This weekend, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is hosting a festival called Women of the World, which is all about every aspect of women’s lives and work and rights and struggles. What it’s not especially about is music. Is this a future for orchestras, establishing themselves in their communities by any means possible, including non-musical ones? My thoughts are in Friday’s Washington Post.
Also this week, the BSO announced its 2012-13 season. The focus of the current season is on women; next year, the spotlight shifts to film (West Side Story; Alexander Nevsky) and American music (with a focus on Christopher Rouse, including the East Coast premiere of his 3rd Symphony). Other American composers include John Adams, Jennifer Higdon, Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, and Samuel Barber — in short, many of the usual suspects.
Other highlights include a couple of evenings of Richard Wagner, something we’ll be seeing a lot of in his bicentennial year of 2013, though I wager fewer orchestras will devote concerts to the other bicentenarian, Giuseppe Verdi. The BSO will offer Act One of “Die Walkuere” and a condensation of the Ring called “The Ring: An Orchestral Adventure,” paired with Rouse’s Ring-themed work “Der gerettete Alberich.” There’s also a de facto Rachmaninoff concentration with two concerts including an all-Rachmaninoff program with Alsop featuring the Third Piano Concerto, and another Russian-themed program that includes the Fourth.
Strikingly, in a season that marks the release of Alsop’s recording of Mahler’s 1st Symphony, another conductor, Christopher Koenig, is leading it in his debut with the orchestra.