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Read our season preview of premieres, new productions, and other performance highlights in North and South America.

The 2022-2023 season features the world premiere of John Adams’s new opera Antony and Cleopatra, the 50th anniversary celebration of Bernstein’s MASS at The Kennedy Center, a brand-new film opera by David T. Little, the LA Phil’s international tour of recent Gabriela Ortiz works, plus performances of new works by Steve Reich, Anna Clyne, Paquito D’Rivera, Brett Dean, Sean Shepherd, James MacMillan, and more.

> See a chronological list of performance highlights.
> See performance highlights in Europe, Asia, and Australasia.

Adams’s new opera Antony and Cleopatra, based on the play by Shakespeare, premieres this fall at San Francisco Opera, opening the opera house’s centennial season. Adams conducts two of his own operas later this season: El Niño with The Cleveland Orchestra, and Girls of the Golden West with Los Angeles Philharmonic, both productions starring soprano Julia Bullock. Longtime champion Gustavo Dudamel also conducts Nixon in China, Adams’s iconic opera about US-China relations, at the Paris Opera, featuring a starry cast that includes Thomas Hampson and Renée Fleming as Richard and Pat Nixon, and Xiaomeng Zhang as Zhou Enlai.

Other orchestras championing Adams’s music this season include the National Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, New World Symphony, and Philadelphia Orchestra.

Sep 10-Oct 5 Antony and Cleopatra (WORLD PREMIERE): San Francisco Opera / Eun Sun Kim / Elkhanah Pulitzer, director
Nov 17-19 El Niño: The Cleveland Orchestra / John Adams
Jan 27-29 The Girls of the Golden West: Los Angeles Philharmonic / Los Angeles Master Chorale / John Adams
Mar 22-Apr 16 Nixon in China: Paris Opera / Gustavo Dudamel / Valentina Carrasco, director

On September 8, 1971, the inaugural audience for the brand-new John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts experienced the world premiere of Leonard Bernstein's MASS: A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players, and Dancers. Five decades later, The Kennedy Center celebrates this double anniversary with a new, fully staged production in September 2022, featuring the National Symphony Orchestra, along with 2020 Marian Anderson Award winner Will Liverman as the Celebrant.

Sep 15-18 MASS: Will Liverman, baritone / National Symphony Orchestra / James Gaffigan / Alison Moritz, director

Best-selling author Dan Brown unveils Wild Symphony—a series of playful musical portraits drawn from the animal kingdom (e.g., “Bouncing Kangaroo,” “Clumsy Kittens,” and “Maestro Mouse”), accompanied by an illustrated book for children. Performances this season include family concerts presented by the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.

Oct 22 Wild Symphony: Fort Wayne Philharmonic / Troy Webdell
Mar 4 Wild Symphony: Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra
Apr 30 Wild Symphony: Buffalo Philharmonic / Fernanda Lastra

Pekka Kuusisto performs electric violin with the Seattle Symphony for the world premiere of Enrico Chapela’s concerto Antiphase. The new piece explores the complementary relationship between the Earth and its moon, suggesting images of total eclipses and fiery red halos of light.

Nov 3-6 Antiphaser: Concerto for Electric Violin and Orchestra (WORLD PREMIERE), Pekka Kuusisto, violin / Seattle Symphony / Alexander Shelley

subito con forza has become a favorite orchestral curtain raiser since its premiere in 2020. The Times writes: “Effective and eerie, with plenty happening in five teeming minutes. Chin’s ear for colour is her greatest weapon.” This season, the piece receives its Canadian premiere in September with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, and is also performed by the Toronto, Oregon, Pittsburgh, and Boston symphony orchestras.

Sep 28-29 subito con forza (CANADIAN PREMIERE): Orchestre symphonique de Montréal / Osmo Vänskä
Feb 3 Gran Cadenza: Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin / Mutter Virtuosi (Carnegie Hall, New York)
Feb 5 Gran Cadenza: Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin / Mutter Virtuosi (Symphony Center, Chicago)
May 26-27 Frontispiece for orchestra (CANADIAN PREMIERE): Vancouver Symphony Orchestra / Jun Märkl

Clyne’s music is featured in two major concert tours this season. Her hit concerto DANCE—whose acclaimed recording has received 8 million listens on Spotify—is performed by cellist Inbal Segev and the Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship alumni as part of a global concert series, involving orchestras across 10 different cities (with regional premieres in the UK, Canada, Spain, Austria, and Poland). In October, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Maxim Emelyanychev perform Stride, a 2020 string orchestra work that riffs on Beethoven’s “Pathétique” Sonata, during its nine-city US tour.

