Mostly Mozart Festival – 2009
1 September 2009 | Eugene Boyko
One eagerly anticipated event this summer is the New York premiere of «A Flowering Tree», an opera by John Adams (the festival’s artist in residence). Inspired by Mozart’s “Magic Flute” and with a libretto based on an Indian folk tale, the production is directed by Peter Sellars and features the soprano Jessica Rivera, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and the Schola Cantorum de Venezuela.
Mr. Adams conducts the adventurous International Contemporary Ensemble in a program of his own chamber works on Monday. An annual treat in this festival is the Little Night Music series, for which wine-sipping patrons sit at candlelit tables in the intimate Kaplan Penthouse. On Saturday the excellent pianist Simone Dinnerstein plays Bach’s “Goldberg” Variations, the work that propelled her into the limelight. On Tuesday the Borromeo String Quartet is joined by the clarinetist Michael Collins for Mozart’s beautiful Clarinet Quintet. On Friday and Saturday night in Avery Fisher Hall the stellar Osmo Vanska conducts the Festival Orchestra and the pianist Yevgeny Sudbin in an all-Beethoven program including the Piano Concerto No. 4 and Symphony No. 8. (Mr. Sudbin also gives a preconcert recital including works by Scarlatti).
Mozart is the star of his own party on Tuesday and Wednesday, when Louis Langrée conducts the pianist Jeffrey Kahane and the Festival Orchestra in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 27 in B flat and works by Haydn. The pianist Alexander Gavrylyuk plays Chopin in Tuesday’s preconcert recital and Rachmaninoff in Wednesday’s. Over at Alice Tully Hall, María Guinand conducts the dynamic Schola Cantorum de Venezuela on Saturday in a program of secular choral works and traditional music by contemporary composers from North and South America.
The young British composer Robin Ticciati makes his United States debut conducting the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Robert Levin on fortepiano in an all-Mozart program on Sunday. (Mr. Levin also plays Mozart in a preconcert recital.) Thursday’s lineup features chamber music, with the Emerson Quartet playing Haydn and Mendelssohn, the two composers also featured in their preconcert recital. “A Flowering Tree”: Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 5 p.m., the Rose Theater, Broadway at 60th Street; $40 to $90. Festival Orchestra: Friday, Saturday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 8 p.m. (preconcert recitals at 7 p.m.), Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center; $35 to $85. Schola Cantorum: Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in Alice Tully Hall.