Previewing the 2005-2006 Season at Carnegie Hall
Addressing a packed house at Weill Recital Hall, one of Carnegie Hall’s three main stages, along with Stern Auditorium and Zankel Hall, Klaus Jacobs, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Acting Executive Director, laid out some of the extraordinary events and activities that will grace the 2005-2006 season. A banker by profession, treasurer of the board, and “a profound music lover,” this was the third time, noted Ara Guzelimian, Carnegie Hall’s Artistic Advisor, who presided over the press conference, that Mr. Jacobs has stepped out of planned retirement to lead Carnegie Hall, at least until July 1st ,when former London Symphony Orchestra head Clive Gillinson will assume the position of Executive and Artistic Director. Affectionate reference to Mr. Jacob’s “unquestionably” firm hand at the helm of Carnegie Hall, following the untimely death of its 47-year old Executive Director last year, drew admiring laughter and applause, and it was obvious, especially in the Q & A session following the formal press conference, that Mr. Jacobs, in concert with Mr. Guzelimian, the board, and various program heads, has assembled an astonishingly
rich set of offerings – 250 major events with a number of stellar firsts – world premieres, American premieres, New York premieres, 50 commissioned pieces, including Early
Music, Pop, Jazz, Contemporary, World Music, Chamber Works, Workshops. Just reciting
the names of some of the featured artists provides “makes him feel wonderful,”
There’s something for every taste and age and an enhanced focus on education – training sessions for young children, older students and adults. Asked how Carnegie’s outreach programs differ from others, Jacobs replied Carnegie’s constitute one of “the largest music education programs in the country,” especially with regard to area high schools. Many of these events will take place under the auspices of The Weill Music Institute, sponsor of an unprecedented number of activities designed to reach at least 100,000 youngsters, and distance learning conferences that will center on teacher training workshops. The 600-seat Zankel Hall, only 20 feet from the subway [groans], was conceived particularly to attract a younger audience, Jacobs pointed out, and though data do not yet exist to verify informal observation (it’s difficult to survey an audience that tends to arrive at the last minute), he suggests that concertgoers look over a typical Zankel Hall crowd. “It’s the one place where my three-piece suit feels out of place, joked Ara Guzelimian.
Exemplifying the “interrelating relationships” that are at the heart of the Carnegie idea, teaching a new generation and exploring “cross-genre versatility,” the expanded new season includes a Perspectives Series (British tenor Ian Bostridge, pianist Richard Goode, Senegalese vocalist Youssou N’Dour, and conductor David Robertson of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra); six concerts by the Kronos Quartet (“Live Mix); the SF JAZZ Collective, a three-night jazz engagement starring Bobby Hutcherson and Joshua Redman; composer John Adams’ third annual multi-genre series, “In Your Ear Too”; and a four-concert Route 57 [get, it, the street Carnegie Hall’s located on] called “An American Roots Festival,” in partnership with WFUV and Festival Productions, that will highlight American traditional music from blues and gospel to Celtic, bluegrass and country. And get ready for the 40th anniversary of new music composer and vocalist Meredith Monk, who will perform and preside.
As if all this variety and diversity were not already an embarrassment of riches, the new season will celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Mozart with a special performance scheduled for the composer’s birthday, January 27. At that time Sir Simon Rattle will conduct the Berliner Philharmoniker in an all-Mozart program that will feature the little heard “Serenade in B-flat Major for 13 Winds,” “Symphony No. 38”(the “Prague”), and “Piano Concerto No. 27” (K 595) with Alfred Brendel. Add, please, James Levine and the MET Orchestra, Daniel Barenboim and the Berlin Staatskapelle, Riccardo Muti and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and Emanuel Ax, Richard Goode, András Schiff, Misuko Uchida, Leif Ove Andsnes and so many more. Of course, some artists who have committed don’t have dates yet – booking in advance, especially for the jazz folks, is “too exotic” says Ara Guzelimian, but audiences can search the latest schedule at Carnegie Hall’s website: www.carnegiehall.org.#