Glasslands, a saxophone concerto for new music champion and close collaborator Jess Gillam, premieres in February with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra conducted by Han-Na Chang.

Sep 13-May 8 DANCE (Tour): Inbal Segev, cello / Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship Alumni
Oct 12-22 Stride (Tour): Scottish Chamber Orchestra / Maxim Emelyanychev
Feb 18-19 Glasslands (WORLD PREMIERE): Jess Gillam, saxophone / Detroit Symphony Orchestra / Han-Na Chang

Violinist Baiba Skride joins the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Ken-David Masur to perform Aether, a piece Skride has also played with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, and Netherlands Radio Philharmonic. After the world premiere, the Boston Globe wrote: “The piece invited listeners to be present, rather than trying to dissect the form ... The final cadenza was a thing of raging beauty.”

Nov 11-12 Aether: Baiba Skride, violin / Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra / Ken-David Masur

Dean’s piano concerto, written for Jonathan Biss, reflects on a little-known period in Beethoven’s life during which he lived in Gneixendorf, a small Austrian village, and struggled with family conflict and failing health. Biss tours the work internationally in 2022, giving it its US premiere in Minnesota in February.

Feb 10-12 Piano Concerto (US PREMIERE): Jonathan Biss, piano / Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra
Apr 2 ByrdSong Studies (US PREMIERE): Mahan Esfahani, harpsichord (CalPerformances, Berkeley)

This September, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and composer-clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera perform with the National Symphony Orchestra in the world premiere of D’Rivera’s new work The Journey, a concerto for cello, clarinet, and orchestra. The piece celebrates the composer’s friendship with Yo-Yo Ma, while also embracing his memories of growing up in culturally diverse Cuba. The Journey will be presented alongside D’Rivera’s The Elephant and the Clown for orchestra.

Sep 8 The Journey (WORLD PREMIERE): Yo-Yo Ma, cello / Paquito D’Rivera, clarinet / National Symphony Orchestra / José Luis Gomez (Wolf Trap, Vienna)

Golijov’s groundbreaking opera Ainadamar, about the life and work of poet Federico García Lorca (written with librettist David Henry Hwang), receives a new production in 2022-2023, co-produced by Detroit Opera, Opera Ventures, Scottish Opera, Welsh National Opera, and The Metropolitan Opera. The touring production, which comes to Detroit Opera in April, is directed by Olivier Award-winning choreographer and director Deborah Colker, known for her intensely physical dance work including with Cirque du Soleil and the 2016 Olympics Opening Ceremony.

Apr 8-16 Ainadamar: Detroit Opera / Paolo Bortolameolli / Deborah Colker, director

Lindberg writes a new piano concerto for superstar pianist Yuja Wang, who premieres the work with the San Francisco Symphony before touring to Toronto, New York City, Paris, and Hamburg. The work is co-commissioned by the China NCPA Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Norddeutscher Rundfunk, Orchestre de Paris, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and New York Philharmonic.

Oct 13-15 Piano Concerto No. 3 (WORLD PREMIERE): Yuja Wang, piano / San Francisco Symphony / Esa-Pekka Salonen
Oct 20 Piano Concerto No. 3 (CANADIAN PREMIERE): Yuja Wang, piano / Toronto Symphony Orchestra / Gustavo Gimeno
Jan 5-10 Piano Concerto No. 3 (NEW YORK PREMIERE): Yuja Wang, piano / New York Philharmonic / Santtu-Matias Rouvali

Little’s new film opera Black Lodge premieres on October 1-2 as part of Opera Philadelphia’s Festival O22 and the 2022 Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Created with poet Anne Waldman and produced by Beth Morrison Projects, Black Lodge draws on the complicated mythologies of the surrealist writer William S. Burroughs (Naked Lunch), using dance, industrial rock, classical string quartet, and opera to take viewers through a Lynchian psychological escape room.

Little’s GRAMMY-nominated Soldier Songs film also receives its theatrical premiere on September 27 as part of Festival O22’s “Opera on Film” series.

Oct 1-2 Black Lodge (WORLD PREMIERE): Timur & the Dime Museum / Opera Philadelphia / Michale Joseph McQuilken, director

Steven Mackey’s 2022-2023 season features three major orchestral premieres: Concerto for Curved Space, co-commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra; a new work commissioned by The Soraya for its “Treelogy” project about California’s iconic and endangered trees; and RIOT, a special centennial commission by New Jersey Symphony that features Mackey on electric guitar alongside his hometown orchestra and vocal soloist Alicia Olatuja.

