Carnegie Hall’s new season puts BBC Proms in shade

Carnegie Hall’s new season puts BBC Proms in shade


norman lebrecht

April 26, 2022

The 2022-23 season, just announced, has the Philadelphia Orchestra practically in residence over several visits, challenging a reinvigorated NY Phil in its restored hall. Should be a good contest.

Mitsuko Uchida will be official resident artist, with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.

The City of Birmingham Orchestra and the LA Phil will make their first Carnegie visits in 30 years, with Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla and Gustavo Dudamel; the Helsinki Philharmonic is back for the first time in half a century.

The Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic orchestras, Cleveland and the Ensemble Intercontemporain will perform their ritual roles. Maurizio Pollini will mark his 80th birthday. The Emersn Quartet will reflect on the life on Andrei Sakharov. The Lviv Philharmonic will represent suffering Ukraine.

New recital pairings will include mezzo-soprano Anne-Sofie von Otter with fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenhout; soprano Renée Fleming with pianist Evgeny Kissin; and violinist Joshua Bell with pianist Daniil Trifonov.

Being serious about music does not hurt.


  • Dr Huw says:

    Seems a tad harsh – apples and pears – compare with London’s Barbican or RFH for a similar length of events. Also in other posts NL has lamented orchestral tours and airmiles – is the Proms’ worth only measured in foreign orchestras rather on the full range and quality offered?

  • Chicagorat says:

    Lucky New York. This is what a great city deserves, and delivers.

    At the same time, in the second city (should read fourth of fifth for classical music), the Bill Clinton of classical music will delight the now regularly half empty Symphony Hall with Cimarosa and third or fourth revivals of previously heard trite Russian programs. Oh yes, and a Missa Solemnis that is expected to be terrifying. That is, not in a good way.

    Gorno, Alexander, you wanted to keep him one extra year, did you? Well then.

    Not even the Chicago Tribune is covering the CSO anymore. Think about that.

    • Chicagoan says:

      OK but at least keep your facts straight: it’s called Orchestra Hall

    • zayin says:

      The Chicago Tribune was purchased by Sam Zell and went bankrupt the following year and he had to sell off its assets.

      The Tribune hasn’t been able to afford a classical music critic.

      The CSO can’t afford to go to Carnegie Hall these days. It costs a lot to rent a few buses and drive overnight to NY.

      Good to know that the Zells can always spin off sections of the orchestra, maybe sell the string section to the Kalamazoo Symphony, but keep the brass section to play the annual Christmas concerts.

    • Max Raimi says:

      The Chicago Tribune isn’t covering anything any more. It is a shell of its former self. You can say what you want about Muti (and your tedious and incessant repetitions of the same complaints add nothing to the conversation here), but “regularly half empty Symphony (sic) Hall” is not something that you can hang on him. His concerts regularly sell quite well. Possibly, my vantage point from the stage is superior to yours behind your computer keyboard.

      • CSOA Insider says:

        Selling half the tickets is “selling quite well”, says Raimi with a regretful smile. If this is not defeated, denialist thinking, I don’t know what is, as several theaters in Chicago run sold out shows for starved post-pandemic audiences craving for more.

        You are quite inaccurate regarding the Tribune, which is covering very many things that matter to Chicago and still very much an important institution. It had its resources reduced, true; unlike Alexander, who focuses unashamedly on md “entertainement”, they exercise good judgement and the CSO is not even close to making their cut. The Lyric is.

        Muti is a very different matter. He is newsoworthy material. Only not for his conducting. Perhaps the Tribune should like to take a move from the National Enquirer, and “expose” the type of news that the Enquirer couldn’t a couple of years back. The city deserves to know on what kind of leader Alexander, Zell, Northern Trust are spending money, 100% knowingly. That would be a great public service (Yes Alexander and Northern Trust, you can’t say you don’t know anymore).

        Now going back to worrying about our French Horn to make sure he doesn’t become news …

        • Wind says:

          Alexander finds ways. He kept Muti fully entertained and fully satisfied during the duration of his illness in Chicago. It cost the organization almost nothing and looks justifiable to the casual observer and on the official records. As someone we know well would say … genius!

          Why he does that, and why it is more important to him than the institution’s name, it’s an entirely different question. Orders from above?

      • Chicago music fan says:

        Who is covering the cso? The NYT? No, they prefer to cover Cleveland, LA, NY, Philadelphia.

        So who is covering the CSO?

      • Paracelsus says:

        Says the musician who can’t put his own computer keyboard down.

        How about practicing some scales?

    • Birdy says:

      5th? that is quite generous. maybe in the us.

      Internationally, it is not on the radar.US and international visitors better head to LA, Philly or NY. stay away from Chicago where they are likely to get shot and very likely to hear mediocre symphonic music.

    • steve says:

      lmfao the tribune doesn’t even have an official, full-time critic anymore…so not sure wtf you’re going on about (then again, that applies to all the stupid comments you make here)!

  • Stephen Gould says:

    It is indeed a great season.

    Yuja is playing all four Rachmaninoff concerti in an afternoon – not even peak Barenboim would have ventured something like that. (He did do both Brahms in an evening, and a 2-evening Beethoven cycle.) As a friend put it, it’s easier to do when you’re not wearing any clothes.

  • Couperin says:

    Dear Lord, even MORE Yannick being shoved down our throats? WHY!!!!!

