Classical Concerts

A Rare American Oratorio, Live from Carnegie Hall

Friday, May 9, 2014
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Carnegie Hall

Carnegie Hall (photo by Jeff Goldberg-Esto, courtesy of Carnegie Hall)

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the May Festival Chorus, and conductor James Conlon perform Harmonium, by John Adams, and The Ordering of Moses, by R. Nathaniel Dett, at Carnegie Hall in New York.





Mendelssohn's Elijah, with Cantata Singers

Thursday, April 17, 2014
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Felix Mendelssohn

Felix Mendelssohn (credit James Warren Childe, via Wikimedia Commons)

As part of its celebration of 50 years of concerts in Boston, the Cantata Singers and Music Director David Hoose perform one of the pinnacles of choral-orchestral music: Felix Mendelssohn's Elijah.

Download program notes and a translation of the text of Elijah.

The currents that define the musical life of any city grow out of the fascinations of individual people. In Boston, the citiy's musical identity runs along several threads. The many educational institutions, through performances by both faculty and student musicians, have continually offered stellar chamber music. The Boston Symphony Orchestra performs orchestral music on the highest level. And more than almost any other American city, Boston audiences gravitate towards early music.

And then there is Bach. The composer most central to the formation of Western art music finds traction almost anywhere in the world. But Boston's relationship to Bach is even stronger than most. It was that connection that led to the founding of the Cantata Singers in 1964. Its primary purpose at the outset was the preservation of - as the group's name implies - the sacred cantatas Bach wrote and that, at the time, formed the least explored area of his music.

So as the Cantata Singers planned its celebratory fiftieth anniversary season, Bach remained at the core of the group. The 2013-2014 season opens and closes with Bach, but in between are works and composers that reflect the centrality of Bach in unique ways.

The concert performed on Feb. 22 was devoted to a singular work by the composer most often credited with launching Bach's music into the wider public realm: Mendelssohn. A prolific composer of many different genres of music, Mendelssohn revived Bach's St. Matthew Passion in 1829, and it was one of many experiences in which Mendelssohn learned from his predecessor. Those lessons took root in 1846 in Elijah.

David HooseAs Cantata Singers Music Director David Hoose writes in program notes for the concert, The reputation of Felix Mendelssohn’s Elijah has fallen, risen, fallen and risen again since August 26, 1846, when 3,000 people gathered in Town Hall in Birmingham, England to hear the latest creation by the famous and beloved composer. ... Today, Elijah, along with the requiems by Mozart, Brahms and Faure´, is considered one of the great choral-orchestra works, and it is music beloved by performers and listeners alike.

Hear Mendelssohn's Elijah in a concert performance by the Cantata Singers and conductor David Hoose on Sunday, April 20, at 5pm on 99.5 WCRB.

Download program notes for complete cast and a translastion of the text.

Celebrity Series of Boston, 2014-2015

Tuesday, April 15, 2014
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April 16, 2014

Riccardo Chailly Lisa Batiashvili Calder Quartet
From left: Riccardo Chailly, Lisa Batiashvili (credit Mat Hennek), and the Calder Quartet (credit Autumn de Wilde)

In a continuation of a now 75-year tradition, the Celebrity Series of Boston has announced a 2014-2015 season that brings a wealth of musical riches to Boston from around the globe.

Building on a history that now stretches back three-quarters of a century, the Celebrity Series of Boston will present a diverse array of classical music concerts between October, 2014, and May, 2015. From solo pianists to world-class orchestras, the series features the return of many Boston favorites, as well as the Celebrity Series debuts of several artists and ensembles.

See highlights below, and for the complete schedule, including dance, jazz, spoken word, and other performances, visit the Celebrity Series of Boston.


