The Boston Symphony Orchestra is bringing its first-ever all-online season to an end March 11-April 29 with four programs led by BSO music director Andris Nelsons.
The programs will be released each Thursday at noon, at bso.org/now.
BSO NOW concert streams in March and April will include special guest appearances by conductors Giancarlo Guerrero and David Robertson; the first-ever BSO Youth Concert and BSO Family Concert streams, featuring Thomas Wilkins; and three BSO archival streams of iconic performances led by conductors Seiji Ozawa, William Steinberg, and Colin Davis. Complete information is available at bso.org/now.
Most BSO NOW concert streams are available for on-demand viewing for 30 days past their original launch dates through bso.org/now.
Nelsons brings the streaming season to a close April 15, 22 and 29 with “Pathways of Romanticism,” music from the heart of the Romantic era.
For the first episode, Nelsons will be joined by a frequent collaborator, Latvian violinist Baiba Skride in a performance of Robert Schumann’s Violin Concerto, his last major work. Also on the program is Brahms’ Serenade No. 2, and Cambridge-based composer Marti Epstein’s trio, “Komorebi,” a musical meditation on the Japanese term for light shining through tree leaves — and a contemporary composer’s take on the Romantic age’s love of imagery.
On April 22, BSO members will be center-stage in two Romantic concertos. BSO principal clarinet William Hudgins is soloist in Carl Maria von Weber’s brief Concertino for Clarinet and Orchestra, which the BSO hasn’t performed since 1884. (The Pops played it most recently in 1983). Four BSO horns perform Schumann’s unusual Conzertstück, which premiered in Leipzig in 1850. The BSO’s string sections are highlighted in the opening work, Felix Mendelssohn’s String Symphony No. 10. Closing this episode is William Grant Still’s Suite for violin and piano (1943), the three movements of which were each inspired by works by three great African American sculptors of the mid-20th century.
In the season finale April 29, Nelsons returns to a focus of his recent conducting activity -- music of Richard Strauss. Nelsons will conduct Serenade for Winds, Op. 7, and the orchestral Interludes from the composer’s 1923 opera “Intermezzo.” This program also includes American composer Jennifer Higdon’s wind quintet “Autumn Music,” which was in part inspired by Samuel Barber’s “Summer Music.”
Nelsons, Guerrero, Robertson lead the BSO in concert streams launching March 11, 18, and 25.
In this streamed series, “A Fragile Peace: Between the Wars,” the BSO performs music from the period between the first and second world wars. Each of the three programs focuses on a particular region, but with American connections.
In a German-centered program March 11, Guerrero leads the BSO in Kurt Weill’s Suite from “The Threepenny Opera,” the composer’s satirical collaboration with Bertolt Brecht about the struggles of London’s criminal class. More abstract is Paul Hindemith’s Concert Piece for Winds and Brass, which was commissioned for the BSO’s 50th anniversary. Both composers came to the U.S. prior to World War II. Also on tap is American composer Florence Price’s Five Folksongs in Counterpoint.
On March 18, Robertson leads the BSO in Parisian music from the 1920s and early ’30s: Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G, with Israeli-American pianist Inon Barnatan in his Symphony Hall debut; Arthur Honegger’s “Pastorale d’été” (“Summer Pastoral”); Darius Milhaud’s famed 1923 ballet score “The Creation of the World;” and a chamber work, a solo flute piece by Marion Bauer, who through her music and teaching influenced a generation of American composers.
Nelsons leads music of Stravinsky and Shostakovich in the final program of this series March 25. The program includes Stravinsky’s Symphonies of Wind Instruments, conceived originally as a memorial tribute to Claude Debussy, premiered by future BSO music director Serge Koussevitzky in London in 1921. Also on the program are Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 1, and his little arrangement, “Tahiti Trot” from 1927, an arrangement of Broadway composer Vincent Youman’s “Tea for Two” from the his musical “No, No, Nanette.” Poem for viola and piano (1939) by the Latvian-born American composer Eda Rapoport closes the program.