to express our deepest gratitude to Jim for the extraordinary performances that have inspired his loyal listeners in Boston and around the world.”

“Given the challenges regarding my health and the ensuing absences they have forced me to take from my work with the BSO, I believe it is best for everyone, but especially the orchestra and our wonderful audiences, for me to step down as music director,” said James Levine. “I make this decision knowing that I need to focus more of my attention on getting back to better health, so when I do return to the BSO podium I can continue the important work the orchestra and I have done together during the period of my music directorship. As the BSO and I define a new relationship that I hope will benefit all involved, I wish the orchestra the very best in the search for the next Boston Symphony Music Director. It has been an honor and a privilege to have served in that role these past seven years.”

“With his many accomplishments during his seven years as BSO Music Director, there is no doubt that James Levine will join the ranks of the greatest conductors in the BSO’s 130-year history,” said Stephen B. Kay and Robert P. O’Block, co-chairmen of the BSO Board of Trustees. “On behalf of the BSO’s Board of Trustees and Overseers, we want to express our enormous gratitude and deep respect to Maestro Levine for sharing his brilliant musicianship with our orchestra and all of us who cherish the music of the Boston Symphony. We wish him the very best in his continued recovery and look forward to his return to the BSO in a new role that is beneficial to all involved.”

“We’ve experienced some of the most meaningful and endearing musical work of our lives under the leadership of James Levine,” said BSO concertmaster Malcolm Lowe. “On behalf of all the musicians of the BSO, our heartfelt best wishes go out to Maestro Levine as he continues to focus on recovering from the health issues that have forced him to take time away from his BSO schedule. We look forward to continuing our very important work and influential collaboration with Maestro Levine when he is able to return to the BSO podium.”

23. November 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: News, Press Releases, Symphony

I just received this (and a whole lot more; that was one long email!):

BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA AND WGBH BOSTON TO PARTNER WITH THE NEW AUDIOVISUAL LABEL, ICA CLASSICS, TO DISTRIBUTE 32 HISTORIC BSO DVDS

FIRST SERIES OF THREE DVDS TO BE RELEASED ON FEBRUARY 22, 2011, FEATURING THE BSO UNDER THE DIRECTION OF CHARLES MUNCH IN MUSIC OF DEBUSSY, RAVEL, WAGNER, FAURÉ, FRANCK, AND BEETHOVEN
BSO PERFORMANCES ORIGINALLY RECORDED AT HARVARD UNIVERSITY’S SANDERS THEATRE BETWEEN 1958 AND 1961 FOR BROADCAST ON WGBH TV AND DISTRIBUTED THROUGH THE EDUCATIONAL RADIO AND TELEVISION CENTER

The Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston public broadcaster WGBH have partnered with International Classical Artists and their new audio and audiovisual label, ICA Classics, to release 32 BSO historic DVDs over the next four seasons.

The first set of these new BSO archival DVD releases will feature Boston Symphony Orchestra performances that took place at Harvard University’s Sanders Theatre between February 4, 1958 and October 31, 1961, under the direction of Charles Munch (BSO Music Director 1949-1962). These DVDs—featuring music of Debussy, Ravel, Wagner, Fauré, Franck, and Beethoven—represent some of the earliest televised concerts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra (the BSO was first featured on television in 1949 in an NBC radio and television special). Originally broadcast on WGBH television and distributed through the Educational Radio and Television Center (precursor to WNET) to educational television stations nationwide, these BSO/Charles Munch performances are being made available on DVD for the first time commercially through this new partnership between the BSO, WGBH, and ICA Classics.

The first three DVDs will be available starting February 22, 2011 through Naxos of America and can be purchased from Amazon.com and retail stores across the United States, as well as the BSO’s website, www.bso.org. The Boston Symphony will also offer buyers the chance to pre-order the DVDs starting December 1, through www.bso.org or by calling 888-266-1200; these pre-orders will be fulfilled soon after February 22. The DVDs will also be available to purchase in the UK through the ICA Classics website, www.icaclassics.com, beginning January 31, 2011, as well as in retail stores throughout Europe.

A short clip of La Mer, from 1958, can be seen & heard here.

This got me to wondering just who were the oboists of the BSO in the past. Well, guess what? Someone has a page listing Musicians of the Boston Symphony Orchestra 1881 – today. How cool is that?

