From Adams to Xenakis, New World Symphony lays out a varied feast for 2017-18 season

By Lawrence Budmen

Yuja Wang will perform music of Rachmaninoff and Shostakovich in the New World Symphony's season-opening program, October 4-5. Photo: Ian Douglas

Yuja Wang will perform music of Rachmaninoff and Shostakovich in the New World Symphony’s season-opening program, October 14-15. Photo: Ian Douglas

The New World Symphony’s 2017-2018 season will open on October 14-15 with artistic director Michael Tilson Thomas conducting Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio Espagnol and excerpts from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. Yuja Wang will be soloist in two rarely played works – Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 4 and Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2. On May 5 and 6 Tilson Thomas closes the season with Mahler’s epic Symphony No. 9.

The orchestral academy will offer three Friday night concerts, eight Saturday evening and seven Sunday afternoon performances at its Miami Beach campus plus a three-concert series at the Arsht Center in downtown Miami. Six Sunday afternoon chamber music programs and three Sounds of the Times contemporary music evenings are also on the agenda.

In addition to Wang, other major soloists offering less familiar repertoire include Nicola Benedetti (Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No. 2) Leif Ove Andsnes (Faure’s Fantasie) and Gil Shaham (Bartok’s Violin Concerto No. 2). Soprano Tamara Wilson, a recent Richard Tucker Award winner, solos in Britten’s Les Illuminations. In more standard fare, Yefim Bronfman plays Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3, Johannes Moser offers Saint-Saëns’ Cello Concerto No. 1 and cellist Yo-Yo Ma and violist Jonathan Vinocour team up for Strauss’s Don Quixote. As always, the annual Concerto Night will spotlight members of the ensemble in solo works.

Jeanette Sorrell, director of the Cleveland-based Baroque band Apollo’s Fire, leads a Telemann-Vivaldi-Bach program. Stephanie Denève conducts the American premiere of French composer Guillaume Connesson’s e chiare nello vale il furore oppure plus works by Berlioz and Respighi. Other familiar podium guests include Mark Wigglesworth, James Gaffigan, Edwin Outwater, Robert Spano and Pablo Heras-Casado. Music by famed avant-garde composers Iannis Xenakis (Shoar) and György Ligeti (Lontano and Concert Romanesc) share the bill of fare with such blockbusters as Liszt’s Les Préludes and Stravinsky’s The Firebird. There will also be a rare performance of Sibelius’ Symphony No. 4.

In addition to the annual New Work program led by Tilson Thomas, the Sounds of the Times series presents the East Coast premiere of Mnemosyne’s Pool by Steven Mackey, a New World Symphony commission, under the baton of Jeffrey Milarsky (December 9). Composer John Adams conducts his own Tromba lontana, his son Samuel Adams’ many words of love and Timo Andres’ The Blind Banister with piano soloist Jonathan Biss (March 31).

The Sunday chamber series pairs audience favorites like Schubert’s String Quintet and Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence with rarities by John Rutter, Joan Tower, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Paul Chihara, John Luther Adams, Michael Torke, Carlos Chavez, Britten and Shostakovich. Among the guest artists are three chamber music stalwarts–violist Lawrence Dutton (from the Emerson String Quartet), violinist Daniel Ching (the Miró Quartet) and cellist Sharon Robinson (the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio). Soprano Michelle Bradley, a recent graduate of the Met’s Lindemann Young Artists Program, sings two rarely heard French works—Ernest Chausson’s Perpetual Song and André Caplet’s The Prayers. Dallas Symphony concertmaster Alexander Kerr is guest violinist and leader for Haydn’s Symphony No. 80.

nws.edu; 305-673-3331.

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