James Levine and the Boston Symphony to Give the American Premiere of Elliott Carter's Flute Concerto, Featuring BSO Principal F

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Feb. 4 at 8 p.m., Feb. 5 at 1:30 p.m., Feb. 9 at 8 p.m.

James Levine and the Boston Symphony Orchestra will give the American premiere of Elliott Carter’s Flute Concerto, featuring BSO principal flutist Elizabeth Rowe in her Symphony Hall solo debut, on February 4, with repeat performances on February 5 and 9. The program also

features Brahms’s Symphony No. 4 and the Overture and Entr’actes from Schubert’s incidental music to the 1823 playRosamunde.

Elliott Carter’s lyrical Flute Concerto, a co-commission with the Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival and the Berlin Philharmonic, was premiered in Jerusalem in September 2008 with flutist Emmanuel Pahud. Of the work’s creation, Mr. Carter writes, “For many years flutists have been asking for a flute concerto, yet I kept putting it off because I felt that the flute could not produce the sharp attacks that I use so frequently. But the idea of the beautiful qualities of the different registers of the instrument and the extraordinary agility attracted me more and more, so when Elena Bashkirova asked me write something for her and the Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival, I decided it would be a flute concerto. From mid - September 2007 to March 2008 ideas and notes for it fascinated me without relief.”

Brahms’s Symphony No. 4, a cornerstone of the symphonic repertoire, is a masterpiece of emotional intensity and compositional craft. In a flip comment to defend against possible criticism of his new work, Brahms remarked to a friend that he’d just “thrown together a bunch of polkas and waltzes.” In fact, early performances of the work in 1885 garnered tremendous acclaim, and it was considered by many to be the most deeply meaningful symphonic work he had written to date. Hans von Bülow, who premiered the work, called it “Unparalleled energy from beginning to end.”

Wilhelmine von Chézy’s 1823 playRosamunde, Fürstin von Zypern(Rosamunde, Princess of Cyprus) was apparently an abject failure, closing after only two performances and subsequently lost to the ages. However, Schubert’s stirring incidental music for the play has gone on to enjoy a rich life in the orchestral world. The full suite of incidental music includes an overture, three entr’actes, two ballet pieces, a romance for contralto, a chorus of spirits, a shepherd’s melody and shepherds’ chorus, and a hunting-chorus. Schubert never wrote a dedicated overture. For the first performance, he inserted the overture to his operaAlfonso und Estrella. Subsequently, the overture to the melodramaDie Zauberharfewas published as theRosamundeoverture. It is this overture and the three entr’actes featured on these concerts.

Photos and full artist biographies are available in the BSO’s online press kit atwww.bso.org/presskit.


Now in his sixth season as Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, James Levine is the BSO’s 14th music director since the orchestra’s founding in 1881 and the first American-born conductor to hold that position. Maestro Levine made his Boston Symphony debut in April 1972 and became music director in the fall of 2004, having been named music director designate in October 2001. Highlights of his 2009-10 BSO programs include the premieres of commissioned works from Peter Lieberson, Elliott Carter, John Harbison, and John Williams; the BSO’s first complete Beethoven symphony cycle in 75 years, and the first BSO performances of Mendelssohn’sElijahsince 1980, plus music of Berg, Berlioz, Brahms, Debussy, Mahler, Mozart, Ravel, Schubert, Strauss (Richard, Johann Sr., Johann Jr., and Josef), and Stravinsky. Mr. Levine’s programming each year balances orchestral, operatic, and choral classics with significant music of the 20th and 21st centuries, including newly commissioned works from such leading American composers as Babbitt, Carter, Harbison, Kirchner, Lieberson, Schuller, and Wuorinen. At Tanglewood each summer he leads performances with the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, as well as TMC classes devoted to orchestral repertoire, Lieder, and opera. In February 2009, Mr. Levine and the Boston Symphony Orchestra released their first recordings together on the BSO Classics label, all taken from live performances—Brahms’sEin deutsches Requiem, Ravel’s completeDaphnis et Chloé, Mahler’s Symphony No. 6, and William Bolcom’s Eighth Symphony andLyric Concerto. James Levine is also Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera, where, in the thirty-eight years since his debut there, he has led nearly 2,500 performances of 85 different operas, including fifteen company premieres. This season at the Met he conducts new productions ofToscaandLes Contes d’Hoffmannand revivals ofSimon BoccanegraandLulu, as well as concerts at Carnegie Hall with the MET Orchestra and MET Chamber Ensemble. Also a distinguished pianist, Mr. Levine is an active chamber music and recital collaborator, especially in Lieder and song repertoire with the world’s great singers.


Principal Flute Elizabeth Rowe joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the start of the 2004-05 season. She was formerly assistant principal flute of the National Symphony Orchestra and has held positions with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and New World Symphony. A native of Eugene, Oregon, Ms. Rowe received her bachelor’s degree in 1996 from the University of Southern California, where she studied with Jim Walker, former Principal Flute of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. A former Tanglewood Music Center Fellow, Ms. Rowe also participated in several national and international music festivals. An experienced soloist, she won First Prize in the 2000 National Flute Association Young Artist Competition, and she has been featured in concerto performances with orchestras throughout the country. An avid chamber musician, she can be heard regularly in performances with the Boston Symphony Chamber Players. Ms. Rowe is also a dedicated educator. She currently is on the faculty of New England Conservatory and has served on the faculties of the Peabody Institute, University of Maryland, and The Catholic University of America.


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

(www.bso.org), 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, www.bso.org is the largest and most-visited orchestral website in the country, receiving more than 7.5 million visitors annually and generating $50 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 www.bso.org and on iTunes.

BSO concerts can be heard regularly on the radio. The Saturday-evening concerts are broadcast on WCRB 99.5 FM. WGBH also streams the concerts live through their website at www.wgbh.org.


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 www.bso.org.


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 bsav@bso.org, 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 www.bso.org.

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Thursday, February 4, 8 p.m.
Friday, February 5, 1:30 p.m.
Tuesday, February 9, 8 p.m.

JAMES LEVINE, conductor

News Source : James Levine and the Boston Symphony to Give the American Premiere of Elliott Carter's Flute Concerto, Featuring BSO Principal Flutist Elizabeth Rowe in Her Symphony Hall Solo Debut
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