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From the LA Phil to Chinese Puppetry: The Celebrity Series of Boston, 2017-2018

clockwise, from upper left: Gustavo Dudamel, Chris Thile, Yuja Wang, Martha Argerich and Itzhak Perlman, Canadian Brass, Wu Man
credits below
clockwise, from upper left: Gustavo Dudamel, Chris Thile, Yuja Wang, Martha Argerich and Itzhak Perlman, Canadian Brass, Wu Man

The Celebrity Series of Boston has announced its 2017-2018 season, featuring concerts by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, pianist Yuja Wang, Canadian Brass, and much more.

Each concert season in Boston, the already-stacked concert calendar featuring local artists and ensembles is expanded even further by a lineup of artists from around the world presented by the Celebrity Series of Boston. The 2017-2018 season continues that dynamic, helping to make Boston one of the musically richest cities in the country.

Hear a preview with Gary Dunning of the Celebrity Series on The Answered Question:


Here are several highlights of classical music programs in the coming season:


In October, Antonio Pappano conducts the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Respighi’s Fountains of Rome, along with Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3, featuring soloist Martha Argerich.

Then, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Music Director Gustavo Dudamel visit Boston in April, with a program that features a new work by Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Symphony No. 5 by Shostakovich.

Along the way, the Celebrity Series will join in the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the New England Conservatory with an April concert by the NEC Philharmonia and conductor Hugh Wolff.


A lineup of stellar piano soloists visit Boston in a concentrated period in the spring of 2018, beginning with Daniil Trifonov, performing with his teacher, Sergei Babayan, in March. Then, the legendary Maurizio Pollini, and the Boston debut of Chopin Competition winner Rafal Blechacz. The final piano recital of the season features the incomparable Yuja Wang.

Small Ensembles

In a category that can take infinite forms, the variety of concerts during the 2017-2018 begins with the period instrument quartet Quatuor Mosaïques in October, followed in November by Canadian Brass.

In February, new music ensemble Eighth Blackbird returns to Cambridge’s Sanders Theater for a program based on their Grammy Award-winning release “Filament: Murder Ballades.”

Other highlights include a collaboration between guitarists Sergio and Odair Assad and mandolinist Avi Avital in February, a concert featuring pianist Emanuel Ax, violinist Leonidas Kavakos, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma, also in February, a March performance by pipa virtuoso Wu Man with the shadow puppetry by the Huayin Shadow Puppet Band, and, in April, pianist Evgeney Kissin with the Emerson String Quartet.


In November, violinist Itzhak Perlman and violinist/violist Pinchas Zukerman are joined by pianist Rohan De Silva in a program of music by Bach, Mozart, and Bartók, followed two days later by mandolinist and Prairie Home Companion host Chris Thile.

Then, in January, pianist Jeremy Denk brings his uniquely inquisitive programming approach to the Violin Sonatas by Charles Ives, performed with violinist Stefan Jackiw and with additional vocal contextualizations by the vocal ensemble Hudson Shad.

And in March, violinist Benjamin Beilman and pianist Orion Weiss join forces on the Debut Series in music by Beethoven and Bartók, as well as a new Celebrity Series co-commission by Frederick Rweski.

Vocal Artists

No Celebrity Series season is complete without stellar operatic talent. In 2017-2018, that means a December concert by mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, winner of the 2015 Richard Tucker Award and the 2017 Beverly Sills Award, in her Celebrity Series debut. And in April, tenor Lawrence Brownlee and bass-baritone Eric Owens team up for a program at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall.

Before both of those, in November, the Celebrity Series welcomes the legendary Thomanerchor Leipzig to Jordan Hall for a concert that celebrates not only the incredible history of the St. Thomas Boys Choir (directed for 27 years by J.S. Bach) but also the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.

Beyond everything mentioned here, the Celebrity Series of Boston will also bring stellar dance companies, jazz musicians and ensembles, and actors, writers, and singer-songwriters to Boston in the coming season. For complete information, visit the Celebrity Series of Boston.

Photo credits, clockwise from upper left: Los Angeles Philharmonic, Devin Pedde, Norbert Kniat, Jean-Baptiste Millot, Canadian Brass, Stephen Kahn.

Brian McCreath is the Director of Production for CRB.