The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s fall music season, the second season in its new Calderwood Hall, includes the second world premiere composed for the new venue, as well as a mix of new faces and familiar artists striking out for new territory.
The new piece commissioned for the Calderwood is by American composer Gabriela Lena Frank. Like the first — Sean Shepherd’s “Trio,” which was premiered in January — it was written for the Claremont Trio and will be played on a program on Sept. 30.
The Gardner opens the sequence of Sunday afternoon performances on Sept. 9 with its resident chamber orchestra, A Far Cry, in a program of Hildegard von Bingen, Beethoven, Golijov (an arrangement of “The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind” for klezmer clarinet and string orchestra, with clarinetist David Krakauer), and local composer Mehmet Ali Sanlikol. The group returns on Dec. 6 for one of four Thursday night “Avant Gardner” programs. That concert is largely given over to John Cage — including the famous “4’33” ” — as are two other Thursday concerts by the Callithumpian Consort (Nov. 1, Dec. 20). Rounding out the contemporary offerings is an installment of the Composer Portraits series from Miller Theatre in New York, this one devoted to the three string quartets of Fred Lerdahl (Oct. 18).
Two familiar Gardner faces, flutist Paula Robison and pianist Paavali Jumppanen, join together for an expansive program of French music that includes works by Roussel, Debussy, Poulenc, and Boulez (Sept. 16). Local favorites the Borromeo String Quartet celebrate 20 years of performing at the museum with the first in a series of programs devoted to Dvorak (Dec. 2). The Belcea Quartet, last seen at the Gardner in 2010, makes a welcome return with an all-Beethoven program on Nov. 4, and there will again be visits by Musicians From Marlboro (Oct. 28) and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (Nov. 11).
Performers new to the museum’s concert series include two winners of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions: clarinetist Narek Arutyunian (Sept. 23) and mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano (Nov. 18). Armenian cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan, gold medal winner at the International Tchaikovsky Competition last year, makes his second visit to the Gardner with a recital of Chopin, Schumann, Franck, Tchaikovsky, and Ligeti.
For now, the Gardner is not renting out Calderwood Hall to other groups or series for ticketed concerts, though it does rent to private groups. Gardner spokesman Matt Montgomery said the museum wants to focus the hall’s concerts on its own curated offerings, just as it does with its galleries. He added that between its concert series, rentals, and lectures and other museum events, the hall is being used at full capacity.
A presale of concert tickets to museum members runs July 11-23. Tickets go on sale to the general public on July 25.
New BEMF season
The Boston Early Music Festival has also announced its new concert season, which includes two performances of Monteverdi’s “L’Orfeo” at Jordan Hall. The performances, on Nov. 24 and 25, are BEMF’s fifth annual chamber opera production. Like the other four, it will be directed by Gilbert Blin.
Other notable concerts in the concert series include the BEMF debut of Concerto Köln (Oct. 27), the return of gambist Jordi Savall’s ensemble Hespèrion XXI (Nov. 2), and the Venice Baroque Orchestra (Feb. 8). Keyboardist Luca Guglielmi, a member of the festival’s orchestra, performs a Bach program on both harpsichord and organ (Mar. 9). And two outstanding vocal groups will also make return visits to the festival: The Tallis Scholars (Dec. 2) and Stile Antico (Apr. 5).
High honor for Christophers
Harry Christophers, artistic director of the Handel and Haydn Society, has been named a Commander of the British Empire, one of the highest civilian honors that can be bestowed by the Queen of England. Christophers, who also directs the British ensemble The Sixteen, received the honor for services to music. He opens the 2012-13 H&H season, his fourth with the organization, in October.