Muti, CSO announce a 2012-13 season heavily reliant on standard repertoire

Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 5:00 pm

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Riccardo Muti will lead ten weeks of concerts in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s 2012-13 season, his third as music director.

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra announced details of its 2012-2013 season Monday at a press conference at Symphony Center.

The main theme of next season will be “The Wagner Effect,” a look at how the German composer’s influence and musical legacy impacted other composers.

While the CSO’s 2012-13 lineup presents an array of traditional European repertoire, those looking for more adventurous programming and contemporary works are apt to be somewhat disappointed. Muti’s concerts in his third season are even more firmly centered on core Austro-German repertoire than previously, and the only world premiere next season is the Trumpet Concerto of Christopher Rouse, a CSO commission for principal Chris Martin (to be led by Jaap van Zweden). Apart from that debut and a couple other works, American music is largely missing in action.

Muti and the orchestra will open the season Sept. 21 by returning to Millennium Park for a free performance of Carmina Burana, a quick brush-up before they take Orff’s unsacred cantata to Carnegie Hall in October.

The season proper will begin the next night with Dvorak’s Symphony No. 5, Martucci’s Notturno and Respighi’s Roman Festivals.

Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter—who famously did double duty as soloist and conductor at the 2010 gala when Muti fell ill–will return for the same event Sept. 29 when she will perform Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto. Muti will also lead the CSO in Wagner’s Overture to The Flying Dutchman and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture will fill out the program.

In January, Muti returns for an all-Beethoven program featuring the Eroica Symphony and First Piano Concerto with Radu Lupu as soloist. The following week, he leads a program of Brahms’ Symphony No. 4, Stravinsky’s The Fairy’s Kiss and Busoni’s Turandot Suite.

Bach’s epic Mass in B minor will be heard on Muti’s spring program from April 11-16. The following two weeks feature music of Vivaldi, Mozart, Beethoven and Schumann with Maurizio Pollini performing the Emperor Concerto.

For the first time Muti will conduct the final three weeks of the season in June. Works of Haydn, Martinu, Scriabin, Beethoven, Wagner and Bruckner will be heard. The music director will close the season with a performance of Verdi’s Four Sacred Pieces in a program that also features Vivaldi’s Magnificat and Mozart’s Ave verum corpus.

As part of the season’s Wagner theme, Esa-Pekka Salonen will lead two performances of Act 2 of Tristan und Isolde in February followed by a program featuring Sibelius’s Symphony No 7 and Pohjola’s Daughter, with Yo-Yo Ma as soloist in Lutoslawski’s Cello Concerto.

Pierre Boulez and Bernard Haitink will each lead two weeks of concerts.

In March conductor emeritus Boulez will direct music of Debussy, Messiaen and Stravinsky with Yefim Bronfman in Bartok’s Piano Concerto No. 2. He will follow that with a lineup of Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll and the Adagio from Mahler’s Symphony No. 10. Michael Barenboim, son of the CSO’s former music director, will be the soloist in Schoenberg’s Violin Concerto.

In Bernard Haitink’s two October weeks, he will conduct an all-Brahms program featuring the Symphony No. 1 and brothers Renaud and Gautier Capucon in the Double Concerto. His second week will offer Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with Bernarda Fink and Anthony Dean Griffey among the soloists.

Charles Dutoit’s two weeks in November will include Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring in its centennial year, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 and Gil Shaham as soloist in Walton’s Violin Concerto.

Semyon Bychkov will return in November to conduct Mahler’s Symphony No. 3. Sir Mark Elder will lead two weeks that include mezzo-soprano Alice Coote in Berlioz’s Les nuits d’ete and Garrick Ohlsson in Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3.

Other conductors include Juanjo Mena, Sakari Oramo, Harry Bicket, Carlos Miguel Prieto, Jaap van Zweden and Chicago Sinfonietta music director Mei-Ann Chen in her CSO subscription debut.

Also appearing as soloists this season are pianists Leif Ove Andsnes, Peter Serkin, Jan-Yves Thibaudet, Mitsuko Uchida and Yuja Wang; violinists Jaime Laredo and Jennifer Koh; and singers Christine Brewer and Michelle De Young. CSO members Robert Chen, Mathieu Dufour, Eugene Izotov, Scott Hostetler, and Christopher Martin will also be in the spotlight.

In addition to Wagner’s influence, rivers will also be a theme in 2012-13 with several works on the CSO and Symphony Center Presents schedule reflecting or painting a watery inspiration.

Both composers in residence will have a work performed next season. Mason Bates’ Liquid Interface will be heard and Anna Clyne will be represented by her Double Concerto for two violins, to be performed by Jaime Laredo and Jennifer Koh.

The centennial of former music director Sir Georg Solti’s birth will be observed with performances of several of his signature works as well as a concert by the World Orchestra for Peace, which Solti founded in 1985. Valery Gergiev will conduct and artists include Dame Kiri te Kanawa, Placido Domingo and Rene Pape.

The CSO also announced the lineup Monday for Symphony Center Presents. Pianists represented in 2012-13 include Evgeny Kissin, Murray Perahia, Andras Schiff, Louie Lortie, Angela Hewitt, Paul Lewis, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Marc-Andre Hamelin, Jorge-Federico Osorio, and Alice Sara Ott.

Artists in the chamber music series include violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, cellists Yo-Yo Ma and Alisa Weilerstein, and the Emerson String Quartet. Visiting orchestras are the Dresden Staatskapelle, Philharmonia Orchestra and World Orchestra for Peace. 312-294-3000.

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