Update as of March 11, 2011:
As if the Boston Symphony Orchestra does not have enough problems with the withdrawal of Music Director James Levine, the orchestra now has had to replace an ailing Colin Davis, also canceling due to ongoing health problems, in concerts originally scheduled for April. The first program, scheduled for April 6, 7, 8, 9 and 12, has a new conductor, Johannes Debus, but the program remains the same: Mozart Symphony No. 32, Mozart Clarinet Concerto with soloist BSO Principal Clarinet William R. Hudgins, and Haydn Symphony No. 97.
The second, to be conducted by Stéphane Denève on April 14, 15, and 16, has been changed to Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5, “Emperor”; Roussel Symphony No. 3; and Ravel La Valse. Soloist in the Beethoven is Jonathan Biss. The pre-concert talk will be given by Jan Swafford, on the composition faculty of Boston Conservatory.
BSO Managing Director Mark Volpe announced today that James Levine will step down as music director as of September 1, 2011. Unclear from the press release is what role Maestro Levine will play in the Tanglewood summer season, though the release does mention ongoing discussions of what role he will play. Assistant Conductor Marcelo Lehninger is to lead the BSO concerts in the upcoming set of concerts.
Appointed one of the two assistant conductors by BSO Music Director James Levine, Lehninger has earned a reputation as “gifted conductor” following his highly praised debut in 2007 as cover conductor for the National Symphony Orchestra’s subscription concerts at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. He made his debut with the BSO in a concert last October reviewed here by Peter Van Zandt Lane, who wrote, “Across the entire program, audience response was overwhelmingly positive, and Lehninger’s conducting was assured and unfaltering.”
Most of Lehninger’s major conducting venues prior to arriving in Boston were in South America; in the US he has conducted, in addition to the National Symphony, several smaller orchestras.
Lehninger is the second Brazilian to have been appointed to this BSO position. The first was his professor, Eleazar de Carvalho, who shared the position with Leonard Bernstein, under then-BSO conductor Serge Koussevitsky. BMInt reviewed his October 21st debut with the BSO here.
The Birwistle new work for violin and orchestra features Christian Tetzlaff, who will also play in the other two works on the program: the Bartok Violin Concerto No. 2 and the Mozart Rondo in C for Violin and Orchestra, K. 373. Robert Kirsinger, Assistant Director of Program Publications, Editorial, will be giving the pre-concert talks at all performances: Thursday evening, Friday afternoon, Saturday evening, and Tuesday evening.