Carnegie Hall to Celebrate Vienna in 2013-14

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Carnegie Hall on Thursday announced its 2013-14 season which will feature a three-week winter festival, “Vienna: City of Dreams,” devoted to the music of the Austrian capital and including a seven-concert residency by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

The festival (Feb. 21-March 16, 2014) will draw on the Philharmonic’s dual role as the pit orchestra of the Vienna State Opera, with concert performances of two operas: Berg’s Wozzeck and Strauss’s Salome. Franz Welser-Möst, Daniele Gatti, Andris Nelsons and Zubin Mehta will conduct the Philharmonic. Song recitals and chamber music are also part of the festival.

Along with the programming plans, Carnegie Hall announced a $10 million gift toward the ongoing renovation of its studio towers from Judith and Burton Resnick. The renovation includes a 61,000-square-foot education wing named after the couple, who are longtime board members. The education facility, slated to open in 2014, is to occupy the tower’s upper floors.

The Carnegie Hall season opens Oct. 2 with the Philadelphia Orchestra led by Yannick Nézet-Séguin in a program of short works featuring the violinist Joshua Bell and jazz bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding. WQXR will broadcast this program as part of the Carnegie Hall Live series.

Other season highlights include a celebration of composer Benjamin Britten tied to the centennial of his birth (Nov. 22), featuring performances of his major works by Ian Bostridge; the St. Louis Symphony (his opera Peter Grimes); and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (the War Requiem).

The Minnesota Orchestra, having cancelled much of its current season due to a labor lockout, is scheduled to return for four concerts featuring a Sibelius symphony cycle led by Osmo Vänskä. Emanuel Ax will appear for a three-recital Brahms series with Yo-Yo Ma and Anne Sofie von Otter. And Valery Gergiev returns with the Mariinsky Orchestra for three concerts.

As previously announced, the composer David Lang will occupy the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair but for the first time in a decade, there will be no "Perspectives" artist next season. A spokesperson confirms that the hall plans to bring back the artist-curator series in the future.

In welcoming the Vienna Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall brings in an orchestra that is venerated for its unique sound and a global brand, built on annual television appearances and recordings. At the same time, the orchestra remains a controversial symbol. It recently found itself under renewed attacks for what some say is its glacial progress in hiring women and minority members; it remains the least diverse orchestra in the West in terms of race and gender equality. In past years, the orchestra has been picketed during overseas tours by those who perceive its practices to be discriminatory. The orchestra responds that it is making progress, pointing to several female hires in recent years.

Carnegie Hall is broadcast partner of WQXR.