Artis—Naples announced an orchestral season Friday, Aug. 6, with a stated theme of “Esprit de corps.” But there’s also a sense of tribute flowing through its strongly grouped music season.
It will wave goodbye to music director Andrey Boreyko with three salutes:
- A special performances of Mahler’s concert-length “Das Lied von der Erde (“The Song of the Earth”) April 9.
- A Visiting Orchestra Series appearance in one of his other posts, as music director of the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, April 3.
- A season infused with works that speak to his Polish-Russian heritage
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There are other tributes, too:
African-American and female composers are coming to the fore, with eight of them in Masterworks, Wang and Sypert classical music series. One appears twice: the dynamic contemporary American composer Gabriela Lena Frank, whose heritage includes a father of Lithuanian Jewish background and a Peruvian mother of Chinese descent. Her “Quijotadas” is in the Wang Chamber Music Series Oct. 10 and her Elegia Andina is in the Masterworks Series Nov. 18 and Nov. 19.
Beethoven returns, figuratively, for a slice of cake at his 250th birthday party, which was cut short by Covid-19. Unfortunately, it does not include the Symphony No. 9 that had been planned here for 2020.
That undertaking will wait until a new choral director is in charge, according to Artis—Naples CEO and President Kathleen van Bergen. James Cochran, founding choral director, retired in 2020.
But there will be Beethoven:
- His No. 6, the “Pastoral,” (Jan. 6-8) Piano Concerto No. 5, the “Emperor” (Feb. 17 and 19), with guest star Jonathan Biss, are in the Masterworks Series
- The ever-popular Symphony No. 7 goes on philharmonic field trips to First Presbyterian Church of Bonita Springs on Feb. 3 and United Church of Marco Island Feb. 4 .
- Beethoven’s chamber music — a quartet, septet and wind octet —appear in three of the Sypert Salon Series concerts.
Tickets go on sale now to current subscribers only. See details in the accompanying information box. The Artis—Naples entertainment and Broadway seasons appear in a separate story in the Aug. 6 “In the 239” section of the Naples Daily News and is already online.
A final season incorporates heritage
The Masterworks Series’ infusion of Polish compositions opens with Zygmunt Krauze’s introspective “Serenade” (Oct. 29-30), a mystical work enhanced withThai gongs and cowbells. Mikoklaj Górecki’s “Zan Tontemiquico” ( Dec. 9 and 11) continues that air of spirituality. Mieczyslaw Karlowicz’ Symphony in E minor (“Rebirth”) (May 5 and 6). It’s a sublime work with overtones of Tchaikovsky, whom the composer admired.
Tchaikovsky also is among the Russian composers in the Masterworks with his “Selections from ‘Sleeping Beauty” (Oct. 29-30). Other Russian works: Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10 and Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1, the latter with guest artist Bella Hristova (both on Nov. 18 and 19). Prokofiev music returns in the Symphony No. 5 (April 22-23).
Glazunov’s “Autumn” and Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, with Yulianna Avdeeva the guest artist, are in the final program Boreyko conducts as Artis—Naples music director May 5 and 6.
For those who joined the chamber ensembles onstage last year: You will be back in the Daniels Pavilion for this season. van Bergen acknowledged that may disappoint some people; audience members sat in a fan formulation around the musicians in Hayes Hall.
“I think we loved it,” van Bergen said of the strategy to keep live performances during the pandemic. But its intimacy was also its undoing.
“It’s the sheer volume. We could only fit 88 people on stage, and we will be going back to the Daniels pavilion, where we can seat more than double that number.”
All hail to movies, Broadway, 45 rpms
The world of entertainment drives the Pops Series themes for the Naples Philharmonic:
- “The Music of Rodgers and Hammerstein and Hart, with Ashley Brown” Nov. 2-6
- “Respect: A Tribute to Aretha Franklin” Jan. 18-22
- “Frank Sinatra and Great Ladies of American Song” Feb. 8-12
- “An American in Paris,” the Gene Kelly-Leslie Caron film with live philharmonic score March 8-12
- “Broadway’s Leading Men” March 29-April 2
Principal Pops Conductor Jack Everly will conduct four of the five. But “Respect” Stuart Chafetz; he conducts the Aretha Franklin tribute.
Even “All That Jazz” celebrates a star prolific in the recording industry — the late Thelonious Monk, whose piquant piano riffs inspired more than 50 albums (April 6). Its eight-concert series otherwise features guest artists and this year, a rare classical musician who flips over into the medium. Violinist Benjamin Schmid, who has his own jazz quintet, helps open the series Oct. 27 before he moves to Hayes Hall to perform the Britten Violin Concerto (Oct. 29 and Oct. 30).
J.S. Bach to jazz:Violinist Benjamin and his quintet
A tribute to friendship brings Vienna
A re-arranged schedule because of the pandemic means the Chicago Symphony will not finish its third year of residency this year.
“But we are in conversations with them,” van Bergen said. “They will be back.”
Fortunately, Artis—Naples was able to call on a previous orchestra in residence, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, to join its Visiting Orchestra Series for two nights (March 1 and 2). Valery Gergiev conducts Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky’s most revered symphony, the “Pathetique” (No. 6)
.Rachmaninoff fans will get to hear his Piano Concerto No. 2 twice in 2020; Denis Matsuev is the guest artist for this program.
And van Bergen called the ability to work with previous orchestras in residence for such accommodations a success of its residency program: “We established a really wonderful rapport among our musicians, our audiences and the leadership of the Vienna Philharmonic, and they are excited to return.”
The Cleveland Orchestra, a nominee for Gramophone’s orchestra of the year, has become an annual visitor. Music Director Franz Welser-Mõst conducts its performance of Mozart’s Symphony 36 and the Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4 on Jan. 24.
Artis—Naples’ own music director, Boreyko, is here with the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra for a seldom heard Tchaikovsky work, “Voyevoda”; Penderecki’s “Resurrection” Piano Concerto, with guest artist Barry Douglas, who has recorded it with this orchestra; and Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition.”
Harriet Howard Heithaus covers arts and entertainment for the Naples Daily News/naplesnews.com. Reach her at 239-213-6091.
- Friday, Aug. 6 — Current subscribers only
- Sept. 13 — New subscription packages and single tickets for non-subscription performances
- Sept. 28 — Single tickets to subscription concerts, lectures and Broadway performances
To buy: artisnaples.org, or 239-597-1900, both beginning at 10 a.m. on applicable dates
You should know: Philharmonic concerts return to full-capacity seating at Hayes Hall. Those purchasing should note liability waivers on their tickets. The organization also has taken extensive COVID-19 sanitation and protective measures, detailed online at artisnaples.org.
$1 million matching gift
Artis—Naples is the benefactor of a challenge gift: Longtime patrons Ellen and David Ryan have pledged to match all donations made through Dec. 31 dollar-for-dollar, up to $1 million, in support of the Naples Philharmonic.
“We are deeply grateful to Ellen and David Ryan for this remarkably generous gift,” said CEO and President Kathleen van Bergen in a news release announcing the gift. “Ellen and David have been part of the Artis—Naples family for many years, and their unwavering support helps us sustain our mission to provide the community with the very best in the visual and performing arts.”
Matching gifts can be made by contacting 239-254-2615 or online at artisnaples.org/give