Jan 26-28 Concerto for Curved Space (WORLD PREMIERE): Boston Symphony Orchestra / Andris Nelsons
Feb 23 New work (WORLD PREMIERE): Delirium Musicum (The Soraya, Los Angeles)
Apr 21-23 RIOT (WORLD PREMIERE): Alicia Olatuja, mezzo-soprano / Steven Mackey, electric guitar / Princeton University Glee Club / New Jersey Symphony / Xian Zhang

MacMillan’s new violin concerto for Nicola Benedetti is a memorial tribute to the the Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki, who passed away in 2020 and was a major musical influence on MacMillan during his formative creative years. Benedetti performs this work with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (conducted by MacMillan), and Swedish Chamber Orchestra.

Other MacMillan premieres this season include Her tears fell with the dews at even, written in celebration of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s 125th anniversary; and Fiat Lux for soprano, baritone, mixed chorus, organ, and orchestra, with five performances by the Pacific Symphony and Chorale in California.

Nov 17-19 Violin Concerto No. 2 (US PREMIERE): Nicola Benedetti, violin / Dallas Symphony Orchestra / Fabio Luisi
Feb 10-11 Violin Concerto No. 2 (Nicola Benedetti, violin); The World’s Ransoming (Cally Banham, cor anglais): St. Louis Symphony Orchestra / James MacMillan
Mar 17-19 Her tears fell with the dews at even (WORLD PREMIERE): Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra / Manfred Honeck
Jun 15-17 Fiat Lux (WORLD PREMIERE): Elissa Johnston, soprano / Pacific Chorale / Pacific Symphony / Carl St. Clair

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra gives the US premiere of recent B&H signing Grace Evangeline Mason’s orchestral tone poem, The Imagined Forest, which is inspired by the work of Berlin-based artist Clare Celeste Börsch, who uses collage techniques to build imagined worlds filled with foliage and fauna. After its 2021 premiere at the BBC Proms, The Times praised The Imagined Forest’s “vivid orchestral colour” and The Evening Standard wrote, “Mason skillfully shapes her attractive material to ensure we experience the sense of a transforming encounter with the imaginary forest.”

May 19-21 The Imagined Forest (US PREMIERE): Baltimore Symphony Orchestra / Jonathon Heyward

The Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel have been enthusiastic champions of new B&H signing Gabriela Ortiz, with recent commissions of Yanga for percussion ensemble and orchestra, Kauyumari for orchestra, and Altar de Cuerda for violin and orchestra. This fall, as part of its ambitious five-year Pan American Music Initiative, the orchestra presents these three substantial works in Los Angeles, then embarks on a multi-city tour featuring Ortiz's music, with performances in Boston, New York, Mexico City, and Guanajuato.

In May, Dudamel also conducts the Berliner Philharmoniker in the German premiere of Ortiz’s Téenek - Invenciones de Territorio, a vibrant plea for human existence without borders, which has become one of her most widely performed works.

Sep 30-Oct 2 Yanga: Tambuco Percussion Ensemble / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Los Angeles Master Chorale / Gustavo Dudamel (Los Angeles)
Oct 6-9 Altar de Cuerda: Maria Dueñas, violin / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Gustavo Dudamel (Los Angeles)
Oct 13-16 Kauyumari: Los Angeles Philharmonic / Gustavo Dudamel (Los Angeles)
Oct 23 Altar de Cuerda (BOSTON PREMIERE): Maria Dueñas, violin / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Gustavo Dudamel (Symphony Hall, Boston)
Oct 25 / Oct 26 Altar de Cuerda (NEW YORK PREMIERE); Kauyumari (NEW YORK PREMIERE): Maria Dueñas, violin / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Gustavo Dudamel (Carnegie Hall, New York)
Oct 28 Kauyumari (MEXICAN PREMIERE): Los Angeles Philharmonic / Gustavo Dudamel (Auditorio Nacional, Mexico City)
Oct 29 Altar de Cuerda (MEXICAN PREMIERE): Maria Dueñas, violin / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Gustavo Dudamel (Teatro Juárez, Guanajuato)

New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles join forces to belatedly celebrate Steve Reich’s 85th birthday with performances of his newest work Traveler’s Prayer. The piece is a meditation on the “Traveler’s Prayer” found in Hebrew prayer books, which can be recited in the context of physical travel (by air, car, or boat), but is also applicable to travel from this world to the next. Reich explains that the piece was shaped by the context of the pandemic: “Traveler’s Prayer was composed starting before and ending during the pandemic of 2020. The virus shifted the gravity of the words I was setting which were three short excerpts from Genesis, Exodus and Psalms.”

