For the first time in 15 years, the Washington Performing Arts Society is not scheduling any Soviet artists for their 1980-1981 performance series, which begins in October.
"They're just not coming," Partick Hayes, managing director of the WPAS, said at a luncheon yesterday at the Cosmos Club to announce the new season's events.
Hayes said that too many Soviet artists have been canceling their tours here -- even since the spate of defections by touring Russian performers that began last summer.
"During the past season," he said, "We were going to lead off with the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra, and they canceled." Other cancellations of WPAS-sponsored performances by Soveit artists included pianist Andrei Gavrilov, pianist Mikhail Pletnyov, and the Krasnayarsk Dance Company of Siberia, Hayes said.
However, Russian emigre pianist Bella Davidovich will appear in January.
Other highlights of the coming season include:
An oboe recital by the world's leading oboist, Heinz Holliger, in October. "Ten years ago you wouldn't have dreamed of putting an oboist on the stage alone," said Hayes. "But we've had flutists alone, the English horn alone -- and now, an oboe."
The first U.S. appearance of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields in November.
A recital by Jessye Norman, an eminent American soprano and a graduate of Howard University, in November.
A performance by Canadian-born cellist Zara Neslova in February.
Lorin Maazel conducting the Cleveland Orchestra in the premier of Luciano Berio's major new work "Coro" with the West German Radio Chorus, in October.
The San Francisco Symphony, with new music director Edo De Waart, premiering the new work of David del Tredici, and performing Mahler's Fifth Symphony in November.
Other favorites returning this season include tenor Luciano Pavaroltti and flutists Jean-Pierre Rampal and James Galway. The public can begin subscribing now to concert series, and current subscribers must renew by May 1 to keep their same seats.