Boston Symphony Orchestra Honors 80th Birthday of Conductor Emeritus Bernard Haitink and 70th Birthday of Legendary Flutists Sir

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November 5, 2009

Nov. 19 at 8 p.m., Nov. 20 at 1:30 p.m., and Nov. 21 at 8 p.m.

Boston Symphony Orchestra Conductor Emeritus Bernard Haitink celebrates his 80thbirthday year with a return to Symphony Hall November 19, 20, and 21 for the second of three programs showcasing the orchestra’s long history with great music from the French tradition. The program features legendary flutist Sir James Galway, celebrating his 70thbirthday year, in the Flute Concerto of 20thcentury French composer Jacques Ibert. The Tanglewood Festival Chorus (John Oliver, conductor) is featured in Debussy’s luminous, three-partNocturnesfor orchestra. The concert’s second half is Brahms’ Symphony No. 1.

Although Beethoven died six years before Brahms was born, his towering symphonic accomplishments so haunted the younger composer that he wrestled with the idea of writing a work in the genre for more than two decades. Brahms began sketching the symphony in 1854, but didn’t complete all four movements of the work until 1876, at the age of 43. There are echoes of Beethoven throughout the symphony, prompting critic Hans von Bulow to proclaim it “the Tenth.” Though this first symphony took Brahms over twenty years to write, its triumphant reception seemed to free him from the weight of crushing expectation. His second symphony followed in only a year.

Written for French flutist Marcel Moyse and premiered in 1934, Jacques Ibert’s charming Flute Concerto is one of the Paris-born composer’s best known works. One of the most virtuosic concerti in the flute repertoire, it is a favorite among players for its showcase of the instrument’s capabilities, from the coloration and technical flash of the first movement, to the lyricism of the middle movement, to the jazzy insouciance of the finale.

Completed in 1899, Debussy’sNocturnesfor orchestra is a triptych of impressionist tone paintings:Nuages(Clouds),Fêtes(Festivals) andSirènes(Sirens). Each movement is remarkable for its exotic orchestral colors, complemented in the finalSirènesby a chorus of women’s voices. Debussy wrote of the work, “The titleNocturnesis to be interpreted here in a general and, more particularly, in a decorative sense. Therefore it is not meant to designate the usual form of the nocturne, but rather all the various impressions and the special effects of light that the word suggests.”

With an international career that has spanned more than five decades, Amsterdam-born Bernard Haitink is one of today’s most celebrated conductors. Principal Conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 2006, he is also Conductor Emeritus of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and has made frequent guest appearances with most of the world’s leading orchestras. He was music director of the Royal Concertgebouw for more than 25 years, and is now the orchestra’s Conductor Laureate. In addition, Mr. Haitink has previously held posts as music director of the Dresden Staatskapelle, the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, and the London Philharmonic. Mr. Haitink began the 2009-10 season with a European tour with the Chicago Symphony, performing in Vienna, Paris, London, and at the Berlin and Lucerne Festivals. In addition to performances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, he also performs this autumn with the London Symphony Orchestra, both in London and with a series of three programs of Schubert and Mahler at Avery Fisher Hall, New York. He returns to the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra to lead their traditional Christmas Day concert. Other highlights include concerts with the Berlin Philharmonic, and Bayerischer Rundfunk Orchestras, and a Beethoven cycle with the Chicago Symphony. Mr. Haitink has recorded widely with the BSO as well as the Concertgebouw, and the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic orchestras. His discography also features many opera recordings, including the 2004 Grammy Award-winning recording of Janacek’sJenufa. His most recent recordings include the complete Brahms and Beethoven symphonies with the London Symphony Orchestra, and Mahler’s Symphonies Nos.1 , 3, and 6, Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7, and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 4 with the Chicago Symphony, which won the 2008 Grammy for Best Orchestral Performance. Mr. Haitink’s numerous international awards include an honorary Knighthood and the Companion of Honour in the United Kingdom, and the House Order of Orange-Nassau in the Netherlands. He was named Musical America’s “Musician of the Year” for 2007.

Sir James Galway, often called “The man with the golden flute,” is arguably the most influential flutist of our time. He is internationally regarded as a peerless interpreter of the classical repertoire as well as a consummate entertainer. In honor of Sir James’s 70thbirthday, a series of celebrations throughout the world began this past summer with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood and continue with orchestras around the world this season. The National Flute Association recognizes Sir James with its Lifetime Achievement award and a weekend full of festivities in New York City, featuring the world’s largest flute event. In addition, Conn-Selmer and Nagahara flute makers of Boston are launching new flute models and Sony BMG is releasingJames Galway Celebrates 70 -A collection of personal favorites, featuring collaborations with the many friends he has worked with over the years, including Cleo Laine, Henry Mancini, Phillip Moll, Sir Neville Marriner, Martha Argerich, The Chieftans, and Lady Jeanne Galway, to name a few.

Born in Belfast, Sir James played the penny whistle as a child before taking up the flute and winning a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London, with subsequent studies in Paris. Early orchestral experience included work with the opera companies of Sadlers Wells and Covent Garden, and the BBC, Royal Philharmonic and London symphonies, before he took up the coveted position of solo flutist with the Berlin Philharmonic under Herbert von Karajan. Sir James launched his solo career in 1975. Since then, he has continuously performed with the world's leading orchestras and conductors, participated in chamber music engagements, popular music concerts, and given master classes. Both Sir James and Lady Galway direct their International Flute School in Weggis, Switzerland, each summer, which gives them the opportunity to personally nurture students of all levels. One of the most recorded classical artists performing today, Sir James has sold over 30 million albums and makes frequent international television appearances. He devotes much of his time to charity work, and as an instructor and humanitarian, he is a tireless promoter of the arts, with dozens of awards to his credit, including Musical American’s 1997 Musician of the Year and two honors from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of England.

