If you watched the ASO's live webcast earlier today, you've already heard about all the wonderful things in store for the 2009-2010 season. In case you missed it and don't feel like sitting through an hour and 20 minutes of press conference, I'll hit the highlights for you. (For the full season, look here.)
The biggest news, at least for the chorus, is that we have been invited back for a third time to perform with the Berlin Philharmonic. We'll be singing Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem, perhaps the most beloved of all German choral works, once again under the baton of our brilliant and irresistibly charming principal guest conductor, Donald Runnicles. As if that isn't good enough, we'll be going December 14-21 – hallo Weihnachtsmarkt, here I come! Oh, and did I mention our soloists for this engagement? Gerald Finley, my baritone love! (I've not heard the soprano, Genia Kühmeier, but I'm sure she is equally stunning.) If for some reason I don't return from this trip, you can safely assume I have run off to the Alps with Gerry.
The Brahms also opens the season at home for the chorus in October, but two weeks prior to that, the ASO's chamber chorus will present Stravinsky's opera The Nightingale in concert form, continuing the recent streak of operas at the symphony. On the same program, Yo-Yo Ma will play the world premiere of a cello concerto by Angel Lam. We're taking the show on the road in November, first to Athens (Nov. 5) and then to Carnegie Hall (Nov. 7) as part of their China festival.
In 2010 we've got Rossini's Stabat Mater, Mahler's Symphony No. 3 and Verdi's Requiem on the docket, and we finish out the season with another world premiere of a choral work by "Atlanta School" composer Michael Gandolfi. The last two concerts will be reprised in mid-June for the League of American Orchestras and Choral America conferences in Atlanta. And then we'll all pass out for a month or two.
Of course, I might miss all of those spring concerts if I'm off gallivanting about Europe with my dreamy baritone boyfriend...