Andris Nelsons’ first Boston Symphony Orchestra concerts of 2020

Andris Nelsons conducts his first Boston Symphony Orchestra concerts of 2020, beginning with three performances of Barber’s Medea’s Meditation and Dance of Vengeance, Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony, Op. 110a, and Dvořák’s New World Symphony on January 23, 24, & 25 at Symphony Hall.

Continuing the BSO’s cycle of music by Shostakovich, Nelsons conducts Rudolf Barshai’s string-orchestra arrangement of the composer’s Eighth String Quartet, Op. 110 (1960), which the composer suggested was his most autobiographical work. Barber’s Medea’s Meditation and Dance of Vengeance is a 15-minute concert work excerpted from a 1946 ballet score for the choreographer Martha Graham, and Dvořák’s New World Symphony is regarded as the most critical piece he composed during his years in the U.S.

Following this engagement, acclaimed pianist Yefim Bronfman joins Nelsons and the BSO for two programs: Beethoven’s lyrical and warm Piano Concerto No. 4 on a program with music from Shostakovich and Dvořák on January 28, and Mozart’s theatrical Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor, K.491, on a program with Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra and Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé, Suite No. 2 on January 30 & 31. Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra was commissioned by BSO conductor Serge Koussevitzky, who gave the premiere in December 1944, only a few months before the composer’s death. Ravel’s Suite No. 2 from the 1912 ballet Daphnis et Chloé incorporates a sunrise, a sensual flute solo, and the raucous danse générale.

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