An ambitious music Festival of Festivals will be presented in the Kennedy Center this summer, and six new series of concerts have been planned for the Terrace Theater beginning in September, according to Marta Istomin, the Center's artistic administrator.
Istomin has put together 43 programs for the seven events -- 13 in the Concert Hall and 30 in the Terrace Theater. The summer Festival of Festivals will feature concerts drawn from three major festivals elsewhere. Later, there will be a series of music by six leading American composers, each of whom will be present; a series offering all 32 of the Beethoven piano sonatas played by eight different pianists; a series of six sonata evenings featuring different instruments; a series of five song recitals by leading recitalists, and a series of three chamber music ensembles.
"We wish to offer the public the highest quality in performance with outstanding artists in the atmosphere of the Terrace Theater, which we feel is the appropriate setting for this type of music-making," said Istomin. "To increase the diversity and range of programming, a three-year plan is being developed for the Terrace Theater, with six new series. The aim is to bring to the Terrace Theater an ongoing basis programs of great music in the recital and chamber music repertoire, some of which is not performed regularly."
The Festival of Festivals -- "You need a label to attract audiences," Istomin explained -- with open with four of the new Carnegie Hall Festival concerts. Three of these will present the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra under its new conductor, the world-reowned violinist Pinchas Zukerman. On May 29 and 30 he will appear in both capacities. On the latter program he will also add a chamber chorus and soloists for the Schubert Mass in A Flat.
On June 3, Zukerman and the orchestra will be joined by pianist Misha Dichter. That series will close on June 6 when nine musicians including Isaac Stern, Zukerman, Leonard Rose and Jean Bernard Pommier will play music by Schubert and Barytok.
On July 7 a Mostly Mozart Festival will begin. This program idea has proven one of the most popular around the country in recent years. It will offer conductors Leonard Slatkin and Alexander Schneider, pianists Emanuel Ax, Alicia de Larrocha, Richard Goode, clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, cellist Yo-Yo-Ma, the Tokyo String Quartet and the Kalichstein-Aredo-Robinson Trio. There will be five concerts in the Mozart series, four of which will be preceded by a special pre-concert bonus in the form of a half-hour recital played by some of the evenings's artists. The label "mostly Mozart" means just what it says: you hear mostly Mozart, but there will also be some Vivaldi, Haydn, Schubert and Beethoven.
With the coming of the Aspen Festival concerts in late July, three programs in the Concert Hall will present the Aspen Chamber Orchestra under Jorge Mester, with soloists Dichter, Schlomo Mintz and Lee Luvisi, and an evening of chamber music with the Cleveland Quartet, the American Brass Quintet, and baritone Leslie Guinn. There will also be two evenings of chamber music by young Aspen artists in the Terrace Theater.
Once the summer festivals are over, Istomin will open the Terrace Theater programs with the first of six evenings of music by American composers Aaron Copland, Ned Rorem, Alberto Ginastera, Roger Sessions, Dane Rudhyar and Philip Glass. Each of these programs will be of music chosen by the composer and presented by artists of his preference, and each composer will be at the concert.
A week after the composers' series gets under way, the sonata series will begin, bringing in violinists Erick Friedman and Jamie Laredo, cellists David Soyer and Paul Tortelier, clarinetist Richard Stoltzman and double bass Gary Karr. Soyer will play all of the Beethoven cello sonatas with pianist Peter Serkin.
The pianists who will divide Beethoven's 32 sonatas are Richard Goode, Anton Kuerti, Jean Bernard Pommier, Rudolf Firkusny, Emanuel Ax, Claude Frank, Ruth Laredo and Malcolm Frager. These programs will be played on eight Thursdays between Sept. 17 and March 18.
The series of chamber ensembles will present the New York Woodwind Quintet, the Virtuosi di Roma and the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio.
For a series of song recitals, Istomin has engaged sopranos Elisabeth Soderstrom and Barbara Hendricks, tenor Peter Schreier and baritone Hakan Hagegard who was the bewitching Papageno in Ingmar Bergman's film of Mozart's "Magic Flute."
Istomin is also planning to add to the series of Embassy programs presenting outstanding artists from other countries. This plan was instituted this season in a cooperative venture sponsored by the Kennedy Center and various embassies. Two concerts were given this year. Negotiations are now in progress between the Center and the embassies of Spain, Argentina, Turkey, Venezuela and Brazil.
In addition to these new series, the three-year-old Terrace Theater is increasingly being used by the Washington Opera and the Washington Performing Arts Society, the Young Artists Series, and the Theater Chamber Players, Originally planned as a place where music would be involved perhaps 25 percent of the time and speech and drama 75 percent, the balance has now shifted to the point where music is involved nearly 90 percent of the time.