Boston Symphony Chamber Players Announce 51st Season and New Historical Recordings

BOSTON SYMPHONY CHAMBER PLAYERS ANNOUNCE THE RELEASE OF A SERIES OF HISTORIC RCA RECORDINGS FROM 1964-68-THE FIRST FOUR SEASONS OF THE ENSEMBLE’S EXISTENCE-MADE AVAILABLE MAY-AUGUST 2014 EXCLUSIVELY THROUGH BSO.ORG AS RE-MASTERED DIGITAL DOWNLOADS

2014-15 SEASON PERFORMANCES OCTOBER 19, JANUARY 11, MARCH 15, AND APRIL 26 TO FEATURE WORKS SPANNING THREE CENTURIES OF REPERTOIRE, GUESTS PIANISTS EMANUEL AX AND JEAN-YVES THIBAUDET, AND THE WORLD PREMIERE OF A NEWLY COMMISSIONED WORK BY AMERICAN COMPOSER ERIC NATHAN

Following the completion of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players’ 2013-14 season at Jordan Hall this past Sunday, April 6, the Chamber Players announce their 2014-15 season, which features diverse works from nearly three centuries of repertoire, including two very recent works written for the ensemble. On October 19, 2014, the group performs music of Bach, Nielsen, and Brahms. On January 11, the Chamber Players present the world premiere of a newly commissioned work by American composer and former Tanglewood Fellow Eric Nathan, on a program that also includes works by the early 20th century Boston composer Arthur Foote and the Czech Josef Mysliveček and Antonin Dvořák. On March 15, the Chamber Players welcome pianist Emanuel Ax for a program devoted to the music of Robert Schumann and the great contemporary Hungarian composer György Kurtág. Finally, pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet assists the ensemble in closing out the 2014-15 season, performing works by Fauré and Poulenc on this French-oriented program. Also featured are two works with harp by Maurice Ravel and the American Hannah Lash, whose Three Shades Without Angles for flute, viola, and harp, was originally commissioned by the BSO for the Chamber Players’ 50th anniversary season, and which was premiered in February 2014.

In addition, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, the BSO will be making available for the first time a series of historic RCA recordings from 1964-1968-the first four seasons of the ensemble’s existence-as newly digitized and re-mastered downloads through BSO Classics, the orchestra’s label.

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BOSTON SYMPHONY CHAMBER PLAYERS RE-RELEASES RECORDINGS FROM 1964-1968 IN CELEBRATION OF THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, the BSO will be making a series of historic recordings from 1964-1968-the first four seasons of the ensemble’s existence-available for the first time as newly digitized and re-mastered digital downloads through BSO Classics. By accessing master tapes from the original recording sessions for RCA, the BSO is able to re-master these historic recordings in the highest fidelity digital audio formats available. The downloads will roll out in four installments from mid-May through mid-August, beginning with recordings of works by Mozart, Brahms, Beethoven, Fine, Copland, Carter, and Piston. These historic recordings are made available in association with Sony Music.

In addition, the series will include a number of previously unreleased recordings as well as spoken introductions – taped at the time of the original sessions – by comedian, writer, and actor Peter Ustinov (who provided notes and commentary for the original annotated program booklets), former BSO concertmaster Joseph Silverstein, and then BSO Music Director Erich Leinsdorf.

During the first four seasons of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, 1964-1968, the ensemble made a series of historic recordings for RCA, released as LP boxed sets. These included a number of the central works of the chamber music repertoire (including music by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and Brahms), as well as music by some of the day’s leading American composers (Irving Fine, Walter Piston, Aaron Copland, and Elliott Carter). The recordings were all made in Boston’s Symphony Hall and featured the legendary BSO principal players of the time, including Mr. Silverstein, flutist Doriot Anthony Dwyer, oboist Ralph Gomberg, bassoonist Sherman Walt, and cellist Jules Eskin (the only remaining member of the original ensemble). For several of the works, the BSO musicians were joined by distinguished guest pianists Claude Frank and the young Richard Goode, then at the start of what continues to be a long and varied career.

The re-release of these recordings has been supported by a generous gift from the Ulf B. Heide and Elizabeth C. Heide Foundation.

