New World Symphony to return live but continue streaming in 2021-22

By Lawrence Budmen

Michael Tilson Thomas will open the New World Symphony’s 2021-22 season on October 2.

The New World Symphony’s 2021-2022 season heralds a return to live performances with audiences at the New World Center, the orchestral academy’s Miami Beach home, and the Arsht Center in downtown Miami. (Two concerts will be repeated in West Palm Beach and Vero Beach.) In addition to symphonic, contemporary music and chamber music series, special weeklong presentations will be devoted to a Clarinet Festival and a celebration of the Harlem Renaissance.

The streaming initiative presented in this pandemic season will be continued. The  Wallcast concerts at the ensemble’s homebase will be expanded through a movable 9×16 foot Mobil Wall—to be unveiled in fall 2021—that will beam the concerts to neighborhoods throughout Miami. In a released statement, artistic director Michael Tilson Thomas said “The new season will be a joyous reunion of our New World Symphony fellows, our audience and our community. Together we look forward to continuing exploration of our rich cultural tradition.”

Tilson Thomas takes the podium for a pre-season concert October 2 with soprano Measha Brueggergosman as soloist in his song cycle Poems of Emily Dickenson. Chabrier’s Joyeuse marche and Schubert’s Symphony No. 9 complete the program.  Other soloists with Tilson Thomas include baritone Dashon Burton (Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer) pianist Jean Yves-Thibaudet (Mendelssohn’s Concerto No. 1) and violinists Christian Tetzlaff (Berg) and Gil Shaham (Joseph Boulogne’s concerto which shares the season’s concluding program May 6-7 with Mahler’s Symphony No.5).

Guest conductors include Marin Alsop, Stèphane Denéve, Xian Zhang, Roderick Cox, Rafael Payare and former New World conducting fellows Christian Reif and Teddy Abrams. Pianist Aaron Diehl plays the U.S. premiere of a new edition of Gershwin’s Concerto in F under Alsop. Gabriela Montero solos in her own Piano Concerto No. 1 (“Latin”) with Zhang. Cellist Zuill Bailey offers Victor Herbert’s rarely heard Concerto No. 2. Abrams leads the premiere of a new work for Latin Ensemble and orchestra by Dafnis Prieto, a NWS commission, with the pop group People of Earth. Pianist George Li debuts with Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 2 and violinist Augustin Haedelich plays Sibelius.

The Sounds of the Times series features the return of composer-conductors HK Gruber and Matthias Pintscher. Gruber will lead the U.S. premieres of his Northwind Pictures and Kurt Weill’s recently discovered Little Magic Night Music (November 13). Pintscher’s program includes the premiere of a NWS commission by Marcos Balter and Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s Canto di Speranza (Song of Hope) with cello fellow Ben Fryxell doing the solo honors (April 3). The contemporary music series concludes with Tilson Thomas conducting a program of works by Primous Fountain (April 16).

Clarinetists Martin Fröst, Anthony McGill, Andrew Marriner, Andreas Ottensamer and composer-instrumentalist Jorg Widmann take leading roles in a Clarinet Festival the week of February 14. Tilson Thomas and NWS alum Kazem Abdullah share the podium. A multi-disciplinary Harlem Renaissance Project (week of January 31) spotlights the music, theater, dance, spoken word and other arts from the early part of the 20th century when New York’s Harlem was a citadel of African-American creativity. Tilson Thomas and Thomas Wilkins conduct.

The six-concert Sunday afternoon chamber music series features cellist Oliver Herbert, harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani, mezzo-soprano Ronnita Miller and horn player Andrew Bain as guest artists. Programming mixes familiar classics with such rarities as Ibert’s Cello Concerto, Gôrecki’s Harpsichord Concerto, Julius Eastman’s The Holy Presence of Joan d’Arc and Ruth Crawford Seeger’s Suite for Woodwind Quintet. 

Subscription renewals go on sale Saturday. New subscription and single-ticket sales will be announced at a future date.

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