Each summer, Lincoln Center brings bold-faced names to its campus to participate in a number of festivals. But along with the Joshua Bells, Yo-Yo Mas and Emanuel Axes, their offerings introduce upcoming artists and new ensembles and honor under-recognized artists.
Last year saw the creation of the Asphalt Orchestra, which marched around the plazas to the beat of Frank Zappa and Bjork, as well as the New York debut of the rising star conductor Yannick Nezet-Seguin and performances of John Adams’ early compositions. To get a beat on some of the surprises coming up this year, Hanako Yamaguchi, music programming director and Bill Bragin, public programming director, shared some of the events they’re looking forward to:
1. Often, Mostly Mozart maestro Louis Langrée conducts a well-known favorite for the festival finale like a the Requiem or a Mass. For 2010, he chose the lesser known Davidde Penitente, a cantata as grand as a Mass. Mozart borrowed both the "Gloria" and the "Kyrie" from his Great Mass in C Minor for this work, which will be sung by Sasha Cook, Carolyn Sampson and the Concert Chorale of New York. “It’s rarely performed, but this choral work is quite extraordinary,” says Yamaguchi.
2. Mostly Mozart has a history of introducing future stars. Philippe Entremonte made his American debut and James Galway and the not-yet-knighted Sir Neville Marriner both made their New York debuts there. This year is no different. German violinist Isabelle Faust performs for the first time in the Big Apple on August 8, playing three Beethoven sonatas with Alexander Melnikov (it’s his Mostly Mozart debut, too). The 24-year-old conductor Lionel Bringuier, even younger than Gustavo Dudamel when he first led the LA Phil, will conduct an all-Mozart program on August 6 and 7.
3. Lincoln Center Out of Doors will spotlight some of the more ambitious figures of Latin music throughout the summer. Larry Harlow, a salsa pioneer and New York native, will receive the hometown premier on August 14 of his 40-piece salsa suite, La Raza Latina, “a suite that depicts the history of Latin music in the Americas,” says Bragin. The albino Brazilian virtuoso and Miles Davis collaborator Hermeto Pascoal helped open Jazz at Lincoln Center in 2004. He’ll bring his large collection of instruments (including everything from the accordion to traditional instruments to animals) for an August 6 concert.
4. Building on two concerts linking 18th century to 20th century music, Pierre-Laurent Aimard will curate a series of concerts called Bach and Polyphony. Among the individual evenings Ludovic Morlot, the new Seattle Symphony director, will lead the International Contemporary Ensemble in two monuments of modern composition, George Benjamin’s Antara and Helmut Lachenmann’s Mouvement. “They’re both seminal works that Pierre-Laurent strongly felt should be included,” Yamaguchi said.
5. It’s one thing to premier a new compositional work. It’s another to premier a brand new instrument at the same time. That is what the Kronos Quartet and Gamelan Galak Tika will do in Christine Southworth’s Super Collider on August 13. Alex Rigopulos, one of the founders of video games Guitar Hero and Rock Band created the Gamelan Elektrika for the event. “It’s a virtual gamelan and they’re going to mixing the sound live so that it goes from traditional gamelan sounds to electronic sounds,” says Bragin. “It’s a big undertaking.”