In announcing the upcoming season, New World Symphony Co-Founder and Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas said, “The new season will be a joyous reunion of our New World Symphony Fellows, our audience, and our community. Together we look forward to continuing exploration of our rich tradition.”
The 2021-2022 season features Measha Brueggergosman, Augustin Hadelich, Gabriela Montero, and Gil Shaham. Artists making their NWS debuts include mezzo-soprano Ronnita Miller, baritone Dashon Burton, and pianist Joyce Yang, “as well as artists not traditionally seen on classical stages including jazz phenom Aaron Diehl, and global music collective People of Earth,” NWS announced. In addition to Michael Tilson Thomas, guest conductors include Marin Alsop, Roderick Cox, Stéphane Denève, and Thomas Wilkins, and NWS alumni Kazem Abdullah, Teddy Abrams, and Christian Reif.
“Season highlights include a Clarinet Festival with instrument greats Martin Fröst, Anthony McGill, and Jörg Widmann, and works by Claude Debussy, Nina Shekhar, and Tōru Takemitsu,” according to the announcement. “This festival builds on NWS’s season-long instrument festivals launched in 2019 with Viola Visions and 2021’s Percussion Perspectives. The season also includes a focus on the work of composer Primous Fountain, with whom MTT has had a long relationship, and a multi-faceted, multi-disciplinary celebration of music and art from the Harlem Renaissance.”
In addition to its streaming concert series, several concerts will be presented as free WALLCAST® Concerts, streamed onto the New World Center’s 7,000-square-foot projection wall in SoundScape Park.
New, a “Mobile Wall” will be introduced this fall. “The 9x16 foot projection wall and a state-of-the-art sound system will serve neighborhoods across Miami with WALLCAST® content and Fellows as ambassadors. Together this will create new cultural centers of gravity across the community,” NWS announced.
New World Symphony President and CEO Howard Herring said, “The currency of relevance is shared experience, musicians and audiences coming together in a communal setting. In an inclusive world, sharing takes on a new significance. The NWS 2021-2022 season is all about sharing and inclusion. We imagine a strong and secure future for classical music and will reimagine, reaffirm, express, and share its traditions with as many people as possible.”
More from the announcement
The New World Symphony is dedicated to the artistic, personal, and professional development of outstanding instrumentalists. The NWS fellowship program provides graduates of music programs the opportunity to enhance their musical education with the finest professional training. A laboratory for musical education and expression, NWS, through a wide range of performance and instructional activities, seeks to develop in participants the full complement of skills and qualifications required of musician leaders and agents of change. Under the artistic direction of Michael Tilson Thomas, the program offers in-depth exposure to traditional and modern repertoire with the active involvement of leading guest conductors, soloists, and coaches. The relationships with these artists are extended through NWS’ pioneering experimentation with distance learning via Internet2. NWS provides opportunities for Fellows to create their own performance opportunities and projects.
NEW WORLD CENTER @ 10
The 2021-2022 season celebrates the tenth anniversary of the New World Center. The Frank Gehry-designed concert hall and campus was notable for its integration of technology and continues to be a model of innovation with state-of-the-art technical capabilities and flexible concert spaces. The external projection wall has allowed thousands of concert-goers to experience the New World Symphony from picnic blankets and lawn chairs in SoundScape Park and has inspired similar video walls in performing arts centers around the country and world.
THE KNIGHT NEW MEDIA CENTER
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is a strong partner in exploring digital networks for fellowship training as well as capture and distribution of NWS performances. Acknowledging their financial commitment and professional encouragement, all NWS digital expression originates in the Knight New Media Center. While NWS leadership has always envisioned an expanding digital presence, the pandemic restrictions have hastened that work. Beyond the pandemic, NWS anticipates that programs born from the Knight New Media Center will continue to have high value for Fellows, alumni, music students – local and global, and audiences for classical music.
2021-2022 SEASON HIGHLIGHTSMTT AND NWS
New World Symphony Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas leads the NWS during the 2021-2022 season in concerts including a pre-season concert highlighted by his Poems of Emily Dickinson sung by frequent collaborator Measha Brueggergosman (October 2); a Season Opening concert featuring baritone Dashon Burton (October 9/10); two evenings featuring violinist Christian Tetzlaff (February 11/12); and a Season Finale concert with violinist Gil Shaham (May 6/7). MTT also directs Clarinet Visions, this Season’s instrument focused festival.
HARLEM RENAISSANCE PROJECT
This multi-disciplinary festival will celebrate and explore the early 20th century’s dynamic intellectual and cultural movement centered in New York City’s Harlem, which also impacted the arts world-wide. The Harlem Renaissance was a significant period of artistic expression that shared what it meant to be Black in America. Michael Tilson Thomas collaborates with conductor Thomas Wilkins—Principal Conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and Music Director of the Omaha Symphony—to explore the landmark era’s music, dance, spoken word, theater, and more.
Beginning with Violin Visions in 2019, the NWS has included an instrument-focused festival each season. In 2022, the spotlight turns towards the clarinet with concerts, master classes, and more. Led by MTT and NWS alumnus Kazem Abdullah, this festival will feature instrument masters Martin Fröst, Anthony McGill, and Andreas Ottensamer performing works by Anthony Davis, Claude Debussy, Nina Shekhar, and Tōru Takemitsu. Jörg Widmann will join the orchestra to perform his own work.