22. March 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Press Releases, Repair Quickly!

I just received this press release:

JAMES LEVINE WITHDRAWS FROM NEXT THREE WEEKS OF BSO PROGRAMS DUE TO ONGOING BACK PROBLEMS

JAYCE OGREN TO CONDUCT BSO IN WORLD PREMIERE OF PETER LIEBERSON’S SONGS OF LOVE AND SORROW, MARCH 25, 26, AND 27

RAFAEL FRUHBECK DE BURGOS TO LEAD BSO IN MENDELSSOHN’S ELIJAH, APRIL 1, 2, AND 3, IN BOSTON AND APRIL 5, IN NEW YORK AT CARNEGIE HALL

CONDUCTOR FOR JOHN HARBISON’S DOUBLE CONCERTO FOR VIOLIN AND CELLO, WITH MIRA WANG AND JAN VOGLER AS SOLOISTS, ON A PROGRAM WITH MAHLER’S SEVENTH SYMPHONY, APRIL 8, 9, AND 10, TO BE ANNOUNCED LATER THIS WEEK

BSO Music Director James Levine is withdrawing from the next three weeks of BSO programs due to ongoing back problems. These were to have been Mr. Levine’s final appearances of the 2009-10 season. Jayce Ogren will lead the world premiere of Peter Lieberson’s Songs of Love and Sorrow, featuring baritone Gerald Finley, March 25, 26, and 27. The program will also include Sibelius’s Finlandia and Valse triste, with Schubert’s Symphony in C, The Great, bringing the program to a close (in addition to the Lieberson premiere and Schubert’s Great Symphony, the original program was to have included Debussy’s Jeux). The following week, April 1, 2, and 3 in Boston, and April 5 at Carnegie Hall in New York, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos will lead Mendelssohn’s Elijah with soprano Christine Brewer, mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe, tenor Alexsandrs Antonenko, and bass-baritone Shenyang, as well the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, John Oliver, conductor. These programs of Elijah mark the beginning of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus’s 40th anniversary season.
The conductor for the world premiere of John Harbison’s Double Concerto for violin and cello featuring Mira Wang and Jan Vogler, on a program with Mahler’s Seventh Symphony, April 8, 9, and 10, will be announced later this week.

“This has been a difficult year for James Levine and we wish him the very best as he works with his doctors towards resolving his ongoing back problems,” said BSO Managing Director Mark Volpe. “Though we will miss James Levine’s presence, all of us look forward to the last six Boston Symphony programs of the season—the greatly anticipated world premieres by Peter Lieberson and John Harbison, Mendelsshon’s magnificent Elijah in Boston and New York under the direction of Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos, the final program by Julian Kuerti as BSO assistant conductor, and two season-ending programs led by BSO Conductor Emeritus Bernard Haitink.”

Photos and full artist biographies are available in the BSO’s online press kit here.

Wishing Maestro Levine a speedy recovery.

05. May 2009 · Comments Off · Categories: Announcements, Links, Press Releases

The San Francisco Symphony today announced the appointment of Donato Cabrera as Assistant Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony and Wattis Foundation Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO) beginning in September 2009.

Found it here.

I have one student and another “sometime student” who play in the youth symphony.

Maestro Cabrera has a blog … or, i guess he calls it a journal. Sort of similar though, right?

San Francisco Symphony’s All-Bernstein Carnegie Hall Concert to be Broadcast Nationally on Great Performances on PBS October 29

A Celebration of Leonard Bernstein: Carnegie Hall Opening Night 2008 DVD to be released on SFS Media

The San Francisco Symphony (SFS)’s September 24 all-Bernstein gala concert opening the Carnegie Hall 2008-09 season will be broadcast nationally Wednesday, October 29* on Thirteen/WNET New York’s GREAT PERFORMANCES on PBS (check local listings) and released on DVD, on the Symphony’s SFS Media label. Bay Area audiences can watch Carnegie Hall Opening Night 2008: A Celebration of Leonard Bernstein on KQED Channel 9 and KQED-HD at 9 p.m. on October 29. The 90-minute program will repeat at 3 a.m. Thursday, October 30. It will also be broadcast on KQED Life on Thursday, October 30 at 8 p.m. and repeated on Friday, October 31 at 2 a.m.

I read it here.