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Blog

Top Nine Takeaways from the Boston Symphony's 2018-2019 Season

clockwise, from upper left: Kristine Opolais (credit Tatyana Vlasova); Gustavo Dudamel (LA Philharmonic); Andris Nelsons (credit Marco Borggreve); Shi-Yeon Sung (courtesy of the artist); John Harbison (courtesy of the artist)
clockwise, from upper left: Kristine Opolais (credit Tatyana Vlasova); Gustavo Dudamel (LA Philharmonic); Andris Nelsons (credit Marco Borggreve); Shi-Yeon Sung (courtesy of the artist); John Harbison (courtesy of the artist)

The Boston Symphony Orchestra announced its 2018-2019 season today, one that reflects a new stage in the collaboration of the BSO and Music Director Andris Nelsons.

Now entering his fifth season in that position Nelsons's major artistic priorities (namely, the performance and recording of Shostakovich's symphonies and the BSO-Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra alliance) are largely pre-defined, leaving only the details to be revealed.

But there is much more to the season as well, and I talked about it with BSO Artistic Administrator Tony Fogg. I began with a question that references a newly reinvigorated national and local conversation about orchestra programming:

The season includes music by 11 living composers, including John Harbison, Maija Einfelde, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Andris Dzenitis, HK Gruber, Kaija Saariaho, Thomas Adès, Roberto Sierra, Paul Desenne, and Sebastian Currier. So I asked Tony Fogg about the relationship between programming new music at Tanglewood and at Symphony Hall:

bso18-19_fogg_2.mp3

From there, we talked about one particular living composer who celebrates a significant birthday:

bso18-19_fogg_3.mp3

We then got into details about Shostakovich's Symphonies Nos. 1 and 15, which the BSO will perform and record during the season:

bso18-19_fogg_4.mp3

I couldn't resist asking about one specific conductor who makes his subscription debut with the BSO, Gustavo Dudamel:

bso18-19_fogg_5.mp3

Andris Nelsons has now begun his directorship of the Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig, and it's led to a major event for Leipzig Week in Boston, Bach's Christmas Oratorio:

bso18-19_fogg_6.mp3

But Shostakovich and Leipzig aren't the only priorities Andris Nelsons has in mind for the coming season:

bso18-19_fogg_7.mp3

The 2018-2019 season also includes a major contribution from BSO Artistic Partner Thomas Adès in the form of a new piano concerto, to be premiered by soloist Kirill Gerstein:

bso18-19_fogg_8rev.mp3

Finally, I asked Tony Fogg what other singular events he's most looking forward to in the coming season:

bso18-19_fogg_9.mp3

It all adds up to a season of healthy continuity and fascinating exploration, and you can learn more about the entire 2018-2019 season by visiting the Boston Symphony Orchestra.