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Music makeover
James Levine comes to the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Club Passim makes some changes.

BSO 2004-2005

The Boston Symphony Orchestra took advantage of music director designate James Levineís annual visit last weekend to announce the orchestraís 2004-2005 season, in which he will finally take up his new post. At a packed press conference (close to 150 media representatives in Symphony Hallís Hatch Room) last Thursday, Levine was, as usual, lucid, concise, and intelligent in answering questions; his detailed explanation of why he deploys his first and second violins antiphonally brought tears to the eyes of this 50-year classical-music veteran. And the season itself had everyone salivating. The bad news is that Levine wonít be here to conduct the opening program; heíll be in New York directing Verdiís Otello at the Metropolitan Opera (his "other" job). But Daniele Gatti doing Mozartís great G-major symphony and Mahlerís great Symphony No. 5 isnít exactly a letdown. And when on October 22 Levine does begin his BSO tenure, itíll with a big bang: Mahlerís epic Symphony No. 8, the "Symphony of a Thousand" (the premiere, in Munich in 1910, actually had some 1050 musicians, most of them singers). Other Levine-conducted highlights include Elliott Carterís Symphonia: Sum fluxae pretium spei; Berliozís Roméo et Juliette with Lorraine Hunt Lieberson; Finnish soprano Karita Mattila in the closing scene from Richard Straussís Salome; a concert performance of Wagnerís Der fliegende Holländer; and Charles Ivesís Symphony No. 2. Whatís more, Jimmy will step down from the podium to play piano with the Boston Symphony Chamber Players (the program will include Schubertís Trout Quintet) and with the celebrated Yevgeny Kissin (in a two-piano Schubert recital). The guest conductors include Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Christoph von Dohnányi, Robert Spano, David Zinman, and Kurt Masur; and thereíll be plenty of contemporary music on intriguingly constructed programs ó actually, the entire season looks like one big highlight. Itís given below, and you can read Lloyd Schwartzís comments on it (as well as on Levineís performances with the BSO last weekend) in the Arts section. And yes, you can subscribe now; call (617) 266-7575 or (888) 266-7575.

September 30, October 1, 2, 5

Daniele Gatti

Mozart: Symphony No. 40

Mahler: Symphony No. 5

October 7, 8, 9, 12

Charles Dutoit, Yefim Bronfman

Berlioz: Roman Carnival Overture

Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances

Brahms: Piano Concerto 2

October 14, 15, 16

André Previn, Truls Mørk (cello)

Ravel: Le tombeau de Couperin

Dutilleux: Tout un monde lointain . . .

Dvorák: Symphony No. 8

October 22, 23

James Levine, Jane Eaglen,

Hei-Kyung Hong, Heidi Grant Murphy,

Stephanie Blythe, Yvonne Naef, Richard Margison,

Eike Wilhm Schulte, John Relyea

Tanglewood Festival Chorus

Mahler: Symphony No. 8

October 28, 29, 30

James Levine

Ligeti: Lontano

Mozart: Symphony No. 38 (Prague)

Schoenberg: Five Pieces for Orchestra

Stravinsky: Le sacre du printemps

November 4, 6

James Levine, Karita Mattila, John Ferillo

Richard Strauss: Oboe Concerto

Richard Strauss: Closing scene from Salome

Schubert: Symphony in C (Great)

November 11, 12, 13

James Levine

Carter: Micomicón

Carter: Symphonia: Sum fluxae pretium spei

Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 (Eroica)

November 14

James Levine (piano),

Boston Symphony Chamber Players

Mozart: Quintet for Piano and Winds in E-flat K.452

Carter: Sonata for Flute, Oboe, Cello, and Harpsichord

Schubert: Piano Quintet in A (Trout)

November 26, 27, 30

James Levine, Lynn Harrell

Schumann: Manfred Overture

Lutoslawski: Cello Concerto

Ligeti: Cello Concerto

Dvorák: Symphony No. 7

December 2, 3, 4

James Levine, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson,

Matthew Polenzani, Julien Robbins,

Tanglewood Festival Chorus

Berlioz: Roméo et Juliette

December 9, 10, 11

James Levine

Schoenberg: Verklärte Nacht

Messiaen: Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum

Stravinsky: Symphony of Wind Instruments

Bartók: Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta

January 6, 7, 8, 11

Hans Graf, James Galway

Hindemith: Konzertmusik for Strings and Brass

Mozart: Flute Concerto in D

Bolcom: Flute Concerto

Hindemith: Mathis der Maler

January 13, 14, 15

James Levine

Sibelius: Symphony No. 4

Babbitt: Concerti for Orchestra (world premiere, BSO commission)

Sibelius: Symphony No. 5

January 20, 21, 22, 25

James Conlon, Garrick Ohlsson

Ullmann: Piano Concerto

Shostakovich: Symphony No. 7 (Leningrad)