    • Touch grass says:

      stay mad

    • Imbrod says:

      Obviously you’re safe going to the Met those nights.

    • John Kelly says:

      He may not be a Reiner or a Szell or a Munch or a Stokowski but he’s a heck of a lot better than so many others schlepping their way onto the Carnegie Hall podium…….

      • music lover says:

        Those old school maestros were good for their times…But stylistically,we have evolved..I have most of their recordings,but i don´t listen very often to them.Music and performance arts have evolved,and so have i.And i don´t find much interest in listening to them.

        • John Kelly says:

          I don’t know what you mean exactly by “stylistically we have evolved” unless you are referring to so-called “authentic performance practice.” You are welcome to the likes of Roger Norrington and Xavier-Roth, to whiny anemic string tone and underwhelming tuttis. I’ll take Karajan and Toscanini any day!

        • Petros Linardos says:

          Yes, sometimes I feel that way too about some old recordings.

          Whenever I listen to Szell, however, just about anything, I often question my current values about style. And I am generally a period performance fan!

    • Barry Guerrero says:

      I don’t understand the complaint. I listen to the Philadelphia Orchestra broadcasts pretty regularly on Sirius XM satellite radio. The performances conducted by Yannick N.-S. sound just as good as those conducted by guest conductors, and often times even better. Particularly memorable, to me, were the Rachmaninoff “Symphonic Dances” and the Shostakovich 4th. When it comes to opera, I pay attention to the singers and what’s going on onstage. The conductor is important but secondary, in my book. I think you could do far, far worse.

  • Enquiring Mind says:

    But lets get to what is important; have excluded everything Russian?

    • Tom Phillips says:

      Sadly – until quite recently – we have instead been BOMBARDED with “everything Russian”. Nice to see some other music and performers emphasized for a change.

  • NYMike says:

    No Amsterdam Concertgebouw! Bah Humbug!

  • Una says:

    Here we go again, knocking the Proms before the even start. My Prom Programme arrived this morning, and it’s a terrific season, all done by the BBC not American philanthropy. It’s a festival for two months and something for everyone and nothing repeated. Can’t go wrong. You can’t compare a season of Carnegie Hall with the Proms.

    • Allen says:

      “all done by the BBC not American philanthropy”

      Strange comment. The Proms is ‘done’ by a tax on watching live broadcasts by TV companies, not just the BBC, under threat of imprisonment. How long can that last in 2022?

      Those who don’t need a TV licence receive threatening letters which are truly shameful: ‘We have started an investigation’ etc. Pure intimidation by this ‘envy of the World’.

  • John Kelly says:

    Carnegie Season very good, as good as I can remember which is gratifying after the past few years. I can’t wait for the Rachmaninov marathon where Yuja Wang plays all 4 Rach concerti in one sitting! Like Maazel conducting all 9 Beethoven Symphonies at once……….only harder. Plus it saves me $35 in tolls going to Philly and back………and Thielemann doing 3 programs with the VPO, a significant conductorial upgrade from previous Vienna outings in the US (Gergiev we will hopefully never see again and we didn’t see him last time, Yannick jumped in excellently).

  • just saying says:

    I didn’t realize it was a “contest” between the two buildings

  • J Barcelo says:

    But…would you rather travel and walk around London or New York? As a visitor to both, the former is much, much cleaner and safer. NYC is currently not a nice place to be in.

  • Barry says:

    Philadelphia plays a series at Carnegie every season. There is nothing unusual about this particular season’s schedule in that regard.

    Kind of interesting BPO programming. I don’t recall them (or any of the other major European orchestras) repeating a program, as they are with Mahler’s 7th.

  • music lover says:

    Comparing apples to oranges…..The Proms are a two month festival,Carnegie Hall has a full concert season…Just btw,i find the visiting orchestras and their programs far more interesting at the proms season….

  • pjl says:

    But compare the NY SUMMER programme to the PROMS; in UK with the Proms and Edinburgh we get more summer music than most cities…Carnegie autumn/winter/spring is not a fair comparison

  • MacroV says:

    Carnegie Hall and the Proms are very different animals. But you know that.

  • A well known musician says:

    Proms are utterly predictable. Quell surprise, Benedetti and Sheku. They are good, but it’s the same every year. Total lack of imagination. Should be an opportunity to celebrate all we have to offer, not just the same repetitive names. There are many who fully deserve that stage but don’t get a look in.

  • Jim Norris says:

    Having just spent a month in NYC and enjoying many varied concerts and shows, I have to say that the cost of tickets for these events taking into account booking fees and local taxes is getting prohibitive. $100 is not uncommon for even the most basic seat . If UK orchestras charged these prices the halls would be empty.

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    Let’s just rejoice that at this that point and time, there’s as much classical music happening as there is. At the beginning of the Covid mess, predictions were that it would take nearly three years to come up with a workable vaccine. Traveling is still difficult – witness the Boston Symphony cancellation – but at least things are happening. I, for one, am very happy about that. Enjoy the Proms. Enjoy Carnegie Hall. Enjoy the music – don’t stare at the conductor (it’s not about them [they just have a job to do]). Play ball!

  • Peter Feltham says:

    The BBC together with it’s silly PC Agenda will be the death of the Proms, It is now well on it’s way to becoming a sort of indoor Glastonbury Festival.