Tickets for the regular-season Boston Symphony Orchestra concerts on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, as well as Friday afternoons, are priced from $29 to $105; concerts on Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons are priced from $30 to $115. Open rehearsal tickets are priced at $19 each (general admission). Tickets may be purchased by phone through SymphonyCharge (617-266-1200 or 888-266-1200), online through the BSO’s website

(, or in person at the Symphony Hall Box Office (301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston). There is a $5.50 service fee for all tickets purchased online or by phone through SymphonyCharge.

American Express, MasterCard, Visa, Diners Club, and Discover, as well as personal checks (in person or by mail) and cash (in person only) are all accepted at the Symphony Hall Box Office. A limited number of rush tickets for Boston Symphony Orchestra subscription concerts on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Friday afternoons are set aside to be sold on the day of a performance. These tickets are sold at $9 each, one to a customer, at the Symphony Hall Box Office on Fridays beginning at 10 a.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning at 5 p.m. Gift certificates are available in any amount and may be used toward the purchase of tickets (subject to availability) to any Boston Symphony Orchestra or Boston Pops performance at Symphony Hall or Tanglewood. Gift certificates may also be used at the Symphony Shop to purchase merchandise.

Patrons with disabilities can access Symphony Hall through the Massachusetts Avenue lobby or the Cohen Wing on Huntington Avenue. An access service center, accessible restrooms, and elevators are available inside the Cohen Wing entrance. For ticket information, call the Disability Services Information Line at 617-638-9431 or TDD/TTY 617-638-9289.

The Boston Symphony Orchestra offers 30-minute Pre-Concert Talks in Symphony Hall before all BSO subscription concerts, beginning at 6:45 p.m. prior to the 8 p.m. evening concerts and at 12:15 p.m. prior to Friday-afternoon concerts. Open Rehearsal Talks begin one hour before the start of all Thursday-morning and Wednesday-evening Open Rehearsals. These informative talks, which include recorded musical examples, enhance the concert going experience by providing valuable insight into the music being performed.

The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s extensive website, is the largest and most-visited orchestral website in the country, receiving more than 7.5 million visitors annually and generating $48 million in revenue since its launch in 1996. The BSO’s website offers fans information and music beyond the concert hall, providing interactive new media that includes “Classical Companion,” an interactive supplement of special BSO concerts that provides interviews with composers and performers, archival images, and video and sound clips. BSO Concert Preview Podcasts, focusing on each of the programs of the BSO’s 2009-2010 season, are available through and on iTunes.

BSO concerts can be heard regularly on the radio. The Friday-afternoon concerts are broadcast on WGBH 89.7 FM, and the Saturday-evening concerts are broadcast on WCRB 99.5 FM. WGBH also streams the concerts live through their website at

Symphony Café offers buffet-style dining from 5:30 p.m. until concert time for all evening Boston Symphony Orchestra concerts. In addition, Symphony Café is open for lunch prior to Friday afternoon concerts. Patrons enjoy the convenience of pre-concert dining at the Café in the unique ambiance of historic Symphony Hall. The cost of dinner is $32.50 per person; the cost of lunch is $19.00. The Café is located in Higginson Hall; patrons enter through the Cohen Wing entrance on Huntington Avenue. Please call 617-638-9328 for reservations.

The Symphony Shop, located in the Cohen Wing on Huntington Avenue, is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday from noon to 6 p.m., and from one hour before concert time through intermission. A satellite shop, located on the first-balcony level, is open only during concerts. Merchandise may also be purchased by visiting the BSO website at

The Boston Symphony Association of Volunteers offers free public tours of Symphony Hall Wednesdays at 4:00 p.m. (September 30 – December 9, 2009 and January 1 – June 23, 2010), and the second Saturday of every month at 2:00 p.m. (October 10 – December 12 and January 9 – June 12, 2010) during the BSO season. Tours begin at the Massachusetts Avenue lobby entrance. Schedule subject to change. Please email, or call 617-638-9391 to confirm specific dates and times.

UBS will continue its partnership with the Boston Symphony Orchestra as its exclusive season sponsor, building on the mutually successful partnership that began in 2003. EMC Corporation is the supporting partner of the 2009-10 BSO season. Pre-concert Talks and the Symphony Cafe are supported by New England Coffee, official coffee of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The Fairmont Copley Plaza Boston, together with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, is the official hotel of the BSO. Commonwealth Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation is the official chauffeured transportation provider of the BSO.

All programs and artists are subject to change. For current program information, dial 617CONCERT (266-2378). For further information, call the Boston Symphony Orchestra at 617-266-1492. The Boston Symphony Orchestra is online at

Bernadette Horgan, Director of Public Relations ( 617-638-9285
Kathleen Drohan, Associate Director of Public Relations ( 617-638-9286

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Thursday November 19, 8 p.m.
Friday November 20, 1:30 p.m.
Saturday November 21, 8 p.m.


News Source : Boston Symphony Orchestra Honors 80th Birthday of Conductor Emeritus Bernard Haitink and 70th Birthday of Legendary Flutists Sir James Galway
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