Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture Replaces Berlioz’s Roman Carnival Overture, On An Otherwise Unchanged Program Including Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 With Evgeny Kissin; New York Premiere Of John Williams’s On Willows And Birches, With Legendary Harpist Ann Hobson Pilot; And Debussy’s La Mer
Daniele Gatti will lead the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the opening night concert of the 2009-10 Carnegie Hall season, Thursday, October 1, at 7 p.m. BSO Music Director James Levine had to withdraw from all his conducting appearances this week, including the Carnegie Hall opener, due to immediate unanticipated back surgery for a herniated disc.
For the first concert of the 119th Carnegie Hall season, Daniele Gatti will open the program with Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture, replacing the originally programmed Berlioz Roman Carnival Overture, and close with Debussy’s La Mer. Virtuoso pianist Evgeny Kissin will join Mr. Gatti and the BSO for Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Mr. Gatti will also lead the orchestra in the New York premiere of John Williams’s On Willows and Birches, featuring former BSO principal harpist Ann Hobson Pilot. John Williams wrote On Willows and Birches as a gift for Ms. Pilot—the first and only African-American woman to be appointed to the BSO, and who recently retired from the BSO after a legendary 40-year career with the orchestra. The new work received its world premiere at the opening of the BSO’s Symphony Hall season in Boston on Wednesday, September 23, under the direction of James Levine.
“All of us at the BSO are disappointed that James Levine is unable to conduct the Carnegie Hall opening night concert, but we are incredibly fortunate that Daniele Gatti was able to take over the program on such short notice.” said Mark Volpe, BSO Managing Director. “Our thoughts are with Jim and we wish him a speedy recovery so he can soon return to the BSO podium. His thoughts, I am sure, are with the orchestra and I know he shares our excitement to be opening Carnegie Hall’s 119th season.”
Maestro Levine also had to cancel two appearances with the BSO this week at Symphony Hall in Boston, including last night’s concert of Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms and Mozart’s Requiem, which was conducted by Boston Symphony Orchestra Assistant Conductor Shi-Yeon Sung. BSO Assistant Conductors Julian Kuerti and Shi-Yeon Sung will split the program on Saturday, October 3, which honors Ann Hobson Pilot’s 40-year tenure as harpist with the BSO. Mr. Kuerti will conduct the first half of the program, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4. Ms. Sung will conduct Elliott Carter’s Mosaic, for harp and chamber ensemble, Debussy’s Danses sacrée et profane for harp and orchestra, John Williams’s On Willows and Birches, for harp and orchestra, and Ravel’s La Valse, with Ann Hobson Pilot returning to the BSO principal harp chair for this special occasion.
There are a limited number of tickets remaining, starting at $59, available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street. Tickets may also be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or online by visiting carnegiehall.org.