Here are the ten performances I’m personally looking forward to the most in the upcoming 2016-17 Washington Performing Arts season:
1. Cellist Alisa Weilerstein, whose intense and highly expressive playing impressed me greatly in a recital with Inon Barnatan in 2014, will perform Bach’s complete solo cello suites in a single afternoon at the UDC Theatre of the Arts (October 16).
2. The fascinating young French pianist Lucas Debargue, who finished fourth in the 2015 Tchaikovsky Competition and was self-taught into his teens, will perform a solo recital, featuring four Scarlatti sonatas, Beethoven’s Op. 10, No. 3 sonata, Chopin’s Ballad No.4, and Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit at the UDC Theatre of the Arts (November 12).
3. Bass-baritone Eric Owens and soprano Susanna Phillips will perform a Schubert concert at the UDC Theatre of the Arts (November 13).
4. The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, led by Semyon Bychkov, will perform Detlev Glanert’s Theatrum Bestiarum and Mahler’s Fifth (an over-programmed work, but the Concertgebouw is the best of the visiting orchestras) at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall (November 29).
5. Yuri Temirkanov will be bringing the St. Petersburg Philharmonic to play Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 1 (soloist: Nikolai Lugansky, excellent in the Brahms 1 with the NSO this season) and Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony (February 27).
6. Russian phenom Daniil Trifonov will return to D.C. with a solo recital at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, with works by Schumann, Shostakovich, and Stravinsky–the same program he’ll be bringing to Carnegie Hall in December and Shriver Hall in Baltimore two days before his D.C. recital (April 4).
7. Yefim Bronfman, the mighty Israeli-American pianist, will perform Bartok’s Suite Op. 14, Schumann’s Humoreske, Debussy’s Suite Bergamasque, and three movements from Stravinsky’s Petrouchka at the UDC Theatre of the Arts (April 25).
8. In what should be a fascinating contrast in musical styles and temperaments, pianists Leif Ove Andsnes and Marc-André Hamelin will perform a rare duo concert at Strathmore. The program features: Mozart’s Larghetto and Allegro for Two Pianos (completed by Paul Badura-Skoda), Stravinsky’s Concerto for Two Pianos, Debussy’s En blanc et noir, and a two-piano arrangement of Stravinksy’s Rite for Spring (May 1).
9. Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato and the English Concert will feature in a concert performance of Handel’s Ariodante at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall (May 2).
10. Olivier Messiaen’s monumental Des canyons aux étoiles… will be performed in a free concert at DAR Constitution Hall, featuring the United States Air Force Band led by David Robertson and new video and photographic accompaniment (May 12).