Is this the best Boston can do?main
The Boston Symphony has built its 20-21 season around a cycle of Beethoven symphonies with Andris Nelson, a Shostakovich opera, ‘six major works of Richard Strauss’ and a repeat of the Thomas Ades piano concerto.
At a time of mass uncertainty, when the orchestra admits it has no idea of the season will start on time or when, the lack of alternative planning represents a mental lockdown more than a physical one.
Boston has been focussed these past three months on whether or not Tangelwood will go ahead. Probably not, it appears.
That dither time could have been more profitably invested in surprises for the next season, whenever it may start.
Anna Rakitina, BSO Assistant Conductor in her Symphony Hall debut, leading music of Thomas Adès, Rachmaninoff, and Elgar (11/24-28); Thomas Wilkins, BSO Artistic Advisor for Education and Community Engagement, leading works by Ellington, Gershwin, and Still (1/28-30); Thomas Adès, BSO Artistic Partner, leading music of Prokofiev, Ravel, and Janáček, as well as a reprisal of his highly acclaimed Concerto for Piano and Orchestra Piano with Kirill Gerstein as soloist (2/11-13)
Pianist Mitsuko Uchida joining the BSO and Andris Nelsons for performances of Beethoven’s Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 3 (4/22-27)—the start of a three-year cycle of performances of the five concertos; additional acclaimed soloists include Emanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman, Rudolf Buchbinder, Daniil Trifonov, Inon Barnatan, and Paul Lewis; violinists Augustin Hadelich and Gil Shaham; cellist Yo-Yo Ma; vocalists Kristine Opolais, Brandon Jovanovich, Lise Davidsen, Sir Willard White and Renée Fleming
Guest conductors Giancarlo Guerrero (Julia Wolfe, Her Story, written in commemoration of the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment and Gorecki Symphony No. 3, Symphony of Sorrowful Song, 11/5-7); Dima Slobodeniouk (Stravinsky’s complete Firebird and music of Mendelssohn, 11/12-17); Alan Gilbert (Nielsen Symphony No. 3, music of Bartók and Beethoven, 11/19-21); Herbert Blomstedt (Sibelius Symphony No. 4 and Mendelssohn Symphony No. 3, 3/4-6)