2019-2020 Season Announcement
Season-Wide Beethoven Celebration Unifies Programming Across Signature Chamber Music Series, Orchestra Series Presented by Carnegie Hall, and Education and Community Engagement Concerts
North American premieres of works by Eleanor Alberga, and OSL debuts by violinist Daniel Hope, pianists Paavali Jumppanen and Beatrice Rana, and singers Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Karina Gauvin, Joshua Hopkins, and Jeremy Ovenden. Returning guest artists include pianist Jeremy Denk, mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor, Paul Taylor Dance Company and Taylor 2, and La Chapelle de Québec.
Carnegie Hall Series
Principal Conductor Bernard Labadie will lead three programs: Mendelssohn’s “Scottish” Symphony with Bach keyboard concertos performed by pianist Beatrice Rana; a program dedicated entirely to works for double orchestra by Handel and Vivaldi; and a celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday with four works displaying the composer’s audacious genius.
For the opening concert on October 17 Maestro Labadie turns his artistry to two works by Felix Mendelssohn: The Hebrides Overture and Symphony No. 3 in A Minor, Op. 56, “Scottish.” Mendelssohn, who is credited with reviving interest in music of J.S. Bach in the 19th century, was devoted to Bach’s keyboard works, often performing them on the piano. This program honors Mendelssohn’s passion for Bach with two of Bach’s keyboard concertos performed on the piano by young Italian virtuoso Beatrice Rana, who in her recent Carnegie Hall recital debut, “set a new standard” according to Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times.
The second concert of the series takes place on February 6 when Orchestra of St. Luke’s fills Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage with an extravagant program of works for double orchestra by Handel and Vivaldi. Daniel Hope joins the Orchestra and Bernard Labadie for Vivaldi’s Concerto in A Major for Violin, Strings, and Continuo, while Marie-Nicole Lemieux performs two contrasting settings of the Salve Regina by Vivaldi, both for contralto and double orchestra.
On March 5, Orchestra of St. Luke’s celebrates Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday with orchestral and choral works including his sweeping and dramatic Leonore Overture No. 2. As a stand-alone work, the overture is an operatic tone poem in its own right. For Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy pianist Jeremy Denk, La Chapelle de Québec, soprano Karina Gauvin, mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor, tenor Jeremy Ovenden, and baritone Joshua Hopkins join forces for one of Beethoven’s most joyous compositions. The Mass in C Major concludes the program.
Chamber Music Series
The series opens with a concert dedicated to Baroque programmatic music titled Baroque Storytelling. Telemann’s Don Quichotte Overture-Suite is the program’s centerpiece. Written in seven movements, the overture takes the listener on Don Quixote’s journey from his dreams of adventure and romance through his chivalrous love for Dulcinea and his battle with the windmill. Performances take place on November 24, Brooklyn Museum, December 3, Merkin Hall, and December 4, The Morgan Library & Museum.
In spring 2020, pianist Paavali Jumppanen joins St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble for the first of two all-Beethoven programs celebrating the composer’s 250th birthday. Beethoven’s Quintet for Piano and Winds in E-flat Major and Ferdinand Ries’s arrangement of the “Eroica” Symphony for piano quartet are the featured works. A noted Beethoven expert, Jumppanen has recorded many of Beethoven’s works for piano and has written extensively about the composer. Performances take place: March 24, Merkin Concert Hall, March 25, The Morgan Library & Museum, and March 29, Brooklyn Museum.
St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble’s Beethoven celebration continues in the spring with one of the composer’s grandest chamber works, the Septet in E-flat Major. Written in 1800, just before his First Symphony, the Septet is almost symphonic in its rich, varied texture created by the combination of strings and woodwinds—an ideal piece for the Ensemble to honor this great composer. Performances are: May 5, Merkin Hall, May 6, The Morgan Library & Museum, and May 10, Brooklyn Museum.
Free Community Concerts
Launched four years ago, Music in Color is OSL’s annual initiative highlighting the works and lives of classical composers of color. The program was created to engage new audiences with classical music through dynamic, multidisciplinary concerts designed to be as entertaining as they are educational, and features performances across all five boroughs of New York City. In Spring 2020, Music in Color spotlights the life, music, and evolving career of composer Eleanor Alberga, who was born in Jamaica and lives in the United Kingdom. Programs for Music in Color: The Music of Eleanor Alberga will include Jamaican Medley and the North American premiere of Alberga’s Shining Gate of Morpheus for horn and string quartet. Music in Color Community Concerts are open to the public and presented free of charge.
Free School Concerts: Beethoven 250th Birthday and Choreographer Paul Taylor
For its fall 2019 school concerts on November 19, 20 and 21, OSL is creating a program highlighting the essential contribution to classical music and the legacy of Ludwig van Beethoven and featuring selections from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 and Violin Concerto, among others.
The spring 2020 concert in OSL’s Free School Concerts series brings the iconic dance works of the late visionary choreographer Paul Taylor to New York City’s public school students. Taylor 2 will dance Mr. Taylor’s works set to music by classical composers, performed by Orchestra of St. Luke’s.