DIRECTIONS FOR REVIEWERS TO ACCESS BOSTON SYMPHONY CHAMBER PLAYERS DIGITAL DOWNLOADS
Members of the press wanting to obtain a press-only digital music subscription of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players historic recordings should email press@bso.org for access instructions. Please allow 24-48 hours for your Press Subscription to be provisioned. You will receive an email confirmation when your subscription is ready. Once you receive your confirmation email, log into your bso.org account and access your subscription via your purchases history.

DETAILS OF THE BOSTON SYMPHONY CHAMBER PLAYERS 2014-15 SEASON

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2014
The centerpiece of the opening program of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players’ 2014-15 season-Sunday, October 19, at 3 p.m. in Jordan Hall-is Nielsen’s Wind Quintet, Op. 43, composed in 1922 for an outstanding Copenhagen ensemble. Arguably the finest wind quintet in the repertoire, the piece explores the characteristic personalities of each instrument alone and in ensemble. Particularly striking is the finale, a series of variations to the tune of one of Nielsen’s own songs. The work is preceded by the Trio Sonata in G for flute, violin, and continuo, attributed to J.S. Bach but possibly composed by his son Carl Philipp Emanuel. Closing the program is an arrangement of Brahms’ Serenade No. 1 in D for winds and strings, one of the composer’s least familiar orchestral works, reconstructed by Alan Boustead in the 1980s for what is presumed to be the original intended instrumentation. Although light in character, the Serenade was a major undertaking by Brahms, a kind of stand-in for a symphony he wouldn’t finish until much later.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 11, 2015
On Sunday, January 11, the Boston Symphony Chamber Players will present the world premiere of Eric Nathan’s new work for oboe, horn, and piano, a BSO commission. A former Tanglewood Composition Fellow, Nathan was the recipient of the 2013-14 Rome Prize of the American Academy in Rome. The program opens with Czech composer Josef Mysliveček’s Quintet No. 2 in G for two clarinets, two horns, and bassoon, followed by Boston composer Arthur Foote’s Nocturne and Scherzo for flute and string quintet. Dvořák’s Octet-Serenade in E for winds, strings, and piano closes out the afternoon.

SUNDAY, MARCH 15, 2015
Pianist Emanuel Ax joins the Chamber Players on Sunday, March 15 for a program centered on the music of Robert Schumann and György Kurtág (himself a noted admirer of Schumann’s music and one of the great chamber music coaches in the world today). The program begins with two works by Schumann written in 1849: first, his Fantasy Pieces for clarinet and piano, written over the course of two days; and the Adagio and Allegro for horn and piano, written over four days and one of the composer’s most popular chamber works, composed for the then-recently invented valved horn. The centerpiece of the concert will be Kurtág’s melancholic song cycle, Scenes from a Novel for soprano and ensemble, composed in 1982 and setting texts by Russian writer Rimma Dalos. Kurtág’s brief, eight-movement Wind Quintet, Op. 2 is a Webern-influenced delicacy of intimate colors. Closing the program is another work featuring Mr. Ax, Schumann’s exuberant Piano Quintet in E-flat, one of the masterpieces of the genre.

SUNDAY, APRIL 26, 2015
French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet joins the Boston Symphony Chamber Players on Sunday, April 26 to close out the 2014-15 Chamber Player’s season with a program highlighting great French music. The program features works by three quintessential French composers: Ravel’s iridescent Introduction and Allegro for harp, accompanied by string quartet, flute, and clarinet, one of the first pieces to use the full range of the harp in a solo role; Poulenc’s elegant three-movement Sextet for piano and winds; and Fauré’s Piano Quartet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 15, a surprisingly warm and welcoming piece despite its key. The program also includes American composer Hannah Lash’s Three Shades Without Angles for flute, viola, and harp, commissioned by the BSO for the Chamber Players’ 50th anniversary season to use the same ensemble template as Debussy’s seminal Sonata for flute, viola, and harp. Lash’s elegant, vibrant single-movement work, partly inspired by Debussy’s compatriot, the sculptor Auguste Rodin, received its world premiere in February 2014.

