Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Symphony's 2007-08 main lineup has new sponsor, name, theme

Changes are afoot for Seattle Symphony subscribers with today's announcement of the orchestra's 105th season in 2007-08.

The symphony has done away with such series designations as Masterpiece, Encore and Bravo for its 10th season in Benaroya Hall. Instead, the orchestra's main concert lineup of 21 programs, 13 of them led by music director Gerard Schwarz, will be called the UBS Masterworks Season. For the first time, there is a season sponsor (UBS Wealth Management US) and a season-long theme: a celebration of the work of immigrant composers.

In the lineup of more than 200 concerts, orchestra fans are likely to be most excited about an artist roster that includes an Opening Night Gala with stellar cellist Yo-Yo Ma on Sept. 15, and recitals featuring piano legends Lang Lang and Murray Perahia and violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter.

Among the other stars to appear next season: violinists Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Gil Shaham, Jaime Laredo, James Ehnes and Kyoko Takezawa; pianists Garrick Ohlsson, Yefim Bronfman and Awadagin Pratt; cellist Lynn Harrell; and soprano Jane Eaglen. Schwarz's son Julian, a cellist, will appear with the orchestra's principal cellist Joshua Roman in a Vivaldi double concerto.

The conducting roster will include Stéphane Denève, Rossen Milanov, Ingo Metzmacher, Jun MÃÆ'¤rkl, Jaime Laredo, Gunther Herbig, Christopher Seaman, Bernard Labadie, Douglas Boyd, Michael Stern and Xian Zhang.

The Visiting Orchestras series will present the return of the St. Petersburg Orchestra (with conductor Yuri Temirkanov and pianist Nelson Freire), the Russian National Orchestra (with conductor Vladimir Jurowski) and pianist/conductor Barry Douglas with his Camerata Ireland.

A spring festival in May and June 2008 will feature the "Genesis Suite" (co-written by seven composers, including Schoenberg and Stravinsky), with visuals by Dale Chihuly, and narration by actors Jill St. John and Robert Wagner.

Already announced is another big event, in May 2008: a collaboration with the Seattle Theatre Group and the Mark Morris Dance Group, presenting Morris' famous work "L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato" (with music by Handel) in the Paramount Theatre, with Schwarz conducting.

As in the past, the symphony will present several other series, including Musically Speaking, Mainly Mozart, Basically Baroque, Popular Classics, Distinguished Artists and other recital series devoted to the organ and the guitar.

The Seattle Symphony Pops concerts will span sci-fi, holiday, musical theater and Hollywood themes, with guest artists Jack Everly, Jeff Tyzik, Marvin Hamlisch and Robert Moody.

Saturday, February 10, 2007