Michael Tilson Thomas
Michael Tilson Thomas
(photo by Chris Wahlberg)
  • Nov. 7, 2014 - Riccardo Chailly conducts the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra in Mendelssohn's Hebrides Overture and Symphony No. 5, the "Reformation," and Nikolaj Znaider is the soloist in Beethoven's Violin Concerto.
  • Nov. 16, 2014 - Michael Tilson Thomas leads the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra in Liszt's Mephisto Waltz No. 1, Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 2, with soloist Gil Shaham, Drift and Providence, by Samuel Carl Adams, and the Suite No. 2 from Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé.
  • Feb. 22, 2015 - The Mahler Chamber Orchestra and pianist Leif Ove Andsnes perform Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Concertos Nos. 2, 3, and 4.
Daniil Trifonov
Daniil Trifonov
Renee Fleming
Renée Fleming
(photo by Andrew Eccles, courtesy of Decca)
  • Jan. 23, 2015 - Mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter and pianist Angela Hewitt perform works by Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Fauré, and Debussy.
  • Feb. 8, 2015 - Soprano Renée Fleming, whose performances regularly sell out concert halls around the world, and who performed the National Anthem at the Super Bowl, sings a recital at Symphony Hall.
  • Apr. 17, 2015 - Tenor Joseph Calleja, described in the New York Times as having "
    one of the loveliest voices in opera right now, pure, sunny and strong, but with a ringing vibration - See more at:
    one of the loveliest voices in opera right now, pure, sunny and strong, but with a ringing vibration," sings a recital at NEC's Jordan Hall.
Janine Jansen
Janine Jansen
(photo by Harald Hoffmann, courtesy of Decca)
Chamber Ensembles and Instrumentalists
  • Oct. 18, 2014 - The Juilliard Quartet performs works by Webern, Berg, and Schubert.
  • Nov. 19, 2014 - The Simón Bolívar String Quartet makes its Boston debut with music by Mendelssohn, Ginastera, and Brahms.
  • Nov. 23, 2014 - Violinist Itzhak Perlman performs at Symphony Hall.
  • Jan. 22, 2015 - The Emerson Quartet performs a concert that includes Lowell Libermann's String Quartet, a Celebrity Series commission.
  • Feb. 6, 2015 - Violinist Janine Jansen and pianist Itamar Golan perform works by Prokofiev, Beethoven, and Ravel.
  • Feb. 20, 2015 - The Calder Quartet plays a concert of music by Andrew Norman, Ravel, Adès, and Beethoven.
  • Mar. 4, 2015 - The Silk Road Ensemble celebrates its 15th anniversary, with cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
  • Mar. 5, 2015 - Organist Cameron Carpenter performs at Sanders Theatre.
  • Mar. 29, 2015 - Violinist Lisa Batiashvili and pianist Paul Lewis perform works by Schubert, Bach, and Beethoven.
  • Apr. 8, 2015 - The Dublin Guitar Quartet makes it Boston debut with music by Tavener, Brouwer, Ligeti, and Pärt.
  • April 22, 2015 - Trio Jean Paul plays works by Beethoven, Rihm, and Dvorák.
  • May 1, 2015 - Cellist Alisa Weilerstein and pianist Inon Barnatan perform music by Bach, Prokofiev, and Schubert, as well as a new work by Joseph Hallman.

For complete information, visit the Celebrity Series of Boston.

New Year's Bach with Boston Baroque

Tuesday, December 31, 2013
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Last Night Of The Proms!

Thursday, September 5, 2013
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Marin Alsop

99.5 WCRB brings you one of the world's great music traditions on-demand, as conductor Marin Alsop leads the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus at the Last Night of the Proms, from Royal Albert Hall in London.

To hear the concert, click on "Listen" above.

The Music Director of both the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, steps up to the podium for a tradition-soaked celebration of music from the heart of Great Britain, recorded on Sept. 7, 2013.

Special guests include American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato and British violinist Nigel Kennedy.

London-born composer Anna Clyne, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's composer in residence, has written a new work that will open the program, and the concert also pays tribute to the anniversaries of the births of Richard Wagner, Giuseppe Verdi, and Benjamin Britten.

Of course, no Last Night of the Proms would be complete without Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 ("Land of Hope and Glory"), Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry's "Jerusalem," and "God Save the Queen," performed this year in the arrangement by Benjamin Britten.


Royal Albert HallFull program:

Anna Clyne - Masquerade
(BBC Commission, World Premiere)

Wagner - Die Meistersinger Overture

Bernstein - Chichester Psalms

Vaughan Williams - The Lark Ascending

Britten - The Building of the House

Bernstein - "Make Our Garden Grow," from Candide

Massenet - "Je suis gris! je suis ivre!" from Chérubin

Handel - "Frondi tenere e belle ... Ombra mai fù" from Xerxes

Rossini - "Tanti affetti in tal momento!" from La donna del lago


Bernstein - Candide Overture

Verdi - "Va, pensiero" (Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves), from Nabucco

Arlen - "Over the Rainbow

Monti - Csárdás

Traditional - Londonderry Air ("Danny Boy")

Rodgers - "You'll never walk alone," from Carousel

Bantock - Sea Reivers

Lloyd - HMS Trinidad March
UK Premiere

Arne - Rule, Britannia!

Elgar - Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 in D major ("Land of Hope and Glory")

Parry, orch. Elgar - Jerusalem

Traditional, arr. Britten - The National Anthem

Joyce DiDonato, mezzo-soprano
Nigel Kennedy, violin
BBC Symphony Chorus
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Marin Alsop, conductor

(image of Marin Alsop by Grant Leighton; image of Royal Albert Hall by Marcus Ginns)


The Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, Live

Friday, August 5, 2011
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