January 27, 28, 29, February 1

David Zinman, Richard Goode

Gandolfi: new work

Bartók: Piano Concerto No. 3

Mussorgsky/Ravel: Pictures at an Exhibition

February 3, 4, 5, 8

Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos,

Tanglewood Festival Chorus

Brahms: Nänie

Brahms: Gesang der Parzen

Brahms: Schicksalslied

Brahms: Symphony No. 1

February 10, 11, 12

Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos,

Steven Isserlis (cello), Steven Ansell (viola),

boy soprano (The Boy), Jean-Paul Fouchécourt (Master Peter),

Jonathan Lemalu (Don Quixote), Bob Brown Puppets

Falla: Master Peterís Puppet Show

R. Strauss: Don Quixote

February 17, 18, 19

Robert Spano, Robert Levin

Wagner: Siegfried Idyll

Mendelssohn: Piano Concerto No. 1

Wyner: new work for piano and orchestra (world premiere, BSO commission)

Haydn: Symphony No. 104 (London)

February 24, 25, 26, March 1

Ingo Metzmacher

Hartmann: Symphony No. 4

Mozart: Gran Partita

March 3, 4, 5

James Levine, Alfred Brendel

Haydn: Symphony No. 92

Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 20

Schubert: Symphony No. 4 (Tragic)

March 11, 13, 15

James Levine, Juha Uusitalo (The Dutchman),

Deborah Voigt (Senta), tenor TBA (Erik),

Mikhail Petrenko (Daland), Jane Bunnell (Mary),

Peter Groves (The Helmsman),

Tanglewood Festival Chorus

Wagner: Der fliegende Holländer

March 17, 18, 19, 22

James Levine

Bach/Schoenberg: Prelude and Fugue in E-flat

Ives: Symphony No. 2

Varèse: Amériques

Gershwin: An American in Paris

March 24, 25, 26

James Levine, Peter Serkin

Harbison: new work (world premiere, BSO commission)

Stravinsky: Movements for Piano and Orchestra

Wuorinen: Piano concerto No. 4 (world premiere, BSO commission)

Brahms: Symphony No. 2

April 1, 2

BSO assistant conductor, Stephen Hough

Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No. 5 (Egyptian)

Rest of program TBA

April 14, 15, 16, 19

Kurt Masur, Vadim Repin

Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No. 1

Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 (Romantic)

April 21, 22, 26

Christoph von Dohnányi, Alban Gerhardt

Lutoslawski: Concerto for Orchestra

Schumann: Cello Concerto

Ravel: La valse

April 27

James Levine, Yevgeny Kissin (pianos)

Schubert: Fantasie in F minor

Schubert: Allegro in A minor (Lebensstürme)

Schubert: Sonata in C (Grand Duo)

April 28, 29, 30

Christoph von Dohnányi, Alban Gerhardt (cello)

Birtwistle: The Shadow of Night

Mahler: Symphony No. 1

May 3, 5, 6, 7

Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos,

Steven Kovacevich

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5 (Emperor)

Respighi: Fontane di Roma

Respighi: Pini di Roma

ó Jeffrey Gantz

Passimís new name

In Shakespeareís play, Juliet tells Romeo that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. But the directors and executives of Club Passim have announced a new name for their umbrella organization that they hope will sweeten the Cambridge folk music institutionís future.

Previously the famed Club Passim performance space at 47 Palmer Street in Harvard Square, a "Culture for Kids" program, the Folk Archive Project, and the Passim School of Music were all run under the Club Passim umbrella. Now the umbrella organizationís name has been changed to the more inclusive Passim Folk Music and Cultural Center. Along with the new name come a new logo and a new Web site that will be active within a month, according to Passim development director Melanie Bates. "The new name more accurately describes who we are as an organization. The earlier name was really only describing the music venue, which is the original reason why weíre here but ignores our commitment to education, exposing children to other cultures, and our archive project. Foundations have had trouble understanding why Club Passim is raising money for kids. Theyíve been confused about why something that sounds like a music venue is asking them for donations. This new name will make more sense to them."

Passimís effort to appeal to institutional donors via the name change follows the announcement of the organizationís annual fundraising concert, which is scheduled for March 26 at Sanders Theatre on the Harvard campus and will feature Richard Thompson, Peter Mulvey, Mark Erelli, and Halali. Erelli was also among the performers who played at Club Passim this past Sunday as part of a ceremony marking the new name. (Tickets are on sale via the Harvard box office at 617-496-2222 and at www.fas.harvard.edu/-tickets.)

The new Passim Folk Music and Cultural Center is marking its 46th anniversary this year. The original music venue, Club 47 (located at 47 Brattle Street, where Harnettís is now) was a seminal location for the American folk-music explosion of the í50s and í60s. Artists from Joan Baez to Bill Monroe to Muddy Waters played the room. Over the decades, the club moved to 47 Palmer Street (which at the time, in 1963, had no street numbers; Passim petitioned the city for No. 47) made the transition to a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the folk tradition. The School of Music offers master and group classes, workshops, and private and semi-private lessons in everything from fiddle and guitar technique to Arabic percussion. The Culture for Kids program brings local schoolchildren to Club Passim for the food, dance, music, and storytelling of other cultures; this past summer, it sponsored an outdoor concert series at the Childrenís Museum that encompassed zydeco, rap, blues, bluegrass, country, and Arabic music. And the Archive Project is organizing thousands of photos, documents, and recordings that capture the history of the folk-music scene in New England, focusing on the musicís í50s and í60s revival.

ó Ted Drozdowski

Issue Date: January 23 - 29, 2004
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