McCarter Theatre Center has announced its 2014-2015 Music Series, covering eleven events from some of the world’s most celebrated artists. Highlights of the season include the return (after a 40-year absence) of a full symphony orchestra with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony, debuts from artists such as pianist Maurizio Pollini and violinist Janine Jensen, engagements from edge-riding musicians such as organist Cameron Carpenter, and McCarter’s first presentation of Handel’s Messiah performed by Jacques Lacombe and the New Jersey Symphony Chamber Orchestra.
The McCarter Music Series will celebrate its 50th anniversary this season and is curated by Special Programming Director William W. Lockwood, who remains the driving force behind McCarter Theatre Center’s reputation as one of the premiere arts presenters in the country.
MAURIZIO POLLINI, piano
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 22 – 7:30 p.m.
In a career spanning more than five decades, Maurizio Pollini has become one of the most respected pianists of our time and has appeared all over the world with leading orchestras and conductors. Making his McCarter debut, he is particularly renowned for his innovative concert programs which champion works by contemporary composers and contrasts these with those of the Classical and Romantic eras. His recordings have won innumerable awards, including Gramophone and Echo Awards, Diapason d’or, Record Academy Prize, and Stella d’oro as well as two Grammys®.
JEREMY DENK, piano
FRIDAY, NOV. 7 – 8:00 p.m.
2013 MacArthur Fellowship “genius” Grant recipient Jeremy Denk, last seen at McCarter partnering with violinist Joshua Bell, will return to Princeton for a solo recital. In the words of The New York Times, “He is clearly a pianist you want to hear no matter what he performs, both for his penetrating intellectual engagement with the music and for the generosity of his playing.” This broad and thought-provoking program will include works by works by Haydn, Janacek Schubert, Mozart, and Schumann’s Carnaval .
SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY - Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor
Mahler’s Symphony No. 7
TUESDAY, NOV. 18 – 7:30 p.m.
For the first time in more than 40 years, McCarter will play host to a major orchestra when conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony visit Princeton in the fall. Adding to the rarified nature of this event, the 110-member symphony will dedicate the entire evening to a single work, Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 7. The Mahler symphonies have become the calling card for the San Francisco Symphony under the leadership of Michael Tilson Thomas, celebrating his 20th anniversary this year as the Orchestra’s Music Director.
HANDEL’S MESSIAH with the NEW JERSEY SYMPHONY CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
FRIDAY, DEC. 19, - 8:00 p.m.
The New Jersey Symphony Chamber Orchestra, led by Music Director Jacques Lacombe, joins forces with McCarter Theatre Center to present Handel’s Messiah for the first time as part of McCarter’s Music Series. This performance, a cornerstone of the holiday music season, will take place at Richardson Auditorium and is a joint presentation of McCarter and the NJSO.
GIDEON KREMER, violin – DANIIL TRIVONOV, piano
MONDAY, JAN. 5 – 7:30 p.m.
In a career spanning more than 40 years, violinist Gideon Kremer has made more than 120 CDs and has long championed the works of living Russian and Eastern European composers. Daniil Trifonov is a 22-year old Russian pianist emerging as the most exciting new keyboard talent since Lang Lang, winning both the Artur Rubinstein and Tchaikovsky competitions in 2012 (the latter was won by Kremer in 1967). This novel meshing of styles will include works by Schubert, Mozart, and more.
CAMERON CARPENTER, organ
FRIDAY, FEB. 6 – 8:00 p.m.
For his last visit, “bad boy of the organ” Cameron Carpenter stretched the limits of the Princeton University Chapel pipe organ with his muscular performance style. Now, Carpenter is back with a program aimed to reinvent the medium with his brand-new five-manual digital international touring organ, which he will bring to the McCarter stage. Designed by Carpenter, it combines the “American Classic” cathedral organ with the cinema organ, in a single instrument, thus keeping the best of the traditional pipe organ while breaking free of issues with instrument mobility. Carpenter’s novel style, combined with new technology, allows his repertoire to expand even further from Bach and Liszt to transcriptions of orchestral, piano, vocal music, film music, and jazz.
JANINE JANSEN, violin
ITAMAR GOLAN, piano
MONDAY, FEB. 9, 7:30 p.m.
According to The New York Times, “Janine Jansen is a player that you follow wherever she leads.” One of the foremost violinists of her generation, Jensen has curated her own chamber music festival in Utrecht and her best-selling recording of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons was an iTunes Classical Essential in 2013. For her McCarter debut, Jansen and pianist Itamar Golan will perform sonatas by Prokofiev and Ravel, plus other works.
THE SILK ROAD ENSEMBLE - Yo-Yo Ma, Artistic Director
TUESDAY, FEB. 24, 7:30 p.m.
The Silk Road Ensemble returns following its sold out 2012 concert. Its members hail from more than 20 countries along the routes of the ancient Silk Road, a series of land and sea trade routes crisscrossing Eurasia from Japan to the Mediterranean Sea. Most are musicians, but storytellers and visual artists also number among them, and their voices and instruments (kamancheh, gaita, shakuhachi, pipa, sheng and bawu) support their goal: to maintain the integrity of art rooted in authentic traditions while nourishing global connections. This program is presented with support from the Princeton University Music Department.
THREE BY FOUR: THE PIANO QUARTETS PROJECT
with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
MONDAY, Apr. 13 – 7:30 p.m.
This concert will include two masterpieces of the piano quartet literature, Brahms’ g minor Op. 25 and Schumann’s piano quartet (his only one). As if that wasn’t enough for one evening, Mahler’s only piano quartet will also be featured. This special performance project, generated by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, is composed entirely of CMSLC members, including the organization’s co-artistic directors, cellist David Finckel (late of the Emerson Quartet) and his wife, pianist Wu Han; violist Paul Neubauer; and violinist Daniel Hope.
CONRAD TAO, piano
Tuesday, April 21 at 7:30 p.m.
At 20 years of age, Conrad Tao is already recognized around the world as an artist beyond standard definition. In the great tradition of young musical polymaths such as Mozart, this pianist/composer/violinist gave his first solo recital at the age of four. His McCarter debut is another first in a long list of accolades and achievements, which include current enrollment in the Columbia University/Juilliard School joint degree program, curating his own three-day festival, releasing a pair of CDs, winning a 2012 Avery Fisher Career Grant, and appearing as the classical musician on Forbes’ 2011 30 under 30 list. This recital is presented on the Berlind Stage with support from the Princeton University Music Department.
IAN BOSTRIDGE, tenor
WENWEN DU, piano
Songs of World War I
Monday, April 27, 7:30p.m.
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the “Great War”, English tenor Ian Bostridge is exploring the music and poetry of World War I through an eclectically flexible vocal style ranging from recital to orchestral and opera. Joined by pianist WenWen Du, this recital program will include settings by George Butterworth and Kurt Weill of poems by A.E. Housman and Walt Whitman, plus “war songs” by Ivor Gurney, Mahler, Lehar, and Benjamin Britten.