New World Symphony receives $30 million gift honoring artistic director Michael Tilson Thomas

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Michael Tilson Thomas and the New World Symphony at Tilson Thomas’s final performance as artistic director on May 6 at the New World Center. Photo by Alex Markow, courtesy New World Symphony

“When famed conductor Michael Tilson Thomas performed his last concerts as the New World Symphony artistic director this weekend in Miami, he … welcomed a gift for the symphony he co-founded 35 years ago: $30 million,” writes Amanda Rosa in Tuesday’s (5/10) Miami Herald. “On Saturday, the Arison Arts Foundation awarded the New World Symphony with a $30 million endowment gift to commemorate Tilson Thomas’ achievements and dedication to the symphony. Tilson Thomas … announced in March that he will step down as artistic director next month due to health concerns. The Arison Arts Foundation, which supports artists and institutions through grants, was founded by philanthropists Ted and Lin Arison, who supported Tilson Thomas’ vision for the New World Symphony decades ago. Along with the gift, the foundation and symphony also announced a new name for the New World Center’s concert space: the Michael Tilson Thomas Performance Hall…. On June 1, Tilson Thomas will officially leave his role as artistic director….Tilson Thomas, 77, had undergone treatment for glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive form of brain cancer…. The New World Symphony, which was founded in 1987, is an ensemble and intensive three-year fellowship program for music school graduates.”

 

May 12, 2022

Dallas Symphony to present complete Wagner “Ring” cycle in concert in 2024

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“The Dallas Symphony Orchestra announced today that it will present concert performances of Wagner’s complete Ring cycle in 2024,” writes Tim Diovanni in Wednesday’s (5/11) Dallas Morning News. “Led by music director Fabio Luisi … the undertaking is expected to attract opera fans from near and far. … At a special announcement in the Meyerson Symphony Center … joining Luisi was Kim Noltemy, the DSO’s president and CEO.… Mark Delavan and Lise Lindstrom … will respectively perform as Wotan and Brünnhilde…. With so many moving parts, and steep costs, the Ring is the ultimate test for opera companies. The DSO will not incur as many expenses with its concert version, but will still need to assemble major league singers. Handpicked by Luisi, the casts will also include Daniel Johansson (Siegfried), Tómas Tómasson (Alberich), Michael Laurenz (Mime), Sara Jakubiak (Sieglinde), and Christopher Ventris (Siegmund). The first two operas—Das Rheingold and Die Walküre—will be performed in May 2024, followed by Siegfried and Götterdämmerung in October. The full cycle will then be performed over one week…. Performances will be recorded and later made available as concert videos on the DSO’s online concert platform…. The DSO has previously performed [concert versions of] Richard Strauss’ Salome and Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin.”

May 12, 2022

Salina Symphony in Kansas taps Yaniv Segal as music director

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“Following [a] year dedicated to finding a new maestro, the Salina Symphony has decided the son of a Polish violinist and an Israeli violin maker is the person for the job,” writes Todd Pittenger in Monday’s (4/9) KSAL radio (Salina, KS). “Yaniv Segal was chosen from among more than 100 applicants, five of whom presented a concert to the community during the 2021-2022 … season, as its next music director…. According to executive director Adrienne Allen, … ‘The way he embraced the community during the search process was really impressive.’ … Segal … is conductor laureate and artistic advisor of the Chelsea Symphony [and] a former assistant conductor of the Naples Philharmonic and Detroit Symphony Orchestra.” Also a composer, Segal has written works that include The Harmony Games, “commissioned by the Naples Philharmonic to introduce school-age children to the orchestra while connecting music and math. … As a child, he sang at the Metropolitan Opera, then starred as Colin in the international … tour of The Secret Garden…. He studied violin with Setsu Goto [and] attended Vassar College and earned graduate degrees in conducting and composition at the University of Michigan…. The 2022-2023 season will open under Maestro Segal’s baton in October.”

May 12, 2022

Robert Massey named general director at Symphony San Jose

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“Symphony San Jose, formerly Symphony Silicon Valley … has named Robert Massey as its general director,” writes Nicholas Beard in Wednesday’s Musical America (subscription required). “He is to succeed the 20-year-old ensemble’s founder Andrew Bales, who is retiring. Massey’s most recent orchestra job was CEO of the Louisville Orchestra, which he left in 2020 after one year. He has since served as a consultant. His title of general director, rather than CEO, accounts for Symphony San Jose’s business model, which does not include a music director, leaving Massey to make artistic as well as executive decisions. The professional orchestra performs two concerts each of seven classical programs annually, plus additional special events, and is based at the city’s newly restored California Theater in downtown San Jose. Its final concerts [of the current season], June 4-5, titled ‘Always Time for More Beethoven,’ are to be conducted by Phoenix Symphony Music Director Tito Muñoz. Prior to Louisville, Massey served in similar posts at the Jacksonville Symphony, Orchestra Iowa, and the Washington Bach Consort. He is cofounder and director of the Opera Festival of Chicago.”

May 12, 2022

Montreal Symphony to tour South Korea and Europe

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The Montreal Symphony Orchestra has announced its first tour performances with Music Director Rafael Payare. From July 5 to 8, the orchestra will tour South Korea, performing in Seoul, Dagu, and Tongyeong; the program will include Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with soloist Hilary Hahn, Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with soloist Yekwon Sunwoo, Mahler’s Symphony No. 5, and works by Ravel and Debussy. From October 21 to 28, the Montreal Symphony will perform in Zagreb, Budapest, Vienna, Brussels, and London. Soloists will include pianists Vikingur Olafsson and Bruce Liu and violinist Augustin Hadelich. Concerts will feature Liszt’s Les préludes, Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major, Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10, R. Murray Schafer’s Scorpius, Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Ravel’s Ma Mère l’Oye, and Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2. The Wiener Singakademie will join the orchestra on October 24 at the Konzerthaus in Vienna for Brahms’s Nänie and Schicksalslied, followed by Mahler’s Symphony No. 5.

May 12, 2022

A newly formed orchestra of displaced Ukrainians, “Mriya,” based in Germany

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“Musicians from Ukraine have founded an exile orchestra in Germany. They are now performing classical works at the Berliner Philharmonie,” writes Gaby Reucher in Tuesday’s (5/10) Deutsche Welle (Germany). “The orchestra is called Mriya, the Ukrainian word for ‘dream.’ … It was created in March by Ukrainians who have fled their home country and since then, more than 30 musicians have joined in.” The orchestra, founded by violist Kateryna Suprun, is separate from the Kyiv Symphony musicians currently performing in Europe. “Margaryta Grynyvetska is one of its more recent members. The conductor of the Odesa National Academic Opera and Ballet Theater fled right at the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine…. Backed by funding from the aid organization Alliance4Ukraine, the orchestra … musicians are also collaborating with the Berliner Philharmonie to create work opportunities for professional artists from Ukraine…. The Hamburg-based organization Culture Connects … offers concrete help. Roman Ohem, chairman of the association, … has been involved with musicians even during the Syrian war and [was] a violinist in the Syrian exile orchestra.” A May 10 program in Berlin included music by Mozart, Bach, Valentyn Silvestrov, and Myroslav Skoryk.

May 12, 2022