The New World Symphony is led by powerful guest conductors including pre-season concerts led by Andrew Grams (September 18), Ian Bousfield (September 19), and Christoph Koncz (September 25). Rafael Payare leads NWS and pianist George Li in Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 (January 22/23), and conductor Roderick Cox is joined by cellist Zuill Bailey in works by Salonen, Herbert, and Tchaikovsky (March 26/27). NWS will be led by NWS conducting alumni in 2021-2022. Christian Reif is joined by violin great Augustin Hadelich (November 20/21) and Teddy Abrams heads up a program with global music ensemble People of Earth (April 9/10).
NWS CHAMBER MUSIC SERIES
The Chamber Music Series kicks off with cellist Oliver Herbert performing and featuring a work of Julius Eastman (October 24). The series continues with harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani (December 19), hornist Andrew Bain (January 9), mezzo-soprano Ronnita Miller (January 30), and concludes with the New World Symphony Fellows performing the Schubert Octet (May 1).
SOUNDS OF THE TIMES
The New World Symphony’s new music series, Sounds of the Times, kicks off with HK Gruber leading the NWS in the US premiere of a recently discovered work by Kurt Weill (November 13). The series continues in a concert of works by Marcos Balter and Helmut Lachenmann (April 3). The series wraps with a concert of works by composer Primous Fountain led by MTT (April 16).
SPECIAL CONCERT EVENTS
The beloved annual Percussion Consort features a collaboration with the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music (October 24). NWS celebrate the holidays with Sounds of the Season (December 17/18). Richard Kaufman conducts the orchestra in Music of the Silver Screen featuring film clips and music from Hollywood classics (March 19).
NWS EDUCATION AND FAMILY CONCERTS
New World Symphony has always been dedicated to serving music lovers of all ages. The 2021-2022 family concerts begin with a pair of spooky and special Halloween concerts (October 31, at 11:30am and 2:30pm). The second Concert for Kids takes place on March 13.
Local high school musicians receive intensive mentorship and a special opportunity to play alongside the New World Symphony Fellows in the annual Side-by-Side Concert (April 23).
NWS AT THE ARSHT CENTER, VERO BEACH, AND WEST PALM BEACH
The New World Symphony’s residency at the Adrianne Arsht Center kicks off with MTT leading a concert featuring James Lee III’s Sukkot Through Orion’s Nebula, an NWS commission. The orchestra will be joined by pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet (October 16). On January 15, NWS will be led by conductor Xian Zhang with pianist Gabriela Montero joining to perform her own Piano Concerto No. 1, “Latin.” On March 5, Stéphane Denève leads NWS in a program of works by Debussy, Beethoven, and more. That concert will be repeated on March 6 in Vero Beach.
Marin Alsop leads NWS in the US Premiere of a new edition of Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F with Aaron Diehl at the New World Center (December 10/11) and West Palm Beach’s Kravis Center (December 12).
PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY
The New World Symphony is committed to maintaining a safe environment for Fellows, staff, and audiences. NWS strives to comply with the MB Standard, a set of enhanced safety measures put in place by the City of Miami Beach. Socially distanced seating will be in accordance with recommended best practices. The building is cleaned daily, and high-touch areas are cleaned multiple times daily.
ABOUT MICHAEL TILSON THOMAS
Michael Tilson Thomas is Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the New World Symphony, Music Director Laureate of the San Francisco Symphony, and Conductor Laureate of the London Symphony Orchestra. In addition to conducting the world’s leading orchestras, MTT is also noted for his work as a composer and as a producer of multimedia projects dedicated to music education and reinventing the concert experience. He is a twelve-time Grammy Award winner whose wide-ranging discography includes more than 120 recordings, including most recently a recording of his compositions on SFS Media. His television work includes series for the BBC and PBS, broadcasts of the New York Philharmonic's Young People’s Concerts, and numerous televised performances. He is an Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France, a member of the American Academies of Arts and Sciences and Arts and Letters, and has been profiled on CBS’s 60 Minutes and ABC’s Nightline. He was awarded the National Medal of Arts, has been inducted into the California Hall of Fame, and was a 2019 recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors.
ABOUT THE NEW WORLD SYMPHONY
The New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy, prepares graduates of music programs for leadership roles in professional orchestras and ensembles. In the 33 years since its co-founding by Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas and Lin and Ted Arison, NWS has helped launch the careers of more than 1,150 alumni worldwide. A laboratory for the way music is taught, presented and experienced, the New World Symphony consists of young musicians who are granted fellowships lasting up to three years. The fellowship program offers in-depth exposure to traditional and modern repertoire, professional development training and personalized experiences working with leading guest conductors, soloists and visiting faculty. Relationships with these artists are extended through NWS’s extensive distance learning via the internet. NWS Fellows take advantage of the innovative performance facilities and state-of-the art practice and ensemble rooms of the Frank Gehry-designed New World Center, the campus of the New World Symphony.
Photo courtesy New World Symphony