The National Symphony Orchestra will observe Mstislav Rostropovich's 10th-anniversary season with a series of performances that might be labeled "Slava's Greatest Hits."
During the 1986-87 season -- which also will include his 60th birthday, on March 27, 1987 -- Rostropovich will repeat some of his most acclaimed performances of the last decade, including Prokofiev's "Alexander Nevsky" cantata, Benjamin Britten's "War Requiem" and Tchaikovsky's "Pathe'tique" Symphony.
He also will perform as cello soloist, with Hugh Wolff conducting, in two works closely associated with his solo career: Dvorak's Cello Concerto and Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 1.
The season, announced at a press conference yesterday at the Kennedy Center, will feature as guest conductors Leonard Bernstein, Maxim Shostakovich, Christopher Hogwood, Erich Leinsdorf, Edo de Waart, Charles Dutoit, Gunther Herbig, James Conlon and John Mauceri.
Rostropovich will conduct nine weeks of subscription concerts and give a week of performances as cello soloist. Two other internationally known soloist-conductors are also scheduled to appear: Pinchas Zukerman, who will conduct and play the violin, and Daniel Barenboim, who will be piano soloist with Conlon conducting.
A performance of Berlioz's "The Damnation of Faust," with Charles Dutoit conducting and Florence Quivar, Terry Cook, Kenneth Riegal and John Cheek as soloists, is likely to be one of the season's highlights, as is a performance of Mahler's Third Symphony conducted by principal guest conductor Rafael Fru hbeck de Burgos. Among the works Rostropovich will be conducting for the first time with the NSO will be the Fourth Symphonies of Gustav Mahler and Dmitri Shostakovich, "In Praise of Folly" by Washington-born composer George Walker, Sibelius' Seventh Symphony and "Praise We Now Great Men" by Benjamin Britten, a brief work that will be performed with the "War Requiem" in the season's final subscription concert.
"Praise We Now Great Men," with a text by Edith Sitwell, was originally commissioned for Rostropovich's first season as NSO music director but was left unfinished at Britten's death. The seven-minute fragment Britten left in piano score has been orchestrated by Colin Matthews, and Rostropovich conducted its premiere last summer at the Aldeburgh Festival (founded by Britten) in England.
Guest soloists will include Richard Stoltzman (making his NSO debut in John Corigliano's Clarinet Concerto with Andrew Litton conducting), guitarist Narciso Yepes (with Fru hbeck), violinist Uto Ughi, sopranos Arleen Auger and Kathleen Battle, and pianists Alexander Toradze and Jose Feghali.
A list of season highlights distributed yesterday did not indicate the program for the week of March 24, 1987, during which Rostropovich's 60th birthday will occur. A later announcement on plans for this date is expected.