BOSTON SYMPHONY CHAMBER PLAYERS
One of the world’s most distinguished chamber music ensembles sponsored by a major symphony orchestra and made up of principal players from that orchestra, the Boston Symphony Chamber Players include first-chair string and wind players from the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Founded in 1964 during Erich Leinsdorf’s tenure as BSO music director, the Chamber Players can perform virtually any work within the vast chamber music literature, expanding their range of repertoire by calling upon other BSO members or enlisting the services of such distinguished artists as pianists Leif Ove Andsnes, Emanuel Ax, and André Previn. The Chamber Players’ activities include an annual four-concert series in Boston’s Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory, regular appearances at Tanglewood, and a busy touring schedule. In addition to their appearances throughout the United States, they have performed in Europe, Japan, South America, and the Soviet Union. In September 2008, sponsored by Cunard® Line, the Boston Symphony Chamber Players performed on the Queen Mary 2’s transatlantic crossing from New York to Southampton, England. Among their many recordings are the Brahms string quintets and works by John Harbison, Aaron Copland, and Leon Kirchner, all on Nonesuch; and the quintets for clarinet and strings by Mozart and Brahms with former BSO principal clarinet, the late Harold Wright, on Philips. Their recordings on BSO Classics include an album of Mozart chamber music for winds and strings (the Clarinet Quintet in A, the Horn Quintet in E-flat, the F major Oboe Quartet, and the Flute Quartet in A, K.298); an album of chamber music by American composers William Bolcom (Serenata Notturna), Lukas Foss (For Aaron), Michael Gandolfi (Plain Song, Fantastic Dances), and Osvaldo Golijov (Lullaby and Doina); and “Profanes et Sacrées,” a disc of 20th-century French chamber music by Ravel, Debussy, Tomasi, Françaix, and Dutilleux recently nominated for a Grammy Award in the category “Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance.”

TICKET INFORMATION
Subscriptions to the Boston Symphony Chamber Players’ 2014-15 series are priced at $75, $95, and $132, and are available from the BSO’s Subscription Office by calling 617-266-7575. Single tickets for the individual concerts go on sale August 4 at 10 a.m., are priced at $22, $29, and $38, and can be purchased through SymphonyCharge at 617-266-1200, on www.bso.org, at the Symphony Hall Box Office, or at the Jordan Hall Box Office at 30 Gainsborough Street. On the day of the concert, tickets may only be purchased at Jordan Hall. Jordan Hall is wheelchair-accessible.

All programs are subject to change. For current program information, dial 617-CONCERT (617-266-2378).
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PRESS CONTACTS:
Bernadette Horgan, Director of Public Relations (bhorgan@bso.org)
617-638-9285

Boston Symphony Chamber Players 2014-15 Season
New England Conservatory of Music’s Jordan Hall
30 Gainsborough St., Boston

Sunday, October 19, 2014, 3 p.m.
J.S. BACH Trio Sonata in G for flute, violin, and continuo, BWV 1038
NIELSEN Wind Quintet, Op. 43

BRAHMS (arr. BOUSTEAD) Serenade No. 1 in D for winds and strings, Op. 11
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Sunday, January 11, 2015, 3 p.m.
MYSLIVEČEK Quintet No. 2 in G for two clarinets, two horns, and bassoon
FOOTE Nocturne and Scherzo for flute and string quartet
ERIC NATHAN New work for oboe, horn, and piano (world premiere; BSO commission)
DVOŘÁK (arr. INGMAN) Octet-Serenade in E for winds, strings, and piano, Op. 22
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Sunday, March 15, 2015, 3 p.m.
with Emanuel Ax, piano
SCHUMANN Fantasy Pieces for clarinet and piano,Op. 73
SCHUMANN Adagio and Allegro for horn and piano, Op. 70
KURTÁG Scenes from a Novel for soprano and ensemble, Op. 19
KURTÁG Wind Quintet, Op. 2
SCHUMANN Piano Quintet in E-flat, Op. 44
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Sunday, April 26, 2015, 3 p.m.
with Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano
RAVEL Introduction and Allegro for harp, accompanied by string quartet, flute, and clarinet
HANNAH LASH Three Shades Without Angles, for flute, viola, and harp
POULENC Sextet for piano and winds
FAURÉ Piano Quartet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 15