Nov 1 Traveler's Prayer (US PREMIERE), Tehillim, Music for 18 Musicians: Colin Currie Group / Synergy Vocals / Micaela Haslam, director (Carnegie Hall, New York)
Nov 3 Traveler's Prayer (WEST COAST PREMIERE), Tehillim, Music for 18 Musicians: Colin Currie Group / Synergy Vocals / Micaela Haslam, director (CalPerformances, Berkeley)
Apr 1 Traveler's Prayer, Reich/Richter, Double Sextet: LA Phil New Music Group / Brad Lubman

Fall 2023 marks Ned Rorem’s 100th birthday. Leading up to the centennial, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center presents Winter Pages for clarinet, bassoon, violin, cello, and piano, a significant chamber piece that was originally commissioned by CMS in 1981.

Apr 6 Winter Pages: Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (New York)

Rouse’s Symphony No. 6, the composer’s final work, receives performances by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Louis Langrée, who premiered the profoundly moving, elegiac piece in 2019, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Marin Alsop, a longtime friend and champion of Rouse.

Sep 30-Oct 2 Symphony No. 6: Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra / Louis Langrée
Apr 13-15 Symphony No. 6: Baltimore Symphony Orchestra / Marin Alsop

This season sees three world premieres for Sean Shepherd. In the fall, the Pacifica Quartet premieres Shepherd’s third quartet, a darkly intense 12-minute piece whose second movement tips its cap to Bartók and Boulez. In the spring, Shepherd’s On a Clear Day, a new cantata for cello, youth choir, and orchestra, opens the Hamburg International Music Festival with the Philharmonic State Orchestra under Kent Nagano at the Elbphilharmonie. (Future performances in the US this season will be announced soon.) Jacksonville Symphony also commissions a new orchestral work from Shepherd, lauded for his mastery of orchestral color, which will be premiered in May.

Sep 13 String Quartet No. 3 (WORLD PREMIERE): Pacifica Quartet (Chamber Music Society of Logan)
Oct 13 String Quartet No. 3 (CANADIAN PREMIERE): Pacifica Quartet (Music Toronto)
Apr 28 On a Clear Day (WORLD PREMIERE): Jan Vogler, cello / Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg / Alsterspatzen – Kinder- und Jugendchor der Hamburgischen Staatsoper / Kent Nagano
(Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg)
May 19-20 New work (WORLD PREMIERE): Jacksonville Symphony / Courtney Lewis

Recent B&H signing Donghoon Shin has won acclaim for his colorful orchestral works. A new orchestral work, co-commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Seoul Philharmonic, and Bamberg Symphony, premieres in April in Los Angeles.

Apr 7-8 New work (WORLD PREMIERE): Los Angeles Philharmonic / Osmo Vänskä

Simpson’s new piano concerto for Víkingur Ólafsson premieres with the London Philharmonic and Edward Gardner in January 2023 before touring through Norway, Germany, and the US. Ólafsson gives the US premiere in May with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, led by Louis Langrée.

May 5-7 Piano Concerto (US PREMIERE): Víkingur Ólafsson, piano / Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra / Louis Langrée

This spring, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Rafael Payare premiere Melita by OSM Composer-in-Residence Ana Sokolovic. Her work Ringelspiel for orchestra, which conjures nostalgic imagery of merry-go-rounds, is also performed in Québec and Utah this season.

Nov 20 Ringelspiel: Orchestre symphonique de Québec / Jordan De Souza
Mar 3-4 Ringelspiel: Utah Symphony / Jirí Rožen
Apr 26-27 Melita (WORLD PREMIERE): Orchestre symphonique de Montréal / Rafael Payare

In September, GRAMMY-winning composer Christopher Tin releases a new concept album, The Lost Birds, recorded by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and renowned vocal ensemble VOCES8. The piece is a soaring elegy for the loss of bird species due to human activity, and sets prescient texts by 19th-century poets, including Emily Dickinson, Christina Rossetti, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Sara Teasdale. VOCES8 premieres the music in concert at Stanford Live in February.

Feb 25 The Lost Birds (WORLD PREMIERE): VOCES8 (Stanford Live)

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